Mr. Hideki Kunitada- Inspiring Students to Appreciate Japanese Culture

Ayat Harb

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Ayat Harb

Mr. Kunitada competes in Karate

Mr. Kunitada teaches Japanese over in the portables here at Highland. He has been teaching high schoolers and college students for over 17 years. 

Mr. Kunitada spent a lot of his life in Japan, and what he learned there inspired him to follow his dreams here in America. In Japan, he attended a foreign language school and began teaching Japanese employees about America’s customs and business management. 

When Hideki Kunitada made it to the United States, he started off working as an interpreter for fellow Japanese. There came a time when this job bored him, and he started longing for the teaching job he had back in Japan. So, he followed his dreams and decided to become a Japanese teacher. 

Since he made that big decision, Mr. Kunitada has been continuously inspiring students to appreciate the Japanese culture. He has met many students of Asian descent, and also students of other nationalities who were curious about the very interesting Japanese lifestyle and language. 

To Mr. Kunitada, the most important aspect of teaching is the motivation he can give students. Throughout his own life, he has come close to giving up many times. But he takes pride in the fact that he never did and is very happy to have achieved all his dreams. 

His message to all students is one that can be applied to any experience or decision. “I’d like students to not give up easily and challenge themselves to pursue their goals. You can always go one step closer to your goals if you continue learning.”

He has learned this through various struggles in his own lifetime. But these struggles were only experienced because of Mr. Kunitada’s continuous curiosity and urge to keep learning. 

He says, “I have learned a lot of different cultures, traveling to Africa, Europe, and even Russia, Kazakhstan. And a long time ago I crossed the Sahara Desert by motorcycle. I almost got lost in the desert, but I survived.” 

Another struggle of his was coming to America and starting over in this brand new culture and lifestyle. Not only did he have to introduce a new generation to the Japanese culture, but Mr. Kunitada also had to learn to live his own life in a new way. Over time, he got accustomed to the American lifestyle, and he never gave up or let his struggles get in his way. Today, he inspires students to do the same.

Mr. Kunitada knows what it is like to struggle because he has had to overcome so many challenges himself. He uses these experiences to his advantage when teaching students. He allows himself to personally inspire students and to always remind them that every experience will be worth it in the end. 

Outside of Highland, Mr. Hideki Kunitada is a busy man. He teaches at a local community college, and occasionally also teaches at ASU. Although teaching Japanese takes up most of his time, Mr. Kunitada also teaches martial arts to kids and teenagers. Just last month, Mr. Kunitada earned a medal at the Ozawa Cup, an International Karate Tournament. He has had a passion for Karate since he was very young, and hasn’t given up since. Now, he teaches Karate to the younger generations and takes part in it himself, allowing himself to have fun and learn something new every day. 

Hideki Kunitada is an amazing and very motivational person. His teaching and leadership inspires students every day. We are very thankful for Mr. Kunitada, Highland’s Japanese teacher!