@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar



Born in Boston, longtime full Professor in Japan, and.founder of the NPO World Association for Online Education in 1998. 580+ Google Scholar citations to 250 publications on Japan, Online Education, Bilingualism, and the Academic Life, nearly all open access (🦣 searchable) starting from https://japanned.hcommons.org

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SteveMcCarty, to Japan
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The large temple complex Ninna-ji (仁和寺) in Kyōto was founded by Emperor Uda in 888 in the early Heian Period, and for most of its history its head priest was an Imperial family member. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has its own school of Shingon Buddhism and brand of sakura cherry trees (see photos). The stone Buddhas are off by the east entrance and missed by most visitors. The violet azaleas go well with the white cherry blossoms.

@religion @histodons

Sakura close up
Stone Buddhas
Early-blossoming azaleas

MarjoleinRotsteeg, to Haiku Dutch
@MarjoleinRotsteeg@mastodon.nl avatar

summer evening breeze
wraps me in the fragrance
of the wild rose

- wild rose




@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

@MarjoleinRotsteeg @siwig @dailyhaikuprompt @poetry @haiku

Yes, thank you, there seems to be a perennial need for my article on what makes real haiku in languages other than Japanese: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323187189_Internationalizing_the_Essence_of_Haiku_Poetry

However, far more important than the number of syllables is how deep meaning is conveyed. While changes in nature can serendipitously reflect changes in oneself, does the heavy lifting in .

Check out my bio and publications on if you like: https://japanned.hcommons.org/japanology

SteveMcCarty, to Japan
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I'm accepting a challenge to give an unusual presentation on April 19th at Kōnan University in Nishinomiya on “Kyōto Temples, Shrines, and Festivals.” Pechakucha presentations allow only 20 seconds to describe each of 20 slides, so this slideshow consists of my photos of beautiful sites in Kyōto, which those planning to visit can search for.

Kyōto Buddhist temples, Shintō shrines, and great festivals like the Gion Matsuri hark back to the Heian Period (794-1185). Festivals and community events in Kyōto reenact that period, with elaborate costumes that can be seen in the last several slides. Temples and shrines are organized by season from spring to changing leaves in autumn, or winter snow. Many photos are of strolling gardens attached to religious sites that visitors often miss.

You can access the slideshow at ResearchGate: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.20928.14082 or Academia Edu: https://www.academia.edu/116605942 or download it from Humanities Commons:


TheConversationUS, to random
@TheConversationUS@newsie.social avatar

Like the outlaws Robin Hood and Al Capone, will become larger in legend than he was in life?


@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

@TheConversationUS "Like the outlaws Robin Hood and Al Capone, will become larger in legend than he was in life? "

I've sensed that the outlaw hero archetype of the American collective unconscious, in Jungian terms, has been activated, since vigilantes in cowboy hats were able to defy and other the Obama administration at Malheur (which means misfortune in French) in early 2016. From here in Japan I sensed a disturbance in the force, as it were, and my foreboding has been more than realized as Trump 'rode the whirlwind' and permitted repressed Christians to be their worst true selves, and held Open House for Russia in the White House.

The evil that the outlaw 'hero' does gets lost or laundered in the mythologizing that makes them seem larger than life, legendary. Americans with their collective legacy of the Wild West, Roaring 20s, and notorious con men, are particularly susceptible, as Trump has shown, to following the Pied Piper, or being led into temptation.


SteveMcCarty, to Japan
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A good friend who teaches at universities in Kyōto got married late in life, and had me give a speech in Japanese at the reception. I had wanted to keep it simple, but once my Japanese wife got involved, I ended up with all sorts of formal clothing and a more elaborate gift. The ceremonies were held at a hotel in the central city. The wedding chapel was inside the hotel but had windows above it. Typical of Japan, the ceremonies were eclectic, with Japanese and Western elements including songs like "Pretty Woman" and "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You" by Elvis (good for karaoke - I sang along). There was a recording of the bride dancing Nihon buyō (日本舞踊) based on Kabuki, and a powerful opera singer performed live.


