カテゴリー別アーカイブ: Activity Reports

Report of Workshop on December 5, 2015

Title: Importance of Diversity for Human Resource Development: From a Computer Engineer’s Perspective
Presenter: Dr. Kunio Ohno(Consultant; former professor at Polytechnic University)
Date & Time: Saturday, December 5th 2015 15:00-17:00
Venue: iLand Tower 4F Room 4104, Nishi Shinjuku

This is the last SIETAR Japan event of the year, and successfully finished!
Mr. Ohno explained the Japanese history such as the gun being imported from overseas during the Sengoku Period, end of the Edo Period, and lastly recent Japanese situation by using a Matrix resume.
Mr. Ohno’s suggestion is that to strengthen education of young people with variety skills, it is essential that we aspire to be a marginal man, who are individuals with an autonomous character, and can take individual action despite being part of a large organization.
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Lastly Year end party was held.
We hope many people (SIETAR Japan members, non-Members) will join our workshops in 2016.
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The report of Retreat on November 14 and 15, 2015

SIETAR Retreat was held in November 2015 at Karuizawa where we invited 4 lecturers.

Perception1: Perception Process
Professor Shoko Araki from Oberlin University

Shoko Araki, a former president of SIETAR Japan, gave an outstanding workshop on the fundamentals of communication, and what is included in what we understand as communication. Many SIETAR members hoped she would do a sequel workshop soon at future retreats.

Professor Araki discussed the following essence of communication in her lecture.
・Communication is not about transmitting a message but to create an image and to infuse meaning into it.
・People cannot have the same experience because each individual will be drawn to and pick up different information.
Professor Araki used many pictures and videos to make her point, and the participants were able to understand her ideas through these effective medium and by actually experience certain phenomena.
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Perception2:Workshop

Mr. Akira Kusaka (Executive Coach, Business Consultant)

Whenever something new is presented to us, we are apt to view it with preconception, stereotyping, and symbolizing. With continuous practice of drawing, you can build up your skills to see things as they really are.

In the workshop, participants first drew a picture upside down, and in four separate pieces so that we did not know what we were actually drawing. Second, participants were instructed to draw a picture by looking at the original pictures as a whole and we discussed which was more accurate and also which was easier to draw. The important lesson we learned was that it was easier to see something without interpretation (thus using our right brain, rather than our left brain) as knowing the meaning of a picture can cloud our ability to see things as is.

Another drawing activity we experienced was to draw a picture of our palm with all the wrinkles and detail.

This workshops is also to help understanding the fact, rather than to interpretation of the fact.
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Speaker: Dr. Ryushi Uchida (Shokei Gakuin University)
Program Abstract: Deepening Our Understanding of Discrimination Against the Buraku as a Minority Group: Issues of Today and Future Challenges

In this session, Dr. Uchida explained historical and current issues related Buraku discrimination using historical and statistical data.
Buraku discrimination is derived from the profession of slaughtering animals such as cows, and expanded to discriminate to those who lived in the same district with such person, and lastly pick up discrimination to those who are related to Burakumin, family, and other relations.

Dr. Uchida suggested that in order to solve these problems, the Japanese government should collect more quantitative data to understand the current situation, because such essential data have not been collected for many years (including areas, number of people, attitude relating to Buraku) to avoid raising the problems faced by Buraku people as serious issues to contend to.
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Tami Kamikawa
(Founder Buraku Heritage Website to transmit information concerning Buraku)

In this workshop, Tami Kamikawa picked up themes where discrimination against Burakumin occur such as “marriage,” ”housing,” and “employment.”

Participants were asked to stand in a line as to what percentage they agreed or disagreed with certain statements about Burakumin, and had to explain their reasoning. This exercise illuminated both consciousness and subconscious attitudes we ourselves held toward the Buraku.
Ms. Kamikawa explained to us that it was a fruitful experience to do this workshop with people who were well-versed in cross-cultural communications.
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The report of 2015 Annual Conference on September 19 and 20 (Pre-Conference on September 18)

The SIETAR Japan Annual Conference was held on the 19th and 20th of September, 2015. The conference theme was “Critical Reflections on War and Peace: Dialogue for the Future.” We had 46 presentations in total, of which 26 were in Japanese and 20 in English.

