Jim Gubbels

 My interest in Japan started with video games, and this pushed me to study the language and culture of Japan at Leiden University starting in 2011. During my study I came to take an interest in many different areas of Japanese culture, but mainly took courses related to 'Japanese religion' and anthropology. 

I graduated in 2015 and have made four valuable trips to Japan thus far through amazing home stay experiences where I learned many interesting things living amongst locals.

At the moment, my main connection to Japan is the art of wadaiko (Japanese drumming) and in addition to working with the language every day, I would one day love to work with a taiko every day too.

Teaching Experience

  • Since 2014, teaching Japanese to small classes in Utrecht.
  • Since 2015, teaching my own kanji course to small groups.
  • Since 2017, starting teaching private lessons.
  • Since 2019, started teaching group lessons at the Volksuniversiteit Amersfoort.
  • 2020, culture and language classes at  ''Amadeus Lyceum'' high school in Vleuten.
  • Since 2022, regular japanese lessons at ''College de Heemlanden'' high school in Houten.
  • Since 2022, group lessons at the Volksuniversiteit Utrecht.
  • Since 2023, group lessons to children of the elementary school Onder de Bogen in Leidsche Rijn.

Japan Experience

  • 2013, traveling in Japan to take in the touristic sights.
  • 2016, doing volunteer work at an orchard and learning taiko at different schools throughout Japan.
  • 2017, assisting in teaching English to Japanese children as well as taking more taiko courses.
  • 2018, assisting in a local festival in Asuka-village, Nara prefecture on behalf of "Yamato: The Drummers of Japan"
  • 2019, participated in the 32nd Japanese Public Speaking Contest organized by the Embassy of Japan in The Netherlands


  • 2015, Bachelor of the Arts: Japanstudies
  • 2016, Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 2
  • 2021, Japanese Essay/Video Contest hosted by Japanese Embassy in The Netherlands: 3rd place