How I Got Here: Helen Lewis MA (Oxon)

few-24I teach English to young people in Japan. I help them hold conversations and write in their non-native language more clearly, gracefully and confidently. I hope the skills they practice with me help them engage more deeply with the world.

It sounds so simple, but it has actually taken me a long time to really understand how to do this. When I first came to Japan, I struggled with the intercultural lifestyle and with being a woman living far from her native country. However, when I came to FEW in 2012, I realized what had been missing: community and stimulation. I loved the energy and intelligence of the women I met in my first meeting, and when I was asked to be Special Events Director, I happily accepted.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.” To that, I say, “Often, who you know IS what you know.”

For two years, I was given the chance to host all kinds of creative events and deepen the knowledge and skills of FEW members and their friends. Almost on a monthly basis, someone came to me and offered to do a workshop. I found that this opportunity to try different things combined with the support of a friendly army of women helped me get my groove back in the world of teaching. The connection between community and stimulation is something that now runs through all areas of my life.

I’ve stepped down from the board to focus on my other love, the Brazilian martial art Capoeira with Bantus Capoeira Japan, and I recently got my instructor’s belt. I hope this will be yet another way to put into practice the creativity and leadership skills gained with this wonderful dynamic group of women. I say a big thank you to FEW and look forward to being an active member for a long time to come.


Q&A with Jackie F. Steele and Megumi Ishimoto

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Jackie F. Steele, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo, and Megumi Ishimoto, Executive Director of NPO Women’s Eye. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us […]

Published on 14th March 2018

March Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]

Published on 1st March 2018

February Meeting Recap: Survivor – How to Overcome Adversity

You never know where life is going to take you. That was the message from our February guest speaker, Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa, who has had a decades-long career as a fashion stylist, make-up artist, and fashion show director in New York and Japan. She shared her personal experiences dealing with bi-polar disorder and gave her candid advice to […]

Published on 1st March 2018

March Community Services Feature: Five Tokyo-Based Organizations That Fight For or Empower Women

In honor of March’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to present to our FEW community a list of five organizations that have established themselves as organizations who fight for or empower women as well as a list of five events that you can attend to show your support for this year’s theme of #PressFor Progress. […]

Published on 28th February 2018

How I Got Here: Johanna Nousiainen

I first came to Japan as a study abroad exchange student. That year changed my life, even though at first I didn’t know it would. I was supposed to become a journalist in Finland, since that was what I loved to do – looking for information, interviewing people, writing articles about unique encounters you have. […]

Published on 28th February 2018