"33 More Reasons to be Proud" Gaining Momentum

Media and Press Responses

Ruth has been quite busy and active since the release of 33 more Reasons to be Proud, as the response of the media and press has been quite astounding. You can see the initial reactions from bloggers and customers here.

The first set of published books have been entirely sold out, and we can expect a new shipment to come soon. The book is in fact currently ranked number 3 on Amazon Japan, and various media outlets have taken a keen interest in the response and inspiration this book has generated across Japan.

     
the logo for josei jishin, a popular periodical in Japan
“Josei Jishin”
 
A cover for an issue of josei jishin magazine
A common cover of Josei Jishin

 

Josei Jishin is a very popular publication in Japan that focuses on the latest trends and stories in Japan. It’s particularly written for women, so stories that contribute to women’s place in society are generally favored. Ruth has always been active in promoting the strengths and qualities of women here in Japan; a place where women tend to unfortunately be brushed off, even more so than western society perhaps.
Many in Japan, men of course included, have long been inspired by Ruth’s empowering attitude and positive outlook on the future. Her book accurately summarizes and explores her deep interest and concern with inspiring and encouraging Japanese people to have more confidence and be proud of what they have to offer the world in terms of customs and integrity.

The Josei Jishin “People” series, a regular column in the monthly publication, lent 6 full pages to Ruth’s story. Focusing on the book and its message, the interview spanned over Ruth’s entire lifestyle, including personal history, family life, office life, social life, and future aspirations; it can be likened to a short biography.  It seems that there would be no end to the interviews, as nearly every day another aspect of Ruth’s life to focus on would arise. All in all, after about 30 or more hours of interviews and photos, the article has been published this month in Josei Jishin.

Photo of Ruth Shiraishi in josei jishin, detailing her life and book about Japan
logo for sapio, another popular magazine in Japan
“Sapio” is another quite popular periodical in Japan. Often times, when riding the trains in Tokyo, you will see a juicy snippet or two from Sapio hanging from the ceiling in the train aisles. Sapio tends to focus on hot topics in Japan ranging from media to scandals to politics. It is truly the nitty gritty of modern Japanese society, leaving no stone unturned.
The magazine is split into multiple categories featuring a top story from each one each month. More specific ones such as “China”, “Business”, and “Authors”, along with more existential ones such as “Peace”, “Worldview”, and “Heart”. Ruth was featured this month in the “Heart” section of Sapio, and just in time for the new year to get her book’s message out to a huge readership across Japan!

cover of sapio magazine featuring an article about Ruth Shiraishi

The article focused on two aspects of Ruth’s book:
1. Japanese people’s awareness of surroundings, and moreover the feelings of others. 
To illustrate this point, the example of ATM lines are brought up from the book. Japanese people are often stressed out when causing delays or inconveniences to others, lining up at an ATM for instance. Yet, in America, it tends to be the other way around in the sense that “it’s your own choice to wait in the line, so you don’t have to if you don’t want to”. This is not a black and white observation, but in general Japanese people try their hardest to be considerate of other people’s time, and humbly take the blame for any delay.
2. Humility and Modesty
It may be a product of Japanese social structures, but Japanese people are often very quick to consult their superiors both in education and work. This most likely arises from the “senpai (the older in the relationship)” and “kohai (the younger in the relationship)” system shared between any two given people. It is a common age/hierarchical structure in school sports, clubs, companies, and even circles of friends. It acknowledges the “senpai’s” age and experience and labels them as a source of consultation and advice for the younger “kohai” in the relationship. It takes humility to be able to request help and advice from someone who you explicitly recognize to be above you in terms of “rank”. And this humility makes it possible to form a teacher/student relationship between almost anyone. In this same sense, they are very quick to refuse praise so as not to become overconfident or complacent. Ruth states in the book that this mentality brings about a greater sense of “team”, or “us”, and when acknowledged and taken advantage of, can be a key element in successful business.
There is more media coverage to come, so please stay tuned.