Hinoki Cup Roadshow / Japanese Jobs 101

Michigan School Tour to “Reignite” Japanese Studies!


Ikigai Connections partnered with the Hinoki Foundation, GEN-J Michigan, Michigan-Shiga Sister State Program, Kids Explore Japan, and Accurate Japanese Language Services to promote the benefits of learning another language. From October 2019 through April 2020, we reached 1,100 middle/high school and college/university students in 23 Michigan K-16 schools. Read about the journey in this article from Asia Matters for America (Nov. 16, 2020)


WHAT:  Bilingual business professionals visiting K-16 Japanese classrooms

WHO:  Representatives from the Hinoki Foundation and Ikigai Connections

WHEN:  October 2019 – April 2020 (completed)

HOW:  Schools can schedule a free appointment at their convenience (first come, first served!)

WHY:  To inform students, families, and other stakeholders about the career & other opportunities available to speakers of Japanese and English!

Presenters will:

  • highlight the importance of learning Japanese
  • let students experience the Hinoki Cup bilingual quiz game (for grades K-12), and
  • emphasize the continuing demand for speakers of Japanese & English at global companies (including 500+ Japanese companies in Michigan!)


Click HERE for the K-12 presentation, and HERE for the college version.


Where the Roadshow traveled:

October 10: FLICS (Foreign Language Immersion & Cultural Studies School) – Detroit MI
October 14: Garden City High School – Garden City MI
October 29: Sexton High School – Lansing MI
October 29: Lansing Community College – Lansing MI
November 7: Clarkston HS, Sashabaw MS, Clarkston Jr. HS – Clarkston MI
November 14: Everett High School – Lansing MI
December 3: Utica Academy for International Studies – Utica MI
December 5: Monroe ISD – Monroe MI
December 10: Athens HS and Troy HS – Troy MI
January 9: Garden City Middle School – Garden City MI
January 23: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor MI
February 17: Oakland University – Auburn Hills MI
February 24: Groves High School – Birmingham MI
March 31: University of Michigan Flint – Flint MI
April 1: Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, MI

“Thank you so much for visiting my Japanese classes and providing a very entertaining and enlightening presentation. One student came up to me while I was in the hall and wanted to know if you’d be back again tomorrow because she enjoyed it so much.” Bridget Cooper, Sexton High School (Lansing, MI)
We had about 30 college students attend the event, and they all appreciated it. I believe your presentations and personal experience really motivated our students since they can see how beneficial studying Japanese is for their future.” Mieko Philips, Lansing Community College
Yesterday was amazing!  My students felt inspired and so did I by your talk. What fun they had playing the Hinoki Cup game as well!  Once again, thank you so much! ありがとうございました。” Erin Sullivan, Utica Academy for International Studies (Utica, MI)
From Middle & High School students:
“I like the reveal aspect of the Hinoki Cup.”
“Learning Japanese expands my opportunities for jobs/careers. Also, it can help with travel opportunities.”
“The Hinoki Cup was a fun way to learn things.”
“I learned about how we can combine our passions with a job which also uses Japanese.”
“I learned that competition is not that bad. The Hinoki Cup rules weren’t too strict, which made it fun and interesting.”
“We like learning about ikigai.”


Roadshow Photo
Roadshow Photo
Roadshow Photo
Roadshow Photo
Roadshow Photo
Roadshow with Gen-J Michigan
Roadshow Photo
Playing the Hinoki Cup at the Roadshow

Do you know…

… how many Japanese language schools, programs, Meetups, activities, and related events there are in Michigan? Check out this amazing resource compiled by the Hinoki Foundation here!

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