|2005 Regular Seminar Courses on Nomura Lifelong Integrated Education Open
|In pursuit of true values in a "changing society"
|Last April, Nomura Lifelong Integrated Education Seminar 2005 opened at
the Headquarters, Branches and Chapters in Japan nationwide.
Two years after Founding Director General Yoshiko Nomura passed away, in November the year before last, and a new leadership was formed under Director General Yumiko Kaneko, the members in all parts of the country have been making steady, persistent efforts at self-reform with the common goal of "standing on our own feet".
As a result, even with the loss of the Founding Director General, the participants'
motivation to study is rising at each seminar.
Amid the deepening confusion of world affairs, in Nomura lifelong integrated
education, which aims for "restoration of dignity", various issues
in society are used as a material for mutual education based on self-education.
In this year, Nomura lifelong integrated education is expected to bear
fruit in various parts of the country as in previous years.
We try to indicate, through exposition of actual discussions held during the seminars, the importance of looking at the internal issues of humankind, such as our mind and things that make our lives livable, in a world that is almost completely consumed with the need to deal with the rapid social change.
Kansai Seminar for adults and youth
At the Kansai Seminar for adults and youth, a man in his 60s, participating in the seminar for the first time, spoke during a discussion after the lecture.
"There was a mention of 'independence and finding a meaning in life'
during the lecture," he said. "I would like to ask a question
about finding a meaning in life after retirement. I worked for a trading
company for many years, but now I am retired, I have nothing to do and
cannot find a meaning in my life. It feels as if my life has ended. In
this IT age, I am also worried that I might be left behind because I am
not literate in these things. What do you think about the meaning of life
Director Hideyo Kimura, who gave the lecture, replied: "Seven million
of us baby boomers were in our 30s and 40s during the period of buoyant
economic growth in Japan and will be reaching the retirement age in a few
years. Therefore, the issue that has just been raised will soon be an important
In our days, the more effort we made, the more we were rewarded, and we did not have second thoughts about going with the flow. But social status and income, which are external things, inevitably change and will disappear one day. If we give value to these things, I think we are in vain.
But we have been introduced to Nomura lifelong integrated education. We
focus on our own value as we live today and learn how we can return to
being what human beings should be in the first place.
Therefore, it cannot be true that you have nothing to do. In order to become
aware of my own value, I try, in my relation with my husband, to understand
each other and become closer to each other as much as possible. Perhaps
you can start doing this yourself.
Director General Nomura said, 'the reconciling marital relations is as
equally hard as regulating international relations.' I think through this,
each party can come to know oneself better and find a meaning in life."
At the opening of the seminar at Shizuoka Branch, a participant asked a question on NEET (people who are currently not in employment, education, or training), which is becoming a social issue in Japan.
"The lecturer just now spoke about the 'From knowledge-based education
to wisdom-based education,' the participant said. "Recently, young
people who lack the motivation to either study or work are being labeled
as NEETs in our society, and the number of such people is increasing.
"I think we cannot find a solution until we begin to look at the root
cause of the problem. I also think that this problem cannot be solved by
the government or family members alone. I would like to know how this problem
is perceived from the viewpoint of Nomura lifelong integrated education."
To this question, Director Yasuko Ubutaka, who gave the lecture, replied:
"Obviously, a true solution can only be gained through the cooperation
of the family, school, and society, but at the root, it is the family.
I think children's motivation declines because we parents and adults try
to impose our values on children and try to control them the way we want
them to be.
What I feel, in dealing with actual cases, is that parents try to blame something else for their childrenfs problems and do not see that the cause is actually within them.
A child can motivate himself if there is someone who accepts him for who
he is. And I think in this, the parents' way of thinking has a significant
effect on the child. The baby-boom generation is now the parents of the
NEET generation. In this respect too, the most important thing for us is
to reexamine our values and become aware of the values that are truly human."
Senior Citizens Course
As in previous years, senior citizens were highly motivated to study as
this year's Senior Citizens Course opened. Director General Yumiko Kaneko
had made a special request to serve as the lecturer at the seminar.
"The sight of our elders studying with a sense of purpose and in good
health encourages us younger people to do a good job," said Director
General Kaneko at the outset. "For many years, I watched how Director
General Nomura took care of senior members and I always wanted to be like
During a discussion after the lecture, a woman who was participating in
the seminar for the first time said: "I lost my husband at the end
of last year and had lost my grip on life. At that time, an acquaintance
enthusiastically invited me to this Seminar, and I decided to participate
for the first time. And I was really surprised today because senior people
were eagerly studying, from a global perspective, about 'from knowledge
to wisdom' and 'from wisdom to practice'. It made me want to start my life
over again, to make a new start in my life. I am grateful to my acquaintance
who invited me today."
To sum up the day's events, Director General Kaneko said: "The 70
to 90 years of your life coincided with a time of cataclysmic change unprecedented
in our history. Against this historic backdrop, there is a significantly
large gap between your generation, my generation, and my children's generation
in how different eras have affected our inner selves.
And this creates disconnection among generations. As a result, there is no conversation. Against this backdrop, I felt today the importance of my generation and you to talk to each other and try to understand each other.
As you were educated before the war and lived through and after the war, some of the things that were considered normal then are no longer so in this age.
But I feel there is a need to pick out some of the things of the bygone days that are important even today and give value to them.
As a generation that has experienced the war, there are many things that you must pass down to posterity. And based on this viewpoint, I would urge you to communicate with the next generations about the values that should not be changed."