Who We Are

“Since joining the program I have advanced my professional and personal skills. I improved on my leadership skills, actively transforming myself and the lives of those around me. I have also developed the mindset of thinking more about solutions as opposed to problems, resulting also in thinking of myself not as a victim, rather as a problem solver.”


The Beginning of the Movement 

The Ashinaga movement began over 55 years ago after President and Founder, Yoshiomi Tamai, lost his mother in a traffic accident in 1963. Having experienced first-hand the lack of support an orphan receives, Tamai and a group of likeminded individuals went on to found the Association for Traffic Accident Orphans in 1967. Through public advocacy, regular media coverage and the development of a street fundraising system, the association was able to set in motion significant improvements in national traffic regulations as well as support bereaved students across Japan.   

These methods of street fundraising and advocacy are still a vital component of Ashinaga’s activities today. Student-led activism is a powerful means for conveying the situation of orphaned students to the general public and is central in fostering the qualities of leadership and teamwork in Ashinaga students.

People-led and People-focused 

We are people-led – 93% of our funds come from individual donations, rather than major donors or corporate sponsors – and people-focused, developing individuals as agents of change through access to education and our leadership programme. Find out how you can join the Ashinaga movement.

Our Ethos

Warm Heart

Ashinaga students and alumni demonstrate yasashisa, the respect and compassion for others, and embrace on-okuri, the idea of paying it forward. This encourages students to acknowledge the kindness they have received and pay it forward to society.

Open Mind

Ashinaga students and alumni are critical thinkers who question the status quo and think outside the box. Committed to lifelong learning, they have the humility to re-evaluate their opinions based on new information and strive to see the bigger picture.

Proactive Attitude

Ashinaga students and alumni pursue their kokorozashi: their vision or ambition to contribute to the benefit of others. This ambition is a balance of realistic goals with initiative, courage, and perseverance. 

International Outlook

Ashinaga students and alumni continuously make efforts to expand their knowledge and develop their professional skills. They have an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of the world.