BKI's CORE VALUE: Finding our IKIGAI and Opening the door to wonder...



Let me explain to you what is broken with the world and why BKI is in business to fix it. 


Just ask yourself “What is a child?”


If we are what we think, then a child, just like a parent, is the sum of all their thoughts.


Thoughts. Just like an adult mind a child’s mind is full of thoughts. But life is much simpler in a young child’s reality. Thoughts flow like a river of dreams and the heart is always full of hope. But sometimes along the way kids get lost, as they grow the nature of these thoughts may begin to fade, their dreams may become distant memories, and by the time they are adults the world for more than a few may be a seemingly complex, perhaps meaningless reality. Just one glance at the internet news today will confirm this.

Most of us know that following our dreams is the way to a happy life, so why is this story of inaction the same for so many kids? How is it that we are failing our children? 

The very nature of childhood is sacred. As parents we must come to realize that the seemingly insignificant ways we live our daily lives does make a big difference in how we influence our children. By coming to know ourselves at a deeper level it does give our children a healthier and more balanced life. If we continue to communicate warmth, respect and high expectations and also live everyday as best we can, openly and positively accepting life as it is, our children will in most cases follow our example.

The Mind of the Three Year Old-Stays for One Hundred Years...
— Old Japanese Saying


While language retention is naturally absorbed in the early years, we  also believe strongly in the importance of inspiration, will power, character and the creativity of your child as great strengths to be built upon...


Every child deserves a fortunate life, but this outcome is very dependent on the experience that precedes it. 

So what determines a childs fortunate life? With out a doubt it is to love and be loved. As following our dreams is simply an expression of this we must understand the consequences of action and inaction.The answer, ingrained as habit, opens the door to a higher destiny. Right here, in the habitual domain, is the junction where all children succeed or fail along their journey to adulthood. The answer lies in finding our "Ikigai." Ikigai is the actions we take in pursuit of happiness. We must all come to understand that the only way we can impact this life is through the repeated habitual actions that we take on our thoughts and ideas. In our child's case certainly as life unfolds, and as parents particularly in relation to childcare.  We are what we think and do, all that we are arises with our thoughts and actions, and with our thoughts and actions we make the world.

As parents it is largely our thoughts and actions that make our child's world, but the home environment is not the only place a child learns...


  Preschools Should not be built on"Thin Air." Directors should have a minimum of 3 years of Childcare Training.

 Your child is precious. All directors should have at least a basic understanding of the theory of childcare, but did you know that for a long time now this has not  been the case in Japan? Firstly, due to slack government regulation in Japan, ANY unqualified, untrained person in Japan can set themselves up to be the director of an English Preschool. Such schools simply resort to "Parroting" what they read elsewhere, but just like a building with no foundation, the philosophy and practice of these schools are literally built on "Thin Air."

Secondly it was the Industrial Revolution that generally shapes the education industry today, encouraging us to take misguided attitudes and separating the heart from the head in order to churn out factory workers.

  • New Regulations need to be put in place in Japan to ensure quality childcare practices are met.
  •  The view of the child, childhood, and the adult agendas behind the reasons for “educating” children are now changing.
  • While no-nonsense rules, discipline and the needs of the group will always be important to us, we need less emphasis on forcing academic information into our children's heads and more focus on creativity, will power, character and the needs of the heart.
  • In order to find their own Ikigai as adults, children today need these keys to self direction more than ever. 

The development of a child's personality is greatly a function of life experience. Some may think that the care of a young child is an intellectual exercise, but finding the way to our ikigai is also felt through the heart as well as the head. When children discover, through the Reggio teaching method, that repeatedly acting on their own creative ideas, is a totally fulfilling feeling, they want to do it over and over again. It is this repeated exposure to our carefully created Reggio Emilia based (child-centered) environment that will put your child firmly on the path to finding their ikigai in later life.  

Uniquely positioned, BKI Preschool is in business to right these wrongs of childhood by nurturing your child's "Intuitive Compass," through providing them with Quality Care and the creative ability and habits that will later allow them to experiment with, and deepen their interests, navigating them towards their higher dreams. BKI is absolutely a FUN world that kids want to be in!

Your child is nature herself. What better way to act in harmony and effortlessly give her the keys to intuitive knowledge, than through our inspirational world of creativity, passion and resilience. 



Ikigai being the actions we take in pursuit of happiness, Our Core Value, for both parents, children and staff, is to cultivate the understanding and belief that personal meaning is found most powerfully through habitual action. If it comes from the heart don't just dream about it- act on it!

We must teach that the world will only move for those who consistently act on their creative thoughts and ideas, and that the more children, parents, and staff do this, the more meaningful and balanced their life will become. As you continue to grow together, preserve and nurture your ability to think and act with the head, the hands and the heart.

 Ikigai is a constant state of creative action that keeps all of us truly alive. When we slow down, stop struggling and listen to our heart, ikigai breaks the "I give up" habit with intuition and inspiration. In this domain there is no such thing as a "mistake." Everything then falls into alignment, the head and the heart acts as one and the resulting balance backs life with astounding direction, focus and energy .


 These issues are at the very core of what BKI believes.


Then why is it that BKI is so driven to fix this problem?  What Qualifies them?


Come and join in the creative fun with people who know... 

Of course learning a second language or following any of our other dreams not only takes passion, it also takes commitment and perseverance. and these habits need time to develop. As this is the very nature of the problem, it is no coincidence that it's also the personal story of the owners twenty eight year struggle with entrepreneurship. Thus it is very deeply engrained in the psyche of both the directors and the BKI team.

It is rare to find qualified educators with such a deep entrepreneurial history, but for those who have struggled for so long in the field of education and have made their dreams come true in the process, there is a strong urge, an ever increasing need, to complete the cycle by giving back to others. For years we dreamed of providing our community with a school just like the BKI that exists today. We didn't manifest it by rushing. Day by day, we took one small creative action at a time. Our reality is now testimony to our beliefs.

What we all need now more than anything, is a life filled with meaning and purpose. Even the simplest of actions towards your dream has that power. This is ikigai in motion and the key to starting this process is to sow the fertile seeds of self-worth at the right time. Let us now transfer to the subconscious mind of your child, through our constant repetition of self-inspired Reggio projects, the same BKI entrepreneurial seeds, wrapped up in our Core Value, that has kept our own dreams alive until they were fully realized.

While the balance of explicit teaching and creative based learning remains the foundation of our quality program, we are ever mindful of the fact that the industrial mode of schooling has already programmed us to be intellectual and effortful rather than passionate and resilient. This is undoubtedly useful, but we must all finally come to realize that in doing so we have largely neglected intuitive areas of knowing and doing that are also vital for the human spirit...

There are some things that only a parent can know.

One small step can change a life...

Your child will be in front of a desk soon enough.

May they live for one hundred years,

and still have a sparkle in their eye...


Rob Mathews and Kumiko Tajima (Directors, Owners, and Qualified Child Care Providers since 2003, Parents since 2002, Artistic & Creative Entrepreneurs since 1990).