Concil Members

Stephen Duxfield

President

Originally from Wanganui, I have lived in Auckland, NZ’s largest and most culturally diverse city, for over 25 years. I have been a member and leader of the Society for over 18 years and during that time I have seen it grow and branch out as members explore their own personal interests. As a leader I like to encourage others to use their talents and to pursue their respective interests in line with the Society’s purpose and aims. The wide spectrum of cultural, educational and social activity that NZJS is involved in helps us appreciate differences. I personally maintain broad global interests and those who know me soon realise that I’m a passionate sport lover. The Rotorua Ekiden, an annual pilgrimage for NZJS members, is an example of co-operation and friendly competition, as is the biannual softball tournament, which helps promote inter-company and club rivalry.

As we each do our part we ensure the Society as a whole can provide broader ranging opportunities for members and the extended community. I urge others to appreciate what has been achieved to date and build on what has been established. Please contact me at auckland@nzjapan.net for any enquiries.

Kazunori Kobayashi

Vice President

With my wife and daughters, I came to Aotearoa/New Zealand to explore and learn from the nature, society, and its way of life – hoping to bring back the goodness to Japan. For the last 15 years, both as passion and work I have practiced in projects in ecology, wellbeing, and sustainability with business and non-profit organizations – which is the topic of the Ph.D. thesis I am writing on at Massey University, School of Management. I look forward to exploring these areas with wonderful people I meet through NZJS!

Monica

Vice President

I am Monica, newly appointed vice president of NZJS. I have had the pleasure of having the opportunity to continue to be involved with New Zealand Japan Society of Auckland since 2012. After returning from Japan Exchange Teaching programme, I wanted to contribute my time and skills so that I can help to bring more cultural awareness in our community.

My goal is to draw attention to our community activities and groups that NZJS has to offer. Please come and involve our activities and allow us to get to know each other!

Kumiko Imai-Duxfield

Society Secretary & Director of Arts and Culture

As Director of Arts & Culture and also Society Secretary, my organisational skills and my drive to achieve the best possible results have helped record some very worthwhile outcomes for the Society. My passions and talents for planning cultural events and workshops are constantly called upon, resulting in some wonderful exhibitions and programmes. Choosing the most suitable organisations to partner with has been most rewarding as Taste of Japan has evolved over the years with something special each time. AUT has been a special partner for NZJS and we have also enjoyed meeting and working with Auckland Museum staff around themes WASHI 2008 and then WAGASHI in 2012.  In 2006 at the Auckland Town Hall for Auckland Fukuoka 20th Anniversary celebrations working with the entire community, in 2010 NZJS 50th Anniversary Celebrations, and in 2014 Auckland Art Gallery workshops spanning six months supporting their Fragile Beauty exhibition.

These cultural events & workshops give people the chance to learn and enjoy specific aspects of Japanese culture as we introduce and teach through workshops, demonstrations, and performances. Community events are for everyone to enjoy and we encourage members to spread the word and bring friends and family. Please check the Taste of Japan website or facebook.com/nzjapan for further information, details & updates. We look forward to seeing you there. In my spare time, I enjoy practicing the Japanese tea ceremony, watching movies, going for walks and playing with my dog, Adelie.

Javeria Iijima

Director of Education

Born and raised in Tokyo Japan, I moved to New Zealand with my family when I was 9 years old and have been living in Auckland ever since. I joined NZJS as a Japanese teacher in May 2018 and had the privilege of becoming the new Director of Education in late July 2019. I hope to continue to grow the Japanese classes and spread the art of Japanese language to people. I’m also a 3D artist and Etsy shop owner by day, creating artworks and designing planners. 

私は、日本の東京で生まれ、9歳の時に家族とニュージーランドに移住しました。その後ずっとオークランドに住んでいます。私がニュージーランドジャパンソサエティーで日本語の教師の一員になったのは2018年の5月からです。そして2019年7月の末に新しい Director of Education として任命されました。私は日本語のクラスが引き続き拡大し、日本語の美が人々に広まっていってほしいと思っています。3d アーティストでもあり、自分の Etsy Shop などを立ち上げながら色々なデザインの仕事もやっています。

Keiko

NZJS Education Consultant

I am an advisor for the Education arm of NZJS, assisting the Director of Education. I am a member of the Aoteakai tea ceremony club of NZJS. I like traveling to learn about various cultures, history, and people around the world. I am interested in photography as a journal. I also love gardening, growing vegetables, DIY, watching birds, movies, and sports, listening to music (classical), reading books (non-fiction), and playing tennis. I lived in Tokyo and Washington D.C. before moving to “quiet” Auckland.

Jonathan

Haere Mai Taiko Club

I represent Haere Mai Taiko – NZJS’s Japanese drummers. Taiko drumming is a quintessentially Japanese art form; as well as being music and dance, it embodies many aspects of Japanese culture. We are lucky to be able to learn from some of Japan’s most respected taiko teachers and composers, and we are dedicated to bringing this exciting art to New Zealand. As a council member, I aim to help NZJS and Haere Mai Taiko work together in harmony.

Eleanor

Aoteakai Tea Ceremony Club

My twin passions are Japanese translation and chanoyu (the Way of Tea). I have had the good fortune to be able to sustain and develop these interests since moving to NZ seven years ago, having spent most of my adult life up to that point in Japan. Working from home as a freelance Japanese translator can be something of a solitary occupation, so I enjoy the opportunity to chat with three-dimensional people while sharing a bowl of matcha at our monthly Aoteakai tea ceremony group practices.

Thac

Webmaster

I am originally from Vietnam. After being awarded a full scholarship from the Japanese government, I moved to Japan and studied and worked there for a total of nine years before relocating to Auckland. It is my absolute pleasure to be able to promote Japanese culture and connect Japan to New Zealand.

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