Your class goal is to understand how to be happy and care for other people. It sounds like the sort of class a stressed or overworked adult would find, long after they graduated school. Instead, it is a different teaching approach taken by a grammar teacher in Tokyo. Watch how Toshiro Kanamori teaches his pupils to understand their inner thoughts.


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  • Linda

    Wow! I nearly teared up as well. What an extraordinary film! The dedication of that teacher and the ability to listen to his students was stunning in the decision making process. I taught in the public schools in California for two years and was overwhelmed by the chaos that children brought to the classroom that had me quit teaching. But this was truly remarkable to experience. Those students will never forget that 2 year experience! Thank you for sharing this….

  • Michael

    So powerful, I teared up several times while watching. What a blessing to have a teacher like this! His kind way of making them understand and feel their values will stay with them forever and be passed on. A beautiful soul.

  • Monica Castillo

    Beautiful to provide a space for children to feel safe, reflect, and share their emotions.

  • Ellen

    Toshiro Kanamori listened to his brave, thoughtful, intelligent children. They had taken to heart and brain his lessons about friendship. The teacher demonstrated to his students that he valued their thoughts. He demonstrated humility as well. He showed the importance of standing up for one's beliefs. He saw his lessons in friendship and happiness absorbed by his children. He will have been rewarded.

  • Leynia

    There is a culture beautifully different from mine. Teacher Kanamori had the freedom, and his school could allow the freedom, to teach lessons that were not about performance on standardized tests. How greatly Mr. Kanamori's lessons are needed.

  • Rebecca

    The importance and impact that one person can have on the rest of your life.

  • Cathy

    The children’s excitement at seeing their teacher, his warmth, his key message ‘to be happy’ truly beautiful lessons.

  • Barbara Schwartzbach

    Heartfelt and inspiring. Theory with life lessons. Inner learning.


    this viedo was really awesome. because of these kids and there teacher they have made a real change in themselves and people around them, they have found the true power of trust and happiness.

  • Trupti Pandya

    Thank you so much for sharing this video. What was inspiring me was to see how the teacher taught how to process death, loss, bullying, bonding, friendship.

  • Pann Tweesaengsakulthai

    The fact that being a teacher is not easy but it is very rewarding. The fact that the suffering of losing someone you love is inevitable, but it also brings a very joyful and supportive community and friendship. The fact that they have a right attitude about life - we come here to be happy and we don't want anybody to be unhappy. We are here to make that differences.

  • Ajit Kumar

    A very inspiring video. Many more such teachers are needed to make a happy and caring world.

  • Sally

    You can only teach what you know. Dr.Kanamori knows the human heart both the light as well as the darkness. He brings deep listening to our human dilemmas, respect for the struggle of each person, empathy, and so much love. He models the courage and intelligence it takes to question our personal and cultural assumptions and take responsibility in the face of fears that look like they protect us but in reality degrade us. He builds bridges to the authentic self as well as to others and the result is courage, bonds to self and others, enthusiasm for life despite uncertainty and hardship. He is guided by universal values that help discriminate between right action and wrong action. I so appreciate a stance against a relativism that promotes the mistaken notion that whatever I think has got to be true simply because I think it. I cried through the entire film because it went straight to a higher truth of the heart and in the end felt encouraged and challenged to "be the change" you want to see. Thank you Dr.Kanamori, with gratitude. S

  • Maria

    I find Dr. Kanamori and his class fascinating! They are family! Empathy and community building demonstrated similarly to this is what our world needs in order to be happier and more ethical. It is admirable how the goal of being happy at school is collectively appreciated and accepted in this community! It is refreshing seeing the children take responsibility for one another, treating their own as brothers and sisters. The letter writing activity allows for shared constructive introspection and insight that is, in many classroom settings, in need of improvement. Productive truth sharing, observation and help are being nurtured here early in life. What a positively stimulating environment for children to exercise leadership, courage, creativity and self-determinism!

