AlumnaeApr 29, 2020

Marina Yoshimura ’14 is a human rights advocate

The master of her own path, she did grassroots work with homeless asylum seekers at a Tokyo-based nonprofit.

Marina’s interest in journalism was sparked at MHS when she started a public health website for teens as part of her Horizons work at South Berkshire Community Coalition. The master of her own path, she took a gap semester before college to do grassroots work with homeless asylum seekers at a Tokyo-based nonprofit.

While a student at the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University, Marina became a news assistant at the Asia Times and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ), writing and translating interviews and interpreting for foreign correspondents such as Dutch journalist Bobbie van der List, pictured below. She was invited to join the Club as a student member and in 2017 received a FCCJ Swadesh DeRoy Scholarship.

At Miss Hall’s, I felt I could define myself — as a student and as a leader — and craft my own comfort zone. At Yale, I found I could design my own life and career. It’s important to be grounded in your own truth. It’s your story to own. That’s what makes your core, your identity. - Marina Yoshimura ’14

A formative year at Yale gave her additional experience as a writer and as the first official Business Director for The Yale Globalist, an undergraduate quarterly for international affairs. Upon her return, Marina founded the online student publication The Quill Times. She became a research intern at the British Embassy in Tokyo and worked as a public policy intern at the office of Taro Kono, a Foreign Minister and later Defense Minister of Japan.

Marina started PERIOD @ Tokyo, Japan, a chapter of the global PERIOD movement to raise awareness about women’s health and fight against the Tampon Tax. It’s but one example of her proficiency for raising questions and taking on taboo topics.

You have to be flexible when systems are not. In Japan, where the hierarchical system is strong and students are second rate, how can we give them a platform for their voices? How can we empower students to speak up about issues that matter to every generation? - Marina Yoshimura ’14