A native of Japan (and proudly authentic!), Sensei Miwako grew up with the Abacus. From the age of 7, when she first put her hand to a heavenly bead her path was set. At the age of 12 she placed third in Japan’s National Abacus Competition, and her Abacus math accomplishments as an adult garnered a prestigious position in Japan’s banking industry.
Sensei Miwako came to the U.S. in 1992 and settled in Oregon. With her love of the abacus and a passion for working with children and teaching, she founded the Japanese Abacus Math School – JAMS – in 2001. For Miwako, there’s no greater sense of accomplishment than seeing a student’s face light up with a confident smile when they discover their mental calculation abilities and succeed with their class work.
And Sensei Miwako is a hands-on person – maybe that’s why she’s so skilled with the Abacus. She’s captured degrees in calligraphy, flower arranging, tea ceremony and sewing kimonos. Beyond the classroom, she still enjoys those activities, as well as getting creative in the kitchen or preparing genuine Japanese cuisine. Miwako also loves chasing around her three children, whom she affectionately calls her monkeys.
Abacus Teaching Experience:
Japanese Abacus Math School – 2001 to present
Richmond Elementary School, Portland, Oregon – January 1998 to December 1999
Woodstock Elementary School, Portland Oregon – Fall 1999
2001 Working on Abacus pilot program for 4th graders along with Dr. Leo Richards, Director, Montana Abacus Institute and Former Professor, University of Southern California.
Saturday Academy 2007 Summer
Children’s Hour Academy May 2007-June 2008
Village Home (Home School) Fall 2008
Oregon College of Art and Craft Spring 2009
Oregon Episcopal School Spring 2009