Last updated: June 16th, 2012

Below is a listing Homeschool or Home-education Networks in English and in Japanese.

English Networks:

Paideia Network is a network headed by Shu Suzuki that aims to establish a strong relationship between Japanese-speaking homeschoolers and English-speaking homeschoolers; help Japanese homeschooling families to equip their children with English skills, so that they can afford good methods for Christian education and be connected to the Christian community worldwide. Shu Suzuki is a homeschooling dad with 17 years of experience who advocates homeschooling using the Trivium-Quadrivium curriculum. Their five principles shown on their website.

All Nippon Home-Educators Support & Invigorate Christian Center (AHSIC) (in English) Rv Haruto Yoshii, General Director. Email in Japanese

Education in Japan website and Education in Japan discussion list was set up in 1999 first as a homeschooling/afterschooling newsletter network for homeschooling families, which then broadened its ambits as a discussion group that joined hands with another homeschooling network (started by Kat Combs) that met through regular outings. The burgeoning group established its own website initially called the Homeschooling in Japan website. The network today supports a diverse homeschooling/afterschooling/public schooling community that seek to have a strong hand in educating their kids at home – which now has a permanent online resource and home in the links above.

Homeschooling in Japan Angela Bartlett and her homeschooling family’s website (former home for Education in Japan’s webpages) parted ways from the above Education in Japan discussion list in order to retain its core focus on the nuts-and-bolts of homeschooling and the website still supports a full-time homeschooling families’ network that can be contacted through its Hs-in-jpn list.

YOKOHAMA INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (YICA) began in 1984 when a Japanese/Canadian family came to Japan as missionaries and found themselves with an instant school with their five boys! “I have been Principal of YICA since 1994, and we now serve the Japanese and international community, providing the same Bible-based, K-12, university-preparatory educational program, utilizing A.C.E. School of Tomorrow curriculum. Only a year and a half ago, we moved to our present location at the Yokohama Chuo YMCA Building, across the street from Yokohama Stadium. We originally needed only four rooms in the YMCA building, but now, due to the many families coming, we shall be taking over the entire 5th floor of the building by August!” YICA now operates as an international school and after school.

LIVING HERITAGE ACADEMY JAPAN (LHAJ) serves many families throughout Japan with their home schooling needs. This is our fastest growing part of the organization, since many families live in remote areas, away from a school environment suitable to their educational needs. Please contact the A.C.E. Japan Consultant

A.C.E. (Accelerate Christian Education) curriculum consultant in Japan Kazuko Abe can be contacted via email. A.C.E. homeschoolers are often supported by the Lighthouse Christian Academy More info here.

SCHOOL OF TOMORROW JAPAN (STJ) “provides the training and support for people who wish to start and operate a successful Bible-based school (Kindergarten only, or from K-12, depending on the people’s needs). With more and more Japanese families searching desperately for direction, we are finding this to be the one tool which God is using to reach the children of this nation for Him. Since the program involves an individualized curriculum, Japanese and foreign nationals can receive a truly excellent academic and culturally blended education, while receiving Bible-based character-building training to last a lifetime.” .

Japan Learning Web covers in school and out of school learning for both children and adults in either or both English or Japanese. Discussions to range from teaching English to sock puppets. Contact Helen at their yahoogroup homepage and e-address for posts: JLweb@yahoogroups.com

Shinshu Area Homeschoolers is a Japanese and English-speaking homeschooling group located in the Shinshu area in Nagano prefecture. Contact Dave Carlson
3-3-11-401 Asama Onsen
Matsumoto 390-0303
Japan Phone  (0263) 51-2013 Fax (0263) 51-2049

Alternative Homeschoolers Group in Okinawa. A secular support group that began in June of 2000 for homeschooling families, offering fun, field trips and community. Email alternativehomeschoolers@yahoo.com.

Homeschooling networks open to military base homeschoolers:

Okinawa Homeschoolers Support Group is a homeschooling support group in Okinawa, Japan. Membership is open to homeschool families of all religious and educational beliefs.

