TRIZ Forum:

Visiting Iran for PSST2012 Conference, February 2012

Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ.)
Mar. 30, 2012 
(English translation: Apr. 7, 2012)

Posted: in Japanese:Mar. 31, 2012 ; in English: Apr. 9, 2012
buttons guide you to the pages written in Japanese.

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Mar. 23, 2012)

Last February 20-27, I visited Iran and presented a Keynote and a research paper at the PSST 2012 Conference held in Tehran on Feb. 22-23. This was my first trip to Iran, and I accompanied my wife Masako. We were warmly accepted by the Iranian group of TRIZ promoters and enjoyed much in Tehran and the old capital Isfahan. 

In contrast to our previous images of Iran formed through newspapers and TVs in Japan, I have found different faces of the country and its people. Thus, I am reporting my personal experiences and impressions during the visit, along with some pictures. 

The page is composed of the followings:

[1]   History of communications with Iranian TRIZ group and Japan/Toru Nakagawa since 2006
[2]   Invitation from Iran and my decision of the visit
[3]   Outline of the trip
[4]   Report of PSST 2012 Conference
[5]   About the group promoting TRIZ in Iran
[6]   My experiences and impressions in Iran (at Tehran and Isfahan, old capital)

Clicking the photos, you can see the enlarged ones. 

  Note added (Toru Nakagawa, Apr. 7, 2012):  I am now posting this article in English translation.  Mr. Mahmoud Karimi advised me to correct some of my misunderstandings of the facts related to PSST 2012. 

Top of this page 1. History of communications 2. Decision of the visit 3. Outline of trip 4. PSST2012 Conf. 5. Iranian TRIZ group 6. My experiences & impressions Japanese page
Nakagawa's paper at PSST2006 Article by M. Karimi (1) Article by M. Karimi (2) M. Karimi's Keynote at Japan TRIZ Symp. 2010 Japan TRIZ Symposium 2010, Personal Report Nakagawa's Keynote Lecture at PSST2012 Nakagawa's Proposal of Global Network  


  [1] History of communications with Iranian TRIZ group and Japan/Toru Nakagawa since 2006

As you can see in several pages of this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", we have the history of communications as follows:

(1) In 2004 and 2005 at the international TRIZ conferences, TRIZCON (in USA) and ETRIA TFC (in Europe), a couple of papers were presented from Iran (by Mr. Maleki).

(2) On Nov. 26-27, 2006 in Tehran, a (partly) international TRIZ-related conference was held: Conference of Problem Solving Strategies & Techniques (PSST).  Nakagawa received from Mr. Mahmoud Karimi (IIITS) a request of presenting a Keynote Lecture.  Since I could not visit the conference, I made a video-record of my presentation: "How I Have Been Learning, Applying, and Teaching TRIZ".  The video presentation was projected in the PSST conference.  I posted the presentation in this home page 3 years later, Mar. 14, 2010 .

(3) In November 2008 in the Netherlands, I met Mr. Mahmoud Karimi and his wife Nona, and became friends with them. They came from Iran for attending at 'Systematic Innovation Networking Meeting' organized by Darrell Mann and at ETRIA TFC 2008.  I learned their activities of promoting TRIZ in Iran by effectively using newspapers and TV programs.

(4) In April 2009 in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", I introduced Miyanishi Family's "Summer TRIZ Homework on Water Striders" presented at Japan TRIZ Symposium 2008. On a request by Mahmoud Karimi, Mr. Katsuya Miyanishi sent his PPT file to Iran.  Karimi introduced in TV talk show (and several other occasions) the Miyanishi Family's Father and Son work, and he reported us the work became very popular among many TV audiences in Iran.

(5) In July 2009, we received emails from Mahmoud Karimi that he was planning to attend and present a paper at our Japan TRIZ Symposium 2009.  But in August, we lost communications with him, because of some network trouble as we found later.  In December 2009 we could resume the email communications and received a manuscript from him, which I posted in my Web site: "TRIZ Activities in Iran" by Mahmoud Karimi (posted on Feb. 22, 2010) .  From this article, we learned that in Iran they are promoting TRIZ into its society widely and effectively by using newspapers, magazines, and TVs. 

