2020/07/05 22:50


teeth were organs



We want to teach the world this important truth.

What does it mean that over 7000 cases of illnesses show that "a tooth is an organ"?
Also, what can we do right now to reduce the cost of medical expenses?

Carving out one’s path with effort and gratitude!!

How a miracle was born from the efforts of two nursing candidates and their supporters
Two Indonesian nurses, Ria Agustina and Yaredo Febrian Fernandes , have miraculously passed Japan’s National Nurse Exam. They managed this after being here for less than two years and having to start from the basics. They have inspired not only many other nursing and caregiver candidates coming to Japan under Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), but also those who supported them from day-to-day.


《Two Indonesians pass the National Nursing Exam!!!》

Chinese exchange student at Lakeland University Ms. Suchintoya , from the MongoRian Autonomous Region, spoke with these two nurses.


Q1: Congratulations on passing the national nursing exam. Many Japanese are surprised that you managed to prepare in such a short time – how did you study for it?


A1: (Ms. Ria After I had been in Japan for two months, the people at the hospital showed me questions from the actual national exam. At the time I could barely read any of them. A lot of other candidates lost their motivation, but I figured that I was human just like the other Japanese nurses, so I swore to myself that I would pass the exam. After taking intensive Japanese language training for six months, I began to work in the mornings as a nurse’s assistant, and in the afternoons studied with the doctors in the hospital. Remembering kanji (Chinese pictographs) takes time, so what I did was concentrate on reading and understanding the meaning; I didn’t do any writing practice.
The doctors who supported me were also truly kind and thorough in their teaching. Because I was working on my Japanese while doing practical study, I was able to continue to work effectively without getting tired of it. Anything I didn’t understand I was able to ask on the spot and then put to memory.


A1: (Mr. Fernandes) It was really tough at the beginning, but seeing Ms. Ria’s efforts was encouraging. After coming to Sannocho Hospital (Sanjou City, Niigata Prefecture), I would work in the mornings, then from the afternoon onwards I was given thorough instruction on the national exam from the hospital director as well as many other staff. I worked at solving lots of questions (from the exam). We studied every day, and because many of the staff gave up their own busy time for us, we thought of our study as work, and from day-to-day figured out an effective method to pass the exam.
After six months of intensive training, I didn’t have time to do separate Japanese language study. After talking with the hospital doctors, I concentrated on solving exam questions instead, and memorized Japanese where appropriate as I went along. This worked well, and as a result I was able to do five years worth of past exam questions. I compensated for my lack of Japanese study by always carrying around a dictionary; whenever there was something I didn’t understand I would look it up and remember it. Then I would try to use that expression as much as possible. Being in an environment where you speak and think in Japanese is study in itself, so I was able to sense my improvement from day-to-day; this was enjoyable.

Q2: The Sannocho Hospital which supported you appears to have had a very homelike atmosphere.


(Bowling Tournament) 


(Everyone at the hospital at a barbeque)


(Ms. Higuchi, who was in charge of taking care of them)   

A2: (Mr. Fernandes) The hospital director Dr. Kamata said to us, “I am you Japanese father, so feel free to say anything to me.” This was really reassuring and allowed me to start my life in Niigata. In the same way, the hospital staff were also very warm, and sometimes strict; they treated us like a real family.
Thanks to everyone I was able to live with peace of mind and concentrate on my studies. During the holidays, in order not to become lonely other Indonesian (nursing) candidates took us to the towns where they were living and invited us to bowling and barbeques, so we had many fun things to do besides study. The kendo and volleyball clubs were also good for stress relief. After passing the national exam, we are able to repay everyone who had given their all-out support, so I was very happy about that.

A2: (Ms. Ria) We’ve also been introduced on TV, and when we went shopping people on the streets of Sanjou would call out to us and wish us luck. There is a lot of snow here so it is quite cold for us, but there were so many warm people both in the hospital and in the town. When I learnt that even the townspeople were supporting us, I swore that I would repay everyone by passing the exam. I still can’t get used to the cold, but I want to give it my all as a nurse.


(Everyone at Sannocho Hospital and Garuda Supporters)

Q3: Please give a message of support to all the EPA candidates working towards the national exam as well as other overseas students.

A3: (Ms. Ria) Because I was able to do it, everyone should be able to. Remember the feelings you had when you came to Japan and strive to achieve your goals.
(Mr. Fernandez) Ms. Ria and I encouraged one another in our studies. People have a tendency to isolate themselves when they study, but you and your friends should encourage one another and work hard. To be honest I had absolutely no confidence that I would pass the exam, but on the day the questions I had predicted came out one after the other. I think God also helped me. If you give it your all miracles will happen. We and everybody out there are supporting you, so please do your best to the very end.


(Mr. Fernandes saying her thanks at the passing celebrations)

For the first intake of EPA candidates who came to Japan in 2008, next year’s National Nurse Exam in February will be their final chance. Asking people, who cannot understand kanji at all, to pass this exam within three years, is very harsh. However, to put it the other way, if they are people who are able to persist even under such conditions, Japanese hospitals and society at large will undoubtedly give them a warm welcome. The story of Ms. Ria and Ms. Fernandez inspired the staff at their hospitals as well as the Japanese languages teachers who supported them. If the candidates work hard with gratitude and enjoy the warm support of others, they may be able to overcome their situation. For people who are confronting various difficulties, they should also be grateful to those around them, believe in themselves and give it their all.

