Autumn Seminar 2012

Expansion of Cooperation Inspired Hanako’s Autumn Seminar

Expansion of cooperation aroused interest in Hanako’s autumn seminar in Lahti in November 2012. In her opening speech, Ms. Marita Modenius, principal of the Salpaus Further Education, hoped to expand cooperation, especially in the wood, landscaping and audio-visual communications fields. Inspiring experiences of the student and expert exchange were shared in presentations and in the panel discussion during the day.

Introduction of Japanese Stimulating Activities to Nursing Studies

Referring to increasing number of student and expert exchanges and to new partners, Ms. Sirje Hassinen, project manager of Hanako, was delighted at the interest Hanako had awoken. For the year 2013, she set quantitative objectives of 25 student and 15 expert exchanges, as well as on-the-job learning places in Finland for four Japanese students.

Ms. Hassinen mentioned the Adobe-training and the introduction of Japanese stimulating activities as examples of new products of 2012. Finnish students have now an opportunity to attend a course in Japanese stimulating activities in elderly care.

The importance of language studies caught a lot of attention. Hassinen hoped that the Finnish-Japanese-English online illustrated dictionary, the contents of which significantly expanded during the year, could help now even better those planning an exchange period in Japan.

Reciprocity and Networking

Ms. Hanna Autere, Counsellor of Education of the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE), was pleasantly surprised about the achievements of Hanako in the three-year period. Hanako is one of the twenty projects, which received the FNBE’s support for international activities in 2012. According to Ms. Autere, only half of the applicants received the grant.

She stressed the importance of reciprocity and networks in international exchange. The goal is that the Finns get familiar with the Japanese culture and make their own culture popular in Japan. Besides international partnerships, networking includes the consolidation of the Finnish education providers into larger entities within international partnerships.

Solutions to Common Problems

Mr. Norihiro Mihara, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, thanked the Hanako project for its accomplishments and the Finns for their great interest in Japanese culture and skills. He said that the student and expert exchange between Finland and Japan has made the relationship of these two countries stronger.

Mr. Mihara drew attention to the Japanese and Finnish similarities in fields like high tech and in characteristics like punctuality. He hoped that the ongoing cooperation would also help to find solutions to demographic challenges of ageing population.

President Yoshihiro Kitamura and Vice-President Takayuki Yoshioka, Feeling Arts Academy.

President Yoshihiro Kitamura and Vice-President Takayuki Yoshioka, Feeling Arts Academy.

Healing Effects of the Feeling Arts

Greeting for the seminar were brought also by a long-time partner of Hanako, Ms. Kayoko Fujimoto, Director of the Ruysei Fukushikai Group, as well as by Mr. Yoshihiro Kitamura and Mr. Takayuki Yoshioka, President and Vice-President of the Feeling Arts Academy.

Ms. Fujimoto attended Hanako seminars for the fourth time. Like Ms. Hassinen, also she thanked Kumiko Hiltunen for interpretation and participation in the preparation of the international exchange periods. Finnish specialists from Villa Tapiola and Omnia have been guests of Ms. Fujimoto in the Ruysei Fukushikai Group. Also, Ms. Mariko Kashiwagi, student at the Turku Vocational Institute had an on-the-job learning period at Yume Amami, which belongs to the Ruysei Fukushikai Group.

Mr. Kitamura presented his artwork, in which he uses a unique technique of casting light on an abstract painting combined with music and natural sounds to enhance healing effects.

Healing effects are pursued also by Neurosonic. Mr. Marco Kärkkäinen, CEO of Neurosonic, presented a low frequency vibration based device, which combines the merits of acupuncture, massage and lymphatic massage in producing relaxing effects that promote among other things capacity and restful sleep.

Japanese Skills in Wood Joinery Were Admired

Mr. Hannu Heinonen and Mr. Mika Remes, Vice-Principal and Teacher of Salpaus Further Education, admired the Japanese skills in wood joinery. They had studied the techniques during their visit to Japan in order to find out cooperation opportunities in the wood sector. Compared to the Japanese level, the skills of the Finnish students in the vocational upper secondary education were in their opinion at a much lower level.

However, they both hoped that cooperation could evolve in the artisan training, especially in the professions of carpenter and goldsmith. Finding something interesting to offer for the Japanese partners with their high skills level was considered by them as the primary challenge of the Finnish wood sector.

Mr. Heinonen and Mr. Remes hoped that Japanese workplaces would take Finnish students for on-the-job learning, because the Japanese education institutions cannot accommodate the exchange students for a longer period.

Yutaka Komoto, Kuniyo Iwai, Naomi Yoneda, Akiko Yoshimura, Kayoko Fujimoto ja Miki Sugimoto lähdössä Helsingistä Lahteen.

Yutaka Komoto, Kuniyo Iwai, Naomi Yoneda, Akiko Yoshimura, Kayoko Fujimoto ja Miki Sugimoto lähdössä Helsingistä Lahteen.

Learning Traditions and Skills

Mr. Matti Kunelius, student at the Toholampi Artisan College, gave a great presentation of his work-based learning in Japan. It was much appreciated also by the Japanese guests, who admitted that they learned a lot of new things about traditional working methods of metal artisans. In his performance, Kunelius tied his own learning and products to the techniques and creations of his teacher and other masters with the millennial tradition.

As an amusing detail, he mentioned the present to his mentor Mr. Izumi Sense, a knife with a birch bark handle representing the Ostrobothnian artisan tradition. Mr. Sensei showed his gift to other people and managed to obtain as much as 17 knife orders for Kunelius.

Fascinated by the Cultural Differences

The panel discussion highlighted the students’, teachers’ and working life representatives’ experiences of Japan and the Japanese. Ms. Tuula Laulaja, Director of the Dementia Home Villa Tapiola, was impressed by the Japanese students’ sense of community as well as their ability to organise stimulating activities and to form functional groups of the residents of Villa Tapiola. Employees of Villa Tapiola, Ms. Leena Oja and Ms. Marja Juuso remembered from their visit to Japan the friendly, respectful and aesthetic atmosphere. Ms. Mariko Kashiwagi and Ms. Heli Vanto recalled the cultural differences in treatment methods and eating habits compared to Finland.

Cultural differences fascinated all the panellists. Tranquillity, openness and humanity were named as typical features of the Japanese culture of which the Finns have lot to learn. Ms. Katariina Lempinen, teacher at the Federation of Education in Central Ostrobothnia, and Mr. Matti Kunelius discussed the differences between Finland and Japan in the attitude to the concept of expert. Finns consider expertise as a result, which they try to achieve as quickly as possible. The Japanese emphasize also in this matter the process that goes on all the time.

Mr. Jacob Fakeh and Ms. Teija Anttila-Koskinen, student and teacher at Omnia, were attracted to the respect of work and its traditions. Mr. Fakeh had learned to appreciate the flexibility of a used rake and the characters tools derive from their usage. Ms. Anttila-Koskinen wanted to make the Finnish gardens awe inspiring. In her opinion, the lack of respect shows in the fact that gardeners often have to clean up the debris before they can get to their actual work.


Panellists Katariina Lempinen, Teija Anttila-Koskinen, Matti Kunelius, jacob Fakeh, Leena Oja, Marja Juuso, Tuula Laulaja, Heli Vanto ja Mariko Kashiwagi.