Tokyo Institute of Technology Noriyuki Ueda Vice President (Part 1)

The importance of “Knowing Ourselves” and our lifestyle in the future (Part 1)

東京工業大学 上田紀行副学長 The new COVID-19 variants have entered its third year as a pandemic. The severe effect from COVID-19 is still endless. More people lose their lives due to infection. Many people are suffering from various sequelae even if the symptoms of the infectious disease have subsided. In addition, for the past two years, many people around the world have been living uncertain days with great anxiety about infections to themselves and their families, work and income, and changes in their lives due to self-restraint.
We spoke with the author of “The Meaning of Living” and cultural anthropologist Noriyuki Ueda, Vice President of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, about how to overcome these global crises and live with COVID-19 today and in the post-COVID-19 era.

──It has been three years since the pandemic of the new variant of the COVID-19 infection occurred. The spread of the COVID-19 virus continues to have a great impact on our lives in many ways.


 I agree. One already knows about the various bad points brought about by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. I think there are also good points when it comes to changes in life and relationships between people.


 It may be some people, but now some of us can work as a teleworker. People were uniformly pushed into the rush hour trains at 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. just to get to work. Many people do not have to go through that any more. As a result, some people were able to effectively use the time they spent commuting to work efficiently. They were relieved of the mental stress of riding a crowded train. Some people say, “I don’t have to live in Tokyo.” They moved out of Tokyo and moved to a rural area to live in an environment rich in Nature while continuing to work by telework.


 Some people were freed from the kind of sympathetic pressure of “I have to be together with everyone else” and “I have to be here at the same time with everyone else,” which was a compulsory relationship with others at work that was just exhausting people.


 At the same time, I feel that more and more people are thinking about “Who I Am” and “how I should live in the future” as they experienced the spread of the COVID-19 virus that no one has experienced before. This is not limited to people who are teleworking, isn’t it?