Our community was formed in 1999, from parents, educators, homeschoolers, researchers and just people interested in issues related to Education in Japan.  Our portal website and page is at EDUCATION IN JAPAN and we hold lively discussions and chats at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/edn-in-jpn/   where our hearth is, but this blog is the bubbling cauldron in which the freshly brewed “soup”, the distilled sum of all our ideas, inspiration, info, news and advice and wisdom.


In 1999, I began writing a series of e-newsletters called Homeschooling / Afterschooling in Japan with a subscriber membership of over 500; at the same time, for live discussions I also started a Yahoo discussion group called edn-in-jpn which survives till today and is most active.

In the same year, Katherine Combs, then a stay-at-home mum, who was homeschooling her kids began her website called Homeschooling in Japan. She was active in attending homeschooling seminars and organizing a series of homeschoolers’ meetings and outings. We got together, my newsletter-and-discussion group members and readers of her website, crossed paths. She became a member of my newsletter and offered space on her website so I uploaded my newsletters’ contents onto her website maintaining the newsletter pages. She used my yahoo-group to disseminate info about the homeschooling meetings so that our relationship was symbiotic.

However, when Katherine Combs returned to the US, the job of webmaster for the Homeschooling in Japan website was taken on by Angela Bartlett another homeschooling family now living in Nagasaki. Her website is still functioning and still goes by the name of Homeschooling in Japan, and still has a page that points to the Education in Japan page.

From 1999, the members of the Yahoogroup I started, voted to split into two groups, one that would focus on education in japan issues generally, covering all and anything related to education including homeschooling and afterschooling, while the other group would become an exclusive group focusing specifically on homeschooling nuts & bolts issues so to speak, and restricting membership to full time homeschoolers.

Then our groups parted ways, with Angela Barlett carrying on her website Homeschooling in Japan, while I continued running the Edn-in-jpn yahoogroup.

As mentioned above, the Education in Japan website and this community blog is now the collective resource of all our discussions, sharing, and networking. One last thing … this community blog has had another home as a 360.yahoo.com/askkawagoe blog which is removing here, on account of the host 360 blogsite closing down. The last surfer counter showed 96,094 hits as the inception of this blog.

Over the years, we have seen this group grow and address, I think, every educational issue under the sun, related to Education in Japan. Our information resources are deep and rich. Our ideas, perspectives and viewpoints are however never static, because as dynamic members of this online community, we are always changing and responding to the daily needs of our kids or students, and to the ever evolving educational scene in Japan. For live and intimate discussions though, you will have to join us online at our http://groups.yahoo.com/group/edn-in-jpn/.

Digitally yours,

Aileen Kawagoe

Editor-writer of the Education in Japan Community Blog