Keep Japanese 1 Available to the Class of 2022!

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The option to take Japanese 1 was excluded from the list of possible classes for incoming freshmen – the Class of 2022 is not able to join the Japanese program. If there are not enough students in the Japanese 1 class, Otani Sensei will only be able to teach three classes next year. This means he will be teaching part-time and will be less capable of managing the Japanese program, ultimately resulting in the program’s termination.
The TJ community will suffer a devastating impact if Sensei were to leave TJ.
Without Sensei and a Japanese 1 class, the ensuing years of Japanese classes will cease to exist by 2021. TJ has an extremely unique Japanese language program, and we are privileged to participate in cultural activities that are not possible in other high schools.
Without Sensei, our school’s lasting relationship with Japanese schools will vanish. TJ has hosted Japanese exchange students for 25 years, and as many as 5 Japanese schools visit every year to interact with TJ students both in and out of the Japanese program. Moreover, Sensei has consistently coordinated an exchange program in which students travel to Japan.
Without Sensei, TJ’s multiple strong connections with Japanese academic and government institutions will disappear. TJ is able to bring in many special guests – Japanese Embassy representatives, Japanese science instructors, Tea Ceremony demonstrators, Taiko players, Karuta masters, Rakugo masters, Biwa performers – all because of Sensei’s continued dedication to building lasting relationships between our school and outside institutions.
Without Sensei, every club associated with the Japanese program will dissolve. Otaku club, JCC, and JNHS will no longer hold the cultural activities that we students turn to for enjoyment. Without these clubs, Japanese iNite, J-Day Yakisoba and Matcha ice cream, JNHS’ Oshogatsu Festival, and all other Japanese events will be impossible. This utterly destroys the ability for Japanese culture to be appreciated by students outside of the Japanese program.
Without Sensei, our Japan Bowl team will no longer exist. Japanese program students prove their knowledge time and time again through their annual participation in the Japan Bowl competition in Maryland. Our teams pour countless hours into learning about Japanese culture, language, and history, and without an instructor to guide them, they will no longer do so.
This news is devastating to all of us who are in this program. The Japanese program has been an accepting family with a lasting impact on all of us. The fact that future TJ students will not be able to have an opportunity to experience such an amazing program is truly unacceptable. TJ is recognized around the world for its academic excellence. Performing this reduction to the language programs will not only hurt our school’s reputation as a well-rounded institution, but will also lower our ability to appreciate the cultures of the world as a whole.

If you feel that the TJ community would be damaged by the removal of the Japanese program, please sign this petition!

If you have been affected by the Japanese Program in any way, shape, or form, please take some time to email Dr. Bonitatibus ( and Mr. Kosatka ( It doesn’t have to be long or intricate; anything is appreciated.


Thank you very much for your time.

For any more information, please message:

Kai Riley, Tanvi Haldankar, Shay Le, Yujung Lee, Vivian Nguyen, Sammy Tavassoli, Richard Wang, Millan Welman, Michelle Yue, Soren Christensen