Ninja Rescue released!

Posted on June 26, 2011 | evankirby

Ninja Rescue

Fukuoka-based game company Althi Inc. released their free iPhone game Ninja Rescue this weekend, and it's great! They took the suggestions of GenkiJACS playtesters very seriously. And they were even kind enough to add a credit for Genki Japanese and Culture School in the game itself! Download from iTunes here.

Student Posters

Posted on June 21, 2011 | evankirby

After a long long hiatus, we finally put up a new entry on our Japanese language blog. Students made signs to practice using the "te" form. Some great imagination in there!
If you need a little help reading the kanji, you can always run the page through first.

Report from Natsuko-sensei

Posted on June 19, 2011 | evankirby

Natsuko-sensei, currently studying in the UK for 3 months, was kind enough to send us a report on what she's been doing:

My life in the UK, by Natsuko

Why did I decide to go to the UK?
I wanted to brush up my English because I felt my English has been got worse and also see the student’s point of view for leaning language.

The UK is my favourite country and London is the most attractive city for me. All historical buildings, nature, markets and a multiracial society are fascinating.

I went to an English language school in London (Frances King) for 7 weeks. To be honest the first 2 weeks were very stressful. It had been so long since I studied English grammar last time and it was tough to state my opinion because I didn’t have enough vocabulary and expressive words. But then I realized that the only thing I need was confidence. A teacher told us that we had to love the most beautiful woman in the world. That’s “Miss Take” (as in mistake). I tried to get involved in the class as much as I can, like other students do, and love Miss Take. I was glad to be a student here because I was able to find how language learners feel in a class and how important it is for teachers to make them learn a language efficiently.
Well, here are my class mates…

Natsuko Classmates

natsuko classmates 2

Going back to Japan
I’m going back to Japan at the beginning of July and willing to teach Japanese again. I hope I improved my English a lot more than before and the experiences I had in the UK will help my teaching in a good way.

Day trip to Ninjamura for GenkiJACS students

Posted on June 10, 2011 | evankirby

Group photo

We took students of our Japanese school on a bus trip recently to Hizen Yume Kaidou, also known as 忍者村 (ninjamura, ninja town), and a nearby temple.

Ninjamura is a slightly aging 江戸時代 (edo-jidai, Edo era) theme park in nearby Saga prefecture. We arranged to take students there on a day that the park was running a cosplay event, where Japanese people dress up as their favorite anime/manga characters.

Unfortunately it wasn't quite as fun as we'd hoped it would be, so we quickly moved on to the temple.

Temple photo

Students had a great time here, and hopefully learned a lot about Japanese religions too!

Staff changes at GenkiJACS

Posted on June 09, 2011 | evankirby

This year has brought a lot of changes to GenkiJACS, but possibly the one that most directly affects students is the coming and going of teachers and staff. We're very lucky to have a group of wonderful people to work with here, and this post will keep you up to date on what those wonderful people are doing!

Away for a while:
Mika-sensei is currently in the US on a GenkiJACS internship at the College of New Jersey, teaching Japanese to students there for a little over a year. She left this January, so plans to be back at GenkiJACS in 2012. We all miss you, Mika-sensei!
Tsugumi-sensei is in the Dominican Republic, teaching Japanese and offering humanitarian aid with JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, for a couple of years. She'll complete her wonderful work in 2013, so should be back at GenkiJACS then!
It's actually Mai-san's last day today as she enters 産休 (sankyuu, maternity leave). She's due to give birth early next month, so will be away from GenkiJACS for a half-year or so. Wish her luck!
Natsuko-sensei is in the UK studying English for a couple of months, and should be back just before summer starts, hopefully with a perfect grasp of the English language!
Finally, Rie-sensei is currently in the north-east of Japan, visiting the disaster area to arrange for a donation to children's charities there. Hopefully she'll be back very soon, though!

Back from abroad:
Yuuji-sensei returned from his year in Germany this January. His year of studying there gave him many insights that have made him a better teacher than ever and, dare we say it, an even better human being.
Takako-sensei returned from her JICA stint in Bulgaria with a new perspective on Japanese education.

New faces:
Yuuki-san is our new office staff member. With Mai-san gone for a while, the ever-capable Ayako-san will take over her duties, while Yuuki-san slips in to Ayako-san's role, and helps out with culture classes. Give her a warm welcome!

Game testing at GenkiJACS!

Posted on June 05, 2011 | evankirby

Althi logo

Last week a local game company, Althi, came to Genki Japanese school to test some of their new iPhone and iPad games, which they're planning to release to the global market shortly. Students had a great time trying out the games, and offering advice!
Althi has an official English Twitter feed here, and a (somewhat small) English page for their games here.

Comedy events in Fukuoka

Posted on June 03, 2011 | evankirby

Yoshimoto Fukuoka

Japanese people love standup comedy. Comedians are major stars here, and comedy shows are watched by a range from retirees to elementary school kids. (Indeed, one of the biggest comedians right now is incredibly popular with young kids despite some quite adult themes - even the two-year-old daughter of one GenkiJACS staffer knows his comedy routine!)
Yoshimoto is the biggest comedy talent agent in Japan, and they have an office in Fukuoka. Genki Japanese school staff recently went to watch one of their shows. It was mostly local talent, budding comedians who get paid next to nothing for appearances, and compete for tips from the audience. But the big draw was Non-Style, winners of the biggest comedy competition, the M-1 Grand Prix in 2008. By the end of their show, our faces hurt from laughing so much!
Shows with big names tend to be about 3,000 yen, but they also have regular local comedian only shows for just 500 yen! We try to take students to these, but of course it requires quite a high level of Japanese ability. 皆さん、頑張りましょう!

University credit for any US university student!

Posted on June 01, 2011 | evankirby

Huge news today: we have successfully completed agreements with a major US university to have them act as our School of Record. What does this mean? It means this: Any US student can receive transfer credit for study at GenkiJACS, that can be applied towards your degree program at your home university.
Quite a few schools now allow their students to study for credit at GenkiJACS, but it's still only a tiny portion of all the universities and colleges in the US. This new system means that regardless of where you are studying, or even if you haven't started at university yet, you can receive credit!

There are of course a few restrictions: you have to study for at least a specific length of time for each credit, you have to pay more than two months in advance (so apply even earlier!), and you can't have less than a 2.5 GPA. More details about the program are on our site here:

If you have any questions, just mail us!

Former student's online video series

Posted on June 01, 2011 | evankirby


Vincent, a former student of GenkiJACS, is using his Japanese ability as part of a web series, online at The Game Basement. Based around their love of video games, the series includes a lot of Japanese, as Vincent has a roommate from Japan stay with them.
Here's the episode where Yoshi, the Japanese roommate, comes to stay.
And here's the Street Fighter 2 episode, where they try to teach a little Japanese!

We're always happy to see students using their Japanese after they finish their study with us, and Vince's Japanese skill is great! Quite a few former students have found work in Fukuoka recently, but it can often be harder to find work using Japanese overseas. So it's great that Vince was able to make his own work! If anyone else wants to share how they use their Japanese skills now, please send us a mail!