Upcoming Events



>>May Workshop






>>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

>>June Workshop

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


>>October Workshop
ONLINE Workshop:
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/



>>June Workshop#2

ONLINE Workshop: Yoga, Academia and Culture: A Journey of Discovery
Date/Time: 2021/06/19 (Sat)15:00 – 17:00 JST
Language of the session: English
Participation fee:
         SIETAR Members ¥1,000
Non-SIETAR members ¥2,000
Graduate students ¥500
Undergraduate students

Yoga, Academia and Culture: A Journey of Discovery

Since 2014, June 21st is celebrated as International Yoga Day all over the world.
In this 2-hour workshop, Dr. Randeep Rakwal, University of Tsukuba (UT) will share his personal story of intercultural understanding in Japan through research, cooperation with society and bridging the gap between Japan academia and International students. This story begins with his arrival to Japan in 1993 and leads to the managing of an international sports academy project by JSA at UT and the establishment of mental well-being through yoga and meditation as part of a general education program for graduate students at UT.
Dr. Rakwal will lead the discussion on the intersection of biology, sports science, academia and culture, allowing time for small group discussion.
In the final 30 minutes of the workshop, Genboku Takahashi, a longtime yoga practitioner and instructor of mindfulness for graduate students at Tsukuba University, will lead us in practice of yoga asanas and meditation.

I) The Journey to Japan : 1993 to present
What did I know about Japan?
Challenges? Adjustment, Food, Language
Research is a passion, not a job! = Be an Ant!
Collaborations are a key
License to…
II) Why SPORTS? Link to International and Culture
New Technology-OMICS = Research Output = Dissemination of knowledge = International Organization establishment
Exposure to interdisciplinary research = Leading to Graduate General Education
Plants to Animals to Humans = Biology to Medicine to Sport Science and the Environment (Iitate Village, Fukushima)
III) Establishment of the YOGA Course at GGEC Program and its Impact
Translation of knowledge at GGEC program = Skill Development-Workforce-Global Environment
Cross-Cultural Communication and Research Project Management
YOGA: Another critical requirement for Graduates = Mental Well-being – Body and Mind (Research / Social Innovation)
IV) Key Learnings and Challenges in a Multicultural Setting (Group Discussion)
What is International, What is Culture, What is Communication?
To ask or not to ask, to speak or not to speak?
V) Let us do YOGA with Genboku Takahashi-sensei
Yoga – what is it? = A brief History of YOGA
Yoga in the times of Covid-19
Let us do YOGA = Asana and Meditation
1) Randeep Rakwal
2) Genboku Takahashi

1) Dr. Randeep Rakwal, professor of Sports Science and Medicine at Tsukuba University, takes a multi-disciplinary approach to research and education – across living organisms – plants to animals to humans; a common link is OMICS high-throughput technologies (holistic high- throughput analyses of biological state with and without environmental stresses) and linkage towards human health. With sports, he hopes to study the biological effects on the human body/athlete through ‘omics’. Two other research areas under study are holistic: YOGA and NUTRITION under the umbrella of ‘well-being’.
TRIOS: https://trios.tsukuba.ac.jp/en/researcher/0000003045

2) Genboku Takahashi is a yoga instructor and guest lecturer at Tsukuba University. His focus is the integration of yoga and life sciences, the pursuit of the essence of yoga, and the prevention of lifestyle-related disease. He uses breathing techniques, zazen/meditation and asana guidance as a measure against stress.
Takahashi has established and chairs the NPO Netakiri Hanbun Suishin Kyogikai, and the Organic Society of Japan.



>>June Workshop#1

ONLINE Workshop: Another Way to Enjoy Shakespeare’s Plays

Subtitle: Enjoying the Cultural Differences Found in Shakespeare
Date/Time: Saturday June 12, 2021 14:00-16:00(16:30) followed by 30 min of socializing and open discussion
Language: Japanese with some English (English speakers welcome)
Time: 2 hours, followed by 30 minutes of discussion/socializing.
[Participation Fee & Registration Procedures]
Please register through Peatix and beware hat your registration will not be valid without a membership number.
Participation fee: 1000 yen (members), Free (students)
Once your registration is completed, we will send you the zoom link.
We ask that you participate using a computer and that you have a stable online connection.
Please contact:
Yuka Suzuki (Japanese) & Amey Kulkarni (English)
Program Directors

June event



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