Issey Ryu Itahashi, the gifted child |20 July 2021
‘Each person is smart in his or her own way’
Issey Ryu Itahashi is a 13-year-old teen and is currently in Seychelles holidaying and teaching. He wants to gather further knowledge, hence took up ‘Education ‒ The Seychelles Experience’.This endeavour matches the Ministry of Education’s new motto ‘Raising Aspirations.’
After weeks of trying, Seychelles NATION finally got the chance yesterday, along with other media houses, to meet this young and gifted student/teacher when teaching at the Beau Vallon secondary school.
A very humbleIssey noted that he is half Japanese and half European. “I came here to Seychelles to helpstudents with Mathematics, if they need any help. We wanted to come here for vacation but I could not imagine being on holiday for such a long time. So I wanted to be of help and I asked my mum if I can apply to teach. Teaching is my passion, but I am not sure if I will be a teacher in the future,” said Issey.
Talking about being autonomous in his own studies, Issey shared that he learns by himself but also has some online tutors to help him in some subjects.
“My experience in Seychelles is great and it’s a warm country. I visited many places. People might be thinking that I am very smart in mathematics but I have learned that there are different types of intelligence ‒ such as musical or linguistic. I may have the mathematical one which helps me learn quicker but others have different skills and capacities. Each person is smart in his or her own way!” noted Issey.
Issey’s mother, Miriam Itahashiexpressed that she is grateful to the Ministry of Education and the school for allowing her son to have such an incredible experience in Seychelles. “My son’s biggest desire was to have these experiences, which I discouraged him at the beginning because of his age. Now I am very happy we are here.”
Members of the Itahashi family have spent most of their time in Europe and after Seychelles, they will be heading to Japan.
“At the age of 10, Isseyhadcompleted middle school and we were actually traveling around the world. When he was 11 years old, Issey had an unpleasant experience in Sri Lanka where he was tricked when he bought a precious stone. He felt so sad at being tricked that he decided to learn more about gems in order to help people. He went to Germany to study gemmology and became the world’s youngest gemmologist. He likes taking these journeys and he has been in regular schools for only four years. He was always in classes dedicated for highly gifted children and despite that he was skipping those grades. Our family had to think about what to do next as between 10 years old to 18 years, where he would be allowed to join a university, we have to do something. Now he is encouraged to study whatever subject he wants. It is his journey now!” said Mrs Itashi.
The family has to move the whole house every time Issey wants to experience something new. Jokingly she said they had to ship the piano to Seychelles before moving here as Issey playsit for two to three hours per day. In Seychelles on a tourist visa, Isssey and his family will be staying here for three months only.
Sir Philip Morel, head teacher of the Beau Vallon secondary school, stated that Issey has been with the school since June 8 and he got the young boy’s contact through his uncle who is a cab driver. “I wrote to the Ministry of Education to ask for permission for Issey to get access to the school for a teaching experience. Three weeks later we got a positive response and Issey has since been in the classrooms accompanied by the teachers. We do not leave him alone as he is still a teenager and also the fact that mathematics is easy for him, sometimes he skips the steps and we also remind him that he has to explain the process step by step. He also assists with the correction of assignments and planning of classes,” said Sir Philip.
Sir Philip also noted that Issey has been well accepted at the school and they hope he is an inspiration for many Seychellois students. “In Seychelles, we can also develop such capacity but only with the help of parents. We do have a lot of talents in Seychelles and the children should make use of whatever is being offered to them. They need to be focus and determined.”
Issey speaks several languages including English, Spanish, Slovak and is presently learning Chinese B2, Japanese B1, Czech A2 and Russian A2. His personal interests are in piano, Nasa, Russia and Russian language, pixel art, 2D and 3D game development, counter-strike level SMFC Global elite, manga art and Japanese anime. Countries he has visited so far are Japan, Cyprus, China, Austria, Poland, Luxembourg, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. The sports he practices are gymnastics, ping pong, horse riding and fencing.
Issey's younger brother,NaruomiItahashi is only 11 years and is also a gifted child. He is completing his IGCSE this year.
When asked what she ate when she was pregnant, the boys’mum answered: “Hummus and lots of greeneries.”
The amazing journey of Issey
- Highest achieved education: Expert gemmologist: Diploma Awarded by German Gemmological Association –Deutsche Gemmologischegesellschaft E.V undercooperation of Johaness Gutenberg University MeinGermany
- At the age of 11 years old with 500 hours of laboratorywork and passing the expert tests at the GermanGemmological Institute, in the year 2019, Issey became theworld’s youngest registered gemmologist with the permission to issue:Diamond certificates and expert opinions with round stamp – since 6.12.2019; coloured stones certificates and expert opinions with round stamp – since 29.11.2019and pearl testing and identification – since 6.12.2019
Mathematical awards and recognitions
At the age of 7
1) National mathematical competition pythagoras – Recognition award of age.
2) He passed tests for elementary school mathematics for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade and was permitted to enter and attend 5th grade at the age of 7.
At the age of 8
1) Science competition at National institute of the Experimental Physics Competing in Mathematics - 1st place award project name: 4th Dimension based on Euclid Geometry and Physics
2) Science competition at National institute of the Experimental Physics Recognition award for being the youngest winner in the field of Mathematics in the history of the competition.
3) National Mathematical competition Pythagoras - Recognition award of age.
4) Science competition Top Vedam 1st place Project Name: 4th Dimension based on Euclid Geometry and Physics
5) Science competition Top Vedam – Recognition award Recognition for being the youngest winner in the history of the competition (competing ages start from 7 to 15 years old)
At the age of 9
1) National Mathematical competition Pythagoras ‒ 1st place
2) He passed tests for elementary school Mathematics for 5th, and 6th grade and was permitted to enter and attend the grade 7 in Mathematics at the age of 9
At the age of 10
1) Top Vedam Regional Science Competition Honorary Award for extraordinary achievement in Mathematics Project Name: i 2 = -1 Project specification: Experimental mathematics of imaginary number
2) National Mathematical competition Pythagoras ‒ 1st place
3) He passed tests for elementary school Mathematics for 7th and 8th grade and was permitted to attend complete the grade 9th grade in Mathematics at the age of 10.
At the age of 11
1) He was accepted to Gemology Diploma Course in IdarOberstein Germany, where he completed the course on Diamonds, Pearls and Coloured stones as expert gemmologist.
2) He entered the creative goldsmith production and technologies course in Germany at the Alfred Becker Goldsmith Workshop and received a craftsman certificate level 1.
At the age of 12
1) He was hosted as teacher’s assistant at the National Middle School ‒PavlaHorova Bratislava Slovak Republic. The position was interrupted after 2 weeks due to School closure during the pandemic Covid 19.
2) In the year 2020 he entered London online education programme with subjects in the science fields.
At the age of 13
1) He attended the GCSE tests at Wimbledon London UK in subjects: Mathematics ‒ higher tier, Physics, Chemistry, Spanish language and English language. (The results are to be announced in August 2021)
2) Presently he is preparing for A-Levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.