Kaitaku Inc.

Representative director

Ryuma Okada

Ryuma Okada
What is the Timeless Method of Education?

Kaitaku Juku is a corporation that operates juku, supplemental schools designed for students from their fifth year of elementary school to their third year of high school. As we place a lot of importance on the quality of classes, we handle the entire process of making textbooks, all the way to binding. In March 1995, we started with about 100 students in Toyohashi-shi, Aichi. We have gradually added school buildings and currently run 21 schools and teach about 2,000 students. Today, we focus more on broadening our educational approaches, such as expanding high school programs and individualized teaching, rather than adding school buildings.

Year of Birth
1967
Birthplace
Kanagawa Prefecture
Name
Kaitaku Inc.
Headquarters
Toyohashi-shi, Aichi
Founded
1995
Type of business
Tutoring school
url
http://www.kaitaku.org/
When I was a student, I did not aspire to run a juku. I dreamed of becoming a creator and making ads, plans, or anything else that involved creation. As I was looking for a job in Toyohashi, I learned that a juku offered good conditions to employees. So I accepted a job there. This is when my involvement in the industry began.
Since I was a student, I had aspired to become a corporate manager. During high school, I got along well with a classmate named Mochizuki and we both began to envision starting a business. It was intuition. I was confident that we would be able to do something interesting together. Years later, in my third year of university, we confirmed that we still had the same aspiration. So we promised to enter different companies and gain experience before finding the right time to start a business together. But we still did not specify the industry or a type of job. We only looked forward to starting a business. I became a staff member of a tutoring school while Mochizuki got a researcher’s job in science. Three years later, we met again and agreed that it was the right time. We both quit our jobs and thought over what to do from there. I decided to draw on my experience in a tutoring school, gather funding by running a tutoring school and then start what we want to do when we find it.

It may be more important to discover what you want to do before starting a business. But the wish to pursue success with friends was stronger within us. Looking back, we were enthusiastic about testing our capabilities by taking on a challenge. We were not afraid of failing or being rejected. How far we could get doing our best was most important to us. So, in a sense, I didn’t see anything as risks.

Right after starting the business, I was one of the teachers and was very well liked by students. After a while, I shifted to management and stopped teaching students. About three years ago, I resumed a teaching role. Twenty-five years ago, I was a popular teacher. After a quarter-century, times had changed and so did my sensibilities. I was curious about how I would look to today’s students, and interested in directly experiencing the atmosphere of today’s students. I wanted to see what had changed through the passage of time and what had not.
On the first day I went back to teaching, I was shocked to see the scarcity of communication among students. During breaks, they silently fiddled with their smartphones. It was allergy season, so many students wore masks. Most of them kept their mask on their face during classes. They had no conversation and even hid their faces. Quite simply it felt strange
Enhancing academic performance is of course the primary objective. However, the ideal of my tutoring school is to remain a place for students to gain something extra. Somehow by fate, the students share a same place. I wanted to create an environment for these students to open up their mind, talk with one another and with teachers and go for their goals together. I wanted the students to change spontaneously instead of being told by teachers to change. This took a considerable amount of time.

Today, people are filled materially. It seems children are less motivated to get what they want at the cost of something. Teachers’ enthusiasm may end up being interpreted as pressure. We tried to hear the voice of each student, and see how he/she was doing. The classroom obviously began to regain its vigor and I also regained the popularity I had had as a teacher. I really felt that, even despite the change of the times, children would grow vigorously motivated to learn as they had done before provided that teachers exercise ingenuity in their communication and teaching approaches.

Making our own textbooks is one of our original commitments. Some tutoring schools use existing teaching materials without changing them, only change the cover of an existing textbook and claim it as their own, or assign the task to a specialized textbook company. I guess no other tutoring school makes a completely original textbook. Since none of the existing textbooks looked really convincing or satisfactory to us, we started by distributing handouts and finally organized them into a book form. We are confident that our textbooks could only be made by people like us, who usually work in front of students. A small group of our staff members independently handle the entire process from analyzing exam questions to making questions for our original textbooks and binding them. Today, our textbooks have reached a level of quality where we receive requests to sell them. This is attributable to our staff members who share my enthusiasm.
Single-mindedly wishing to expand our business, sometimes I put a heavy burden on the staff, but they stayed with me. One day I found myself feeling thankful for them. From that point on, I have wished to repay what I owe them by making them feel happy to be a part of this company.
In my view, job satisfaction, human relationships, private time, and money are four important yardsticks for a corporate employee’s happiness at work. Satisfying employees in terms of all four yardsticks is the core of management. As president, I have acted on my words, improving the company for the benefit of the staff members in terms of, for example, working hours and annual income.

Needless to say, profit is an essential index for corporate management. But I will ensure a comfortable working environment to keep our staff members happy instead of merely making them work hard. By uniting our efforts, we will take on challenges in our business every day.

Ryuma Okada
Ryuma Okada

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Kaitaku Inc.

Representative director
Ryuma Okada