Key Note


Playwright, director, leader of Seinendan, artistic director of Komaba Agora Theater and artistic director of Kinosaki International Arts Center. Born in Tokyo in 1962. Graduated from International Christian University, College of Liberal Arts, Humanities Division.

In 1995, Hirata won the 39th Kishida Kunio Drama Award with “Tokyo Note (Tokyo Notes).”

In 1998, he received the 5th Yomiuri Theater Award Outstanding Director Award, for his production of “Tsuki no Misaki (The Cape of the Moon),” a play written by Masataka Matsuda. Hirata wrote and directed “Ueno Dobutsuen Sai-sai-sai Shugeki (Attacking Ueno Zoo for the Fourth Time)” in 2002 and won the 9th Yomiuri Theater Award for Outstanding Production.

In 2002, he won AICT (Association Internationale des Critiques des Théâtre) Critique Award for his book “Geijutu Rikkokuron (Arts as the Basis of a Nation) ” published from Shueisha.

In 2003, he won the Grand Prix of the 2nd Asahi Performing Arts Awards with “Sono Kawa wo Koete, Gogatsu (Across the River in May),” which was an event for the Year of Japan-ROK National Exchange in 2002. In 2006, he won the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. In 2011, France’s Ministry of Culture honored Hirata with the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

At present, Hirata is research professor of the COI Research Promotion Office at the Tokyo University of the Arts, professor and special advisor to the president at Shikoku Gakuin University and Kyoto Bunkyo University, and general manager of the Fujimi Culture Hall KIRARI FUJIMI. He is also board member of the Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities and the Japanese Society for Theatre Research and advisor for cultural politics for Toyooka City.


Philosopher, Former Professor at Osaka University

Nakaoka completed his coursework at the Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University. He received Master of Arts from Kyoto University. The former lecturer at Fukuoka Women’s University and the former Assistant Professor at Osaka University. In 1999, he joined Osaka University Graduate School as a Full Professor. In April 2001, Nakaoka started teaching at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine ‘Ethics of Medicine’. From 2005-2007, he was the first director at the Center for the Study of Communication Design (CSCD) at Osaka University. After his retirement, he has been engaging in two projects: (a) philosophical café at General Incorporated Association for Philosophical Counseling (called Onkolo café) for patients and their family of cancer or intractable disease (as a representative of a broad of director) and (b) philosophical dialogues for high school students in Japan and the United States.

His field of expertise includes Western philosophy (Hegel’s dialectic, hermeneutics, Habermas, systems theory, modern French philosophy), philosophy of Kyoto School (Kitaro Nishida, Hajime Tanabe, Kiyoshi Miki), and Japanese, European and the US philosophies in the 1930s.

Working with Kiyokazu Washida (Emeritus Professor at Osaka University), Nakaoka has engaged with projects of clinical philosophy after mid-1990s. His work experiences at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine ‘Ethics of Medicine’ and the Center for the Study of Communication Design led him to pursue ‘the skill of facilitating authentic communications’.

Symposium Speakers

Kimura, Yoko

Editor-in-Chief, Mainichi Shimbun Student Newspaper Editor-in-Chief, Mainichi Shogakusei Shimbun

Yoko Kimura joined Mainichi Shimbun in April 1990. She started her career at the Sendai bureau of that newspaper, where she was involved in a monthly magazine for children and a newspaper published for children in elementary school. After working in the Life News Department and the Recruitment and Training Center, she was appointed to her current position in April 2021. Her major qualifications include being certified as a career consultant (national license), junior high and high school teacher (Japanese language), librarian, and JPIC reading advisor.

She is the author of the books The 3-Choice Check! : a book that answers in 1 minute the questions of parents and children who want to pass the junior high school entrance exam (SogoKikaku) and A Newspaper is a Window that Connects You to the World (Shiwonsha), and co-author of Nurturing and Connecting through Newspapers (Toyokan Shuppansha), in addition to other publications. She is a researcher at the Institute of Business Research, Showa Women’s University.



Nishino, Mayumi

National Institute for Educational Policy Research (Department of Basic Research, Curriculum Research Center)

Born in 1961, graduated from Ochanomizu University, Faculty of Letters,

Arts and Education, Department of Philosophy in 1984, and completed credits acquisition from the Graduate School of Humanities, Ochanomizu University, with a doctorate in 1989. After working as an assistant at Ochanomizu University, she joined the National Institute for Educational Research in 1990 (renamed the National Institute for Educational Policy Research in 2001).

Currently, she is a Senior Researcher at the Curriculum Research Center, Basic Research Department of the same institute.

Sato, Masakazu

NHK Producer


Masakazu Sato was born in 1975 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, Chuo University, and joined NHK in 1996. He has worked on educational programs for children such as “Switch,” “Sha-Keen! ” Ah,” “Nozie’s Inspiration Studio,“and “Q: Philosophy for Children”. He has worked on NHK’s 2020 cheering song “Paprika”, NHK SDGs theme song “Swallows,” among others.

In Japan, he has received the Good Design Award Grand Prize, Japan Award, and other awards. Overseas, he has received the International Emmy Award, the Prejeunesse Award, and the Peabody Award, among others.