Dive into world literature

Gain new perspectives
Coached and supported along the way
With an eye toward your language learning goals
A brand-new type of online language course

From Natsume Sōseki to Murakami Haruki: Discovering Japanese Literature in English

Online Literature Discussion Classes

We will read and discuss short stories of some of the most noted Japanese authors.
 

  • Open to anybody who is interested in Japanese culture or literature

  • Conducted entirely in English

  • Share what you feel about the work with participants from all over the world

Join our global online course!

 
 

Instructor Profile

Ikuya Takahashi

Founder of ika.異化

Japanese Literature Amplifier

English Education Consultant
Freelance Translator (English / Japanese, French / Japanese)
Certified Tour Guide Interpreter (English and French)

Ikuya Takahashi was born in 1983. When he was 20, he went abroad to England for the first time as an exchange student and stayed there for 10 months. There, he found intercultural communication both fascinating and difficult, and he strongly felt that he needed to know more about the culture and history of his own country. For this reason, he decided to become a tour guide interpreter. Subsequently, he worked as an interpreter for JICE, a government-affiliated organization for several years. When he was 27, he decided to go to Paris, one of his dream cities, and stayed there for one year. The following year, he did his master’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London.

Since coming back to Japan, he has been working as an English instructor, teaching classes for various corporate clients as well as interpretation courses and classes in preparation for exams such as IELTS or TOEFL iBT. In addition, he has taught numerous private lessons for professionals and students alike who were preparing to study abroad in order to obtain advanced degrees. He has also been in charge of managing teams of instructors with different nationalities and backgrounds as well as developing curricula for Academic English classes at several prestigious universities in Japan. To date, he has taught about 5,300 hours. His passion is travelling, and so far he has been to 35 countries, the most recent of which was Cuba.

Work history
Former full-time instructor at Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin, International Education Center
Former interpreter at Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE)
Former freelance tour guide-interpreter

Credentials

  • MA in International Studies and Diplomacy
    from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

  • ​BA in English Literature                                                                                               

        from Sophia University 

  • Diploma of French Language and Civilization C1 (Level Superior)

        from Paris IV Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, Paris, France

  • Certificate of Graduation
    from Conference Interpreting School at International Education Center (IEC), Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin

  • CELTA


Qualifications

  • English: UNATE Special A, EIKEN Grade 1, TOEIC 990, National Guide-Interpreter Certificate

  • French: DALF C1, National Guide-Interpreter Certificate

Merits of Online Classes

We will use Zoom to teach classes, so you can take classes anywhere in the world.

Study at Home

It is not necessary for you to leave your home. You can use your time more efficiently.

Study even while away on business

As long as you have an Internet connection, you can take classes even when you suddenly have a business trip overseas.

Study even while studying abroad

We offer private lessons so that you can keep up with your classes overseas and get the most out of them.

Study anywhere in the world.

 

How to take classes

Please go to “Book Online” to sign up for classes.
 

We will send a URL to your email address at least 3 days before classes start.
 

On the first day, please click on the URL and enter the Zoom class room at the designated time.
 

If you are not sure how to use Zoom, please inquire with us, and we will set up a Zoom tutorial session for free.

 
Testimonials
Kelly Cargos

Former Colleague of 6 years

Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin

On his own time, he’s invested in teacher training, earning numerous qualifications and accumulating experience so that he can cater to his students’ needs. [...] He was so passionate that it was impossible to sit there without feeling excited about the subject myself.

Joshua Yardley

CELTA Trainer, Local Center Manager

Boston Teaching House

Taking part in his lessons it’s like a work out. You are exhausted, but feel great afterwards because you pushed yourself harder than you ever have in any other classroom setting. [...] He is truly in a level above.

Japanese Literature Blog
 
About

The name of our project, ika, comes from the Japanese word 異化 (ika).
(i) means “different” or “unusual”, and (ka) means “change” or “transformation”.


異化 is translated into English as “defamiliarization”.
In Russian, this idea is captured in the term ostranenie (остранение) coined by literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky.
In German, the word is verfremdung

To us, ika means shaking the foundations upon which we base our familiar ways of thinking. It means seeking out that which is novel and surprising. It means learning how to view the world in different and multifaceted ways.

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