First Year Japanese II

Jul 2018

I took First Year Japanese II with her, and she is absolutely amazing. Nazikian sensei is humorous, considerate, and such a good teacher. She makes sure everyone understands follows the material and not take spend too much time on a single topic. Every single class was a lot of fun for me and my classmates.

Jun 2014

Park-Sensei is an amazing teacher to start off Japanese with. She is always precisely on time and finished at or before the end of class. Her lectures are clear and interesting, she is very good at explaining difficult pieces of grammar and her slides are not only useful during class, but an excellent study tool. Her grading is fair, even lenient (my transcript said more than half the class had A-level grades as there is no curve) and her office is always open. Quizzes and tests are very straightforward and always have the exact same format (tests add reading and Kanji as you learn more skills): quizzes are vocabulary Japanese to English and English to Japanese and Kanji when you begin to learn it, and you always know exactly which words/kanji will be on the quiz. She gives out a format before each test that is effectively a shortened version of the test with answers, so you'll never be blindsided. If you forget your homework you can bring it into the office by the end of the day which was useful several times in the semester. Best of all, her attitude is extremely enthusiastic and you can tell she really cares about her students and how well they learn. At the end of each semester we had a class lunch and took a break from learning. I would definitely recommend Park-sensei's class to anyone interested in Japanese. You will work, but you will learn a lot of Japanese and do well in the class if you put in as much as Sensei does.

Sep 2012

Matsui-sensei is simply fucking fantastic. She explains lessons well without the intimidating, expectant stare as the whole class waits in silence for you to spit out that verb conjugation. Also, she always makes sure to repeat important information in English so that you won't misunderstand grammar rules, homework directions, etc. Class starts off reviewing the previous day's lesson with some partner practice. Then Matsui-sensei lectures on the new lesson and some more partner practice ending with her quizzing each person, just remember a half-decent sentence you said to your partner and you'll be fine. Class ends with a quick review of tomorrow's assignments and then the vocab quiz. Oh and everything and done with the help of a Powerpoint, for all you visual learners. In short, I wish she taught every year of Japanese so I can have her again and again.

Jun 2011

I had Hamada Sensei for two semesters for first year Japanese and I think he's a wonderful, very effective professor with a charmingly quirky personality. Hamada Sensei's Japanese class was definitely the most stress-free, chill, and happy class every day. His powerpoint slides were EXTREMELY helpful. We practice a lot of speaking and he was practically speaking Japanese 70% of the time since day one and that was why the listening and oral exams were really easy to me. I feel like I've learned more and gained more confidence in Japanese in this one year with Hamada Sensei than I did with Spanish for five years before college. I really appreciate how Hamada Sensei teaches, which is often very animated (he also constantly mentions his passion for video games) and I think I'd miss this geeky youthful energy a lot in the future.

Apr 2007

Okamoto Sensei is perhaps the greatest Japanese instructor at Columbia. She is kind, patient, and loving to all of her students. Why is it that she is yet to receive a big gold star?

Nov 2006

If anybody ever says anything bad about Okamoto, I will personally find a way to destroy CULPA.

May 2006

Nittono sensei is great. She moves pretty quickly, but is always open for questions and tries to help those who do not understand. She never once got annoyed with a student who asked a "dumb" question. She also has a great sense of humor and a cheerful disposition.

Jan 2006

Sato-sensei was a great teacher. He always explained things well and didn't mind using English to make sure the class understood. Questions were always answered, either in class or he was willing to stay after and explain things. Also, before tests and especially the final and oral interviews he reviewed with us rather than ignoring them. And his kanji stories were hilarious! He was very approachable and had many office hours if you were looking for help. He also made the stressful experience of Japanese II a little better by bringing fun things like manga and japanese movies and dramas into class.

Sep 2004

Contrary to the rest of Hue-sensei's abominable reviews, I had her for my entire first year of Japanese, and absolutely loved it. She IS tough and she IS thorough, but what Japanese class isn't? She really cares about you learning the language, and dammit if thats what you want to do, you'd be in the right place for it in her class! If you want to study ANY Japanese at all while attending Columbia, you have to be ready for insane amounts of work, and doing the audio drills. It took a while, but she finally warmed up to us, and throughout the rest of the year and second semester, we had a blast in our Japanese section. Currently this year (2004-05) she is away on leave studying in France, but hopefully she'll be back again soon teaching Japanese again.

Aug 2002

I ran into Hatakeyama-sensei at the end of my first semester of Japanese when he did the listening comprehension for the make-up final. He sped through everything like nobody's business and I couldn't understand half of what he said. Imagine my dismay when I walked into the classroom a month later to find him teaching my section (he and another professor had switched). However, Hatakeyama-sensei does grow on you, and I ended up thinking he was a pretty fantastic teacher. Sure you find yourself raising your eyebrows and mumbling "What?" at least once per class, but his speed and fluency can only improve yours. Besides, he's nice and extremely funny and animated when he wants to be. I'd definitely recommend taking one of his classes.

Jan 2000

One of the most loveable teachers on the Columbia campus and in the Japanese department. One can't help but be charmed by her easy smiles and soothing voice. This huggable Pikachu-like character helps dull your mind from the pain. But don't be fooled because even Pikachu has its arsenal of surprises. Stay awake and do the work assigned to you, or you may receive an unexpected surprise at the end of the semester, no matter how well you thought things went. She is a fair grader and is more than willing to help you, but don't expect any freebies. Work load is at least an hour a day, including more if you actually listen to the tapes. Although her English is accented, it is understandable. Classes are a nice balance between instruction, class exercises, and discussion. She is also known to develop a good repoire among her students....but then again, so does Pikachu.