4th Mirai Empowerment Café

.28 2024 未分類 comment(0) trackback(0)
Hello everyone, I’m Gao Haotian , a first year PhD student from Empowerment Lab.

In this blog I would like to talk about 4th Mirai Empowerment Café held on 27th February. This time, we will focous on expression techniques that foster children's imagination and heartpanel ~ theater and child empowerment ~.

We are honored to have Motohiro Sakai-sensei as today's speaker. He is a panel theater writer. He is also a university educator with 18 years of experience working in public daycare. In 2005, he launched "Engai Hoikuen Nya Nyu Nyo" and has since been involved in holding performances and training sessions in various locations, as well as writing for nursery magazines.

Sakai-sensei gave an interesting and lively panel theater performance using cardboard props. Teachers and children in the audience interacted frequently and enthusiastically.

4th cafe

At the end of the performance, Sakai-sensei shared his views on panel theater. He noted that panel theaters can play a big role in childcare as a way of playing and interacting with children. It can help build relationships with children. Compared to traditional teaching methods, panel theaters can greatly improve children's interactive communication skills, as well as their hands-on creativity in preparation for performances.

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From today’s Mirai Empowerment Café I learned about the importance of method innovation in childcare practice and at the same time think of the ways we can contribute to empower children’s mental and physical health development as a professional. We all thoroughly enjoyed this smile action study meeting and looking forward to learning more in the next one!

Exploring Indonesia: A Journey of Cultural Immersion and Child Care Survey

.25 2024 未分類 comment(0) trackback(0)
Hello everyone! I am Shrestha Smarika, a second-year master’s student in public health in our Empowerment Science lab. In this blog I would like to share about the amazing experience of visiting Indonesia from February 14th to 22nd by few of our lab members that included Anme Sensei, Zhu Zhu san, Li san, and myself. Our lab members from Indonesia Hilda san, Yuri san, and Otik san who were already there welcomed us and prepared the survey on child care centers in various areas of Jakarta, Bekasi, Depok, and Sentul which are few cities in Indonesia.

As soon as we set foot in Indonesia's vibrant capital city of Jakarta, we were enthralled with the country's rich cultural diversity and exuberance. Visiting Indonesia wasn't just about enjoying its beautiful scenery and lively culture; it was also a chance to explore how families take care of children here. As you read through this blog, come along with us as we travel through Indonesia, eager to learn about the different ways childcare is handled in this captivating country.

Childcare requires a diversified approach in vibrant cities like Jakarta, where opportunities abound and life moves quickly. To balance work and childcare obligations, a lot of urban families here turn to formal daycare facilities, in-home nannies, and family support networks. Some parents choose the flexibility of hiring nannies or depending on dependable family members to look after their children while they are at work. Others send their children to government-run kindergartens from 7:30 to 10:30 and private kindergartens from 7:30 to 13:30.

We had the opportunity to tour a variety of kindergarten facilities, including private and public ones. In those facilities we had the chance to interact with numerous childcare providers and children of various ages. All the kindergarten we visited had a very lively and interactive environment with activities basically designed to provide children with a holistic learning experience that promotes their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. One of the unique experiences we learned about Indonesian kindergartens is the inclusion of cultural and religious education into their curriculum, where children are taught about local customs, traditions, and religious beliefs. Parents seemed to be actively engaged in their child's kindergarten experience, participating in school activities, volunteering, and collaborating with teachers to support their child's learning and development suggesting a strong emphasis on parental involvement in early childhood education. Likewise, every childcare provider had a strong educational background and training in the field of education. These experiences certainly provide us with evidence about strong momentum in Indonesia towards building robust childcare facilities, with kindergartens playing a crucial role in this endeavor.


While Indonesia is making progress in early childcare and kindergarten education, there are still obstacles in place to ensure the growth and well-being of its youngest population. Particularly in rural and underdeveloped regions, problems including access to high-quality childcare, healthcare, and education continue to be prevalent. Nevertheless, inspite of these difficulties, there are creative projects and neighborhood-based initiatives aiming at enhancing family support networks and childcare facilities. Using a vast tapestry of customs, cultures, and social networks, Indonesian families exhibit an amazing dedication to raising the next generation, whether in thriving metropolitan areas or isolated countryside. While we appreciate and learned from Indonesia's diverse childcare methods, we also realized how important it is to create situations in which each children may develop to the fullest extent possible.

Taking some time off from kindergarten visits, we also had opportunity to explore museum exhibits and indulge ourselves in local cuisine in Indonesia. Exploring museums and savoring local foods in Indonesia offered a multi-sensory journey through the country's history, culture, and culinary heritage. Whether it be about admiring ancient artifacts or indulging in mouthwatering dishes, each of these experiences provided us with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indonesia's diverse and vibrant culture.


We departed Indonesia at the end of the tour with a heart full of thanks for the committed educators and a ton of admiration for the magical environment they had built for the young children. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to our lab members from Indonesia for their exceptional hospitality throughout our stay, as well as for their invaluable assistance in coordinating kindergarten visits and organizing professional academic programs with universities in Indonesia. It was more than just observing a kindergarten; it was an immersive experience of a caring environment where children grow holistically. This experience had a profound effect on us and confirmed our conviction that, in addition to teaching information, a high-quality early childhood education should also foster a love of learning, curiosity, imagination, and friendship in order to lay the groundwork for future success.

Journey to Tobishima: Two-day Meetings and Beautiful Snowscapes

.27 2024 未分類 comment(0) trackback(0)
Hello everyone! I’m Zhang, a second-year doctoral student.

