Kaizen Forever Calligraphy

It is surprising to me that in the nine years since the book Kaizen Forever was published, nobody has asked me what the beautiful Japanese calligraphy on the cover says.

KF Translation 1

A literal reading by Chihiro Nakao would be: “Continue Moonshine [to make] change [towards the] ideal. [signed] Nakao Chihiro.”

Continue = 続
Moonshine = 月つるつる
Kaizen = 改善
Nakao = 中表
Chihiro = 千尋

You may be wondering, “What is Moonshine?” At Shingijutsu, Moonshine means developing valuable solutions to problems by creatively adapting materials that are already on hand. It requires looking at those materials and the problems themselves with a renewed perspective of doing ‘a lot with a little’.

What is the “ideal?” It is Just-in-Time (JIT), to avoid the waste of “excess production.”

What is the meaning of the words “Continue Moonshine [to make] change [towards the] ideal?” It means to apply human ingenuity and creativity to quickly solve problems instead of spending money to solve problems. It means to do this continuously to move the company, its processes, and its people towards an ideal state. It means to practice Moonshine and genba kaizen together, continuously, not once in a while. It means to embrace the spirit of kaizen and develop your creative potential with Moonshine.

Learn more about the Kaizen Forever, learn about the companion volume, Shingijutsu-Kaizen, and learn about sensei Chihiro Nakao.

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