J. F. Oberlin University

J. F. Oberlin University

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Conference reception desk

Conference reception desk

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Also, we had 17 poster sessions this year by both SIETAR members and non-members.
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We had two keynote addresses this year.

Before the keynote address, President Mitani of J. F. Oberlin University gave his opening address.
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The first keynote was given by Dr. Koko Kondo. The title of her talk was “Striving towards World Peace: From the Perspectives of an Atomic Bomb Survivor.”
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Our second keynote speaker on Day 2 was Ms. Ponnareth Kugo who spoke about “Experience of Deprivation of Liberty and Human Rights under Khmer Rouge, and Life in Japan as a Cambodian Refugee.”
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To commemorate SIETAR Japan’s 30th anniversary, a panel discussion was held by five SIETAR members who have contributed to SIETAR Japan’s 30-year history. The panelists reviewed past SIETAR activities, and discussed the future vision for SIETAR Japan.

SIETAR originated in the U.S., and in the future, SIETAR Japan hopes to continue establishing stronger ties with Asian countries.
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During the pre-conference events, a special lecture was given by Janet Bennett, as well as a field work at Tokyo Camil & Turkish Culture Center
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The conference director was Akiko Asai sensei who is also SIETAR Japan president.
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We had a lot of different events, with many people participating. We are proud to say that our 30 year anniversary conference was a great success!
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Report of a meeting to remember the life and work of Dr. Holly Siebert Kawakami on June 25, 2015

A meeting to remember the life and work of Dr. Holly Siebert Kawakami was held on June 25th 2015. Her sister, Linda Siebert, and her family members also joined and celebrated Dr. Kawakami’s work and her legacy to the field of intercultural communication in Japan.  Professor Eriko Machi, former President of SIETAR, contributed a discussion of Dr. Kawakami’s dissertation.
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Report of Workshop on June 28, 2015

Title: The Intercultural Pioneer Path:  Where are we headed next?
Presenter: Mr. Brian Szepkouski(President and Founder  Szepko International Inc.)

We invited Mr. Brian Szepkouski to conduct a workshop on June 28, 2015.
Brian S. Szepkouski is president of Szepko International, a consulting group specializing in cross-cultural communications, international executive development, and strategic planning for global business expansion. With over 25+ years of business/consulting experience, Brian lead the discussion with examples from his own “pioneering moments,” including examples from training and coaching, consulting, leading, marketing, selling from brown bag lunches to high-level M&A strategizing. He facilitated a discussion with participants on the range of new and exciting projects we are all working on now.

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Report of Workshop on May 30, 2015

Title: Cultural Challenges in the Indian Market
Presenter: Ms. Nirmala Junko (India Business Advisor, President & CEO Encess Ltd.)

The following program was a great success!

Many SIETAR Japan members specialize in cross-cultural communications between Japan and North America or Europe. This time, SIETAR Japan invited Ms Nirmala who is well-versed in both Indian and Japanese cultures. This workshop aimed to provide synergy between aspects of Indian and Western cultures.

First, Ms. Nirmala introduced contemporary Indian culture and how global companies performed in the Indian market:
・Mcdonald’s entered the Indian Market not by selling beef hamburgers but chicken hamburgers.
・Forever21 (American retail chain) and Marks and Spencer (British private brand company) have already expanded their business in India.
・Wedding parties are a big event for Indian people where parties last for an entire week.
・Domino Pizza is doing well, prevailing in the market.
・Food in India does not consist of only curry, just like sashimi is not part of daily means in Japan.

