VJU students Met the Woman Who Devoted to the "Revives the Japaneses Soul"

Friday, May 19, 2017

The famous Japanese journalist, writer and educator Shimomura Mitsuko - the pioneer in the movement calling for "Japanese soul revival” visited and talked with Vietnamese youth in Vietnam Japan University (VJU) on the afternoon of May 16.

Modern Japanese: Predominant money worship and selfishness

Shimomura Mitsuko’s talk on "The art of living and core values” is part of a series of the seminars on "Liberal Arts Education - The Philosophy of Human Education” hosted by VJU (under VNUHN) in Hanoi, attracting a large audience, especially the young people. 

Japan’s miraculous revival after the devastating war or the catastrophic earthquake and the tsunami has always made the whole world bow their head. Japanese people show their admirable resilience when being faced with the thin line between life and death. The Japanese vitality and spirit may always be what makes the whole world admire and intrigue.

However, during a meeting with young people in Vietnam, Shimomura Mitsuko, a private school principal who teaches the art of living in Fukushima, Japan, sincerely revealed the hidden corner behind such miraculous Japanese spirit.

Ms. Shimomura Mitsuko said that strong hearts aspiring to the good helped Japan recover from the stage of defeat and gradually enter into the era of economic boom to become the world’s legend of growth. However, the period of growth soon came to an end with the bursting of the asset price bubble. Bad habits and selfishness started intruding the Japanese’s mind, especially among younger generation.

Market economy and material abundance suddenly becomes the blade "killing” the Japanese’s core values, what make people around the world admire them.

Shimomura Mitsuko started her career as a reporter at Asahi Journal in 1965 and later became the editor-in-chief. The talented woman journalist has received many prestigious awards, including the Vaughn-Ueda for International Journalist Prize, etc. Writing articles and deep diving into her home country’s social life with many ups and downs, the Japanese woman journalist has increasingly become concerned about the upsetting of many of the core values ​​in the moral and spiritual world of the Japanese. That is why she began writing many books on the art of living and founded the "Private School of Life" in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011.

According to Shimomura Mitsuko, the richer Japanese people grow in economic wealth, the poorer they become at heart. Japanese society is gradually turning into a society of selfish and lonely individuals.

"The Japanese are losing their once basic qualities such as virtue, harmony, humanity, altruism, kindness, humility, fundamental principles of morality, pride, human dignity, human values, self–contentment, etc.” said Mitsuko.

The Japanese speaker also pointed out that human beings in developed society have acquired material wealth, but at the cost of the nature and the soul.

The pioneer in the movement calling for soul revival of the Japanese from Fukushima prefecture, which is affected by the catastrophic earthquake and nuclear incident in northeastern Japan is concerned that if things go on like this, all good values ​​that make the Japanese spirit will be diminishing.

For this reason, in the past 6 years, this woman has made relentless efforts in her journey to help revive the Japanese soul as an educator.

At her school, Shimomura Mitsuko has in many ways helped practitioners (regardless of age, gender, occupation, social status) to answer the most basic questions about the purpose of life, happiness and how to build happiness for themselves and the society. Her school has attracted government leaders, politicians, scientists, businessmen and other influencers in many fields.

What can Vietnam learn from Japan?

The concept of "reviving the Japanese soul” comes from the side effects of economic growth, and the crises of natural disasters affecting the thinking and lifestyles of Japanese people. Shimomura Mitsuko emphasized that it is also a problem that sooner or later Vietnamese society and people will be faced with.

Ms. Shimomura Mitsuko emphasized that Vietnam is realizing economic development in a world where great changes in the concept of values are taking place. Thus, the history that Japan experienced during their economic boom in the 1960s until today may repeat with Vietnam in the coming years.

"I believe that among your parents’ generation, there are those who are worried about Vietnam and the Vietnamese people today. It is the Vietnamese people who are worried about a young people who are all talk and no cider, negligent of politics, work-shy, lack of community spirit, self-seeking and trendy” Shimomura cited.

So far, not only in Japan or Vietnam but in many countries around the world, what matters are only tangible, monetary and material values. The Japanese Principal said that it is necessary to revive the intangible values ​​of kindness, gentleness, respect for the environment, and relationship between human beings. These are values ​​that cannot be calculated or measured by numbers.

"I hope Vietnam, amid its rapid economic development, will attain both material and spiritual wealth. The education system plays a key role in striking that balance,” noted Mitsuko Shimomura.

Vietnam Japan University (a member of VNUHN) represents an advanced university model in Vietnam with a differentiated philosophy of liberal arts education and sustainable development. This is an ideal environment for academic and cultural exchanges between Vietnam and Japan. The University aims to educate learners with a global vision, diverse innovation capability, broad knowledge base, and the ability to engage in and resolve major social and community problems. 



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