(6) In February 2010, Japan TRIZ Society decided to invite Mr. Mahmoud Karimi as one of the two Keynote Speakers at Japan TRIZ Symposium 2010.  We received a second article from him "Applying TRIZ for promotion of TRIZ", and I posted it in the Web (Mar. 24, 2010) .  In concern to the news of so-called "suspicious development of nuclear weapons in Iran", we submitted the visa application early to the Japanese Embassy in Iran and obtained visa smoothly.

(7) On September 9-11, 2010 at Japan TRIZ Symposium 2010, Mahmoud Karimi gave a Keynote Speech on "TRIZ Activities in Iran: Transfer to a new nationwide paradigm by TRIZ application and promotion" .  It was a vivid and excellent presentation on their TRIZ promotion activities towards society in the nation-wide scale, and was highly accepted by many Symposium participants from Japan and overseas.  A number of Japanese TRIZ people have communications with Karimi since the Symposium.

(8) In May 2011, we received email communications saying that Karimi and his colleagues would come and present papers at our TRIZ Symposium 2011.  In July they prepared two papers (one by Karimi and the other by Sara Salimi) for the Symposium.  In August, we received messages that some change in their situations made their coming impossible.  Thus no visit from Iran in 2011.

(9) In November 2011, Nakagawa received a message from Karimi saying that on the 13th Anniversary of "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" they celebrated it with a big 'Birthday Cake' for the Web site.  See the photo of the cake .


[2] Invitation from Iran and my decision of the visit

(10) In November 2011, Nakagawa received an email from Mahmoud Karimi saying that they were going to hold the 2nd PSST Conference on Dec. 26-27 in Tehran and that they wanted me to give a Keynote Lecture. 

(11) I had a prior appointment for the specified days.  Thus I made a video record of my presentation and sent it to Iran on Dec. 10. 

(12) On Jan. 8, 2012, Mr. Karimi wrote to me again saying that they postponed the 2nd PSST till Feb. 22-23, 2012 and asked me to attend the Conference by person.  After consulting a travel agency I answered him on Jan. 17 to visit Iran together with my wife.

(13) Concerning to the topic of my Keynote I was planning (as last December) to talk about "Development of TRIZ/USIT in Japan".  Karimi requested me to divide it into two talks, i.e., one on "TRIZ in Japan, Its Introduction and Penetration" as a Keynote Lecture in the opening session, and the other on "USIT Six-Box Scheme" as a presentation.  Thus I started to prepare for the two talks, on Jan. 21.  We also started the visa application procedure for entering Iran 

(14)  On Jan. 23, TV news reported that "US and EU proposed in the UN to make a decision of economic sanctions on Iran, while Iran suggested the possibility of closing the Hormuz Strait as a counter action".  Nakagawa informed Karimi of some possibility of changing my decision of the visit in case of any international political crisis, and watched the international situations.  On Jan. 31, I bought the flight tickets and informed Karimi of my decision of the visit. 

(15) On Feb. 8, I received the Advance Agenda of PSST 2012 in English. On Feb. 15, the Iranian visa arrangements were finished.  Karimi have arranged the hotel reservations and other details of my visit to Iran together with my wife.



[3] Outline of the trip

Feb. 20 (Mon):  Evening: Departed Tokyo Narita Airport via a flight of Emirates Airlines, with transit at Dubai

Feb. 21 (Tue):  Morning: Arrived at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran.  At the airport, we were accepted by Karimi, and soon Mr. Hongyul Yoon from Korea and Dr. Gaetano Cascini from Italy joined.  Afternoon: visited two museums in Tehran.

Feb. 22 (Wed):  Morning:  Opening of the PSST 2012 Conference.  I gave a Keynote Speech in the Opening Session.  Afternoon: Parallel sessions.  I made a presentation on USIT.  [My wife enjoyed tourism in the city with a guide.]  Evening: Home Party at the Salimi Family.

Feb. 23 (Thu): Morning: PSST 2012, parallel sessions.  Afternoon: Closing session of the Conference.  [My wife enjoyed tourism in the city with a guide.]  Evening: Flew to Isfahan.

Feb. 24 (Fri) (Holiday in Iran): Morning & Afternoon: Tourism in Isfahan (a party of 9 members, with a guide).  Evening: Flew back to Tehran.

Feb. 25 (Sat):  Morning & Afternoon:  Tourism in Tehran (Museum, Bazaar, etc.)

