Tetsuya Kono, Mitsuru Mizutani, Wakako Godo, Shiho Yasumoto (Japan)


Is the Limit of My Language the Limit of My World?: Philosophical Counseling Examined from Three Perspectives (Panel Discussion) 

Presentation Language: English

Tetsuya Kono (Japan) - PhD (Philosophy), Professor at Rikkyo University, Department of Education, Tokyo. He has been practicing philosophy with children in primary and secondary schools as well as philosophy cafes for adults for many years; Director of Philosophical Association of Japan, Philosophy of Science Society (Japan), Phenomenological Association of Japan, Japanese Society for Philosophical Practice, etc. 

Mitsuru Mizutani (Japan) - MA in Visual Arts Administration, Royal College of Art, London; Komaba Tojisha-kenkyu Society (Tokyo); she has been engaged in "Tojisha-kenkyu" (Self-directed research) for the past eight years and is a coordinator/facilitator of Komaba Tojisha-kenkyu Society in Tokyo; in collaboration with Yuki Matsuyama and Kenjiro Otani, she has organized philosophy drama workshops, which combines philosophical dialogue and Tojisha-kenkyu through the medium of drama.

Wakako Godo (Japan) - M.A. in Education, the University of Tokyo; a lecturer at the Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Junior and Senior High School and a parttime lecturer at the Josai International University; she is a philosophical practitioner, P4wC teacher trainer and researcher of education; she has been practicing P4wC at several secondary schools since 2012; she is a co-translator of Philosophy in the Classroom (Lipman, Sharp, Oscanyan: 1980) into Japanese and a co-author of many books for children on philosophy.

Shiho Yasumoto (Japan) - B.A. in Education, Bukkyo University, Kyoto; Freelance Philosophical Practitioner; she heads CLAFA, a private tutoring school that offers children the opportunity to philosophize together; she also facilitates philosophical dialogues in elementary, junior high, and high schools as well as universities; she also works as a philosophical practitioner in the Developlay Class of Human Resources for Sports Co-Creation organized by the Japan Sports Agency; she provides philosophical counseling to people with developmental and mental disorders as well as their families.

In this panel discussion moderated by Tetsuya Kono, we examine philosophical counseling from three perspectives related to the limit of language.

1) Mitsuru Mizutani introduces her experience of various body- and image-oriented psychotherapies as a client, including EMDR, TFT and art therapy. In these therapies, non-verbal means such as eye movement, body tapping and drawing serve as the main catalyst for processing memories, accessing to the unconscious, and healing. In contrast, philosophical counseling is primarily based on verbal communication and logical thinking. Mizutani discusses the difference between both approaches and reflects on their potential and limitations.

2) Shiho Yasumoto explores the tension between the private and the public in philosophical counseling. What clients bring to the counseling is personal and unique to them. In philosophical counseling, however, they are urged to articulate it in a way that is understandable to everyone and examine it based on common sense. This could potentially pose a conflict but could also act as a bridge between the personal and the shared, which may open a wider perspective.

3) Wakako Godo reflects on philosophical counseling in the Japanese language from a cross-cultural viewpoint. Some key phrases and questions in Western philosophical practice cannot be directly translated into Japanese, because they do not fit into its grammar and vocabulary. On the other hand, some phrases are effectively communicated in Japanese, but do not have their equivalents in English. Godo explores how philosophical counseling depends on language structure by examining what is found and lost in translation.