Story of Kazuko Bhuiyan
Kazuko Bhuiyan was born in 1950 in Shizuoka, a rural part of Japan, famous for its view of the majestic Mt. Fuji. Eldest of three daughters, she was always a good helper to her parents, taking responsibilities from a young age. She was loved by her teachers for her hard-working nature and positivity. She was the girl who greeted everyone with a happy “Oyahoo gozaimasu” (good morning) and was often likened to the sun for her uplifting spirit.
After completing her initial studies in Mishima, she urged her parents to let her study in the big city, Tokyo, where she attended the women’s college – Jissen Joshidai. There she fell in love with a Bangladeshi student, Momtaz Bhuiyan, who was pursuing his studies at Tokyo University. They married and later moved to Bangladesh in 1973.
Coming to a new country with no knowledge of its language or people didn’t frighten Kazuko. She took it as a new challenge and grew to love Bangladesh. She became fluent in Bangla and fully immersed herself in the culture, learning and venturing out to places like New Market, just like every other Bangladeshi. She embraced the relaxed nature of the people of Bangladesh, the hospitality, spontaneity and free-spirit. The fact that it was so different from Japan didn’t bother her; instead she always appreciated it for its positive traits.
She became a teacher to many Bangladeshi students, giving them a glimpse of the “Japanese way,” displaying humility, dedication, positivity, and hard work. The house doors were always open to her students who wanted to practice more before their “speech contest”, and she would patiently explain over and over again, happy her students are trying to learn. She was a beloved Sensei throughout her life; students dedicated books to her, some drew her portrait, others wrote poems for her. She was always proud of her students.
On July 29th, 2016, an unfortunate road accident suddenly took her life. Her sudden demise shocked her family, friends, students and well-wishers. She still remain in our memory and this Trust is inaugurated to keep her memory alive and continue her good work.