PSC 480 Box 123
FPO AP 96370-0123
FAX: 011-81-6117-46-3748

E-list for military and civilian families living in Okinawa.

FISH is “a Christian-based Home schooling group…” located in Okinawa.

International Distance Education of Alaska ” is the home schooling / correspondence program of the International IDEA Foundation, serving the needs of military families throughout the Pacific Rim.” This is more of a correspondence school than a homeschooling support group; its mission is “to provide resources and support to military parents who have elected to educate their children in the home.”

Kanto Plain Home Schoolers is a private organization that is open to any homeschoolers attached to Yokosuka. “Homeschool support group for persons in the Yokosuka, Negishi and Ikego areas”. See their blog.

MISAWA Home Educators Support Group, the 35th Support Group, a Christian-oriented homelearning support network in Japan for US military and civilian families stationed at the Misawa Air Base in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. This website includes sections on homelearning resources and curriculums. NHEN provides links and information for military homeschooling families stationed all over the world.

Okinawa Christian Home Educators Association (OCHEA)
PSC 80 Box 17288, FPO AP 96379-1902

18 WG/HC Unit 5141, Box 90, APO, AP 96367-5141
Email: ocheaokinawa@yahoo.com
Website: http://sites.google.com/site/ocheaokinawa/
Military and civilian families living in Okinawa, Japan

The Military Homeschooler: “Military homeschoolers are a subset of two subsets. As military family members we walk like Americans, we talk like Americans but, despite having American citizenship and, for the most part, having been raised as Americans, we’re not your run of the mill citizen. As homeschoolers we join support groups, we gather materials, and we are as diverse as the rest of the homeschooling community, but we’re almost perennially strangers in a strange land.”

T.I.U. Kyoto Learning Center Website of an independent-study program in Japan that has been offering alternative education to university students for more than *two decades* — since way back in 1975, that is, when the concept of holistic, community-based learning was a much crazier idea in Japanese society than it is today. The Kyoto Learning Center is a branch of The International University in Independence, Missouri, USA. Dayle Bethel established the Japan program first in Osaka, then in Kyoto, where it remains today.

Vegsource is a public on-line forum for military homeschooling families.

See also Christian Homeschoolers A US military homeschooling currently living overseas but who were in Japan in 2000.

Japanese Networks:

Church and Home Educators Association Japan (CheaJapan)

Zeronet unschooling website offers its own unschooling guide book here.

Yoshii’s Home Page The Christian-oriented homelearning website of the Yoshii family of Tokyo. Mr. Haruto Yoshii, who has been homelearning in Japan with his three children for the last 10 years, has lots of opinions about homelearning, education and Christianity. He shares with us a plethora of his original essays on these and other topics on his website. Some nice photos of the family are featured on the site too.

Kubo Yoshiko’s homeschooling website  

Yoshiko Kubo, is one of the veterans of the homelearning
community in Japan. She lives in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture, located
about 30 minutes from Tokyo. Kubo has been homelearning in Japan with her
two children, ages nine and 12, from the beginning. Her website includes
a report on her family’s travels last summer to Canada and the United
States, where they enjoyed staying with other homelearning families. More
recently, Kubo appeared as a panelist at a symposium in Tokyo on 3 June
to help introduce homelearning as a positive alternative to conventional
schools in Japan. She also regularly puts out two printed newsletters in
Japanese — one by the “Sweet Heart” social childcare network she heads,
and another called “LIVE” (as in “live and learn”) that specifically
covers homelearning matters. And Kubo has self-published a book titled
*Kodomo wa Asobi no Tensai* (“Children are Geniuses at Playing”), which
introduces some of her and her children’s homelearning adventures.

Note: the HP link is now defunct, we have been unable to locate the new link if any. However, her book on homeschooling “思い切ってホームスクールで育てています” is available at Amazon.co.jp  

思い切ってホームスクールで育てています

AHSIC (Association of HomeSchoolers’ In Christ) is a nation-wide network of Japanese homeschoolers.

