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Dear reader,

Thank you for visiting TEFL International Tokyo. Since you are here, I am sure that you must be feeling a slight itch to teach English in Japan, travel and or simply experience life abroad. If you have a moment, I would like to share with you a portion of my life story.

Upon my completion of a BA In American Cultural Studies, I declared to my mother that the only culture in the world I wasn’t interested in was Japan. Famous last words perhaps. In retrospect, I believe some supernatural and powerful entity was listening and probably laughing at my emphatic utterance.

I have now lived in Japan for 30 years. Say what‽ At the time I made the statement to my mom, my heart had been set on a journey to the passionate and sun-drenched vibes of Spain. Japan, the stoic land of Bushido and social restraint, seemed to be the antithesis of my soul’s longings. I was going to Mallorca, Spain to do my practicum at the American International School, after which I would become a licensed social studies teacher. Fortunately, my dream of lovely senoritas was rudely interrupted by a blind date with a beautiful, passionate, and colorful woman from Tokyo named Yuko. Within a year, we were married and then, we spent 4 wonderful years in Spain before moving to Japan as I began my life’s work as an educator.

Our relationship together has been what I refer to as “a collision made in heaven”. I have learned through experience that cultural collisions in relationships can be magically transformative, especially if they have been liberally seasoned with patience and grace. Similarly, to plant oneself in the soils of foreignness allows one to grow and blossom in unexpected and wonderful ways.

I encourage everyone to set their sails on the sea of discovering the unbounded exploration of becoming.

Laurence D. Hughes



TEFL International, Tokyo | Tokyo,  Japan

Owner/Program Director

Hughes International Ltd. | Tokyo,  Japan

Owner/Program Director

January 1997 to present

Wayo Women’s University | Ichikawa,  Japan

English Lecturer

April 2002 to present

Tokyo Gakkan Funabashi High School | Funabashi,  Japan

ESL Teacher / Curriculum Development Specialist

April 1996 to March 2011



Temple University

Masters of Education, TESOL, 2005


Western Washington University

Bachelor of Arts, Ethnic Studies, 1984

Professional Education Certificate, Grades 4-12, Social Studies, 1992

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