Open Class Report on “Introductions to Leadership in Eastern Philosophy” held on March 27th, 2023.


TOKYO — On March 27th, Shizenkan University held an online open class “Introductions to Leadership in Eastern Philosophy” by Professor Junko Edahiro.


In the class, the very name of our university, Shizenkan, was adopted from Daigaku (the Book of Great Learning), one of the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism. It means ‘pursuing the highest good, the greatest good’. Prof. Edahiro also explained passages from Shokyō (the Book of Documents) and Jogan Seiyō (the Essentials of Governance) and referred to the significance of studying Eastern philosophy in business schools today.


“Eastern philosophy provides hints on how to create a ‘steady axis’ in the VUCA era in which we live. Eastern philosophy comprises cosmology, theory of humanity, leadership theory, and is an abundance of wisdom. It has the power to break through barriers when we are stuck in everyday life. Western philosophy has been widely accepted for the past 200 years. But in recent times, there has been a swing back and the value of Eastern philosophy is being reevaluated. We need to strike a balance between the two”, emphasized Prof. Edahiro.


During the Q&A session, one of the participants commented, “When I receive admonition after reading Jogan Seiyō (the Essentials of Governance), I appreciate it after some time has passed, but I cannot honestly accept it on the spot.” Prof. Edahiro responded, “First, accept that everyone is like that, then you can work on how you react to it when you are upset. Do you lash out at the others or do you take pause? I take a breath and then say, ‘thank you’ for daring to tell me something that is difficult to share. Another way to help is to set up a time and place to ‘say whatever you want today.’” Prof. Edahiro also suggested that “creating mechanisms, systems, and roles intentionally for seeking admonitions is important for both organizations and individuals to overcome their own weaknesses.”


As the structures of 20th century business schools are becoming obsolete and no longer viable, Shizenkan University takes on the challenges to present to the world what business leadership education should be in the 22nd century. Our curriculum includes liberal arts as well as Eastern philosophy, which is a unique feature not found in other business schools. We eagerly invite you to explore the solutions to the world’s ubiquitous problems from the teachings passed on through Eastern philosophy.

For more event information, please check our upcoming open class schedule here.

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