The founder



Born in Tokyo and raised in Setagaya, I grew up surrounded by relatives who lived overseas due to international marriage or job relocation. From a young age, I naturally developed a fascination for foreign countries and an interest in languages. I didn't live abroad during my childhood, so I missed out on the opportunity to acquire other languages as naturally as my native language. But after having studying abroad experiences in the UK, USA, and China, I learnt to speak English, Chinese, and basic Korean in addition to my native Japanese. After returning to Japan, I volunteered to support foreign mothers raising children and international students. My family also hosted several foreign exchange students who were struggling to find accommodation. Having visited abroad over 80 times and spent nearly four years abroad for study, work, and travel, my stays were balanced between Asia and Western countries, seeking to gain a neutral perspective on both Eastern and Western cultures.




I started studying English at junior high school, and it was initially challenging for me. I vividly remember feeling frustrated when I first learned English, questioning why words like "ボールbo-lu" were spelt as "ball", which I believe should be pronounced as "ba-lu-lu", instead of spelling of "bol" or "boul". I felt even anger to be forced to learn something illogical like this. Living abroad, I faced numerous culture shocks and overcame challenges of adapting to different languages and environments. Through these experiences, I learned the importance of accepting and respecting different cultures and the value of mutual support across borders. I've also received significant help from strangers abroad, inspiring me to pay it forward by assisting others in Japan.



Motivation for Starting Link and Learn:

Although I studied English and Chinese during my student years, I had few opportunities to use Chinese after returning from abroad, causing my language skills to fade. While I lacked the motivation to revisit grammar lessons in language schools full of younger generations, I found myself wanting to relearn whenever I watched Chinese movies or dramas. I've also felt the frustration of foreign nationals integrating into Japanese society through my volunteer work. If a chance is given to get to know each other, language is not a problem for heartfelt connections. But the communities are still being divided in Japan. Witnessing the challenges of sustaining multicultural activities through voluntary organizations, I envisioned Link and Learn International as a place where people could learn together in multiple languages, connect through events and activities, promote mutual understanding, and foster connections with local community organizations.

Link and Learn を立ち上げたきっかけ


また、在日外国人をサポートするボランティアを通じて、外国籍の方が日本社会に溶け込む難しさを肌で感じてきました。きっかけさえあれば、言葉が通じなくても、心が通じ合うことはいくらでもできるのに、コミュニティが分断されていることにもどかしさを感じていました。それを解決しようと多文化共生を目指し活動を始めた任意団体の持続的運営の大変さも、間近で見てきました。多言語で共に学び、イベントや活動を通じて、つながる機会をつくることで相互理解を促進し、ボランティアなど地域の団体とも皆がつながれる、そんな場所があったらいいのに、と思ったのが、Link and Learn Internationalを立ち上げた動機です。