Interviewer’s impressions

Interviewing Ms. Ria and Mr. Fernandes, what was impressive was the strong feelings of gratitude they had towards their companions (the hospital directors and others who supported them). Also, in their exam studies they didn’t simply work furiously, but gave proper thought to the tricks of studying and proceeded from there; I think this was the secret to their success. I believe Ms. Ria’s strong conviction that “if others can do it, so can I; if others can’t do it, I’ll show them myself”, led to her success, while Ms. Fernandez’s view that “nothing is impossible; rather than doing nothing, I’m better off doing something”, led to a miracle. I truly received a lot of courage from these two people. I think they will be a big encouragement to other overseas students as well.


Chinese exchange student at Lakeland University Ms. Suchintoya
We won’t give up for the future of Japanese healthcare!!



The Indonesians and Filipinos applying to become nurses or care workers via EPAs, as well as institutions that accept them, are decreasing year-by-year. Problems include the economic and manpower burden for these institutions, as well as Japanese language and national exam hurdles for candidates. In light of this present situation, Garuda Supporters, a volunteer group of specialists, is tackling these practical issues while listening to the opinions of both sides. In January of this year, Garuda Supporters submitted a policy proposal reworking the scheme to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). While receiving a certain amount of recognition, it has not yet led to any genuine improvements. Accepting this, Garuda Supporters hosted an open discussion at the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Global Plaza in Hiroo, Tokyo. The event, entitled “Outcomes of the EPA Acceptance Scheme”, gathered over 100 relevant people in the field including nursing/caring specialists, university professors, specialists on multicultural policy, veteran Japanese language teachers and NPO representatives. During passionate discussions, participants sounded out radical solutions to this serious issue.

According to Associate Professor Asato of Kyoto University, a specialist on overseas labour issues, the present situation is that all advanced nations rely on foreign staff for their nursing/caring personnel. In the US and Europe, the active involvement of Asian and other foreign staff is prominent. In Singapore and Taiwan, foreigners account for 99% and over 40% of total staff respectively. Internationally, competition to acquire nursing and caring personnel is already intense. Now is not the time to discuss the pros and cons of EPAs, but rather how we can accept foreign nurses and caregivers in a reasonable and reassured manner. The relevant parties (in the Garuda Supporters-hosted discussion) were able to join together and conclude a heated debate by agreeing to devote all their efforts in raising the issue with the authorities. If such constructive discussions are able to be conducted at various levels, serious issues, including the treatment of Japanese nurses and caregivers, will eventually be solved.

Garuda Supporters

Garuda Supporters is a volunteer groups consisting of specialists and business people from various fields. It was formed in order to call for improvements to the system of accepting nurses and caregivers based on the Japanese-Indonesian Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Their policy proposal submitted in January 2010 was praised by the relevant government offices and also picked up by the mass media, eliciting a large response.

Joint Representative/Director Wakako Miyazaki
Tokyo, Adachi Ward, Yanagihara 1-9-13
TEL: 03-5284-3706 FAX: 03-5284-3707
e-mail: info@garuda-net.jp homepage http://garuda-net.jp
(You can view Garuda Supporter’s policy proposal on their homepage)
(Translated by Lance Truong (Monash Univ.)

The trump card of environmental solutions!! MR Toshiharu Fukai father of souseiwater

‘Sousei Water’ - This ‘miracle water’ renders detergents, shampoo and pesticides obsolete, and by simply mixing it with oil can also reduce fossil fuels and harm from emission gases!

(The 14th conference of sousei water user Mr fukai speech)

It is said our bodies are made primarily of water. According to one study, 83% of our blood, 79% of our brain, and 83% of our muscles are water. In recent years, water pollution from chemical contamination has become a worldwide problem, yet a fundamental solution has still not been found. However, tackling this problem has been one Japanese man’s calling for over 20 years now. His invention, ‘Sousei Water’, has been garnering widespread attention from both governments and relevant organizations in countries like China, Korea, Taiwan, Canada and Germany. In particular, many requests regarding joint ventures and research cooperation in national environmental projects have come from China and Korea. Sousei Water’s founder, Mr. Fukai, vowed upon his late father’s words to continue his water research, and the results of this over many years have produced countless miracles. We asked him about his thoughts regarding Sousei Water.
Interviewer: Haung Donsu- a volunteer who helped out on-site at the Daehan oil spill in South Korea, where Sousei Water has been attracting attention.


Q: Why the fixation on water that removes detergents?

”I used to run a hotel and restaurant. One day, I saw large amounts of detergent foam flowing down the nearby Chikuma River. There was no doubt it came from my restaurant and hotel. At that time, I remembered my late father’s words – ‘Nature and man are one entity. If we pollute our rivers, our blood will become contaminated, and we will certainly become sick. We must not pollute our rivers.’ I agonized over this for nearly three years, but my father’s words would not leave me, so I liquidated all my businesses, and my fight against detergents began.”

”At first, I began researching the toxicity of detergents. If you place fish in a tank, then pour detergents in, they will go into a terrific frenzy, and before long will die. Although detergents cause much suffering and agony to fish, the reality is we nonchalantly use such products. Seeing this, my resolve to get rid of detergents strengthened. ”


((left) sousei water + oil (right) normal water + oil)


(How sousei water work just like detergents)

Q:Using your own private funds, it took eight years to succeed in the development of Sousei Water. How were you able to continue your research day-to-day without giving up? Please describe the background to this.

”I think the education from my father was a big influence. Even now, I have a memory that I cannot forget: one day, my father pointed out a dismantled carburetor and said, ‘Return this to its original state.’ I replied, ‘There’s no way I can do that! Why don’t you ask a repair shop to do it?’
My father however said that anything made my humans should be able to be repaired by humans. I told him I had no idea where to begin fixing it, but because of my father’s forceful attitude I resolved to fix it myself . So, with tears in my eyes, I tried with all my might to re-assemble the carburetor. During that time, I was not allowed back in the house, and while it took three days and nights,
I finally learned that there was nothing I couldn’t do . While my father was very strict, he was greatly respected by people in our town. He always instructed me to ‘not irrigate my own fields, but irrigate others’ fields.’ It was this lesson that led me to create Sousei Water.”

Q:”having great desire to succeed , as a layman I had no idea what to make as detergent replacement. While receiving advice from various people and doing my own wide reading, the thing that caught my attention was water. This was because I had heard stories from my grandmother’s era about how long ago they were able to do their laundry in rivers without detergent. If that’s the case, I thought, shouldn’t I just return water to its original form?”


(machine to produce sousei water)

”With my father’s words in my heart, I felt I had to return the rivers we had polluted to their original state, and continued to silently carry out countless experiments. I made many miraculous discoveries and gradually came closer to my goal. Then by chance I read a newspaper article about obsidian (volcanic glass), which was used in large quantities during the Jomon era, and my instincts told me this was it. At long last this became my replacement for detergents, a primordial water that was good for the body – Sousei Water was born.”


(Article of national newspaper about the sousei water)

”Sousei Water succeeded in drawing out the ‘original power of water’ – something that was until now thought impossible. It even holds the potential to remake industries – such as beauty, cleaning, food and drink, hot springs, agriculture, and medical services – into ones that are friendly to the natural environment. The chemical with the element number one is hydrogen, right? If you return water to its original form, you will definitely solve environmental problems. Humans, animals, plants, soil, the atmosphere - they all consist of the element water.”

Q: What would you like to see from exchange students and other foreigners in Japan, as well as other Japanese young people?

”There’s no such thing as borders when it comes to protecting the environment. I heard that you volunteered after the 2007 Daehan oil spill in Korea – we also brought over Sousei Water generators from Japan and did clean-up work on the oil-covered rocks by the coast there. Using Sousei Water you can easily separate water and oil from one another, so the work progress smoothly. Everyone was overjoyed and we were even featured in a KBS [Korean Broadcasting Station] broadcast. However, because the seas are connected, these sorts of problems aren’t just faced by Korea. In order to protect the earth I think there is a need for people around the world to engage in action that transcends borders.”

”Sousei Water attempts to return soil back to its original state. Through this, microorganisms are restored to life, and agriculture becomes possible without the use of pesticides. Even after terrible oil spills like the ones in Fukui and Daehan where the sea became black, by dispersing Sousei Water on the sea coast microorganisms burst back to life and by the next year seaweed and fish had returned. In other words, it is possible to regenerate polluted oceans through Sousei Water. Speaking of big oil spills, at the moment there is a lot of commotion over the Gulf of Mexico, and I myself am preparing to go there and help.”

”In Japan and Korea, whenever there are incidents involving large oil spills many young people have helped out as volunteers. If young people develop a consciousness that respects the global environment more, the earth will became a better place to live in not only for humans, but also animals and plants.”

”‘Itadakimasu’ and ‘Gochisousama’ [phrases said before and after meals respectively] are directed not only at the person who made the meals but also to the life of the food. Japan also has an ancient culture where one expresses gratitude towards nature. There’s even a hint in kanji [Chinese pictographs]. If you look at the kanji for ‘sea’, it means ‘water is the mother of people’. By polluting our water, I believe we are polluting the mother of life. The kanji for ‘pollute’ is written ‘to dirty water’. If we try and wash something by using a toxic substance, that’s an act of polluting. Also, the kanji for ‘wash’ is written ‘water is first’. This is teaching us that in order to ‘wash’, water is the most important thing. Considering this, I ask everybody to please understand the importance of water in their daily lives.”


(New cleaning system invented by using sousei water)


(The 14th conference of sousei water user staff musicians)

Monash Univ.)

Haung Donsu (Korea) (Hanshin University, spring 2010 graduate) In 2007, he volunteered on site at the Daehan oil spill. He worked in extremely tough conditions where even cleaning one rock was difficult. One of his friends was hospitalized after the clean-up as a result of the fuel oil. Post-interview impressions: Meeting and talking directly with the head of Sousei World Fukai Toshiharu was truly enlightening. I realised that in the end, the most important thing in order for humans to continue living is the environment. In our current world where the environment is gradually deteriorating, it was somewhat relieving to know that people like Mr. Fukai are out there, protecting the environment through actions like volunteering at the Daehan oil spill. I think people should consider the environment more seriously.

(Translated by Lance Truong (Monash Univ.)

The Inventer of sousei water


(with volunteer workers at the site of oil spill happened along the coast of fukui pref.)

