November 2009 Archives

Vaccination of the Flu

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I had a vaccination of the seasonal (regular) flu and after that I felt not well. The vaccinated part on the left arm is swelling, and I felt chilly and tired from yesterday morning. Perhaps it was the side-effect of the vaccination. Moreover, I had the severe stomachache often. I do not know whether it was due to the vaccine or not. Yestereday afternoon It was the worst and I took a rest from Dr. Noda's secretary job. Today, the fever has declined to the normal temperature, but the stomachache keeps occurring, so I had to ask for a rest also from today's workplace. I feel very sorry for my colleagues and my boss. The weather is so fine, but I have stayed home all these two days. All I could do was reading magazines and taking naps in the kotatsu. Maybe it is a present for me to have two-days holidays ... in order to regain enough energy before the last workshop of Jolanta on 28th.

History Textbook for Japanese

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I have finished reading a history textbook edited by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform. It is a textbook for the junior high school students and published by Jiyu-sha this spring. They tried to publish it by Fuso-sha, but the textbook was heavily criticized by China and South Korea, for not including full accounts of Japanese war crimes during World War II. Therefore, they changed the title and perhaps the descriptions in some parts, found another publisher, and managed to make it an authorized textbook.

history.jpgEven if it is a product of some compromises, it is a very interesting history book. I was just absorbed in it for these two days. These are the things I like:
1) The pictures are excellent!
2) From the beginning (the Jomon period) to the end (the end of Showa), we can survey the flow of Japanese history. They do not skip the history of Showa. They try to explain history in detail, as far as the documents available can prove.
3) The editor's standpoint is full of compassion and love to Japanese people and culture.

After reading this textbook, I felt proud of Japanese history and culture. How about you? To say the truth, I did not have enough courage to say aloud that I was proud of Japan. I had thought the latest war was a mistake of our race and we should be ashamed of it when we face to the foreigners. I had vaguely felt that we were inferior to the Westerners in arts and in spirits, physically and mentally. I had also been contaminated by the so-called "self-torture" sense for our history. Now I know I was wrong. Although it was surely regretful, the flow of the history led Japan to that war inevitably and unavoidably. I learned many new things about the world situation of the time from this textbook.
Japanese people have many splendid resources such as honesty, earnestness, loyalty, and faithfulness. And we have the uniquest fine craftworks we are really proud of. We have developed these traits from ancient eras by cultivating rice, through Confucian tradition, and in practice of Bushido. Therefore, we can never stand alone, we cannot be separated from the heritage of the past. I am happy to find out that we belong to the ancestors.

Upaya, a Device

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I put many things on the altar in my room: Some are of Osho Rajneesh's mala, picture and books, and some are of Kobo-Daishi's fittings such as an Akasagarbha statue and a small vajra. Almost every morning, I advocate Shingon-sect sutras in Japanese, mantras in Sanskrit, and read Osho's book in English. It might be very funny to so-called religious people, but for me, they are completely fit each other. This morning I read a phrase of Osho Rajneesh:

In fact, when you surrender to me, you surrender yourself. You don't surrender to me. You simply surrender your ego. I am just a device, an excuse. It will be difficult for you to go and surrender to the river, or to the sky, or to the stars -- it will be very difficult and you will look a little ridiculous. So I pretend to be here just to help you so that you don't feel ridiculous. You can put your ego here. There is nobody to receive it and nobody to be happy about it, but it helps.
Buddha used to call such things devices -- upaya. It is just a upaya, a device to help those who cannot put their egos down unless they find some feet. I make my feet available to you, but inside there is nobody.

     from THE ART OF DYING by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Yes, perhaps Osho Rajneesh is one of the devices, and Kobo-Daishi also is one of the devices. They are very effective devices for me to be aware of my big big ego. Without surrendering a fairly large part of my ego, it may be difficult to keep the rituals, do meditation, and go to the pilgrimages. As the goal of meditation is to throw away one's ego, it is a good device to feel to be restricted.

And perhaps, the Individual Psychology is one of the devices to be contributive ... to live in cooperation with others and to contribute to each other. It is just a device, but we should surrender ourselves and learn from it sincerely, if we want to attain the goal.

