Hello everyone! 

This is Shiro Kuro Papa, born and raised in Kyoto, and lived in Tokyo for 8 years for university and work. I’ve been living in the US and Canada since 2002 – NYC, DC, NM, HTX, SLC, SF, Lake Tahoe) and Canada (Toronto) including 4 years in Puerto Rico (I loved PR). 
I have two Basenjis (weird barkless dogs) named Shiro (10 yo) and Kuro (8 yo), and many Japanese friends call me Shiro Kuro Papa because of that. So I decided to keep the name this way because I love my Basenjis and like being called that way. (But my real name is Hiro if you were ever interested.)

This page is for anyone who wants to improve their Japanese language skills through methods I offer with my podcast – you will improve all skills with them. Guaranteed because everyone I taught did. So I’ll guide you. My methods aren’t anything special if you look at each one of them separately, but how you do them together is the key. It may still not be really anything special. haha. But if you haven’t tried and don’t know what to do why not try that, right?
I am also offering Study Groups on discord through my Patreon for JLPT-all levels, all skills, and the Intensive Study Group for 中級・上級 learners to learn native-level Japanese including pitch-accent and overall sentence flow. These two study groups are the most popular ones on my Patreon. For those who want my help with reading books you love or manga, anime, youtube videos, TV shows, movies, etc. 1-on-1 custom offline (+ occasional online) lessons are also available. With this custom lesson, you get to choose what you want to learn depending on what your goals are.

Why do I care so much about sound? 
I have met so many Japanese learners including advanced learners who I didn’t understand what they were saying to me – they never worked on the pitch-accent of the Japanese language properly. I am not a linguist or some kind of pronunciation expert, but I have a master’s degree in music composition and I am an active composer of contemporary classical music, so that may be why I like helping people with sound who want to improve that way as well.

JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is a good way to have a goal every year, learn new essential grammar points, and build your vocabulary, but JLPT doesn’t give you fluency in Japanese unless you specifically work on your pitch-accent and sentence flow (you don’t have to be perfect on these, by the way, but it just helps you have smoother communication) as well as native-level/natural sentence structure.  

A brief introduction of myself:
I have been helping many people with their Japanese for the past 20+ years. I first started it back in Tokyo where I used to help my friends from the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.  I moved to NYC to study music composition, then to Toronto for graduate school. I kept on teaching university students and professionals in each city I lived in as well as online. I never stopped! My students are all over North America and have had students from Japan, Europe, and South East Asia as well. Also, when I go visit my family in Japan, I still teach my students in North America from my parent’s place. Again, I never stop!

Now, I don’t feel this is particularly relevant but it is to some, so here it is.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Chuo University in Tokyo and a Master’s in Music Composition from the University of Toronto in Canada. I used to work for an American investment bank back in Tokyo and started working as a graphic designer in NYC and Toronto. Since then, I’ve been also working as a graphic designer and am a small business owner of dog-related items. 

Some may say I should focus on one thing, but I love all of them including helping Japanese learners, and that’s why I lasted for 20+ years! But honestly, helping Japanese learners is the most fun thing to do in terms of meeting people with so many different, sometimes crazy backgrounds and experiences. It has been so interesting and entertaining because I talk to them literally every single week, with some students for the past 15+ years. I don’t even talk to my parents or other friends that often. So, we end up talking about everything. I also often feel responsible for their lives especially those young ones because what I do affects their life decisions. Some moved to Japan or have a career related to Japan because we met through the Japanese language.  It also makes me feel that I have been traveling and meeting new people by helping them with Japanese, which reminds me of the excitement I used to have when I traveled in over 22 countries alone when I was in my 20s.