TRIZ Forum: Letters from Readers 
On Nakagawa's Trip Report
Semyon Savransky (The TRIZ Experts) Sept. 14, 1999
Nikolai Khomenko (Minsk TRIZ School) Oct. 3, 1999
Kalevi Rantanen (TRIZ OY, Finland) Oct. 4, Oct. 6, 1999         [All posted on Nov. 1, 1999]

Editor's Note (T. Nakagawa, Oct. 31, 1999)

    On my report "Report of A Personal Trip to TRIZ Mother Countries (Russia & Belarus, Aug. 1999)", which was posted in this homepage and then later republished in the TRIZ Journal, I have received several communications.  Among them, communications from three TRIZ experts are posted here.  They contain information to correct my mistakes in the report and, moreover, much valuable comments and discussions in relation to my report. (Titles of the communications are attached by the Editor).
  (1) "Some comments", from Semyon Savransky (The TRIZ Expert) on Sept. 14, 1999
  (2) "Cotradiction Technology is the core part of TRIZ", from Nikolai Khomenko (Minsk TRIZ School) on Oct. 3, 1999
  (3) "TRIZ in Finland", from Kalevi Rantanen (TRIZ OY, Finland) on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6, 1999

    In the Japanese pages of this site, two other communications from our Japanese readers are posted in Japanese.  They are  not directed to my trip report but address their needs and questions on TRIZ and its usage:
  (4)  "Needs of easier methods to apply TRIZ", from Michiaki Yasuda (LCA Japan) on Jun. 23 and Oct. 21, 1999
  (5)  "Questions on USIT and TRIZ", from Hideaki Kosha (Fuji Film) on Sept. 14 and Oct. 27, 1999

    These are the first articles contributed from Japanese readers and posted openly on this site.  The two contributers are trying to introduce TRIZ and USIT into their companies and are meeting difficulties in their initial stage of understanding the real usefulness of the methodologies.  In response to Mr. Kosha, I posted the following note in the Japanese page:
  (6)  "Answers to Mr. Kosha's Questions" by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) on Oct. 31, 1999

    We are very grateful to all these communicators.  This site, "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", is open for readers' contributions, either in English or in Japanese.  Please understand that the forum is moderated and it takes two to four weeks before posting.
Top of this page Nakagawa's Trip Report 1. from S. Savransky 2. from N.  Khomenko 3. from K. Rantanen  Japanese page 

(1) "Some Comments"
        from Dr. Semyon Savransky  (Sept. 14, 1999)

Dear Dr. Nakagawa,

It was interesting to read your paper - to me it is a look from outside.

Let me note a few small mistakes:

>Mr. Genrich Saurovich Altshuller,
Middle name SauLovich

I think "Department of Creating" isn't good translation. There is no analogy
in USA, I don't know about Japan

>In 1956, Mr. Altshuller published his first paper (with Mr. Shapiro as a
>coauthor) on TRIZ, i.e. "About a Technology of Creativity".
The title "About the psychology of inventivity"   see

>"Azerbajan Institute of Invention Creativity"
I think "Azerbajan Institute of the Inventive Creativity" is better

>G. I. Iwanov
G.I. IVanov

And few notes:

>This strategy puts stress on forming pioneering TRIZ practitioners inside
>companies and on sharing reliable information on TRIZ.
How to do it ? Usually TRIZ practitioners does not know Japanese and
companies (at least in USA) don't want to share  information on developments
with TRIZ.

>I talked about 3-hour lectures and 3-day training seminiars on TRIZ (and on
>USIT), Russian and Belarussian TRIZ specialists all thought them "too short"
>and do not seem to understand their necessity.
They are right 3-5 days training seminiars can give only basic ideas of TRIZ
but a student will not able to apply TRIZ at a considerable level.