Feb. 26 (Sun): Morning & Afternoon:  Tourism in Tehran (City Center, Art Exhibition, etc.).  Evening:  Departed IKA Tehran, with a transit at Dubai,

Feb. 27 (Mon): Evening:  Arrived at Narita Airport safely.


[4] Report of PSST 2012 Conference

(1) Outline of the Conference:

Name:   PSST 2012 (2nd Conference on Problem Solving Strategy and Techniques)

Place:    Petrochemical Leadership Training Institute, Tehran City, Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
[Petrochemical Co. is the company carrying over the country's most important industry, i.e., petroleum and petrochemical industry. The venue is its beautiful training facility emphasizing on leadership.  Main room for the conference is the auditorium with the capacity of about 300 people.  There are many more seminar rooms. ]

Date:    Feb. 22 (Wed) - 23 (Thu), 2012.   From 8:00 till 17:30.


Held by:  IIITS (Iranian Institute of Innovation & Technological Studies), IUST (Iran University of Science and Technology), and Amirkabir University of Tehran
[Note: IIITS looks working mainly.]

Sponsored by: Department of Human Capital Development and Management (of the Iranian Government)  and others.
[Note: In the leaflet of the Agenda, about 10 ministries and departments of the Iranian Government are shown.]

Main organizers:  Dr. Alireza AliAhmadi (Conference Chair / IIITS); Ms. Sara Salimi (Strategic Planning Secretary / IIITS President); Mr. Mahmoud Karimi (International Affairs Secretary/ IUST and IIITS Vice President); Mr. Mehdi Parvin (Executive Secretary / IIITS)

Outline of Agenda:
First day:  morning:      Tutorial and Opening Sessions at the Auditorium
First day: afternoon:      Parallel sessions at the Auditorium and 3 other rooms
Second day: morning:     Parallel sessions at the Auditorium and 3 other rooms
Second day: afternoon:    Closing Session at the Auditorium and then
                                      Parallel sessions of tutorials at the Auditorium and 3 other rooms


Sara Salimi   Toru Nakagawa     Mahmoud Karimi
[Click the photo to enlarge it.]


(2) Nature of the Conference and Invited Speakers from overseas

Principally national (Iranian speakers talk in Farsi [Persian language] and show slides in Farsi only)
and partially international (3 people invited from overseas, presentation in English with English slides.  On the strong requests by the audience, Mahmoud Karimi and a couple of his colleagues explained in Farsi for every several slides.)

Invited Speakers from overseas (3 persons):
- Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ., Japan): Keynote:"TRIZ in Japan", Invited presentation: "USIT Six-Box Scheme"
- Gaetano Cascini (Milano Polytechnic Univ., Italy): Invited talk: "Sustainable Innovation", Invited report: "TETRIS Project and TRIZ Education for Children"
- Hongyul Yoon (Consultant, Korea): Tutorial: "Modern TRIZ (OTSM-TRIZ)", Invited report: "Training in Korean Companies"

Invited Video presentations from overseas

- Alexander Sokol (Latvia)  "Introducing TRIZ into foreign language learning" (i.e., learning a foreign language through thinking)
- Valeri Souchkov (The Netherlands)   -- There was a difficulty in the network due to its big size, but was done finally in another session.

The operation of the conference was flexible (or not well controlled) in time.  Apparently, there were various changes in the Advance Agenda. 

(3) Agenda of the Conference

First Day, Morning (Plenary at the Auditorium)

- Introduction:  Alireza Kashizad (IIITS)
- Tutorial: Hongyul Yoon (Korea) "Function of Modern-TRIZ (OTSM-TRIZ)"

- Opening Ceremony: Organizer Report: Sara Salimi (IIITS), "From the 1st Run to PSST 2012"
- Welcome address: Dr. Alireza Aliahmadi for Dr. Jabal Ameli (Dean of IUST University)
- Opening address:  Dr. Forouzadeh (President Deputy of Human Capital Development & Management), "Importance and Role of Problem Solving Consultants in Country Development"
- Opening address: Mr. Mehdi Navid Adham (General Director of Supreme Counsil of Education) "Creativity and Problem Solving footsteps in Transformation Document of Education System of Iran"
- Keynote: Toru Nakagawa (OGU, Japan) "TRIZ in Japan"

First Day, Afternoon (4 Parallel sessions of presentations)
(a) Exploring and solving Flexibility Problems and Quality Problems
(b) Police service experiences (Forum); Information and communication technology
(c) Exploring and solving inventive problems [at the Auditorium]: Gaetano Cascini (Italy) "Sustainable Innovation with TRIZ", Toru Nakagawa "New paradigm: USIT Six-Box Scheme", etc.
(d) Creativity education for children: Alexander Sokol (Latvia) [video presentation], Gaetano Cascini (Italy) "TETRIS Project", etc.

