Shinichi Hamano

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Shinichi Hamano

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Inspired by Nature

Creativity sparkles when pureness, noiselessness, they all come together. That is to synchronise yourself with your surrounding nature. That is to stay simple, be natural, and be true to yourself.  It’s very simple, but it’s one of the most difficult things to do for us human beings.
I was spending about a week in a town called “Abu” in Western Japan, and helping sea kayaking tours, also a bit of a farm work, for the person I previously met during my bicycle trip. Above words were the words somehow came down to me during the stay.
Let me share my experiences, recalling some of the conversations I had.

Priceless gifts around you

That is Oregano, Mint. That one over there, that’s trefoil. You see down there? They are Mozuku*, Wakame*, its stem is what we usually eat as Mekabu*.
*All kinds of seaweeds we Japanese people enjoy.
It’s hard to see what’s under your nose.
It was just a few hours I spent in the field, and it was just a short stroll along the rocky shore, but there were so many “priceless gifts” from mother nature around me, which sadly I could not recognize. Maybe we are living in too a convenient world, where everything we need is in our hand reach, with its unnatural form. It may sound a bit dramatic, but we might be loosing our innate ability to sense what’s really around us.

Computer and human

Computers or even the best AI can never have their own imaginations.
The “priceless gifts” we often fail to notice could exist even much closer, that is within ourselves.
I think there were no technologies that could ever exceeded the ability of our brains. In fact none of the technologies we’ve invented were able to have free imaginations by themselves.
Having interactions with surrounding nature, being impressed or emotional, coming up with some great ideas and shouting out your excitement, that is what a 3-year-old kid can easily do. I think we humans are producing incredible amount of energies with those chemical reactions in our brains.
I would say I was blindly chasing, or trying to catch up with all those fancy looking technologies time to time, before knowing my own abilities. Technology itself is definitely not a bad thing. It enhances our possibilities, but  sometimes, I feel our society is blindly chasing, or trying to catch up with all those new technologies.
Here, people may ask me, “Are you trying to say we should get rid of all the technologies and just go return to nature?”.
That’s not the point I want to say.

Noh play and machines

There are things which seems not to be associated to each other, but in fact they are if you take a good look at. Let’s think about a Noh* master and a great auto mechanic in history. What they’re doing is completely different, but once they exceed certain level in their professions, they somehow get to communicate with each other. That’s an amazing moment.
*A Japanese traditional masked dance-drama
No matter how old it is, people across all generations or even across different domains, can recognise what shines deep inside its spirit. Living like a hybrid of new and classic, I want to live such life.
This applies to the relationship between us and computers. There are things humans are good at, but at the same time, there are things computers are good at. When both of us are doing at our own best, there should be a point where the feeling of excitement sparkles.
In this sense, life would be more exciting if we could enjoy the way we truly are, meaning to be a “human”.
So what is it, that makes us more “human”?

Pulling weeds, mowing weeds

Back then, we didn’t have a concept “mowing weeds”. When the concept came in, human’s ability had diminished a bit. I like the feeling when I’m pulling the weeds. Just pulling them one by one. I may be seen as getting absorbed in one thing, but actually I’m engaged in multiple things. I’m thinking what to have for dinner, but I know how many roly-polies are around me. I’m being one with nature.
I think this is our innate ability, which is gradually being forgotten. It’s an ability to stay natural, be one with nature, and live just like other creatures on earth. I want to regain that ability.
Feel yourself and surrounding nature, breathe together to get in sync with each other, and you would get to know what’s happening around you without even thinking about it. That’s the moment when you are back in nature.
I believe that’s when pureness, noiselessness, they all come together in every aspect of your actions and ideas, namely you brought back your true self and being a real human.
Your ideas, your feelings, they don’t need any logical explanations. Imagine one of those moments when you got excited, or felt so happy about something. Your emotion should always be skipping any logics, and be at the first place beneath your happy face. Logics can be found after sometime.
Be simple, just follow our own pure emotion, and make it into a shape. This is something that only us human beings can do.
It’s called imagination.
Some people may just say “let’s be creative and come up with something exiting”, however, it is not possible if you were filled with all kinds of “noise”. Even a very detailed market research could fail if it’s missing something that touches someone’s heart. If it’s just a logical assumption, computers performs better than us.

If a man will not play, he shall not work

I don’t know if this is the exact phrase, but I heard it was something Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, said.
I cannot agree more. Who could ever come up with an exciting idea by ignoring your feelings of curiosity and excitement? I want to cherish our gifts, that is this ability to be curious and get excited.
As a passionate surfer himself, Yvon’s philosophy was to give his employees freedom to set their work schedules around the surf. I love his way of thinking blurring the boundaries between work and life in a positive way, and encouraging people to build their life around nature, or what they love to do.
I believe, a great work is only generated by those people who love and enjoy their lives from the bottom of their hearts.

Inspired by Nature

Whether floating with your kayak, pulling weeds, or just strolling through a forest, when you get into the rhythm with your surrounding nature, that’s the moment you’re becoming one with it, and that’s the moment when you are filled with pureness and noiselessness. Having interactions with nature is the key for me to be a boy with a gleam in his eyes again.
Whenever I witness the magic of nature, I cannot help but hide my feeling of excitement. However, it also makes me realise the presence of its great power which is way beyond my control. I cannot help but be just quiet and humble before its presence. I think, this is another moment when I become a human.
In this sense, my life is very much inspired by nature.
It is my pure bliss for witnessing such moments, and I am even happier if I could share such moments with other people.
I want to keep exploring this world in search for such moments, I want to have more interactions with nature, I want to feel inconvenience in nature so I can have some more space to be creative, and I want to think about how we can coexist with our mother nature. I want to spend my time = life, in such things.
After all, we humans are all temporarily borrowing a space to live on the earth.

Stay natural, be simple, live just like other creatures on earth, and be one with nature.

Well, I have written all these things but I believe I’m still at the stage where I just “know about it” and cannot put this into the actual practice. However, it is from this time on my life theme, and it is something that I never want to forget. So, please allow me to jot down this feeling, and I would like to close this story.
I cannot be thankful enough, for this coincidental encounters with all these amazing people and experiences.