More about me


My personality type

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) assessment, I am INFP, characterized by very clear preference for Introversion (as opposed to extraversion)moderate preference for Intuition (as opposed to sensing), clear preference for Feeling (as opposed to thinking), and very clear preference for Perceiving (as opposed to judging). I agree. From “normal” people’s perspective (whatever “normal” means), I sometimes behave abnormally. However, I behave just like a normal INFP, and that is who I am. I have a dream that one day I will be considered a “normal” human individual and that all personality types will be considered truly equal, without people demanding each other to change their fundamental part of their personality. To this end, I myself will just keep respecting different personalities without judging them.


Influential Predictors in My Life

Life is a complex phenomenon characterized by many variables and their interactions. I am still analyzing it to see how Satisfaction in Life, a response variable, is characterized by a finite number of predictors and how it can possibly be maximized by considering other variables which are absent in my current analysis. Here are some influential variables in my life at this point. Based on knowledge and insight I acquire through these activities, I update my personal mission statement from time to time.

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Experiment (Studying)

In my childhood, I enjoyed observing the moon and stars scattered in the universe with an astronomical telescope. Now, I enjoy studying the universe within the mind with a psycholinguistic telescope. Especially, I like the data analysis phase of an experiment, hoping to discover something I have never seen, with slight fear of observingan experimental failure. The amount of time spent for experiments positively correlates with pleasure in my life, but it also correlates negatively with all other predictors. I conceptualize a life itself as a large experimental project, which unfortunately cannot be replicated.

Life is an unreplicable experiment; I just do my best with what I have at my disposal, because no matter how I tackle an issue, there is always another (more intriguing) approach to it.

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As a scholar and a human, I would like to remain aware of the fact that “we see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it” (Covey, 2004, The 7 habits of highly effective people, p. 28). In order to stay away from the world characterized by my own experience and my subjective thought, I take a 15-minute vacation regularly to “restart” my mind. In other words, I think about nothing and observe the world inside my mind towards ultimate objectivity (or purely original human nature). This is not a religious ritual but a psychological practice to cultivate my mind towards mindfulness and inner peace (see Mindfulness in plain English by Gunaratana, 2011, Zen mind, beginner’s mind by Suzuki-roshi, 1987).

Life is meditation; it is a long and pleasant journey to the destination who-I-really(originally)-am.

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60% of my body content is coffee! The amount and the quality of coffee I consume significantly correlate with the amount and the quality of my work. The underlying mechanism is, however, yet to be clarified. With respect to the quality, unfortunately, bitterness of the majority of coffee reminds me of the inequality characterizing this world.

Life is coffee; it is sometimes bitter, but I can make it as sweet as I want.

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I was attracted to the potential of a bicycle when I met Giant Escape R3 in 2013. From the year 2015 to 2017, in Germany, I enjoyed my bike quest with Specialized Secteur Elite. Since 2017, I have been feeling the wind riding on Masi Sperare 105It is such a great aerobic exercise to travel further and further every weekend to extend my limit (134 km/day as of March, 2016) — the more I travel, the smaller the world becomes. Cycling also helps me to focus on “now” (i.e., what I am seeing, what I am feeling, and what I am hearing at this moment), which tends to be neglected in this busy 21st century. 

Life is cycling; It is not a competition, and all we ought to do is to proceed at our own pace, taking a break from time to time if necessary. 

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Unlike writing, reading itself does not usually have monetary value (i.e., no value in a capitalist society). That is why it is valuable. I like reading books, novels, and manga outside my specialized field. I especially like those works containing elements of life and death. Reading a book takes time. However, it takes a lot more time to write it. Considering the amount of time authors devoted, reading is such an efficient method to incorporate other people’s experience into our own. My favorite books are listed here

Life is reading; it should be experienced one step (page) at a time FOR myself, and the ending is usually not what I predicted at the beginning.

Table Tennis

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I spent 20 years of my life with table tennis. Table tennis shares some commonalities with psycholinguistics (and everything in our life in general) and, to a certain extent, has helped me to construct my philosophy of life. It is great fun speculating what is possible under the constraints of the law of physics and the rules of table tennis (although I suffered from yips). Having said that, I am no longer competing because I feel like staying away from “competitions” in general for the rest of my life; competitions are not as important as I used to believe they were.

  • Alberta Provincial Team member for Western Canada Open, Canada, 2002, 2005
  • Alberta Provincial Junior Team manager for Western Canada Summer Games 2003
  • Committee Chair, Alberta Table Tennis Association, Canada, 2003 - 2005
  • NCCP coaching certificate (table tennis), Canada, June 11, 2004
  • Aichi prefectural representative for the Central Japan Championship 1998, Junior division  etc. etc.

Tips for competitive players: Coach Koji's Contemporary Competitive Concept.pdf 

Life is table tennis; According to a commonly shared belief, I should make decisions quickly and constantly move around to win a game, but … how important is it to “win”?

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Blood Donation

I made my blood donation debut in Canada when I was a graduate student. Blood donation gives me an opportunity to give... just give what I have, which helps me to stay away from scarcity mentality and develop abundance mentality. It also gives me an opportunity to reconsider the importance of keep doing one thing, as opposed to pursuing many different experiences). Currently, I am a member of Japanese Red Cross Society Four Seasons Donation Club. I am a frequent plasma donor, but I also do platelet and whole blood donations from time to time, aiming at 120 donations by the end of my life.

Life is blood donation; it would be a bloody good thing to just give what I have without expecting anything in return.

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I bite into an apple as soon as I get up. It is said that eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away. True! I have not seen a doctor for a long time. Apples are like languages; there are complex genetic relationships among them, and apples in the same family possess comparable characteristics.

Life is an apple; ideally, it should be enjoyed everyday.

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Board games (Chess, Japanese Chess Shogi)

Playing a board game requires an optimal balance between analytic processing and holistic processing, just as in the processing of complex words, faces, and scenes. It is my great pleasure to learn from a computer program and think whether computer programs can (and should) outperform human champions. With extensive analytical processing of computer programs as a baseline of comparison, we can better appreciate the complexity and richness of human cognition. With a relatively simple picture of board games as a baseline of comparison, we can also better understand why the world is full of problems – it is a massive game played by over 7 billion players, not all of whom share the goal to capture the king nor take turns.

Life is a board game; I may have to sacrifice something important in the short run to obtain what I really want in the long run.


Baking (Cooking)

Like many other challenges in life, an initial attempt to bake something new often turns out to be a failure. It is, however, fun to achieve perfection by repeating trials and errors, while occasionally putting new ideasinto practice. If you follow the recipes introduced in "Imada, M. (1995). Tanoshi akashidukuri. Tokyo: Kodansha," the result is guaranteed.

Life is baking; I always like my own work, no matter how distorted it looks to others.

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” (Søren Kierkegaard)

 Last updated 12/10/2018                                   © Koji Miwa 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved