Hinoki International School

Japanese American School of South East Michigan

Two Languages, Two Cultures, Growing Together

About Us


The mission of Hinoki International School is to create a global learning community, taking the best practices of both the Japanese and American schools, to give students a nurturing culturally rich learning environment and successful educational experience in both Japanese & English.



We are currently accepting applications for both Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade. No prior exposure/knowledge of the Japanese language is assumed for students enrolling in Kindergarten or Grade 1.

Our school is growing with grade levels added as current students progress.

  • If your child was previously enrolled in another school district, we will need to request student records from their previous school. Please contact us at: admissions@hinoki-school.org.
  • If your child is enrolling in a public school for the first time, please follow this link to our initial admissions application which can be faxed, mailed, or dropped of at the school.

Hinoki International School is a charter school operating as a separate, independent school district authorized by the Livonia Public Schools. There are no fees for tuition or admission.

For admissions questions please contact Ted Delphia at t.delphia@hinoki-school.org


Our History

Initially called Japanese American School of South East Michigan (JASSEM), Hinoki International School opened in September 2010. The concept for the school dates back to 2005, born out of the personal experience of Mitsuyo and Ted Delphia, their Japanese preschool (Himawari Preschool), and their own bilingual children. They saw the need for a successor program that would build upon the preschool’s Japanese cultural foundation, with the goal that both American as well as Japanese students would become truly bilingual over the ensuing five to seven years of elementary school. In addition, they envisioned for children to learn Japanese as well as American culture and customs, in a school community where American and Japanese students learn from each other.

Mr. Delphia worked to develop a charter school based on a two-way immersion concept for grades K-6, while Ms. Delphia continued to strengthen and deepen Himawari Preschool’s roots in the Japanese community. A breakthrough came in January 2009. As they applied for a grant from the federal government, they received substantial financial assistance as well as commendations for one of the highest-scoring applications ever. Mitsuyo and Ted, together with David Belian, then created a new foundation promoting bilingual education, Michigan Japanese Bilingual Education Foundation (MJBEF), and immediately started working with Dr. Hitomi Oketani, a specialist in Japanese and English bilingual education at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

Soon starting its second year, the school program is based on a unique curriculum, developed in cooperation with EMU. The program is supported by a strong academic advisory committee and a diverse, talented, committed board of directors. We anticipate adding a new grade level each year, to create a full K-6 school that empowers our students to future success as English-Japanese bilingual, bicultural citizens.


School Staff


Hinoki School Board Members


Our Educational Services Provider
Michigan Japanese Bilingual Education Foundation (MJBEF) Board Members


Our Academic Advisory Committee