Saturday, October 29, 2016

November 13 "GMO and Patents on Life" (Sept/Oct Reviews)

November 13, 2016


International House

Speaker: Paul McCartin "Genetic Engineering and Patents on Life"

Father Paul serves now as the coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Ecology for the Catholic Society of St. Columban in Japan. Born and raised in Australia he was ordained in 1978 and came as a missionary in 1979.

These are an important topics to understand more fully and possibly to take action for our planet's future. 

Please invite a friend to come.

Your moderator


We plan a music centered meeting for December 11th that will include our Italian friend (classically trained in Opera as well as popular singing) Emiliano Blasi. 

Our September meeting with Nahid Nikzad drew a large audience. 

I think we all learned a lot starting with basic information such as that her area in the  north of Iran not only has the Caspian Sea but has green rice paddies, mountains and the Fujisan of Iran--Mt. Damavand which you see on the screen behind some of us in the photo i attach here). 

We learned much about women (and the present legal system which is indeed repressive since the Revolution which had started with such high hopes for democracy and  rights  in 1979). We also gained insights into the high standards of education still for Iranian women and how many actually lead their lives in the private as well as public spheres in recent years. A brief discussion about activists and even American counter-productive policies. We ended with a love song (in a positive take on the richness and optimism of Persian culture and people). 

Please look for Nahid`s upcoming performances of Persian music.

Contact her for  details including  sept 16, 7pm cafe near Sasazuka station.

 (3) At our  Sunday, October 9 meeting:
Our speaker:
Michael Berman (PhD candidate in the Dept. of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo).
He spoke about empathetic listening: "Training interfaith chaplains and volunteers for continuing work and service by religious groups in (still hurting) Tohoku."
It was an interesting discussion about practical aspects (and theoretical basis) for "Compassion." 
Michael spoke on empathetic listening--"Sharing Suffering--training for interfaith volunteers and chaplains in contemporary Japan.   He gave us a brilliant discussion of a group of religious volunteers who organized support for Tohoku victims, who shared training but also faced a difficult problem.  Most of the volunteers were Buddhist priests, who have day jobs to keep their temples going.  However, because of concerns of separation of church and state, the group was not allowed into many care facilities if they wore their religious costumes or framed their counseling in religious language.  They had to agree to approach the counseling as "ordinary people."   And the majority of them found that the strain of trying to counsel and console outside of their traditional roles was very wearing, and many needed help themselves within two years.

As always, we had a lively discussion about the implications of this.   Thank you Michael.

Blog site apologies.   Because of illness and some other confusions, this blog did not give advance of the last two speakers, both of who were excellent.   Gomen nasai.   I recorded both, and if I can deal with some technical issues may be able to get the recordings up on a private youtube site for members who missed it.   I especially would like to get up the recording of our singing Persian music taught and led by Nahid in September. 

Chuck, gofer at large 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

June 12 Meeting - Prof.Ken Tanaka on Religious Tolerance

Dear members and friends of the Fellowship,

Ø  Don't forget our JUNE 12th meeting with Prof. Ken Tanaka (3:00 International House) "Religious Tolerance." 


Ø  And JULY 10th>> All are invited to an informal party (NO regular meeting at International House) 
ANDONY'S (Lebanese gourmet fast food) in Ochanomizu
Start around 4:30

(We have a large table upstairs--note there is no elevator)

Basic Dinner course: 1,500yen
Shared plates of hors d'oeuvres (homos, mutabal, potatoes, salad, bread)

Soup OR Soft drink

One hot wrap sandwich (choice different meats including lamb, beef, chicken) or vegetarian falafel; all come with veggies and spicy or white sauce
Extras like more soup or soft drinks (+250yen/ or order off menu)

Beer or Wine glass @ 600yen (slightly less if we share a bottle of wine)

 Please let the moderator know by email if possible that you will come (so that we can reserve tables)
by Saturday July 9th. 


Andony's is 5 mins from west exit (Koban exit) of Ochanomizu JR station down towards the new Nihon Daigaku  hospital on Meiji Dai dori.
Also Chiyoda/Marunouchi subway lines come into Ochanomizu.
Andony's is also up the hill from Jimbocho (Hanzomon/Mita/Shinjuku line subway station).

