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  • 2018-12-03
  • Meghan Finnerty

Japanese YouTuber Highlights His Life as a Brockport Student

Haruki Anoku is making a name for himself across YouTube, in Japan, and on Brockport’s campus. Meet Anoku as he vlogs about life in America as an international student.

A Brockport student in his first semester is making a name for himself, not only around campus but in Japan, too, as a rising YouTuber.

Haruki Anoku started his YouTube channel about seven months ago. He posts vlogs and videos about his life in America as an international college student.

“I only vlog on weekends. I don't make any videos on weekdays, because I want to focus on my academics,” Anoku said. Although, he can be spotted carrying his camera or editing on his phone.

His videos are mostly in Japanese and made with the intent to show viewers back home what it’s like to live in America. Two of his latest videos featured Thanksgiving and an American baby shower.

The channel is simply titled "Haruki" and The College at Brockport has made a few cameos.

In September, Anoku reached out to the Center for Global Education and Engagement and asked the department to help him celebrate hitting 10,000 followers. Department members donated Brockport gear that they gave away to his audience in a video.

“I thought it’s a really good collaboration,” he said. Before then, his Japanese viewers likely had not heard of The College at Brockport, he added. Now some of them have a hoodie to sport.

Wendy Fritz, interim associate director of international education, described Anoku as a kind student with an ability to communicate in a way that defies language barriers. She had a small role in the video’s production.

“To help him was sort of a no-brainer, and then to help him in the spirit of advancing the mission of the institution was sort of a double bottom line. Why wouldn’t I?” Fritz said.

Anoku now has more than 27,000 YouTube subscribers. The number has been growing by thousands each week.

“I would love for him to be a great conduit for more Japanese students [to attend Brockport],” said Fritz.

How Anoku came to study at Brockport

The 21-year-old’s American journey began as a teenager.

One of his teachers in Japan had stayed in America and attended Brockport. That teacher helped him arrange his first visit to America by connecting him with a Scottsville family.

At 16 years old, Anoku came for a summer and bonded with the family and built friendships — notably with Ben Brown and Tyler Phillips, regulars in his videos.

“I thought they were the coolest people I ever met. At the time, I couldn't speak any English, so I went back to my country and studied so hard, because I wanted to communicate with them,” he said.

He studied English for three years before he returned to his host family and attended Genesee Community College. He enrolled at Brockport this fall to study exercise science.

“I think it’s a lot more challenging to be a student in the U.S. I don’t know English as much as Japanese, so it may take more time to understand a simple thing,” he laughed.  

He dreams of being a sports trainer.

But in the meantime, he’s hoping to use his YouTube platform to educate and fundraise money to bring other students to America. 

“This is just for fun. I don't want to be a YouTuber, maybe just side work,” Anoku said.


For story tips, email Multimedia Producer Meghan Finnerty at mfinnerty@brockport.edu.

Last Updated 12/3/18

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