The Japanese Dream
Do you have a dream? — Starting new business ? Building a nice home near the beach ? Travelling around the world ?
In Japan, using the word dream in that context only started recently.
Until then, dream meant a vision you see while you sleep. They used the different word to achieve something while you are “awake”.
The word is Kokorozashi (志) the letter means Bushi’s mind. (Sadly this word got banned from school textbook after the war by GHQ and it was replaced by the word “dream”.)
Kokorozashi is a bit similar to “mission”.
You may say “my dream is buying a property and growing vegetables there”, but you wouldn’t say “my mission is buying a property and growing vegetables there” (unless asked by authority).
Let’s have a look at the global giant business, Amazon’s mission.
“We aim to be Earth’s most customer centric company. Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success.“
Difference between dream and mission is obvious. Dream is for yourself and mission is for others.
Kokorozashi is an individual version of company mission. It determines how you live and what you actually do towards your vision. It works like a life compass. Kokorozasu (verb) is a journey towards your destination (ideal world).
Therefore, Kokorozashi could sound challenging while dream sounds sweet.
A lot of cultures celebrate Coming of Age ceremony. So does Japan. It used to be called Genpuku Shiki (元服式）and had been conducted since 7th century, usually around the age 15.
The style changed along history, but basically the person changed hair style or the hat, and was given a new name. (Girls changed their looks in different way).
After re-born, they are considered as the responsible young adult, and following thoughts were reinforced.
“People look after you while you are a child, but now, it is your turn to look after others. What would like to contribute for the society?”
For those young people, it was only natural to set up their Kokorozashi then.
Shinto believes gods are everywhere on the earth, universe and galaxy and human being is a part of it. Kokorozashi, I think, comes from the sacred part of our heart.
Forming a better society requires different roles. In other word, kokorozashi means recognising your own role.
Kokorozashi emphasises who you are as individual, but also tells importance of working together without ego.
It is a spirit of give & given. Not give & take. It is a “dedication” not sacrifice.
I feel it was one of the keys to achieve something in a short period of time or make something last for a long period.
How they recovered after the war from scratch, or the top 3 world oldest companies are all Japanese ones, explains it.
This is only possible because kokorozashi unites people and the thoughts are passed on even though the person couldn’t make it in his/her life time, as its energy is big and travels far.
(It also means if your dream contains other’s happiness, it has more chance of Crystallization)
In these days, we are taken over by competitive globalism and kokorozashi seems fading out.
However, individual power can influence others more, thanks to the modern technology.
If you would like to develop your dream into Kokorozashi, just add “for who” and “why” with your Imagination “how” you want to see the better world :).