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SIETAR Japan October Workshop

SIETAR Japan  October Workshop

Theory and Practice of a New Textbook on Intercultural Training: Encountering “Difference” through Perceptual Constructivism


Date/Time: Saturday October 1, 2022 13:00-16:00

Language: Japanese


Guest Speakers:

Shizu Yamamoto is a professor of intercultural communication at Tokai University. Dr. Yamamoto earned her master’s degree in speech communication from Portland State University and her doctorate in education from Sophia University. Her research interests are centered on intercultural sensitivity and the development of intercultural training methods. Her current research focuses on DMIS, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine how Japanese people perceive, interpret, and express their experiences of difference. Based on the results of previous studies, she developed a Japanese psychological scale for DMIS (in press).


Taketo Ishiguro is an intercultural communication scholar (Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication Studies) whose research centers on intercultural discourse in multicultural organizations/teams. He uses qualitative research methods such as a constructionist version of life-story interview research, modified grounded theory approach, and discourse analysis. He has published such books as Images of Japanese leaders in multicultural organizations: A life-story interview approach (Shumpu-sha) and Multicultural teams and Japanese leaders’ dynamic thought processes: A grounded theory approach (Shumpu-sha).



Outline Workshop :

What becomes possible when we remove “bunka” (culture) from “i-bunka” (interculral) communication and try to focus just on “i” (difference)? This workshop will introduce a new book “Experiencing Intercultural Communication: Growing Up with ‘Difference'” (Shizu Yamamoto, Taketo Ishiguro, Milton Bennett, Daisuke Okabe, Sanshusha, November 2022), which summarizes a new approach to intercultural communication education. This book is a challenge to update traditional intercultural communication education. The theoretical background of the book is “constructivism” and the “development of intercultural sensitivity.” In this workshop, the following will be conducted.


1 Introduction to the overall structure and characteristics of this book. Video greeting from Dr. Bennett introducing the book.

2 Explanation of perceptual constructivism and “i” (difference) as a theoretical foundation

3 Introduction to and explanation of sample chapters

4 Practice and explanation of sample exercises

5 Q & A, interaction among authors and participants in a free atmosphere. Dr. Bennett will also participate.


Unique feature of this book is that by focusing on “i” (difference), it attempts to extend the applicability of intercultural communication knowledge outside of the traditional units of social categories such as country, race, and ethnicity. There has been a kind of difficulty in taking the approach that different cultures are collectively defined at the collective level and thus linking different cultures to social categories. The use of existing social categories alone does not adequately capture the asymmetrical relationships that are made diversely visible in various contexts, which people are increasingly becoming aware of at home, at work, and at school. For example, “those who have experienced” and “those who have not experienced” certain events, such as studying abroad, taking exams, giving birth, getting married, divorcing, changing jobs, illness, disasters, etc., may feel uncomfortable with each other’s comments and actions, and misunderstandings and conflicts may occur due to differences in their standpoints. It is important to be able to focus on the divisions of positions through line-drawing (segmentation) without being bound by the culture of the group unit, and to be able to not only divide but also reconnect by redrawing the boundaries. With this concern, Yamamoto, who was trying to teach from constructivist and situated perspectives, encountered “context shifting” as conceptualized by Ishiguro, and the idea of removing “culture” from “cultural difference” and making “i” (difference) as a perceptual object came to take shape.


From a constructivist perspective, we believe there is a need for intercultural communication in which people can learn how to deal flexibly with categories, including categorizing, de-categorizing, re-categorizing, and using categories as a lens for observation. In this context, the emphasis is on having a sense of agency as a category generator and being aware of the possibility of changing boundaries. It is necessary not only to increase the cognitive complexity of being able to use multiple categories simultaneously, but also to increase the perceptual complexity involved in the sensitive attention to categorization. This idea is in line with the development of intercultural sensitivity that Milton Bennett has advocated in the constructivist paradigm. In addition to Bennett’s introductory and final chapters, this book includes Japanese translation of Bennett’s lecture on the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity given at the 18th Annual Conference of the Japan Society for Multicultural Relations.


[Participation Fee & Registration Procedures] 

Please register through Peatix and beware that your registration will not be valid without a membership number. 

Peatix: https://sietar20221001.peatix.com


Participation fee: 600 yen (members), 1000yen (non-members), Free (student members). 350yen (non-member students)

Once your registration is completed, we will send you the zoom link.

We ask that you have a stable online connection.


