YGK's Blog

Time spent at YGK
will be a lifetime treasure

Baton of Life


The last month of this school year has come.
We can hear the children singing songs for the new beginning, and the Puppy and Kitten classes’ parents are also already preparing to send off the graduating class. On various occasions, I encounter the warm gaze of parents and teachers watching over every child as if he or she were their own child. I am deeply reminded once again that such warmth and abundance of love is the source of YGK children's loving humanity and solid sense of self-esteem.
I am filled with sadness whenever I think of the separation that will soon come. But more than that, I feel great joy at the overflowing energy of life of the children who are living in the "now" and growing stronger and more flexible day-by-day, and I am grateful for the blessing of these precious encounters.
I pray that all of their days will be bright and full of hope, that when they face difficulties, they will have the courage to ask for help when they need it, and likewise to give the compassion when others are the ones in need, and that we, adults, will have the courage and determination to fulfill our responsibility.
We are coming to a fork in the road. We may have fewer chances to see some of our dear friends. But I pray that each child, who was born with shining personalities and talents, will cherish their excellence in what they can do, and grow up to live an enriched life, and that the children in front of us now and the children we will meet in the future will say, "I am glad that I was born! Life is wonderful!” With deep affection and heartfelt trust, we hope to continue to watch over and support them. We, too, will keep going, even if it is a small step or a detour at times.
Last but not the least, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all of the parents for their trust, their support, and their guide at all times.


YMCA Global Kindergarten

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Growing Up Among People

Risshun, the first day of spring, has passed. Small blossoms have begun to appear on the plum trees, and spring flowers and grasses have gradually begun to appear on the ground. We are very happy that this beautiful season has come again this year.
I often feel the children's growth in such unexpected moments as when they greet each other in the morning, when they change the way they play, and when they attend their morning meeting more actively and more responsively. Every day I see how each child is trying to build a stronger bond with his or her peers. Children in toddler years become aware of the presence of their friends and, step by step, begin to share places and play with their friends. As they become more assertive, they experience fights and tears when they experience disagreement. They experience how they can cooperate with each other to develop richer play over time. The rich and varied experiences they have with their precious friends nurture each child’s flexible social skills and lead to the development of a sense of self-respect as the core of their hearts.
We are all living beings kept alive in the cycle of life. And we humans are social creatures. We can only shine brighter when we are sharpened by others. Each trial is given to us so we can overcome it, which is also a blessing. We should be grateful for experiences like this and cherish each and every day of the month.
February 28th is Pink Shirt Day. In support of the anti-bullying campaign that began in Canada, I pray that everyone will be loved as an irreplaceable individual, and that the world will come to a place where the dignity and life of each individual is valued.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Encounter

In this last month of the year, we naturally want to look back on the year.

At such times, my favorite phrase, "Once-in-a-lifetime encounter," comes to mind.

That each and every life is irreplaceable. That everyone has their own unique talents. Every encounter with various people and things always has some meaning. I think about these things vaguely

We, YMCA Global Kindergarten, have been supported by the warmth of many parents, met many unique and talented children, and gathered a diverse group of teachers and staff, and have progressed step by step.

The path we have taken as a school has not always been smooth sailing. Sometimes we have lost our way, sometimes we have been caught in mud, and more than once we have been so exhausted that we thought we would never be able to walk again. And yet, strangely enough, at the end of the day, a ray of hope or a helping hand was always given to us from somewhere. At such times, I realize that we are kept alive by a great presence, and I feel a deep sense of gratitude.

As YGK is a small school, the children and their parents spend three to four years with the same group of friends. They play, fight, make up, get angry, laugh, cry, worry, rejoice, encourage, and be encouraged. What a wonderful and blessed thing it is to have friends with whom we can share feelings and memories.

From time to time, graduate students drop by, or we receive messages from parents or guardians reporting on their children’s recent situation. When this happens, I feel a warm feeling from the bottom of my heart.

Just the other day, one of our graduates, who is now in the 10th grade, gave us a visit. She happily told me that she and her classmates had gotten together and that they were all doing their best in their respective places. I am happy to see that even after graduation, they continue to be connected as important friends, and I am dazzled by the way they are strongly spreading their wings out into the wide world.

I pray that the coming year will keep everyone safe and healthy and strengthen our bonds.

