Shigeru Eguchi

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Apr 2021

Eguchi-sensei was such a joy to have in Zoom school. I take classes late at night where I am, so I thought I'd be dreading coming to class after a long day — but after the first few Japanese classes, I found myself looking forward to class every day. He has such great energy and enthusiasm for teaching that is infectious and encourages you to work hard. Eguchi-sensei adapted to the virtual format so well; he found new ways to incorporate online platforms and digital projects in the curriculum that didn't feel forced and worked well. He also puts in a lot of effort to ensure that we understand the nuances of the language and answers our questions with great examples and clarity. He also responds to emails promptly and seems to care about students' wellbeing. He reaches out when you miss class and asks how you feel if you seem sick. The best thing about Eguchi-sensei, though, is his easygoing disposition. He has these little mannerisms that make him such a likable person (I can't explain it but you'll understand if you take a class with him). In short, he is a very engaging professor who tries his best and is endearingly kind. If you're taking Japanese at Columbia, take it with Eguchi if you can!

Oct 2014

Eguchi-sensei is amazing! I absolutely love starting my day with his energy, enthusiasm, and clarity. In a school full of lecturers and professors who seem to not care, the foreign language department has always stood out -- Eguchi-sensei is the epitome of a good language teacher! Not only does he legitimately care about his students, but he legitimately cares about learning. Yes, the pace is rather brisk, but Eguchi-sensei's teaching style (methodical, organized, routine-based) makes it enjoyably so. While he does call on people to answer questions, he doesn't make it intimidating. There are a lot of verbal drills in class where you work in pairs or groups. Eguchi-sensei makes it clear he wants us to develop fluency in the language in all senses of the word. The vocab/grammar quizzes aren't bad. As long as you focus in class, all you're left studying is memorizing the vocab for the next day (10-15 words). The homework is usually a worksheet and, once in awhile, an accompanying blog post, plus verbal exercises. None of it takes too long so long as you've paid attention to the lesson. Overall, if you get the chance, I highly, HIGHLY recommend taking Japanese with Eguchi-sensei! He's amazing for people who (like me) have no prior Japanese/character language experience and he's an endearing teacher with a great personality!

Sep 2012

Eguchi-sensei is organized, efficient, knowledgeable, approachable, and un-intimidating; everything you could ever want from a Japanese teacher. He runs class so smoothly you'll wonder if he's part robot, starting with the vocab quiz and posting the homework assignments, and ending exactly on the dot. Doesn't spend much time telling little stories like some professors so don't expect much humor out of his lessons, but he still manages to make it somewhat entertaining with quirky illustrations in his Powerpoints. All-in-all Eguchi-sensei is a great way to start off Japanese.

Oct 2011

I'm now taking Fourth-Year Japanese with a different teacher, and I am just realizing how much I miss Eguchi-sensei's class and what truly fantastic teacher he was. There is no doubt that taking Japanese at Columbia is a lot of work (those who have survived it can attest). But Eguchi-sensei can make it so much more doable, bearable, pleasant, and even FUN than any other Japanese teacher I've had here. He is so lively and energetic in his teaching, and there is never a lull in his class. Eguchi-sensei makes the class run like butter — he starts and ends the class on the dot, and begins each class by writing on the board our homework and quiz for the next class. He is extremely punctual, very clear about instructions for assignments, and makes sure that everyone needs to know what they need to know in order to do well. He does a better job at explicating the reading assignments than any other teacher I've had. Every day in class he will go through the section of the text we're working on for the day and, sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph, discuss the grammatical nuances, highlight vocabulary, and actually EXPLAIN what the passage is saying, which is critical in Japanese since texts can be very difficult to crack, especially when the class moves at the pace that ones at Columbia do. All in all, Eguchi-sensei is the best Japanese teacher I've had at Columbia. Definitely try to be in his section if you're taking Japanese!

