From Board Chairman
The Japanese Language School Unified System celebrates its 107th year since establishment this year.
Founded by the Rafu Nihonjinkai in 1911, Yuhei Shimano was greeted as the principal until the start of World War II.
The school was closed as soon as the war started, however, it opened its doors in 1948 welcoming Professor Yaemitsu Sugimachi as the new principal. In February of that year, Rafu Chuo Gakuen School opened in October, followed by Valley Gakuen, gradually becoming a total of 7 schools.
The headquarters has an adult education department and a liberal arts section, and offer classes to learn about Japanese culture such as Japanese calligraphy, Ikebana, Japanese tea ceremony and kimekomi dolls. Sports events and speech contests are held and once every 2 years offer opportunities to visit various parts of Japan and exchange speeches with Japanese students. The invitation to the Imperial Palace, to present a speech in front of the Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince and Princess Masako must have been a very memorable experience. This event was held ten times more through Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both of my children enrolled in the Japanese Language School Unified System in 1975 where they made lifelong friends. Being able to speak Japanese broadened their horizons and gave them countless opportunities.
My older child went to the school for 15 years, and my younger child went for 13 years and they are still very close to many of the people they met in school.
I believe the first graduates of the school should be about 80 years old now.
In recent years, the number of children per household has decreased and the Japanese people no longer live close together creating communities like they once did so it has become difficult to find new students to enroll.
However, no matter how small the opportunity, the Japanese Language School Unified System will continue to create an environment that teaches the importance of speaking Japanese and reach out to motivate the students to study more and help deepen their skills and knowledge.
We humbly ask for your continued support of the Japanese Language School Unified System as we continue to strive to develop better opportunities for our students.
Japanese Language School Unified System Board Chairman Masako Kobayashi
I have started my job as Principal of Japanese Language School Unified System (JLSUS) in July of 2018 after Mr. Tanaka had performed the same job for many years. Since JLSUS was established in 1948, the main objective of our school system was to teach Japanese and Japanese culture to children of Japanese and Japanese American and we played the vital role in the Japanese community of Los Angeles. The number of graduates and students have been expanded to a few thousands and working in not only Los Angeles but also other cities.
At the same time, in the past more than 10 years our school system has been teaching not only to children of Japanese and Japanese American, but also to American children with wide range of backgrounds reflecting diversified America. This is partly because Japanese cars and electrical products have obtained good reputation but also Japanese cartoons and anime have been very popular among young Americans. Recently at our annual speech contest there was American high school student who made an impressive speech about the anime world of Director Hayao Miyazaki.
The role of our school is to continue to teach Japanese and Japanese culture to children of the same group, but also to expand to teach anybody who want to learn Japanese and Japanese cultures in the Los Angeles community. It is not easy to learn foreign language and culture, as it requires every day efforts. But through your efforts, you can also have enjoyment to expand your world by learning different words and cultures. We would like to provide various help to you In order to learn Japanese and Japanese cultures with enjoyment through our school system.
Japanese Language School Unified System Principal Kiyoshi Murakata