Category: Meetings

February 2020 SIETAR Kansai: Gibberish: A powerful tool of non-verbal communication

Speaker:  Nobukatsu Okubo (trainer and author)

Date:       February 1, 2020 (Saturday)

Time:   14:00-17:00

Venue:    Nishinomiya Daigaku Koryu Center (ACTA East Tower 6F Rm 2), 2 minutes from Hankyu Nishinomiya Kitaguchi station

Tel (0798) 69-3155 (Registration is NOT required)

Fee:   Free for members and students; 500 yen for non-members

 Language:   English/Japanese/Gibberish

 Social event:  Dinner after the session at a restaurant. Reservations for dinner required by January 28, 2020                        Contact:

Description of the Program:

Gibberish literally means words that have no meaning. We live in a super information-oriented society, and it is said that to maintain our mental and cerebral condition in good shape, it is useful to have time separate from language and words. Gibberish can make this possible without much effort. In the beginning of this session, Okubo will give a brief explanation of Gibberish followed by exercises for participants to experience Gibberish. Gibberish can connect people through the pre-language or 0 (zero) language. The moment Gibberish starts, the distance between people shortens and laughter can come in. Gibberish is truly effective as a communication tool.

Profile of speaker:

Nobukatsu Okubo is the Chair of International Gibberish Association (Gakkai) and the youngest among the top master trainers of Laughter Yoga worldwide. He has earned a certificate from Laughter Yoga International University in India. Mr.Okubo’s Laughter Yoga method consists of Laughter Yoga, Gibberish, and Skip (involving movement). In this workshop Okubo will focus on Gibberish with some explanation of Laughter Yoga. He appeared on TEDx (TEDxyouth@Kobe) in 2016 and is also the co-author of The Miracle of Laughter.–

SIETAR Student Fair 2019: Intercultural Experiences

DATE: Saturday, November 30, 2019

TIME: 10.00-15.00

LANGUAGE: English or Japanese

PLACE: Osaka Jogakuin University

THEME: Intercultural Experiences (studying, working, volunteering, doing service learning etc.)

Students from the Kansai area are invited to participate as presenters or spectators. Presentations are informal and conducted for small groups on topics related to intercultural experiences while studying, volunteering, doing service learning, community engagement in either Japan or countries abroad. Presenters can participate as individuals or as a group, and should bring pictures, posters, goods, etc. Spectators can move around the fair to listen to various speakers, and presenters will have a chance to listen to other speakers. Presentations and discussions may be conducted in either English or Japanese. Groups should be prepared to introduce their activity in English in a minute or less. Faculty are encouraged and welcome to attend.

Teachers, please encourage students to join the SIETAR Student Fair! Presenters can register on the URL Here.

Registration deadline for presenters is Saturday, November 23rd . For spectators, no registration is required. All students are welcome as spectators!

If you have any questions, contact Rika Shigematsu,  sietar.studentfair2017@

October 2019 SIETAR Kansai: Hidden Christians and their Hidden Thoughts

Speaker:     Chisato Straumann (Business Intercultural Trainer and Consultant)

Date & Time:        October 5, 2019 (Saturday)  14:00-17:00                                  

Venue:         Nishinomiya Daigaku Koryu Center (ACTA East Tower 6F, Room 2)   2 minutes from Hankyu Nishinomiya Kitaguchi station (0798) 69-3155 Venue Info

Google Maps

Language:   English

Social event: Optional dinner after the session at a restaurant. Reservations for dinner required by Oct 1, 2019.  Contact:

Fee:            Free for members and students; 500 yen for non-members

Description of the program:

Christianity was first introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in 1549. However, Christian practice was banned, and starting in 1587 the Japanese Christians living in the rural coastal area north of central Nagasaki (Sotome, 外海) faced one of the fiercest Christian persecutions in church history. They were either martyred or forced to give up their religion.

Father Marco Casquilho is a Portuguese priest currently living in the Kansai area, and he will talk about the Portuguese missionary who brought Christianity to Japan and will provide us with some of the historical background. Then Chisato Straumann will speak about the complex past of Hidden Christians. She will talk about those who became part of the Catholic church and about others who chose not to, and about those who opted to continue hiding even after the ban on Christianity was lifted. She will also share the story of her own ancestors who kept their faith silently even under the brutal Christian persecutions. Chisato was the organizer and guide for the Living within Diversity (LiDi) retreat held in Nagasaki in February this year; and thus, she will give a brief report on this event.

Profile of the speakers: Chisato Straumann, M.A. is an independent business intercultural communication trainer, coach, and consultant with 30+ years of international experience, including living and working in Japan, the USA, Germany, and Switzerland. Currently she works with several multinational corporations in Japan and Europe for leadership training and change management. She also teaches at Doshisha Women’s College and Ritsumeikan University as a part-time lecturer.

Father Marco Casquilho holds a degree in Philosophy from the Universidade de Coimbra, and a Masters in Theology from the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa. He worked for two years in Maputo, Mozambique, and he has lived in Japan for the last nine years. He currently oversees Sennan, Kinokawa, and Misaki churches. He also teaches Portuguese at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies.