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Steve Jobs's long and complex relationship with Japan


Japanese writer Hayashi Nobuyuki has written a thoughtful article on Steve Jobs and Japan, covering both the professional and personal influences that helped shape Jobs's path through life and with Apple. The piece has been translated into English, and it's worth a read.

Jobs considered himself a practicing Buddhist most of his adult life, and was a student of the Sōtō Zen monk Otogawa Kōbun; Otogawa even served as the "spiritual advisor" for NeXT. Apparently, Jobs's enthusiasm for Zen study once led him to threaten to retreat from the world and ensconce himself in a Sōtō temple in Japan.

Jobs's affection for Japanese culture and cuisine even led him to 'bend' his strict vegan diet when it came to sushi; he was a frequent customer of the Kaygetsu restaurant in Silicon Valley, and he relished the raw fish delicacies in dinners with family and colleagues. When Jobs learned that the restaurant was set to close this year (which it did, two days after Steve's death in early October), he approached the restaurant's chef with a job offer. The same dishes that Steve enjoyed are now featured on the bill of fare at Apple's campus cafeteria.

Thanks Rick!

photo by Mike Tex | Flickr CC

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