Language Center

All instructors have extensive teaching experience in their particular fields.

Language Center Instructors

  • 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.

  • Ms. Keiko Hama has taught Japanese in Germany and the United States for over ten years.  She received her master’s degree in Japanese Sociology and Linguistics at the University of Heidelberg.  Since then, she has been an interpreter, translator and Japanese teacher in the private and public sectors.

  • Ms. Shiyo Kaku has an MA in Japanese Pedagogy from Columbia University and has taught Japanese at various universities in New York including The City College of New York and The New School. She currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania as a full-time language lecturer. She has also recently received a professional development award from Cheng & Tsui Publisher sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. Her academic interests encompass a range of topics in Japanese language education including technology-based language learning, kanji learning, and cross-cultural communication.

  • Ms. Yumiko Kakutani has a bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Keio University in Tokyo and is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program. She has taught privately in the United States for a number of years (including JLPT and SAT II students).

  • 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 15 years. Ms. Kamimura has numerous publications and has served as co-editor of Ohbunsha's Japanese - English Dictionary. Until recently she was coordinator of The New School’s Japanese program.

  • Ms. Kazue Kurahara holds a BA from Hunter College and an MA in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language and TESOL from NYU. She holds teaching certificates in both Japanese and ESL. She has taught Japanese at various institutions, including New York University, Hunter College, Pace University, and The New School. Together with Akai sensei, she is currently co-hosting Japan Society’s YouTube series "Uki Uki NihonGO! + Culture”.

  • Ms. Mami Miyashita earned a Japanese Teaching License in Japan, a certificate of Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree from West Chester University. She has worked in foreign language education for more than twenty years, including at the University of Delaware from 1999 to 2005.

  • Ms. Kyoko Morishima received a BA from Tokyo Zoukei University, majoring in sculpture.  She holds a license to teach elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults from the Japan Calligraphy Education Foundation.  She is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program and had been involved in various Language Center activities and as a teaching assistant.

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

  • Ms. Mami Nakanishi has a bachelor’s degree 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.

  • Ms. Kazuko Nakazawa has a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Literature and is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program. She has taught Japanese privately and in an after-school program in Japan for three years, and privately in the United States for two years. She has been on Japan Society’s teaching staff since the summer of 2010.

  • Ms. Toshiko Omori has an MA in TESOL from New York University. She has taught Japanese at the United Nations International School and Phillips Exeter Academy.  She currently teaches at NYU and The New School.


English as a Second Language Instructors

  • Ms. Maureen Kamata is a seasoned ESL teacher with over fourteen years of experience teaching ESL in Japan, and six years of experience teaching English in the USA. A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Maureen earned her Master’s Degree in TESOL at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Before moving to New York City in 2012, she lived in Torrance, California where she taught English and American Customs and Culture to the wives of expatriated Japanese businessmen.


Shodō Instructors

  • Licensed Japanese calligrapher (issued in 1996 by the Calligraphy Institute of Daitobunka University in Japan), Sanae Asai (Master Suiho) has taught calligraphy for 13 years in schools and cultural institutes in New York area; namely The New School, the Long Island Japanese Culture Center, the Japanese American Society of New Jersey, The Japanese Weekend School, and the Hammond Museum, as well as at her own private studio. 

  • Tsuyoshi Takemori (Master Biho) has over 30 years of teaching experience in Japanese Calligraphy and has served as the Director of Calligraphy for the Kampo Cultural Center, Inc. in the US. Recently, he has worked at the Japan Calligraphy Center International, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Literature from Ryukyu University in Okinawa, Japan.


Toyota Language Center Staff

Tomoyo Kamimura, Director, Toyota Language Center

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 Rutgers University, Kalamazoo College, The University of Oregon, and Baruch College, and also serves on the selection committee of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme in the New York region. Before coming to Japan Society, she was a full-time faculty member and Coordinator of the Japanese program at The New School for Public Engagement for nine years.

Calendar of Events

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