  • Disey

    Every second of this video inspires me to have faith in mankind...wonderful to see this inspired man teaching children how to be good people with empathy for others...clearly, something that should be taught by the right people in every school. If only some of our so-called world "leaders" could have been taught this. I even feel like watching this again!

  • Sam

    I have an experience of working with young kids and senior citizens. The kids respect elders every where I went. I as a NGO director in India, went to teach the university students on international co operation. But I learnt a lot from them too. Dr.Kanamori is an inspiring teacher who has humility and teaching skills. How far our Indian teachers will get inspired from this video?

  • Monica V

    What kind of world do we want to create? Starting with empathic compassion and open communication at such a young age we would create a more civil, compassionate world. Would we have voted in someone like D Trump and his ilk? I dream that someone is taking good notes of his work!!! This short video is inspiring.

  • Carolyn Reinhart

    his totally unusual approach and humanness - those children are so fortunate to have him

  • Terry Bitzel

    LOVE! Our school system should be more life learning and lessons, and less Comcor, or rigid testing of our kids.

  • Etienne

    Inspiration! It's not so much that the teacher follows his inner call, but what stops us from following ours that counts.When we become aware of our own barriers, we might transcend our own fixed beliefs for spiritual freedom from convention.Discipline is important but freedom of spirit even more so. Respect for self and another brings discipline and freedom of expression, a safe happy place for creativity innovation and exploration.


    Thanks a lot for such a Great Video And I Just wana Salute this Great Teacher.

  • Ella de Jong

    I've been so lucky to have met Dr. Kanamori in The Netherlands!I knew about his beautiful work for years. I dream about a large video (movie) capturing various teachers all over the world teaching in a way Dr. Kanamori does! In my own small way I try to spread beauty and STRENGTH of kindness through the Solution Focused Approach in counselling, training and through Fb. I'm so happy videos like these exists! THANK YOU!

  • Mansukh

    Dr. Kanamori is a not only a remarkable teacher but also a great counsellor who teaches values like kindness, compassion and how to be happy and caring to children at such a young age. I wish all schools all over the world would adopt Dr. Kanamori's method and then the world would be a better,happier and peaceful Thank you

  • Luke

    Yesterday I watched a video of a 5 yr old child in Aleppo sitting silently covered in ash and blood after an Syrian airstrike. Today a friend sent me this video and it renewed my hope. I hope that child finds such a teacher.

  • Hoang Thai

    một hình thức dạy học gần gũi và hiệu quả :)

  • Diana

    A beautiful story -- worth the time to watch. Stories like this remind us of the power of children to make the world better... and of caring adults, (parents, teachers, neighbors..) to help and guide them when they are young.

  • Rhebert

    Not long ago I was speaking with a co-worker on how children should be taught at home and in school about learning to use their intuition, sixth sense, heart instead of just training the brain to memorize. And a couple days I stumble onto this documentary. Absolutely incredible and profound. It took an elderly, respected, and much loved gentleman to catch and hold our attention and offer solution. Not some blue suit, red tie wearing American politician.

  • bilkis

    i am a teacher by profession, am really inspired by this teacher, what a wonderful way to understand children's inner feelings

  • Matangi

    It his video is exceptionally reflecting tools for happiness and inner beauty.

  • S. Grace

    I would have loved to be his trainee!!! I am very moved by the quality and depth of this life experience. I wish there were more true educators like him. What an extraordinary role model! The loving way of teaching these children what matters most and what it means to be an authentically responsible, sensitive, caring and supportive human being willing to stand up for what they believe in and stick with each other through thick and thin. Admirable and empowering. Kudos!

  • AM

    I just cannot get enough of this all time favourite and best educational video , spiritually and mentally...we need more of Dr Kanamori teaching ...this world will be a happier and beautiful world ...with the wrong teaching, we are paying now for it...war, hatred , abuse of religion etc.....Being happy and caring is the only solution will unite us all .

  • Hiroko

    This is one of the best videos I have seen in recent years. I couldn't hold back my tears watching this documentary. Amazing how Mr. Kanamori confronted real problems in the open, and how that helped students to be honest to their feelings. I was especially impressed in how Mr. Kanamori brought the students to speak out their feelings and thoughts in front of the class. Mr. Kanamori would probably be retired by now, but i am definitely going to find him and try to meet him in person.

