About Us

We’re here to redesign the way you study the Japanese language! Yuki-sensei and Marcus-senpai are spearheading the Nihongo Life project. We're doing this to end boring textbook-based lessons and endless memorisation of useless vocabulary. The program has been developed with a blend of Yuki-sensei's teaching style and Marcus' learner perspective to create practical and useful tools.

The Team

  • Yuki Mano


    Yuki has been teaching Japanese to English students for years and developed his own unique method to avoid repetitive rote learning or following plain textbooks. His approach is deeply tailored to the individual student and heavily focuses on speaking practice. The end results leave you feeling more confident and having to 'translate' less in your head, while sounding natural.

  • Marcus Hirst


    Marcus has been programming whilst studying Architecture and came to Yuki-sensei for lessons. After learning Japanese at two different universities, and ending up with twelve textbooks covering the same topics, we thought there must be a way to learn better. During one of his lessons with Yuki-sensei, Marcus slid over the first prototype app.

  • Dr. Yasu Kato

    Chief Instructor

    Yasu-sensei holds a PhD from Macquarie University, Australia. His speciality is teaching Japanese, in particular yakuwarigo (role language) which is language associated with certain images: such as gender, profession, appearance and personality. Yakuwarigo is important in the enjoyment of Japanese culture, products, and everyday conversation. Yasu-sensei worked with Yuki-sensei and is now in-charge of teaching Nihongo Life's Japanese Language lessons to the highest standards.

What we think is important

  • ❶ Learn by speaking Japanese
  • ❷ Stop translating in your head
  • ❸ No need to learn words like 'glacier' in daily practice
  • ❹ Kanji should be learnt in context. Not just with readings
  • ❺ Have confidence. Your Japanese is good enough!
  • ❻ Don't just learn lists. Where's the fun in that?

Also on the team

These wonderful people have helped keep this project going!