The other day I asked Mr. Hirokazu Inami (firstname.lastname@example.org) of JSAM about the current situation - meaning have any people offered their help.
He said, although the response is rather scarce, some people did respond and a list of these potential supporters will be made public shortly on the official JSAM website.
Also, a few people contacted me directly, offering their help
In the words of a British colleague practicing in Tokyo, who I recently asked for his help:
“I must say it’s a bit of a mixed bag. In my view there are few that genuinely want to learn. The non Japanese especiallylike to say on their resume that they studied in Japan after being here for one day or going to a seminar of a famous teacher and calling them their teacher.”
This sentiment may not be restricted to him, but I believe a substantial portion of the Japanese practitioners are also inclined towards this attitude.
In my email response to the above colleague I wrote:
“I think, I understand the problem of having “bad apples” in the lot.
But you never know who will fall into this category, unless you give
him/her a chance.
And that is all I am asking for: Give those who ask for it a CHANCE.
After all, you, me … in fact EVERY acupuncturist throughout history
has been given his/her chance
at one time, by somebody.
Some turned out to be historically important figures, others just dropouts.
The outcome is (maybe) not ours to decide.
But what we can do, is provide the **chance** - and thus repay the
“debt” we carry,
because we had our chance.
Maybe I am completely off the mark, but I have the hazy, fixed idea,
that this is what I should do.
Unfortunately, I myself am an uneducated, clumsy old fool (with VERY few
so that I always can welcome potential visitors, but cannot show them
anything worthwhile …..
It seems, that although the academic society has put a call for volunteers (put both on their website and into their journal) willing to let foreigners shadow has NOT led to any response worth mentioning it.
I already spoke with a few people and will try to offer my services to Japanese practitioners in order to translate at least some of their respective websites and thus actively offering information about Japan and Japanese acupuncture.
Maybe even direct involvement.
I am sorry, but unfortunately the response from the Japanese so far has been far less than I had hoped for ….
Apparently the period of seclusion seems to be still continuing.
On my initiative (and probably rather annoying nagging about this for quite some time) the “Japan Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion” = JSAM has finally put a notice in its academic journal, calling for volunteers willing to let foreigners “shadow” for short periods (meaning a day at a time …).
If successful, the person in charge of accepting these volunteers, will probably know many more people than I do.
So, try to ask there directly. Maybe mentioning that you saw this information on my website might “smooth” things a little bit.
Mr. Hirokazu Inami of the above mentioned society.
mail: email@example.com (mail address of the society)
PS: If you feel, I could be of (more) help too, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The other day I was asking some questions on a Linux mailing list.
After living for 30 years in Japan, where politeness is (at least it used to !) an essential feature of society and communication, I tried to be polite, assuming a low attitude for myself, on that list too.
That produced “adverse reactions” in that I was told to speak up clearly and come straight to the point.
Well, that may work in western countries.
For anybody intending to com to Japan / interact with (maybe old-fashioned) Japanese people:
try to be polite and gentle.
Otherwise the Japanese people could consider you a brute barbarian (although nobody would ever tell you so!).
This IS without doubt a very difficult communication skill …
Last year I was contacted by a young man, who wanted to study for a “somewhat extended” period in Japan, preferrably throughout the entire period under one master.
After introducing him to some people and with minimal help from me, it seems that this “project” is now realizing.
Somehow I have the feeling, that this is a sort of “cornerstone” in the development (of opening/offering Japanese craftsmanship and knowledge in this particular area to the world).
I have (high) hopes for the future.
Yesterday I received a mail from someone, who saw my “Wanted” page.
He worte, that althouhg he has a licence as acupuncturist, he is with little clinical experience more a kind of “paper driver”.
Nevertheless, he expressed his wish to engage in friendly communications pertaining to the subject.
So, if you ask for it, people even offer to become pen-pals.
Originally I “initiated” this little movement, volunteered to take care of the administrative stuff (meaning, I would be in charge of organizing the people who offer their help) and was “appointed” to this task by the department of public relations. No it seems, someone else will perform this job - a change I heard about only by chance).
This is a litte disappointment, since I had been hoping to offer unbureaucratic / fun help.
Now it seems, there is again some organization with its rules and famous staff members at it.
The only positive thing is: the whole affair will help foreigners finding chances to learn something in Japan.
If that works out, well, then I still may have “accomplished” something.
It seems, my ramblings and stirrings have born some fruit.
On the website of the Japan Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (JSAM)
an official call for acupuncturists etc. willing to let foreigners shadow has been placed:
The same thing will be published in the next edition of the society’s journal.
This will hopefully make it easier to find people/institutions offering opportunities to observe/study.
This newly setup blog *within* my site shall serve as a means for publishing short notice announcements, changes, etc.
Please feel free to leave your comments.
(This blog will be kept mostly in English.)