DK -  SE -  NO -  FI -  EN

My internship at IWAKI Pumps, Japan, Part 1

The culture shock, Written by Victor Huusmann

Recently and as part of my study, I completed an internship at the Japanese mother company IWAKI Co. LTD. Despite several months of preparation including Japanese language courses and teaching in culture and business ethics, the cultural shock was still overwhelming.

Japanese culture is the most odd and fascinating culture, I have ever encountered.
Tokyo skyline

Adaption of the new Japanese conditions was challenging, and Japanese’ limited English skills, did not exactly speed up the adaption process. Nonetheless, I soon acquired a sign- and body language as an alternative to oral communication.

Besides, I had a “Sensei” from IWAKI Co. LTD. who assisted me in the bigger challenges - for instance, figuring out the Japanese railway- and subway system.

Tokyo metro The railway- and subway system in Tokyo is one of the most efficient and most complicated systems in the world. Even inhabitants’ crosscheck the rail- and subway map occasionally!

Within a few weeks, I had adapted to the new surroundings and everyday life had become more normal. I soon discovered that Japan had many exciting things to offer; sumo wrestling, samurais, skyscrapers, shrines, spa, and a cuisine offering many delicious specialties!

The Japanese cuisine

I knew Sushi and green tea originated from Japan, but I soon discovered that Japanese cuisine had much more to offer!

During my 3-4 months stay in Japan, I bet I have tasted more strange food, than any other Westerner has tasted during his or her entire life! Just to mention a few examples: chicken stomach, cod milt and the deadly and tongue tickling pufferfish, Fugu.
However, the Japanese cuisine offers many delicious and tempting foods as well. “Yakitori” (grill skewers), “okonomiyaki” (a cross between an omelette and a pancake) and “Unagi” (Eel Japanese style) became my three favorites!

My eating habits quickly changed as well, as I replaced my daily coffee with green tea, and switched out the ribeye steak and beer with tofu, edamame beans, raw tuna and miso soup.

The benefits of breaking my normal (rather bad) eating habits was easy to see! When I got back home, I eventually acquired my “normal” and old eating habits again...
Japanese cuisine Shirasu
“Shirasu” is a local dish from Kamakura that
consists of salad, raw tuna, and baby sardines.
Served with rice, green tea and miso-soup.

Sightseeing in Tokyo

Tokyo is in my opinion one of the most amazing cities in the world with more than 13 million people living in Tokyo and 37 million in the region.

My Japanese colleagues invited me once in a while for sightseeing in Tokyo. Together we visited shrines and temples, the world’s second tallest building, Tokyo Sky Tree and “Tsukiji market”, the world’s biggest fish market.

Despite the fact that Tokyo is mainly covered by tall skyscrapers, one may find small gardens and parks in between. These are popular attractions for locals and tourists.
Japanese gardens

Photos from parks in Tokyo i.a. the “Rikugien park”. />

IWAKI Nordic find inspiration in both Japan and the Nordics

The new IWAKI Nordic pump-house and garden were to some extent inspired by Japanese culture and architecture. At IWAKI Nordic we enjoy our beautiful “Japanese / Nordic” inspired garden and ornamental lake.

Being at an important meeting or sitting at your desk in these surroundings makes you feel comfortable and surely makes a positive impact on efficiency and working environment.

IWAKI roots is not forsaken. We are so much both Nordic and Japanese.
IWAKI Nordic

The IWAKI Nordic pump house from 2014 is built with inspiration
and materials from both the Nordic countries and Japan.

The blog post was written by Victor Huusmann, who did an internship at IWAKI Co. LTD. in Tokyo from September to December 2015. Victor works part time at IWAKI Nordic meanwhile studying a master’s degree in communication at Copenhagen Business School.