Business Insight

Gokigen Japanese: The Key Drive of Transforming Language Learning with Anime and Cultural Immersion

Mytri Korsipati
July 5, 2024

Gokigen Japanese, an innovative online Japanese language and culture learning service, has swiftly risen to prominence, marking its success with significant milestones within a short span of time.

Founded in 2022 and operated by 27th Corporation, based in Tokyo, Gokigen Japanese has not only demonstrated the impact and potential of its unique service but also garnered prestigious accolades, such as the Chiyoda CULTURE x TECH Award, and participated in high-profile events such as SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024.

Introduction to 27th Corporation

Founded in 2022, 27th Corporation is a dynamic company that specializes in educational and cultural services. Their flagship service, Gokigen Japanese, is an innovative online platform designed to teach the Japanese language and immerse learners in Japanese culture. Through a unique blend of manga, anime, and traditional cultural elements, Gokigen Japanese has rapidly gained recognition and success in the competitive market of language education.

Gokigen Japanese is an online Japanese Tutoring platform that integrates Japanese learning, as well as attaining knowledge of Japanese culture through manga, anime, food, tradition, and many more that highlights Japan’s unique features. Rather than a simple educational platform, the platform promotes Japan by engaging people through education and kindling the interest in Japan as a country for itself.

Award Recognition and Event Participation

On March 19, 2024, Gokigen Japanese was honored at the Chiyoda CULTURE x TECH Business Contest 2024. Gokigen Japanese was recognized for its innovative approach of integrating language learning with cultural immersion, reflecting the cultural richness of Chiyoda Ward, home to iconic areas like Akihabara and Jimbocho. 

Source: PR Times

The recognition at the Chiyoda CULTURE x TECH Business Contest 2024 directly paved the way for Gokigen Japanese's participation in the SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 Global Startup Program. Held at Tokyo Big Sight on May 15 and 16, 2024, the event provided a significant platform for Gokigen Japanese to introduce its innovative approach to a global audience. 

Importance of the Award and the Path to SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024

Winning the Chiyoda CULTURE x TECH Award not only validated the innovative approach of Gokigen Japanese but also highlighted the synergy between language learning and cultural appreciation. This provided the company with a commendable level of recognition and credibility, which is crucial for startups in their growth phase.

Following its recognition, Gokigen Japanese showcased its services at the SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 Global Startup Program. The event offered a platform for the company to present its innovative learning methods to a diverse audience, including potential investors, partners, and customers. 

So How Exactly Did Gokigen Japanese Make 27th Corporation Rise To Success in Such a Short Time?

A thorough study on the market, increasing demands in learning Japanese, as well as the government’s shift towards focusing on bringing in foreigners into the country has been one of the main factors that 27th corporation carefully took into consideration.

Utilising these, they have increased their presence in the market and gained recognition through a non-profit campaign, providing free Japanese language education for refugees, as well.

Diverse Motivations for Learning Japanese

A survey conducted by Gokigen Japanese, which included 364 users from August 2023 to February 2024, revealed diverse motivations for studying Japanese across different regions.

In North America, 43% of learners were motivated by an interest in Japanese culture, while 42% of European learners wanted to travel to Japan. In Asia, 34% of learners aimed to work in Japan. These findings underscore the strong cultural interest in Japanese language learning in North America and Europe, while practical reasons such as employment opportunities are more prevalent in Asia.

Cultural Learning Approach and Future Plans

Gokigen Japanese leverages the cultural interest in Japan by incorporating manga into its teaching materials. This method not only makes learning enjoyable but also immerses students in Japanese culture. The service uses the "indirect method," where English explanations are used to teach Japanese, making it accessible for beginners.

The user base predominantly consists of beginners (90%), with significant portions from North America (21%), Europe (24%), and Oceania (13%). Many users appreciate the blend of cultural content, vocabulary, and grammar in the lessons.

Looking ahead, Gokigen Japanese plans to expand its offerings by introducing the service as an employee benefit program for corporate clients, aiming to cater to a broader range of needs in Japanese language learning. This approach aligns with their goal of providing an engaging and culturally rich learning experience.


