August 2010 Archives

To Hikone

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I went to Hikone yesterday to hear a lecture which would be presented by one of my Adlerian friends. She is a director of a private kindergarten, an author of books on parenting, and a certificated Family Consultant of Adlerian Psychology. When I took Passage, a parenting course based on Adlerian Psychology about ten years ago, she was also a member in the course. After that she has always helped and guided me in the Adlerian community in Japan. She is a very energetic, cheerful, and warm lady, and with her character she fascinates people, especially young mothers. She is a powerful leader for parents and kindergarten nurses who are not certain in bringing up children.

hikone2.jpgI often go to the west side of the Biwako Lake, but it was rare to go that far, to the east side. From the windows of the JR train, I saw many green rice fields. The wind was blowing on the green plants and the water was running here and there among the fields. Shiga prefecture, it was a good, beautiful country! Where there is clear water, we can cultivate rice, and the land can be rich. Perhaps we Japanese can be happiest when Japan is an agriculture nation, cultivating rice.
In the lecture place in Hikone, I met a person I have not seen for long. We once worked together, and I had heard that she became ill after she quit the job. However, yesterday she looked very fine and relaxed. I sat beside her and we did the pair games together. We laughed and enjoyed, which made me very happy. After the lecture, when I walked around the downtown area, I found a large, quiet Shinto shrine which is supposed to protect this country. As I felt much gratitude to the unexpected encounter with my ex-colleague, I prayed and thanked gods in the shrine.

hikone1.jpgThen I strolled and looked around the souvenir shops in the severe heat. It was killingly hot! I saw the mascot character "Hiko-nyan" everywhere. I wonder what it is. A kind of cat? Not as much attractive as Sento-kun in Nara....


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moomin2.jpg.jpegDuring my return flight to Osaka, I watched a beautiful puppet animation film of Moomin. The title was "Moomin and Midsummer Madness." I enjoyed it after the long workshop in Romania, but the film was too slow to keep me awake. I fell asleep and could not follow the story.... I saw Moomin Valley was attacked by a flood caused by a volcanic eruption on a very very hot summer night. It was fun to see them enjoying coffee and bread on the roof of their three-storied house, carrying out their soaked furniture. Then a huge theater stage came floating by, so they abandoned the house, moved and stayed in the theater. Moominpappa decided to write a script of a play for the theater. And Moomintroll and Snork Maiden slept on the top of a tall tree, which made them separate from other family members. etc, etc.
I have read Moomin stories and watched TV animations, but honestly, I could not yet get the clear image of the characters in Moomin Valley. For me their personalities are vague perhaps because they seldom show their emotions neither by the expressions of their faces nor by the tones of their voice. How are their Life Styles, or their personal values? Let me try!

moomin.jpgMoomintroll: His first priority might be "friendship." He always likes contributing to his friends and tries to be loyal to them. Thus, he is not a so-called good boy because he sometimes chooses his friends and neglects his task.
Snork Maiden: She is a girl with anxiety. She tends to worry about "future " ie, the future of their safety, their comfort, and her hair style. In contrast, Fillyjonk in this story represents "past." Miss Fillyjonk is waiting for guests who never visited her for long years.
Moominpappa: He loves "poetry" and is a poet. I wonder how Moomins make living because I have never seen him working. He likes writing something, reading newspapers, or pondering on something philosophical. Perhaps his ideal life is to be a dreamer, or at least, a bohemian.
Moominmamma: On the contrary, Moominmamma represents "real life." She works. Her homemade jam is always the favorite among the residents in Moomin Valley. She can serve meals in the crisis. It is metaphorical that Moominmamma always wears apron whereas Moominpappa always wears silk hat.

Do you agree with my guessing? I should read the stories again to prove my hypothesis, but please forgive me that I am reluctant to do so. I did it just for fun.
Anyway, this summer is exceptionally hot. I hope there will not be a volcanic eruption as in Moomin Valley!

A Book I Got in Japan

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Vlad Grigorescu was a very good teacher of "Adlerian Psychotherapy" and he taught me theories and skills during the second week of ICASSI. He is a Romanian living in Bucharest, graduated from the psychology program in Bucharest and studied Adlerian Psychology at Toronto Adler's School for two years. He opened his private office in Bucharest and started psychotherapy based on the theory of Alfred Adler. Therefore, he is the key person who implanted Adlerian Psychology from Toronto to Romania, just like Dr. Noda from Chicago to Japan. Toronto Adler's School had inherited the style or doctrine of Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago so I could learn what Dr. Noda had learned 30 years ago in Chicago. Reviewing the basic theories of Adlerian Psychology in English was a very exciting experience for me.
To my surprise, there were only two students in his course. One was me and the other was a Romanian guy who had already been Vlad's student for some years. We were such a small group that we could share our experiences and thoughts very freely.

metaphor.jpgVlad was a very kind man, and after he taught us the basic things, he mentioned many methods and skills he knew. Besides the Chicago Inventory, he talked about Dream Therapy of Leo Gold, the Most Memorable Observation Method by Frank Walton, Connection Focusing Technique by Dan Dolton, and the Metaphor Therapy by Richard Kopp. For me, Kopp's method that uses client's metaphor seemed fascinating. Vlad recommended me Kopp's book and fortunately Dr. Noda had the book. How lucky I am to have such great teachers! I have already read the first chapter of the book and it is as interesting as I expected. Someday I shall find an occasion where I can use this technique!