Second Day, Morning (4 Parallel sessions of presentations)
(a) National innovation systems (Forum):  Valeri Souchkov (The Netherlands) [Video presentation], etc.
(b) Industrial Experiences [at the Auditorium]: Hongyul Yoon (Korea): "TRIZ training in Korean industries", etc.
(c) Municipality management experiences; Power & energy industry
(d) Innovative organization and corporation; Media industry experiences

Second Day, Afternoon, First half   (Closing ceremony at the Auditorium)
- Overview: Mahmoud Karimi (IIITS) "Overview on two days collaboration in PSST 2012"
- Invited talk: Gaetano Cascini (Italy) "TETRIS Project collaboration partners"
- Conference statement: Mehdi Parvin (IIITS)

Second Day, Afternoon, Second half  (4 Parallel sessions of tools tutorials)
(a) Resolving technical contradictions ==> TRIZ
(b) FAST Diagram ==> VE
(c) Value stream mapping ==> LEAN
(d) DOE (Design of Experiment) ==> Six Sigma



Mahmoud Karimi is explaining Nakagawa's proposal of Global network of public TRIZ sites in the Closing session

(4) Participants

About 220 participants on the First day, and over 250 for the two days.  Besides the 3 guests from overseas, all the participants came from various areas of Iran. 
Nearly half from industries, and nearly half from academia, I was told.

Most of the participants are young people (from 20s to 40s in age).  A group of 6 high school boys took part in the conference, accompanied by 2 teachers.

About half (?) of the participants speak in English without much difficulty, while other half do not.  Presentations in English from overseas were explained in Farsi (Persian language) in between every few slides.  (Mahmoud Karimi and some of his colleagues took this role on the requests by the audience, explaining very fluently and smoothly even without referring to the English slides.)

Audience were listening carefully to the presentations.  During the intermissions the participants were very friendly to me (and to each other) and they often liked to be taken in photos with me.  Once during parallel sessions, two IIITS members came to me to ask about USIT and we spent one hour at a reception desk for detailed discussion of the USIT approach.

In smaller rooms for parallel sessions, the participants were listening/discussing in intimate atmosphere.  However, the presentations by Iranian people were never understandable for us foreigners seeing slides in Farsi.  No English slides nor English abstracts available at moment.


[5] About the group promoting TRIZ in Iran

TRIZ is promoted in Iran mainly by IIITS (Iranian Institute of Innovation and Technological Studies).  Mrs. Sara Salimi (President), Mr. Mahmoud Karimi (Vice President), and Mr. Mehdi Parvin (Executive Manager) are leading the group of young people having about 25 members.

From about 1999 to 2007, Late Professor Hosein Salimi led IIITS as the President.  He was a leader with much capacity to attract younger people and make them work actively, I was told.  Professor Salimi met TRIZ through his study of QFD.  Mahmoud Karimi, on the other hand, met TRIZ through his work in the field of IE (Industrial Engineering) and VE.  And they joined to establish IIITS.

Professor Salimi had five daughters.  They all are married already, live on different floors of Salimi's house, and are working in different fields respectively.  Three daughter families are currently out of Iran following their post-graduate study, I was told.

Mrs. Sara Salimi is the second daughter of Late Professor Salimi, and succeeded the role of President of IIITS after the Professor's death in 2007.  She was the advisor of Minister of Education and now advises the Supreme Council of Education of the Iranian Government.  [The Ministry of Education in Iran governs the elementary and secondary education, and there is another ministry which governs higher education and science and technology.]

The office of IIITS is located on the basement of Salimi's house, and 2 other rooms in the next building.  The group of IIITS is just like an extension of the Salimi Family. 

IIITS has its income mostly from training and consulting in various companies and organizations, and from the activities in TV programs.  The members are intellectual, highly educated people, and capable to speak English very fluently/without much difficulty, and are friendly and open minded.

They are talented in many different fields and are carrying out their activities through daily intimate discussions and collaborations.  I am much impressed with their learnability, vitality, and power of execution. 

As you can see the Agenda of PSST 2012, the IIITS group has interest in a variety of tools and are applying them to many different industrial and social fields of problems. 

Besides IIITS, I met an elderly person, Mr. Mehdi Basirzadeh.   He published a new textbook of TRIZ, where he gathered a large number of proverbs and classified them into the 40 Inventive Principles of TRIZ.  He found that Principle 13: The Other Way Round has a much larger percentage of proverbs than other principles. 



[6] My experiences and impressions in Iran (at Tehran and Isfahan, old capital)

As written above in [1], I have had some communications with Iranian group since PSST 2006.  We invited Mr. Mahmoud Karimi as a Keynote Lecturer at our Japan TRIZ Symposium in Sept. 2010, and hence Japan TRIZ Society has kept some relationship with him and IIITS.  On such a basis, the arrangement of my visit to Iran this year has been realized smoothly. .

Mahmoud Karimi accepted us from overseas, i.e. Toru & Masako Nakagawa, Gaetano Cascini, and Hongyul Yoon, warmly and made various kind arrangements for us.  "Guests are the friends of the God.  Thus it is quite natural and recommended in Islamic society to treat guests kindly.", they say.

Tehran City was built under the foot of the mountain range and currently has the population of about 6.8 millions.  It does not have a big river but has much underground water coming down the snow-covered mountains.  The city center is located at almost flat place but the city has extended to the north up the hill higher and higher, thus most of the city is now located on the slope of the mountain foot.  Northern parts are the residential areas for high society.  The venue of PSST 2012 is located at the northern end of the city, and Salimi Family's house is not far from it.


View of Tehran the morning. 
(From the hotel room, towards northeast)

During these 10 years, the number of automobiles in Iran has increased very much, they say.  Many families have 2 cars for husband and wife, and the streets are extremely busy.  There are 4 lines of subways constructed and 2 other lines under construction.and many bus services, but the public transportation does not satisfy the needs.  Hence there run many taxis on the streets and many more private cars.

Cars are running closely with each other, probably with 1/2 to 1/3 of my ordinary distance from the front car, and the roads marked as 3 lanes are actually used by 4 lines of cars which often change their lanes.  Even at quite large crossings the traffic signals simply show on-and-off of orange lights all the time. Probably because ordinary operation of traffic signals would generate heavy stack of cars all through the areas.

We have rarely found bicycles.  Probably because the city has so much slopes; too steep and long for riding bicycles.

Pedestrians cross such streets bravely.  For us tourists, it is impossible to cross the streets for ourselves even at regular pedestrian crossings. 

Tehran also has the problem of air pollution at moment.


Tehran, Traffic situations  (From the hotel room, late afternoon)

The Spring Equinox Day (Mar. 21) is the New Year Day in Iran.  Thus late February in Iran is just like December in Japan.  People are busy in shopping to prepare for the new year with various new things, we were told.

In Bazaar and everywhere in the city, people look active and vital.

To the Bazaar at the city center, people come from all corners of the city to buy daily foods, clothes, goods, etc.  There are a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, etc., we found.  Nuts are sold by weights from big barrels.  To buy things fancy and smart, people go to shopping centers located various places in the city, they say.  But one of such a high-class shopping center is actually a zone or a street having nice but not so large shops. 

With the help of a guide we visited Bazaar and had a lunch at a popular restaurant situated on the second floor of a Bazaar shop.  It is popular with different kinds of kebabs.  It was around 2 p.m.  In the staircase and in the restaurant, people were much crowded.  After ordering the dishes, we had to stand and wait just behind some people eating for our chance to get the seats and eat our kebab.  This is apparently a usual situation for Iranian people.  They wait for and get seats without fighting. 

Iran has a large land and has areas of quite different climate, e.g., Tehran and inner highland, along the Persian Gulf, low land in the west, northern part along the Caspian Sea, etc.  Thus different kinds of foods can be grown throughout the year, enough for the national needs, they say.  We were much impressed with the fresh and tasty vegetables.  For the breakfast buffet at the hotel, about 10 kinds of fresh vegetable were served for salad.  Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and cabbages were especially fresh and delicious; they are so much contrast to the ordinary ones (unsatisfactory for us Japanese) in USA and Europe. 