Ms. Nirmala focused on the challenges in doing business with India from a Japanese point of view as well as some behavior that appears strange or odd from an Indian perspective.
・Indian English is sometimes not grammatically correct.
・Indian people always speak aloud. (hopefully with tender, respectful)
・Indian people have a tendency to ask questions to the speaker without listening carefully

How Japanese behaviors are seen from an Indian perspective:
・Many Japanese people close their eyes when listening to other people talk (appears to be sleeping).
・No training programs are offered in Indian subsidiaries of Japanese companies, only the headquarter office offer training programs to employees in certain position after a certain number of years.
・Indian people have difficulty understanding what their task is in Japanese companies because no goals are made explicit.

Many participants were unfamiliar with Indian culture and behavior and asked a lot of question at the end of her presentation.
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Report of Workshop on May 9, 2015

Title: Getting Your Journal Articles Published
Presenters: Dr. Tomoko Yoshida (Professor, Keio University)& Dr. Adam Komisarof (Professor, Reitaku University)

Two experienced professors taught the participants practical advice on how to get our papers published. Both professors were passionate about wanting to help improve our writing skills and encouraged us to submit our papers to journals.

The workshop covered the following three points:
(1) Editor’s hat vs. writer’s hat
(2) Tips on finishing and editing our own paper
(3) Importance of establishing relationships with people
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Report of Workshop on December 6, 2014

Title: A Look at Intercultural Communication: From a Journalist’s Perspective
Presenter: Mr. Tetsuya Sumi (Journalist; Former Professor at Yokohama National University)

We invited Professor Tetsuya Sumi to conduct a workshop on December 6, 2014. Professor Sumi is a former journalist for Kyodo Tsushin, a Japanese news agency, and with his expertise in journalism currently teaches at the college level.  Professor Sumi discussed how high levels of communication skills were required as a young and upcoming reporter in order to overcome the various barriers of position, age, and culture. Even if the interviewee does not want to disclose information to a reporter, an effective means would be to break the ice through small talk about common hobbies, etc. so that one is able to draw out key information.
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After the workshop, we celebrated our end-of-year party!
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The report of Retreat on November 15 and 16, 2014

Lectures:
1. Title: “Qualitative Research in Action: From Text Reading to Write-up”
Presenter: Dr. Masahiro Nochi (Professor of Graduate school of Education, University of Tokyo)

2. Title: “Effective Class Management by Use of Learning Style of Experiential Learning”
Presenter: Shoko Araki (Professor of Liberal Arts at J.F. Oberlin University)

3. Title: “Express Your Vision through Metaphoric Drawing”
Presenter: Dr. Kichiro Hayashi (Professor emeritus of Aoyama Gakuin University)

SIETAR Japan Retreat was held on November 15 and 16, 2014 at Izu Kogen. We had six undergraduate students join us for the retreat.

First, Dr. Masahiro Nochi, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Tokyo presented on the topic “Qualitative Research in Action: From Text Reading to Write-Up. He especially emphasized the importance of message embedded in the data, and to deepen our framework and analysis for greater understanding of meaning behind the data.
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Shoko Araki, Professor of Liberal Arts Division at J.F.Oberlin University presented effective classroom management with learning styles. Four types of learning style covered were concrete experience, reflective observer, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. In addition, Professor Araki emphasized that teachers today are required to have the ability to create a learning environment where students can remain full of curiosity.
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Lastly Dr. Kichiro Hayashi, Professor Emeritus of Aoyama Gakuin University, presented about how to express your vision through metaphoric drawing. Dr. Hayashi explained the importance of imagining ourselves of what we want to become in the future and to draw that in a picture. We should not allow ourselves to be confined to any conventional framework, and the goal is to encounter a new self. Through group discussion and to hear others’ perspectives, is the final step that will result in a newly defined self.
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Participants were able to enjoy various workshops in Izu Kogen, a much more relaxed and easy-going atmosphere compared to the hustle-bustle of city life.
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Poland Night

On Monday June 16, some of the SIETAR Japan members had dinner with Justyna Plizga, a SIETAR Poland member who was traveling in Japan at that time. A fun night with cultural exchange between two countries. 

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