CrePS Intorductory Paper:

Fuda-Yose Tool and Visual Thinking: Development, Operations, and Usage of the Fuda-Yose Tool and Practices of Visual Thinking with It.

Akihiro Katahira (‘The First Thinking School’) and Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University) 

Part 1: Development, Operations, and Usage of the Fuda-Yose Tool. (Akihiro Katahira, Jul. 1, 2016);
Part 2: Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool:  Practices by Katahira (Akihro Katahira, Jul. 1, 2016)

Part 3. Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool: Practices by Nakagawa for Visualization (Toru Nakagawa, Sept. 29, 2016)

Posted: Jul. 31, 2016 (in Japanese);
Aug. 6; Sept. 29, 2016 (in English, abstract only)

For going back to Japanese pages, press  buttons.

  Abstract or Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Aug. 2, 2016 (in English))

A series of introductory articles are posted here on the Fuda-Yose Tool and its usage.  The tool was developed by Akihiro Katahira for the purpose of supporting Visual Thinking, i.e., the methods of enhancing the thinking by use of visualized diagrams.  The series will be in four parts, jointly authored by Katahira and Nakagawa.   


  Title Author Japanese page English page
Part 1 Development, Operations, and Usage of the Fuda-Yose Tool Akihiro Katahira (Jul. 31, 2016)   (Aug. 6, 2016)
Part 2 Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool:  Practices by Katahira Akihiro Katahira (Jul. 31, 2016)   (Aug. 6, 2016)
Part 3 Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool: Practices by Nakagawa for Visualization Toru Nakagawa (Sept. 29, 2016)   (Sept. 29, 2016)

Part 1  Development, Operations, and Usage of the Fuda-Yose Tool (Akihiro Katahira)

The Fuda-Yose Tool was first introduced in this Home Page by Katahira in January 2015 .  And examples of its usage were reported many times by Nakagawa, with some explanations of how to use the tool .  In parallel to such extensions of usage, Katahira has been developing the tool further, e.g., version 4.00 in Jan. 2016 and version 5.00 in Jun. 2016, both in Japanese and in English.  The Tool is getting mature as a software tool for supporting Visual Thinking smoothly and easily.  Reflecting the recent major enhancement, this Part 1 explains the Fuda-Yose Tool itself. 

The up-to-date version of the Fuda-Yose Tool (in English) may be downloaded without charge at Katahira’s ‘The First Thinking School’ site 

The Fuda-Yose Tool is a software tool for drawing diagrams, using the Microsoft Excel worksheets as the platform, for the purpose of supporting/enhancing user’s Visual Thinking.  It was designed with emphasis on handy and quick responses instead of rich and advanced functionality.  It also has smooth data conversion facility between diagrams and texts and also among Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.    Methods of operations are illustrated with simple examples of diagrams; such illustrations in the present paper are also installed in the software. 

The diagrams are composed of three basic components; they are ‘Labels’ (i.e., rectangles holding descriptions of keywords and sentences), ‘Enclosures’ (i.e., round-cornered rectangles with header keywords/sentences for enclosing several Labels (and Enclosures)), and ‘Lines/Arrows’ (for connecting Labels/Enclosures for showing some relationships).  Also the ‘Cells’ (i.e., the original tabular units of Excel worksheets) may be used for containing data.  Labels/Enclosures and Cells are interchangeable with a click of a command.  Various original Excel functions may be used in the Fuda-Yose Tool and all the diagram elements drawn by the Fuda-Yose Tool can be handled in Excel as usual. 

Basic ways of using the Tool are explained with illustrations.  By use of this software, the Labels/Enclosures containing information and Lines/Arrows showing relationships can be arranged and moved around in various mutual positions in the diagram; such arrangements and movements may trigger various ideas and may help the user stimulate, enhance, and deepen user’s thoughts.  Such ways of thinking with visual aids are called here as ‘Fuda-Yose Method’, or more generally as ‘Visual Thinking’.

