“Thinking back, I started my journey to become a teacher when I was in primary school and saw a school drama that featured outstanding educators, and that may have led me to where I am now. Entering high school, I chose to pursue a career as a physical education (PE) teacher, deeply influenced by one physical education teacher. She is still my mentor in life and every time I have trouble making a decision, I always think, ‘How would she make a decision if she were me?’
I dedicated 37 years of my life to teaching high school physical education in Japan until I finally retired. After retiring from school at the age of 59, I decided to embark on a new adventure and offer my expertise in Bhutan as a JICA volunteer.
My hobby is jogging. In Japan, I participated in full and half marathons every year. After coming to Bhutan, I wasn’t able to go as much as I had hoped due to the pandemic, but I was able to participate in a half marathon in Paro and Dochula, and a full marathon in Punakha. During the race, I made friends with other Bhutanese runners who share the same hobby.
Family has always been important to me and I was so happy when my wife visited Bhutan and stayed for two weeks in July this year. We have two children. My 29-year-old daughter is married, mother of two girls, and my 26-year-old son is currently living in Canada.
This is my second time participating as a JICA volunteer. In 1988 (the year JICA volunteers were first sent to Bhutan), I went to the Republic of the Maldives to teach athletics. When I returned to Japan after two years of activities and the internet world arrived, I was able to see what was going on with the Maldivian athletes I had taught.
They are now the core generation of Maldivian society, working as managers of sports academies, physical education teachers at schools, and national coaches for para-athletes. When I heard about their success, the passion to work as a JICA volunteer once again rose within me.
I started working as a lecturer at Paro College of Education where I’m sharing my knowledge about physical education to the first year students. 35 years have already passed since my first assignment to the Maldives. Although my English skills had deteriorated considerably after living without using English for many years, my stay in Bhutan is truly wonderful thanks to the kindness and politeness of the students at the college. A particularly heartwarming moment occurred on my 63rd birthday, when many students surprised me with a huge cake, a gesture, which touched me deeply.
In the future, many of them will become teachers and coaches themselves and pass on the knowledge they have gained to their students.
Notably in Bhutan, physical education is not given the same importance as in Japan and is not even considered as a subject. This stands in contrast to Japan, where physical education holds a significant place in the curriculum. However, I have full faith that the students I have taught will demonstrate great abilities in physical education in the near future.
My assignment in Bhutan is coming to an end. However, my passion for teaching and sharing knowledge remains unwavering and I aspire to continue my educational journey both in Bhutan and Japan. My time in Bhutan has been an extraordinary experience, and the bonds I formed with my students will always remain etched in my heart.”

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