The Inventer of sousei water Mr Toshiharu Fukai

Representative of environmental NGO Clean Water World Initiative (CWWI) and Sosei World Co Ltd. Developer of “Sosei Water” and “Sosei Cleaning Wet Pure” - technology whereby dioxin can be decomposed at ordinary temperatures and pressure without the use of detergents or solvents. Working by himself on these technologies, they can now be put into practical use. Also a representative of the Sosei Cleaning Research Institute (“Sosei Kuriiningu Sougou Kenkyuujyo”) ,which is conducting collaborative research with the Canadian Government’s Ministry of the Environment (Wet Cleaning Department).

related article: A lifestyle that doesn’t contaminate our water?

I won’t give up on you


Dr Mahathir Ex Prime Minister of Malaysia.  Indonesia national newspaper
Professor Soetanto has lectured in his home country Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and China, after receiving impassioned calls from governments and related organizations in those countries. The passionate feeling he puts into his teaching has inspired beleaguered young people around the world; he is even being picked up by the media in those countries. Three students spoke with Professor Soetanto, who has returned to Japan after a long period away.

(photo :nikkie BP Mr sugano )

Q:Please tell us about your childhood and the details of how you came to Japan

A:Both my parents died when I was an infant, and I was raised by a very strict stepmother. With my weak constitution I was treated as a burden, so I have no fond memories of home. Being at home was unpleasant, so I began leaving early for school in the morning so I could help clean there. I started to be acknowledged by the teachers and everyone because of this; I then wanted to be acknowledged even more so I began to study harder and teach classmates and children in my neighborhood how to study. However, in 1965 when I had just started my first year in senior high school, the new government that had arisen out of the anti-Communist Party coup d’état (known as the 9.30 Incident) closed every school for Indonesian-Chinese children around the country, so we could no longer receive an education. I had no choice but to begin helping in my older brother’s business selling electronics, and while doing that I started my own repair business. Not only did that business become a huge success, my older brother was also able to lead a prosperous life, and it was from these economic reasons that I, despite being unable to go to high school and university, felt an uncontrollable urge to study more.


With my ambitions to become an engineer, I was naturally fascinated by Japan and its sophisticated electronics, so I left for here at 23 years old. At 26, although I was eight years older than the usual age, I was finally able to enter a Japanese university. I majored in electronics at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, and also completed a doctoral course at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. However, I had already passed 34 years old by then, and was unable find a job in Japan. I could not give up on my dream of finding work here however, so in order to increase my employability, I worked like mad and obtained another doctorate. I had now earned two PhDs, but even then I was not recognized; to work so hard living in Japan for 14 years and still not be able to find work really put me at a loss. I decided at that point to rediscover my life; if Japan was impossible then this time I figured America was my only option. So at 38, leaving my three young children behind, I decided to have a go in the US scientific world, which I knew absolutely nothing about. With a spirit to ‘go for broke’, I decided to gamble my life one more time. Fortunately, I found a university that would recognize my talents, and was able to obtain my dream job as a teacher. I taught there for five years, but returned to Japan upon receiving an invitation from one of my old teachers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Professor Okujima.


Q:Why did you return to Japan from the US? Also, why did you start to tackle educational reform in universities?

A:I was trained in Japan, and as a result was able to earn 4 PhDs. It is thanks to the training I received in Japan’s harsh society that I am here today; I genuinely wanted to repay Japan for that.However, in my newly arrived university I noticed that over 80 per cent of students who did not understand their classes were just left that way, so I resolved to rekindle the motivation of all the students taking my classes.

I continued to encourage these students by talking about the actual experiences I had in my home country and in the US, and how I kept trying no matter how many times I was rejected in Japan. On the other hand, I adopted a very strict attitude in these classes. I conducted them mostly in English, and also demanded students do presentations in English. At the beginning students panicked, but once they learnt how serious I was, they started to put more effort in. All young people are hiding possibilities (latent potential) that they themselves would not believe. It is the drawing out of this potential which is the serious approach of an educator. There is the idea in university that you should only deal with students who are motivated, but I refuse to abandon any of them. I also don’t want other teachers to abandon their students.


Invited the 100th anniversary of Chinese Univ.

Q:You did not experience affection in your childhood years – where does the unlimited affection for your students come from?

A:I think each student is the main character of their own stories. I want all of them to learn to like themselves and lead their own lives. In order to do that you cannot be half-hearted. My teaching is famous for being strict enough to make many students cry, but I absolutely will not let any of them give up on their dreams. Because their dreams are my dreams too.

Even students with seemingly no motivation hide wonderful possibilities (latent potential). For educators, it is necessary to have an attitude that seriously deals with these students’ true feelings, and strives to put every effort into teaching them. If you do this, they will definitely begin to regain their true selves, face their own dreams, and create their own stories. They will start to live their own original lives not created by others. This will then lead to greater self-confidence; students will gradually learn to like themselves and in no time will be become kinder to other people.

Ken Kawan Soetanto Professor, Faculty of International Liberal Studies

Professor, Faculty of International Liberal StudiesDirector, Clinical Education and Science Research Institute- Four doctorates: engineering, medicine, pharmacy and pedagogyI first came to Japan in 1974 as a university student, and received doctorates in engineering and medicine. Recently I also obtained doctorates in pharmacy and pedagogy. Since my original field of study was medical engineering, which is an interdisciplinary field, it was natural for me to extend my area of interest. I did science and engineering research on health-related machines, and subsequently pursued clinical medicine studies of medical machinery. I extended the scope of my studies of medical machines from use in checkups to use in medical treatment, and in the course of my pharmaceutical research I invented an ultrasonic contrast agent which received dozens of basic patents in Japan and two in the U.S.A.

