Paper: Creativity Tool and methods

Introduction to Visual Thinking Software 'Fuda-Yose Tool' and Its Web site 'Thinking School I'

Akihiro Katahira, Dec. 28, 2014

Excerpts from Katahira's Web site:

(English translation by Toru Nakagawa)

Posted: Jan. 18, 2015

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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Jan. 17, 2015)

I learned the software tool and its Web site at a meeting, Japan Creativity Society's 'Creative Saloon' on Dec. 6, last year.  The author, Mr. Akihiro Katahira demonstrated the software tool for 30 minutes. 

He made this software tool for himself, as a support tool for 'Visual Thinking', i.e., his ordinary way of thinking while moving around the information written on labels like Post-It Notes.  I was amazed with the easiness of drawing models and smoothness in stimulating and supporting our thinking. 

[As a software to be useful for similar purposes, I introduced in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" the 'Southbeach Modeller' developed in UK.  It is designed in a much sophisticated way and has a lot of useful functions.  However, the functions are so rich to represent various properties and relations of elements (e.g., labels and arrows), it takes much time to get used to its operations. 

When I read his Web site 'Daiichi Kousha'  later, I was much surprised again.  His site describes 'How to think out of ideas' in plain expressions and yet quite systematically.  He naturally uses 'Visual Thinking', so to speak, in the name of 'Fuda-Yose Method'.  Fuda means cards or plates, where pieces of information are written.  He uses many Fudas and move around them in various relationships to think and especially to stimulate his thought to find new insights. 

Thus I asked Mr. Akihiro Katahira for an article for introducing his tool and Web site. A full description, composed of excerpts from his Web site, is posted in the Japanese page .  I translated the Tool section into English and post it here.  The sample drawing demonstrates the usefulness of the tool, I believe.  (Sorry but the Web site section is not ready in English translation.)

Profile of Mr. Akihiro Katahira:  Retired Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Ltd. in 2011.  Member of Japan Creativity Society.


Top of this page Fuda-Yose Tool Sample drawings     Southbeach Modeller Web site Daiichi Kousha   Japanese page

Introduction to Visual Thinking Software 'Fuda-Yose Tool'
and Its Web site 'Thinking School I'

Akihiro Katahira
(English translation by Toru Nakagawa)

Dec. 28, 2014


A.  Visual Thinking Software: "Fuda-Yose Tool"

This is a software tool for drawing 'labels' like Post-It Notes, 'enclosures' and 'lines' in an Excel sheet smoothly. 

In the 'labels' and 'enclosures' drawn in the sheet, you may write words and sentences, and you can drug and drop them anywhere with a mouse.  The words and sentences written in the 'labels' can be stored simultaneously with a click into the cells of Microsoft Excel, and can be adversely extracted from the cells.

Just as you put the Post-It Notes on a big paper and move them around on it, you can handle the 'labels' freely on your PC.  Since Excel files are used as the data files by this software tool, the 'labels', 'enclosures' and 'lines' you drew can be copy-and-pasted onto MS PowerPoint and Word files smoothly.

I originally made this software as a tool for supporting the thinking method, 'Fuda-Yose Method', so I named it 'Fuda-Yose Tool'.  Actually, however, the software tool can be utilized for many different purposes.  For example, you may use it as a general tool for supporting your thinking, such as thinking out of various ideas and building up your thoughts with the collected information.  You may use it to compose/edit your documents with 'Kozane Method' (by Tadao Umesao) on your PC.  It is also useful to record and organize various comments in a meeting, by projecting the PC window onto a large screen. 

You may download this 'Fuda-Yose Tool' software without charge at the 'Zukou-shitsu' (Visual Thinking Section) of my Web site 'Daiichi Kousha' (First Thinking School).

The following figures are drawn by using the 'Fuda-Yose Tool'.  The 'labels' (rectangles), 'enclosures' (round-corner rectangles), and 'lines' (curved lines) can be moved around on the Excel Sheet.

[Note:  These drawings are made by Nakagawa with the Fuda-Yose Tool seeing its Japanese versions drawn by Katahira.  The operation was easy once I learned how to use it.] 


B.  Web site 'Daiichi Kousha' (Thinking School I)


Sorry but English translation is not ready (not planned for a time being).  (Toru Nakagawa)


  In Japanese page: 

Fuda-Yose Tool  in HTML ,    in PDF

Thinking School I:  in HTML ,    in PDF 


Top of this page Fuda-Yose Tool Sample drawings     Southbeach Modeller Web site Daiichi Kousha   Japanese page


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Last updated on  Jan. 18, 2015.     Access point:  Editor: