Category: Meetings

April 2019 SIETAR Kansai Co-sponsored with Osaka JALT : Upgrade Speaking Skills Through Toastmasters International

Speaker:  Ludlow Gibbons (Ritsumeikan University)

Date: April 28th (Sunday)

Time: 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

https://www.nishi.or.jp/access/sonotashisetsu/daigakukoryu/daigakukoryu-gaiyo.html
Fee:Free for members and students; 500 yen for non-members

Language: English

Social event: Dinner after the session at a restaurant. Reservations for dinner required by April 26th. Contact: fujimotodonna@gmail.com

Description of the program:

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Colorado in the U.S., the organization has more than 357,000 members in more than 16,000 clubs in 143 countries. It has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

In this presentation, the audience will be given an overview of Toastmasters International and Toastmasters in Japan. Stories about Toastmaster’s members’ experiences both inside and outside the Toastmasters environment and how those experiences have been personally beneficial will be shared. The audience will then experience a Toastmasters demonstration meeting. In addition, there will be an interactive workshop called “Thinking and Speaking on Your Feet,” a session which aims to help people practice their impromptu speaking skills. These skills will help people feel more confident in common, everyday situations.

Profile of speaker:

Ludlow Gibbons came to Japan from the U.S. in 1992 and has taught English at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels. He has been active in educational organizations and served as President of Osaka JALT and as a member of JALT’s Executive Board. He joined the Osaka Toastmasters Club in 1995 and has been actively involved in establishing clubs in Kansai, volunteering as an officer in the Toastmasters International organization, and occasionally participating in speech contests to maintain his public speaking proficiency.

January 2019 SIETAR Kansai & JALT Osaka Joint Meeting: An Intercultural Revisitation of the Kindertransport: Jewish Children’s Escape from the Nazi Camps

Tina Ottman (University Professor)

Date: Sunday January 27th, 2019   3:00pm – 5:30pm


Place: Takatsuki Shiritsu Shogai Gakushu Center, 3rd Floor, Room 1.

(10 minutes from JR Takatsuki station)

Google Maps    Tel. 072-685-3721

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


Language: English


Description of the Presentation

On December 2, 1938 the first refugees from the operation that would be known as Kindertransport arrived in Harwich, U.K.–196 children from a Jewish orphanage in Berlin that had been burned by the Nazis during Kristallnacht (‘Night of the Broken Glass’, November 9, 1938). The operation continued to bring Jewish children (including my father and his three brothers) to the UK until September 1939, just before World War II broke out. By that time, 10,000 children from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia had been ‘transported’ to Britain – but without permitting their Jewish families to accompany them. Meanwhile the clock was ticking for these families in Hitler’s Europe.


The feel-good story about Britain’s beneficence to the Jewish children has its dark side, and the presenter believes that the time has arrived for a more critical approach to this famous episode of history. Using documentary clips, including interviews with the presenter’s own father, the presenter will explore how the children often suffered from intense cultural insensitivity, culture shock and trauma, as they were told to forget their religious practices, their mother tongues, and to eat, dream and breathe only in English. They were forced to cope with wrenching loss, isolation and issues of acculturation and assimilation .

Profile of the Presenter

Tina Ottman is an Associate Professor at Doshisha University’s Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, and holds a PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in the UK. The daughter of a Kindertransport refugee, she arrived in Japan (where she has now lived longer than the lifetime of most of her students) via Israel/Palestine, where she lived and worked for some years.