Yasukuni Shrine

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Before attending the Intensive Training Course, I went to the Yasukuni Shrine for the first time in my life. The name of this shrine has been mentioned on TV and on newspapers every summer, not in the religious connotations, but in the political sense. So, it is a regret to say that I was not interested in this shrine, or rather, I have rejected to think about it.
Yasukuni Shrine was established at Kudan in Tokyo, in the beginning of the Meiji era. In 1869, the Emperor Meiji wrote a poem, "I assure those of you who fought and died for your country that your names will live forever at this shrine in Musashino." Thus, this shrine was established in order to "commemorate and honor the achievement of those who dedicated their lives for their country."
So the deities of the Yasukuni Shrine are all the souls who have lost their lives during the wars since 1853, such as the Boshin War, the Seinan War, the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars, World War I, the Manchurian Incident, the China Incident and the Greater East Asian War (World War II). More than 2,466,000 souls are enshrined and worshipped in the shrine now. And regardless of their rank or social standing, they are treated and regarded equally.

There is a museum called "Yushukan," where they display all the relics possible of the enshrined gods, such as their letters to their families, their pictures, and weapons they used. I went in the museum and spent a lot of time there. Many young people like my son died, and many middle aged people in my age died. Watching the exhibitions and feeling each individual, I was overwhelmed by their deeds and sincere emotions. I could not help shedding tears endlessly because their wish to protect their mother nation, home towns, and families, were so desperate....


yasukuni.jpg
Many souls wrote that they wished to see their family again "under the cherry blossoms of Kudan." The Japanese of the time knew that only after their deaths, their souls would fly easily back to Japan and be able to see their beloved in the shrine at Kudan. We, of this time, had never known it! We had never known how zealously people in the latest war carried out the orders to protect the nation and how desperately they believed that they were to be enshrined in this Yasukuni Shrine. We never learned this important fact!
The shrine was grand and spacious with many cherry and maidenhair trees. Walking under the trees along the wide approach to the shrine, I felt my legs became heavier. The atmosphere of the shrine was very pure, but perhaps there still were some spirits hovering among the trees, who were waiting for their beloved to come and visit them. Even after 65 years of the latest war, I felt they had not yet been consoled. What can we do for them, to ease their grief? To know them, to remember them, and to think of them is the first thing we can do.

Counseling Practice in English (2)

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To practice counseling in English may be easier than in Japanese. This was not only my impression, but many participants in the English speaking groups also expressed the similar things. One reason may owe to the structure of English sentences, I guess. In English, people do not omit subjects nor verbs, while we often omit them in speaking Japanese. English has the concrete structure such as S + V, S + V + C, S + V + O (+ O). All English sentences are made of nouns and verbs in the appropriate places above, adding some adjectives and adverbs. So the client's narratives will not be illogical, and we are easy to catch the meaning.
And the other reason may owe to the fact that we are not English natives. We cannot speak English fluently as Japanese, so that our stories become shorter and simpler. We cannot express the story in details or add many excuses, as we speak in Japanese. I think it very much helped us in analyzing the early memories and the recent events. To grasp the most important thing in the story, to deal with the client's behavior itself, and not to pay much attention to the details are crucial in counseling. Perhaps also in the counseling process in Japanese, if we reconsider the client's story in English, it may help us to make it simpler and reveal the main line of his/her movement. Then we can grow our counseling ability gradually, I hope.

Counseling Practice in English (1)

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I attended the Intensive Training Course of Individual Psychology from November 1 to 3 in Chiba. The course consisted of Dr. Noda's lectures and our practices in counseling. This year Jolanta and Nara attended the course, so Dr. Noda decided to give lectures both in English and Japanese. As for the practices, because there were people who do not like to speak English, we made both English speaking groups and Japanese speaking groups. From the first day of the training, I was forced to be in the 100 % English speaking group.
On the first day, I presented one of my early recollections and played a role of the client of Approach Work. To tell my early memory in English was a fresh experience, but the members of the same group encouraged me to relate the story. According to the process of Approach Work, we succeeded in finding some of my Private Logic and one possibility of my Private Meaning. That is to say, I should be in the safe place, protected (^^;).
On the second day, we did three cases of Life-Style analysis in English. We listened to the clients' early recollections and wrote them down, and then we decided (1) a sentence in which the "private" point of the client mostly appears, (2) a goal of the analysis, (3) the questions (linear or circular) we will ask the client. We did this process very slowly, discussing everything openly in front of the clients. Perhaps because the clients were also the licensed Adlerians, I think the analyses were done fairly well.
On the third day, we practices counseling with the Solution Focused Approach method, dealing with the present problem of a client. I changed my seat from the 100 % English speaking group to the 28 % English speaking group, where we could discuss in either English or Japanese, but the main process of counseling was in English. Here also, we encouraged the client to relate story in English, and moreover, the achieved solution was very dramatic and contributing. It was a very good experience for all of us to encourage each other.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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