  • Shari

    Wow! Helping children become emotionally intelligent at a young age is such a gift that will last a lifetime. I wish Mr. Kanamori was my teacher at 10 years old! We use some of his techniques with adults now, but the depth to which he uses these experiential learning techniques with 10 year olds is just incredibly inspiring!

  • Deepak

    Thank you so much Mr Kanomori , you are a great human being and teacher . So much for me to learn too . Immense gratitude , will take it forward .

  • Dan Atatakai

    I "flashed back" to my 14+ years I spent in Japan. It was probably the most "growing" periods in my life, having learned an immense number of life lessons in that short period of time. I understand both the position of the students AND the perspective of the educator.

  • vinod eshwer

    This video is an endless spring of hope. It'd be great if every parent and teacher approached children like this. Wishful thinking? Yes. But there's no other way to look at this! Deepest gratitude and peace!

  • Dale O.

    I love how the one bond student who challenged the teachers authority, bowed in respect to seek permission to let the other boy enjoy the raft project after talking too much in class. That was not only inspiring to me but very emotional!

  • Alberto G.

    At first I thought the video was too long to watch. But then couldn't stop watching it. Youth awakening gives me hope about the future. Human spirit is bright. Thank you Mr. Kanamori.

  • Gavrielle

    I've become a teacher in Japanese public school for almost 7years here.. and so rare to see a very great teacher like this guy. I salute this person for teaching happiness and kindness, also togetherness.. specially in Japan, where these lesson, I'm not often teachers.. God bless you,Mr. Kanamori! I wonder, which school is that? Is that in Tokyo? I want to meet this nice person.. just to say, how I appreciate his work and kindness to these kids.. if there is 10teachers like him in tokyo.. wooow...

  • Anna

    all schools everywgere need to see this video it would enhance the lives of students and teachers

  • Mo

    Adults could learn a lot from this. I thank this man for living his life with integrity.

  • Dan

    It swells ones heart to see that everyone is included and all thoughts are presented with equal acceptance.

  • Debora

    This is a great illustration of the imapact one can make. These childrens lives will never be the same.

  • Claudia McDermott

    The teacher helping the students discover their spiritual qualities and helping them learn how to use them in practical ways. I agree that all schools need to use this approach, especially with re: to the unhappiness bullying brings. A wonderful video, thank you!

  • JO

    If the wisdom, compassion & love of this teacher could be employed in all schools, the world would be changed for the better - one child at a time. This 40 minutes was a privilege

  • Marian Juul

    It is very beautiful,and very touching. It makes me almost cry...The teacher is great and he was able to teach small students how to deal with sad feelings. thanks

  • Mads Leth Jørnø

    One of the best videos I ever have seen. Thanks for making this movie about the meaning of life and teaching. This movie touch my heart and inspired me. Thanks

  • Sacha

    One of the best 40 minutes ever spend..... Thank you so much for sharing! Hopefully it will reach a lot of teachers around the world, to take in more of this sort of material, not only geography maths and history but how they can go through life more easily and talk about emotions. So immensly important that you can feel love, warmth and connection in your life.

  • Leo

    That I need to move from Switzerland because in Switzerland people are so not social and don't care like if your father is dead and perhaps I can move to Japan. Leonardo 11 years old

  • vilas

    really very best way to get small kids open to the techers so they can easily put their problems before the class teacher and very easily they understands the problems, it also keep their interest in study , student get the confident on high level, it attracts them to come to school everyday, this way must be implemented to all over the world .

  • Preeji Sajeev

    awesome, inspirating teacher 1

  • kim

    Maybe if American schools taught this, the kids won't bring guns into the classroom and kill their classmates.

  • Nina

    The jenius & wisdom of Mr. Kanamori to have the children feel comfortable enough to trust him. Through this trust they were able to share there deepest feelings & thoughts. This has been a learning tool for the rest of there lives. Hopefully this will help them live life fully with thought,compassion & for them selves & others

  • willem

    Amazing!!! It is pity that in Holland we doen nog make time for eachother in this wat!

