松浦 弥太郎(まつうら やたろう)文筆家、「暮しの手帖」元編集長、COW BOOKS 代表。1992 年にオールドマガジン専門の書籍販売 「m&co. booksellers」を立ち上げ、2002 年に自由をテーマにしたブックストア「COW BOOKS」を中目黒にオープン。2006 年、「暮しの手帖」の編集長に就任。(2015年4月、退任)書籍商の他、編集、翻訳、文筆などの多岐にわたる分野で活動する。Yataro Matsuura Writer, Ex.Editor of “Kurashi-no-techo”, Representative of COW BOOKS In 1992 Mr. Matsuura founded “m&co. booksellers”, a bookstore specializing in old magazines.In 2001 he opened “COW BOOKS”, a bookstore with freedom as its theme in Nakameguro.In 2006 he was appointed as editor of “Kurashi-no-techo” (he resigned in April, 2015).In addition to selling books, he is active in a number of fields including editing, translation and writing.

主な著書に、『センス入門』筑摩書房 2013『ほんとうの味方のつくりかた』筑摩書房 2014『〔よりぬき〕今日もていねいに。BEST101 』 PHP 出版 2014 他、共著書籍等多数。His major books include;“ABC of Sense” Chikumashobo Ltd. 2013“How to make your true allies” Chikumashobo Ltd. 2014“(Excerpt) Living Each Day Mindfully- Best 101” PHP Institute 2014 and many others.

We are pleased to introduce Yataro Matsuura, former editor-in-chief and writer for the magazine “Kurashi no Techo” (Life’s Handbook), as the host for this first installment of Mitsukoshi Isetan’s Hospitality Lessons. As editor-in-chief of a magazine devoted to helping its readers

lead a more satisfying and fulfilling life, and someone who has written extensively on the art of living, Mr. Matsuura was able to share with us many valuable things he has learned about hospitality and we all felt inspired after hearing his passionate thoughts on the subject.

「三越伊勢丹 もてなしの教室」の第一回目の話し手は、雑誌『暮しの手帖』の元編集長で、著述家の松浦弥太郎さんです。豊かな暮らしの工夫や事柄を伝える雑誌の編集長として、人の生き方を指し示し続けてくれる書き手として、松浦さんの考える“もてなし”をたくさん語っていただきました。松浦さんの熱い言葉の数々に、聞くものみんなが背中を押された回となりました。



Hospitality is a byproduct of the way we live our daily lives.

I don’t believe that hospitality is merely a service to be offered. Hospitality is something expressed by our ideas, and our ways of thinking and living. Something influenced by the many aspects of the way we live and think. As such, it is not something that relies on a particular skill or technique. It is born of you as a whole, and everything you do as you live your daily life contributes to this notion of hospitality.So then what, exactly, is this ‘hospitality’? I believe that hospitality is love. Love for oneself, for society, and for our fellow man. Everyone is capable of



love. Everyone and anyone is capable of expressing an unlimited amount of love. It all depends on how you feel. And for every hundred people you’ll find a hundred different ways that love can be expressed. A hundred different ways of delivering hospitality. Of course, Mitsukoshi Isetan has set a very high bar for the quality of service it provides to customers. And it’s only natural that those standards are upheld. But the hospitality shown to our customers is the extra step that flavors the experience they have. And if a hundred different people offer a hundred different flavors of hospitality? Well I think that’s a good thing. I think that it’s important for us to respect, understand, and even enjoy these differences.


Yataro Matsuura’s Words of Hospitality





“There is something to like about everyone. Something to love.”

Our jobs are not solitary endeavors. So for me, finding something to like, even something to love, about those around me is at the very core of this concept of hospitality. To put it another way, don’t allow yourself to harbor dislike for others. I believe this attitude is a very important part of the foundation that contributes to a harmonious workplace.

“Kindly, flexibly.”

No one enjoys rough edges. Being kind and flexible is an important mindset to have no matter what the task you are performing. Not just outwardly, you yourself should be kind and flexible as well. People desire things that make them feel good. And people who make others feel good will find themselves encountering new opportunities and thriving no matter where they are.





“Sometimes the best course of action is inaction.”

It’s important to be proactive no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. But there are times when action is unnecessary or even inadvisable. One should always be observant, as keen observation is an important keyword for success. Taking action based solely on predetermined ideas or plans is usually inadvisable.  First, observe. Sometimes no action will be required at all. Of the things that must be done at work, doing nothing is one of them.

“Eat well.”

Our job is to find something everyday that makes us happy, then allow those around us to share in that happiness. It is not knowledge or information that must be parceled out, but the enjoyment of things that we have experienced, which can, through our work, be shared with others. Enjoyment is so important to the quality of our lives, but how can we consistently find it? The one surefire way to this daily happiness is good food. I believe that taking care in choosing what we eat is essential to our happiness, and therefore, the hospitality that we provide. I think a good diet will contribute to sharper senses as well.





“There’s magic in a smile.”“The corners of the mouth speak volumes.”

There is limitless power in a smile. Even if you can’t do anything else, be sure to smile. Smiles make everyone around you feel better and are even the key to solving many of the things we encounter.

“Be aware of your expression.”

What kind of face are you making right now? It is important to know oneself, and part of that is knowing how you are perceived. I think you will find it very beneficial to be aware of your countenance in the different situations you experience in life. You’ll find communication comes more easily and smoothly, and smooth communication will both help you help others and help others help you.




“Put your heart into it.”

This is something I constantly say to myself. For example, when writing an article, I rely on technique acquired from years of experience. But something written so calculatingly, even if done well, will lack something and fail to reach the heart of the reader. So I always ask myself, “Did I put my heart, my passion into this?” I’ve found that allowing emotion into the things that we do makes for better results. Something accomplished solely by cold, calculated techniques will always ring hollow. There is no passion there.


Some thoughts from Mitsukoshi Isetan staff after hearing Mr. Matsuura speak:


“His words ’put your heart into your work’ and ‘tackle your work earnestly’ left a particular impression on me. They seem like such common sense things, but in reality they are hard things to achieve. It inspires me to really put my all into my work”


Within Mr. Matsuura’s thoughts on hospitality, I felt that the underlying message of treating customers as equals is a very important part of providing good service. I think that we can incorporate some of these western ways of thinking into our philosophies while still preserving what makes Mitsukoshi Isetan special.


His idea that hospitality isn’t some special treatment reserved for VIPs, but something that is a product of our individual personality really struck me. I definitely agree with his attitude and way of thinking.


The idea that I myself am the hospitality communicated to those around me really inspired me. I don’t think I’m there quite yet, but I’d like to increase the number of people around me whose experiences are improved solely by my presence, or hospitality.