America in the Schools (AIS) is designed to promote sensitivity and respect for cultural diversity by educating elementary school students in Japan about the daily life, language and culture of America. Many Japanese hear about the U.S. through the media and movies that may not always be representative of everyday life. News headlines involving violence and racially biased crime can create an unappealing image of the U.S. for those with no other context of understanding. As a consequence, children can form very limited and inaccurate views of America that can result in reduced interest in studying in the U.S. when they reach college age. By bringing American life to Japanese students at an early stage in their academic career, a resilient foundation can be cast that will promote awareness as well as encouragement for further English language and American culture studies—the youth are the future of the U.S.-Japan bond on all levels.

The Japan-America Society of the State of Washington wishes to thank the United-States Japan Foundation for their generous grant, without which this program would not have been possible.

For more information on this grant, please see the attached press release.

Press Release



Cultural DiversityCultural Diversity

AIS presents a day in the life of an American child using visual aids and items from the U.S. to make the experience real. Common items used by American children in everyday life are brought to the school and used to show how a young American boy or girl spends a typical day. These elementary school presentations allow the Japanese student to identify, compare and contrast his or her experience with an American counterpart. The diversity of the American classroom and friends will be a prominent theme to be presented with its strengths and its challenges. Showing diversity as a strength can also create a positive impression in Japan where workforce diversity is an essential part of Prime Minister Abe’s economic recovery plan.

Mutual Respect7C5A4920

The approach is to profile children of diverse backgrounds. To help students relate, the presentations feature an American child with a Japanese name who has a diverse set of friends and family. The history of the Japanese in America and Japanese Americans can play an interesting and engaging role in the curriculum. Today’s American individuals of Japanese ancestry include recent immigrants as well as those who are now fourth and fifth generation descendants. By putting themselves in the shoes of this American child, Japanese students will gain a more open perspective and become inspired to learn more about other cultures while taking pride in their own.

Student Experience
MikaMeet American 4th grader, Mika, and her class.  Meet her family, friends and classmates and experience a day in the classroom.  Several of Mika’s great-grandparents were from Japan.  Many of her classmates have family ancestors from other far away places, but most of her classmates are Americans because they were born in the U.S.A.  They still enjoy and share their ancestral cultures with friends and classmates.

“America in the Schools will help Japanese students understand that the U.S. is more than what is portrayed in media, more than what is digested in the myriad U.S. fast food chains and more than what can be purchased at the Gap, Toys R Us, Starbucks or Coach.”
– Mari Maruyama, Vice President, The Laurasian Institution

Japan-America Society of the State of Washington is working with select Japanese school districts and government partners to develop and implement AIS in Japan.  AIS was patterned after JASSW’s long running Japan-In-the-Schools program and it has already peaked the interest of a number of school districts and organizations in Japan where generating interest in learning English at a younger age is an important goal.  If you wish to be a part of this program as a volunteer or if you know of a school district in Japan who would be interesting in AIS, please contact us. Resources can also be found on our website here.

Contact AIS

American Girls


List of Our Past Interns

KyungYoung (Jenny) KimApril 10, 2023 ~ November 19, 2023
Christie JungMarch 31, 2023 ~ July 8, 2023
Taira ShimotsuyaFebruary 27, 2023 ~ June 1, 2023
Koki MatsumuraJanuary 23, 2023 ~ March 30, 2023
Harin ParkOctober 3, 2022 ~ January 20, 2023
Chihiro MatsuoJune 29, 2022 ~ September 2, 2022
Moena YamakawaJune 29, 2022 ~ August 19, 2022
Jiwoo JungApril 4, 2022 ~ July 31, 2022
Satoshi MikiJune 2022
Ellen UchidaApril 2021 ~ December 19, 2023
Isami February 24, 2020 ~ April 3, 2020
RioFebrary 3, 2020 ~ Febrary 27, 2020
DaichiFebruary 3, 2020 ~ February 27, 2020
Tomohiro IshiiJanuary 2020 ~ February 2020
Naoki KokubuNovember 1, 2019 ~ 
Randy UnJuly 2019 ~ September 2019
Tomomi July 1, 2019 ~September 13, 2019
Nanami KikuchiAug 7, 2019 ~ August 30, 2019
ChirikoJuly 2019 ~
Misako SatoJuly 22, 2019 ~
Kana KitahamaFebruary 6, 2019 ~ April 30, 2019
Aya OgataFebruary 1, 2019 ~ February 26, 2019
Yuno TanifujiJanuary 28, 2019 ~ March 30, 2019
Shari MonsonOctober 2018 ~ Febrary 2019
Midori NakanoAugust 16, 2018 ~ August 31, 2018
Hiroki IshiiJune 26, 2018 ~ August 31, 2018
Yuka MuroiFebruary 7, 2018 ~ March 2, 2018
Lee Hyung WooFebrary 2018 ~ June 2018
Nao MiyamotoJanuary 28, 2018 ~ April 1, 2018
Hitomi Kase January 2018 ~
Ryoko YamamotoOctober 11, 2017 ~
Raymond SimOctober, 2017 ~
Chihiro KurokawaOctober 9, 2017 ~ December 1, 2017
Tomomi TsukadaAugust 25, 2017 ~ September 13, 2017
Shohgo MiuraJuly 6, 2017 ~ 
Jumpei AsakuraEnd of February 2017 - Mid-March 2017