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1st Semester Instructors

Ken Kurasaki


NHK Director

Director of NHK. Age 30 from Kyoto. Joined NHK in 2011. After being assigned to the Drama (TV Show) Department, he was in charge of Historical (Taiga) drama, "Taira no Kiyomori", as well as 60th Anniversary of the Television Drama, "Made in Japan". His first directed radio drama, "If Cats Disappeared from the World", was given Honorable Mention at the Galaxy Awards and was a nominee for Prix Italia. Another work includes the Yamagata Regional Drama taking place in Takahata, Yamagata Prefecture, "Watashi no Ao Oni". Other than dramas, Kurasaki takes part in the production shows including "Document 72 Hours", "Jinsei Design U-29", "Asa-ichi", and "Chiisana Tabi". Currently, he is in charge of the 2019 Historical (Taiga) Drama, "Idaten".

Hiroko Huntoon


Former Costco International Buyer

Originally from Ehime Prefecture, Huntoon moved to Kyoto for college. After marrying her husband from Seattle in 1982, they moved to Seattle in 1983. Giving birth and while raising her child in Seattle, she graduated and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at the University of Washington. While working full time for a Japanese company, she earned her MBA at Seattle University. In 1999, she was employed by the headquarters of Costco. Until her retirement in 2018, she worked as an international buyer in Costco's International Department. She has been the Chair of the Japan American Society of the State of Washington.

Jay Rubin

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English Translator of Japanese Literature

Jay Rubin is one of the foremost English-language translators of Japanese literature. He is best known for his numerous translations of works by Haruki Murakami. He taught Japanese literature at the University of Washington and Harvard University.

Zack Davisson


An Award-Winning Translator, Writer, and Folklorist

Zack Davisson is an award-winning translator, writer, and folklorist. He is the author of YUREI: THE JAPANESE GHOST, YOKAI STORIES, and KAIBYO: THE SUPERNATURAL CATS OF JAPAN, and the translator classic manga such as Shigeru Mizuki’s KITARO, Matsumoto Leiji’s CAPTAIN HARLOCK, Go Nagai’s DEVILMAN, and the multiple Eisner Award-winning SHOWA: A HISTORY OF JAPAN.

Masachika Eto

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CEO of EC Consul Company

After graduating from Meiji University, Eto changed jobs from a transmission line construction company to a consulting firm, then to a manufacturing company, until finally becoming independent. As an independent E-Commerce consulting firm, his company stands as the oldest in Japan. Starting with online stores in 1999, a monthly revenue of 45-million yen was achieved in just a year and a half. Over 1000 companies are supported, and has produced 17 E-commerce related authors. Eto himself is the author to three books, and contributes articles to newspapers, magazines, and various media. The General Incorporated Association, Japan E-commerce Consultant Association, that he established in 2013 has reached an annual circulation volume of 300 billion yen.

Asako Tateishi

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Taiko Drummer

Taiko drummer, shinobue performer, Tsugaru shamisen performer, taiko drumming instructor, and event producer from Tsu, Mie Prefecture. Asako offers musical and cultural programs through his activity including being the representative of Japan Creative Arts, co-finding The School of TAIKO, producing the Bellevue World Taiko Festival, and performing as a member of CHIKIRI. She also works behind the scenes including website construction, advertisement, costume production, and venue reservations. She was actively performing at places like Disney World and the Taikoza based in New York. When living in Japan, she worked as a sports caster of motorcycle racing at Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi, and planned, ran, and emceesed events.

Ringtaro Tateishi

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Taiko Drummer

Taiko drummer, shinobue performer, composer, and arranger from Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. Ringtaro produces and spread hid love for music through his activity including co-finding The School of TAIKO, taking part in the taiko group CHIKIRI, and acting as the art director for the Bellevue World Taiko Festival. He is also a workshop leader of the largest Taiko Conference in the US. He has also performed over 1000 times in 26 countries as a member of the group that spread taiko to the world, Ondekoza. He has also completed the "America round tour", where performances happen all over the US, including four performances at Carnegie Hall, while running the perimeter of the US over the course of 3 years. Between 2002 and 2009, Ringtaro performed his taiko drumming to guests from all over the world at Disney World in Florida.

Yoichiro Yamada


Consulate General of Japan in Seattle

Entering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1984, Yamada worked in Moscow from 1987 to 1991 during the Gorbachev era. Afterwards, he worked in places including Brussel (twice), Warsaw, and Nairobi, until June 2017 when he came to Seattle. While putting an effort into the advancement of Japanese businesses and communal exchanges, Yamada also striving towards a solution at the State and National level to Japaense women who face struggles after divorcing in unfair cirumstances with their American husband. On the Consul General homepage, he is writing a series called the "Memoirs of the Consulate General". Hobbies include golf, go, reading, and playing the piano. His favorite music incudes Sting and Chopin.

Maki Rika

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Lyricist, Composer, Musical Author

Composer, Lyricist, Musical Author. Maki is a musical author who writes the script and the songs all at once. After graduating Kanzawa University in law, Maki started to work at Hudson Soft Company, Limited as a game music creator. She has taken charge in arranging music for many popular games, including the Momotaro Dentetsu Series. In 1997, she became independent as a composer, lyricist, and writer. In 2012, she debuted in the businessman musical "WAYOUT" (Planning, production, script, lyrics, and composition). "Musical 'DAICHI'", performed in 2015, was chosen as a final nominee for the 2016 Hokkaido Drama Award. The most important musical works include "KACHIBUS", "Shinkansen Osouji no Tenshitachi", "Kimiyo Ikite", "O.G.", "SNOW MANGO", "So-su", "Score!".