Please contact:

Yuka Suzuki (Japanese) & Soyhan (English)

Program Directors



Secretariat: 〒162-0801 東京都新宿区山吹町358-5

E-mail: sietar-post@bunken.co.jp, Website: www.sietar-japan.org

Call for proposals Extension

◆Call for proposals Extension

Due to complications caused by the recent surge in  COVID-19 cases in Japan,  the presentation submissions deadline for the 37th Annual Conference of SIETAR Japan has been extended. Proposals submitted using the following link will be accepted until 11:59 PM of Aug. 9 (Tue.) Japan time.


You will need your 8-digit membership number indicated on the address label on envelopes from SIETAR Japan.  If you cannot locate your Membership Number, please contact office@sietar-japan.org.


Call for Proposals for the 37th (2022) Annual Conference of SIETAR Japan

Call for Proposals for the 37th (2022) Annual Conference of SIETAR Japan

Theme: Living in the “in-between”: Exploring multicultural identities and belonging
November 26-27, 2022

SIETAR Japan will hold its 37th Annual Conference on-line on November 26 (Saturday) – 27 (Sunday), 2022. This year’s conference will focus on the ways we negotiate different cultures within our workplace, our local communities and our families. We are seeking proposals that are related to the field of intercultural communication and/or reflect the conference theme. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Conference Chairs:
Michi Saki & Lisa Rogers (both Doshisha Women’s College)

Upcoming Program, June 18, 2022

ONLINE Lecture: Ukraine War and Condition of Peace

Date/Time: Saturday June 18, 2022 13:30-15:30
Language: Japanese

Outline of Lecture:
Why did the war in Ukraine occur 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Why did the post-Cold War relationship between the U.S. and Russia, especially the issue of NATO’s eastern expansion, occur
and why has this not only become a global conflict but could also lead to a nuclear war?
Also, what are the conditions for ceasefire and peace?
All these questions will be discussed by a leading expert on Russian politics.
The content of the lecture is subject to change in accordance with the ever-changing situation.

Guest Speaker: Nobuo Shimotomai (Professor Emeritus, Hosei University, Specially Appointed Professor, Kanagawa University)
He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1971. While working as a professor at Seikei University and Hosei University, he also engaged in research activities at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham and Harvard University.
He is the author of numerous books, including Putin Aiming for Asia: International Politics in a Time of Radical Change (2014), and Putin in Religion and Geopolitics: Russia’s Quest for a “Third Rome” (2016). He has been viewed as “the leading scholar of Russian politics.”

[Participation Fee & Registration Procedures]
Please register through Peatix and beware that your registration will not be valid without a membership number.
Peatix: https://sietar-june-program2022.peatix.com

Participation fee: 500 yen (members), 1000yen (non-members), Free (students)
Once your registration is completed, we will send you the zoom link.
We ask that you have a stable online connection.

Please contact:
Yuka Suzuki (Japanese) & Soyhan (English)
Program Directors

Secretariat: 〒162-0801 東京都新宿区山吹町358-5
E-mail: sietar-post@bunken.co.jp, Website: www.sietar-japan.org

SIETAR Japan statement on Ukraine

Dear SIETAR Japan Members and Friends,

We strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. SIETAR-Japan values diversity and
freedom of expression. Seeing the current unjustified war displacing millions of people from
their homes and attacks on civilians is an international action we feel compelled to speak
out against. War should be a thing of the past, not part of a world that respects diverse
opinions, multicultural identities and values freedom of choice. It destroys lives with very
few benefits to societies. We at SIETAR-Japan will continue to be allies to those who face
injustices such as those in Ukraine. It may seem like a distant issue that has little to do with
us; however, the world is a smaller place, and thus, small actions with others can produce
far-reaching results. For more information, we can begin by educating ourselves more and
taking advantage of the worldwide SIETAR network.

SIETAR Europa will have an open discussion about the situation and how to support people
in Ukraine on March 4 from 17:00 (CET). You can find the Zoom link as well as links to other
information and support resources on the SIETAR Europa web site.

Upcoming Program, October 15, 2021



Japanese Culture-Based Intercultural Business Training
~ Time to Localise to Maximise Learning ~


Presenter: Takashi KAWATANI

 DATE: October 15, 2021

TIME:  20:00~21:30

PEATIX:  https://japaneseculturebasedibt.peatix.com/


Please contact

Amey Kulkani, Program Director, with any questions.



Mr. KAWATANI Takashi (Tak) 河谷隆司 is a cross-cultural management consultant, who has conducted intercultural management and diversity training in 20 countries for Japanese firms and government bodies including the US Navy (Yokosuka) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore.

Since 1988, Tak has been exploring various ways to “Japanize” intercultural business training (ICT). From his experience, he has found that Japanese corporate/social values-based ICT achieves more excitement and ownership of Japanese business learners.

To localise the content, he suggests trainers must reflect upon the ultimate goal of training, learners’ dilemmas for global assignments, macro-economic challenges impacting their behaviours and have compassion for the decaying self-respect.