Lunch time at a popular restaurant in Tehran Bazaar

On the First Day evening, Mother of the Salimi Family invited the foreign visitors and principal members of IIITS to her home dinner.  It was a wonderful and pleasant party of about 20 people.

Before the dinner, at a corner of the large living room of Salimi House, Mrs. Hajar Salimi, an artist and the 3rd daughter of Late Professor Salimi, (in black veil) explained us her work on the relationship between arts and TRIZ in front of a PC. 

On the floor, several carpets of traditional Persian style were laid side by side.  The carpet was indeed warm while sitting on it directly. 

All the females wear veils to cover their hair (but not face).  Most of the veils are black in color, but some others are white, green, blue, etc., in bright light color and with designed patterns.  In the Conference, slightly more than half females wear long veils down to the legs, while others short veils down to the shoulders.  Even for visitors from foreign countries females should wear veils, we were advised.


In the living room of Salimi Family House, discussing on the relationship between arts and TRIZ
(Hongyul Yoon, Toru Nakagawa, and Gaetano Cascini)

Social participation by women looks quite active in Iran, to my surprise.  The thought "Wearing veils symbolizes the situation that females are enclosed or limited in social activities" was just a prejudice of us.  About half of the IIITS members are female and are playing important roles.  Among the participants of PSST 2012, females are 20 to 30 % in number, I guess.

Children of 2+ years old are accepted by kinder gardens (& nursery schools).  Wife of Mahmoud Karimi asks the care of her boy of 2 years to a kinder garden and works at an office not far from her home.  [Their home is located near her father's and rather far from IIITS (taking about 30 to 45 minutes by car); so she is working separately from IIITS, even though she is much familiar about TRIZ.]

At the home party, Mother of Salimi Family made wonderful and delicious dishes for herself.  Taking them from large plates one after another, we enjoyed the dinner so much.  Thanks indeed.

In Iran, drinking alcohols is strictly prohibited by law, in accordance to Islamic teaching.  Thus after arriving at the airport, we never had a chance of drinking/seeing alcoholic bottles or cans.  At the restaurant in the hotel there are non-alcoholic beers.


Dinner party at the Salimi's Family. 
Mother wears black & white veil.

For us Japanese, the word 'Persia' is more familiar than 'Iran'.  The country is located close to the four cradle lands of world civilization (Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China), and has been on the road of  East-West communications and has seen many prosperous dynasties.

Tehran is relatively new; it became the Capital in 1795.  Thus there are not so many historic buildings.  We visited several museums and palaces in Tehran.

Photo (right) is a display at the Ceramic Museum (photo permitted).  This was made in 2nd Millennium BC (i.e., 3 to 4 thousand years ago).  The bull was deformed in the shape, and is apparently more like a bull, I feel.  The human feeling and human sense represented in arts are almost the same for people of 4 thousand years ago and for us today.

At the museums we saw several groups of junior high school students who were visiting the museum as a part of their classes.  Seeing my wife talking in English with her guide, some of the girl students with blight blue veils came and talked to my wife in English: "Are you from Japan?  The Tsunami was terrible.  We were sorry for Japanese."  The girls also said "Thank you for your coming to Iran!"  We heard this message a few more times from some adults we met in town. 

Mahmoud Karimi guided us to Tassvir (Immage) Annual Festival at an Art School in the city center.  There are many interesting arts of various styles.  Some were caricatures of today's Iran, such as the crazy traffic situations.  We found two posters which are concerned with Japan Disaster of last year.  One of them simply overlaps two words "JAPAN" in blue and "PAIN" in red, resulting "JAPAIN" and "I", and adds a message of sharing the pain. 


A Bull made 3000 to 4000 years ago

We wished to make a short trip to Isfahan, and our Iranian hosts realized it in a wonderful way.  Just after the PSST conference, at 9 o'clock in the evening we flew to Isfahan and stayed there.  On the next day, we made sightseeing in the beautiful old capital from morning till late afternoon and flew back at 9 o'clock to Tehran.  We were a big group of 9 members, i.e., Toru and Masako Nakagawa, Mr. Yoon, Mr. & Mrs. Mahmoud Karimi, Mr. & Mrs. Sara Salimi, Mr. Alireza Kashizad and Miss Hourieh Khoshghalb.  A professional, English-speaking guide and a chartered wagon driver supported us.  All these made the sightseeing trip effective and pleasant.

