The Adler Institute Japan, a General Incorporated Foundation, was established on August 24, 2021. Shunsaku Jalsha Noda, who introduced Adlerian psychology to Japan in 1984 and consistently disseminated Adlerian theories and ideas in a way that suited Japanese culture, passed away on December 3, 2020. In light of this, his family and a group of volunteers established an organization dedicated to researching, teaching, and promoting Adlerian psychology.
The Adler Institute Japan (AIJ) aims to pay tribute to the late Shunsaku Noda and to inherit his ideas, theories, and practices to future generations. The fact that Adlerian psychology has been handed down from one generation to another through the lineage of Alfred Adler, Rudolf Dreikurs, Bernard Shulman, and Shunsaku Noda, is nothing short of a miracle. We have also resolved to pass on this invaluable legacy of Alerian psychology left to us by the late Shunsaku Noda to future generations who need it.
We also believe that it is important to clarify whether Adlerian psychology in Japan, which is commonly referred to as such, is within or outside the academic framework of Adlerian psychology that we learned from Shunsaku Noda. By distinguishing differences and repeatedly having constructive discussions, we believe that the discipline will evolve as it has always done throughout history. We will deepen and develop Adlerian psychology while strictly keep in mind the scope of Adlerian psychology indicated by our teacher.
Noda often mourned the fact that he was too busy with outreach activities to write papers, while also scolding his students, saying that he felt like he was planting seeds in mud. Despite this, he devoted himself fully to training providers of Adlerian psychology in Japan. He often said, “But even from the mud, some seeds will sprout and bloom. That’s why I must continue my work for those people.” As we reflect on the days of Noda’s tireless efforts and the ideals of Adler and the mentors who inherited Adler’s thoughts, we are aware of the long journey ahead and sometimes overwhelmed by its difficulty. This is because, while living in the present, our feet are buried in the deep mud of nihilism, which seems deeper than the time when Adler lived, who had strong hopes in science.
However, as our learning deepens, we hope that the day will come when we will give Adlerian psychology further development. Recalling when Noda in his youth proclaimed, “Our mission as Adlerians is to surpass Alfred Adler.” (1984), we begin our journey with optimism.
The lotus flower that emerges from the mud does not grow from a single thin stem. It is supported by many thick underground stems in the mud. In the same way, our individual powers might be small, but we aim to fulfill the role of the underground stems in the mud that hand over Dr. Noda’s legacy to people who don’t know him. Surely new and beautiful lotus flowers of Adlerian psychology will continue to bloom.
Board of Directors, Adler Institute Japan
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