A life committed to the sea

The pro-diver who went from ocean “terrorist” to “savior”

Profile of Masanobu Shibuya
"If Shibuya can't do it, give up": this is how Japan's leading pro-diver and underwater construction expert, Masanobu Shibuya, is often described. Having worked on projects like the Honshi Bridge, Haneda Airport and the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, Shibuya-san currently devotes his energies to ocean regeneration based on his extensive research, enjoying attention both at home and abroad.

Q: Please describe the path towards your current work protecting the ocean.


I began work as a pro-diver at 25. In the beginning, I lived by a creed of “longer than anyone, deeper than anyone”, and I took great pride in my diving ability and physical strength. At 32, I founded my own company. However, during our first big underwater construction project I fell victim to decompression sickness. During my three-month hospitalization following, I felt for the first time the weakness of the human body.
Other life lessons awaited me however. As company president, I failed to consider the feelings of my employees; I demanded too much of them, and one day they all quit at once and left the company.
I became very depressed after this, so I began to read books on spirituality and practice activities like yoga. As a result, I learnt the importance of considering the feelings of those around me. Through daily contact with nature and my wife, I began to sense things like the inner strength of tranquility and the strength of women. I became very grateful to my wife for her quiet but unwavering support, and rediscovered the beauty of the ocean that I came so close to forgetting; I realized that through my work I had been destroying this beauty. Looking back on past construction projects, my sense of remorse grew daily, and I began to consider quitting my career.

From destroyer to protector: the construction project that led to an awakening


It was in this state of disillusionment when construction of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line began. The first job was to fix the ventilating device, known as “Kaze no Tou” (or the “Wind Tower”), into the water. Later, upon surveying this structure, I discovered sea bream were settling there. At that moment, I began to recall past construction projects I had worked on one after the other, and how fish would return to the area after they were completed. I had a realization - “Not all underwater construction is bad. If done correctly, you should be able to create an environment suitable for marine life to live in.”


From that moment on, I decided to dedicate my life to “development compatible with the environment”, and “education of the spirit through diving”. Originally not a specialist, I began to study by myself from scratch about marine life and plants. I returned to past project sites, and began to research the post-construction environment while taking photo and video records.
This style of environmentally-friendly underwater construction I was advocating began gradually to garner attention. I started to be featured on TV and other media, and the underwater world that I had been observing finally began to be shown to the outside world. After many years of quiet dedication to my work, it was truly a happy moment for me.
At present, the ocean around Japan is in a critical situation; the seaweed that fish and other marine life rely on for nourishment is declining rapidly. I want as many people as possible to know about this. If we care for it properly, it is more than possible to regenerate this ocean environment.

Q: Please give a message to the exchange students and other young people out there.


In the beginning, I was an “ocean terrorist”. Now though, I dedicate all my energy to protecting the ocean. At the moment you may be destroying the environment. However, it is never too late.
I think that in all people there is a wonderful and pure spirit. The strength to overcome adversity even when things are going bad, the ability to be kind to people; I think everyone possesses that kind of spirit. From now into the future, you will make many mistakes and face many difficulties. I want people however to occasionally get in touch with nature, be kind to others, and lead positive lives.


Interview with Masanobu Shibuya – my thoughts 
( Lance Troung Monash univ. Australia globalcommunity Intern student )

To be able to speak with a pro-diver who is respected not just in Japan, but also worldwide, was a valuable and unique experience. As a young person, meeting with someone who has had a wide variety of experiences was informative and made me think of my own future. Not only that, but when I heard about Shibuya-san’s activities in environment regeneration and his life story up until then, I realized that he was not just a leading pro-diver, but also a leading contributor to society, and my respect for him deepened. In our present world which is facing various environmental problems, I think people like Shibuya-san are saviors.

(transrated by lance truong monash University)

Good Experience Changes People and Organization

"Maternity" is the key word. There's nothing more important than keeping the "sense of giving spirit" between ourselves.
A ordinaly housewife became a movie producer. The first movie she made won the "Nikkei MJ Award" of the Nikkei's Regional Informatization Contest. We interviewed the producer, Keiko Echigo, who has lit people's minds and revitalizing the region through movie-making.

Would you like to tell us how did you became a movie producer?

As a part of the PTA activity, housewives gathered friends and hosted lectures and events. But first we were housewives who have never ever hosted an event, including myself. We did have various troubles but we, the amateurs, worked together as one and could manage to succeed in hosting the event. We had supports from the people in the region, too. After that, we met some young, energetic people who were engaged in movie-making. We thought it would be great to revitalize the region so I suggested to support the location of the movie in Shirakawa city. The movie-making staff was eager to make a film so it was settled. A movie that was made together with the local residents and the professional movie-makers. This was the start and I then established a film company and began to seriously engage in producing movies.
Through movies, everybody was sharing the same theme, which was a very natural thing, and I was so impressed by how the town was changing by being shooting a film. Those things that were never been able to change was possible to change through this. I found out and also felt that the important thing was not only the technology, method, money, but how much you can motivate people.

