San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen

At present, we have about 170 students in 16 classes, from beginning to advanced levels.


In addition to teaching the Japanese language, a variety of cultural activities such as Kakizome (New Year’s Calligraphy), Hinamatsuri (Japanese Doll Festival) and Children’s Day are incorporated into the curriculum to create an enjoyable learning experience. Other annual events include a picnic-undoukai at a nearby park and a stage presentation by each of the classes. Instructors also support students in their participation in outside events such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Tests and speech contests.


San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen was officially founded in 1919. During World War II, the school was forced to close. It reopened in 1949, but by 1951, the deteriorating facility was condemned by the city, so the school began renting the San Mateo Buddhist Temple classrooms. In 1960, SMNG became a non-profit organization.


We have grown and developed thanks to the cooperation of the Board of Directors which oversees and guides our school, parent volunteers who prepare and assist with school events, and our dedicated faculty who love to teach. In 2019, we will celebrate our 100th anniversary.



San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

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Thank you to our donors for their generosity! 

DiAngi Taylor Family

Grandparents Mr. & Mrs.
Sam Shigeshi Fukudome

Hamada Family

Hoshino/Machlis Family

J&E Restaurant Supply
Mr. Jose Lorenzo
on behalf of Jeremy Raffai

Dr. Yoko Kuramoto
Contemporary Dental

Shinozaki Automotive

Suzuki Family

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