Japanese Language Club South Africa


Welcome to the Japanese Language Club of
South Africa

3 Great Reasons To Join

Learn Japanese with friends

We offer Japanese classes taught by Japanese native speakers with qualifications in teaching Japanese to students who don’t speak Japanese as a first language. We also offer events, resources, and language exchange opportunities.

Experience Japanese culture

We love to share and enjoy Japanese culture on our social media, at our dinners at the best Japanese restaurants in SA, at our events and through the events of our partners and key institutions like the Japanese Embassy of South Africa.

Find new opportunities between SA and Japan

We offer full-courses in Japanese through our partner Human Academy, for those who wish to travel, study and live in Japan. We also offer Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation and interpretation, as well as market research services.

Our approach

We are South Africa’s first official Japanese Language Club, founded in 2020. The JLCSA currently has over 600 members, based in both Cape Town, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.

We aim to create a space for those who are learning Japanese to meet and socialise, to enable access to resources, to create new opportunities for learning Japanese and about Japanese culture.

We hope to provide South African and Japanese people with as many bridges as possible.


Find new opportunities between SA and Japan.


We offer Many services including online classes, translation services, events and more


From language exchanges to cultural events to movie nights – we do it all! Please join us to have a lot of fun and make amazing new friends!


We publish short and long articles in Japanese and English on topics relating to both Japan and South Africa.

Our Japanese Courses

  • Basics – Hiragana and Katakana
  • Beginner N5 Class
  • Beginner+ N4 Class
  • Japanese for Travel: Short Course
  • Anime/Manga Short Course
  • Individual Classes for Kids (from ages 7-14)


Our Friendly Team

Emma Ruiters

Emma Ruiters

Director & Founder
Director of the JLCSA since January 2020. MSc Japanese Studies at the University of Oxford. JLPT N2 holder, and N1-ronin. Former JET-programme in Iwamizawa, Hokkaido. Also have an MSc in Development Economics from SOAS, University of London. I am a digital economist by trade and love to find connections between Japan and South Africa.
Owen Ishii

Owen Ishii

Social Media and Comms Manager
I am Japanese-American and an avid collector of Japanese antiques, artwork, stamps, and postcards. I began studying Japanese in my undergrad, spending a year abroad in Tokyo, and am currently studying for the JLPT N1. I also hold an MSc in Japanese Studies from the University of Oxford where I researched the digitalisation of Shinto shrines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Megan van Niekerk

Megan van Niekerk

Events Manager
Designer and language enthusiast. When I'm not working, I'm busy studying Japanese or Mandarin Chinese and I'm also very interested in calligraphy and love collecting fountain pens. I want to do my part to help connect South Africa and Japan.
Louis-François du Toit

Louis-François du Toit

Web Administrator
Been studying Japanese since 2017. I went to Japan in 2019 and was the most amazing experience. I have been working towards moving to Japan. I am currently busy studying TEFL BA Degree.
Hiromi Spinola

Hiromi Spinola

Head Teacher
Hiromi grew up in Machida, Tokyo. After finishing her BA degree in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, she taught in Taiwan for 4 years. She has lived and taught Japanese in SA since 2004. She lives in Pretoria with her SA husband and two daughters. She loves sports and music, watching soccer games and playing many instruments such as piano, pipe organ, clarinet and ukulele.
Haruna Yamada

Haruna Yamada

Haruna is originally from Japan and moved to Somerset West, Cape Town. She loves adventures, nature and travel! She loves to talk to people (sometimes too much talking? – she thinks😂❤️) She loves trying new things, being in nature makes her happy! She also makes Origami Jewellery.

South Africa’s first official Japanese Language Club

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Online Courses
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こんにちは Thank you for coming to our site.

The JLCSA will be closed for Christmas holidays from 1 December to 5 January.

It will still be possible to make bookings via our booking system but only for classes in January 2024. We will get to your emails in January 2024.

Happy holidays!

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