The origin of myself is maternity . I think this feeling, the sense of giving birth and raising children is also important in making movies and revitalizing organizations. Of course both raising children and producing movies don't go right on schedule, but by sacrificing yourself and flexibly dealing things for your family or for the movie, this can be also be said in maternity, too. Men's society, for what I think, is a society where you scramble. But in women's society, where there's a strong maternity, it is a society where you give each other. To protect important things at places where you need to make decisions, I think this giving spirit that women have, is evitable.

How do you think Japan will change from now on?

I think the ethnic movements will become more active, especially I think the connection with Asian people. And I think we need to give them the exchange students an original role. Interpreting, for example, it has a very important role, not just a mechanical one, but communication beyond cultures. It is important to look from the other point of view and give them a role and to be creative.

Encounters accelerate life

Tears running for others give you courage
The 101st anniversary of yamamoto gakko

inspiring movie siite WAJJU




SONG OF DAIJYOUBU (DON'T WORRY) inspired many guests



Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet
 (Dr. Hideo Noguchi)

Tears running for others give you courage


Could you tell us why you started Yamamoto School?

When I came back to Japan, I felt too many Japanese people were helpless and apathetic. I thought I must do something. Then when I attended a publication party of Ryuzo Seshima (former Chairman of Itochu Corporation), who wrote "Ikusanga", he directly said to me, "Not just your own company but care about the Japanese people and how Japan should grow, too." After this incident I read one special book three times and came to a conclusion that I will absolutely do something. Around this time, students asked me to give lectures and had good responses after the lectures. So I gathered the students, who listened to my lectures, once a month to meet up again. This was the beginning of Yamamoto School. We were talking about our experiences at first but gradually supporters joined us and many great people began to talk whenever we got together and this turns out to be like what we see now. I just lead the meeting now, that's all.

What kind of a student were you?

Compared to my brothers who were brilliant, I had an inferiority complex and could not be confident at all I was engaged in groups regarding English and overseas interns but I quit them after meeting my wife. I was with her all the time. I could not live without her so I married her right after graduation.

How did you change yourself?

I did find a job and worked after graduation. When I was 31, I was transferred to Norway. My English was awful, not even had confidence for my job and where I was transferred was a country where there was no order results between my company. It was like a demotion. It all changed after reading an article on a magazine. One day, I heard from my acquaintance that an article on Hitachi Zosen Corporation was on the Asahi Journal so I read it. The article said that because the shipbuilding business has gone bad, the employee families were breaking up one after another. I could not stop crying hard for about three hours because my colleagues were suffering from such a situation.
And this made me decide. Getting rid of the old me, who used to blame people because things haven't gone smooth, and change myself to do the best I can for my colleagues in Japan.

But in reality, companies that I see, they all had actual results. So I just did what I had to do, to get all the necessary information that I can to get an order. I even made a system that all information would come straight to me; collecting necessary information of the shippers for the ship owners and conditions of financial institutions. One time, nearly 70% of the information resource of the trade paper was from me. I could not depend on my company so I made my own information network and at the end I could possess 85% of the market.


What kind of messages do you send to the Japanese students and international students in your lectures?

No matter what the situation, never give up. Especially people who have not experienced frustration, they cannot really cope the adversity. It is not the 20s nor the 30s that life counts. Life also does not end in the 40s nor the 50s. I am 65 now but many people come to my Yamamoto School, wanting to do something useful for the world. People would meet various people here. There is a wide range of age, too, from junior high school students to people around 80. Every time there is a speech from the ambassadors, and participants vary, too. Diet members, business entrepreneurs, singers, dancers, artists, government employees, doctors, engineers, people from the media... Many students gather, too. Please, why don't you give it a try coming here? You can get together with a wide age range of people and could have serious talk, too.

Foreigners have been increasing. What future do you see in Japan?

I think it is very important to live together with people with different culture. I am sure that Japan will be an major power of immigrants like the United States and France in the near future. Maybe the general idea of international marriage might go somewhere. Everybody might all look like President Obama!

What is your favorite quote?

"Encounters accelerate life." People meet various people, learn from them, and grow. One encounter may change your life totally. In my Yamamoto School, I have seen many destined encounters.

Any advices to the students who are going to start job-hunting?

Interviewers are probably seeking for people who have potentials.
What kind of people would have potentials? Think about it.
People who are graceful, bright, simple and honest. Graceful people would take in lots of knowledge and opinions. Information will go to people who are bright. Simple and honest people can continuously do things that may be simple. We are now in the world of HP, changing from IQ, EQ, and now HP. HP stands for Horse Power. It is necessary to have the power to absorb from people, and to grow at an accelerated pace. This relates to "Encounters accelerate life."

Mr Masanobu Yamamoto PROFILE

While he was working for the Hitachi Zosen Corporation in Northern Europe he carried out the success of an 85% market share and created a legend. He also accomplished the success of an 85% market share in Indonesia. Eighteen years after he joined the Hitachi Zosen Corporation, he was headhunted to the Cahners Exposition Japan. He established the biggest international trade show for business firms in the whole of Asia (e.g. glasses, jewel goods, writing material/office work, hardware box, airline/space business, books, computer-aided publishing, fine particle, beautician/beauty salon/cosmetics, superconductivity and CAI/education) and, once again, led this to the great success. Shortly after he was headhunted to SEGA and made the record of ten times more of earnings for third parties, doubling of earnings in the United States and a 63% market share. He is currently working as a business consultant and an advisor for several enterprises through business management. On the other side, he is active in writing and completes hundreds of lecture circuits each year at university campuses and overseas.
YAMAMOTO GAKKO official website

Freeing yourself from the mental barriers

Let's make Tokyo an accessible metropolis by hosting Paralympics!
Ms. Narita, a Paralympics swimmer, successfully competed in four consecutive Paralympics Games; win a total of fifteen gold medals, she also set thirteen world records. nicknamed "Queen of Water"
Q: We hear that you often give talks at schools. What is your message to children?