Providing Free Online Japanese Lessons for Refugees

In a commendable effort to support refugees in Japan, Gokigen Japanese formed a business partnership with Living in Peace to offer free online Japanese lessons for refugees.

This is an extremely recent milestone in May 2024 which potentially would be a large advancement for the company. By focusing on beginner-level Japanese lessons targeting JLPT N5/N4 levels, this initiative aims to provide essential language skills needed for daily communication and potential employment opportunities.

The flexibility of online lessons makes them accessible to refugees regardless of their location in Japan, addressing the immediate challenges they face and contributing to their long-term success and independence in Japanese society.

This partnership with Living in Peace underscores Gokigen Japanese's commitment to social responsibility and inclusiveness. By empowering refugees with language skills, the initiative not only facilitates their integration into Japanese society but also enhances their prospects for meaningful employment and self-sufficiency. It sets a positive example of how businesses can utilise and expand their expertise to make a strategic difference in communities facing language barriers. 

With the strength in trying to make something out of anything that is in the surrounding is also a skill that businesses can grow. The partnership with Living in Peace itself is a very smart move that 27th corporation took, which helped them to advance in recognition as well as stand out for the unique strategy for social responsibility, which is again, another trend that the business industry is chasing upon.

Growing Importance of JLPT and Corporate Success

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a key certification for non-native speakers who want to work and succeed in Japan.

Japanese companies, especially those with international reach, highly value JLPT certifications. Investing in language training, partnering with language schools, recruiting JLPT-certified professionals, and enhancing corporate communication are crucial strategies for companies to thrive in the Japanese market. By building a proficient and culturally integrated workforce, companies can navigate the Japanese market successfully.

Given that Japan has been facing ageing society issues and working culture issues with pressure on the middle-age generation, foreigners have been encouraged a lot by the government as well as many educational organizations to travel to Japan for work. Gokigen Japanese would be the perfect program that can support the first step of foreigners to get interested in Japan and further foster the skills to do so.

Strengths and weaknesses that are essential to keep in mind

Gokigen Japanese's strengths lie in its innovative approach to combining language learning with cultural immersion, strong recognition through awards, and a commitment to social responsibility. However, the company faces high competition in the language learning market and the challenge of maintaining user engagement.

To overcome these challenges, Gokigen Japanese employs strategies such as expanding service offerings to corporate clients, increasing market presence through social responsibility initiatives, and incorporating popular cultural elements like manga. 

These insights are crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs to understand the importance of leveraging strengths, addressing weaknesses, and implementing effective business strategies to achieve success.


Integration of Gokigen Japanese as a flagship for 27th Co. Ltd’s Success

Gokigen Japanese's rapid rise to success is a testament to its innovative approach and the significant milestones it has achieved in a short time of just 2 years. The recognition at the Chiyoda CULTURE x TECH Business Contest 2024 and participation in SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 have validated its unique approach to language learning and opened doors for further growth. 

Here is an overall organization of the timeline and steps that they took :

Survey Insights: Conducted survey highlighting diverse motivations for learning Japanese across regions.

Cultural Learning Approach: Integrated manga and English explanations to make learning enjoyable and accessible.

User Base Expansion: Attracted beginners predominantly from North America, Europe, and Oceania.

Corporate Expansion Plans: Aimed to offer Gokigen Japanese as an employee benefit program for corporate clients.

Social Responsibility Initiative: Partnered with Living in Peace to provide free online Japanese lessons for refugees, supporting integration and employment opportunities.

JLPT and Corporate Success: Emphasized the importance of JLPT certifications for corporate strategies and individual career growth.

As Gokigen Japanese continues to blend language education with cultural appreciation, it stands to make a lasting impression on the global stage, contributing to the growing importance of language proficiency in Japan's increasingly globalized market.

Written by Mytri Korsipati (underdogs)

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Mytri Korsipati
Business Developer
Multilingual skills with high diversity in cultural background. High interest in the biotechnology industry as well as startups and business initiation.