Specifically, trainers must make extra efforts to excavate live gemba 現場 resources straight from the source (Japanese firms overseas/Japan) and integrate them into intercultural theories and models from the West.

His workshop will evolve around:

  1. How are you adapting Western values when training Japanese businesses or students?

2.What can an intercultural business trainer for Japanese firms do to be truly helpful with their confused leadership presence torn between going western or retaining Japanese styles?

  1. Viewing Tak’s video interviews with senior managers in ASEAN and diagrams of Japanese philosophies. To be shared to the participants.
  2. Group discussion and Q&A

Presenter profile

Tak has lived in Kuala Lumpur for 17 years and written a dozen books including Winning Together at Japanese Companies and パパ、コーカサスオオカブトをとって!(Dad, catch me that Rhino beetle!).

To contact Tak Kawatani, email to: successjapan@outlook.com

For his latest activities, visit: https://www.successjapanseminars.com/

You may also want to join his group Success Japan Initiative: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13933717/

The registration for the 36th Annual Conference, held online on November 27 and 28, will start on Friday, October 1, 2021.

Dear SIETAR Japan members,

We are pleased to announce that registration for the 36th Annual Conference, which will be held online on November 27 and 28, will start on Friday, October 1, 2021.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Leadership and Collaboration in Intercultural Contexts.

The conference will feature a renowned international leadership scholar, Prof. Joseph Raelin (English) and young and successful women leaders of the Setouchi Kawaii Club (Japanese).

For more details on the keynotes, please see the attached flyers.

This year, we have adopted an early bird system for conference registration.

SJ members who register during the early bird period from October 1 – November 8 midnight can take advantage of the special reduced rate of ¥3,000. Students who register during the early bird period are free.

After 24:00 (JST) on Monday, November 8, ALL participants (both members and non-members) will be asked to pay a flat fee of 5000 yen for conference registration. This includes students who normally attend the conference for free.

Therefore, we would like to ask all participants, including studentsto register before the Early Bird deadline to take advantage of the early bird fees.

Conference fees (During the early bird period October 1 – November 8 midnight)

Members (including SIETAR members in overseas regions) 3000 yen

Non-members 5000 yen

Keynote only 1500 yen

Students (including high school students, vocational school students, graduate students, etc.) free of charge

After the Early Bird deadline (Nov. 8), all participants will be asked to pay 5000 yen.

* Those who only purchase keynote tickets can attend both Japanese and English keynotes.

Application procedure

Complete your registration on the conference website (currently under construction).

We will inform you of the registration procedure when the payment system becomes available on the website.

Payment Method

Please choose between the following two methods:

・Payment through PayPal (credit and debit cards are accepted)

・Bank transfer (it will take a few days to confirm the payment)

For more information about PayPal, please click here.


For other inquiries,

Please contact us at sietarjapanconference2021@gmail.com

Conference directors: Soyhan Egitim, Shizu Maekawa


We are pleased to inform you the 36th SIETAR Japan conference website is open for proposal submission now. (https://sietarjapan2021.edzil.la/)


The 36th (2021) Annual Conference of SIETAR Japan Theme: “Leadership and Collaboration in Intercultural Contexts”

November 27-28, 2021

We are pleased to inform you the 36th SIETAR Japan conference website is open for proposal submission now. (https://sietarjapan2021.edzil.la/)

Please follow the steps below to submit your proposal. (Conference registration will also be open soon. Stay tuned!). Please note that first presenters MUST be members of SIETAR Japan or another SIETAR organization from around the world. We would also like to inform you the membership application period is extended to July 20. Therefore, if you wish to make a submission, please make sure to apply for a SIETAR JAPAN membership by July 20.

We are looking forward to receiving your application.

In Solidarity with Myanmar, as the violence against civilian protesters continues.

In Solidarity with Myanmar, as the violence against civilian protesters continues.

SIETAR Japan is outraged by the military coup in Myanmar which occurred in February 2021, and the continuing indiscriminate violence against civilian protesters. We are shocked and disheartened by the rising number of people being killed, injured, detained, and displaced. At the same time, we are truly inspired by the huge numbers of protesters from nearly every state and region in Myanmar, who have not backed down in the face of the military’s ongoing systemic brutality.

As an organization that values human rights and democracy, we believe that the people of Myanmar have the fundamental right to self-determination through a democratic legal process. We respect and support the courage of Myanmar’s ethnically diverse groups that are forming new alliances and challenging the international community to refuse to be complacent in the face of this breach of liberty. Thus, we, the steering committee of SIETAR Japan, stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar in their protests against this grave human rights violation.


In the name of SIETAR Japan members

March 31, 2021