WAKAKUSA ENGLISH PROGRAM
A CHRIST BASED PROGRAM
Commonly Asked Questions
The Wakakusa English Program is a Christian ministry that provides a Christian presence and witness to the city of Tamura, Japan by sending English speakers from America into Japanese schools as English teachers. We serve the community primarily through our excellence in teaching, and by helping to promote international and cross-cultural understanding. Ultimately, the mission-work we do is born out of a demonstration of the love of Christ through teaching jobs, in our relationships with our American team, and in our love for the Japanese community.
In the mid-1980s, the Wakakusa English Program was created by Pastor Kosuke Maki. Mr. Maki (or Enchou-sensei) is the owner and principal of Wakakusa Gakuen, one of Japan’s most well-known privately-owned schools. It was Mr. Maki’s hope that by bringing American Christian English teachers to Japan, they might make a positive contribution to Tamura city through their love for their students and the Japanese community.
It began when Mr. Maki invited Grace Fellowship Church to send an American person to Japan to serve at the Wakakusa English School. GFC fulfilled this request and sent an individual who was to be the first of many English teachers recruited for the Wakakusa English Program.
Over the years, the Wakakusa English school continued to grow. As Wakakusa worked to fill the demand for English education, it became apparent that more teachers were needed. As the number of Wakakusa English teachers continued to increase, the community began to take notice. The municipal government approached Mr. Maki and requested that he supply Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) to teach in local junior high schools. Mr. Maki welcomed this opportunity and by the year 2005, the Wakakusa English Program was providing full-time Christian English teachers for every public junior high school in Tamura city. There is now a team of 12 teachers who live together in Christian community.
Wakakusa-employed ALTs also teach in many of Tamura’s elementary schools. With recent developments in the government to include English as a mandatory part of the curriculum in elementary schools, it is likely that more teachers will be needed in the coming years.
"Teaching English in Japan was the experience of a lifetime, and it changed the way I see the world."
"I learned what it meant to serve others out of love and why love should be a Christian's primary concern."
"Wakakusa is a great program where practical ministry meets filling an educational need. Highly focused on community and servanthood, this program helps us to see and understand the heart of Japan." - Esther
"Living and teaching in Japan was one of the most humbling and empowering experiences of my life."
"I am so grateful for Wakakusa. Through entering into both the Japanese culture and into the hearts of the people, I am forever changed."
"I didn't truly understand myself or my own
culture until I taught for Wakakusa in Japan.
Tamura is a place like no other!"
"I learned the value of community and relationships. Everything is harder in another country, but
with the daily trials come depth of character."
"Living in Japan broadened my worldview. The program provided a Christ-seeking community and has encouraged me to pursue relationships across spiritual and cultural divides." - A. Hidey
"Working for Wakakusa has been a challenging and enriching experience for me. I wouldn't trade my time in this beautiful country for any other adventure!"
SHARING THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THE PEOPLE OF TAMURA, JAPAN