Professional Learning
About Us
Mō mātou
Whakapā mai
Educational Leadership
School leadership
Māori Education & Support
Kaupapa Māori
Pacific-Led Education
Cultural competencies
Languages, Culture & Identity
Learning languages
Literacy and Numeracy
Strengthening skills
Mō mātou

About Us

Tui Tuia | Learning Circle empowers Kāhui Ako, kaiako, teachers, school leaders and tumuaki to achieve better outcomes for students and learners.

All languages are to be treasured

Languages, Culture & Identity

We offer programmes, workshops, in-person classroom support, online support and resources to help strengthen language learning in New Zealand schools.

Cultural competencies

Pacific-Led Education

Empowering educators, students, and communities to shape a future of educational excellence that is firmly rooted in Pacific identity and aspirations.

Improving instructional dexterity

Literacy and Numeracy

We work with schools to build the literacy and numeracy capability of school leaders and teachers to accelerate learning outcomes for all students.


2024 - Japanese - Term 1 Newsletter Articles

Chisato Yoshioka
March 21, 2024

Term 1 2024 articles for Japanese include:

"Greetings from Chisato Yoshioka, Japanese NLA" by Chisato Yoshika

"Meet the new Japanese National Language Adviser!" by Chisato Yoshika

"Boro, timeworn textiles of Japan" by Pip Steel

"Daruma" by Paula Kasper

Chisato Yoshioka
JAPANESE National Language Adviser

Greetings from Chisato Yoshioka, Japanese NLA

Written by Chisato Yoshika, Japanese National Language Adviser

'Itsuka Kita Michi' at Miroku no Sato, Fukuyama, Hiroshima in 2018

はじめまして。 I joined the team in December as the Japanese National Language Advisor. Born and raised in the countryside of Hiroshima, Japan, I initially pursued English education at university. However, during an exchange program in the US, I discovered my passion for teaching Japanese and decided to follow this path. After completing my master's degree, I have taught Japanese in Tokyo, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Germany, and Hungary. And now, I'm very delighted to be in the land of the long white cloud.

'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' (郷に入れば郷に従え in Japanese), so here is my pepeha:
Ko Ooba te maunga
Ko Hongo te awa
Ko Hapanihi te iwi
Ko Yoshioka te tupuna
Ko Ricardo tōku hoa rangatira
Nō Hiroshima, Fukuyama ahau
Ko Chisato ahau

As I familiarize myself with Japanese language education here in New Zealand in schools, I'm keen to exchange knowledge and experiences with you, learn from your expertise, and collaborate effectively. どうぞよろしくお願いします!<(_ _)>

Meet the new Japanese National Language Adviser!

Written by Chisato Yoshioka,National Language Advisor - Japanese

Participants from the the 21st February workshop.

This event provided an opportunity for teachers to know the new Japanese NLA and for teachers to meet, exchange information. Nearly 20 teachers participated in the February 21st session, where introductions were made, and valuable information was shared among participants. For those unable to attend, we look forward to meeting you at future online workshops or school visits!

If you have any requests for topics you'd like us to cover in upcoming workshops, please feel free to email us at any time. Alternatively, join us at the next Online Nihongo Café Wawawa on April 3rd at 16:00. We're excited to see you there!

Boro - timewron textiles of Japan

Exhibition and article by Pip Steel

Sam Millen Photography | Portrait Photographer | New Zealand

Courtesy of Te Manawa

We might think of ‘reuse and recycling’ as a recent initiative but it was carried out in rural Japan for hundreds of years. You can see proof of this for yourself in the exhibition Boro – timeworn textiles of Japan, on display at Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and Heritage in Palmerston North between March 9th and July 7th.

Boro is a special type of textile from Japan that has been repaired, patched and stitched by hand using a simple running stitch called sashiko. We find boro in the work-clothes and household textiles of Japanese farming, fishing and forestry communities from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Times were tough and people were poor, having to make do with little. They also had a respect for things and an understanding that they shouldn’t be wasteful in their daily lives.

In old Japan, cloth was hand-woven at home with hand-spun fibres and hand-dyed using natural dyes, often blue indigo. All these processes took time and effort so fabric was valued. Clothing, bedding and rugs were passed down through the generations of an extended family. Nothing was thrown away, with repairs made using a household’s carefully saved fabric scraps. Mended textiles needed to last for as long as possible before being recycled. After many repairs, threadbare futon, or bed covers, and clothing would then become part of smaller things like aprons and bags. Finally, fabric would be used in something even smaller such as zokin, or cleaning cloths, or patches covering worn parts and even holes.

Early examples of boro were made from asa - hemp, ramie and linen - making everyday textiles scratchy and very uncomfortable to wear. Later, softer cotton, much preferred for cloth, was grown in Japan. However, many rural people were too poor to buy cotton fabric, or their villages were too remote and difficult for cotton traders to reach. This meant the coarse asa threads and cloth were the only options for some households over many years. So today, we find a variety of fibres, fabrics, and different dye techniques in boro pieces.

After a long hard physical day’s work, country women had to sew and mend without electricity in the dim evening light. An ongoing chore - stitch by stitch and layer upon layer - they created unique boro items for family members. Today we admire these timeworn textiles as unintended works of art with many stories to tell.


Written by Tui Tuia facilitator, Paula Kasper

Personal photo from Takasaki city in Gunma of Daruma on bridge. Daruma message is Kotsu-anzen (交通安全) – traffic safety; protection for drivers and travellers in vehicles.

Daruma だるま(in kanji達磨) is a Japanese traditional doll, and a symbol of perseverance and good luck. They are usually small, round, red, dolls, and you may have seen them, in an anime or manga, or perhaps on the shelf of a Japanese restaurant.

Back in the 17th century, Daruma were made by the local farmers of the Takasaki area, Gunma prefecture, to be blessed by passing monks. Good luck was keenly sought out to ensure a strong harvest. This tradition of daruma being made in Takasaki remains today.

Daruma are commonly used by Buddhist temples to aid in goal setting. When Japanese people want to make a wish, they often buy a Daruma doll, named after the Buddhist monk who founded the Zen sect centuries ago. The doll's shape is inspired by Daruma, the monk who meditated until his limbs atrophied.

Annually, I provided my students with a Daruma image to colour mindfully and set their own Japanese language goals. In East Asian countries influenced by Buddhism, red symbolises luck, wealth, and prosperity. Nowadays, Daruma dolls are available in various colours such as blue, green, white, and gold. Begin by darkening the left eye pupil to make a wish/goal, and at the end of the year, upon achieving success, students darken the right eye pupil.

Encourage your Japanese language and culture students to keep their Daruma somewhere prominent as a reminder alongside the related Japanese proverb:七転び八起き」 ”Nanakorobi yaoki” translates as “Fall seven times and get up eight”—meaning: When you get knocked down, get up and keep trying!

Chisato Yoshioka
Chisato is the JAPANESE National Language Adviser for Tui Tuia | Learning Circle.
View Bio
You successfully subscribed
Error submitting
Stay in the know
Subscribe to our newsletter for news and updates!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

2024 - Japanese - Term 1 Newsletter Articles