One Day During Choice Time

Choice Time is an especially important time in the YMCA Global Kindergarten day.
Students are free to engage with a variety of materials, and to deepen and expand their own interests to their heart's content.
One day during Choice Time, two children noticed something. Two children seemed to notice something.
They stood on a piece of toilet paper core. Naturally, the core could not support the weight and was crushed.
Then, they tried to bundle 6 or 7 pieces of toilet paper and gently put their weight on it, and this time, they were able to stand on it without being crushed! The children's amazing power did not end there.
I wonder why.
When they gather together, they become stronger. (In the team gymnastics we did at the field day), it hurt when one person was on the back of the other, but it was easy when there were only two people on the bottom. It's the same thing!
I've seen it in science shows! You can do it with eggs, too.
Respect the children's free flapping of the wings of their inquisitive minds, rather than adults setting the frame. By doing so, children easily surpass the assumptions of adults.
I am reminded once again that we adults are the ones who learn a lot from children in our daily lives. I am deeply grateful for this. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a place where we can recognize each other, resonate with each other, and create a rich harmony.
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Pray for Peace

We can feel the depths of autumn in the colors of the leaves on the trees, the blue of the sky, and the acorns in the park.

In the daily scenes of children, we can also sense the passage of time as they have grown from spring to fall over the summer.

We believe that early childhood is an important time for children to learn many things in a safe environment, such as developing a sense of trust in those around them and building an unshakable sense of self-esteem and self-respect through repeated experiences of playing to their hearts’ content in accordance with their interests.

Today, in many parts of the world, sad wars are taking place that challenge the dignity of the individual. There are people there who are losing their lives simply because they were born there. The leaders of countries and groups have their own non-negotiable beliefs and arguments, and it is difficult to condemn one side or the other as being at fault. It is also understandable that people who have had the lives of their family members, friends, and other loved ones taken away from them would want to retaliate against the other side.

Even in our daily lives at YGK, fights and arguments sometimes start because of differences in feelings or a slight lack of mutual respect. In such situations, we do not say, "Yes, let's make up!" Instead, we are there to acknowledge each child's feelings and emotions and listen carefully to what he or she has to say. By being sincere in our dealings with each other, without being conceited or complacent, the tension between the two parties will gradually loosen and dissolve.

For many of the children who gather at YGK, English is not their first language, and many of our teachers are not native speakers of Japanese. In such an environment, it takes more time for children and teachers to build a relationship of mutual trust than it does for those of us with the same native language, and the barriers to overcome seem a little higher. This can sometimes be a strong frustration. That is why the joy is felt many times stronger when they face each other, listen to each other, consider each other's feelings, and communicate with each other. When I see such children and teachers, I believe that this is peace.

I feel a sense of uneasiness surrounding us now. However, I am happy that peace exists here, even if it is small, and I want to move forward step by step, believing that when the children grow up, the world will be a better place than it is today.

Irreplacable Thing

The assets of our school are undeniably the teachers, and the parents who always support us. Of course, the protagonist is in each and every child at all times. In order to help them shine even brighter, the teachers value daily communications not only with children but also among teachers. Through trial and error, we aim to provide a better place for each child’s quality learning. I love the serious, loving, and warm gazes of the teachers when they talk about the children, what they learned, the highlights of the day and difficulties we are facing and discuss what we can do to make a better choice for the children.

We shouldn’t forget that there are the parents and families who always believe in and support us, the teachers and staff. When people meet each other, not only good things happen, but there are also many times when we are at a loss as to what to do. There are also many times when we are almost crushed by painful and distressing experiences. But when I look back again and see that each event and encounter is all meaningful, I am moved by the truth of it to the point that my heart shudders.

As the time goes by, I feel more and more strongly that the many loves, encounters, and realizations that each and every one of the teachers and parents whom we have met over the years have been beautifully folded over one another like a geological stratum.

I have learned that people, places, and societies grow by supporting, acknowledging, believing in, and enhancing each other, and that deep love is what truly enriches life.

I am truly grateful that we are able to share so many insights and encounters with children.

May we, as small beings, do what we can to contribute to a world where everyone is loved and respected.





Sleepover at Fujisan YMCA

Sliding down on a small hill
Friend 1: I got myself dirty. My mommy will be mad. 
Sensei: That's what we do when we play. We enjoy, and because of that we can really get ourselves dirty. 
Friend 2: Look at me, my shirt is dirty too. What's important is you had fun. 
This year's K-3 finally went back to Fujisan YMCA last September 7-8, it was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Come rain or shine, we easily pushed through and enjoyed outdoor activities. The kids most liked riding the rope swing and hammock by the trees, spending time with friends during sleep and bath time, catching big grasshoppers and butterflies, and letting them go eventually... 
We will always remember this time we had together. 


