From origami to eternity
- Trevor Walton
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Lessons in origami were used by five Japanese researchers and a translator to ‘break the ice’ before discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife among residents of Woburn Apartments in November. It was a fun-filled way to start conversations on potentially serious topics.
The researchers were led by two professors from Osaka University, in Minoh City – a sister city of Lower Hutt.
Professor Toyoko Sugihara said she wanted to know how Kiwi senior citizens think and feel about their situations. She hoped that their responses to her survey questions would give her some positive insights for senior citizens in Japan, among whom suicide rates are high.
The questions covered topics like satisfaction with life, anxieties, the importance of religion, fear of death and belief in an afterlife.
Linda Goss-Wallace, Hutt City Council’s international relations manager, says the researchers were grateful to the residents for participating and for the hospitality provided by Woburn Apartments.
“This will help the professors understand some of the differences between the Japanese and NZ retired communities.”