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Zennovation: An East-West Approach to Business Success by Mortimer R. Feinberg, PhD, Adam Taki, Tomio Taki

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CHAPTER 6

Taki Gakuen and Asking the Simple Questions

In 1928 my grandfather, Nobushiro Taki, established Taki Gakuen, a school near his hometown. His mission was to educate the countryside. He yearned to develop sophisticated and well-versed farmers as well as businessmen. The school had two primary curricula—agricultural and business courses—to accommodate the needs of local students. The school’s funding derived from my grandfather’s investments in Korean chestnut and apple farms, as well as a substantial interest in the Northern Manchurian Railroad. The fruits of these business interests allowed Taki Gakuen to offer local students almost tuition-free matriculation to our private institution.

My father assumed responsibility for the school when my grandfather passed away. After this shift, the end of the Second World War ushered in a wave of new problems. The school’s financial stability was challenged for the first time in its history as the Korean government claimed that the school’s farmlands were in Korea and the Northern Manchurian Railroad was usurped. The Korean property went under the control of the UN and Inner Manchuria was returned to the Republic of China. This return of property caused a great deal of fiscal strain on the school that my father had to address. For the time my father was in charge, he did his best to maintain my grandfather’s vision while beginning to adapt the school to a more modern pedagogical approach. However, everything was turned upside down ...

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