A: First, never give up too easily. And, never forget to appreciate your friends.
I really didn't like swimming growing up, but because I didn't give up, I managed to learn how to swim. After I set my goal to become a gold medalist, I just never gave up. I truly believe that if you don't give up your dream, you will make it happen. It's not always easy for me - training is tough and all. But when I look up, my friends are always there, cheering me by the swimming pool. And just looking at them makes me stronger and keeps me going. I'm swimming for them as well.

Q: You had a few major surgeries and hospitalizations. What makes you keep going? Where do you get your inspiration from?

A; I know there is always something wonderful waiting for me after mishaps like that. I never doubt this. That's why I never give up. Because I feel this way, I can deal with hard times with hope in my heart.

Q: Could you tell us some memorable moments from Paralympic Games?

A: I had opportunities to compete against a wonderful rival and my best friend, Kay Espenhayn from Germany, in Atlanta and Sydney. One day, I learned that she was in a critical condition, but I couldn't do anything for her because I was in the hospital myself. All I could manage was to make Thousand Cranes from origami paper for good luck in five days. I sent them over to Kay's mother, but they didn't make it - she received them a day after Kay passed away. This sad event renewed my determination to try even harder, for Kay, who died at age 34 without fulfilling her dreams. After the Paralympic Games, I visited her grave in Germany to share my gold medal I won in backstroke - Kay's strongest stroke. People like her, great rivals like her make my life so much more meaningful. I cannot thank people like her enough, and she will always be my rival.

Q: What do you think would be the key to hosting Paralympic and Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan?

A: To be free from our own mental barriers, I think. We need to change the way we think about people with disabilities. In Japan, people with disabilities like myself are limited to enjoying only certain activities. In fact, I have been swimming in competitions for people with no disabilities, but at first they denied me saying that no one with a disability had ever participated. So, I decided I would be the first one, and kept trying, and now they let me compete alongside swimmers with no disabilities. At first, I was always the last one to finish, but then I got better and better. One time, the audience started applauding after I finished, and it felt like they were cheering Mayumi as an athlete instead of an athlete with a disability. That felt great.

Elementary and middle schools started letting kids with disabilities study alongside kids with no disabilities. At these schools where they learn together, they never stare at me when I go visit them to give presentations. They just treat me as one of them. I hope more people will start watching us play sports, just as you would enjoy watching any sport. You will have a great time.



The key to being free from our own mental barriers, I believe, is to positively accept people who might be a little different from ourselves, whether the difference is that they are from a different country or they have a disability. That would make our own life much richer. "I have been lucky with people," said Ms. Narita. With such a cheerful personality and positive attitude, she was like a bright sunflower. No wonder the whole room lights up when she is there. Thank you very much for your wonderful stories.

NARITA MAYUMI Queen of Water

Ms. Narita, a Paralympics swimmer, was born in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa. She successfully competed in four consecutive Paralympics Games; Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. Not only she did she win a total of fifteen gold medals, she also set thirteen world records. She has been awarded the nickname "Queen of Water" for her explosive strength. Growing up, Ms. Narita enjoyed and excelled in all sorts of sports until when she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis. She was only in her early teens. As a result, she was paralyzed from waist down and was bound to a wheelchair. Currently, Ms. Narita enjoys cooking and driving in her spare time, and has been actively involved in raising awareness about people with disabilities. In addition to giving lectures all over Japan, she swam across Kagoshima Kinko-Bay as a part of a popular Japanese TV program "24Hour Television". This TV program was produced and aired by Nippon Television Network where Ms. Narita works, and showed her eight hour saga of swimming 12 kilometers across the bay. With a positive attitude that turns major surgeries and prolonged hospitalizations into new strengths, Ms. Narita is a true super-athlete who inspires everyone around her.

Students Society - "Tokyo for 2016 Olympics"

A student organization since 2006, which is actively engaged in movements to host the Olympics.
In 2006, voluntary university students started the organization to promote the Olympics, using their status as students. It was the Tokyo governor Ishihara's words on TV that motivated them; "I want Tokyo to host the 2016 Olympic games for the future youth." This student organization has been gathering signatures for the Olympic Bidding and visiting memorable places of the Olympics to make grass-roots movements of the bidding campaign. We interviewed Miss Morisaki and Mr. Otomo, who volunteered for the Olympic bidding.
Students Society - "Tokyo for 2016 Olympics"


They wanted to feel the "power of sports" through Olympics! visiting many cities, from Tokyo to Fukuoka on the Olympic Caravan, for two and a half months. They mainly visited universities, student organizations, and NPO. and travelling 6,089km for 77 days, appealing the new style of Olympics, considering the environment now and the disabled people.

Could you tell us more about the Olympic Caravan?