Christian wedding ceremony in English
The bride doing a Nihon buyō dance in Kyōto
Yours truly giving a speech in Japanese

SteveMcCarty, to Futurology
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The hardest part of this semester was trying to urge , amid the available , to really . Most friends worldwide are on mobile phones, preferring short posts, and not easily accessing links. I can therefore be thankful for the global readership of my in these :

Academic and creative works in 24 genres at Humanities Commons (15,000+ downloads): https://hcommons.org/members/stevemccartyinjapan

Japan's ResearchMap (和英), where I have filled in as well as English information about publications (6,600+ downloads): https://researchmap.jp/waoe

Academia Edu, categorized into Online Education, Japan, , and the Academic Life (920+ followers, 33,000+ views): https://wilmina.academia.edu/SteveMcCarty

ResearchGate (58 recommendations, 33,900+ reads): https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steve-Mccarty

@academia @academicchatter @academicsunite @edutooters @technology

SteveMcCarty, to calligraphy
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The Shintō shrine Jōnangū (城南宮) in Kyōto, was a palace of Emperors from the beginning of the Period in 794. It has from different periods since then, and a patch of pink and white blossoms around a big stone lantern is a most stunning sight to behold. Several years ago the head priest showed me around and explained the history in Japanese. Jōnangū is not well known to tourists, but it draws many reverent Japanese.

The third photo is of a teahouse and a reddish variety of plum blossoms. The last photo shows what my American friend whom I guided got: a seal written in by the shrine maiden (o-miko-san). Jōnangū is written down the center, with yesterday's date down the left side. The right side is what the shrine especially offers: houyoke - a to avoid obstacles or worries, such as with one's family. There is a great demand for such nowadays.

@religion @histodons

Rear view of the Jōnangū shrine plum blossoms and stone lantern
Teahouse and red plum blossoms
The American friend whom I guided got a stamp book and seal written in calligraphy by a shrine maiden (o-miko-san). Jōnangū is written down the center, with yesterday's date down the left side. The right side is what the shrine especially offers: houyoke - a prayer to avoid obstacles or worries, such as with one's family. There is great demand for such blessings nowadays.

SteveMcCarty, to india
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from can still serve as parables today. Here are two I recall about :

  1. Three blind men touch an elephant in three different places, such as a leg, trunk, or tusk. Each therefore reaches a very different conclusion (e.g., it's a tree) as to what the phenomenon is.

Interpretation: We cannot very well see things or people as a whole. Even the perspectives in come from different disciplines. Different people looking at a multifaceted individual can each draw a very different image of the person.

  1. Three animals cross a river, and each reaches the other shore. The rabbit swims along the surface, the horse occasionally hits bottom, but the elephant touches bottom all the way.

Interpretation: This is a parable of enlightenment or individual differences in wisdom. People can only understand things to their own depth. They might therefore avoid a person who is too heavy like the elephant. Just sayin"!

@religion @mythology @psychology

oldaily, to random

We need to talk about digital ownership https://www.downes.ca/post/76246 As Dan Gillmor says, this is a "terrifically nuanced piece" on the subject of ownership of data and digital media.

@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

@oldaily Was going to recommend this article https://www.citationneeded.news/we-need-to-talk-about-digital-ownership on digital ownership to Stephen Downes' Online Learning Daily, but not surprisingly he found it immediately. Academic journalist Dan Gillmor is my friend IRL, residing mostly in this Kansai region around Osaka, so I am fortunate to be able to discuss such things with him and his Japanese journalist wife.

Regarding digital ownership, I cannot think of any way that having my Website https://japanned.hcommons.org/ at the publicly-funded Humanities Commons @hello infringes upon rights I would like to claim as a creator, and I can only hope that their data remains available indefinitely, such as to my 3/4 Japanese infant granddaughter when she grows up.

@edutooter @OnlineEducation

SteveMcCarty, to cooking
@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

I'm trying to sign up for men's #cooking #lessons here in #Japan to placate my busy #Japanese wife. While she was away, I made this cheese omelette; beginner's luck! A #community center has me on a waiting list, or I could spill for more upscale lessons. It is astonishing and unJapanese that single-person #households are approaching 40%. #Single #men of all ages have a poor #diet, which exacerbates the #lifespan gap with #women. #Loneliness is also a #health hazard. Many men are #widowed, never #married, or their #wives #divorce them, often after the children become independent and the husband is useless around the house after a busy career. Single men, or married men interested in cooking or helping their wives, possibly fearing their wives' pent-up anger, can find #companionship as well as #survival #skills in cooking lessons. Men's classes start from zero; women #cook and #socialize.


