Ping Mag, one of the blogs that I read regularly, has gone dead for 2009. The blog was an interview-style, journalistic site that focused on people that ‘make stuff’ in Japan, with a pretty big focus on small manufacturing businesses.
The blog was especially interesting because of the attitudes of the people that were being interviewed. These were people that had dedicated their lives, oftentimes going back several generations, to things that I never really think much about, such as making soap, rice boxes, or sandals.
Another common thread in their articles was that even though you might want to be a businessman, electrical engineer, or graphic designer, your true calling might really be making kites. This thread was brought up many times, and usually came up when exploring how people ended up in the job they had. Some people followed their hearts into a new career, some changed jobs to follow where their talents were, still others took over the family business and used new skills and education to shape their grandfather’s or father’s company into something of their own.
Reading about people that take tremendous pride in their work, while also being very humble, was really refreshing when compared to many of the other business and marketing sites that I follow. The articles always made for an interesting read, and a nice change from the business culture that I’m familiar with it.