About Us


Sae Okihara – Co-Founder & Co-Director of the Individual U. Institute for Japanese Language & Culture: a true ambassador of Japanese culture and language, Sae completed her graduate studies at Kansai University in Japan, followed by two additional MAs from NYU, with one in teaching Japanese as a foreign language. Sae firmly believes that a greater understanding of Japan and its arts, customs, and traditions can be brought to the United States through the transmission of its language and has put this belief into practice with years of teaching experience. She has worked in a wide array of schools and settings, including the University of San Francisco, New York University, the Japanese Language School, a private Japanese elementary school, and numerous corporations in New York City, including Cantillon Capital Management, Kingdon Capital Management, and Simon & Schuster.

Sae has long been a gifted teacher of Japanese to both young and adult students. And in the last six years of working with Individual U. has, in collaboration with Dr. Rudin, developed Individual U.’s unique method of one-on-one mentoring of Japanese language and culture to LD students. Through her mentoring of Japanese at Individual U., she conveys a unique perspective on the world that attracts students and fuels their interest in Asian and American cultures. Sae also offers to the Japanese Institute her remarkable skills as a chef and practitioner of ikebana and Japanese tea ceremony. Beyond this, she is a recognized Japanese Reiki master at the third (and highest) level.