EDUKWEST #60 with Koichi Ko of TextFugu

I saved up episode 60 for Koichi Ko, the destroyer of the Japanese language learning industry and I’m particularly happy that we eventually managed to sync both our schedules and sat down for this EDUKWEST.

There is always a multitude of reasons why I enjoy talking with him, not only that he appeared in one of the very first episodes (EDUKWEST #4) and gave me some credit sort of ex ante the interview concept had proven itself to be more than just a flash in the pan but also as our online careers (if you want to call it like that) began approximately the same time and if you have a closer look and compare you’ll find quite some parallels.

So, whereas we talked about his time as online teacher and social media guy over at eduFire we concentrate on the post eduFire times in this interview and there is quite a bit to talk about.

Besides knowing that he wants to disrupt (no, I don’t think that the term is overused when talking about some people at least) the Japanese textbook industry, I was also keen on hearing his reasons to quit live teaching. I’ve my own reasons for that but seeing him doing the same at again almost the same point was quite interesting.

We talk about what he’s concentrating on instead, for instance his interactive textbook to learn Japanese TextFugu and what he’s been doing with tofugu tv. Proving that you cannot only make a living from online education but grow into a profitable company shows the fact that Koichi now has his first full-time employee.

Finally, for those of you who are still figuring out how to become successful in education 2.0 I highly recommend to watch the segment when we talk time and effort invested until things started taking off and also simply going in the trenches helping people with their questions using social media tools without expecting an immediate ROI in the way of a subscription to name just one possibility.


Audio only:

1. EDUKWEST #60 with Koichi Ko of TextFugu     

Additional Links:

Textfugu Japanese Textbook:
Koichi on Twitter: @Tofugu
Textfugu on Twitter: @Textfugu

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at