I've spent the past couple of days in Tokyo in support of our annual conference for F5's Japanese partners.  Tokyo has been unseasonally warm and clear which has been awesome.

Every trip here I'm struck by something else that makes Japan so...well...um, Japanese.  This time around it was a press interview that sent my mind pondering the way things are done here. 

John McAdam and I were interviewed by Nikkei Business Magazine yesterday. That in itself is not something out of the ordinary.  Interviews these days usually consist of talking to a journalist or editor who is equipped with a digital camera and a digital recording device.  For this interview, Nikkei showed with with no less than six people.  One journalist, one editor, two observers, one sales person and a photographer.  It turns out that the observers were apprentices of sorts, there to watch and learn.  

Seeing the apprentice system in use was thing that struck me as being particularly Japanese about this encounter.  I think it goes hand in hand with not being surprised by seeing a person dressed in traditional clothes cruising down the street along side of everybody else in dark business suits.  The mix of old and new goes barely noticed.  Single person equipped with digital tools or a group of six shooting on actual film complete with apprentices in tow - just another normal day here.

Next up are quick trips to Las Vegas for the Gartner Enterprise Networking Summit and then off to Seoul, South Korea before hopefully getting some skiing in over the US Thanksgiving break if the snow cooperates.