ニコライ・バーグマンさんを知っていますか。Have you ever heard of Nicolai Bergmann before?
Nicholai Bergmann is a Danish floweriest living in Japan. His flower shops are very popular; he also runs flower arrangement classes and has opened a café. He came to Japan when he was a student and is still there. He obviously really likes Japan!
Anyway I decided to write about him because I read about him in Asahi Shimbun Newspaper today. He talked about his favourite sweets here. But the sweets Mr Bergmann likes is not the thing I would like to write about here; I would like to write how he has become successful in Japan.
It is not necessarily easy or straightforward for people living and working in a foreign country. So how did Mr Bergmann become such a successful business man in Japan? I heard a sort of his tips some time ago; I had a chance to watch a short documentary programme introducing foreigners living in Japan and one of the featured people was Mr Bergmann. Can you guess what he said about the important thing to survive in Japan? The interview for the programme was carried out in Japanese and Mr Bergmann used this Japanese word, GAMAN to describe the tips. Gaman can be translated "endurance". Mr Bergmann explained how he survived his internship days. Mr Bergmann sometimes had to work for 15 hours a day; some other times he just had to blindly obey what the boss said without any questions. I could guess this kind of attitude enabled Mr Bergmann to earn a trust from all sorts of Japanese people around him.
Nowadays, we often say that young Japanese have now lost Gaman and the senior members cannot expect young stars to put up with all sorts of stuff. Innovation and change is sometime necessary but we should not break every single tradition. Mr Bergmann stuck to good old-fashion work ethics in Japanese sociery and managed to get through a hard business world in Tokyo.
It was interesting for me to hear Gaman from a non-Japanese person.
The avobe photo shows a flower box arranged by Mr Bergmann. If you want to see his flower arrangements more, you can see those here.