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Liberal Arts Education

Feb. 14, 2022

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By Tetsuharu Hanazaki, Senior Technical Engineer, mPLAT


In 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan published a report about essential elements for open innovation listing “Liberal Arts” as an important ability to think and to converse in terms of broad themes including specialized fields. It also defines liberal arts education in the corporate world as letting employees accumulate a variety of experiences through studying abroad and training.  

Haruki Murakami also writes in his essays that while it is important to make English an official company language, it is even more important to cultivate people who can have their own opinions.


One scene from a book “Dark Star Safari”, an African travelogue by the American writer Paul Theroux describes this idea very well.  

-Paul was traveling in a certain country in East Africa. In this truly desolate region, devoid of any pleasures or attractions, he couldn’t find a single person on the street who spoke English. One day when he was bored and with nothing but time on his hands, he came across a Japanese person. He was an engineer, dispatched there on his own by a Japanese company, and he spoke English quite well. Delighted, Paul started to talk to this person, but he realized right away that this man was terribly dull as things he said were formulaic, lacking even the least bit of depth. Paul immediately regretted the experience, saying “I would have been better off staring at a wall by myself.”-

Traveling across nine African countries like the author might be difficult but perhaps you will find that reading his book will help nurture your own opinions.

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