 *** We are planning to translate Part 1 into English.  Please give us several weeks.  (Toru Nakagawa, Aug. 4, 2016) 

Part 2: Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool: Practices by Katahira (Akihiro Katahira)

As explained in Part 1, the Fuda-Yose Tool allows to show Labels/Enclosures containing some information and Lines/Arrows representing the relationships between the connected Labels in visualized diagrams.  Arranging and moving around such elements in the diagram may trigger various ideas and may help the user stimulate, enhance, and deepen user’s thoughts.  Such ways of supporting user’s thinking are already used by many people in different ways.  They may be regarded not as specific thinking techniques but rather general and widely-used thinking ways, and they are called here the ‘Fuda-Yose Method’ in such a general sense.  Once the user understands the basic operation, the user may use the method freely modifying it in various ways so as to match the user’s own purposes and situations. 
Part 2 demonstrates Katahira’s ways of usage with his actual examples.

In the first type of usage, the Tool is used in personal situations for the purposes of triggering ideas and organizing one’s own thoughts.  The process is explained, with particular attention to possible multiple viewpoints in arranging/moving Labels in the diagrams. 
Two examples of diagrams are shown:
    (a) a memo diagram for organizing the notes of learning at a social psychology class; and
    (b) the diagram to think over ‘what is the Fuda-Yose Method’ repeatedly from time to time. 
In this type of personal usage, getting ideas while making the diagrams is more important than finishing the diagrams.  Nevertheless, as in (b), when we think over similar/relevant topics repeatedly, we should better record and keep the diagrams for improving them step by step. 

In the second type of usage, the Tool is used during discussions in a meeting situation.  Any opinions and comments are recorded in Labels and the Fuda-Yose diagrams are projected on a screen for sharing the discussions among the members.  Since the relationships of members’ sayings may be shown explicitly or implicitly, this helps people much to share communications and form common understandings.  The process and its benefits are explained.
Four real case studies are shown with particular emphasis on
    (a) forming common understanding,
    (b) revealing the causes,
    (c) promoting the understanding, and
    (d) idea generation for improving the instructions.     

  Part 3: Practices of Using the Fuda-Yose Tool: Practices by Nakagawa for Visualization (Toru Nakagawa) 

In Part 2 Katahira describes his practices of using the Fuda-Yose Method at the phases when the problem itself is still somewhat vague.  He uses the Fuda-Yose tool either personally or at the meetings mostly for stimulating our brain to get new ideas and (rough) overall views.  In this Part 3, Nakagawa describes his practices of using Fuda-Yose method at the phases when the problem has become clearer and some notes/documents are written either by him/herself or by other person(s).  The purposes of using the Fuda-Yose tool is to clarify the logics in the documents by making visualized diagrams and to share the understanding with many other people. 

I explain the basic thoughts of my practices, first, and then describe the concrete process of making visualizing diagrams for the documents typically of the length from half a page (e.g., abstract of a paper) to about 20 pages (e.g., an article/paper, or a chapter of a book).

Cases of visualizing practices are chosen from my reports already posted in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan": they are
        (1) Abstract of Ed Sickafus' paper , and
five chapters of Takanori Fujita's "The Low-Living Elderly" book  (including;
        (2) Introduction,
        (3) Cases of falling into the LLE situations,
        (4) Higher risks of LLE in near future,
        (5)Feelings and thoughts by  ordinary people on LLE, and
        (6) Author's proposals of LLE policies),
        (7) Lecture note by Prof. Hiroshi Yoshikawa on 'Financial reconstruction and Japanese Economy' .

For each example, I explain the process of making the visualizing diagrams, ideas for improving the diagram representation, the finished (rather detailed) diagrams and their simplified versions made on readers' requests, etc.

These examples demonstrate that the visualization with Fuda-Yose Tool is useful for clarifying the logics in documents on complex themes like these social problems.  It is required to visualize the logics in much larger documents with different arguments (because all significant social problems and political issues are such cases).  Our strategy should be 'Segmentation and Hierarchical structuring'; we need to demonstrate it from now on.


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Last updated on Oct. 19, 2016     Access point:  Editor: