RABBI PROF. JONATHAN MAGONET, LEO BAECK COLLEGE, LONDON, DEC 2020
When I retired from full time lecturing, I decided it would be good to learn a new language. In choosing Japanese, I think I was influenced by the Japanese boyfriend of a friend of my mother, who was introduced to us as a Kamikazi pilot who had somehow survived! When he demonstrated a martial arts posture and did a forward somersault in our front room, my eighteen-year-old imagination was clearly aroused. Starting Japanese past sixty turned out not to be so easy, but having taken the plunge, and then being invited to do some parttime teaching of my subject at a university in Japan, I soldiered on.
I did a basic introductory course in Japan and have occasional lessons while there for a few months each year. But I needed to supplement that with a systematic programme and regular conversation opportunities in the UK. That is how I met Asami, who more than met both of these needs. Our lessons vary between ongoing grammar lessons and conversational sessions. She is skilful at explaining new materials, and patient with my waning powers of retention of new vocabulary. Because her English is excellent. she is able to help me formulate in Japanese topics from my own academic field. Our time together is always interesting and often fun. I have endorsed her when she has undertaken teaching work at schools in the UK and am happy to do so for any teaching work she may undertake.
ALIX FORD, LONDON - RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES VISA TO AICHI, JAPAN, AUG 2017
I took lessons with Asami-Sensei for around two and a half years. I wanted to learn Japanese but I was so bad at languages I could never have done it by myself! I thought it would be too difficult but Asami-Sensei helped so much to make it easy, fun and enjoyable. I can't believe how much I learned! She was able to explain grammar and vocabulary in such an easy to understand way. I had so much fun in her lessons - by the end of the two and a half years I felt like she was a good friend and even know I was moving to Japan I was sad to leave!
Now I live in Aichi prefecture in Japan, serving a church as a missionary here. Volunteering at different activities and constantly meeting new people. If it wasn't for studying with her I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. I hope to return to the UK in the future and take lessons with Asami-sensei again! I don't think you could find a better tutor.
TOM WHITEHEAD, LONDON - JLPT N3 EXAM, MAY 2016
I have been having two lessons a week with Asami for over a year now and through that time the improvement in my Japanese has been remarkable. When I started the lessons I had been studying Japanese on my own for a year whilst working a full time job. I had had little focus on speaking practice, focusing mainly on learning grammar/vocab and a bit of listening.
Through the last year Asami has helped me no end with all facets of my Japanese, but I especially appreciate the effort she makes to engage me in conversation and improve my speaking. Generally I receive lessons that are highly tailored to me and I know Asami adapts to teach me in a way I respond well to. I do not believe I could receive this level of service in a classroom. I’m generally very busy and the lessons are very flexible to my timetable, which is an enormous help to me.
Further, Asami helped me hugely through the JLPT N3 exam, providing me with mock exams for several months, taking me though my errors and carefully explaining concepts to me. In the end I managed to pass with a mark of 160/180 and we are currently starting the same process for the N2 exam.
Studying Japanese is never going to be easy – there are even times in feels like an impossibly large challenge – but Asami has helped provide me with ample motivation to keep working hard.
FREDDIE DODSON, LONDON - CULTURAL STUDIES VISA TO NARA, JAPAN, JANUARY 2016
I only studied with Asami for a short amount of time before going to Japan to learn how to use the kanna, Japanese plane, to make chairs, but it was enough to give me a small but solid platform to build upon. I wish I had more time with her! She was such a good teacher, the best language teacher I have ever had, and I am so grateful.
The visa I used was the cultural studies visa, which I think is up to 1 year, and is for people who want to learn about some form of Japanese culture. I love Japan and feel so humbled to be living learning and working alongside such a deep and important part of its history, the kanna is quite fundamental to Japanese woodwork, all shrines, shoji, housed, and furniture would have been kanna made, yet few now know about it. It might be reincarnating for the modern craftsman, as it is so sharp you don't need sandpaper.
HIRUSHAN THAVASEELAN, KENT - JET PROPGRAMME TO KOCHI, JAPAN, AUGUST 2015
I have studied Japanese with Asami for 2 years so far. I'd started my sessions during my final year at university, if anything, to further delve into my already strong interest in Japan and it's culture. I was a complete beginner when I started my sessions with Asami, having next to no knowledge of the language. I've found that the 1 to 1 lessons have greatly helped my language learning, the pronunciation of words in particular. Something that I would have butchered if I was learning on my own. There will be points when learning Japanese when it may seem like an uphill struggle, but Asami has helped me keep on track and keep me interested in learning. Currently I'm participating in a Japanese government English teaching programme that Asami had introduced me to, at the time of writing this I'm about a week away from departure. I can wholeheartedly recommend Asami to anyone, especially a complete beginner.