Parini Shah (Co-Founder)

Meet Parini Shah, the co-founder and driving force behind SonaJapan Japanese Language Academy. With a keen passion for innovation and technology, coupled with a spirited entrepreneurial vision, Parini identified a growing gap in the market and recognized the deficiency in Japanese language teaching resources. This insight fueled the launch of SonaJapan, a virtual learning platform designed to bridge these gaps and an homage to her upbringing in Tokyo.

By profession, Parini is a lawyer, bringing legal acumen to the forefront of the academy’s operations. Juggling the roles of a legal professional by day and a dynamic entrepreneur by night, Parini oversees the strategic aspects, operations, and legal affairs of the academy.

Parini’s academic journey includes graduating with a B.S.B.A. from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and earning an LLB from Government Law College. With a commitment to innovation and a profound understanding of both legal intricacies and entrepreneurial dynamics, Parini is steering SonaJapan Japanese Language Academy towards continued success in the world of virtual language education.

When she isn’t peering over fine print, Parini loves to try new ramen places, travel around the world or lose herself in fiction novels!


Preeti (Admin Incharge)

Japanese Language Trainer and Administration Manager (Admin Incharge).

Preeti shoulders a wide range of responsibilities at SJLA. She is JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N2 level certified Japanese language trainer. In her endeavour to master Japanese language she is now aiming at clearing the N1 level of JLPT. Driven by the desire to share her knowledge among students about Japanese language, mastering and fluently speaking in it, she decided to pursue the JLTTC-A {Japanese Language Teacher Training Course} from Japan Foundation, New Delhi.

Along with being a part of the Japanese language training team, she guides students about various aspects of the course. Preeti conducts innovative Kanji practice sessions, listening and conversation practice sessions for students at SJLA.

Preeti ensures that the entire class is engaged and involved by using activity based innovative teaching methods. She believes that just clearing the JLPT Japanese-Language Proficiency Test doesn’t guarantee fluency in speaking Japanese. Thus, her focus while teaching students is on activities that encourage them to continue speaking in Japanese.

Owing to her innovative teaching methods, Preeti is highly appreciated by students thus, being a valuable asset for SJLA.


Ikenaga Sensei

Ikenaga Sensei began teaching Japanese language way back in 2000 post-retirement. To inculcate the skill of teaching Japanese language, she enrolled for a one-year course. She agrees that inspite of the fact that she hails from Japan, the art of teaching is quite distinct.

Ikenaga Sensei then migrated to Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages in Uzbekistan. She deeply appreciates the students at the University for have trained her in speaking English language to be able to better communicate with students.

Sensei joined SJLA in the year 2020 and she enjoys being a trainer here; guiding students to perfect their Japanese language speaking skills. Being a Japanese, she feels heartened and appreciates people who are eager to learn the language. Their desire to learn Japanese language implies that they are interested in Japan, which is a matter of pride and great honour for her.

Some students are slow learners and she makes it a point to pay more attention to them because, despite their challenges, they still choose to learn Japanese. Being punctual is an integral part of Japanese culture and she appreciates students coming well on time for the class.

Also, she notes that learning Japanese grammar (Kanji), especially prepositions and expressions is a challenge for non-natives. So, while teaching the language she focuses on these finer points.

Being in the teaching profession for the past 23 years her observation is vital. She says, most institutes are interested in teaching Japanese language with a business purpose in mind. But, at SJLA the founder Ms. Sonal Shah herself teaches Japanese and she is extremely fond of our culture. The top management ensures that students speak the language skillfully. Thus, students are also eager, earnest and diligent to learn the language. Thus, she admires the top management and wishes to continue teaching at SJLA.


Oviya Shanmugan

It’s been a year since Oviya Shanmugan has been with us, teaching Japanese for the N2, N3, and N4 level. She has been perfecting our students in Grammar and Dokkai. Inspite of being a student of Engineering, with a specialization in Electrical and Electronics, she loves teaching Japanese since she has mastered it to the N1 level.

A fast learner Oviya is particular about continuously upgrading her knowledge and staying abreast with the changing times. Her approach to teaching is unique as she chooses to understand the student’s perspective. She wishes to know from the students about their learning challenges thus, keeping pace with the students’ grasping ability.

Oviya lived in Japan for 5 years and was working with a Japanese organization. Thus, her forte is teaching the language especially used for business communication. Even while she was based in India she was working for Japanese clients. Oviya preferred to communicate with them in Japanese since they were more comfortable speaking their native language.

Probably destiny had it all planned for Oviya because, when she was studying in the University, she got deeply interested in Japanese culture, tradition and the people. She appreciated their sincerity and was fascinated by the fact that despite the modern approach to living and embracing technology, they are rooted to their culture.

Her teaching journey has just begun, though she had been engaged in guiding her friends on the basics of Japanese language. She aims at further enhancing her teaching skills, so students find it easier to grasp the nuances of the language, feel interested and stay engaged. Her future plans are to enroll for a course in teaching to master the art.



Hepshiba has studied Engineering with a specialization in Electrical and Electronics and is qualified till the N1 level of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). She has been with us since the year 2022, and teaches Dokkai or reading comprehension to our students.

As a child she aspired to become a teacher so, when she got an opportunity to teach Japanese, she instantly took it up. At present she teaches N2 and N3 level students at SJLA.

Hepshiba got a job offer in an Indian company based in Japan thus, she decided to learn Japanese to progress in her career. Also, she was encouraged by people to do so, since there are similarities between grammar in Japanese and Tamil language. She has been in Japan for 3.5 years, which makes it much easier for her to teach the language.