>It may be necessary to open such a course in English at first (maybe not in
Well, we have  THE VIRTUAL TRIZ COLLEGE with 130 hours and 190+ hours

TRIZ for kids: Please remember that "...And suddenly inventor" as well as
Salamatov's books were written for pupils

>He often said training of TRIZ should be targeted first to engineers
>and then to univesity students, and then to highschool students.
He was right !

>  In Japan, we should first think of a possibility of forming a nonprofit
>society of TRIZ as one of academic societies in technology.
You are right !

Thank you for a good report.


Semyon Savransky
The TRIZ Experts

(2) "Cotradiction Technology is the core part of TRIZ"
         from Mr. Nikolai Khomenko (Minsk TRIZ School)  (Oct. 3, 1999)

Dear Mr. Nakagawa

In your report you wrote that Rubin and Faer told  you that they
use the same tools of TRIZ  out of engineering area of activities.  But
everybody use the same tools because these are tools for contradiction
resolution.  This is the most important part of ARIZ.

That is why Altshuller during his classes most of time spend on ARIZ-85.  He
never spend lot of time on principles or standards (SF-model).  He was
interested in developing skills for contradiction technology of problem
solving.  And as he says every time ARIZ first of all is tools for developing
special way of thinking for contradiction resolving and just after that ARIZ
is tools for problem solving.

During my researches I understand very clearly that "Contradiction technology"
(Contradiction, Resources, Ideality, Full Scheme) is most important part of
TRIZ and for using TRIZ out of just engineering area.
That is why Altshuller spent so many time on developing ARIZ and on teaching
people how to use ARIZ.

As far as I know nobody in USA or Europe teach ARIZ-85.  It is not so
easy and it takes a lot of time.  Altshuller even wrote in ARIZ that it is
necessary at least 80 hours classes before using ARIZ.  But ARIZ is just for
engineers and it is impossible to use it as it is for teaching preschool
teachers, for example.  That is why in the middle of 80-s Altshuller proposed
new subject for research - how to teach ARIZ to people without engineering
background.  So we started this research and soon I have understood that a lot
of problems that exist in ARIZ when we work with only one problem will
disappear if we work with several problems and contradictions at once.  But it
was very difficult for explanation to students.  So I started to develope
new technology for training in problem solving and contradiction resolution.

We use for this a very simple game.  And our classes now have special step-by-
step periods: first we start to learn main tools for contradiction
resolution (various types of contradictions, various types of ideality,
resources and Full Scheme classic and advanced), second - we learn with
students how to use these tools for real problem solving.  It is very
important that during first part of our classes we deal with problems as far
from professional area as possible, most of all.  It helps us show main tools
of contradiction technology and Problem Flow technology more clearly.  After
students understood  how to use these tools in practice we start to use their
own problems as training problems, most off all.  It is very important that
students start to work on their own problems during classes with our help.
Then they can use all of these tools everywhere in their activity from job to
private life.

What I want to say is - ARIZ is technology for contradiction resolution.
Contradiction is a main cause of problem and resolving contradiction is
main tool of TRIZ; other TRIZ tools just help us to use contradiction tools
more effectively.  That is why Rubin and Faer and a lot of other TRIZ experts first
of all use contradiction in their work.  If I would draw TRIZ as a tree
Contradiction resolving would  be the trunk of it and every other tools of
TRIZ would be as branches and leaves.

So a lot of people can tell you a lot about TRIZ, about principles, about
objective laws or lines of system evolution, about pointer of effects and so
on...   But... If they can not use contradiction, we can hardly say they are
TRIZ-experts. That is why I recommended you to meet Faer and Rubin during your
business trip in former USSR.

I will be glad to continue our letter exchange.

Best wishes,

Nikolai Khomenko
Minsk Center of TRIZ Technologies
E-mail:         WWW:

(3) "TRIZ in Finland"
         from Mr. Kalevi Rantanen (Finland)  (Oct. 4, 1999)

Dear Mr. Nakagawa!

I have read with great interest your report of  a trip to Russia and Belarus.

