Read at a higher level, push your career further, and lower the ceiling on that last 10% of your learning using the Maplopo Method; college-caliber training designed specifically for readers and serious learners of Japanese.

Pay in installments… or pay once and get tons of bonuses

(Please Note: We’re switching to a single payment of $1200 per student beginning Jan. 1, 2023, and restricting admissions to only a few dozen students per year to provide the most complete experience possible for each student in the course.)

Frequently Asked Questions

I hear the course pricing and structure is changing soon...

That’s right! You’ve heard correctly.

As we prepare to exit our nearly year-long beta program, we’re re-examining our pricing structure as well as student enrollment caps.

At this point (October 1, 2022) tuition will increase to $1200 USD per new student beginning January 1, 2023, and we will reduce student enrollment numbers to only ten students per eight-week enrollment period. All payment plans will also cease to be on offer after January 1, 2023.

This price increase is also a preliminary number, we expect the number to increase between 2023 and 2025 as we settle into a pricing structure more in line with a two semester college course of this caliber.

Why now?

We’ve always thought about pricing, actually, and adjusted the numbers since the course began in the early part of 2022. We’ve also kept our audience abreast of the fact that changes to pricing would continue to evolve as we matured as a firm.

Additionally, in continuing conversations with Japanese language educators, institutional leaders, and university language department chairs, we’ve been reassured of our unique place in the Japanese literature and language space, and over the next few years, we look forward to continuing our work with professionals in these sectors to bring Maplopo Schoolhouse to a wider audience through these educational and business channels.

This pricing and enrollment shift is in recognition of this reality, and will help us deliver on our promise to enhance Japanese language education throughout the world, and likewise support our mission to increasing the spread of Japanese literature throughout the world.

To date, Maplopo Schoolhouse has functioned like an online school, open to everyone. Moving forward, however, as we shift our focus to larger channel partners who can help us bring Maplopo Schoolhouse to more people, our personal involvement with students will lesson as we teach other providers how to deliver on our curriculum. So, this online version you can purchase here, will, in essence become the “private” version of the course. Reasonably, open to only a few dozen people a year.

If you wish to join us before these changes occur, you’ll want to do so before January 1, 2023. After that enrollment caps will be instituted so we can deliver as much attention to students as possible, and pricing will increase to $1,200 USD as stated above.

Additionally, our 30-day trial will cease to be on offer as of September 30, 2020. (The trial offer has now concluded) Why? Because at this point in our journey, we realized there is such a wealth of complimentary Maplopo Schoolhouse material already in existence here on the website, as well as on YouTube, SlideShare, podcast platforms, LinkedIn and Twitter as to make enrolling in Maplopo Schoolhouse an entirely risk-free adventure.

So, again, if you’d like to kick the tires, get in there now, as access (and the bonuses you receive) will only be available through September 30, 2022.

I'm a college student taking Japanese in school...

If you’re currently enrolled in Japanese language classes (or completed language studies within one semester), you may be eligible for complimentary access to Maplopo Schoolhouse if you attend an accredited college or university anywhere in the world. Visit the Maplopo Schoolhouse for Students page for more information.

What is your refund policy?

Because we offer extensive opportunities to test out the course (videos from the entire first section on YouTube, numerous worksheets on the site as well as on LinkedIn, and the Maplopo Schoolhouse podcast) there are no refunds offered once you enroll in any given Maplopo Schoolhouse season. If you’re not yet sure of whether or not Maplopo Schoolhouse is right for you, please check out these materials first.

If you are on an installment plan and can no longer make payments, we will pause your account so you can pick up where you left off when you can once again make regular payments.

What currency are your prices in?

All prices are listed in U.S. dollars. The conversion to your currency happens as a natural part of the transaction once you enroll. We recognize the yen isn’t performing well these days… we’re all in the same boat, unfortunately.

Do you offer discounts or free trials?

Students who complete a Season are provided a discount on additional seasons, however, outside these offerings there are no additional discounts or trials.

If you are a college or university student currently enrolled in Japanese classes (or have taken classes as recently as a semester prior to now), please visit our Maplopo Schoolhouse for Students page to see if you may be eligible for complimentary access to the course.