On January 24th and 25th, I had the privilege of attending the meeting at Tobishima. The two-day meeting focused on discussions related to long-term care insurance planning, disability sector policy development, and health promotion strategies. Through this opportunity, I gained a deeper understanding of the region's efforts in maintaining health and preventing caregiving. Additionally, I was able to feel the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and professionals who wholeheartedly contributed to the discussions. I intend to leverage the valuable experience gained from this event and channel even more effort into my future research endeavors.

In addition, we were fortunate to encounter heavy snowfall in Tobishima. The snow covered fields and houses looked exceptionally beautiful, creating a serene and delightful atmosphere. Let's all appreciate the beauty of the snowy landscape together!



The 2nd Childcare Seminar - Play with Children

.22 2024 未分類 comment(0) trackback(0)
Hello everyone, I’m Gao Haotian ,a first year PhD student from Empowerment Lab.
I'm excited to share information about the 2nd Childcare Seminar, focused on "Play with Children." This seminar aims to address the issue of inappropriate childcare and support professionals in regaining their confidence while providing better care.

This seminar offers an opportunity to learn how to deal with inappropriate childcare and helps professionals enhance their skills while reigniting their passion for childcare. One of the key methods we will focus on is "play."

"Play" is an essential element in a child's growth and learning process. Through play, children can develop communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. However, if caregivers do not encourage play appropriately, it can hinder a child's development.

At the beginning of the presentation, Omaki sensei introduced the following points with the topic of Evidence-Based Childcare Prevents Inappropriate: Convention on the Rights of the Child, Quality of Life, and Appropriate Childcare Environment and Objectively Based Childcare Evaluation. In the discussion session that followed, Kido sensei and Sakai sensei each gave their professional insights based on their experiences in practical childcare work.

Sakai sensei then introduced the theme of Nurturing Play and Toys for the Future ~Child Empowerment through Future~, she introduced the types of children's games and their development. Integrate play with child development to create a comfortable childcare environment where children feel respected. It enables children to grow better in such an environment. We learned a lot from Sakai sensei's lecture. In the future, we will also try to combine our research with practice and endeavor to contribute to the improvement of the environment in which children grow up.

We all enjoyed the workshop and look forward to an upcoming cafe!

chlidcare seminar2

A Journey to Innocence: Exploring Isegahama Nursery School in Miyazaki, Japan

.18 2024 未分類 comment(0) trackback(0)
Hello everyone! I am Shrestha Smarika, a second-year master’s student in public health in our Empowerment Science lab. As January unfolds, I hope everyone bundles up in your warmest attire and embark on a winter adventure enjoying the snow-covered landscapes, plum blossoms, and scenic illuminations. In this blog I would like to talk about the amazing experience of visiting Isegahama Nursery School in Miyazaki on January 15th and 16th by few of our lab members that included Anme Sensei, Zhu Zhu san, Li san, Wang san, Maiko san, and myself. We are incredibly grateful for the warm gesture of Aoki Sensei who picked us up from the airport and took us to the facility.

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of Miyazaki, the Isegahama Nursery School stands as a beacon of early childhood education. The school’s classrooms organized with vibrant educational materials, along with the dedication and passion of teachers set the stage for us to grab a unique educational experience. We started with a Q&A session with the teachers which provided us with insight into the methods and practices of a nursery school, highlighting the importance of play, social development, technology integration, parental involvement, and individualized support in the early childhood learning environment.


After the Q&A session, we had a brief tour of the facility where we saw carefully designed playground equipment and open spaces that allowed children to engage in both structured and imaginative play. The emphasis on physical activity and social interaction was evident, contributing to the holistic development of the young children. Next, we had a delightful experience of having snacks together with the children and participating in children circle time. As we gathered around a small table, and engaged in conversation with them with topics ranging from their favorite cartoons, their hobbies, to the name of the countries they knew; this experience left us with a heart full of warmth and gratitude for the genuine connections that can be forged through the simple pleasures of shared moments with young minds.

Finally at the end of the day, we had a small discussion with the facility workers and teachers emphasizing on SC points of the facility. Discussing the SC points was indeed a valuable learning experience where we realized that such discussions and dialogues are really important to form a basis of shared commitment for reinforcing the well-being and development of the young children. After leaving the facility, we ended our day with an amazing dinner experience with Aoki Sensei and his nursery school professionals’ team which was a delightful combination of exquisite cuisine, engaging conversations, and a rich cultural experience of witnessing taiko music and playing taiko drums.



The next day we had an opportunity to visit a free school facility named “Children’s Support Center Yorimichi” in Hyuga city, Miyazaki. This facility’s main purpose is to accept children who do not attend school or are unable to adapt to school life or keep up with classes and can include children with developmental disabilities. There are no admission qualifications and children of various age gather and interact with each other while enjoying individuality, freedom, and improving their communication and social skills. Despite such great initiative by free schools, we learned that these schools are still a new concept and not fully understood by the society, particularly in rural areas, and among the local community.

As the tour concluded, we left Miyazaki city with a heart full of gratitude for the dedicated educators and tons of appreciation for the enchanting world they had created for young children. It was not just an observation of a nursery facility but a lifetime experience of a nurturing ecosystem where the holistic development of children occurs. This experience left a lasting impression in us, affirming the belief that quality early childhood education is not only about imparting knowledge but also about cultivating a love for learning, curiosity, imagination, and friendship for building a foundation for lifelong success.