Interview with the Japanese genius Kai Takahashi

juin 27th, 2012

By Rachid Filali

-Kai Takahashi .. You are a young man, but you are now a programmer in the largest computer company in the world Microsoft .. Are you a genius or lucky?

◆I might be lucky but I can’t consider myself to be a genius. Yes, that’s right; I work in Microsoft as a programmer which is no less than a part of my studies.  In few of the universities here, every student, according to their level, has a bright opportunity to work in some these multinational companies not as a paid-worker but as a student which could help up to boost up our knowledge and experience.

 I am a second year Info Tech student, so on the basis of this level; I am a programmer less and a learner more. Also, I have a privilege of continue working after finishing my course.  

-Why did you choose to study computer programming in particular?

◆I dreamt to be a scientist when I was a child, fascinated to see how stuff works. I was introduced to the world of computers in my junior school days.  I learnt many new things about it and during High School years, won many awards, medal and certificates in competitions and Olympiads of Information Technology.  Eventually, all these contributions helped me to choose my field of study. But my interest and knowledge are the two things because of which I choose Information Technology as my field of study.

-What do you think are the causes of Japan’s progress?

◆Japan is country poor in natural resources but rich in hard working and diligent people. People of the Japan are the most effective cause for Japan’s progress.

Our Honesty, cooperation, diligence and every other thing contributed a lot in shaping up the present Japan.  We adapted to catering to authority and harmonize with others. We tend to place our self in own exclusive and self communities. Consequently, we have more interest in human feelings and emotions than a scientific or logical concern.  

- You are fluent in six languages, do not you think that the Japanese language is very difficult, and why do you think that Japanese still write four different alphabets, in contrast, there is an alphabet Hiragana is very easy, for example?

◆Japanese, here known as Nihongo, is my mother tongue.  Obviously, I don’t find it to be a difficult language. In general, Japanese isn’t a hard language to learn but it’s very different from English.  Because of this unfamiliarity, foreigners find it to be hard and time consuming.  Japanese is the gateway of other Asian languages and cultures. A familiarity with Asian cultures also allows you to step outside the culture you live in and see it from a fresh, new perspective. Furthermore, Japan is widely perceived as a highly refined civilization with some incredibly sophisticated cultural institutions. Speaking Japanese gives you extra patina from the mere association with this world of tea ceremonies, philosophical martial arts and refined foods.

Different Asian civilizations influenced a lot in Japanese culture. And that’s how the Japanese language came into existence.  Japanese script has been adopted from Chinese language.  The Chinese script was modified and three Japanese scripts were created, named as, Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.  Japanese is written by combining these three scripts. Hiragana is considered as the simplest and basic script used to write words, which can’t be written in Kanji. The presence of these different scripts creates this beautiful language. 

Also, I lived over-seas and studied in an International School, that’s why I am able to speak other languages as well.

- It is said that Japanese people arrogant
And loves isolation but as my relationship with the Japanese revealed to me that this talk is mere prejudice ..What do you think?

◆Arrogance doesn’t depend on the race but on the mentality and psychology of a person.  I would say, in general, that Japanese people are raised to be polite.  We greatly believe in giving respect to others.  We don’t tend to find answer in violence.  Rectitude, Benevolence, Honesty, Courage, Honor, Loyalty, Respect and Courage are the seven virtues which we bear.

Isolation provides a sense of peace in our mind. But we are not anti-socials.  We can mix up well and could imitate well of other cultures too.  Accordingly, many of us have introverted personalities and we pay attentions to harmony and cooperativeness in the society.

- How do you think the Japanese people could live with the natural disasters that hit the Japanese islands permanently; what is the secret of this remarkable resistance?

◆There’s a mythical explanation about the creation of Japan. Japan has been able to exist in all these eras despite of its catastrophic location.  We have utmost faith and self-confidence that we can live up no matter which difficulties surrounds us.  