Books I got in Romania

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icassibooks2,jpg.JPGI like buying books in foreign countries I visit. When I went to Europe two years ago, I bought picture books of a story of the ghetto in Prague and of tales in Lithuania written in English. I could not find books of tales in Romania this time, but instead, I bought beautiful handbooks for sightseeing and some picture postcards. I prefer THE CASTLES OF TRANSYLVANIA, which presents the castles of Bran, Sinaia, Hunedoara, Sighishoara, and Taragoviste with a lot of descriptions and pictures. I went to Sinaia and Sighishoara during this trip, so I am very happy to see pictures of the castles I visited.

icassibooks.jpgTo the right are the books and CDs relating to Adlerian Psychology I got in this trip. YEAR BOOK is published by the Adlerian Society of the United Kingdom and the Institute for Individual Psychology. It is like ADLERIAN by Japanese Society of Adlerian Psychology, or THE JOURNAL OF INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY by the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology, but it is published only once a year. Anthea is one of the editors, and Eva, Zivit, and Manu Bazzano frequently write articles on this annual journal. I am going to read it hereafter.
The red book called THE "CREATIVE FORCE" was presented by the author, Betty Lou Bettner, to Dr. Noda. I borrowed and read this small book in the return flight, and thought it was fairly persuasive for parents who were not familiar to Adlerian Psychology. I think I can translate this book if Betty Lou permits ....
These CDs are the recording lectures at ICASSI. I bought Yvonne's "The Ping Pong Effect," Hala's "The Power of Art in Adlerian Therapy," and Frank Walton's "Counseling of Adolescents" lectures. They are very good audio recording, so if you want to hear some of them, please contact me. I will gladly lend them.

Too Absent-minded!

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titan.jpgI think I have become too foolish after this ICASSI trip (perhaps as the same degree as before). I had been using the rental suitcase, a red middle size Titan Zenon, and I had to remember the numbers I set for a key lock. I was very much precautious not to forget the key numbers during the trip, and I had totally forgotten the numbers of my mailbox!
I could not open the mailbox the day I returned home. How silly! I tried to open it with any possible numbers I could, but it did not work. So I gave up once and entered my house. After clearing the things off, I began to search for the lease documents of this apartment house. At last I could find the numbers written on the documents. It was amazing that I became so absent-minded toward the everyday life in Japan. As you may guess, the mailbox was full of daily letters and handbills after 17 days' absence.

Shopping in Romania

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demetrios.jpgI like shopping while traveling! I enjoy selecting souvenirs for my family and friends and also for me. Let me introduce some goods I bought during this trip.
Brasov is the second biggest city in Romania, and also the center of Transylvania. As it located within 30 minutes by bus from the place ICASSI was held, I went Brasov twice for eating, shopping, and sightseeing.
These are the icons I bought at a specialty shop of icons beside the Greek Orthodox Church in Brasov. I chose an icon of Saint Demetrios for my son. St. Demetrios had been an officer in the Roman Imperial Army and became a devout Christian. He preached the Gospel at secret meetings and converted pagans to the Christian faith. He was captured, but did not change his faith and was executed. As my son is studying art in the university, I think he will be pleased to see this minute picture of brave armaments. I chose the icon of Archangel Michael for me. Aren't they beautiful?

michael.jpgThe shop was run by an old woman and a young lady, who was perhaps the old woman's granddaughter. The old woman did not speak English. When I asked the young one if there were any books of the saints written in English, she said sorry, but could print them from the Internet. After she kindly did this troublesome work for me, I offered 1 leu for her kindness, but she refused it. Moreover, the old woman offered me small cards of pictures of saints. She added one after another until seven! When I left the shop I said "Thank you, I love you!" and the young lady smiled and said "I love you, too." I felt very warm.

cloth.jpgThese are the tablecloths I bought for my dining table. In Transylvania, there are many Hungarians who are good at embroideries. I found good ones in the Star Department Store in Brasov and bought one more Hungarian tablecloth for my daughter. Perhaps she will use it in her new house. Can you see a silver reindeer with a candle saucer on the back? I decided to buy it at Helsinki Vantaa Airport on the way home. I love the rigid style of this silver reindeer. Oh how multi-cultural my room will be!

I'm Home!

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I came back this morning 8:40 to Kansai Airport from Romania. The return flight was about two hours shorter than the flight to Europe because of the westerlies. How hot and humid Osaka was! I almost fainted by heat when I walked outside from the airport terminal buildings.
I bet you, Romania was a nice country, not rich but simple and homely. Carts and wagons pulled by horses. Cows, sheep, and goats on the meadows. The picturesque landscape of the Carpathian Mountains. And people are warm and shy, honest and soft. I love them!

I was trying to write about ICASSI every night at first so that you would see what was ongoing in ICASSI. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Internet line could not connect to my blog site, so I gave it up. Anyway, I have uploaded the articles I wrote on July 19 and July 20, the first Monday and Tuesday, before this article. I am going to write what I have experienced in this ICASSI, perhaps in this English blog and/or in the Japanese blog. I am a little bit too tired today, so good night now!

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