You don’t know him yet — So Takei, Japanese greatest inspirer


He became a national champion of decathlon, after as short as 2.5 years of training.

Well, even without a single piece of experience to hold a club, he passed a tryout and got chosen for 4 selected national golf trainees, only together with 3 others all with national champion titles.

Then, he STRATEGICALLY became homeless, barely earning any money.

And now — So Takei is a TV star in Japan, earning half a million dollar per month. We shouldn’t be surprised of that, considering his actual goal — to become a Hollywood star.

Takei’s philosophy is simple: Enjoy as many things as possible in life. One of the first things was baseball. He was NOT a special one. Actually he’s never been the one, in terms of natural-born gift.

Instead, he’s been a great wonderer from his childhood. Why can’t I hit a home run every time?

He was serious. Why? I am exactly mimicking the top pro’s batting form. Well — oh — actually even the pro is not hitting a home run every time. Why? Why not after tens of years of training?

One day he found the answer. It was when he saw a video of his own batting form.

Oops — it’s not at all how I intend to swing. Actually I am not perfectly controlling So Takei myself. Neither the pro is. So it’s not about practicing baseball. It’s about practicing So Takei.

This was quite a discovery. From this day, his “practice” started and continued in every single piece of his lifetime.

When he walks — Is my foot placed exactly where I intend?
When he opens a bottle — Am I using the exact “sweet spot” of fingers?
After his training — What body and air temperature statistically generates my best performance? What food and drink? What clothes?

Sounds extreme, or even stupid. Nevertheless, his outstanding records in multiple sports prove the effectiveness of his method.

So yes, Takei became a national champion of decathlon. He had expected that should be quite an enjoyment.

Actually not.

He was shocked. Despite having become a national champion, it hardly brought him fame nor money. He remained to be a humble dude. That was not at all his expectation.

So again, he wondered very much. Why? Why being a national champion is still not enough to make me somebody?

Answer was clear — because it is decathlon. After all, it’s not soccer. It’s simply a matter of needs. Even if his QUALITY as an athlete is “greater” than CR7, he cannot make a VALUE without a decent number of people wanting to see his performance. In other words, he stopped aiming at his own honor or fortune. He started to think what he can give to people.

Then he started to seek for the best field to play. One of the attempts was golf. One year was enough for him to play at +/- 0.

However, the conclusion he finally reached was much further, and, obvious; Okay, I’ll be an entertainer. Surely that shall inspire a great number of people. That is the VALUE.

Then, again, his approach was very logical — and extreme. He got homeless.

With the money saved, Takei started to hang around bars in Roppongi, where many showmen spend time, every night. His order was always a cup of milk. A cup of milk in a bar. Also, he was always chewing a gum there. Not a chewing gum for mankind, but for dogs (you know — the one looks like a bone).

Sometimes showmen noticed Takei. “What are you doing?” “I’m training myself to become the king of beasts.”

That naturally drew people’s interest, and connected Takei to the world of entertainers.

In the bars, he was holding an IC recorder. That was to record showmen’s funny talks. He practiced hundreds of times to mimic the talks, until he becomes able to do so perfectly from memory. Remember — he’s been a specialist to control himself exactly how he intends. He continued that training everyday for 8 years.

Indeed, he looked funny enough from his 1st day in TV. Combined with his strong point — being a master athlete in extraordinarily diverse fields (he has never stopped minimum 1hr workout every day till now, by the way) — he has secured a very unique position in the industry. Not as a one-hit wonder, but as someone in between a comedian and a philosopher.

He wasn’t born as a special one. Nevertheless he is special now. He is using his life to demonstrate how a human being can become special.

“So let us continue giving a gift to future ourselves, by investing 1 hour, or even 10 minutes every day. Let us practice being ourselves, rather than confining your possibility within one particular field. I want to prove that. I want to prove we can enjoy lots of things in our life.”

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