TED Talk Tuesday: Tokyo

For the first time, this September, we are exploring the hidden corners and unique neighborhoods of Tokyo for one week of urban exploration. Tokyo, Japan is an international capital of design, craftsmanship, and futurism. Here’s a little sneak peek to get you started…

“Ridiculous ideas are okay. The key is to keep them flowing.”

Japan is synonymous with innovation. How does toy designer Shimpei Takahashi come up with new ideas? He plays a game called Shiritori, where he forces words at random to connect with one another, naturally forming new ideas. He lets go of the pressure of coming up with a perfect idea and instead focuses on quantity. With quantity, eventually comes quality. Maybe you’re next innovative idea will come from playing Shiritori?


“It makes them learn how to live in this world.”

Check out this incredible kindergarten in Tokyo that is designed to be completely open. “There is no boundary,” says its innovative Japanese architect, Takaharu Tezuka. Children aren’t meant to learn in complete silence or completely indoors. How can we take this theory and apply it to learning at every age?

“They have something to teach us.”

How do we live longer? And better? This TED Talk is an Unsettled community favorite. Journalist and explorer Dan Buettner, highlights the concept of Ikigai (beginning around minute 7:20), a Japanese concept that loosely translates to “reason for which you wake up in the morning”. Where will you notice the concept of ikigai in Tokyo? Perhaps you will also get closer to finding your own.

Sayonara for now, but see you in Tokyo this September!


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