Southeast Japanese Language School

School Hours: Every Saturday @ 8:45am – 12:15pm
New Semester Begins: August 17, 2024

Registration for fall semester begins June 1, 2024

For more information, email at

Out of area phone calls will not be returned.



Class Descriptions

Kindergarten Program

Children who are five years old learn the Japanese culture through organized activities involving crafts, songs, and the Japanese language.

Beginning Level Japanese
(no prior language knowledge required)

Children will be introduced to the language with emphasis on listening and speaking, with some reading and writing. Culture lessons and crafts will be integrated into the lessons.

Elementary Level

Students will continue to develop basic conversational skills as well as reading and writing of short sentences. Students will be able to hold short conversations on topics relating to daily life. Culturally appropriate behavior as well as annual cultural festivities will be integrated into the lesson.

Intermediate Level Japanese

Students will further develop their abilities to function in a Japanese speaking environment through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn how to request information, converse in a participatory manner, and exchange detailed factual information. Classes will be conducted in Japanese for a majority of the time, including participation in discussions and activities in Japanese.

Advanced Level Japanese

Students will continue refining their ability to listen, speak, read, and write in Japanese. Students will be able to converse and discuss topics of current interest and express personal opinions. They will be able to narrate, describe, and explain. Students will be able to initiate, sustain, and close a general conversation with a number of communicative strategies. The students will be expected to participate in class discussions and activities using the language. Students will use Japanese in culturally authentic and practical situations, incorporating idiomatic expressions. They will learn the appropriate language to use in a variety of social interactions.

Adult Classes

Beginning Level students will learn basic Japanese which will enable the student to function as a tourist in Japan. The classes are held 70 minutes every Saturday. Students are welcome to join more than one class each week for additional review. Reading and writing of the script will be incorporated into the lessons, with emphasis on the spoken language. The classes will be on a continuing basis up to the advanced level in which idiomatic phrases and appropriate language for variety of social interactions will be taught. Adult classes will be online this year with 3 levels. Class times are Saturday mornings:

Level 2     8:15 – 9:25 

Level 3     9:30 – 10:40 

Level 1    10:45  – 11:55  


After School Shuji Class

Students may participate in after school Shuji class, or brush calligraphy. Students learn this art form using the traditional brush and ink. No prior experience is necessary. Shuji helps students to learn proper lettering techniques. It also instills good mental attitude and enthusiasm toward studies, as well as training for perseverance. Shuji class begins after lunch from 12:30 – 1:30 PM. Students must purchase their own equipment (approximately $30).


Annual Cultural Events



In January, to welcome the new year, the students are served ozoni.



In the beginning of February, students celebrate Setsubun. They are given roasted soybeans to eat to ensure their good luck throughout the new year.




March is Hinamatsuri–a doll festival to celebrate girls. Boys and girls alike observe the hina-ningyo display that showcases the Emperor and Empress’s court.



Students learn about Japan’s appreciation for nature and celebrate the arrival of spring.


 Ohanashika Kodomo no Hi

Students showcase what they have learned in the past year through a  speech program held onstage.

On Children’s Day, the koi no bori, or fish flags and samurai helmets and dolls are displayed and children learn about this festival through a presentation.



The star festival is celebrated by allowing the students to write down their wishes and hang them on a traditional tanabata tree.

Our school holds an annual Cultural Festival the second weekend in June.

School ends at the end of June with vacation time during the month of July.



School Begins

School begins  on the third Saturday of the month.


Back to School

Back to School Day is held to learn about our curriculum and school program.



Undokai is an annual athletic event held in October. Every student attending the Southeast Japanese School will participate in the various sport games at a nearby park.


Shichi-go san

The Seven-five-three Festival is held in November each year at local Shrines in Japan. At Southeast Japanese School, students learn about the festival and a few students will have the opportunity to dress in the traditional kimono for the occasion.


New Years

Students experience a sample of the oshogatsu festivities by viewing traditional mochi pounding and tasting toshikoshi soba.

Kindergarten – High School Level



  • Saturday mornings: 8:45 AM to 12:15 noon
  • Tuition: $1045 /year plus materials (textbook, workbook)
  • 11 monthly installments may be made at $95/month, immediate family discounts available. Family participant dues ($100/year) to community center required.

Adult Classes



  • Saturday mornings (70 minutes)
  • Tuition: $880 /year, materials included
  • 11 monthly installments may be made at $80 per month, immediately family discounts available. Family participant dues ($100/year) to community center required.




  • Participant dues to the community center is required for all families.
  • Due is $100/year per family.
  • Membership to the community center entitles all family members to participate in any organization.
  • Participation is open to anyone regardless or race or religion.

History of the School

Southeast Japanese Language School (Southeast Gakuen) was first established in 1925 as Norwalk Gakuen to teach Japanese to children of Japanese immigrants. In 1962, the school was renamed Southeast Japanese School. Presently, the school teaches Japanese as a foreign language to all students regardless of race or religion.

The mission statement of our school is: “We, at Southeast Japanese School, are committed to providing instructions in the Japanese language and culture. Our goal is to enable students to successfully function in a Japanese-speaking environment and to foster an appreciation of the Japanese culture.”

The school provides students the opportunity to experience Japanese culture as they learn the language. Our program provides a rich variety of cultural activities including monthly cultural events to enhance cultural experience and understanding. It is hoped that the experience at the Southeast Japanese School will provide students with a better understanding of the Japanese people.

We believe that foreign language is best taught at a young age when children are most responsive to new languages. The school includes a kindergarten program for children who are 5 years old. Our regular program is recommended for children 6 years and older. Our program includes all modalities of the language including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture.

The school year begins in late August and ends at the end of June.

For further information, please e-mail your questions to or call (562) 863-5996 and leave a message.  We do not return phone calls to out of area numbers.