MODULE 2 – Slow is Beautiful – The Eastern Aesthetic: Slow, Small, Simple

10th-14th September 2018 (5 days) at Bangkok

(Keibo Oiwa)

*You can apply directly for this individual module through this google form.

Japan Slow Life ฉบับภาษาไทย


Module Description:

A great shift is imperative in this age of crises caused by our own civilization with its race to get faster, bigger, and more. This workshop is an opportunity to define the nature of change that society and we ourselves must go through.  While unlearning the economic mindset, we will relearn a way of life defined by the three “s” words, Slow, Small, Simple, key concepts in traditional Asian wisdom. The great turning may also be characterized as one “ from global to local” from “excess to enough” from “competition to sharing” and “theft to gift”.  This workshop will be an exploration into a new vision of an “economics of wellbeing” as a pursuit towards a local, communal, ecological, healthy, ethical, peaceful, joyful and loving way of life.


Keibo Oiwa is a cultural anthropologist, author, translator, environmental activist and public speaker. He lived in North America for 16 years, and holds a Ph.D in Anthropology from Cornell University. Since 1992 he has taught international studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan. The founder of the Sloth Club, and ecology and ‘slow life’ NGO, he gives lectures and workshops on social and environmental issues. He has also co-authored a book on a peoples’ history of Japan with renowned environmentalist, David Suzuki.

Learning Goal

To unlearn the old economic mindset and relearn to slow, small and simple and to explore a holistic and sustainable way of life that goes beyond the economic wealth.


Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn:

  • Unlearning the dominant economic mindset
  • Relearn how to do less and be more
  • Returning to our true nature of human beings
  • Experience Japanese Slow culture through, Chado tea ceremony, &
  •  Ikebana flower arrangement and Haiku poems


Learning Themes (example from 2017 workshop)

DAY 1 Roots of World Crisis / Economic Mindset

Solutions for Ecological, Economic and Social Crisis

Slow is beautiful : Slow, Small and Simple / Learning from Sloths


DAY 2 Unlearning and Relearning

Japanese Tea Ceremony


DAY 3 Tashi Delek: Prayers Flutter Skyward over Bhutan

Gross National Happiness (GNH)

Haiku (Japanese Poetry)


DAY 4 Anthropology of Strengths and Weaknesses

“Vandana Shiva : Embracing the Seed of Life”

Ikebana : the Japanese art of flower arrangement


DAY 5 Biohistory


Kawaguchi Yoshikazu in Natural Farming.



Recommended readings and websites:



Oiwa, Keibo, 2001. Slow is beautiful.Tokyo: Heibonsha.



Oiwa, Keibo, 2001. Slow is beautiful: Culture as slowness.



Oiwa, Keibo, 2010. “Goal of Bhutan: Gross National Happiness”. Japan for Sustainability. Retrieved From:

Oiwa, Keibo, 2015. “Slow, Small and Simple”. Interviewed by Kumar, Satish for Resurgence & Ecologist, 292 September/October. Retrieved From:




Keibo Oiwa


What’s Biohistory




Keibo Oiwa. Slow, Small, Simple. Retrieved From:

Keibo Oiwa. Cultural Creatives and Localisation Movements in Asia. Retrieved From:

Oiwa, Keibo. Vandana Shiva : Embracing the Seed of Life. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club

Oiwa, Keibo. Tashi Delek: Prayers Flutter Skyward over Bhutan. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

Oiwa, Keibo. Kawaguchi Yoshikazu in Natural Farming. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

Oiwa, Keibo. Satish Kumar. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.


Hand-outs/ Powerpoints During Module:

PPT day 1,2,3,4,5 – Keibo Oiwa