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Kazuaki Ohashi

by Judit Kawaguchi

Kazuaki Ohashi, 37, is a philosopher whose love of a challenge has propelled him from studying the fear of death to a life of business and parties. CEO of Web design firm Koo & Co., and EN, an English language school, he is also the volunteer organizer of events that introduce traditional Japanese dance abroad and foreign folk dance to Japan. Despite working from 8 a.m. till 2 a.m., six days a week, he thinks that so far he hasn’t done much more than maybe taken a few steps in the right direction.

Always be good because it could all end any second. When I say goodbye to a friend, I always wonder if we will see each other again or if that will be the last time we will ever speak.

If you know something, you must teach it, too. Just like Plato wrote in “The Republic,” many people mistake shadows for reality. The person who sees through this all has the responsibility to enlighten others.

Just talking about peace is criminal. I act to bring positive change to society.

I am looking for a woman who can control my subconscious. So far, I haven’t found her, but I guess even if I did, I wouldn’t notice. Can’t wait. . .

Bisexuals have got it made: they have twice as much fun as the rest of us. So why am I still heterosexual? Because women are so beautiful that I can’t even look at men.

Parents are the priority. Unless a woman loves my parents and wants to take care of them, there is no room for her in my life. Of course, if she does, I will take care of her parents just like my own.

No, I don’t have a mother-complex: I love my father, too. I live with my parents because I want to spend as much time with them as possible. Actually, I only see them at breakfast and maybe a bit late at night. While I was in the U.S. for eight years, I lost my grandparents, whom I loved dearly, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t let time slip by with my parents.

Working just for money is a poor idea. I need money, but I work for gi — a feeling of loyalty and respect for others. This was common for Japanese, but unfortunately now many young people judge a position’s value by how much it pays.

The criteria for choosing a university should not be only its name value, but also the professors who will teach you there. I’m an atheist, but I still went to The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., because I wanted to study philosophy under professor Antonio S. Cua. He was wise. He told me that I was not brilliant enough to be in the top 3 percent of philosophers and recommended instead that I work with people.

The smarter one is, the more difficult everything seems. If you can reduce the depth of the abyss, shrinking the gap between your dreams and reality, you can achieve anything.

No wonder capitalism is winning. Socialism wanted to make more people less miserable, while capitalism wants to make more people happy.

It’s hard to understand where the idea of a native speaker comes from: It’s very foreign. Japanese students insist on having a native English teacher, yet in the real world we often talk to people for whom English is not their first language.

It’s good to be deceived sometimes. You’ll be more careful the next time.

Japanese politicians need logic and teachers. Now they are unable to follow international discourse, because in Japan we do not need a “because” clause in a sentence. We just feel things and act on intuition. This is beautiful, but it doesn’t work with foreigners.

No matter how perfect, everyone and everything has the potential to get even better. As Aristotle noted, becoming what you fully are is an endless process, but without taking action, there is only potential.

Everything changes. Whatever you have or desire now, you can’t have forever. When we lose something, we feel sad, but we can cope better if we accept that all change is natural.