  • MK Mueller

    I am the author of a curriculum called 8 to Great. It teaches this kind of compassion, honoring each feeling as valid, risk taking, full responsibility, etc. to K-12. I am going to start using this video, which is so beautifully produced, to show schools what an 8 to Great classroom looks like, because even though we have thousands of teachers using it, I do not have the funding yet to make a video like this one. Thank you. I hope to meet Toshiro Kanamori someday and thank him personally for his vision and courage.

  • Lay

    beautiful!! I am a 16 year old high school student and in school I've seen kids bullied, disrespected in all ways, ignored, put down for their ideas and it makes me sick. I told my mom about this video and she said that more people should be taught things like compassion, and i agree completely. As I type this i can't help but worry from all the negativity they show what they will teach their children. We need more people like Toshiro Kanamori as well as more people like the ones who have written the comments below. this video has really touch my heart and strengthen my goal to be a better person and aspiring nurse. :D

  • T Sampath Kumaran

    It is highly emotional of the way of life. Let us share our feelings and talk about it, and make the best of the life happyly.

  • Veena

    In the present state of the world where anxiety and panic attacks are common among people, especially students, this video reminds us how important it is to let go that we are holding, talk about it, share it and get happy and make the best of the life. Great thought, great approach..

  • Heiwa

    Oh yes, It has inspired me and moved me very much. I lived in Tokyo for 10 years and it has brought back memories... What an excellent way to teach children how to express emotions. What a positive role model that male teacher is... Thank you for you wonderful channel...

  • Looney

    It inspires me to realize that everyone has a story and even though we may not realize it, they might just want to tell someone. Having greater empathy for people will help in greater ways than we could ever know.

  • Dr. Lock

    WOW Look America, Look New Jersey, Look Trenton. God bless you, GOD bless our world, and "GOD BLESS NEW JERSEY".

  • Shirley

    The goal of life - to be happy! What a goal to teach our children, especially if it is coupled with the notion that to sharing that happiness with others is a sure way to achieve the goal. Wonderful teacher, although if he were to hug and comfort children here in Australia he'd be sacked and probably brought up on child molestation charges! Fear of the pedophile so dominates our thoughts, it has outlawed the physical expression of caring, affection and empathy. So sad.

  • Sandra

    Interesting and very sweet. I think we do some of this in the USA, as well, though I am not a teacher and can't say for sure. But we do have kindess programs, self-esteem programs and conflict resolution programs. These are fine, as long as they don't replace skill-building programs--reading, writing and math and such. A few things, I feel, are not to be overlooked, and which may make this type of program difficult in other countries--a complete lack of diversity in this Japanese classroom. This makes it much easier to share than it would be be in an urban American classroom where a Cambodian immigrant might have to share with African-American students or Caucasians, etc. Is this teacher a therapist? What if one of these kids gets so depressed that they commit suicide. In the US, that would mean the end of the teacher's career and a lawsuit. Not sure if the Japanese work this way. I think they may not be as litigious.

  • Tony hatori

    One word that particularly inspired me was men have unlimited heart to welcome sorry,happiness ,compassion and so on and so forth. Let's open our mind and hear to all.

  • Sarah

    Very much so!!!!!Also inspired by some of the comments that were shared on here below! He is an amazing man and teacher... And I am very blessed that I had the opportunity to see this and be inspired by him and all of the other people with such beautiful words.

  • Maria Ofélia Henriques

    It is very beautiful,but too touching. It makes me almost cry...The teacher is great and he was able to teach small students how to deal with sad feelings.

  • Nikki

    what struck me was the bravery of the teacher to allow the children to express to such a deep level and to hold the space in such a comfortable way. I am wondering how many parents would understand in the Uk if this occurred in the class room? Amzing and lets hope this inspires many more teachers x

  • helenmarie

    Beautiful im glad i took the time to watch it !! ( and i never comment :)!

