Japanese Teacher Hidemi Fuke has been awarded by New Zealand’s Japanese Ambassador, Toshihisa Takata, for her hard work in the community.
Hidemi received the prestigious Ambassador’s Award at the Japanese Embassy in January.
The award recognises her distinguished service contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and New Zealand.
Hidemi says she was very surprised to have won the award.
“Ambassador Takata chose ten people from all over New Zealand except for Auckland, where they have a separate system.”
“Most of us were people who taught Japanese or worked in Japanese communities,” Hidemi says.
She says she believes receiving the award was “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
“I had never heard of the award before; it’s not an annual award and I believe ambassadors can only present them once. The last ambassador never presented one.”
“Ambassador Takata was very nice. It was wonderful that he appreciated the work we do because we work really hard with our students.”
Hidemi has taught at Queen Margaret College for nearly two decades and is the regional coordinator for the JET Programme in Wellington.
As part of this role she teaches Japanese to New Zealanders preparing to teach English in schools in Japan.
“I give them hints about how to teach the language because I am a native speaker of Japanese. There are often things people don’t think about when teaching a new language, such as different pronunciations. It’s very good fun, they are always keen to go to Japan and learn about the culture.”
Recently Hidemi continued to help strengthen the friendship between QMC and Japan with a trip to our sister school St Margaret’s Junior College in Tokyo with some of QMC’s Japanese language students.
“All of the St Margaret’s teachers and students welcomed us very warmly,” Hidemi says.
“The students enjoyed sightseeing and experiencing Japanese culture with their homestay family. The girls went to school and took part in lots of lessons in Japanese.”