In our Shinto culture and myths, we pray the forces of nature. These 4 classical forces known as Fire, Water, Wind and Earth had defended us in our difficulties.  We don’t curse these forces despite of the previous month disasters. In fact, we greatly respect this fury of nature.  

- There is a fierce technological competition between Japanese and Chinese, Koreans and Americans, the Japanese have been able to excel in many times over their competitors how do you explain that?

◆Again, I would consider our people to be the first and most effective cause of this achievement.

Japan has a population of about half the United States of America with a land area of 90% of the Californian States. Therefore, roads, parks, houses, etc. are designed in miniature size. This environment influences largely their lives. We tend to pay attention to precise details rather than the big picture. We are better at developing transistors than space development projects.  And as said, small things eventually creates something big.   We have relied on our creativity and scientific know-how to succeed not only economically but also in ecology and affiance-oriented ways. We are known as high tech leaders in fields such as optical media, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial robotics, and fermentation processes. Our drive for innovation has made us the world leaders in patent filings at 420,000 applications annually.

- Are you proud of the Japanese mentality?

◆I am not sure about the Japanese mentality because I believe; we’re no different from others.  But, I am proud to be Japanese.

- I want to know your opinion on the Arab Islamic civilization, do you think that Islam is a religion of terrorism?

◆The Islamic people are wonderful.  Arabian Islamic culture is rich and elegant.  This culture is one of the most hospitable cultures in this world. Kindness, friendliness, graciousness, and thoughtfulness are all hallmark characteristics of the Arab people. Arab art, music, and philosophy convey the rich perspective of Arab life and culture. Arab customs and traditions in all of their various forms express the beauty of the Arab people.

Unfortunately, large barrier exists between U.S and Arab culture.  There should be a definite goal of eliminating these barriers. Through friendship and cultural exchange, we can build on a future of hope based on cultural respect and understanding.

No, I don’t believe Islam to be a cause of Terrorism.  One of my friend from Tunisia says, Islam isn’t about terrorism and terrorist don’t have religion.  Media, especially American media is creating a bad impression about Islam into the minds of Non-Muslims through its wide reach.

- What do you think the current Arab revolutions?

◆Revolutions, movements and revolts are a call of time.  The Arab Revolution changed the economic and social living of Arabian people.  People realized their need of freedom, this wake strengthen them in one united mass action resulting in the decline of dictatorship.  
Numerous factors have led to the protests, including dictatorship or absolute monarch, human right violation, government corruption, economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population.  The Arab Revolution marks the emergence of Islamic countries from Modern World’s Dark Age into a new era.

- How the Japanese regarded the Arabs and Muslims?

◆Muslims communities are fledging well in Japan. They are generally established and accepted in modern Japanese society.  Many Muslims in Japan are managing to harmonize their Japanese and Islamic Lifestyle. Muslims in Japan has widely retained their sense of religious and cultural identity and has generally been established as members of Japanese society.  Japanese Laws regarding wearing of Hijab by Muslims women, presence of Mosques, availability of Halal food products cast a light on acceptance of Muslims in Japan. 

Though there are few Muslims in Japan, today’s Japanese public has generally accepted them as members of Japanese society. For the most part, Japanese people have accepted Islamic cultural differences as colorful aspects of the world and have understood that these cultures are actually not very different from their own. 

- How should the Arabs and Muslims must do to become a developed country like Japan for example?

◆Arabian citizen, as I said, are wonderful.  They have each and every quality which a Japanese person holds. If government corruption, poverty, unemployment, political instability and problems such as human right violation are eliminated; then Arabian countries will be able to be able to develop, without any failure.  Moreover, countries in Arab could possibly use up the rich of availability of Oil and Petroleum as a major advantage.  Interruption of U.S.A and few other countries in Arabian political affairs severely declined the Arabian economy in particular.

Hard work, Determination and Loyalty towards the work can greatly help Arabian people to shape up the developing scenario of their countries.  That’s all!



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