Hepsibha believes that patience is the vital ingredient if one wishes to become a successful teacher so, she always welcomes feedback. Students often ask many questions and Hepshiba ensures that she answers each question. This facilitates the learning process. She makes it a point to teach the language and its structure in an easier way, so that students don’t find it tough to grasp the finer points of the language.

She quickly learns new things and adapts to changing environment. Hepshiba has a flexible approach towards work. Taking up tasks in critical situations that most people hesitate and refuse to accept is her strongest point as an individual.

Hepshiba wishes to enhance her teaching skills to keep progressing and excelling as a trainer.



Kritika is JLPT N3 level (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) qualified and pursuing the N2 level to master Japanese language. She also has a post-graduate degree in Commerce. While she was still graduating, Kritika had a keen interest in learning a new language. After researching about various languages, she got curious about Japanese language and decided to take it up for career purposes.

For N3 level sessions she teaches grammar, which is known as Bumpo in Japanese, and for N4 level students she covers most aspects of Japanese language like reading, comprehension, grammar, etc. Her forte is teaching grammar and reading.

As a teacher she is extremely particular about understanding the manner in which students think and chooses to address their challenges. This creates a connect with students and they don’t hesitate to ask any query. Kritika loves to nurture relationships and communicate with people. She believes that if you are able to connect with people the task in hand becomes easy and finding solutions doesn’t become an uphill task.

The experience of being a trainer at SJLA is tremendous owing to the opportunities, love and respect that she receives from the students and the management. Kritika wishes to excel as a translator and interpreter. Since she loves teaching, Kritika will continue to be associated with SJLA for years to come.


Ginni Arora

Ginni is fond of learning new things and is extremely open minded. While Ginni was studying she was intrigued with everything and got interested in various languages. Her love for learning new languages triggered the journey into the world of Japanese culture, and language. She manages to speak and understand quite a few Indian languages.

Ginni is a JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N2 level certified Japanese language trainer and has been with us for the last 2 years as a junior instructor and home assignment trainer. It has been a fulfilling experience for her, since she always wanted to guide people struggling to learn the language. Also, she loves being at SJLA since the management, work environment, students, administration and the team are amazing.

Though she has pursued Masters in Organizational Psychology, she chooses to teach Japanese as she loves to share her knowledge with people. Also, the process of teaching calms her mind.

Continuous and tireless efforts have led Ginni to learn the art of teaching Bumpo (grammar in Japanese language). She prefers to make learning Bumpo easier by arranging activities, quizzes, roleplay, etc. Ginni simplifies learning, and as a person she is helpful, and resilient. Being helpful, warm and empathetic are qualities she adores and possess too.

Being a people person, she instantly connects with students. Since she is approachable students find it easier to walk upto her, if they have any queries to get them resolved. Open to discussion, Ginni makes it a point to stay friendly with the students and always listen to their challenges. Ginni is looking forward to be with SJLA for years to come.


Sonia Sharma

Sonia has been impressed with Japanese language since a young age. Even while she pursued B.Sc. in Life Science, Sonia completed N3 level of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). She joined us as a homework assignment teacher and has enjoyed teaching students for the past 3 years.

Her approach to teaching Japanese language is unique; she makes learning interesting and easier. She prefers to be approachable and friendly. Sonia encourages her students and asks them to keep trying to perform better. For her no query is silly; students can ask her any question regarding Japanese language thus, making them comfortable and confident.

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’, this proverb is apt for Sonia. She believes that no matter how tough life gets, we should never lose hope.

Sonia shares, “SJLA provides so many opportunities to students to speak and communicate in Japanese language with confidence. I’m learning as a teacher, infact we all are.”

Sonia loves being associated with SJLA, since here we are deeply concerned about students’ ability to grasp the nuances of the language and take utmost efforts to make the learning process easy. Sonia appreciates her journey as a trainer, since Japanese language and culture has taught her to be humble and polite.

She aspires to work as a translator but, wishes to be associated with SJLA and contribute her bit.


(As a instructor)

Quite early in life, during her academic years, Drishti developed an interest in Japanese language. Incidentally, she came across a Japanese article that she tried reading by using a translating app. She got pulled into this process and felt curious to know more about the language. Thus, began her association with Japanese language and culture, which has now become her passion. Japanese people are kind, respectful, polite and quiet; qualities that are similar to her personality as well. This added to her admiration for Japanese culture.

Her decision to learn Japanese language was encouraged by her family members despite it being totally unconventional.

Drishti is JLPT N3 level (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) qualified and is an instructor at SJLA. She specializes in Kanji and vocabulary. So, when Drishti teaches her students, she ensures the class is made interactive by utilizing unique flash cards and more innovative ideas. Her classes are captivating and students have no inhibitions in approaching her with their queries. Drishti has been teaching at SJLA for a year now and she believes that Japanese culture inspires us to keep evolving.

(As a admin)

Drishti role has evolved and she keeps exploring her creative skills at SJLA.

She enjoys being tech-savvy, and is excellent at time management skills thus, she gracefully manages both her teaching and administrative role. Drishti keeps herself abreast of Japanese events, news, movies, festivals and studies their culture as well. She ensures that the source of her research/ study is authentic and accurate. One of Drishti’s most special strengths is that she speaks six languages.

Moving ahead in life she aspires to complete the JLPT N2 level and migrate to Japan.