#psychology #sociology #food #gerontology #aging #elderly
@psychology @sociology

@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

@kerstinsailer @sociology Prof. Sailer, thank you for your comment - from a different world than here in Japan. Regarding cultural and family values, Japan is the archetypal contrasting culture to the West, but there are individual differences such that some men like to cook or be helpful to their wives.

I envy your having daughters, as we have two sons, very successful in Tokyo but not very concerned about us. We do have a granddaughter, 3/4 Japanese, who is getting cuter and cuter, but Japanese are so private that I can't show photos of her. In my Intercultural Communication class I emphasize the public self vs. private self dimension, partly because the difference is so great between my family and myself as a public person: publications and projects bared at https://japanned.hcommons.org/

bryanalexandee, to random
@bryanalexandee@mastodon.education avatar

I'd love to have something like Google News for podcast news.
To pick out a series of topics to listen to and others to avoid.

Is there anything like this?

@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

@bryanalexandee There used to be far more of a Web ecosystem surrounding podcasts when they were first popular and my journal article in 2005 was one of the first academic and technical analyses of educational podcasting: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237544289_Spoken_Internet_to_Go_Popularization_through_Podcasting
The faddish ephemerality is exasperating when there will always be a market for listening, even if limited to drivers, joggers, strap-hanging students and commuters like us in Japan, and so forth. In 2022 I covered some of the changed terrain in https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366399918_Podcasting_Reconsidered

@edutooter @OnlineEducation

SteveMcCarty, to Musicals
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We were invited to an exciting show in a venue near Kansai International Airport with 360° screens and sound. The was by former of the Revue (宝塚歌劇団), a renowned troupe where play all the roles in adapted from Western and Japanese , , movies, novels, and young women's comics.

1st photo: With family friends and staff who look a bit like anime or manga characters. My wife is second from the right.

2nd photo: The star came out from the stage and tapped me on the shoulder as she danced by.

3rd photo: Light show and .

4th photo: Finale with all the . They sang "We are the World" mostly in while audience members waved a sort of light saber.


The star touched me as she danced by.
Light show on the screens with music and dancing.
Finale with all the entertainers was "We are the World" sung mostly in Japanese.

SteveMcCarty, to linguistics
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I've published occasionally about the inadequacy of dictionary definitions, and proposed a method for defining terms in disciplines in the first chapter of the free book https://www.academia.edu/37986336/Implementing_Mobile_Language_Learning_Technologies_in_Japan

Bilingual dictionaries present worse problems. Many Japanese words need cultural explanations of applicable situations. The whole role of expressed language in people's lives is different in Japan from the Western world, and less important than the hidden situational structures of human relations.

The Japanese language sometimes has distinctions and terms with no English equivalent, but which describe common situations in Japan. For example, onkisegamashii (恩着せがましい) is translated as patronizing, but it is a complaint for laying an obligation.

Exasperatingly, forgiveness translated into Japanese (許す yurusu) can be taken like a woman letting a man have his way. And 後悔 (kōkai) doesn't distinguish between regret (for one's loss) and remorse (wanting to make amends).

@linguistics @Bilingualism

SteveMcCarty, to Japan
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Ageism, age discrimination or prejudice, is the only discriminatory speech that is still universally accepted. As a result, older people themselves buy into stereotypes of declining abilities, usefulness, and attractiveness as companions.

The Japan Association for Language Teaching has a Lifelong Language Learning Special Interest Group, for which I promoted "career tapering" in the article "Lifelong Learning and Retiring Retirement Stereotypes," at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/365838087

For my last university teaching year at age 75, I will be allotted only one class, on Intercultural Communication. Yet if the Indo-Japanese binational research grant project comes through as expected, it will go a year past my teaching career. Happily, although public positions in Japan have an age limit of 65, the Japan International Cooperation Agency welcomes me to lecture indefinitely, introducing Japan to officials from around the world.

Publications on : https://japanned.hcommons.org/japanology

@psychology @edutooter

SteveMcCarty, to linguistics
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The US State Department says Japanese is the hardest language to learn. I could go on for hours why the difficulty of Japanese is bottomless, linguistically, metalinguistically, and paralinguistically. The whole role of words and language is different, less important than for Westerners. Furthermore, the context and connotations of words make dictionary definitions inadequate. Unspoken structures underlie what should be said or not said, who has the floor or who has to be heard. What is appropriate to say is no less nor more than the minimum necessary for the time, place, occasion, and the relationships among everyone involved. There are all the things in books like the Intercultural Communication textbooks I use at the university, but I'm thinking of the many other dimensions I've never read about. Did I mention that the Japanese language can serve as a fortress impenetrable to nearly all foreigners when your interlocutors want to clam up? Welcome to Japan.

@linguistics @Bilingualism

SteveMcCarty, to linguistics
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Nippon dotcom just reported that a "survey found that Japan currently ranks eighty-seventh out of 113 non-English-speaking countries and regions for English language abilities. This is a fall of seven places from last year and relatively low among Asian countries." In a discussion I saw, one Japanese noted that IT competitiveness is also declining. Another stated that the problem was actually that Japanese do not need English.

Some Japanese professors have agreed with me that Japanese do actually need English. Poor IT is also connected to this, because English is essential in IT. Our son is a key person in one of Japan’s top global companies because of his combination of systems engineering and ease with foreign languages.

Japan's economic future depends on tourism and increasing foreign residents. In my bilingualism and intercultural communication classes with English majors now, students understand the need.

@Bilingualism @linguistics

Teaching and all: https://japanned.hcommons.org

SteveMcCarty, to japanese
@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

Deeper and deeper into and people, I went into the Imperial Palace for a special performance of (雅楽), imperial court and of mainland origin that have been performed there since the Heian Period over a thousand years ago. An acquaintance who is a Shintō priestess (see photo) from Nara played two types of traditional flutes that sustain an eerie or higher-worldly atmosphere. The relatively slow and deliberate movements of the mostly male dancers in many-layered gorgeous contumes stand in contrast with the frenetic tempo of modern . We experience as the pace of transformation, and that brief time transfixed with the Gagaku performance was but an interlude from an ancient era in a workday preparing for university classes and a keynote address. Photos will have to suffice to evoke the special atmosphere.

Publications on Japan: https://japanned.hcommons.org/japanology

@religion @histodons

Gagaku performance
The author with a Shintō priestess acquaintance, and other Gagaku performers in the background
Another Gagaku scene

SteveMcCarty, to academicchatter
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My keynote address for the Contemporary Studies in Management (CoSiM) online conference is on Sunday the 26th from 9:10 AM Central European Time.

ABSTRACT: This presentation opens a window into the process of applying for a research grant offered jointly by the governments of Japan and India. Grant proposals could be a genre for publications of reference to younger scholars. A grant is not just fixed-term funding but a whole process of organizing researchers and a proposed vision that maps onto the procedures and conditions set by the agencies offering competitive grants. Dimensions addressed include documentation and publications (see the forthcoming Proceedings paper), the cultures involved, intercultural communication challenges, and definitions for the research topic of humanizing online educational experiences.

The slideshow is at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/375797879 or https://www.academia.edu/109561709

Attend by Zoom? (20 min.): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89074638223

@academicchatter @edutooter @OnlineEducation

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@academicchatter @edutooter @OnlineEducation

Scholars in Eurasian time zones could try to catch my 20-minute keynote address today (11/26) from 9:10-9:30 AM in Germany (5:10-5:30 PM here in Japan).streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/DigitalTrustandIntuition or else crank up Zoom and go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89074638223

The previous message has further info including the Abstract - permalink: https://hcommons.social/@SteveMcCarty/111454339191880549

Kicking off Intuition Day of the management conference, my intuition is that people will most want to hear about the cultural and intercultural communication aspects of our binational research grant proposal "Indo-Japanese Collaboration to Humanize Online Educational Experiences."

Slideshow of "Documenting a Research Grant Application Process between Japan and India": https://www.researchgate.net/publication/375797879

SteveMcCarty, to japanese
@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

Myriad unwritten rules of , not written in books about .

Distance works in time as well as space. Frequency of contact indicates closeness, so contacting someone often can be a transgression. Rather than 'getting to know you better,' they can maintain the same distance as the circumstances when you first met. Thus, many foreigners say they can't make friends with Japanese.

Much use of silence. Large private self vs. small public self. The same act, such as posting one's photo & real name online, falls into the public of Westerners but the private self of Japanese.

Most Japanese are undemonstrative of emotions & affection. Standing close or touching them can easily be taken as a sexual or presumptuous invasion of their private realm.

Japanese feel personal space palpably. They make a cutting when passing someone closely.

Extreme & cross-cultural !


Start at https://japanned.hcommons.org

SteveMcCarty, to business
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Time Magazine has a good article about Fast Retailing (#Uniqlo, etc.) boss Yanai, among 100 top #business leaders:

While disruptive #innovation is uncommon in #Japan, there is freedom to criticize the status quo, and business leaders have tended to be negative about the #economy even in the best of times.

Our half-Japanese older son is a key person in #digital #transformation on the same floor of the #Tokyo headquarters as Mr. Yanai. Still in his early 30s, he does sysad and security, leads two project groups, and travels the world to update their systems. He represents the company in negotiations with tech giants because of his combination of #IT skills and #English. He works with the headquarters of Microsoft, Apple and Google (not their Japan branches), and his own innovations are at the cutting edge.

He's very #Japanese due to my wife and her family being monolingual and monocultural. He's scared of the alien DNA in him from yours truly.


SteveMcCarty, to twitter
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Deleted my #X account because of its evil owner, so call me ex-X as I cross it out of my nice life here in ! Thanks to @dangillmor for the nudge. I'm a stickler anyway about living by : https://japanned.hcommons.org/academic_life

I'm in the Commons instance, and we have free profiles like https://hcommons.org/members/stevemccartyinjapan that include a link to the old blue bird of Twitter, and members are increasingly leaving, so our admins at @hello might want to reconsider having that item in the next version of profiles.

What can I do with all this new free time besides taking contemplative hikes in Kyoto? I'm still looking for a wide range of informants and academic colleagues, as I should have big news on in 2024. I'm looking for in fields such as , , with , , , and .

A little positive reinforcement goes a long way!


SteveMcCarty, to DadBin
@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

The 7-5-3 festival (七五三) started in the Heian or Muromachi Period to pray for the survival of #children, and, like many practices, spread from the aristocracy eventually to all citizens.

Age three for #girls is especially adorable, and our 3/4 #Japanese granddaughter just went through that rite of passage, posing in a #festival kimono.

With deaths in both families this year, it was moved from a Shintō shrine to a #Buddhist temple, reflecting the division of labor served by the two #religions in Japan. We could thus do it up on a mountain in our city (between Ōsaka and Kyōto) and see changing leaves of #autumn early.

All major ceremonies are finally accompanied by a restaurant meal, and the Japanese-style food and service, by normal standards in Japan, were superb.

Our granddaughter, nearly three, also seemed to start realizing that my English and the usual Japanese were different languages (technically, nascent metalinguistic awareness and bilinguality).

@religion @linguistics

Mountain temple in early autumn
The author and red maple leaves
Japanese banquet

SteveMcCarty, to Japan
@SteveMcCarty@hcommons.social avatar

A long train ride to Nara and hiking many kilometers around Asuka Village, the cradle of Japanese civilization. The Asuka period ca. 592-710 marked the introduction of Buddhism, Mainland-inspired reforms, and a change of the country name from Wa (倭) to Nippon (日本).

I went to three early 7th Century sites. Okadera was one of the earliest temples, later Kūkai's Shingon, with a large statue of him as a pilgrim.

Ishibutai Kofun means stone stage, the largest megalith in Japan, probably the tumulus of Soga no Umako, a promoter of Buddhism and a reformer with Prince Shōtoku. Dolmen - rock slabs over graves - were common around the ancient world, but the ones at Ishibutai must weigh tons.

Tachibanadera commemorates the birthplace of Prince Shōtoku. It is rich in historical artifacts and beautiful with a field of cosmos blooming now. There is a formation in the temple 二面石 meaning two-faced rock. I'm tempted to use it like an emoji 👺 .

#Japan #Nara #Asuka #Buddhism

@religion @histodons

Ishibutai Kofun megalithis tumulus
A ceiling in the temple Tachibanadera
2-faced rock - we all know that kind

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