Professor Hiromitsu Miyata gave a talk at the 11th Japanese Laughter Yoga Association.

The 11th Japanese Laughter Yoga Association was held at Fukushima Medical University in front of JR Fukushima Station on October 21-22, 2023. Hosted by Professor Tetsuya Ohira, Fukushima Medical University, who has published a number of works on medical and epidemiological research on laughter's effects on the mind and body in recent years.

Laughter yoga combines laughter exercises as physical movements with breathing techniques of yoga, aiming to yield mental and physical benefits that are equivalent to those experienced during genuine laughter. This practice well aligns with the concept in embodied psychology that "body movement formulates the mind."  Thanks to this congruence, I have collaborated on research with Ms. Yoshiko Takada and others from the Japanese Laughter Yoga Association in recent years.

This year's event marked a return to fully face-to-face interaction since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic after 2019. Over 200 participants, primarily laughter yoga instructors from around Japan, participated. While laughter yoga is effective in forming communities among elderly people and in preventing dementia, the participants mainly belonged to the instructor classes and tended to be predominantly seniors. Nevertheless, the practice of laughter yoga itself can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders.

I attended this conference following my participation in the 2022 Warai Camp held at the area of Mount Fuji. I presented recent research findings on the psychological effects of laughter yoga using lecture movies.

Miyata, H. (2023). Practice of laughter yoga using on-demand movies and its psychological effects. The 11th Japanese Laughter Yoga Conference, Oral Presentation IV, Presentation 13, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima City, October 21-22, 2023 (presented on October 22, 2023).

Furthermore, I had an interesting opportunity to perform a short recital on the second day, starting the afternoon session with F. Couperin's "Le Rossignol en Amour" on the sopranino recorder.

A number of participants showcased original talents such as singing and rakugo (comic storytelling). I was particularly impressed by the creative enka (Japanese ballad) entitled "The Path of Laughter," for which the singer gave me a CD. The event also highlighted various initiatives in Fukushima City after the East Japan earthquake and Fukushima nuclear plant accident, such as the sunflower seed planting project. 

The 2024 conference is to be chaired by me in Tokyo. At the event's conclusion, Professor Ohira symbolically passed on the (invisible) baton to me. While the logistical arrangements, including venue reservations, are yet to be finalized, I hope to ensure a successful upcoming event.

You can view the 2023 conference highlights on YouTube:

Hiromitsu Miyata
Hiromitsu Miyata

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