Isfahan was decided to be a new capital at the end of 16th century by Shah Abbas.  He made the grand plan of the capital for himself and had the beautiful capital built.  Emam Square was the center of the capital.  Among many beautiful buildings surrounding and facing to the square, Sheykh Lotfollah Shrine was most impressive for me.

Photo (right) shows the overview of the shrine.  It faces to the square having a big pond and has its entrance gate as a part of the 2-story cloister buildings surrounding the whole square.  The entrance gate with blue walls is widely open to the front, and the mosque is placed with an angle of 45 degrees and has a beautifully-rounded dome roof. 

Photo (below-left) shows the entrance, having the walls of mosaic in beautiful blue.  A part of the wall is shown in the next photo (below-right).  This wall is not made of tiles with colored patterns but made of mosaics of pieces of color tiles.  We are much amazed with delicate details and at the same time the uniform whole.  (Please click the photos to enlarge them.)  


Sheykh Lotfollah Shrine, Isfahan  

Entrance of the Shrine.  All the wall surfaces are made of mosaic.


A part of the wall, made of mosaic of color tiles.


For a memory of our visit to Iran, I would like to post a photo of Masako and I.  This was taken in front of an old palace building in Isfahan.  At the end of February, it was nearly as cold as in Tokyo, where it was rather colder this winter than usual. 


In Iran today, people are mostly Shi'a Muslims, and they live peacefully together with minor Sunni Muslims, Christians (Orthodox), Jewish, etc., we are told.  We are much surprised to learn that Christmas is celebrated much by Iranian people.  Jesus Christ is one of the prophets in Islamic teaching and he is popular among people today, they say.  (I remember that I received several emails saying 'Merry Christmas' from Iranian friends.)  This fact gives us quite different impressions from the broadcast news. 

I think we should learn the modern history of Iran (and of the world) again after removing some biases.  The history includes: modernization by the Shah regime as an oil country and expanding disparity in wealth, Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran-Iraq War, export prohibition by USA, etc.


In front of an old palace in Isfahan.  Toru and Masako Nakagawa.

Due to the recent economic sanction by USA and EU, the exchange rate of the Iranian currency got cheaper against US dollar by about 20 %, and it became rather difficult to get US dollars, I was told in late February.  Nevertheless, there are no much effects on domestic prices, because the foods are fully supplied inside the country, they say.  Markets and towns seemed to be active as usual.  During our visit, we never heard from Iranian people (and TV news) of any concern about the economic sanction by USA.

According to the world news of newspapers and TVs (in Japan), it was (and still is) in a very sensitive situation between the USA & EU standpoints of 'Suspicious development of nuclear weapons by Iran' and 'Economic sanction towards Iran' and the Iran standpoints of 'Possible counteraction of closing the Hormuz Strait'.  In such a situation I decided to accept the invitation from Iran and actually visited Iran, because I believe the key to the peace in the world is after all the mutual understanding among people in the world at the level of citizens. 

I talked on this belief in the last slide of my Keynote Speech of PSST 2012.  It shows my proposal of forming 'Global Network of Public Web sites (in TRIZ)' with the efforts for overcoming the language barriers; it aims at achieving mutual understanding among people in different countries and finally the PEACE in the world. 

As shown above in the photo, at the concluding session Mr. Mahmoud Karimi was explaining my proposal by showing a slide which is the Persian language version of my proposal.  I was very delighted to see him sharing my thought among Iranian audience, so I took the photo.

This page of "Visiting Iran" is just a report by a visitor to Iran.  However, I wish that this is useful for you as a report by a visitor who has a number of personal Iranian friends. 


Top of this page 1. History of communications 2. Decision of the visit 3. Outline of trip 4. PSST2012 Conf. 5. Iranian TRIZ group 6. My experiences & impressions Japanese page
Nakagawa's paper at PSST2006 Article by M. Karimi (1) Article by M. Karimi (2) M. Karimi's Keynote at Japan TRIZ Symp. 2010 Japan TRIZ Symposium 2010, Personal Report Nakagawa's Keynote Lecture at PSST2012 Nakagawa's Proposal of Global Network  


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