top of page

LifeWorks Program

​Aims & Overview



The Keio-Stanford LifeWorks Program will bring together students from Keio and Stanford Universities, to engage in contemplative/artistic/somatic approaches to conflict resolution, intercultural understanding and creative leadership development. The program will be held at Stanford University from August 29th to September 4th, 2022 and will be facilitated by Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu from Stanford University, and Dr. Yuki Imoto, Dr. Chizuko Tezuka, and actor/lecturer Toshimitsu Kokido from Keio University. 


The program is grounded in the framework of Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning that cultivates compassionate awareness towards the self, to others, and to the larger world. Participants gain insight into their body, emotions, thoughts, and the systems that they are entwined in. This will enable the acquisition of practical tools for cultivating inner peace, awareness, and self-compassion. A core dimension of the program will be the practice of embodied storytelling and theatrework. Theatrework is a somatic learning approach developed by Kokido Toshimitsu that brings together his background in drama and movement therapy, peace and conflict resolution, artistic performance, Zen Buddhism, and Japanese ritual theatre.


The program begins with lectures and workshops on mindfulness, compassion and social engagement led by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. There will be an introductory session held at Jochiji Temple in Kamakura (Japan) for Japanese students in July, after which the main program will begin at Harmony House and the Windhover Center at Stanford University (US). The workshops will be an opportunity for students to look inwards to reflect on themselves, as well as to connect authentically with other participants from various backgrounds. Subsequently, the students will engage in fieldwork in nature, where they will be introduced to the somatic contemplative practice of theatrework. This will be complemented by lectures and discussions on Japanese and American education, history, memory, personhood and wellbeing, from social anthropological and psychological perspectives. Dr. Chizuko Tezuka will give a lecture based on her extensive research on how anger towards the atomic bombing has been repressed or expressed in Japanese postwar cultural-social memory. Furthermore, students will participate in a Taiko Drumming workshop where they will experience connecting with others and themselves physically through rhythm, while also learning about the history and culture of the San Jose Japanese American community. In the final part of the program, students will work intensively in groups to create a theatrical piece inspired by the encounters and self-discoveries through the LifeWorks program. The theatrical works will be performed and filmed on the final day of the program. 


Yuki Imoto (2022) Towards a contemplative approach to ethnography and education: an ethnography of a contemplative classroom at a North American university, Ethnography and Education, 17:2, 122-141, DOI: 10.1080/17457823.2022.2036215

Stephen Murphy Shigematsu (2018) From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: Transforming Self and Society with Compassion. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 

bottom of page