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Japanese Language Instructors

Yuki Aizaki

Ms. Yuki Aizaki holds a BA in Theatre from The City University of New York and is a graduate of the teacher training program at The Japan Society. She has taught Japanese privately to beginner and intermediate students.

Yuko Aizawa

Ms. Yuko Aizawa has taught at the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, Japan and at the Royal Hawaiian Academy in the United States. She has been an instructor at the Toyota Language Center since 1994.

Keiko Hama

Ms. Keiko Hama holds a MA in Japanese Sociology and German Pedagogical Linguistics from the University of Heidelberg. She has taught Japanese in Germany and the United States for over 25 years. She has been an instructor at the Toyota Language Center since 2003.

Yumiko Kakutani

Ms. Yumiko Kakutani has a BA in French Literature from Keio University in Tokyo and is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program. She worked for Sakura Bank in the International Planning Division and Foreign Exchange Division for 10 years. She has taught privately in the United States for a number of years (including JLPT and SAT II students). She has been teaching at number of local universities including Baruch College, City College of New York and Fordham University.

Tomoyo Kamimura

Ms. Tomoyo Kamimura holds a BA from Waseda University, an MA in Linguistics from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Columbia University. She has been teaching Japanese at universities both in the US and Japan for over 25 years. Ms. Kamimura has numerous publications and has served as co-editor of Obunsha's Japanese - English Dictionary. Previously, she created The New School's undergraduate Japanese program and became its coordinator.

Momoyo Kitaura

Ms. Momoyo Kitaura has a BA from Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. She is a certified Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) tester for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). She passed the Japanese Language Teaching Competency test and has over 15 years of experience working at a Japanese language school in Japan. Since 2018, she has been teaching at the Language Center. She’s also a co-researcher of the National Institute of Language and Linguistics.

Rika Kobayashi

Ms. Rika Kobayashi has a master’s degree in Japanese Pedagogy from Columbia University Graduate School and holds multiple Japanese and English-language teaching licenses and qualifications. She has taught at higher educational institutions including North Carolina State University and Berea College, and currently teaches Japanese conversation courses as well as Japanese culture courses at Columbia-Greene Community College (SUNY), which Ms. Kobayashi developed. In Japan, she has also taught new employees and university graduates how to engage with clients using appropriate professional manners and ways of speaking.

Kazue Kurahara

Ms. Kazue Kurahara received her BA at Hunter College and an MA in TESOL and Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from New York University. She teaches all levels of Japanese, various workshops, and special topics classes involving social media and pop culture. She is particularly passionate about sociolinguistics and onomatopoeia. She has taught at New York University, The New School, and Hunter College, among others. A nature admirer, she is often seen photographing trees and plants and tending to her indoor garden. She is the scriptwriter and host of Japan Society’s YouTube series "Uki Uki NihonGO! + Culture."

Yumi Mori

Ms. Yumi Mori holds a BA in Law from Sophia University in Tokyo. She is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program. She has taught privately in the United States for a number of years.

Mari Nakamura

Ms. Mari Nakamura has an MA in Linguistics from The Ohio State University and has taught Japanese for 25 years at universities including CUNY, Harvard, Indiana University, and the University of Maryland. She has also taught at several Fortune 500 Corporations. She has been teaching at Japan Society since 2015.

Mami Nakanishi

Ms. Mami Nakanishi has a BA in Literature from Sophia University in Tokyo. She is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program and has been on Japan Society’s teaching staff since the summer of 2010. She has taught Japanese privately and in schools including Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and Tribeca Language.

