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HomeFeaturedYogendra Puranik: First Indian-Origin Politician Featured in Japanese High School Textbook

Yogendra Puranik: First Indian-Origin Politician Featured in Japanese High School Textbook

Yogi was born in Ambarnath, in the suburbs of Mumbai, Maharashtra

Yogendra Puranik, affectionately known as Yogi, has achieved a historic milestone as the first Indian-origin politician to be featured in a Japanese high school textbook for Politics and Economics. His inclusion is not only a testament to his personal achievements but also a significant recognition of diversity and global representation in Japanese education.

Yogi was born in Ambarnath, in the suburbs of Mumbai, India, on 3 June 1977. Rekha Puranik, his mother, worked as a stitch and teacher and Sharad Puranik, his father, worked as a machinist in the Ordnance Factory in Ambarnath. Puranik has an elder sister named Nilima Potnis and a younger brother named Rahul Puranik.

Yogendra Puranik 'Yogi' with his mother and son
Yogendra Puranik ‘Yogi’ with his mother and son (Photos provided)

Born on June 3, 1977, Yogendra Puranik has emerged as a prominent figure in Japanese politics. His journey began when he became the first person of Indian origin to win an election in Japan, securing a seat in the Tokyo’s Edogawa City assembly as City Councillor in April 2019. His victory was supported by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, marking a pivotal moment in the country’s political landscape.

In April 2022, another milestone was added to Puranik’s illustrious career when he was appointed as the Principal of Tsuchiura No.1 Junior and Senior School in Ibaraki prefecture. This appointment made him the first-ever foreign-origin principal of a public (government) school in Japan and the first-ever Indian-origin Civil/Gazetted officer in the country.

As he takes on this new role, Puranik is tasked with leading a school that consists of high school, junior high school, and part-timers, comprising over 1100 students and 100 teachers. Tsuchiura No.1 Junior and Senior School is renowned as one of the top-rated educational institutions in Japan, further highlighting the significance of Puranik’s appointment.

Expressing his gratitude for the honor, Puranik emphasized the importance of representing the global south in Japanese education. Being featured in a high school textbook for Politics and Economics not only recognizes his individual accomplishments but also serves as an inspiration for students of diverse backgrounds.

Yogendra Puranik’s journey from Indian-born politician to the first Indian-origin principal in Japan reflects the power of inclusivity and the value of embracing diversity in all aspects of society. His story serves as a beacon of hope and possibility, encouraging others to pursue their dreams regardless of their background or origin.

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