Mariko BandoMariko Bando



Mariko Bando teaches a way of life that is not bound by assumptions.


Proposal from Mariko Bando: A new way of life that exposes you to different values ​​and frees you from assumptions (Part 2)

The narrower the world in which people live, the more
easy to get caught up in assumptions



Are you trapped by unconscious biased thoughts = “beliefs”? It is difficult to notice because you are not aware of it. What is important here is to be exposed to other people's words, actions, and ways of seeing things that are different from your own. A good place to start is by reading newspapers and TV news to understand what's happening in the world right now, and by having opportunities to talk with people from different occupations and ages than you.


As the president of the university, Mr. Bando is actively implementing measures to increase such opportunities.

``For example, there is currently an increase in the number of childcare workers being hired to eliminate childcare waiting lists.However, in reality, even if a large number of childcare workers are hired, many of them end up quitting after a short period of time. People often say that it's because of poor pay or long and demanding working hours, but when we conducted a survey of employees, we found that the top reasons for leaving are neither the salary nor the harshness of the job. It's not about ``workplace relationships.''



After reading this survey, I realized that we need an environment that nurtures people in charge. We need a leader with expertise in organizational management and in-house training systems. Therefore, we created a course called ``Child Care and Welfare Management'' at the professional graduate school for working adults. This is a course for people working in childcare, medical care, welfare, and other fields to acquire specialized knowledge that will be useful in their jobs, and to earn a master's degree in as little as one year."

Without realizing that their prejudice is hurting someone or making them uncomfortable, they stop thinking, thinking, ``The world has become noisy these days...'' as if they were the victim of a verbal hunt.



“However, when I looked back on my life so far and the environment surrounding me now, I realized that there were people all over the place who thought the same way. Sometimes we impose our values ​​on others, or we narrow down our own options for the future by thinking, ``Because I'm a woman...''



Once the curriculum actually began, it was said that it was a good stimulus for the professors. All of the incoming students are working in real time, so they have the latest information on the field. There are things that emerge when people from different environments and positions understand each other.

Mariko Bando Mariko Bando

A different environment, new encounters
By coming into contact with different values, you can understand your own beliefs.

Everyone has different ways of thinking and standards of behavior. If you live in a "small world" state, such as only dating people in a similar position or living in an environment that never changes, it's easy to forget this and become tightly bound by assumptions. Mr. Bando himself said that he realized many things when he was stationed in Australia as Consul General.



``At the official residence, there is a dedicated person in charge of cleaning and cooking.For me, who has been balancing work and housework in Japan, this was my first experience having someone else do all the housework for me. I felt a little apologetic, but what I got back from working women was, ``There's no need to feel guilty about it.'' You should be more like yourself. It is better for society to do something that cannot be done otherwise.''



Actually, I'm not good at cleaning up, but I thought I should do it because I'm a woman. It's more effective to leave that to a professional, and I'm happy to be able to spend my time doing what I'm good at. I didn't want to do it, but because I'm a woman, I have to do it...It gave me an opportunity to get rid of the idea that I have to do it.''

She also said that living in Australia has helped her develop a habit of exercising.



``I'm sorry to say this, but I used to think that going to the gym was something people do when they have free time, and that having to go for a walk every day was just a dog's lifestyle.But I was drawn to Australia's rich and beautiful natural environment. When I went for a walk, I felt really good.It is said that the reason why Australians live longer despite their high obesity rate is because they have a habit of exercising. I started getting more active. Now, I put on my sneakers and walk from my house to the university for about 30 minutes."

Mariko Bando Mariko Bando

Mr. Bando commutes to work, a 30-minute walk each way, and goes to the gym. I am able to work energetically because I am concerned about my health every day.

Even in things that you thought were useless or uninteresting, new knowledge and experiences that you didn't know before are expanding. That's why I want you to actively meet people, go to various places, and experience ``something different'' and ``something you don't know yet.''


``I think it's a good idea to be conscious of getting information from multiple sources, such as actually visiting bookstores and reading more books and newspapers.When using the Internet, you can enter search terms that interest you. There is a bias in accessing information."



Mr. Bando's book ``How to live without being bound by beliefs'' provides detailed examples of various beliefs and specific tips for breaking away from them. People who are unaware of this and think, ``I don't think I have any major 'conceptions,''' should definitely read this book.

Mariko Bando


Born in Toyama Prefecture. After he graduated from the University of Tokyo, he entered the Prime Minister's Office. He is in charge of the Youth Affairs Headquarters, Women's Affairs Office, Elderly Affairs Office, etc. She is energetically working on community development, starting with gender equality. She subsequently served as Deputy Governor of Saitama Prefecture, Consul General in Brisbane, and the first Director-General of the Cabinet Office's Gender Equality Bureau. Her 2006 book, Women's Dignity, became a bestseller with over 300 million copies sold. She served as Vice President of Showa Women's University in 2005, President in 2007, Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2014, and has been President of Showa Women's University since 2016.

A book about how to live without being bound by assumptions A book about how to live without being bound by assumptions

“A way of life that is not bound by assumptions” by Mariko Bando, published by Poplar Publishing
``For some reason, relationships don't go well,'' or ``I said something that I thought would be good for the other person, but ended up making the other person angry.'' These are problems that can happen to anyone. The main focus of this book is that many of these causes are due to ``cognitive distortions and biases caused by unconscious beliefs (unconscious biases).'' Showa Women's University, where the author serves as president, also actively carries out educational activities. In the future's diverse society, we need to be aware of this ``preconceptions'' and understand others correctly. A book that provides hints to help you understand "unconscious bias" and make your life easier.

Text by Junko Morita
Photography by Toshiyuki Furuya

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Proposal from Mariko Bando Let go of assumptions/unconscious bias and live freely (Part 1)

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