KRC Director Toshio Kawai gave a lecture at the workshop hosted by the Association for Regional Development (Chiiki-Shinkou Kyokai).
On July 30, 2020, KRC Director and Professor Toshio Kawai gave a lecture on “Perception of the Coronavirus Crisis: From the Viewpoint of Culture, Organization and Individuals” at a workshop held at the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel and hosted by the Association for Regional Development (Chiiki-Shinkou Kyokai).
Prof. Kawai first pointed out the impact COVID-19 has had on society, in particular, the problem of cultural differences, and explained the unique cultural and psychological circumstances of Japan that emerged from the current social situation. According to him, keywords that help us understand the kokoro of Japanese culture include “ambiguity,” “interdependent self,” “maternal principle” and “impermanence.”
In his view, decentralization will be of importance in the post-corona society. Referring to KRC’s “LINE Counseling,” he also suggested that using online technologies and other tools to “connect from a distance” will play a significant role in the coming time.
In the latter part of the lecture, Prof. Kawai introduced myths and anecdotes that have been handed down in Japan related to epidemics, and cases of psychotherapy after the Great East Japan Earthquake. On the basis of these, he pointed out that small, personal narratives are more important than grand narratives in recovering a human mind from trauma. He thereby concluded that finding “a niche story” by individuals, rather than constructing a grand narrative, would be a starting point for mental health care in the corona pandemic.