Summer in JAPAN


Learn More

About SIJ

SIJ (Summer in JAPAN) stands as a non-profit educational support organization, active since 2012. Our extensive array of activities spans English summer schools, classical concerts, visits to Japan for foreign university students, and collaborative English lessons with local municipalities. The diverse lineup of workshop instructors, primarily hailing from Harvard University, covers subjects like speech, writing, computer science, theater, and design. Over the years, they have imparted knowledge to students from over 15 countries, fostering a global learning environment.

In addition to serving as an educational hub, SIJ has become a popular platform for intercollegiate exchange. Students from esteemed U.S. institutions such as Harvard and Stanford engage in collaborative learning experiences with Japanese university students and international students studying in Japan. This dynamic exchange cultivates leadership skills, teamwork, and deepens cross-cultural friendships among participants.

The founding inspiration for SIJ traces back to 2012 when violinist Sumire Hirotsuru, who was accepted into Harvard from a local public high school, prompted her mother, Mari Hirotsuru, founder of the Dirigo English School, to establish SIJ. The mission was driven by a shared vision: to introduce Japanese children to the advantages of overseas study and showcase the virtues of Japan to Harvard students. Both founders and board members dedicate their efforts voluntarily, and SIJ welcomes participants from all backgrounds to join our Summer School, transcending national and ethnic boundaries.

Mission: Nurturing the Future Leaders

In a borderless market society where talent flows freely and the distinction between the real and virtual worlds is minimal, our mission is to equip young individuals, aged 7 to 18, with the mindset and skill set necessary to lead fulfilling lives. Simultaneously, we aim to support the growth of these participants, enabling them to thrive as leaders in various regions and fields worldwide.

3 Goals

Short-Term Goals:

By 2025 create a multicultural community where young people from all over the world get together to make friends, understand each other, and serve the globe for the future.
To address Japan’s lack of international social skills due to over 99% of the population being of a single ethnicity and overcome logical gaps and less-than-ideal explanation skills arising from a high-context culture. We are committed to fostering direct exchanges between young individuals from Japan (a nation with closed-minded tendencies, and a long history) and the United States (a diverse nation with an open-minded culture and a relatively young history), transcending cultural and historical boundaries. Through our international exchange program, including collaborations with esteemed institutions like Harvard University, we aim to instill a new paradigm of learning. By introducing unconventional English learning methods and addressing cultural context challenges, we aspire to empower the youth with the skills and mindset necessary for success in an interconnected world.

Mid-Term Goals:

In the pursuit of our medium-term goals leading up to 2030, our organization is dedicated to cultivating a cadre of global leaders aged 18 to 30. Aligned with the United Nations’ SDGs education target 4.7, we will collaboratively implement the Summer in JAPAN educational program on a global scale, promoting sustainable development, global citizenship, and cultural diversity.

By leveraging the acclaimed English language teaching of SIJ, we aim to be the cornerstone for children aspiring to become global citizens, expanding their individual strengths and interests. Guided by the SDGs principle of inclusivity, we envision spreading the SIJ vision nationwide, encompassing advanced English skills and vital social competencies, ensuring no one is left behind on the path to fostering a globally connected and empowered generation.

Long-Term Goals:

  1. Lifelong Learning Philosophy: Envisioning life as a continual journey of learning and growth, fostering enduring happiness through ongoing personal development.
  2. World of Fulfillment: Striving to create a world abundant with individuals leading happy and content lives, contributing to a society marked by overall well-being.
  3. Lifetime Learning Commitment: Embracing the concept of “Lifetime Learning,” promoting the idea that individuals should persistently pursue knowledge throughout their entire lives.

SIJ motto:

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
– Alan Kay


Past SIJ participants’ messages:

“I love SIJ more than my school!”
“I wish every day was SIJ!”
“I learned not only English, but diversity etiquette!”
“I am better at public speaking!”

It is very rewarding to hear them say with smiles, “I learned not only English but also diversity manners!”

We would like to thank you all for your warm support.

Mari Hirotsuru
Founder, President, Summer in JAPAN

The 9th Summer in JAPAN Concert – Sumire Hirotsuru and Her Friends –


    summer in japan