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08 January 2012


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It is called the Shimizu ザー清水 in Japanese. Most fgerioners don't know about it but all Japanese do.I am going to share the secret with you.As you know, it is very difficult to gain entry into Japan's top university, Tokyo University. So hard in fact that many people study several years at expensive cram schools after high school to pass the entrance exam. There have been well known instances of students ending their lives after several failed attempts at entry. Apparently back in the 60 s the last question on the last page on the last day of testing contained a question that stumped many a Japanese genius. The question was; how many liars are in a room when both people are being kind to each other ? Was this a trick question? A test of ethics? Is zero a number? Honne and tatemae relevant? These questions and many others went through the head of the now famous 19 year old Shimuzu san as he sat in the hot examination room back in the late summer of 1967. Japanese children to this day are taught to do the Shimuzu so as to not forget that young student named Shimizu and his failure to answer that question correctly and how he went on to end his life. Sad and alone. The next time you are asked to pose for a camera please do not forget young Mr. Shimizu. Everyone knows zero isn't a number.

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