Presentation of Lumière, in English


Profile MIKI IIDA


Miki IIDA

 

-Researcher on café culture in France and revitalization of public life

-Director of "Lumière"

-Chef editor of "Paris-Bistro.com" Japanese version

-Director of "World News Café", online English reading club

-Project assistant professor of Tokyo University

-Certificated 'Tour guide-interpreter' in French and in English.

-Certificated 'Wine Expert' (especially French wine)

-Speak French, English, Italian(intermediate level), Japanese

Interested in climate change for a long time, I've organized many overnight events to discuss how to create more sustainable society. Through these experiences, I've interested in some places which had changed the society in the history. While studying in Paris as exchange student at Scienses-Po, and living at Cité Universitaire, both of which filled with young talented people, I was quite shocked  and  went to a café 3 times a day as my favorite place from the pressure. At that time, I discovered that cafe had functioned as a place to change the society at the beginning of French Revolution, and even young Impressionists gathered and discussed in some cafes. Since then, I discovered the potential role of cafe in the society and continued to understand the history of cafes in Paris and how artistes used those magic places. After 3 years of research in master course at Kyoto University, I published my first book" Cafe, where a new era begins". In 2020, it was reedited and more than 3000 copies are sold.

 

One month after the publishing, my son was born. While living in a newly developed suburb outside of Kyoto city, I felt depressed almost 2 years without any particular reason. As I first read "The Great Good Place" by Ray Oldenburg, finally I found that many American housewives in suburbs in 1970s felt almost the same feeling as myself. According to the author, that's because of the lack of an informal public life. That's why I decided to make a research on informal public life, which is very rare in Japan but plenty in Paris. Since then, I pursued the research while visiting many cities in Europe and US, Japan and reading many books. During the research, I noticed that there is a huge gap of knowledge between Japanese books and English ones, and I realized it's impossible to understand whole picture only by Japanese books or papers,  I decided to learn English as quickly as possible, while reading many books of Dan Brown and listening BBC.

 

After the pandemic, as I was sure there is always huge gap of information between Japanese media and English one,  I decided to organize online English reading club, World News Café, to let Japanese people understand what is happening in the world in the midst of the pandemic. I already held more than 190 times since the beginning of the pandemic and there are many participants from all over Japan. I'm also trying to find an edition to publish my second book about revitalization of public life. And hope to translate both books in English as soon as possible!


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