Sanshiroh Ogawa

Mr. Sanshiroh Ogawa holds a BA from Waseda University and an MA in Linguistics as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Language Teaching from Syracuse University. In addition to teaching Japanese at Syracuse University and the Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC), Mr. Ogawa has experience managing the JASWDC Language Schools and working as an administrator at the Japanese language school in Tokyo operated by EF Education First. A former resident of New Jersey, Mr. Ogawa now resides in Maryland, where he is pursuing a PhD degree in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kenko Ogino

Ms. Kenko Ogino has been teaching Japanese for eleven years. She holds a BA in English Literature from Atomi Gakuen Women’s University, an MA in Education from New York University, and an MA in Japanese Pedagogy from Columbia University. She has been teaching Japanese privately for individual students, companies, and the Center for International Foreign Language Teacher Education (CIFLTE) Module Course at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Atsuko Shio

Ms. Atsuko Shio has a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Hoshi University in Tokyo. She has over 12 years of experience working in Product Management and in Sales at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. She is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program and has been teaching at the Language Center since September 2016.

Shuichiro Takeda

Mr. Shuichiro Takeda received a BA in English and American Literature from Nanzan University in Nagoya and a BA in Psychology from Hunter College. He also holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia in Canada. He contributed to the establishment of a Japanese program for adults at Centre Japonais de Quebec in Quebec City as their first instructor. He has been teaching language courses at all levels at Hunter College, New York University, The New School, and Columbia University.

Yukie Yamaguchi

Ms. Yukie Yamaguchi has a BA in Foreign Languages (specializing in English) from Bukkyo University in Kyoto and holds an instructor certification from the World Japanese Centre, Australia. She has been teaching English in Japan and the United States since 1997, most recently at Baruch College, Brooklyn College, and teaching English online.

English As a Second Language Instructors

Ben Milam

Mr. Ben Milam, who holds an MA in TESOL & Applied Linguistics from Columbia University, is an instructor of language pedagogy at NYU's Steinhardt College as well as a seasoned Japanese-English translator and interpreter with a multi-faceted professional background in government, education, and entertainment. A former United Nations advisor, Ben has translated a variety of Japanese textbooks and manga, including Ask Publishing’s Nihongo Fun & Easy and Megumi, a manga released by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Highlights from the entertainment sector include interviewing Taylor Swift for George Tokoro’s Waratte Koraete!, teaching ESL to a secret handful of Japanese celebrities, and winning the Gilda Radner Award for Standup Comedy.

Shodo Instructors

Sanae Asai

Sanae Asai (Master Suiho) obtained a BA in Commerce from Meiji University and finished the courses of Certified Financial Planner at NYU, and was bestowed with a Master in 1996 by the Calligraphy Institute of Daitobunka University. She has taught calligraphy for 20 years in schools and cultural institutes in New York, The New School, the Long Island Japanese Culture Center, the Japanese American Society of New Jersey, Japanese Schools, the Hammond Museum, The Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association, Arts Mid-Hudson as well as her own private studio. As a modern-day calligrapher, she has performed live calligraphy at Rotary Clubs, museums, and cultural festivals as an artist, and has been engaged in commercial projects including marketing materials, logos, school certificates, and industrial designs.

Megumi Barringer

Megumi Barringer (Master Shuka), a licensed Japanese calligrapher since 1997 by Nihon Sogo Shogeiin in Japan, has taught calligraphy for 20 years in Japan and in Princeton, New Jersey. She teaches at Princeton Community Japanese Language School, Princeton University and at her own private studio.

Language Center Senior Director

Tomoyo Kamimura

Tomoyo Kamimura grew up in Japan where she earned her BA from Waseda University. She received an MA in Linguistics from the University of Oregon as well as an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. While teaching English at The Tokyo University of Science, she co-edited Obunsha’s Shorter Japanese-English Dictionary and co-authored Josei no Shinri (Women’s Psychology). Other publications include translations of several books into Japanese. She has taught at numerous institutions, including Kalamazoo College, The University of Oregon, Rutgers University, and Baruch College. She also served for 15 years on the selection committee of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme in the New York region. Before joining Japan Society, she created the undergraduate Japanese program and served as a full-time faculty member at The New School for Public Engagement for nine years.