Jul 29

Each month, current and former JET participants are featured in the “JET Plaza” section of the CLAIR Forum magazine. The July 2014 edition includes an article by JET alumnus Laurel Stevens Lukaszewski. Posted by Celine Castex (Chiba-ken, 2006-11), currently programme coordinator at CLAIR Tokyo.

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Laurel Stevens Lukaszewski (Kagoshima-ken, Minamitane-cho, 1990-92), is a professional artist who has shown her work throughout the US and in the UK. She is also the former executive director of the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC and is currently project director for the United-States Japan Bridging Foundation’s JETAA Initiative. Since 2002 she has been a member of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Board of Directors. Raised on both the east and west coasts of the US, Ms. Lukaszewski holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a master’s degree in Asian Studies from Florida State University. She lives in the DC metro area with her husband and two rambunctious cats. To view her artwork, please visit www.laurellukaszewski.com

 

My JET experience taught me I could live in a world where I did not necessarily understand everything, but could still cope and thrive.

My JET experience taught me I could live in a world where I did not necessarily understand everything, but could still cope and thrive.

Enduring Connections

Twenty-four years ago I interviewed for the JET Programme in Atlanta, on my birthday. I felt this was a good omen, so I was not nervous even though this was my first professional interview. Despite spending the last two years of college studying all things Japanese, from language to religion, I had no personal connection with the country and had never been there. What was merely acting on a brief comment by a Japanese politics professor about an opportunity to teach in Japan led me down a path that has guided me over the past two decades.
I spent my two years on JET as the first Assistant English Teacher to be assigned to the town of Minamitane-cho, on Tanegashima, an island off of the southern tip of Kyushu in Kagoshima-ken. I taught at five junior high schools and visited eight elementary schools, usually the first foreigner any of the students had ever met. My role in class varied depending on the school, but every teacher I worked with was eager to include me in activities ranging from PTA BBQs to harvesting sugar cane with students.

During my first weeks I experienced two homestays before moving into my own apartment. In Kirishima, a beautiful mountain town overlooking the Sakurajima volcano, I stayed with a family with three school-age daughters. I did not know at the time that they would become my Japanese family, that their home would become mine whenever I returned to Japan, even decades later. Arriving in Minamitane-cho, I had a second homestay. And, once again, I had no idea that this young couple with three-year-old twins would end up being lifelong friends, attending my wedding, sending seasonal messages as the twins grew into young adults, and hosting my husband and me years later when we were stranded in Kagoshima by a typhoon.
One of the wonderful things about JET is it allows you to become part of the community. Whether anticipated or not, you become involved in the lives of your neighbors, teachers and students. When an art teacher learned my hobby was pottery, she invited me to visit her studio even though she did not speak English. Every week I would join another teacher and my neighbor and spend the evenings working with clay and chatting—an immersion experience in neighborhood news and gossip. When I returned to the US, it was these memories of Japan that endured. My experience taught me I could live in a world where I did not necessarily understand everything, but could still cope and thrive. Read More


Jul 29

Via the JETAA Chicago Hoosier Subchapter by Austin Gilkeson. Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Japanese Teacher
Posted by: Franklin Community High School
Location: Franklin, IN

Overview:

Japanese Teacher needed in Franklin, IN

A full-time high school Japanese position is open at Franklin Community High School. The school will start on August 7. There would be 2 sections of Japanese 1, a section of Japanese 2 and a section of Japanese 3/4 combo. The understanding is that IF THE POSITION IS NOT FILLED, THE JAPANESE PROGRAM MAY BELL BE CUT. We have had enough programs cut and do not want to have it happen again. Read More


Jul 29

Thanks to JET alum Kevin Stein, an experienced English teacher who works for the school, for sharing this listing.  You can learn more about Kevin through his blog “The Other Things Matter” which delves thoughtfully in ESL and related topics. 

Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Full-time English Teacher
Posted by: Clark Memorial International High School, SOSHI Education Group
Location: Kansai, Japan
Type: full-time

Overview:

Clark Memorial International High School, a member of SOSHI Education Group is seeking a competent and flexible native speaking English teacher for a full time position in the Kansai area starting in summer, 2014. Read More


Jul 29

Via the JETAA Great Lakes FB group. Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Media Relations Coordinator
Posted by: Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan
Location: Chicago, IL
Type: Full-time

Responsibilities:

  • Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Japan Information Center
  • Monitors and analyzes newspapers, radio, TV and other public and private media in 10 Midwest states.
  • Research on media relations in 10 states including building a network of contacts for the JIC.
  • Ensure implementation of the JIC’s media strategy as it is related to media outreach, and promotion of priority issues and events, with a development focus.
  • Conduct a survey of media relations issues in 10 Midwest states.
  • General office responsibilities, including Japan-related inquiries, correspondence, IT affairs (facebook, twitter, newsletter) and event coordination.

Read More


Jul 28

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Interesting article about the Osaka Prefecture Board of Education’s English education initiative and further discussion of the “Super English Teachers” (SETs).  Former AJET Chair Matthew Cook (Osaka-fu, 2007-12) is not quoted but is very involved in the initiative.  Matt is also the founder of the Kansai JET Alumni group. 

Osaka bets big on TOEFL to boost English levels

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/07/27/issues/osaka-bets-big-on-toefl-to-boost-english-levels/#.U9ZGAPldUrf

In the perennial debate about English-language education in Japan, there is widespread agreement that the system is archaic and change is needed. The consensus stops there.

Everyone concerned has a panacea: more (or less) assistant language teachers, more teacher training, more technology, more of a focus on language production, less testing, better testing, smaller class sizes, eviscerating and overhauling the curriculum, greater use of English in class. The remedies are as numerous as the debate is old. But in a consensus-bound country such as Japan, change, if and when it comes, is usually incremental — and perhaps then, even obsolete.

No one could accuse Toru Nakahara, the superintendent of education for Osaka Prefecture, of kowtowing to the status quo. He is responsible for pushing through a raft of initiatives, chief among them the introduction of TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) at top-performing high schools, which will be taught by an elite group of teachers earning approximately ¥8 million a year. (Disclosure: I teach part-time at one of these schools.) From the board of education’s perspective, this is radical. But is it also just a formulaic riff on the “teach to the test” approach? Read More


Jul 27

Via the JETAA Northern California LinkedIn group by JET alum Xander Peterson. Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Marketing Intern
Posted by: Tokyo Otaku Mode
Location: Remote
Type: Internship

Overview:

Tokyo Otaku Mode, a start-up that seeks to bring Japanese popular culture to the world, is seeking interns! Winner of the 2013 Japan Start-up Award, the company partners with creators and industry key players to bring content to a global audience, in particular its 15 million and growing Facebook community. Love Japan and want to work for a global venture? Now is your chance! We are looking for marketing interns to assist with tasks including translation, market research and community engagement. You will get to learn directly from our founders in a fast-growing global environment and connect with key industry players.  Read More


Jul 27

Thanks to JET alum Kia Samniego for passing on this listing at CJEB where a number of JET alums have worked (and still work). 

Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Coordinator
Posted by: Columbia Business School Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Location: New York, NY
Type: Full-time 

Overview:

Reporting to the Director for Administration, the Coordinator is responsible for providing overall administrative and event-related support to the Center on Japanese Economy and Business (CJEB), particularly in providing executive level support to the Director for Administration and the Assistant Director for Programs. The incumbent implements policies and procedures to reach operational goals; exercises good judgment, decorum and discretion in communications with all levels of the University Faculty, administrators and external constituents, as appropriate. 
Read More


Jul 27

Via JET alum Carleen Ben.  Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Sales & Operations Position
Posted by: Educational Travel Adventures
Location: Various Locations in Western Europe
Type: Full-time 

Overview:

The position includes creating customized programs for tours throughout Western Europe. Most tours include travel to the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. Previous travel experience to these countries and a good knowledge of traditional tourist sites is a plus. Knowledge of Italian, French or Spanish is also a plus.
Read More


Jul 27

Via JET alum Carleen Ben.  Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Position: Assistant Director
Posted by: NYU Madrid
Location: Madrid, Spain
Type: Full-time 

Overview:

This is a full-time position reporting to the Site Director. The post-holder takes a full role in and manages aspects of the work of Academic Affairs (content courses or non-language courses), including education and student research, as well working in collaboration with other members of the site staff as appropriate. A key focus of the position is to ensure the effective delivery of high quality academic programs that meet NYU strategic goals and have established NYU as a global leader in international higher education. The position is also responsible for developing NYU Madrid relationships with cultural, arts and community organizations and for promoting the profile of NYU in the Madrid and broader community. This position works in close collaboration with the Assistant Director (Language and Graduate) who is responsible for the language courses for all students.  Read More


