A Lecture by Prof. Kawai Published in Sand Play Therapy Research, Vol. 30
A lecture given by Prof. Toshio Kawai at the 2017 Japan Association of Sand Play Therapy Conference was published in Sand Play Therapy Research, Vol. 30.
Table of Contents:
1. Sand play therapy in Japan and its development
2. Sand play therapy and children’s mentality
3. Unique characteristics of Japanese sand play
4. The soul of things: All things have the Buddha nature
5. The mandala and nature
6. Internalization as miniaturization
7. Symbolism as an empty segment and the performing arts
The theme of the lecture was “Japanese sand play therapy in the world: Its traditional background and possibilities”
It has been pointed out that many Jungians in Japan are different from Jungians in the rest of East Asia. Japanese Jungians perceive images as they are, but Jungians in China and Korea draw interpretations of images from symbolism. The lecture focuses on the characteristics of sand play therapy in Japan and its traditional background.
One of the characteristics of sand play therapy is that it fits the psyches of children and clients with pre-modern psyches, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, the content of and changes in the sandbox are shared non-verbally and observable to both parties. Being able to touch things via sand play therapy provides children a sense of “being here”. These are very important characteristics of Japanese sand play therapy.
Further, Japanese sand play therapy gives an impression of things as is being valued because the situation cannot be fully grasped via abstract interpretation.
In Japan, people operate under a belief that everything has a soul because of “kokoro’s old layers”. This is thought to be a reason why sand play therapy in Japan is unique.
It’s been suggested that sand play therapy was widely adopted in Japan because it suits Japanese people, who express kokoro through nature, such as the miniaturized nature of ikebana and bonsai and religious pilgrimages that are undertaken to internalize nature. This lecture proposes that miniature sandbox play may include a sense of pilgrimage in it.
（Commentary in Japanese：Hisae Konakawa)