Target: Business Wisdom from the Ancient Japanese Martial Art of Kyudo received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Jérôme Chouchan.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Target: Business Wisdom from the Ancient Japanese Martial Art of Kyudo by Godiva regional president Jérôme Chouchan was first published in Japanese in 2016, and later in English in 2018.
What’s the book’s first line?
“At first glance, archery and business seem to be worlds apart.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Target presents a unique approach to business and life, taking inspiration from the wisdom of the ancient Japanese martial art of archery ― Kyudo. Kyudo has a particular teaching: “Right shooting always results in a hit.” This means that you shouldn’t worry about simply hitting the target; instead, you should calmly focus your energy and willpower on proper mindset and form. In doing so, this “right-minded shooting” will naturally result in a hit.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
For the past 25 years, I’ve pursued a dual mission in business and Kyudo, what the Japanese call, “the Way of the Bow.” The wisdom of Kyudo gradually inspired my approach to business and I wanted to share the connection between these two seemingly different worlds in my book.
In 2005, I became the CEO of Lladro Japan, the renowned Spanish porcelain company, and I instantly felt immense pressure to hit our profit goals. From Monday to Friday, I faced my business target: a budget with figures. On weekends, I faced my Kyudo target: black and white circles on paper. Learning the spirit of traditional Japanese archery helped me to employ wisdom when taking aim at both targets — it helped me better navigate my daily business challenges.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
This book is for people looking for a different way to approach business. In this modern age, where there is a pressing need for meaning and fulfillment in the workplace, the purpose of business should transcend simply mastering the techniques of management for delivering sales and profit. I have learned from Kyudo that shooting an arrow according to the “Way” can be much more rewarding and fulfilling for the heart and mind than simply learning how to pierce a target with an arrow. Likewise, business can be pursued as a “Way.” This book shows, through different examples, that business can be both successful from a conventional standard of metrics, as well as spiritually meaningful when it is practiced with a mindset that has a deeper goal than sales and profit alone.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I’ve been writing since the age of 17. I thought that I wanted to write a book someday, but I was busy building my career so I postponed book writing. I did not decide to become an author. Instead, the writing has been a natural progression throughout time, and once I was connected to my publisher, they gave birth to my first book.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
This is the first one that’s been published. I’ve written a second book that covers some of my adventures in Southeast Asia, but I haven’t submitted it to a publisher just yet.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I pursued a career in business, mainly in Japan and Asia. I am now the president of Godiva for Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, India, and Australia.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
I write on weekends. I typically spend a full Saturday or Sunday afternoon writing.
What’s a great piece of advice you can share with fellow authors?
Creation is not something that you can plan and control. However, in order to create a book, following a work rhythm and deadline-driven timeline will deliver great results.
Is there something in particular that motivates you? Fame? Fortune?
I’m motivated by ancient wisdom, particularly from Asia, and the ways in which I can apply the various teachings to the business realm. I’m lucky to be in the unique position of having a business leadership role and a board director position with the Kyudo International Foundation, the body governing the development of Kyudo globally. Like other martial arts (known as “budo” in Japanese), the purpose of Kyudo is to develop your character. Everyone has the desire to improve themselves, but in the world of business, the tyranny of the target — the numbers — all too often inhibits personal growth. I believe that business must be human-centered, and it is that belief that drives me every day.
Which writer, living or dead, do you admire?
I admire René Guénon, a French author and intellectual, who has masterfully exposed the universal wisdom of authentic traditions to our modern world.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
I love the The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. It is a beautiful volume of poetry that is so full of life. At the same time, it captures so well the soul and its longing. I have written poems myself. I am always amazed by the power of poetry to inspire and engage.