What payment methods do you offer?

We accept: American Express, China UnionPay (CUP), Discover & Diners, Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), Mastercard and Visa.

Are there any automatic charges?


1. If you sign up for the one time payment plan, you will be automatically charged $350 on the 1st day of your enrollment.

2. If you sign up for our three-part installment plan, you’ll be be automatically charged $128 for three consecutive months beginning on the 1st day of your enrollment.

3. If you sign up for our 12-month installment plan, you’ll be be automatically charged $35 for 12 consecutive months beginning on the 1st day of your enrollment.

VERY IMPORTANT! As is the case with any learning institution worth its salt, once you have enrolled and made your first payment on any of the payment plans, you are unable to cancel. If you are on our three or twelve month payment plan, you may pause your course, however, if you run into financial difficulties. You will lose access to the course, but you will not incur any further payment.

That said, there is no “drop” period, as we have extensive materials available online that allow you to test drive the course. It is in your best interest to use these materials to gauge your interest.

And, unlike regular college courses there is no time limit to your learning. You have forever access to Maplopo Schoolhouse. Please keep this very important clause in mind before you considering enrolling.

Who is Maplopo Schoolhouse for?

First, Maplopo Schoolhouse is for readers. We attract students who love to read all sorts of material, from manga and magazines, to poetry, literature, and contemporary fiction, and non-fiction. At the core of what we do is help students learn the language through story. So… story lovers is our biggest audience.

When it comes to the specifics of language, we find Maplopo Schoolhouse works best for intermediate and advanced learners of Japanese. Those students of the language who have a basic grasp of grammar, but need and want more—and in that same set of students—those who recognize they want structure that helps them understand the language in a fashion they cannot find in a classroom.

Some of our students enjoy taking the JLPT and have already passed the N3 or N2, but many more students have never taken the exam and are studying Japanese with different personal and professional goals in mind.

A good number of our students are translators (or aspiring translators) of Japanese, and enroll largely because they want to learn more about the art and craft of translating. Those students want to tap into one of the most unique parts of Maplopo Schoolhouse… us as translators.

Many more enroll in Maplopo Schoolhouse to refresh or build upon a near fluency they feel could use improvement. Such students often live and work in Japan, and have been here for many years. Or, they lived in Japan at one time, but now live elsewhere and don’t want to lose what they worked so hard to acquire. They find communicating at work and around town fairly routine, but often just that. These students come to us to learn more deeply what the language is about… the nuance of grammar expressions they may only know on the surface, and to add depth and breadth to their vocabulary.

Maplopo Schoolhouse students also come to us from around the world, in all age groups and with many different personal interests and drivers. We’ve welcomed students from America, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia… from where do you hail?!

Is everything in the course available immediately?

No. Each Season of Maplopo Schoolhouse runs just as if you were in an in-person classroom. We designed the course this way to keep students progressing at natural intervals, and so the material you learn is absorbed as richly as possible. Learning modules are dripped out every two to three days until the season is complete.

English is not my native language, can I still enroll?

If you can read in English, and understand spoken American English, you should be in good shape. Our videos and worksheet materials do have spoken and written Japanese, but the entire course is taught in English. Each of our videos is also manually subtitled in English.

We have non-native English speakers from India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Singapore in Maplopo Schoolhouse who are performing just as well as any other student in the program. The trick is having a good grasp of English.

I'm busy. Do I have to finish the course by a certain point?

There are no deadlines whatsoever within the course. You have “forever-access” to it, and all the time in the world to complete it. Once you enroll, the course is dripped out to you steadily every two or three days. We’ve designed the course with a host of pedagogical practices in mind, and we move you forward in a way that helps you feel excited about your progress so you complete the course in a reasonable amount of time, and so your learning sticks. But, life does get in the way of progress sometimes, and because of that, your access to the course is yours. Hang with us and the Japanese language as you see fit!

If I have questions during the course, where can I ask for help?

If questions pop up, we are in the private Discord server to help you, and other students are there as well with any questions you may have. We also do regular “office hours” sessions throughout the course where you can lob at us any sort of questions you might have. Of course, we’re always reachable via email as well. Nowhere else will you find this sort of opportunity to engage with Japanese literature translators and language teachers at this sort of price point. Nowhere. 

