Honour Members

These are the Nippoli members who have been crucial for the future of the association. The members are nominated during the associations official meetings and they have been given the honour to be a proud example to those who have joined later.


Junichiro Okura

Honour member since 2005. As an expression of gratitude renominated in 2020.

Junichiro Okura worked as a Japanese teacher first at the old Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and then at Aalto University for respectable 32 years.

Okura had an idea that his language students and exchange students from Japan could find new friends through group activities. At first, it wasn’t easy to find motivated students to organize the activities, but in the end he got Hannes Raebiger interested. They made a deal that Okura would prepare curry to share for the group events when they were held.

The promise has hold until this day and the legendary Okura’s curry is still served in Nippoli’s sauna parties.


Gaja Kochaniewicz

Honour member since 2020.

Gaja has worked as hostess and has been in charge of the Finnish, but also the Japanese food, for countless years. Nippoli’s iconic Sauna Evenings would have not been as memorable without her way of inspiring visitors to have fun while cooking!


Hannes Raebiger

Honour member since 2006.

The founding member of Nippoli. The legend tells that he moved to Japan, and is still living there. What a role model for every Finnish Nippoli members who desire to work in Japan!

Hannes Raebiger’s original diploma of honour.

Honda Hitoshi

Honour member since 2006.

Previous ambassador of Japanese embassy in Finland.


Ayana Kobayashi

Honour member since 2005.