Address is >>Chiyoda-ku
Kanda Surugadai 1-8-5

 Peggy Kanada, moderator 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Correction for March 8 meeting

A correction regarding Bonnie's talk.  otherwise the previous post is the same.
Bonnie McClure will do opening remarks about the Chinese poet Wang Wei.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Small topic meeting for March 8th, 2016 - All welcome

Dear friends and members of the Fellowship,


May 8th meeting is a chance for everyone to bring a topic to share.

3:00 to 5:00

International House of Japan (near Azabu-Juban and Roppongi stations)

See their website for directions.

Followed by light dinner (I House cafe) for those who care to stay.


Bonnie McClure will do opening remarks focusing on a spirituality theme in classical Japanese poetry (renga)--in English translation. 

Tentatively Robert Thorton will make a brief presentation on interesting Linguistic research.

A couple of other themes have been mentioned.


Send me your topic and we will put you on the agenda.


Finally your moderator wants to talk briefly about our fellowship now and in the future.

She plans to bring in a tentative charter for our fellowship (which we have never had) , discuss a website update, and listen to your concerns.

 And she will bring in materials about the International Council Of Unitarian Universalists and how joining it might benefit our group and expand our links with other likeminded people through out the world (but especially in Asia). 


Peggy Kanada, moderator  


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

April 10th, 2016 Liane Wakabayashi - Visual art self-portrait insigth workshops

Advance notice about our speaker for April 10th 2016.
Liane Wakabayashi, a long term Tokyo resident, is an artist and writer (and former journalist).

She has created a unique series of visual images (which she has made recently into a set of colorful "Genesis" cards) with which she organizes workshops or individual sessions.
She uses the images to encourage self discovery on certain themes as well as to tap into the sources of creativity and humor that she feels we all posses.
She also employs other visual art (such as in small group workshops based on simple self-portraits) to enable insights about oneself and personality strengths and so deepen self-confidence.
Liane believes that drawing affords people of all ages, even those with NO artistic background, an opportunity to reflect and see new possibilities especially with her guidance and the unexpected links to other images in her Genesis series..

Your moderator agrees that we are never too old to see ourselves anew -- in a fun and unusual way.
Peggy Kanada, moderator

March 13 Lecturer - Copper plated Old buildings - March 16 Lecture at Lakeland

Urgent:   THIS Wed March 16  Lecture on Sunagawa(Tachikawa base) Protests

Our very interesting speaker, Charles Laurier  talked about "erasing history" --how the prewar home/businesses that were 2 story buildings in Tokyo's shita-machi with doban (copper decoration) are disappearing rapidly. He pointed out that at most 200  remain today and had some ideas for their preservation.

 (The one pictured is in the Edo-Tokyo Open Architecture Museum in Kogane, Tokyo.)

Charles recommended the talk by Lakeland College professor, Adam Tompkins.

"The Forgotten Struggle- Sunagawa Toso [Charles explained these were successful if little remembered protests against American Tachikawa air base expansion  that resulted partly in building Showa Kinen Koen] and Acts of Erasure".

March 16


Lakeland College (near Shinjuku Sanchome subway station)

Free and open with out RSVP to all.

See college website for directions. tel 03-3225-0425

Peggy Kanada,  moderator


Saturday, January 23, 2016

March 13 - Charles Laurier on Disappearing Doban Buildings of Pre-War Shimatchi Tokyo

Dear UFT friends,

Our speaker will be :

Charles Laurier, Lakeland College Japan Campus


The Disappearing Doban  Buildings of Pre-war Shitamachi Tokyo: 

What is worth  passing on of  our 20th century city-scape and history?


The copper-plated doban buildings of pre-war shitamachi represent one of the last living connections to traditional Edo and survived the building of a "modern" Tokyo after the 1923 Earthquake.

Unique in world architecture, these mostly 2-story retail /residential buildings, like all structures in Tokyo, have a very short life expectancy, and there are only a few left. Laurier will discuss their origins,  noteworthy features and variations(part of kamban commercial architecture), and will conclude with some thoughts about the prospects for preservation.


Sunday, February 14

3:00-5:00 (with dinner afterwards for those who can stay)

International House ((国際文化会館) between  Azabu-juban and Roppongi stations. See their website for a map. 


News update: Our January speaker Michael Berman made a thoughtful and enlightening discussion of modern (even post-modern) "relationless" society with a focus on Japan. We all felt it would be great to invite him again during the next year or so that he pursues his research based in Tokyo.


Peggy Kanada, moderator

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