Interview with the President of the Armenian-Japanese Educational and Cultural Exchange Center “IROHA” NGO Ruzan Khojikyan


When has IROHA center started its activities?

Since July 2014. It’s already two years that it functions.

What was the reason for the launch of activities?

I had the idea of establishing such a center long before. Still during the years when I was living and studying in Japan, and at the moment when I decided to return to the motherland, that idea was with me and grew day by day. Besides, after returning to Armenia, people who wanted to study Japanese nearly every day came to me and I saw the necessity of opening such a center too. And what is more important, there were supporters, people, who shared my idea of establishing such a center, people, who were ready to do that job together and to assist me in establishing the center.

And what is the way it has already passed?

I can say that many things were done during these two years. Of course, we also had difficulties, as in case of every start. But when you see the shining eyes and smiles of the members of the center, who have got a chance to deal with a beloved job, in this case to relate to the Japanese language and culture, you realize that you are on the right way and you can and must overcome every kind of difficulty.  I think that we have succeeded in doing the most important thing: that is in establishing friendly, warm atmosphere, which I appreciate very much.

What kind of activity does the center carry out?

The members of IROHA center have the opportunity to participate in the Japanese language development programs, which is the main activity of the center. The language programs are envisaged from the beginners up to the highest level. The programs are conducted by highly experienced specialists of the sphere, who are both Armenians and bearers of the language.

Besides, with our Japanese friends, we regularly conduct cultural events too (cuisine, calligraphy, holidays and so on), cultural exchange evenings, in the frameworks of which the members of the center get acquainted with different spheres of the Japanese culture and deepen their skills and knowledge.

And you can get informed about the activities, which we have carried out until now, from our website or Facebook page.


FB page:

Who can become a member of the center?

Anyone you likes Japan, the Japanese language and wants to find supporters can, become a member of the center. There are no age or other restrictions. We also suggest “Japanese Language and Culture” special program developed for the children of 6-10 years old. Here the child easily perceives the language by means of games, songs and other activities.

Are there many people, who want to study Japanese? How many groups are there and are there individual courses?

There are many people. At present, there are nearly 50 members in the center, and the courses of the Japanese language are led for 11 different age groups and levels. There are 50 members and 11 groups, which means that the language trainings are conducted in small groups (4-6 people), in order each participant to get maximum individual approach.

But in principle we don’t conduct individual trainings. I have my own conviction that the language, especially the language, which we have little chance to hear in our everyday life or we don’t have a chance at all, is better to learn in a group. Japanese is not an easy language and when you study it with the members of the group, supporting and encouraging each other, hearing others right words or correcting the mistakes together, the participants are more motivated.

How to join? 

In order to join the center please call 093 268168 and make an arrangement for the interview. We gladly invite everyone to recognize and reveal the culture of this mysterious country.

Authors: H. Muradyan and Ruzan Khojikyan

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan