Who is Emiko Tanaka

While running a Japanese and English school in Toronto City, Canada, I’m also working towards ‘promoting the excellence of Kochi-produced Yosakoi, Kochi, and Japan to the world’ as a Yosakoi Ambassador, Kochi Yosakoi Meister, Kochi Tourist Guide and member of Yosakoi 8.

I first encountered Yosakoi in 2006 in my hometown of Nagoya. It was such an energetic dance that enlivened the spectators. I was hooked and thought, “I would love to share this amazing aspect of Japanese culture with the rest of the world!”

■Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador ・ Kochi Yosakoi Meister

The Governor of Kochi recognized my achievements until now and I was certified as a Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador in 2016. In 2017 I became registered as Kochi Yosakoi Meister, charged with starting up Yosakoi teams in countries where they did not yet exist.

Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador Certification Ceremony

■Kochi Tourism Ambassador

In 2020 I was designated by the Governor of Kochi to be a Kochi Tourism Ambassador.
This means I work to share not just the love of Yosakoi, but also the wonder aspects of Kochi as well.

Kochi Tourism Ambassador Designation Ceremony

Check out the link below for more information on the Kochi Yosakoi Ambassadors Program.

■I write articles for the Kochi Prefecture’s website below as a “Kochike” (lit. Kochi Family Member” influencer.

You can find the articles I write in the link below[Japanese]:


■Here’s a list of the teams that I was involved in founding!

・Sakuramai Toronto (Canada)
・Sakuramai Poland (Poland)
・Hungary Yosakoi Team Sumire (Hungary)
・Canada Yosakoi Team -KAEDE- (Canada)
・Sakuramai Poland International Team (Global)
・Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team (Global)

I start up Yosakoi teams in the different countries I live in.

Sakuramai Poland
Hungary Yosakoi Team Sumire (Hungary)

At the moment I actively lead 2 teams: “Canada Yosakoi Team -KAEDE-” that operates in Toronto and Ottawa in Canada, and “Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team” that is made up of members from over 20 countries around the world.

Canada Yosakoi Team -KAEDE-
Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team

Watch this video to learn more about Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team!

■An international team made up of members from all over the world.

Yosakoi is a dance that can be enjoyed by anyone, allowing us to overcome language and cultural barriers. In order to share these wonderful aspects of yosakoi with more people globally, I founded “Sakuramai Poland International Team” in 2018 and as a team we participated in the 65th Kochi Yosakoi Festival with dancers from 12 countries/regions around the world.

Sakuramai Poland International Team

We started new activities as the “Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team” in 2019. This time we had 87 dancers from 18 different countries/regions around the world and were able to participate in the 66th Kochi Yosakoi Festival.

Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team

Take a look at this link to see more on performances by Sakuramai Poland International Team and Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team.

■Exchange program with the residents of Ino Town in Kochi Prefecture

“We’d like to value our interactions with the locals through Yosakoi.”
This was the feeling that drove us to hold an exchange program with the local residents of Ino Town in Kochi; the town where they allowed “Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team” to hold our training camps from 2019 and on.

With the residents of Ino Town
Ino Town “Kamisuki” papermaking experience at the Paper Museum.

■Participation in Harajuku Super Yosakoi Festival

Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador KIZUNA International Team participated in Harajuku Super Yosakoi Festival for the first time in the summer of 2019.
The team was also chosen by judges to be one of the 6 teams (out of 70) that would perform on Omotesando Avenue!

■Appearing in Olympics-related events!

In August 2019, we appeared in “Cheering On 2020 with Yosakoi in Odaiba”, an Olympics-related event in which we performed Yosakoi to cheer on athletes participating in the ITU world triathlon Olympic qualification event.

Then in October, I attended a Yosakoi promotional event, held by Kochi Prefecture to provide publicity of Yosakoi to foreign media as the Olympics approached. I appeared on a talk show with the governor of Kochi Prefecture and showcased how Yosakoi is spreading around the world.

Starting in April 2020, I became a member of the group Yosakoi 8, composed mainly of choreographers who are active in Kochi, and worked to spread Yosakoi around the world as a member of that group.

Yosakoi 8 developed the songs “HEY∞WA! ~for you and me~” as well as “On a Moon-Blooming Night”, and our activities are aimed at promoting Yosakoi and developing connections throughout Japan and the rest of the world. In our activities, we want to encourage those who love Yosakoi, and use Yosakoi to bring a smile to people around the world.

「HEY∞WA!」~for you and me~

On a Moon-Blooming Night

■Yosakoi 8 Social Media

Yosakoi Symposium
TBS TV “Asachan!” appearance
TV Kochi “Information Palette Colorful” Appearance
Click here to see a documentary program made by TV Kochi about my activities as a Yosakoi Ambassador (in Japanese).

■ I run a Japanese school and online English conversation school

Since 2006 I’ve worked as a Japanese teacher, and have taught Japanese to students from around the world in language schools in Japan, Poland, and Canada.
I’ve lived in Toronto, Canada since 2007, and I currently run a Japanese school for locals, as well as an online English conversation school aimed at Japanese speakers.

I have experience teaching Japanese to learners worldwide.
I teach a wide range of levels, from beginners to advanced students.

■ Practice Group for Japanese and English: Toronto Japanese Language Exchange

I also run a practice group, Toronto Japanese Language Exchange, for students to have the opportunity to practice their English and Japanese.

Native speakers help students learn Japanese and English.
The cafe atmosphere is fun and relaxing!

Click here for more information on Toronto Japanese Language Exchange.

■ Contact me about Japanese schools and online English conversation classes

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have interest in or questions about my Japanese school or online English conversation school. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

I hope that on this website I can share information about my activities as Kochi Yosakoi Ambassador, Kochi Tourism Ambassador, Yosakoi Meister, Yosakoi 8 member, and language teacher, and I also hope to be able to engage in exchange with people around the world who love Yosakoi or are interested in international exchange. Thank you very much for visiting our website.
Emiko Tanaka