I can't make one of my installment payments. Can I pause the course?

Life happens. We get it. If you have made your first or second payment, but need to pause your account so you’re not billed beyond that point, just reach to us via email at: and we will pause your account for you.

And while you’ll, understandably, lose access to Maplopo Schoolhouse at that time, we will restore your access immediately upon moving forward with your next (or final) installment payment.

How hard/easy is this?

Ah… is it difficult? Is it easy?

Language learning is, of course, what you make of it. We consider Maplopo Schoolhouse to be appropriately challenging. We’ve packed a lot of learning into the course and provide a lot of tools to help you learn no matter your learning style. You get to work as hard as you want to work. As an intermediate or advanced learner, you will find some things are easier than others, and some things are more difficult than others. It all depends on you, your prior exposure to the language, and how much you want to push yourself even when you think you already know something.

For example, we cover a number of grammar points that might seem, at the outset, familiar to you. Yet we explain them in ways you have likely not heard…, we provide nuanced examples you certainly have never heard or seen…, and we test your knowledge within our learning platform and in the workbooks in ways that push your understanding beyond where we know it likely is (given that you’re an intermediate to advanced learner of the language).

We do so by including vocabulary you likely do not know, congugations that will help boost your understanding of grammar, and reviews of what you have already learned with us. And its all done within the context of a story written by one of Japan’s master storytellers.

This course is not you being fed made up situational stories to teach you Japanese… this is you diving into the experience of masterful stories written by Japan’s most respected authors… and you learning Japanese in context with us, and… in a way, with that master at your side.

Do I need to buy anything else to succeed with the program?

Nope. If you consider yourself to be in possession of intermediate level Japanese, you’ll likely have everything you need. Namely, motivation, time, and access to a good Japanese dictionary, (here are our recommendations).

Can I access the course on any device?

Yep. We use Thinkific as our course platform, and it supports all modern devices. Here is the breakdown:


Microsoft Edge


iOS Safari: 11 and up
Samsung Internet


NOTE: Internet Explorer is NOT supported.

Will this help me pass the JLPT?

Maplopo Schoolhouse is not, and won’t ever be, designed to help you pass a language proficiency test.

Some of our students have taken (or are preparing to take) the JLPT or the U.S. Military’s DLPT, but as we hope you can tell by everything you might have read on the site so far, Maplopo Schoolhouse is designed for readers and learners of the language… people who love reading and who want, need and love the Japanese language.

While tests can be excellent markers of progress, they are (to us) as an end-point, not the best marker of one’s learning, nor are they much fun to prepare for. 😉

Learning a language in the context of a story so you can enjoy that story AND learn some more of the language is what we want to help you do in Maplopo Schoolhouse.

Is there furigana? Is there romaji?
Great question.


Nope. Although (!) we do find it can absolutely be beneficial when it comes to fostering very early phonetic pronunciation skills, and the research bears this out (so, it’s not as evil as you may have been told).


We do include furigana to help you read antiquated kanji (which you will definitely encounter in these stories). We also use it sparingly in other aspects of the lessons when we feel it will be helpful. That said, when we first designed Season One: 水仙 from Dazai Osamu, we included furigana on nearly all kanji in the first 15 episodes or so. After that, we used it more sparingly in the fashion described above.

We don’t want you reaching for a dictionary every other word, but we also don’t want you to be too coddled with the furigana either. Students tell us we’ve struck a good balance between the two in a manner that supports learning while also allowing for the enjoyment of simply reading.

The original story text in Japanese is provided with both furigana and without furigana, so you can really test your skills if you wish!


Are the audio recordings done by native speakers?

Yes, indeed. All the audio is professionally recorded by Doc (born and raised in America, speaking American English) and Reiko (born and raised in Japan, speaking native Japanese). You can hear us in motion on our Season ONE Maplopo YouTube channel, as well as on the Maplopo Schoolhouse podcast if you want to give us a test run. 😉

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Have a question we haven’t yet addressed?

No sweat. Just drop us a line at

Anne, ESL Teacher and founder of BSD Bibliophile (U.S.A.)

