On Friday I acquired two very different works of Japanese fine art.
One was a very rare and wonderful find: an original Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), whose “Great Wave off Kanagawa” is one of the best-known works of Japanese art, titled “Wavy shadow of Mount Fuji” from the “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, Vol. 2” Series, created in 1835. The “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji” series was featured by the British Museum in 2001 and is part of the MET Museum collection in New York.
Hokusai has always been one of my favorite artist in the world, and it makes me very happy to have this piece join my collection.
The other one was a sketch and a Cel-ga #B-29 (painting on celluloid sheet used for hand-made animation) of Lukio, one of the main characters of “Kimba the White Lion” (or “Jungle Emperor”), a Japanese shōnen manga series created by Osamu Tezuka which was serialized in the Manga Shōnen magazine from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime based on the manga was created by Mushi Production and was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1965 to 1967. It was the first color animated television series created in Japan, produced by Tezuka Productions. The theatrical version of “Jungle Emperor”, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, was released in Japan on July 31, 1966.
The reason why this is a very special piece for me is because I had used the case of “Jungle Emperor” in my Intellectual Property classes for years, as a very clear-cut example of plagiarism: Disney plagiarized it when they released “Lion King” (1994). To add insult to offense, they not only deny it, but also threatened to litigate to have “Jungle Emperor” forbidden from US distribution. So now I have this Cel-ga as a reminder of the value of originality and creativity, a homage to what’s genuine and true.
Anyone who knows me knows I am crazy about all things Japanese; so since it has been so long that I have been in Japan, I decided to attend the HyperJapan event taking place in London’s O2 arena.
It was a blast! Many booths with Japanese merchandise, videogames (with a huge Nintendo area), clothing (like Aoi or the supercool t-shirts of Askew Gaming), manga artists, publishers (like Kaori, or Kodansha), bookstores (like JP Books), jewelry (like LittleMoose or Jane Nevermore), designers (like Ayako Shirata), art galleries (like CelGa or The Japanese Gallery), tourism info and institutions (like Japan Foundation), Japanese schools (like Alpha), steampunk (like Mikie & Co.), and lots and lots of kawaii (even Western-produced like GenkiGear, or “official”, like Charazoo)!!!!!
There was also a nice food court where we had salmon onigiri, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and for dessert we had taiyaki and green tea latte. They even gave us a ton of free samples of snapea rice sticks!
PS: As an added bonus, we learned of some cool companies that were not exhibiting but somebody was carrying their cool products, like YesAsia or ReStyle.
This is what the twittersphere has to say about the event:
On Thursday we (Carlos and Victoria from Kanteron, my wife and I) were invited, since we are members, to the TechHub 5th birthday party at an abandoned textile warehouse in London.
The party was expertly organized by the TechHub crew, and had everything you need to ensure a great party: two DJs, karaoke, photo-booth, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice-cream, cupcakes, booze, and cool tech (this time it was the HP Sprout).
While the venue was quite large, it quickly filled out with TechHub members and alumni (mostly entrepreneurs and coders), VCs, and other people from the Silicon Roundabout scene.
Thank you for the invitation, TechHub, it was a blast!
This is what the twittersphere has to say about the party:
Tuesday July 7th I was also invited, this time by Prof Tony Young (National Clinical Director for Innovation NHS England), to speak at the MedTech event held at University College London Partners.
The other three speakers also talked about different aspects of MedTech:
- Jim Dawton, Director Great Fridays “Disrupting Healthcare through Design”
- Henrietta Hughes, Regional Medical Director, NHS England ‘Innovation From the Frontline of Primary Care’
- Prof. Jo Martin, National Clinical Director for Pathology, ‘eCPD and More’
It was also another great event for networking, with over 100 people there, all related to MedTech.
Tuesday July 7th, I was invited to participate in a round table at the “Annual Networking Conference on Healthcare Efficiency through Technology: BIG DATA and Clinical Genomics” event.
It was a pleasure and an honor to share the stage and discuss the state of Clinical Genomics with speakers as distinguished as Prof. Tim Hubbard, Head of Bioinformatics (Genomics England); Dr Johnny Marshall, Director of Policy (NHS Confederation); or my friend Dr. Craig Parman, Life Sciences Director (Hitachi), and many more.
More photos here.
Thursday July 2nd I had breakfast in London, Lunch in Seville, and dinner in Valencia.
I got up at 3:00am, took the first flight to Madrid, and then the high speed train (a very risky 1 hour connexion time from the landing of the plane to the departure of the train) to Seville.
In Seville I had a 4 hour-long business lunch, followed by a short meeting, after which I went to the airport to fly to Valencia, where I stayed until Monday July 6th, having business meetings, enjoying time with family and friends, catching a few rays of sunshine, and enjoying what might be my only swimming day of the summer.
I also visited the “rostre paisatge” exhibition by Joaquín Jara and Rosa Rodríguez at Centro Cultural Octubre, and tried the Ma Khin Cafe restaurant (because Momiji was closed).
On June 23 I was invited to attend the Google Next Event, as a customer of Google and a potential partner.
It was quite a shock comparing the overall tone and spirit to the same event in New York, last year.
In New York everything was oriented toward networking, and you had the feeling that anyone could be anyone, and it didn’t matter if they represented a large company or a “start-up wannabe”.
In London it felt more like a roadshow, like “let’s do this thing here so nobody this side of the pond can say we don’t care about Europe” or “let’s have a few customers and partners on stage and featured so more will sign up”. But it seemed like nobody really gave a crap about who you were or why you were there. As a matter of fact, unlike in NY, the senior execs did not seem too happy to mingle, and retreated to their offices as soon as they were done with their speech.
There were other big differences, like how good the Americans are on stage, with a mic, or how the catering in NY had a lot of vegetarian and fresh fruit options while in London there were hardly any (but there were quite a few and delicious desserts, and even candy bars).
Nothing revolutionary or exciting was announced, but overall it was a very well put together event. Thanks, Google.
These past days I’ve had quite a few meetings and events around London at several lawyers (or solicitors, like they’re called here), and tax and investment advisers’ offices.
Those meetings are important for the future of my company, and I did learn quite a few things, while they help me select the “super-star team” that will allow me to take my company to the next level.
But I have also enjoyed running around London, from meeting to meeting, while keeping my eyes (and camera) up in “tourist mode”.
I specially like my neighborhood, Southbank, next to the London Bridge, and walking west (towards The Tate Modern and Southbank Centre) and east (towards Tower Bridge).
Because it’s never just business.
My wonderful wife already gave me the best birthday present ever when she invited me to stay at the Bvlgari Hotel in London and dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental.
But for next year (since this year we had to cancel our Polynesian cruise) she has decided to up the ante, and has invited me to an amazing 15 day cruise in April 2016, on the Luxury Silversea Silver Shadow calling at:
- Koh Samui, Bangkok / Klong Toey (Thailand)
- Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Chan May, Hue/Danang, Halong Bay (Vietnam)
- Hong Kong
This morning I was invited to the launch of London Technology Week, which was held at The Shard.
Besides your typical mix of VIPs, politicians, and media, the most outstanding thing was the view 😉
You can read the details of the press release here.
PS.- Some constructive criticism:
- In an event like this “Technology… whatever” you need a hashtag (something like #LTW15)
- A Technology Week is full of events, how about a MAP, CALENDAR, or an APP to show them all, and to sign up? If there is one, it’s not easy to find (no mention of it at the event, at least)