At the departing ceremony on December 1st, 2007, former Nordic skier, also the gold medalist Kenji Ogiwara came to see us off. During the tour we met many athletes, for example, Haruka Hirota, the Trampoline athlete of Beijing Olympics, Takashi Yamamoto, silver medalist of swimming at the Athens Olympics, Ryuji Yamamoto, baseball player of Hanshin Tigers. We also socialized with over 2000 people from various fields; universities, NPO, lawmakers, etc.



Local papers and radio stations spread our activities so thanks to them, we could send our enthusiasm of the Olympics all over Japan and could also listen to what the local people really think about this. We learned a lot from our Olympic Caravan.


Planning and Publication Manager: Kazuya Otomo (left) and Representative: Yuriya Morisaki (right)

Miss Morisaki, I heard that it was your experience of communicating with foreign people which made you want to join this movement.

My life has greatly changed since my encounter with foreigners during the World Cup. I was in the second year of junior high school at that time. I met a whole bunch of foreigners with face paintings in Odaiba and they all looked very excited, as if there was a festival or something. I just went up to the crowd and spoke to them, using my small vocabulary. They all listened very hard, trying to understand what I was saying and I was very happy about it. It made me feel I was a part of their group and that experience really changed my life after that. I thought, if I join this organization and the Olympics would really be held in Tokyo, Japan, maybe I could make the children have the same experience that I've had. I hope more and more new dreams will come up from the Tokyo Olympics.

Mr. Otomo, what's your impression of working as a member of this students organization?

I have joined various human rights activities and environment events but it wasn't what I really wanted. I wanted to engage myself in some social activities that got to do with my favorite sports. For this Tokyo Olympics Bidding, it is a little different from the past Olympics. There has been a clear proposal for the environmental problems. I think that this is a global problem which each one of us need to take responsible for. If the Olympics would be held in Tokyo 2016, everybody in the whole wide world would be more interested and have more positive feelings towards the environmental problems.

Let's support this bidding movement for the Tokyo Olympics which is directly facing the environmental problems of us human beings.

Students Society - "Tokyo for 2016 Olympics website

"Interpreter Volunteer Guide" - Why Now?

he world now is now moving towards a rapid globalized society. Japan too, is no exception. In metropolitan areas, international marriage counts 1 out of 10 couples and it is not rare anymore to see exchange students and workers from various countries around the world. But generally, Japanese people are still not mixing well with foreigners who are living in Japan. Much more, don't you think that most of them hardly ever are in contact with foreign tourists?
In the last couple of years, over 17 million Japanese people go abroad on business and travel. Many of them come home impressed with the "kindness" and "warm-heartedness" of the local people there.

The local people there are never as wealthy as the Japanese people but they live an active life and welcome people like us from other countries.


Don't you think it is now time for us to open our hearts and give the foreign people who come and visit or live in Japan a warm welcome? It is the important mission of the Interpreter Volunteer Guides to convey this feeling of warm welcome.
The Work of Volunteer Guides

Here's an interview with Ms. Fukaya of the Tokyo City Guide Club about the Interpreter Volunteer Guides.



Why did you want to become an interpreter volunteer guide?

Many interpreter volunteer guides have the experience that they have been warmly welcomed by the local people overseas. I, too, have the same experience. Many of us want to help, like tour-guiding the foreigners who come to Japan in return of what they have done to us.

What kind of a club is "Tokyo City Guide Club"?

Our group members have all passed the "Tokyo City Guide Test." It's an informal club. First we made small groups of our specialty fields and started the group by doing workshops and study groups. By continuous study groups, we've come to the conclusion that we all wanted to study more about the metropolitan city, "Tokyo". I think it's a great group. We walk around the city and study the history, culture, and the environment. It is a joy for us that we can directly learn them by walking around the city. Members have a great relationship, too, and we are quite satisfied with our intelligent group. I am pretty sure that foreign tourists will love our group.

How do you guide the tourists from overseas?

I think it's natural that after we have input all our knowledge at the study group and gain confidence, we want to spread this happiness to someone. We have 23 model guided courses at the moment and we guide not only tourists but we also have the opportunity to guide foreigners who live in Japan, for example, expats in Japan and groups of exchange students. We hear happy voices from them that they could really experience the Japanese culture.

Why did you want to become an interpreter volunteer guide?

Many interpreter volunteer guides have the experience that they have been warmly welcomed by the local people overseas. I, too, have the same experience. Many of us want to help, like tour-guiding the foreigners who come to Japan in return of what they have done to us.

What kind of a club is "Tokyo City Guide Club"?

Our group members have all passed the "Tokyo City Guide Test." It's an informal club. First we made small groups of our specialty fields and started the group by doing workshops and study groups. By continuous study groups, we've come to the conclusion that we all wanted to study more about the metropolitan city, "Tokyo". I think it's a great group. We walk around the city and study the history, culture, and the environment. It is a joy for us that we can directly learn them by walking around the city. Members have a great relationship, too, and we are quite satisfied with our intelligent group. I am pretty sure that foreign tourists will love our group.

How do you guide the tourists from overseas?

I think it's natural that after we have input all our knowledge at the study group and gain confidence, we want to spread this happiness to someone. We have 23 model guided courses at the moment and we guide not only tourists but we also have the opportunity to guide foreigners who live in Japan, for example, expats in Japan and groups of exchange students. We hear happy voices from them that they could really experience the Japanese culture.

Tokyo City  Guides

翻訳者 :tranlated by 下野佐紀子