Jul 27

Via JET alum Carleen Ben.  Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


PositionInternational Project Coordinator
Posted by: Academic Internship Institutes
Location: Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore & New Zealand
Type: Full-time 

Overview:

The Academic Internship Institute of Australia (AIIA), Hong Kong (AIIHK), Singapore (AIISG), and New Zealand (AIINZ) of parent company PBD, are recruiting for a couple of full time International Project Coordinators.  AIIA, AIIHK, AIISG, and AIINZ organize turn-key solutions for universities to build and offer studentscustomized faculty led and international academically credit bearing internship programs to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries in Asia Pacific. The programs cover a diverse range of subjects for many leading universities.
Read More


Jul 27

Via JET alum Carleen Ben.  Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


Overview:
IES Abroad, a global not-for-profit academic consortium with more than 120 study abroad programs worldwide, is currently in search of candidates for the following positions:

  • Academic Project Manager (Chicago)
  • Center Director (Beijing)
  • Program Advisor (Chicago)
  • Regional College Relations Manager (New York City area/select Schools in Boston and New England)
  • Web Specialist (Chicago)

For more information about these positions and to complete our online application process, please visit http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/about/employment.

You can learn more about IES Abroad at www.IESabroad.org.

Jul 27

Thanks to the JETAA DC Google Group for passing this along. Posted by Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu, 2013-Present), organizer of Cross-Cultural Kansai.  Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.


PositionProgram Officer
Posted by: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Location: Washington D.C.
Type: Full-time 

Overview:

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) USA Office based in DC is seeking an individual who is self-motivated, flexible and a team player for the position of program officer.

JICA is the Japanese government’s bilateral aid agency, whose mission is to promote international cooperation and inclusive development. The JICA USA Office functions as a liaison, information gathering and outreach arm for our agency to engage with the international development community.  Read More


Jul 27

JETwit Job Hunter is a feature started by Autumn Widdoes (Okinawa-ken 2010-14) where we share the profile of a JET or JET alum currently seeking work and invite JETwit readers to share any advice, suggestions, or perspectives.  Autumn is a writer with a focus on performance and film who will soon return to the job market herself.  She’d like to put her four years of experience in Japan to good use in future employment.

Job Hunter:  Valerie Ho (Toyama-ken, 2008-13) is a JET alum who lived in Uozu, Toyama.  She is currently based in  New Jersey.

Objective:  Valerie is seeking employment in Entertainment, Publishing, or within a Creative industry in the NY tri-state area, with a preference for NYC or Central NJ.  She has prior work experience editing manga for the English-language market.  She also has experience in casting in the talent industry.

Areas of Interest: 

  • Entertainment
  • Publishing
  • Creative Agencies

Job Hunting Strategies:

  • Website postings
  • JETwit and JET-related websites
  • Bilingual placement agencies

Challenges:  Valerie has found that many employers do not seem to understand the value of JET or how much experience those who have worked on JET have gained while working in Japan.  She believes that many employers who are unfamiliar with JET “assume we have no office skills.”  Although she has had some positive feedback with several job opportunities, she is still searching for a creative-related career that will allow her to thrive while using the skills she gained on JET.

She is seeking any leads and/or advice in relation to creative sector jobs.

Web Presence:

To help this JETwit Job Hunter, post your comments below, or contact Valerie Ho directly. 

If you’d like to be profiled, click here to submit your information through the JETwit Job Hunter Google Form.  

Reminder that there are a number of JET Alum professionally oriented LinkedIn groups set up to help you.  By joining groups in fields that interest you, you can find and connect with other alums in that field.


Jul 26
"My advice to the JETs is, don’t be afraid to take center stage and be memorable (of course in a respectful way), because these seemingly random relationships or encounters can be the source of great opportunity." (Courtesy of Culcon.jusfc.gov)

“My advice to the JETs is, don’t be afraid to take center stage and be memorable (of course in a respectful way), because these seemingly random relationships or encounters can be the source of great opportunity.” (Courtesy of Culcon.jusfc.gov)

By Alexis Agliano Sanborn (Shimane-ken, 2009-11) for JQ magazine. Alexis is a graduate student of Harvard University’s Regional Studies—East Asia (RSEA) program, and currently works as an executive assistant at Asia Society in New York City.

