Friday, May 03, 2013

Be True To Your School

Entrance to the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management
Image courtesy: Google Street View

Yesterday when I typed, again and again, "Matsushita Institute for Government and Management" as a part of the bios of those attending Sunday's unofficial Return of Sovereignty Day ceremony, two thoughts kept running through my mind:

1) "Wow, for a school with only 256 graduates, these folks are ubiquitous."


2) "What the heck do they teach these people?"

The Matsushita Seikei Juku churns out conservative politicians and corporate executives, though only four at a time now. Despite its fame it remains a pretty mysterious place. Some journalists and commentators have taken a look at the school, sometimes with embarrassing results (link withheld to protect the guilty).

Looking at the graduates who became politicians, most prominent of whom is former Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko, two themes stand out. The views that

a) the rules governing the lives of ordinary mortals do not apply to us

a belief that led Noda to call an election that led to the collapse of the Democratic Party of Japan as a force in the House of Representatives, and

b) success is confidence plus a social network.

Other attributes humans tend to find of value, such as self-awareness and deep knowledge, do not play an obvious role in the Matsushita Way.

Perhaps persons destined to be leaders do not need them...until they do, of course.

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