Instructors & Staff

Japanese Language Instructors

Yuki Aizaki

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

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.

Yukari Aoki

Yukari Aoki holds a MA in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from Oberlin University. She has taught Japanese at universities in five countries and the Foreign Service Institute. She came to New York in 2021.

Naoko Date

Naoko Date holds a BA in English language from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Since 2016, she has been teaching eMentor Japanese language and culture courses to US Air Force personnel. For the US 2020 Census translation in Japanese, she held the position of final editor and quality control.

Keiko Hama

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

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

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

Momoyo Kitaura has a BA from Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. She has been 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

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.

Mana Kobuchi

Mana Kobuchi grew up in Fukuoka City and began her Japanese teaching career in Tokyo. Later she moved to the United States and then the Netherlands, where she continued teaching Japanese. Along the way, she obtained an MA in TESOL from SIT (School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT) and a PhD in Linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center. She greatly enjoys teaching Japanese, as she is fascinated by language in general and Japanese in particular.

Kazue Kurahara

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

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.

Kaori Murata

Kaori Murata received her BA in Linguistics from the University of Tsukuba and MA degree from New York University. She studied at Tisch School of Arts focusing on Cinema Studies, and Interactive Media. She studied Mandarin for 2 years in Shanghai. This experience sparked a multicultural language passion. She has experience of teaching Japanese to students of all levels.

Mari Nakamura

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

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

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

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.

Yoko Sakurai

Yoko Sakurai holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language from Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. She brings over a decade of experience as a Japanese lecturer across NYC. Formerly as a principal lecturer at The Japan Foundation New York, she developed courses integrating Can-Do Statements. Presently, she teaches at The City University of New York and Fordham University. She presents regularly at major language pedagogy conferences in North America. Beyond academia, she enjoys composing haiku poetry. She has received several awards at the Ito-En North America New Haiku Grand Prix.

Kaoru Shinohara

Kaoru Shinohara holds a BA in Literature from Waseda University and a BA from Soka University through their Japanese Language Teacher Training Course in Education. She is a graduate of Japan Society’s Teacher Training Program. She has been teaching Japanese to youth at Japan Society and tutoring at New York University.

Atsuko Shio

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.

Yukie Yamaguchi

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.

Instructor of English for Native Japanese Speakers

Ben Milam

Ben Milam (ベン・マイラム):コロンビア大学教育学部で応用言語学の修士号を取得したベン・マイラム先生は政府、教育、エンターテインメントの3業界に精通する経歴の持ち主で、和英翻訳と日英通訳のプロです。かつて国際連合アドバイザーを務めたこともあります。アスク出版社の「Nihongo Fun & Easy」や外務省出版の漫画「めぐみ」など、様々な教科書や漫画の翻訳にも関わっています。エンターテイメント業界でのハイライトは、所ジョージの「笑ってコラえて!」でテイラー・スウィフトにインタビューしたこと、また、日本のセレブ相手の英語個人教師など、多々の経験をもった異色英語教師として現在NY中心に活躍中です。

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 (Calligraphy name Shuka Barringer) has a calligraphy instructor license from the Nihon Sogo Shogeiin of Public Interest Incorporated Association in Japan since 1997, and she has been teaching calligraphy in Kamakura, Japan and Princeton, New Jersey for over 20 years. She is a calligraphy instructor at Princeton Community Japanese Language School, Princeton University, and teaches calligraphy classes to children and adults in Princeton. She has been teaching Shodo at Japan Society since 2017. Her work (seal carving, kanji, kana) was selected for the Mainichi Calligraphy Exhibition. She presents her work every August at a calligraphy exhibition held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

雅号:波琳 修佳(Barringer, Shuka)は、1997年に公益社団法人 日本総合書芸院より書道師範の免許を取得。日本の鎌倉とニュージャージー州プリンストンで20年以上書道を指導をしています。NJ州プリンストンに書道教室を開き、小学生から大人まで幅広く指導しています。またプリンストン日本語学校、プリンストン大学の書道講師、日本企業・美術館・日系人会のイベントにて書道体験教室もしています。2017年よりJapan Societyの書道講師に就任。毎日書道展にて、篆刻部門・漢字部門・仮名部門でそれぞれ入選歴があります。毎夏、東京都美術館で行われる書道展に出品しています。

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.