As a martial artist, Monbusho Fellow, JET, consultant and CEO, there seems little that Harry Hill (Gifu-ken CIR, 1987-88) has not done or experienced when it comes to U.S.-Japan relations.

Now, Hill can add another feather to his cap: last February, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and CULCON (the Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange) in Washington, D.C. appointed him has their new chairman. For those familiar with Hill and his history, this appointment comes as no surprise: Hill knows Japan as intimately as he knows America. He began his career there as a Monbusho English Fellow in the mid-’80s and then served as a JET in Gifu Prefecture, experiences that helped him to tap into hitherto unexplored entrepreneurial sectors, in particular sports-related infomercials.

Since 2006, his company, Oak Lawn Marketing has been the largest infomercial brand in Japan. If you’ve seen Billy’s Bootcamp advertised there, you have Hill to thank for. Now back stateside, Hill uses his broad background in education, culture, business and non-profits to further strengthen interpersonal understanding between the U.S. and Japan. JQ caught up with Hill at his new digs—asking about life, opportunities and the risks that inevitably lead to his success.

Could you explain your background with Japan?

I developed a passion for martial arts, budo, and Shorjinji Kempo, in particular, during my time at college.  This passion creates a curiosity and interest in Japan. During the summer of my sophomore year, I spent several weeks imagining my future. One of the books that influenced me at the time was Japan as Number One by Ezra Vogel. Looking around my immediate peers and acquaintances, I knew very few people who knew about Japan or could be considered Japan experts. Yet, many smart and respectable people were stating that Japan and Asia was the next land of opportunity. So I decided to start Japanese language training in my junior year with the intent of finding opportunity in Japan.

How did your time as a Monbusho English Fellow and JET lead to a career as an entrepreneur?

I was an MEF in Gifu Prefecture from 1985-1987 and the first CIR in Gifu during the first year of the JET Program from 1987-1988. As an MEF, I worked at both the kencho and kyoiku center. At the kyoiku center I helped put together teacher training programs for English teachers. In my two years in Gifu, I probably met and helped with training probably almost every junior high school or high school teacher in Gifu. I was also essentially a one-shot teacher. During my two year stint, I visited something like 230 of about 240 junior high schools and high schools, hence my job was more of a cultural ambassador who offered exposure to the English language and U.S. culture.

In 1988, Gifu hosted a regional exposition “Mirahaiku.” Since I also had a desk at the kencho, I was asked by the general affairs division to make the English name for the expo, which I named “Future Watch ’88.”  The English name received a significant amount of press coverage, more from local media and to a lesser extent English language media, but inspired the organizers that the expo should have an international flavor. As a CIR from 1987-1988, some of my main responsibilities was to work for the planning organization for the expo, which was a hybrid of individuals seconded from both business and government. The expo was a great success, and the network of business leaders and government leaders with whom I worked side by side gave me the confidence that I could do business and open doors if I started my own business.

Read More


Jul 25
Click image to read story

Click image to read story

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Shukan NY Seikatsu. Visit his Examiner.com Japanese culture page here for related stories.

This August will be a hot month for anime fans, as the latest feature length entries for two of the world’s most popular series debut at Village East Cinema.

First up (Aug. 5 and 9) is “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods,” the 18th animated feature of author Akira Toriyama’s massively popular martial arts adventure series “Dragon Ball,” which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The plot focuses on the dessert-loving God of Destruction Beerus, who awakes from a decades-long slumber to challenge Goku, the strongest fighter in the universe.

“‘Dragon Ball Z’ has been a gateway for me personally. Growing up watching Toonami in the ’90s, the series influenced me as a kid to become obsessed with Japanese animation,” said Maj Mack, founder and CEO of GoBoiano, a fast-growing anime startup with over 300,000 social media followers worldwide.

Another long-running series (fifteen years and counting), “Naruto,” premieres Aug. 31-Sept. 1 with its ninth feature film, “Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie.” Set in an alternate timeline in which its characters have different origin stories and personalities, and featuring the theme song “Sore de wa, Mata Ashita” by the J-rock band Asian Kung-Fu Generation, “Road to Ninja” became the highest grossing “Naruto” movie to date within two months of its release in Japan.

For tickets, visit www.fandango.com.


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