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March 09, 2011



Isn't life rich and wonderful. Today, after receiving my beautifully-boxed parcel in the mail The Presentation Zen Way, I came to this site to discover more. What I wasn't expecting was to cry my eyes out and not be able to read the information here.

I will be back when I stop sobbing. Thank you so much for sharing these thought-provoking videos of beautiful, brave children and a wise, compassionate, gifted teacher.

Best wishes and gratitude from Australia.


Thank you, Lily! To be honest, I have watched this documentary 4-5 times now and I cry during each clip. I do not know why exactly, but this seems to be a common reaction. This documentary does a good job of putting us there in such a way that we can not help but empathize (and sympathize). There is no trickery, no Hollywood cliches. It's just a peek into some simple moments of honesty and vulnerability which could have never come to the surface without a teacher like him who made it safe. I am blown away by this documentary.


I like the idea of improvement through subtraction. It is very hard to achieve however. I think it is partly due to our mindset that if we are adding 'value' we must do it by adding 'something else'.

It's interesting how some of the most powerful ideas are so simple.


Garr... I am big fan of you in presentation design and delivery since two years a go. I am from Indonesia, now I am a student in Kanazawa University

When I watched these movie, I notice that this school is located near my apartment.

Very great lesson, Garr. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you so much for sharing this moving and powerful documentary.

Charles Martineau

I've that documentary 2-3 yrs ago... I was blown away. I've always thought the best professors are the ones who make you hungry for knowledge & happiness!


Thanks for sharing the video.

Doug Pratt

Is there a Japanese word for happy? I noticed that the teacher and students always used the English word. Thanks for sharing.

Mike Sporer

Thank you so much for putting those video’s on your blog. The priorities in that classroom are right on and should become part of the culture in all schools. I noticed the teacher touching the students in a genuine caring fashion. In the US, that would be frowned upon. Looking out for one another isn’t emphasized here in the US. The part on bullying provides a simple and a workable solution to the problem which is very big here in the states. Our children are encouraged to be selfish and irresponsible, and those traits are demonstrated in many of the adults who teach them.

The most important idea I got from those videos is integrity. I know how important honor, integrity and good character are to the Japanese. Americans think of the Japanese as regimented and shallow. Actually the exact opposite is true.

Again, watching the videos and reading your comments touched my heart. These kids were being taught the value of being genuine! Genuine makes all the difference.


Hi Mike -- I agree completely. This is the kind of discussion I want to prompt as well. Really spot on.

Yes, I noticed that about touching -- touching as any friend or father would. Nothing wrong with that. But because of media hysteria in the USA we assume *every* non-parent touching a child is a pedophile. It is very, very sad indeed. What a cold place the institution of school has become in many cases. But I do not know the "rules" in USA, etc. Are grade school teachers for forbidden to behave in a similar fashion to Kanamori-sensei in the video? Is comforting a child be touching them not allowed? I remember that even in High School our coaches freely touched student athletes for purposes of instruction, or encouragement (pat on the back/butt), or massage to work out a cramp, and on and on. This was the early '80s and PC had not really been invented yet I guess. No one thought our coaches or teachers were weird for touching students (like their parents might). I guess it is a different world now.

I read an interesting book a while back called "The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain" -- this book gets at part of the problem of our irrational fears.

Mike Sporer

I'll check out "The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain". It is a shame that in the US, people are afraid of touching, especially in the school setting. The media blows things out of proportion so much! It seems we have forgotten that all of us are in this together.

My thoughts are with the Japanese people during this time of devastation. Things like this affect everyone in the world. The US Senator in my area (Robert Casey) is involved with such foreigh affairs. He is pressing for US help. We must step up!

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