Kana, a Japanese native born and raised in Japan, spent most of her childhood in Hong Kong. Growing up in then-British-colonized Hong Kong surrounded by many English speakers, she naturally grew her interest in studying English. After going back to Japan, she sought for any opportunities to learn English, such as taking summer English language courses in England and traveling to many English-speaking countries. She also studied Spanish and spent some time living in Spanish-speaking countries. After earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Keio University in Japan, she worked as a bank clerk briefly, but never lost her interest in learning foreign languages and cultures.
After spending several years at a bank in Tokyo, she left for the United States and studied how to teach Japanese language for non-native speakers as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. Her strong interest in studying foreign languages and cultures turned into her passion in teaching her native language and introducing Japanese culture for non-Japanese people. Her hard-work bore her the fruit of the Master’s degree in Teaching Japanese Language as a second language. While studying in San Francisco, she started her teaching carrier and taught Japanese language at high schools and colleges. Through studying as a graduate student and teaching a language as a teacher at the same time, she learned how every bit of effort, continuous work, and grit would eventually bear fruit. Kana is very much willing to share her brief with JAMS students and parents.
After getting married, Kana moved to Portland, Oregon and taught Japanese language at Portland State University, which she enjoyed very much.
After giving birth to her first child, Kana took time off from teaching. But her son started to learn abacus under Miwako-sensei when he was 5 years old. Kana did not know so much about abacus, but her husband used to practice abacus when he was a child. Having seen how her son learned abacus and competed with other kids, Kana came to realize how powerful abacus is. Like any other kids, her son also experienced ups and downs in learning abacus, but it turned out that her son also proved that continuous efforts and grit are the keys to success and will eventually pay off. Abacus truly strengthened not only his calculation abilities, but also concentration skills and perseverance. Her son is still aiming higher for more advanced abacus and anzan levels.
In Japan, there is a traditional belief from pre-modern era, that says “what you need for life is skills in reading, writing and abacus.” From both her own and her son’s experience, Kana knows what this saying means. She is very excited to join JAMS and to share her passion in abacus and learning for life.
In her spare time, Kana enjoys reading, playing the piano, cooking variety of cuisine and baking Japanese style sweets. Also, she is a big fan of yoga, for more than 10 years now.