Allen Nakamoto


Past-Commander Nisei Veterans Committee

Nakamoto is currently retired and resides in Washington since 1971. From his retirement in 2009, he is an active community volunteer with involvements in veteran organization, community groups and cultural art events. He participated in an annual Aki Matsuri at the Bellevue College and is the current Vice President of the East-side Nihon Matsuri Association. He is also a past Commander of the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee and continues to contribute in various committees of the veteran’s organization. He is involved with the annual Japan Fair and serves as the Treasurer and Co-Vice President for the community event. Since discharge from the US Navy in 1971, Nakamoto earned his degree from the University of Washington, using his GI Bill. Prior to retirement, he spent 9 years in Yokohama, Japan as an expatriate with Xerox Corporation and gained many friends and a passion for the history and culture of Japan. During his assignment, he was accompanied by his family, who enjoyed learning the Japanese language and the culture of Japan. They have traveled to Japan frequently on various solo adventure tours.

Keiko Tanaka

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Secretary General of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of Seattle Association

Raised in Nagano Prefecture, Tanaka graduated from Tsuda University in English Literature to then be employed at a computer maker company in Tokyo. Working as an expatriate in Boston, she supported Japanese customers. She then went on to earn her bachelor of science in telecommunications from the State University of New York at Utica/Rome. After working as a research director of a international communications consulting company, she worked as a telecommunications specialist in the telecommunications sector of a Citibank branch, until ultimately working as a technology auditor. Moving to Seattle in 1998, Tanaka earned her Masters and Ph.D. in communications at the University of Washington. Currently, she is a telecommuncations and management consultant. Tanaka also has experience in Urasenke Chado for 40 years and takes the Chamei of Souka. She has certification as an assistant professor and uses weekends to teach Tea at her home. She has been an officer of Chado Urasenke Tankokai Seattle Association since 2005, and the Secretary-General since 2015.

Masako Wakamiya


Digital Creator

Born in Tokyo in 1935. Self learning how to use a computer at the age of 60, Wakamiya started creating iPhone apps in Fall of 2016 at the age of 81, and finally releasing the game app "hinadan" in February of 2017. In June of 2017, she was invited to the WWDC2017, and introduced by CEO Tim Cook as the world's oldest programmer, making her famous over night. She is also the oldest employed lawmaker of Prime Minister Abe's "人生100年時代構想会議". In Feburary of 2018, she gave a speech at the Social Development Commission held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Hideo Harada


ex-Director-General of Livestock Industry Department of MAFF

Former Head of the Livestock Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Currently the Chair of the General Corporation Association, Livestock Environment Maintenance Organization. Born in Tokyo in 1956. Enrolled into Hokkaido University with the admiration of living in Hokkaido. Graduated with a degree in Agriculture, and entered the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 1980. Harada went around the country, working mainly with livestock fields. To this day, he has experienced many disasters and diseases including BSE, Bird Influenza, and the nuclear power plant disaster. He has dealt with the reputational damage due to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster, and has been involved in groups including the Kasumigaseki Association of Volunteers and Geiger Counter Meetings. Harada has a strong love for cheese, livestock, and wine, and will start promoting them on his own.

Seattle Necchu Instructors

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Instructors in Japan


as of Nov, 2018

Instructors at Open House

Dec. 1st, 2018


Hotta Kazufu

Founder of Necchu Elementary School 
President of Office KOROBOCL Co., Ltd.

Hotta Kazufu entered IBM Japan after he graduated from Keio University’s economics department. He served as Executive Director of Sales Manager, Software Division Manager, General System Division Director. He received an MBA from Indiana University. After retiring from IBM Japan, he joined Fuji Software as Vice President, and after serving as Vice Chairman, he has served as an advisor to Uchida Yoko and Director of Cybernet Systems. He established the Office Korobocl in Tokyo, and began projects including Necchu Elementary School to revitalize rural regions in Japan.


Noboru Okubo

CEO of UCHIDA YOKO CO.,LTD. / President of Necchu School Tokyo Branch

Mr. Noboru Okubo has been President of Uchida Yoko Co., Ltd. since July 2014 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Marketing Division. Mr. Okubo served as Senior Managing Executive Officer, Head of Educational Resources Information Center and General Manager of Public Benefit Unit at Uchida Yoko Co., Ltd.


Yoko Hiraki

Omusubi Team from Takaoka Necchu Terakoya

Ms. Yoko Hiraki worked at the Takaoka City Hall and is currently the Secretary General of Takaoka Necchu Terakoya. After her retirement, she volunteered to establish Takaoka Necchu Terakoya and act as the secretary general. She is involved in the planning and management of Otaya Children's Restaurant. Her hobbies include swimming, climbing, opera, and researching food culture around the world.


Yoko Takahashi

Omusubi Team from Takaoka Necchu Terakoya

Mrs. Yoko Takahashi is Chairman of the Girl’s Scout in Takaoka District and is President of the 
Women’s Rehabilitation Association in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture. Following her husband’s relocation, Mrs. Yoko Takahashi move to many places such as Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Niigata,
and learned of local cuisine and culture. Her passion for food and entrepreneurship lead her to her current profession. She currently volunteers to establish Takaoka Necchu Terakoya and acts as the Vice Representative. 


Tatsuhiko Konno

Chief Instructor of Musokai, Sword Polishing Specialist

Mr. Konno is a professional sword polisher. Mr. Konno wrote The Fundamental Japanese Sword Handbook published at Kokushikan University under instruction of Kanzan Sato. Mr. Konno has studied with several polishers including NBTHK sponsored training for which he received official certification. He has curated numerous exhibits including The Swords of the Samurai, which showed at Washington State University and the Bellevue Art Museum with the support of the Consul General of Japan and the US government.

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