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 after retirement?"
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 issue.
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."

Shizuoka Branch
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 childrenfs 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 her."
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."
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education
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