Browse through our archives to read out about past Genius Table events and the unique venues in which they were held.


Session at Kyo-machiya used as atelier



Vinai Norasakkunkit

University proffesor

Norasakkunkit is a distinguished visiting professor at Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University. He studies the clinical psychological effects of globalization. Based on his own experiences and career, he looks into how people’s emotions work in relations with the cultural differences between Japan and the United States.


Kyoto’s district of Nishijin has flourished in fabrics and it still has old-school rows of houses. Shin-ichiro Minami, a hand-painted Kyoto-Yūzen artist, uses a 150-year-old Machiya located in the middle of the town as his atelier. Today we set the table at the atelier.
Norasakkunkit’s interest in cultural psychology developed as he spent his childhood in an international school in Japan. He passionately explained how globalization affected humans’ minds, with an example that there is no such term as ‘hikikomori’ in the US. He believes that Japanese collectivism is the reason of producing so many hikikomoris in Japanese society. The participants got to think deeply about how “globalization” ― a term often heard nowadays. Norasakkunkit explained with gestures and cast away some questions to the listeners, which made the talk interesting and bidirectional.


No.8 Minami Shinichirou Sousaku kimono studio

Shinichiro Minami works and lives in a nearly 150-year-old Kyo-Machiya studio. After studying under the guidance of hand-painted Tokyo-Yūzen artist, Shusui Tanaka, Minami later created his own business. Minami now holds workshops, known as the Kyoto Dyeing School, where he hands down the traditional techniques of authentic hand-coloured Kyo-Yūzen, dating back from the Genroku era.
No.9 Joyful Bunga

Joyful Bunga (ジョイフル文蛾) serves original cuisines containing Kyoto’s traditional vegetables, which are delicately produced in Kyoto’s climate. They serve a wide range of products, including original dressing, soups, jams, bento boxes, and Osechi-Ryori. Customers are sure to find themselves mouth-watering with the delicious cuisine prepared by the chef, who is an acclaimed Kyoto-vegetable Meister.


Sayaka Watanabe

University student

Today’s GENIUS was an expert in cultural psychology. I learned a lot from his talk about the Japanese psychological tendency that we Japanese had not even realized ourselves. It was a pity that I could not actively take part in since I am not good at English, but it made me want to start studying English harder.

Kouki Marumoto

University student

It was fascinating that GENIUS TABLE could give us an opportunity to frankly talk with a distinct scholar. Unlike usual lecture rooms, the atmosphere was very nice and friendly which made me feel very close to the lecturer. And the lecture made me started to become interested in his study of cultural psychology.