TRIZ Forum: Conference Report

A Note on
The 2nd TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2006

Ed Sickafus (Ntelleck LLC., USA), 
U-SIT and Think News Letter - 68, Dec. 24, 2006
[Posted on Jan. 7, 2007]

For going back to Japanese pages, press buttons.  Japanese translation of this page is not scheduled.

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Jan. 5, 2007)

Dr. Ed Sickafus is the original developer of USIT.  So we invited him in our TRIZ Symposium in Japan, last September, as one of the two Keynote Speakers.  His Keynote paper  and presentation slides given at the Symposium are already posted in the Official Page of Japan TRIZ CB.  Concerning to the Symposium, please refer to the Official Report/Documents as well as Nakagawa's Personal Report .

He has written a Note on the Symosium and publicized it in his USIT News Letter, No. 68, lately (see Dr. Sickafus' USIT Web site: ).  Under his permission, the Note is posted here.  We are very pleased to learn Dr. Sickafus' impression on our Symposium and on our TRIZ/USIT activities in Japan.  We thank Dr. Sickfus for his kind permission of posting this here.

'Japan TRIZ CB' is going to hold the 'Third TRIZ Symposium in Japan' on Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, 2007 in Yokohama, in essencially the same policy as before.  We wish that TRIZ colleagues over the world get familiar with the TRIZ event in Japan and consider joining us. 

The 2nd TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2006*

by Ed Sickafus, USIT News Letter - 68, Dec. 24, 2006

(* These notes incorporate comments extracted from the Preface for the Proceedings written by the Program Chairman, Professor Toru Nakagawa, and from his report on the meeting.)

I had the pleasure of being one of two keynote speakers at the 2nd TRIZ Symposium held in Osaka, Japan, August 31 to September 2, 2006. The symposium was attended by 157 technologists with 18 from China (Hong Kong), Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, UK, and the US. Among the 34 presentations made, 11 were given by overseas attendees. Of interest for this newsletter are the number of papers presented (6 of 34) that had direct relevance to USIT and demonstrate its rapid growth in Japan. More detailed comments will be found at

The USIT oriented papers include the following:

1) “Practices Applying TRIZ/USIT in Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.”, by Tateki Oka and Shigeru Sawada, both from Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.

2) “A trial of ‘Phenomenon-Attribute-Analysis (PAA)’ application for the USIT textbook problem, ‘Picture Hanging Kit Problem’: a new device for the USIT Process”, by Hideaki Kosha, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.

3) “A Simple Theory Underlying Structured Problem-Solving Methodologies – ASIT, TRIZ, USIT (and others)”, by Ed Sickafus, Ntelleck, LLC, Grosse Ile, MI, USA. (This paper is available as a 92 KB .pdf file; Click here)

4) “A New Paradigm of Creative Problem Solving (3) Usage and Significance of the Six-Box Scheme in USIT”, by Toru Nakagawa, Osaka Gakuin Univeristy.

5) “Introducing USIT in Matsushita Electric Works”, by Kouji Tsuji and Jiro Hashizume, Matsushita Electrical Works, Ltd., Japan.

6) “TRIZ Home Page for Students by Students” – Understanding TRIZ/USIT by Solving Everday-Life Problems, by Masayuki Hida, Tsubasa Shimoda, Naoya Hayashi, Mizuo Omori, and Toru Nakagawa, Osaka Gakuin University, Japan.

It was heartening to me to see the rapid acceptance and adoption of USIT in the Japanese technical community. The Japanese industrial and academic efforts, and the symposium embracing USIT, are largely a result of the interest and motivation of Professor Toru Nakagawa.

With Professor Nakagawa’s permission I’ll quote a paragraph from his report that fit perfectly the message I was trying to deliver in my paper. (Yes, ego also influenced this selection.)

"-- Ed Sickafus' papers always have much deep insights. Sometimes we do not understand them at first and try to refuse them. (Emphasizing the limitation in the structured way of thinking may be such a case.) And then, eventually we would find them true. In Japan, there has been a traditional way of mastering anything: "First study and enter the Form, and finally leave the Form". The 'Structure' in Sickafus' paper is the Form in the Japanese saying. Beginners have to learn the Structure first, because it is the means of communication from masters (or teachers) to beginners (or students). When they have learned and practiced it sufficiently they would come to the stage of using or applying it more freely without <being> bounded by the Structure."

This topic is much of the gist of Heuristic Innovation.

In my experience organizing international meetings for the American Vacuum Society I never confronted the difficulties this symposium presented to its organizers. Imagine dealing with 1/3 of the papers being presented by foreigners, an audience made up of attendees from 9 countries, and two official languages for the symposium! The “Collaborative Board of TRIZ Promoters and Users in Japan”, the symposium organizers, are to be commended for deciding not to have simultaneous translation of the papers – a doubling of the time alloted to speakers, or halving of information presented if standard time were not alloted. They did use two projection screens, one each for the two languages (Japanese and English). This was not a perfect solution, as the board surmised, but its difficulties were eased with printed versions of the slides in Japanese or English being presented to each attendee at registration.

One of the highlights for me was meeting Japanese and Korean technologists who are on teams in their companies that use USIT. Another was encountering three generations of teacher-student pairs using USIT. And another was witnessing the interest and excitement of students in a poster session discussing a USIT paper. Although I couldn’t understand a word of their conversation, their animation and facial expressions conveyed a lot.

The poster sessions, always a difficult thing to make work, seemed to go very well in this symposium. They were held in a not too large room with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments on tables in the center and posters mounted around the walls. This arrangement encouraged individual investigation of the posters followed by small group discussions. With food readily available, there was no need to quickly take in the posters and then leave to find food.

In all, it was an effective meeting as demonstrated by audience approval – they voted to have number 3 next year, probably in Tokyo.


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