Toastmasters Abroad – A New Perspective
by George Hazzard, DTM
Have you been to a Toastmasters club in another country? If you have, perhaps you will agree that they are delightful. I am a member of a club in Japan. It is the Yokosuka Mikasa Toastmasters Club.
Some years ago, my daughter was a member of a club in Yokosuka, Japan—a city about an hour south of Tokyo. She was working for the Navy at the nearby naval base. Of course, I went to visit her. And, of course, she took me to her Toastmasters club, the Yokosuka Mikasa Toastmasters Club.
The folks in this Toastmasters club were absolutely wonderful. Just like the culture of Japan, they showed great respect for one another. Besides clapping when someone came up to the front, they put their hands together and bowed. Also, when they called on one another, they always referred to each other as Toastmaster Miyamoto or Toastmaster Montes or Toastmaster Hazzard.
My daughter is now back in the United States, but our connection with the Yokosuka Mikasa Toastmasters Club is well established. I have been joining their meetings online for over a year, and since last spring, I have become a member myself.
Recently, they held what they termed the Summer Festival. The festival included a hybrid Toastmasters meeting featuring their musical talent and even karaoke.
What is so amazing is the respect that runs through the club and their culture. When I do an evaluation on one of the members, you can bet that I will receive an effusive thank you from that member. This is one of the great reasons that visiting or belonging to a Japanese club is so rewarding.
Yokosuka Mikasa Toastmasters Club just went through renewals, as did all other Toastmasters clubs. Yokosuka Mikasa achieved 100% renewal. Wow! What an awesome club and culture. Check them out!