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Career Success
NOV 24, 2004

The Six Dimensions of Life

By Yoshito Hori
Copyright GLOBIS

At last, I have finished writing The Six Dimensions of Life. Published by Kodansha, it will go on sale December 14. I am thinking of throwing a launch party to celebrate. I want it to be a casual affair where people can get together and have a good time.

In my previous book, My Personal Mission Statement (Toyo Keizai, Inc.), I summed up my life in chronological sections and wrote about things I had thought about. This book, The Six Dimensions of Life, is not chronological, but divides me into what I call my dimensions: the individual, the family man, the company man, the Japanese man, the Asian man, and the human being.

Here I will introduce a brief excerpt from the preface. Working at GLOBIS is my main occupation, so this book was written on the side. The content may be a little roughshod and will probably face a lot of criticism. However, since I have gone to the trouble of publishing it, I would like to have as many people as possible read it.

Below are a few excerpts from The Six Dimensions of Life.

***

The question, “What is the self?” is very complex. In my case, it is the individual known as Yoshito Hori. I became a child after being born to my parents, a husband after marrying my wife, and a father after the birth of my children. In society, I’m the representative of the organization called GLOBIS, and at the same time I’m Japanese. Furthermore, I’m an Asian and a man of the planet Earth.

Without always being conscious of it, I play out each of these seemingly different roles in various situations. With the kids, I am Dad; when I go to work, I’m the boss. When I play Go and go swimming, I’m having fun as an individual. When I travel overseas, I move around as a Japanese person. I support Japan at the Olympics, but at international conferences, I offer comments that represent the interests of Asian people, and this ultimately ends up as a debate over what is best for the Earth and for humans.

It’s not that any one role is the most important; I think all these roles are part of what every self should be. However, the self that interacts with his children as Dad and the self that is the boss of a company have their own distinctive facial expressions, words and conduct, and may look like completely different people. When I became conscious of these distinctions, I felt it necessary to subcategorize each of these various selves into separate dimensions.

Below are the six dimensions of life that I have come up with.

Dimension 1: Individual 
Dimension 2: Family Man
Dimension 3: Company Man
Dimension 4: Japanese 
Dimension 5: Asian
Dimension 6: Human Being

Each and every one of these dimensions is part of the life of Yoshito Hori. While I am aware of and act out different roles as dimensions, the common foundation beneath all of them is Yoshito Hori. This way of thinking is about having different dimensions on top of a common foundation. I have been writing about how each of these different roles has played out since 1998 in my blog, “Views of an Entrepreneur,” including entries about the different dimensions of family, GLOBIS, Japan, Asia, and the Earth, all intricately inter-related.

Before we are company people, we are individuals and family people. Above this, we are Japanese, Asian, and people of the Earth. While these are each different dimensions, all arise from the thoughts and actions of the same flesh-and-blood humans.

In this book, I attempt to define in my own way each of the roles pertaining to these dimensions of life, and I’ve included articles I wrote to present in the style of case studies for the reader. In my previous book, My Personal Mission Statement (Toyo Keizai, Inc.), I mainly presented the chronology of my journey as a company man; this book examines the different dimensions in parallel with each other.

I have felt and learned little from condescending books written by critics and scholars that instruct the readers on one particular way of living with an air of authority. The reason is that it’s OK if the author actually practices what he preaches, but too often that is not the case. Instead, I think that the drift of an argument should be more along the lines of, “I thought about this, I did this, I learned a lot of things.” I cannot in the first instance claim that what I have learned is correct for everyone, but this is the learning I have gained as a result of my own hard thinking and action.

As an author, I believe that it is important to leave it to you, the reader, to decide whether I am right or wrong. However, I would be delighted if this case example stimulates debate, and if from this debate you gain a few clues about life.

My previous book was not a success story. It was a kind of case study in the present continuous tense and was written with the aim of presenting my thoughts and deeds to the general reader. The Six Dimensions of Life is also intended to share something of what I have thought about and experienced with readers. I would be overjoyed if readers find guidance for their own lives from this book.