Jan 2006

The other people who have written reviews obviously aren't serious students of Japanese -- and haven't got much of an idea about how lucky people are who take Japanese at Columbia. The Japanese department here is *fantastic* and Eguchi Sensei is a standout teacher even with a such a high level of teaching. Eguchi Sensei is organized, excellent at explaining grammar, and maintains a strict sense of discipline which keeps annoying students on track. He hates people who chew gum -- as do ALL Japanese teachers. I've also done Japanese here with Yamada-Sensei (also fantastic), Nakamura-Sensei (amazing) and Hue-Sensei (NIGHTMARE) and can attest that Eguchi-Sensei is the best Japanese teacher I've ever had. On a side note, if Hue- Sensei ever comes back -- don't be sucked into the mythology that her 'way' is somehow superior. It's not and she's crazy and mean. All of the Japanese teachers are highly proficient at what they do -- but all the other ones are humane and supportive of students' learning process. ESPECIALLY Eguchi-Sensei!

Apr 2002

Out of curiousity and expecting numerous rave reviews, I looked up eguchi-sensei and was surprised to find his reception more critical than I, and I think most of the students in my class, would have expected. eguchi-sensei is a fantastic teacher: enthusiastic, knowledgable, helpful, witty, easy-going, and popular with students, certainly not someone who emanates any sort of "daggers and negative vibes," poised to fry you on on some humiliating grill unless you're obviously not paying attention or doing the work. I had orie yamada for my first year, and she had a stricter attitude by far, as good as she was. what's important to remember when you're choosing a professor for japanese is, I think, their general attitude during class rather than specifics like workload or organization, which will be pretty much the same (rigorous and virtually perfect, respectively), regardless of what professor you have. suffice to say that if you want to get better at japanese enough not to be afraid to participate, by all means take eguchi's section if you can. I would particularly recommend his class if you're the type to ask a lot of "why" questions about grammar, as I've heard he's a grammar specialist, and he always seems to come up with a pertinent and thorough answer. his "engrish" ain't half bad, either.

Mar 2002

Eguchi-sensei's class was the most fun Japanese class I've had since I've been here. He has all these funny little mannerisms, and he has an endearingly funny way of pronouncing the word "chillin' ". All of the other nihongo senseis I've had gave at least 1hr of homework per night, plus daily quizzes, and all were very punctual. The best part about Egushi-sensei though, was the fact that he always bent over backwards outside of class to help me understand tricky grammar points or homework assignments.

Jan 2002

Eguchi sensei is a good lecturer, no doubt about that. However, he concerns himself with petty things. He is an extremely organized and punctual person, and therefore, when a student fails to meet his standard of neatness or punctuality, expect to get daggers and negative vibes. Also, he has the habit of asking you questions not when you are ready and willing to answer them, but exactly when you are not paying attention and therefore not ready. However, he is an excellent lecturer and you are sure to learn Japanese. Second year Japanese lectures are fairly easy and definitely an easy A. However, in third year you are plagues with an endless list of weird and difficult kanjis so it becomes less of an easy ride. However, you will still get through. Also, improvement in vocabulary is guaranteed, although I am not so sure of actual Japanese fluency.

Jan 2000

A reasonably amicable individual. If you're taking a beginning level Japanese class with him, think again. Have a high tolerance for thick Japanglish accents that sounds as squishy as chewing on sashimi. He has a nasty habit of asking you questions that he knows you can't answer..and lets it linger uncomfortably for a minute or so. However, if you've got some Japanese under your belt, he's a welcome relief from the female dominated Japanese department. He, along with all the other Japanese instructors, work long hours preparing class material. A very organized instructor. In fact, you'll discover the class operates on a very precise schedule, reflecting why those seiko watches are so damn exact. Lectures are usually overabundant with information. Expect discussion exercises with fellow classmates for virtually everything. Wouldn't miss too many classes as homework and class lessons are difficult to make up. He's a reasonable grader (if you're familiar with Japanese language department standards). He's also readily available out of class for discussions or for extra help. If you've never taken Japanese, get ready to get rocked, because this course is not for the faint of heart. Your first year class meets 5 days a week (kiss your fridays goodbye) and you can expect at least an hour of work a night, more on the weekends and of course over holiday breaks. By the end of the first week or after the first exam, you may consider committing hara-kiri because you didn't take that chinese class instead. But then again, it never hurts to know a little Japanese when you find yourself elbow to elbow with Utada Hikaru at Fujiyama Mama's.