Sunday, 13 April 2008

Snusmumriken, Duke and Toru-san

Japan is a wonderful place for someone like me.

Not only do I get to have sushi to my heart's content. I am also exposed to the wonders of the Japanese culture, and -- the topic of this blog posting -- Japanese cultural imports from the West.

While preparing for the Sun-MySQL event last Wednesday, I was happy to see the back of Toru Takahashi-san's laptop, featuring a big sticker with Snusmumriken and a small sticker with Duke.

  • Toru-san is a Principal Solution Architect with the Software Practice in Sun Microsystems K.K. He was involved in the planning and execution of the Tokyo event in our Sun-MySQL World Tour. You can also meet him at the MySQL Users Conference next week, if you're there.

  • Duke is the friendly mascot of Java technology.

  • Snusmumriken, or Snufkin in English (sorry, I wouldn't know what he is called in Japanese), is a Finland Swedish cultural export. He is one of the Moomin cartoons (Moomintroll's best friend, who goes south every winter and returns in the spring), and I did know from earlier travels to Japan that the Moomins are about as popular in Japan as Victoria and David Beckham (exposure in random unrelated ads in the metro or on the streets). Ah, the humble cultural imperialist in me was happy to note that it's not only IT (Linux, MySQL) which is spreading from our tiny group of 300.000 people in Finland, but also my favourite children's stories, written by Tove Jansson (1914-2001).

My Finland Swedish ego trip got a further highlight later in the evening, when I noticed that the scissors I borrowed at Larry Stefonic's place (MySQL's VP Sales in APAC) were made by Fiskars (in the consumer goods industry).


  1. Cool, having Snusmumriken on your computer can never be wrong ;-)

  2. [...] You seem to share my interest in the Finland Swedish author Tove Jansson (she’s the one with the Moomins that I found in Japan) and in the Icelandic [...]