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Content about Japan

June 15, 2014
Awareness of individual strengths and weaknesses is a first step toward developing team strategies for more handling inevitable conflicts. By effectively managing conflict we can tap conflict to energize ourselves and others in constructive directions.

KADENA AIR FORCE BASE, OKINAWA -- Members of the Pacific Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron on Kadena Air Base joined Dr. Brent Duncan to discuss building high performace teams in challenging environments. Key topics included:

March 5, 2014

You may find that some bosses tend to propose as their own your ideas that they rejected last week. It goes back to the old adage that the best way to persuade others is to let them think it was their idea in the first place. If it's the idea and not the credit that is important to you, you might be able to leverage this often predictable phenomena to allow someone with authority push your ideas that he rejected last week.

MARCH 03, 2014, KADENA AIR FORCE BASE, OKINAWA--Dr. Brent Duncan conducted a persuasion skills workshop for the 18th Force Support Squadron Maintenance Support Group today. As part of the 18th MXG Leadership Pathways series, the workshop titled

"Winning people over to your ideas" focused on the following objectives:

March 17, 2013

The farmer said the marker commemorated 198 samurai who were killed at that spot during a war, and the stones were marking their eternal tomb—which we had just turned into our personal playground, oops.

The farmers below said we should not climb that stream because it was thick, BIG jungle filled with restless spirits. We had proceeded anyway, because we wanted to find a shrine that someone had told us was buried deep in the jungle. 

March 9, 2013

Despite a culture with cooperation as a core value, Japanese higher education generally uses rigid lecture-test teaching models that neither support nor condone small-group learning methods in the classroom. As a result, Japanese college students usually work outside the classroom to develop the collaborative skills necessary to contribute effectively at work and in society.To assess the viability of team learning methods foreign to Japanese higher education, a mixed methods action study project was conducted with remedial students in a Japanese college. 

Despite a culture with cooperation as a core value, Japanese higher education generally uses rigid lecture-test teaching models that neither support nor condone small-group learning methods in the classroom. As a result, Japanese college students usually work outside the classroom to develop the collaborative skills necessary to contribute effectively at work and in society.

January 30, 2013

OKINAWA, KADENA AFB, JANUARY 22, 2013 -- As part of the Kadena Air Base Medical Group Professional Development Series, Brent Duncan conducted a workshop on leading individual and organizational change in turbulent environments, and methods for fostering adaptability to enhance human performance and wellness in changing environments. 

 

November 5, 2012

 

OKINAWA, KADENA AFB, NOVEMBER 05, 2012 -- As part of the Kadena Air Base Professional Military Education program, Brent Duncan met with airmen on November 5, 2012 to discuss strategies for leading change in dynamic environments, and methods for fostering adaptability to enhance human performance and wellness in changing environments. 

 

March 31, 2012

Brent Duncan's slides and notes for "Leading successful transformation in turbulent environments", the first of two workshops presented to community leaders at the Family Readiness Center on the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

November 7, 2011

Despite taking an academic tounge lashing for being ineffective, boring, and authoritarian, the  lecture remains the dominant teaching method in higher education. Is it time to retire the lecture for more dynamic methods that develop students for a turbulent environment or does the lecture still have a place in the contemporary classroom? 

September 12, 2011

Beneath superficial signs of recovery are anxiety and frustration among survivors facing an uncertain future. They are growing increasingly impatient with a government they describe as too slow and without direction.

AP/Kyodo News

TOKYO –  As the world commemorated the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, Sunday was doubly significant for Japan. It marked six months since the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, a date now seared in the national consciousness.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/11/japan-marks-6-months-since-earth...

July 18, 2011

Despite living in a society that holds cooperation as a core value, students in the Japanese higher education system typically study in a rigid lecture-test environment that neither supports nor condones collaboration in the classroom. I addressed this cultural cognitive dissonance during a lecture to Hachinohe University faculty about how to use group-learning methods to invigorate student development in traditional higher education.

This article provides the English and Japanese language resources from "Transforming the traditional classroom with team learning: The teacher’s shifting leadership role in collaborative learning environments," a lecture presented by Brent Duncan to the faculty and adminstration of Hachinohe University, Japan on July 13, 2011.

July 14, 2011

Rachel Belle of  97.3 KIRO FM interviews Brent Duncan in graveyard above Noda Village

Road trip into the disaster areas with media personalities and journalists. From Rachel Belle, journalist for 97.3 KIRO FM:

Ron & I were taken 2 hours south of Misawa to a seaside village called Noda Mura that was almost completely destroyed when the tsunami sent ocean waves over the 40 foot sea wall. 40 people were killed & 400 homes were washed away. Ron and Rachel were shown around by a volunteer who's been helping there since Day 1.

 

July 3, 2011

Japan disaster documentary interviews Brent Duncan in Noda Village debris fields

A Japanese documentary about the disaster areas in Iwate Prefrecture one month after the initial stages of disaster included an interview with me. This blog entry contains the background story about and excerpts from Higashi Nippon Daishinsai: Iwate" (東日本大震災:岩手県野田村[抜粋] The Northeastern Japan Disaster: Iwate

May 1, 2011

Charity is not typically part of traditional Japanese culture. However, as a response to disasters like the Great Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, thousands of Japanese are going against culture to offer selfless service for strangers. This article about a volunteer trend that has emerged from the aftermath of an unprecedented disaster suggests and important question to consider: Will tradition crush Japan's trend toward western-style charity practices or are we witnessing a major societal transformation?

Charity is not typically part of traditional Japanese culture. However, as a response to disasters like the Great Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, thousands of Japanese are going against culture to offer selfless service for strangers. This article about a volunteer trend that has emerged from the aftermath of an unprecedented disaster suggests and important question to consider: Will tradition crush Japan's trend toward western-style charity practices or are we witnessing a major societal transformation?

April 29, 2011

Summary

 

April 24, 2011

The media is starting to recognize the emerging phase of the disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011: survivor suicide. The question becomes, what can we do, if anything, to stop the survivor-suicide phase of disaster? A key part of the challenge is to influence change using existing practice and infrastructure within the established culture. That means teaching locals how to administer to one another, not imposing programs, practice, and morals as outsiders. 

Some Japanese friends told us a story that is making the rounds through the grapevine about a Fukushima farmer who killed himself when he learned that he had to destroy his crop of radioactive cabbage. This grapevine story appeared in the Los Angeles Times today in a story titled "Japan fears post-quake rise in suicides."

April 21, 2011

Massive tsunamis generated by a 9.0 earthquake battered the coast of northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. On March 12, a tsunami of Misawa Air Base personnel volunteer to help. This video shows highlights of the first 30 days of their volunteer recovery efforts.

Captain Tyler Harris, USAF 35th Fighter Wing, asked me to create a video to show Pacific Air Forces Commander General Gary North the volunteer activities of Misawa Air Base personnel in the month after the Northeast Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. After watching this video with base personnel, General North joined Base Commander Colonel Rothstein and other base personnel in a volunteer cleanup activity in Hachinohe.

April 21, 2011

On March 11, 2011, a bride met her destiny in a seaside wedding chapel high above the beach in Noda Village, Japan. Today, she awaits her groom's return.

On March 11, 2011, a bride met her destiny in a seaside wedding chapel high above the beach in Noda Village, Japan. Today, she awaits her groom's return.

Video >

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April 18, 2011

 

Been a busy week. A few notes to catch you up.

April 5, 2011

A letter from Professor Michael Shackleton illuminates the urgency for life-sustaining necessities and trauma relief in disaster areas that have yet to be reached by government, military, and aid workers.

Those interested in what is happening in the areas in Japan most devastated by tsunami will find this letter to be quite interesting, if not troubling. My summary:

March 31, 2011

Penny and I join a busload of Airmen and Marines for a tsunami recovery project in the "hot zone" with Japanese soldiers. A seemingly historic collaboration among American military, Japanese military, and civilians makes quick work of the disaster area, but is cut short due to political intrigue. Here is the video:

March 27, 2011

Climb to viral status crashed when media fled Japan without covering the story.

March 26, 2011

Airmen, Sailors, and civilians from the Misawa Air base were joined by members of the French Civil Fire Fighting Squad as Red Cross volunteers to help Japanese business owners and fishermen clear tsunami debris from their wharf and warehouses. 

Tidal waves generated by a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan destroyed the Hachinohe Wharf and its fishing industry on March 11, 2011.

March 24, 2011

Before a Tsunami slammed the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, this Misawa pig farm had 2,000 pigs and four barns. After the tsunamis hit, 400 pigs and one barn remained. As part of Operation Tomodachi (friend), Airmen, Sailors, and Civilians from the Misawa Air Base volunteered through the American Red Cross to help the farmers clear the debris so they can rebuild their lives. Here are some highlights:

Before Tsunami slammed the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, the Kawazaki Pig Farm in Oirose Town had 2,000 pigs and four barns. After the tsunamis hit, 400 pigs and one barn remained. As part of Operation Tomodachi (friend), Airmen, Sailors, and Civilians from the Misawa Air Base volunteered through the American Red Cross to help the farmers clear the debris so they can rebuild their lives.