Junichi Yamakawa

Junichi Yamakawa

Junichi Yamakawa

Position in School: PYP, MYP & DP Japanese Language Teacher

Nationality: Japanese


What year did you come to YIS, and where were you working prior to YIS?
I came to YIS in 2020. I was working at Kansai International Academy in Kobe and Okinawa International School prior to moving to YIS.
What attracted you to come work at YIS?
I was attracted to the school culture at YIS, and the opportunity to be an International Baccalaureate educator.

What subjects are you certified to teach, and what are you teaching now?
I have a National Teaching License for Kindergarten and Elementary School in Japan and I currently teach Japanese to Grade 2 - 6, and Grade 11 - 12.
What sports or non-academic activities are you involved with at school? 
I coach High School and Middle School Badminton and Middle School Soccer.

You are from Hokkaido, but have lived and taught in Okinawa. What did you like about each of those diverse places?
I like the wild nature, original culture and atmosphere you get in Hokkaido. In contrast to the cold of Hokkaido I love the tropical weather, nature and laid back culture of Okinawa.

How would you describe the IB Program, and its value, to parents?
The inquiry-based approach to learning and teaching is invaluable and leads to a fostering of lifelong learners who can take positive action to make the world a better place.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of school, and what do you enjoy most about life in Japan?
I enjoy activities based in nature like camping and hiking but I really enjoy dancing and singing too.  The things I enjoy most about life in Japan have to be the hot springs (onsen) and traditional Japanese bars (izakaya).

If you weren’t a teacher, what would your profession be?
I would be a Youtuber.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and what would you discuss?
I would like to meet Buddha to talk about the universe and life.

What advice would you give to teachers looking to work in Japan?
Give it a try, it's an amazing place to live. Japan is famous for its hospitality (omotenashi), humble people and 'cool' culture. You will find Japanese people are very supportive and willing to help you settle into life here.