  • Jesse CRAIGNOU

    Wove that guy ! That teacher should teach... Teachers ! Inspiring and awe inspiring ; ))) ! We are brothers Toshiro !

  • Ellen Atkins

    This just blew me away The raw authentic emotions both happy and sad. Wow I love the line

  • ludmilla

    compassion shown to others is the greatest gift of all....

  • terri

    the teacher is so nice to listen to the opinions of the children

  • Joan

    I would say this has been one of my greatest hopes for children; to feel safe in expressing and sharing their deepest longings and personal sufferings with others who are able to "deeply listen" to their "soul". Children are so wise and such great teachers .... if, we watch and listen. If there is to be any hope for change in our world and global PEACE" ... this is certainly the place to begin. WITH THE CHILDREN! I am filled with great GRATITUDE for this wonderful teacher, his passion, patience, simplicity and the great love he has for children. Teaching children to share their pain and support others in their own pain is a great gift of compassion and empathy. Something our world desperately needs. Truly a beautiful and inspiring video. I will be sharing it with many others. With Great Gratitude .........

  • Janet Chung

    To learn to support one another in an authentic way is to learn to live from the heart. These children had a place where they were actively encouraged to open their hearts to others without judgement and be part of the experience as a whole. Feelings of loss can be overwhelming. Empathy and understanding are key to our emotional development and future well being ... Respect Toshiro

  • Laura

    This was incredible. To see a teacher and students facilitating each other's healing is beautiful. To think about the ways that inculcating compassionate values will have on learning is inspiring.

  • Mary

    What I loved about this video is that my son and I got to watch it together, and he got to see how compassion works.

  • Steve

    Toshiro Kanamori ...a man of authenticity and values. The values you give these children are priceless....its tragic that many teachers will have to learn about empathy and what it really have a gift Sir I bow to you

  • charie

    amazing and inspiring video. thanks for sharing this to us...

  • Siu Yin

    Can't Think a better way for the kids to learn their inner feeling and be able to express them. What a remarkable teacher.. Touch many hearts...

  • Ananda

    It is just marvalous beyond the black board.

  • zahra

    I am extremely touched and chocked while I watched this video. What a marvelous teacher. Freedom from our pain and suffering an only be reduced if we share care and nurture with wounds with a affectionate caring hand and a few words.... :)

  • Steve Lucas

    As a Buddhist, I was taken by the simple philosophy of the primary goal in life is to be happy. This educational philosophy was advanced Tsunensaburo Makiguchi called Soka education. This man is helping children develop the emotion of empathy. All children should be taught this way.

  • pav

    It's a teacher makes a difference in the lives of these little children ...the world is a better place because of people like them!

  • Simon

    The courage and enthusiasm in the kids. bright future and less stress for these bunch of kids in their adult life. These are generation which will listen to their hearts often than heads. Good on you-Toshiro-you are a hero and your name will stay forever in your students heart.

  • matt

    wouldn't we love our classrooms to be all like this

  • teresa

    When everything around us right now seems hopeless, this film gives hope again that 'the power of one' is still capable of big change. In a young person's life, their family and school are their world..they look up to their teachers..this teacher is a real role model..He's also providing them with life skills that no doubt will result in producing caring human beings... A new generation of humans ..the world desperately needs this new generation in our governments, in banks, in business..people who act consciously, sincerely, ethically and with a care for all around them. We need today leaders, like this teacher, who are thining of the future and doing their part to create the future!

  • Michelle

    Wonderful and moving. I salute the courage and wisdom of this teacher and the learners. I like that he teaches them to really listen to one another and hear their feelings to have empathy. Thank you for reminding me of this again.

  • Beverly

    How wonderful that a teacher of children in the 4th grade can open their hearts to empathy and compassion far beyond what many adults here in the US ever experience. I had a great teacher in the 4th grade too who was very kind and understanding, but even he didn't have this kind of insight into the human heart. Wouldn't it be great if we'd all had teachers like this? I'm sure our world would be a better place.

  • Edith

    Thank you Dr.Dave for passing this on... If we could learn to express and share our feelings we would all be in a different place within our hearts. Empathy was clearly visible in all the children, something some of us had to learn the hard way as adults. Truly moving, thank you.

  • Carole

    This was hugely touching. As a kid of 12 when my mom died It was never spoken feelings had no place for expression. I believed had they been revealed (at home at school) I would not have a place in me that still to this day holds grief.This is an amazing teacher and an amazing school system to encourage time in the school day for this.

  • Deepak

    A truly moving video which taught me so many lessons of life , the foremost being empathy . Toshiro has set an example for me top follow in my life . Thank you Toshiro and Karma Tube for sharing it with us .

  • Karen

    being willing to stand up and be/and to be alright with it/ it's really all good/it's really all God/ i am moved once more to my center/moved once more by the truth that is the beauty of this lesson

  • Sam

    A great video and a great man. Made me cry!

  • Cathy

    Grief is a funny thing and for the most part, I believe that a vast majority of society does not no how to react or help a person who is grieving. My daughter, Katie lost her father when she was 15. It was something she only talked about with a limited number of close friends. She didn't share it openly. She was conscious to never use it as a "crutch" or cause others to have to feel sorry for her. One of her Social teachers in grade 10 even went so far as to suggest that "statistically" if a person lost a parent before adult-hood, their chances of personal success in the world would be limited. Clearly, this teacher had not had the opportunity to overcome adversity himself and realize the resiliency of the human spirt. Sadly, Katie lost her own life at the age of 21 to a brain injury sustained in an accident. On my wrist, I have a tatoo - the same one she had to memorialize her father, it reads " Your spirit lives within my sould forever". It is sooo important to help young chidren, teenagers and adults alike to grief and the remember. My daughter and her father may be gone physically, but they will never ever be gone spiritually. Congrats to Toshir to teaching his students likewise!

  • Nassiba

    I really loved the video! If anyone of you is interested in the idea, then know there is a movie that was made in 2007 , I think about the same topic " almost " ! The title of the movie is freedome writers :) And it talks about a female teacher who succeeded in saving the life of many of her students, as she turned their relationship into a brotherhood one, while, they used to live divided from the soceity as a point in time :) BEST, N

  • Geoxroma

    to teach and impart empathy a teacher has to have the training.and live it from within as an is one program with a focus on the authentic self and all our innate multiple intelligences of the heart and

  • Fiona Campbell

    I loved that the teacher modelled the qualities he is teaching the children to embrace. Also, he was giving them the opportunity to learn for themselves about caring for others and sharing sorrows. This is true education.


    I am very grateful you posted this video as this is very similar to our approach with IT'SKOOL (a free alternative school we run in rural places). However, I will add that I am not in agreement with one simple thing: After all the kids expressed themselves, the teachers made a comparison and stated that the young girl had suffered more than anyone else. I personally wouldn't say it this way as it is important to ensure that every story is special and maybe difficult to evaluate who was hurt the most. Instead, I would recommend thanking all the kids for their stories and opening their hearts, and saying that I would like to focus on this girl's story without classifying. At our school, we then put each kid in the center of the circle and have a group hug + positive vibe is magical. Once again, thank you for sharing this inspiring story

  • tess

    being a teacher myself, i appreciate very much what the teacher did in the classroom. the approach he used is a kind of theraphy to the students' bitter or sad experiences in life. we teachers should be very sensitive and very observant to the needs of our students. we should know how to handle each one of our students. it is not the lessons that we teach that they remember but rather how we are as a person/teacher and how we have touched their lives.

  • Glenn & Janelle Aby

    You can bet when this man speaks about adjectives the students will listen. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

  • Page 1

  • The students in Mr. Kanamori's class write "notebook letters" that they read out to each other. Write a letter to your future self and get a surprise from the past.
  • Education is an important part of our society.  Find ways to donate at a local school. 
  • Get involved in your local school system.  PTA meetings and town halls are important ways to contribute your thoughts and goals for a town's educational system.  Help figure out what works and what doesn't.

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