Symposium Voices of Kakehashi in Multicultural Canada: Transcultural and Intercultural Experiences

Hakone Gardens, Saratoga CA., “Japanese gardens.” Modified. CC BY-SA 3.0

Hakone Gardens, Saratoga CA., “Japanese gardens.” Modified. CC BY-SA 3.0

In attempting to keep up with our rapidly globalizing world, companies and individuals have been forced to develop a more global mindset and we are increasingly aware that persons who live and work between cultures play a vital role in this process. Anil K. Gupta defines a global mindset as “one that combines an openness to and awareness of diversity across cultures” (2006). In Japanese, such persons who bridge cultures are metaphorically referred to as Kakehashi, a term that literally means “bridge across.” Given the globalization of business and current political realities, there is an urgent need for individuals with Kakehashi-like abilities.   This symposium is inspired by this powerful metaphor of the bridge and by its creator, Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), arguably Japan’s most respected international diplomat. Nitobe is renowned for his life-long dedication to the promotion of understanding between nations and peoples with a diversity of cultural values.

  1. Keynote lecture by Professor Emeritus Matsuo Soga
  2. Panel Discussion: Voices of Kakehashi

Panelists include those who had /have active intercultural experiences, ranging from graduates from local Japanese language schools, people who had extensive transnational experiences in their childhood, and learners of Japanese language and culture.

  1. Keynote lecture (via Skype) by Mr. Shigeru Kojima (JICA Yokohama Overseas Migration Museum)

Organized by Voices of Kakehashi Committee: Kunihiko Naito, Tomoko Bailey, Naoko Takei, Tad Suzuki, Hiroko Noro

Sponsored by Department of Asian Studies, UBC, and Midge Michiko Ayukawa Fund

For more information, please contact Hiroko Noro (