Country articles

For the last assignment, we will all pretend to be taking part in a symposium on the topic “What we can teach each other about ‘happiness.'” In pairs (or groups of three), you will imagine that you’ll be representing the Japan/ ??? Friendship Society at the symposium. By turns, each group will introduce what they think their assigned country can teach Japan about happiness and what Japan can teach that country about happiness. In order to prepare for your presentations, you should read the articles connected to your assigned country. Most of them are from a book about the pursuit of happiness in various countries by the journalist, Eric Weiner.

What factors, in your opinion, seem to contribute most to happiness in Japan and in your assigned country (e.g., religion, sense of place, quality of education, or the natural environment)? What can they teach each other about how to achieve and maintain happiness and well-being?

Please make use of the reference works the CIA FACTBOOK, and the very interesting OECD Better Life Index.

The length of the presentation for each group should be 10-15 minutes.

The following students were absent from our class on May 26th, but they are still responsible for selecting a country and giving a presentation on June 2nd: Masanori Konno, Kenji Takahashi, Yosuke Tanaka, Keisuke Nakazawa, Yusuke Niinobe, Keiji Yamashita, Eisuke Koyanagi, Kei Moriya, and Shun Hamamoto.

Qatar / Japan Friendship Society (Natsumi)

Iceland / Japan Friendship Society (Rie & Suzuka)

Bhutan / Japan Friendship Society (Makiko & Mikiko)

Article from inflight magazine about Bhutan

Switzerland / Japan Friendship Society (Kozue)

Holland / Japan Friendship Society (Miya & Megumi)



On June 2nd, there will also be a final quiz that will concern the basics of the four topics which have been covered from May 12th through June 2nd: Intercultural intimate relationships, nonverbal communication, prejudice and discrimination, and culture & happiness. Past readings and handouts can be found in the box attached to my office door (Goucher 1015). You can download (from this page), and print out, the articles related to various countries that you’ll need to read for the final assignment.

Register at the Penn State “Authentic Happiness” website and take the Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire.