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Yuko Handa
Executive Director

Yuko Handa has been a business professional for over 20 years, with experience in both the for profit and not-for-profit sectors. Born and raised in Japan, in the Shonan region of Kanagawa prefecture, from a young age, she was educated in International Schools in Yokohama. She attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she earned her BA degree in Sociology. Returning to Japan after graduation, she worked for three years at an Asian Airline, before joining Analog Devices in Japan. In 2005 she relocated to the United States with her family and now calls New England her home.



Membership and OPERATIONS manager / Instructor

Naoko Takayanagi was born and raised in Tokyo.  She received a B.A. in Modern Languages from McGill University and an M.A. in International Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  She worked in corporate banking, asset management, and financial translation, and later taught Japanese at Berlitz and tutored through Wyzant. She is CELTA certified.

Lamar Montgomery


Lamar Montgomery graduated from UMass Boston with a major in Anthropology and minor in Japanese Studies. He is a Navy Veteran and has travelled across Europe all the way to Asia. He hopes to set out to Japan for work in the future.




Ciara is a recent graduate of Boston University, where she majored in philosophy and studied Japanese.  She is looking forward to a career that will eventually bring her to Japan. 




Daiki is Japanese American from Singapore, he aims to understand and explore his cultural background as an Asian American new to Boston. He majors in History at Boston University.

Our Interns


Vivian Chen

Vivian Chen is an M.A. student at Johns Hopkins University SAIS concentrating in International Economy and Japan Studies. Before entering graduate school, she taught English for two years in Shimane Prefecture through the JET Program. In her free time, Vivian enjoys running, reading books, and watching movies.

Ian Malloy

Ian is a senior at Roger Williams University, studying East Asian history and video production. He spends his time reading books delving into the history and culture of Japan, as well as watching Japanese monster and samurai movies. He studies Japanese and other East Asian languages in his own time, hoping to use them in his future travel and studies in East Asia.

Rachel Dong

Rachel is a sophomore at Tufts University, originally from Stamford, Connecticut.  She is studying Psychology and International Relations, with a minor in Japanese. Rachel is interning at the Japan Society of Boston because she is passionate about Japanese culture, literature, and food. 

Chris Ellars

Christopher is a student at Boston University, where he majors in both Voice Performance and Japanese.  He wishes to bridge his studies together to explore and spread Japanese music and culture throughout the world.

Kira Wencek

Kira graduated from the University of Rhode Island and studied abroad for a year at Kochi University in Japan. She double majored in Art and Computer Science and minored in Japanese. She loves Japan and Japanese, the outdoors, drawing, climbing, music, and adventures of all sorts!

Kai Toppa

Kai grew up around Philadelphia and Boston in the US and Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan. He studied photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and is pursuing political science at the University of Maryland College Park outside Washington D.C.


Marc Melo 

Marc is a Digital Media Graduate from The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and is from Acushnet Massachusetts. He works as a Media Intern for the Japan Society of Boston and loves to create inspiring pieces of art digitally.

Our Language Teachers 

Please refer to our Language School page for our Language teachers...


Michael H. Armacost
Lawrence K. Fish
Heisuke Hironaka
Seiji Ozawa
John Curtis Perry
Robert D. Reischauer


Peter M. Grilli

Board of Directors

Brian Chiappinelli*

John Cullen*

Nicholas Elfner

Glen S. Fukushima

Megan Gates

Andrew Gordon*

Todd Guild

William W. Hunt, Chairman*

Kiyoshi Kurokawa

Midori Morikawa

Susan Napier

Kiyoko Morita*  
Bernard Pucker 
Toby Rodes, Treasurer*
Roger T. Servison*

John A. Shane, Vice Chair* 

John Sinclair     

May Takayanagi 

Hirotaka Takeuchi
Keiko Thayer

Mikio Yoshimura

*denotes Executive Committee



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