Japanese is said to be one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn, yet Terumi Kai is said to be teaching it to Greeks, and in fact to students from all around the world, in just two months.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Terumi holidayed in Crete in 2009, where she fell in love with the food, the nature and landscape.
So much was her love for the Greek island that she decided to move there to live in 2015, and it was in Heraklion that her daughter Eva was born, four years later in 2019.
For Terumi, who had been a cooking teacher in Tokyo, the move meant she could no longer continue her cooking classes and so began her quest to carve out a business niche in Crete.
“I was looking for what people were missing,” Terumi told Greek City Times, “and I noticed a gap in the market.”
Terumi began to teach the people of Crete how to speak Japanese.
“Learning the Japanese language is really good for all ages, but in particular for the young generation,” says Terumi, whose online language school ‘Japan Language Factory’ has grown to include students from all over the world in just a few short years.
“The online Japan Language Factory that started in Crete now boasts students from across the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, India, Europe, and also (ex pats in) Japan.”
“I have developed my own, unique study method, which involves memorising native sentences as well as pronunciation training,” says Terumi, explaining the school’s method of teaching that seems to have fast-tracked the learning of its students.
“This is the core of the current JLF method.”
Capturing the attention of the Greek media, Terumi was recently interviewed by Greek TV channel EPT (watch the interview below).
In May this year, Terumi was also invited to feature as a guest on Greek radio station Sputnik Greece, to tell her story of a ‘Japanese woman living in Greece, teaching Japanese to Cretans’.
Whilst currently offering courses in Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Terumi tells of her future vision to expand her Japan Language Factory online school to incorporate all languages.
And for now this global business allows Terumi and Eva to remain happily at home in their beloved Crete, where the former cooking teacher says she loves the fresh local produce, the comfortable weather all-year round, and the perfect balance between nature and city.
Japan Language Factory:
YouTube: Terumi Kai – Japan Language Factory