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Issue 4: Creativity in Japan

Prof. Jiro Kawakita

Introduction to KJ-Ho - a Japanese problem solving approach

Toshio Nomura
The KJ Ho (Method) is a creative thinking and problem solving methodology, which was originally invented by Japanese cultural anthropologist, Professor Jiro Kawakita (1920-2009). It has gone through over half a century’s development and refinement as a result of applications to many kinds of complex and unique problems in Japan. This article is an…

Guest Editor - Dr Kenichi Yumino

Website Editor
Dr Kenichi Yumino is an Emeritus Professor at Shizuoka University, Japan and the former President of the Japan Creativity Society. In high-school and college, he studied Electricity & Computer Science and proceeded to a doctoral course of Educational Psychology at Kyusyu University. His current interests are creative problem solving, how to foster…

Creativity in Japan - an introduction

Dr Marilyn Fryer
We are delighted to showcase a series of articles by our esteemed Japanese colleagues which provide a valuable insight into creativity development in Japan, guest edited by Emeritus Professor Dr Kenichi Yumino. This includes a fascinating account of creativity at the Sony Corporation, how to rapidly generate a wealth of creative ideas, the role…

Is Creativity Transferable?

Dr Kenichi Yumino
This issue has long been the focus of debate in educational circles. In this paper Professor Yumino addresses this issue with particular reference to Japanese education today. He illustrates his argument with a series of lesson plan examples. Domain-Specificity of Creativity and School Education Abstract In this article, the concepts of…

Generating Creative Ideas

Takeo Higuchi
Do you find it difficult to generate creative ideas? If so, this article is for you. In this paper Dr Takeo Higuchi, who established the Idea Marathon System (IMS) describes how you can use this process to significantly increase the number of ideas you can generate. According to Professor Sidney Parnes, quantity breeds quality – in other words the…

Fostering Individuality and Praise in Japan

Dr Kenichi Yumino
This article highlights the importance of ensuring that any interventions aimed at increasing creativity are appropriate to the culture concerned. It focuses on one aspect of motivation, namely praise, which Professor Yumino regards as essential for promoting individuality and creativity amongst Japanese children and young people, as well as…

Enabling More Effective Creativity Development

Yoshikazu Tomita & Kyoka Watanabe
As these authors point out, creativity development is not new in Japan but it is being increasingly regarded as essential in education and training. Yet there appears to be a problem in that many people still find it difficult to exercise their creativity in practice. The authors suggest that the problem may lie in the lack of a creative mindset…

On the Use of the Serendipitous Phenomena

Shigekazu Sawaizumi
Does chance favour the mind prepared for the unexpected? And might this lead to more creative solutions? Abstract The aim of this article is to investigate the mechanism of serendipitous discoveries and to develop a training method to use it. H. Walpole coined the term ‘serendipity’ and indicated that the two factors of accidents and sagacity are…
Portrait of Masaru Ibuka

Human-centric innovation - lessons from Sony

Seiichi Watanabe & Shingo Tamura
This article provides a fascinating insight into the significant role played by creativity development in the success of Sony. The authors’ account of the ‘Ibuka Way’, developed by Masaru Ibuka, the founder of Sony, provides valuable learning for all managers who are wondering how to embed creativity in their organisations. The article goes on to…
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I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.

John Cage


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