Sumie Jasmine Kawakami, MA

Specialization: Political Science, Media, English as a Second Language

Sumie Jasmine Kawakami, MA


MA in Political Science, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada
BA in Comparative Culture (Political Science), Sophia University, Japan

Previous Academic and Business Institutions:

2003–2019: Freelance news translator/writer at NHK/NHK World Japan
2014-2019: English lecturer at Japan Times Academy (TOEIC) and a university in western Tokyo
2001-2003: Senior Editor at J@pan Inc (English-language business monthly magazine)
1995-2001: Freelance writer/editor for Market News (US newswire), JAL inflight magazine ‘Winds,’ and other publications
Before 2000: Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper Reporter (Japanese), Knight Ridder Financial Tokyo Senior Correspondent (English), and FreelanceWriter for other publications


Sumie Jasmine Kawakami is a teacher, writer, and translator. Having begun her career as a journalist at the Mainichi Shimbun, she has worked for major wire services, magazines and a TV station. She has lived in Canada, where she gained her master’s degree in political science, and traveled to a dozen countries and feels her experience can help many ESL students overcome their fear of “not being good enough” at English. As an ESL teacher, she enjoys listening to students’ achievements and adventures. As a writer, she spends long hours on research and interviews and turns the lives of “ordinary people” – as well as business leaders and entrepreneurs – into moving, heart-felt stories. Over the years, she has published several non-fiction books in both Japanese and English. In her most recent book, she explored her estranged relationship with her own mother, who was facing the end of her life due to a severe illness. In writing this book, she found ways to cope with the end-of-life reality of her Mom’s cancer. She loves music and yoga and is an avid endurance athlete. Her love of the mountains led her to move with her husband from Tokyo to Yamanashi.