Her background: self taught over the last few years

Why she enrolled now: wants to understand more Japanese so she can translate short stories

More from Anne in her own words: “It’s been an eye-opening experience for me that I’m sure will hep me be a better teacher as well. I feel lucky to have such talented and dedicated teachers like Doc and Reiko to learn from.”

Anne at BSD Headshot




Tomoko Jo, Career and Employment Specialist (U.S.A.)

Her background: Japanese language instructor with a Masters in Adult and Continuing Education

Tomoko’s thoughts on the program: “I am impressed by your materials, especially the Dazai worksheet where you break down sentences into 文節. I was a 国語の先生 long time ago, and your worksheet reminded me of how Japanese natives learn about 文節 in 7th grade. So, I think your approach is 理にかなっている. Recognizing 文節 is challenging yet critical for Japanese language learners, and it was a nice surprise to see your worksheet explaining it so well in English—which is not even easy for Japanese natives. Also, I am a big fan of Dazai, and I am sure your program will be helpful for Japanese language learners.”

Tomoko Jo headshot




Jason, JPN-ENG media translator (U.S.A.)

His background: Translator and editor of pop culture media: anime, comics, games, light novels. Mostly self-taught after learning the basics in high school, so his Japanese skills have some gaps.

Why he enrolled now: wants to ease back into more formal Japanese practice and study.

More from Jason in his own words
: “I want to get more comfortable with speaking and writing Japanese to move overseas and work in-house within a couple of years. Big fan of literature, especially in translation. Jumped at the chance to join this course when I saw it in my inbox.”

Maple Leaf Transparent



Irene, Language Services Vendor (Italy)

Her background: localizer and translator of English and Japanese into Italian. Has a Japanese spouse.

Why she enrolled now: wants to improve fluency to better communicate with her extended Japanese family, and bring in additional Japanese client work

More from Irene in her own words: “Thank you so much for your advice, Doc and Reiko! I’m also excited to say that I’ve just handed in my very first technical translation work from Japanese for a big client! I don’t think I could have done it without Maplopo, as lately my confidence in my skills has been steadily increasing thanks to you guys and the program.”

Irene Headshot

Alanna, Language Specialist (U.S.A.)

Her background: learned Japanese in college

Why she enrolled now: wants to maintain a proficiency, but hasn’t tested or seriously studied since Covid

More from Alanna in her own words: “Jumped at the chance to learn from translators… once my skills get there, I want to live and work in Japan as an interpreter or translator. I’m excited to learn not only more Japanese, but also what guides translation into English, and how the English translation is chosen.”

Karmen, JET Programme English Teacher (Japan)

Her background: learning Japanese on and off for some years. Moved to Japan in 2020.

Why she enrolled now: for self-improvement and partially to motivate herslf to get the N2

More from Karmen in her own words: “I breezed through the N3 but I don’t know if I can take on the N2 without studying—I use almost zero Japanese at work because my school’s pretty international. Daily conversation and even some deeper topics are okay, but reading is definitely my weakness and Dazai seems like such a cool way to start, so thanks for offering this product!”

Alex Priimak, Literary Critic and Media Translator (Japan)

Her background: Dazai scholar and YouTube channel host

Why she joined us now: always looking to get more educated…

More from Alex in her own words: “I kept thinking how amazing it would have been for me to have an opportunity to study Japanese like this right from the start. . . . Let me just say that from the material I’ve seen so far, you’ve done brilliant work, very detailed, everything easy to understand and with all types of learning! . . . Really hope to see this project grow into a big school :)”

Aleksandra Priimak headshot



Why Maplopo Schoolhouse? And why Doc and Reiko?

Because we have you at heart. Your learning, your knowledge—with story as the centerpiece.

And, because we’ve been teaching language for years, writing professionally for decades, and studying the intricacies of language for two lifetimes.

We’ve translated Japan’s master storytellers into English for a worldwide audience and we believe in the power of story to help you get more out of Japanese.

Translators, Japan residents, independent business owners, and working professionals inside Japan and out have trusted us to help them get more enjoyment out of the language and reduce the ceiling on their learning. We’re hoping to earn your trust next.

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