The other day, we had a very happy occasion.
Several graduates and their parents came to visit us after a few years of their graduation.
They had a reunion as one friend was going to a far place. Everyone we met for the first time in a long time had the same smiling faces as before, but they had grown much taller.
I am so grateful that we continue to see each other at the YGK and see how much they have grown from time to time.
May abundant love always be with them.
Have a good trip, and come back anytime!

What is the identity of YGK?

What kind of time and experiences do we want the children and their families to have? We have been thinking about these questions recently.


Seeing the children as they are day by day, discussing among the teachers and staff, and listening to the voices of various people, I have taken a fresh look at our childcare and education.


A place where each child can be nurtured in a deep, warm, and abundant love. A place where each child can be nurtured with the talents God has given them. A place that is like a second home to which one can return at any time.

We are deeply reminded of our desire to be such a place.


These children are irreplaceable.  They are blessed with life with the deep love of their parents and families. When I think about the probability of our meeting here after crossing many crossroads, I realize how precious this encounter is.


I remember someone saying, "It is in our encounters and relationships with others that we are sharpened and grow as people."

Diversity, acceptance, and mutual recognition are all very beautiful words and important concepts but achieving these goals truly is not as easy as expressing them in words or concepts.


We express our thoughts and feelings to each other, we sincerely listen to each other, we are sometimes conflicted and lost in disagreements, and as we struggle with our problems, new paths may suddenly open up before our eyes. Just when we think we have it figured out, we may lose it again.


We believe that what we can and should do is to help children to develop within themselves the strength to keep struggling, keep thinking, keep trying, and have the courage to ask for help when they need it.


We want to be a warm and loving community where each person can love and believe in themselves and love their neighbors as they love themselves through a rich experience of being loved and respected.


I wish you all a wonderful day.


Going Through the Various Emotions

“A-san didn’t sit with me.” “I tried to help A-san because B-san was angry at her.” “I don’t want to play with them any more!”

We witness these scenes more often in the 4-5 year old class recently.
The children seem to be torn by various conflicts, seem to have their way blocked by walls, and seem to be lost in their emotions.
When things never work out as the children expected, when their feelings can’t be conveyed properly, they would realize there are unfamiliar feelings.
At those times, at YGK, rather than forcibly distracting the children from what is bothering them and letting them get away with it, we would like to emphasize the importance of children facing their own feelings.
Can I know what happened?
…I see. You wanted to sit next to your friend. But the friend said no to you. And you didn’t like it. Hmm, you must be feeling sad and maybe… a bit angry..
It’s about time to go to the park. What do you want to do?
Oh... So you don’t feel like going to the park with your friends today.
It is such a beautiful day. You might feel nice and comfortable outdoors.
How about going with friends from other classes?
…I see, you really don’t feel like going. Okay, it’s one of those days. I understand how you feel. Thank you for telling me how you feel.
She decided not to go to the park on this day. She made her own choice. We choose to respect her decision.
Once all the friends had left the school for the park, she seemed to start to miss her friends. She looked out from the window and said, “Look, I can see their hats!” “The clock hand points to this number, so it should only be five more minutes.”
She, then, started talking about various things while waiting for the friends, her family trip memories, favorite cartoons, etc.
After enjoying a good conversation, she started working busily at a table in the literacy area. She seemed to need her own time and space.
After a quite while, she said in a bright voice, with a big smile on her face,
"I wrote a letter to A-san to say sorry."
"Oh, I see. So do you mean you had a fight with her?"
"No, I got angry at her. So I wrote I am sorry and I love you. " I will put this in her cubby so that she can find it as soon as she comes back from the park and can open it."
Although she was about to be overwhelmed by her emotional waves, she took a pause, faced her emotions and thought out what she wanted to do.
Children may undergo these moments or find themselves standing in front of a huge blocking wall as they grow.
We would like children to be able to balance their feelings and emotions by facing them sincerely and asking for help from those around them, rather than forcibly keeping a lid on their feelings and letting them pass by.
We believe that early childhood is an important time to nurture the roots of a person. This is why we value acknowledging and loving them for who they are, including their negative sides that arise in them at times. It is our belief that children grow more, develop their talents and have a firm sense of self-worth when they feel loved. Because we believe that because you can love yourself, you can also cherish those around you.
We would like to watch over the children's upbringing with love and care with their families.
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