I was recently lucky enough to visit Japan, a fascinating country with a diverse, rich and unique culture, much in contrast to the West. I was particularly drawn to the tradition and history of Japan; the Geisha, the Samurai, the wonder of the bamboo forests, the might of Mount Fuji but I was also struck by how they strive for perfection and how they master their profession and or art.
Whether it be the fact that all their trains are on time. They have the most 3* Michelin restaurants in the world. The lack of rubbish, or that a Maiko (Geisha apprentice), will train for 5 years to achieve the status of Geiko. During this time, they will have no access to a TV, Facebook, or any other technology. They receive no wage. It is hard to imagine that such young women, Maiko are typically aged between 14 and 17, volunteer for this, mainly due to a sense of honour, to preserve and maintain such traditions. This apprenticeship and service to a trade is not unique, a Sushi Chef will also generally serve as an apprentice for 5 years, working with a master itamae before they are given their first job, preparation of the sushi rice and so it continues across professions.Continue reading