I would like to add a small piece of information.  In the section (4)
"Mr. Genrich Altshuller's life and his devotion to TRIZ" is written
that his books were translated into Finnish, too.  I have never seen any
Finnish translations of  Altshuller's books.  I myself wrote 1984-1985 a
small book in Finnish.  It was published in 1985.  This book is not a
translation, but rather a review, based on the book Creativity as an
Exact Science, on other books and articles of Altshuller, and on the
work of his colleagues.

Remarks on TRIZ in Japan are interesting, too.  It seems that the problem
how to modernize and implement TRIZ rather similar in all countries.


Kalevi Rantanen
TRIS OY, Finland


From Mr. Kalevi Rantanen (2)  (Oct. 6, 1999)

Dear Mr. Nakagawa!

Thank you for your message.  I wrote a bit more. You are free to post
this communication in the "TRIZ Forum" if  you feel that it is
interesting for readers:

I got acquainted with TRIZ about 1983-84 in Minsk, Belarus, where I
studied in the Belorussian Polytechnic Institute (I lived and studied in
the former USSR six years, 1979-1985).  I read some articles and books
of  Mr. Altshuller. I wrote a letter to him, and learned that his
colleague Valeri Tsurikov is working in Minsk.   - In 90ies  Mr.
Tsurikov founded Invention Machine  Corporation in the US.   Some years
later, in 1987, I met with Vladimir Gerasimov and Semyon Litvin in
St.Petersburg (in the former Leningrad).   They, too, were nearest
colleagues of Altshuller.  And they both live and work today in the US.
With Althshuller himself, and with his wife  Valentina Zhuravlyova, I
have met once, in 1987, in Baku.

In the winter 1984-85 I wrote a small book of TRIZ in Finnish. It is a
review, based on Altshuller's and his colleagues books and articles. The
book was published in 1985.  At the same time I returned from Russia. The
first two-day seminar of TRIZ in Finland was conducted in the autumn
1985.  So I have now about fifteen years worked with TRIZ.  My work is
mainly TRIZ training in Finnish industrial companies.

TRIZ is the most valuable thing I have got from Russia.  However,
especially traditional or so called classical TRIZ  (TRIZ developed to
1985, the TRIZ that is best known in the world) should often be modified
when it is implemented outside Russia.

First, there is a simple time factor.  Altshuller and his followers
conducted usually 4-6 week training courses.  The most important tool in
classical TRIZ was ARIZ - a long "algorithm" or job plan for inventive
problem solving.  Altshuller warned that ARIZ should not be used to solve
new problems without at least 80 hours of prior study.   In Finland, for
example, I conduct usually 5 day TRIZ courses.  I have time one week
instead of  four, 30-40 hours instead of 80.  Tools should be more
compact and clear so that an engineer can get benefit from a short

Second, during the long evolution of classical TRIZ from 1940ies to
1980ies the main task of  Altshuller's team was to get effective tools
for inventive problem solving.  The efficiency was main concern.
Obviously, at that time was not even possible to think much of  the
convenience or user-friendliness of  tools.  Now we have a totally
different situation.  The theory and tools exist.  They work.  Often the
task is to make the existing toolkit more accessible for engineers.  It
is not enough that the tool works.  It should be as simple and convenient
to use as possible.

A good example is the Substance-Field-Analysis that is one of  the most
interesting branches of  TRIZ.   An American TRIZ expert James Kowalick
even have said that this analysis is the most valuable contribution of
Altshuller.  The "classical" Su-Field models, however, are unnecessary
complex and vague. That's why only professional or half-professional
TRIZ experts are ready to use them.  Ordinary engineers usually reject
Su-Field triangles as too "abstract".  Su-Field analysis should and can
be presented more clear way.

Best regards

Kalevi Rantanen
TRIS OY, Finland
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Last updated on Nov. 1, 1999.     Access point:  Editor: