Who is Takuan Amaru?
The son of a Black/Native American, career military man and a Japanese woman from the countryside in Kyoto, Takuan was placed in multicultural settings from his childhood. Having received many of life's fundamental lessons on an international stage allowed him to open his mind and question everything. As a result, at a very young age, Tak was convinced all segments of humanity had their invaluable part to contribute.
After spending 3 years as a paratrooper at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, he went to Rutgers University to study Economics and play football. As Tak entered his second year of college, war escalated in the Persian Gulf region. This forced him to put a promising gridiron career on hold to assist with military training. Since he did not practice, he became socially active on campus and soon realized that taking part in the multicultural community at Rutgers appealed to him more than catching footballs. And so, he never returned. Takuan later claimed his real education in New Brunswick came through the diverse groups and people he had the opportunity to meet. He also studied ancient Egyptian Spirituality and Philosophy under the guidance of Dr. Muata Ashby. His studies prompted him to travel to many countries around the world.
Takuan first made a name for himself while still in university as a youth advocate / social worker. He served as a role model, big brother type of figure for at-risk youth in impoverished situations. During this time, he encouraged and assisted youngsters in every way imaginable from advocating for juveniles in legal court proceedings to bathing and dressing some of the younger boys. He also provided school tutorials and even prepared meals for these children who found themselves facing very challenging circumstances. For his efforts, he was named the 1997 Middlesex County Youth Advocate of the Year.
As a teacher, Tak has experience teaching mathematics, English and Physical Education at the high school level and English at the university level. At Hamamatsu Jonan High School in Hamamatsu City, Japan, he was the assistant coach of the varsity basketball team. Takuan personally took on the challenge of turning around a group of misfits and outcasts which had finished winless and in last place in each of the previous three seasons prior to his arrival. Two years later, Jonan High School went undefeated and was crowned champion of Shizuoka Prefecture enroute to earning its first and only berth to the annual All-Japan High School Basketball Tournament in Tokyo.
At Heian High School, which is a private Buddhist school, in Kyoto. Mr. Amaru created and implemented his own curriculum which was called, International Culture & Ethics. The goal of the course was not to only teach the English language and familiarize students with western customs, but more importantly, to focus on introducing young, fresh minds to customs, cultures and sub-cultures within the US and around the globe. Although his attempt to get students to open up to a new way of thinking was initially met with apprehension by school officials, all worries were soon laid to rest once students began to express their delight in taking Amaru-sensei's culturally innovative workshops.
As a writer, Takuan has published more than 100 articles on any number of topics ranging from politics, sports, philosophy, history, spirituality, religion and entertainment.
His expertise lies in the areas of race relations and ancient philosophy/spirituality. His strength is his ability to draw on a multitude of life experiences to connect with readers on an intimate level. He analyzes issues from an "AfroAsiatic Perspective" and articulates his ideas in an honest and forthright manner. His intention is to inspire readers to rise above the "argument of confusion" to realize their own sense of humanity and self-worth.
Tak is half of the original group AfroAsiatic. Under his Hip Hop pseudonym, The Furious C.H.I.L.D., he and James (Source) Elmore teamed up with numerous Japanese and Brazilian-Japanese emcees, deejays, and street-dancers and toured the main island of Japan from 1999 - 2001. They released two CDs: "Hold ya Head High" and "World Tour," but were more known for their compelling live performances where they would actually teach the basic elements of Hip Hop to the crowd using Japanese, English, Spanish and Portuguese before tearing the house down with their own multilingual, brand of Hip Hop. After making numerous appearances in clubs, radio stations and even TV news, AfroAsiatic was greeted by Mayor Kitawaki of Hamamatsu City at a press conference and and given the keys to the city for their leading role in promoting international unity and understanding; especially among the youth.
Today, Takuan continues to write. He is working on a trilogy based on his life entitled, "Gaikokujin - The Story." A researcher, writer, and fascinating public speaker, Takuan says he will continue to write as he studies the deeper mysteries. When asked his thoughts regarding this he simply shrugs his shoulders.