IO ~人権を考える~ website by Miyoshi Itoh of Tokyo & Yuko Inoue of Saitama, both parents of futoko children.  authors of the *Warau Fu-toko* book. Itoh, who spent two years living in Denmark with her children, has written about their experiences there in an extended series of articles for the Tokyo Shimbun, a major metro daily newspaper in Japan’s capital city.

PAIDEIA Network  is a network headed by Shu Suzuki that aims to establish a strong relationship between Japanese-speaking homeschoolers and English-speaking homeschoolers; help Japanese homeschooling families to equip their children with English skills, so that they can afford good methods for Christian education and be connected to the Christian community worldwide. Shu Suzuki is a homeschooling dad with 17 years of experience who advocates homeschooling using the Trivium-Quadrivium curriculum. Their five principles are shown on their website.

Shinshu Area Homeschoolers is a Japanese and English-speaking homeschooling group located in the Shinshu area in Nagano prefecture. Contact Dave Carlson
3-3-11-401 Asama Onsen
Matsumoto 390-0303
Japan Phone  (0263-51-20-13), Fax (0263) 51-2049 – this network may no longer be available pending fact-checking

Sato-Kun-Chi no Home School [lit.: "Home School of Young Mr. Sato's Family"]Website of the Sato family of Niigata Prefecture, northern Japan, and the homelearning adventures of their 10-year-old son. Includes sections on daily homelearning activities, recommendations on books to read, and a diary of the many places young Mr. Sato has visited. The whole site is in Japanese, but don’t let that deter you if you don’t have the software or aren’t familiar with the language: There are plenty of great photos of the young Sato’s favorite hobbies — raising Japanese *medaka* (killifish) and growing his own vegetables. Check it out!

Japan Home School Support Association
HoSA plans to publish its own magazines and bulletins, introduce Japanese versions of home-schooling manuals from the United States, host seminars and symposiums, and facilitate the sharing of textbooks.

LearnNet Global School A newly opened, alternative “international school for Japanese people” located on Mount Rokko in the city of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. This school seems to be getting a lot of attention in the Japanese mass media these days. A few homelearning children are reportedly enrolled in LearnNet programs, which include Montessori-based methods and afterschool activities. This website includes homelearning and alternative education links, as well as its own online discussion list. 

Otherwise Japan Onibabatachino irutokoro. PO Box Kugayama, Suiginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Emailowj@comax.net

Pinocchio – Japanese unschooling website.–defunct link, fact-checking, the HP may have moved or no longer exist.

School in the House – A homeschooling family’s homepage

Tokyo Shure is a free school for Japanese homeschoolers that currently has about 550 homeschooling families registered in its Home Shure network.

Japan Homeschool Support Association (HOSA)

Homeschool Net Renkon

Homeschool Net Himeji A website by Tomiko Kugai who is one of Japan’s most vocal homeschooling mothers, her press stories inspire many homeschoolers in Japan.

「学校」から自由になろう A homepage with resources and help for futoko children.

The following links were courtesy of Brian Covert but the next two links are currently defunct, currently chasing down the new links! 

Home Schooling Network – Michikusa Website of an independent support group led by Kimiyo Matsuura, a homelearning parent based in rural Toyono-cho, Osaka Prefecture. Matsuura is one of several contributing authors of a Japanese book published in 1999, titled *Warau Fu-toko* (literally: “Happy Without School”), which extolls the virtues of children not attending school in Japan. Matsuura and her son each regularly put out printed versions of homelearning newsletters as well. (“Michi-kusa,” by the way, is a Japanese expression meaning to take one’s time and smell the roses along the way.)

Kodomo Isha [Children's Doctor] Website of Ryoko Ishibashi, a Tokyo-based pediatrician and parent of a *fu-toko* child. This site includes info about Dr. Ishibashi’s personal experiences as a parent of a school avoider in Japan, backed up with lots of other professional childcare advice to parents from her position as a medical specialist. Dr. Ishibashi is yet another of the contributing authors of the *Warau Fu-toko* book 

Learnnet Global School(Japanese) A newly opened, alternative “international school for Japanese people” located on Mount Rokko in the city of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. This school seems to be getting a lot of attention in the Japanese mass media these days. A few homelearning children are reportedly enrolled in LearnNet programs, which include Montessori-based methods and afterschool activities. This website includes homelearning and alternative education links, as well as its own online discussion list.

Note: The following link no longer exists, as Dr Raymond Moore passed away on July 17, 2007..see Thank You Dr. Moore…however, you may contact the Osaka SDA Center for his Japanese publications.

Moore Japan’s essays and newsletter (Japanese) “Yes, the US homelearning pioneers Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore are making inroads into the Land of the Rising Sun! Moore Japan is based in Gunma Prefecture, and for some time now has been publishing a print newsletter in Japanese on home education. Moore Japan does not have its own website up yet, unfortunately, but it does offer an extensive set of essays on childraising through this website of the SDA Osaka Center, a Protestant Christian organization based in Osaka, Japan. Click on number 8 on the left-hand side of this website’s main page to see the Moore Japan essays in Japanese. [The organization can be contacted directly by writing to: "Moore Japan," c/o Nihon Kensei Kyokai, 3964 Oaza Minami-gawa, Oni Ishi-machi, Taki-gun, Gunma-ken 370-1405, Japan.] – Brian Covert.”

Word of thanks: We at EIJ are indebted here for much of the information listed here to Brian Covert.

**** comments ****

From my research for a dissertation on alternative education, I think there are two distinct groups of home-educators in Japan. I call them ‘opt outs’ and ‘drop outs’.

Most foreign or dual nationality home-educators would fall into the “OPT OUT” category – they have actively chosen to home-educate before experiencing any major problems with the compulsory education system. Very
few Japanese families fall into the ‘opt out’ category, though there is a discernable trend towards ‘opt out’ home education amongst a small number of Japanese Christians – and they draw support and encouragement from US
Christian homeschoolers.

The second group I call “DROP OUT” home-educators. These are the ones who have ended up home-educating because their children dropped out of school (became ‘futoko’). Some of them do it as a temporary option, and they hope the children will go back to school: others get really into it and give it all they have got. The majority of Japanese home educators fall into the ‘drop out’ category.

The school refusal/ futoko problem is ongoing and involves so many children that the government lets free schools/ home education/ etc exist – even though they also insist that Japanese kids stay enrolled (keep their ‘seki’) in local schools. It is a kind of tacit agreement that Japan needs alternative forms of education, even though free schools and home education receive no formal approval.

I think that the ‘opt out’ group of home educators currently benefits from the leniency afforded by the ‘futoko’ problem, although because of widespread ignorance about there being people who actually do ‘opt out’,
the ‘opt out’ home educators are often misunderstood and thought to be ‘drop out’ home educators.

But in the end, once a decision to home-educate has been made, issues and goals are largely the same. some writers on the Japanese home education sites say that once that decision is made, ‘futoko’ is no longer an
appropriate label – and ‘home school/ home education’ should be used.

Re: katakana use of ‘home school’ – the first of Tokyo Shure’s books about home education gives reasons why they chose to use ‘home education’ rather than ‘home school’, and why they felt they could not find a suitable
Japanese term. (‘Home education’ is also the more common term in the UK - because of getting away from the idea of ‘school’).

In Japan, though I don’t know if it has ever been discussed at a high level, I would say that education is seen clearly as the state’s responsibility - parental responsibility is to make sure kids are educated according to state
guidelines, i.e. in the compulsory education system. I think that the average Japanese family just unquestioningly accepts this as normal. But if this all ever becomes a big issue and the legality of homeschooling ever has
to be argued about in court, parental responsibility/ rights would be a key part of the argument. – Heather