As we slide into summer, JETAA New York’s JQ magazine continues to provide content with an ever-expanding array of articles, interviews and features (see our recent stories here). We’re now looking for new writers, including recent returnees and JET vets, from all JETAA chapters worldwide for posting stories via our host at the global JET alumni resource site JETwit.com. (Scribes are also encouraged to join the JET Alumni Writers group on LinkedIn.)
Below are story ideas grouped by JET participants and alumni (JET World) and those more on Japanese culture (Japan World). And if you’re a JET or JETWit contributor from anywhere in the world with a story idea of your own, let us know!
JET ALUMNA LEADS THE DIGITAL MANGA GUILD
Joanna Yuka Metoki (Wakayama-ken, 2008-09) is the PR & Localizer Community Liaison for Digital Manga Guild, a project of the company Digital Manga where manga fans collaborate in bringing thousands of titles to the American manga fandom. The mission of DMG is not only to bring the fans the products they desire but offer the localizers (translators, editors, and letterers) the opportunity to become part of the process of publishing these titles and gaining invaluable experience within the industry. Joanna is available for a Q&A or profile.
MIAMI JET ALUM’S STUDENT JOINS JET THIS YEAR
William Collazo, a JET alum and former Florida JETAA president in Miami, is a Japanese teacher in one of the local public schools, and this year one of his former students went to Japan as a JET participant. William is available to talk about this inspirational story (particularly as the new JET began studying Japanese in William’s class and then went on to continue studying both Japanese and Chinese in college). Two generations of JETs in one story!
PRE-JET PROGRAM ALUM PROFILED IN THE JAPAN TIMES
British writer, historian and journalist Lesley Downer has been visiting Japan and writing about it for nearly 35 years — beginning in 1978, when she was part of the first-ever intake of the English Teaching Recruitment Program, which evolved into the famous JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) scheme. This noted author and documentary filmmaker was recently interviewed for The Japan Times, and writers are invited to contact her for a story about her experiences on the ETR Program. www.lesleydowner.com
JET DEVELOPS ALT INTRODUCTION VIDEOS
JET participant Eliot Honda (Ehime-ken) is currently working on videos for the general public and is open to a Q&A. He is currently based in Uwajima, which is sister cities with his hometown of Honolulu, Eliot volunteers in his spare time to help the tourist section of Uwajima and also with local events, doing commercials and promo videos. This past February he was able to record the Ehime Maru Memorial Service in Hawaii and bring the raw footage back to the local TV station. Eliot hopes these ALT videos can help out future JETs or at least give them an idea of what they will be getting into.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR JETAANY
We’re looking for coverage from volunteers (or those thinking of volunteering) of the following upcoming JET Alumni Association of New York events:
September: Softball tournament; participating in the 92st Street Y Festival with the consulate.
JETS IN SOCIAL MEDIA
The official JETAANY Facebook page has been firing on all cylinders, serving as an additional alumni news outlet and upcoming event bulletin board. Talk to the people in charge for a profile on the impact of JET chapters, social media style!
BOOK REVIEW: ‘PACIFIC COSMOPOLITANS’
Decades before Americans cheered on Ichiro Suzuki, Japanese baseball fans swooned over Babe Ruth. And a century prior to the craze for anime and manga, American art collectors hoarded Japanese woodblock prints. Few relationships can match the depth, or importance, of the cultural ties between America and Japan over the past two hundred years. In Pacific Cosmopolitans, JET alum/Director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Michael Auslin tells this absorbing history in full for the first time. http://goo.gl/yl4Ns
‘THE RICE COOKER CHRONICLES’ SERIES
We are running a new series on JETwit about solo cooking experiences while on JET (read previous entries here). Did you discover a new favorite comfort food in Japan, learn to cook a mouthwatering meal that you still serve today or accidentally buy something really weird only to discover (and reluctantly) eat it in your mansion? We want to hear about it!
‘HALLOWEEN IN JAPAN’ ANECDOTES WANTED!
Our quarterly anecdote topic is Halloween in Japan from JET alumni around the world! If you have a strange, delightful (or both—we all do) short story to share about this growing holiday in Japan, we’d love to publish it. Whether you made a ridiculously tricked-out pumpkin, went to an insane party or snapped some shockingly NSFW cosplay photos, we want to know!
JQ&A WITH AUTHOR DANIEL STURGEON
Daniel has been working at the Consulate in Atlanta but is leaving soon to start working with the Foreign Service, has written a book about the controversial Yasukuni Shrine based on a thesis he wrote. Even though the book was published in 2006, it might be interesting to have someone do an interview with this JET alum who has interviewed a lot of people connected with the shrine and done extensive research on the issue.
‘JET INSTANT NOODLE’ COMICS
Profile of JET alum artist Shun Endo and his “JET Instant Noodle Comics.” Read samples here.
ISSHONI LONDON – JET ALUM BLOG
London JET alum Vanessa Villalobos writes about Japan-related events, news, review and interviews. This would be a good Q&A piece for any JETs wanting to learn more about how our alumni groups operate overseas. Learn more at:
An innovative telecommunications site for Team Teaching, founded by a JET. www.teamteachers.com
JETSET – CANADIAN JETS IN JAPAN
Melissa C. runs JETset, a site for Canadian JETs in Japan and a well-known resource center for JET participants. See more for a profile at www.jetsetjapan.com.
We are accepting reviews on anything you’d like to spread the word about. Current review copies of books available include the newly released novels Edge and A Guru is Born by Takeshi Kitano, as well as Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe by contemporary Japanese historian Frederik L. Schodt. Others include the short story collection J-Boys: Kazu’s World, Tokyo, 1965 and the fantasy novel Samurai Awakening, written by current Okinawa JET Benjamin Martin while still on the program!
Also available is the new DVD Happy Family Plan, which has been released as the first title of “J Cinema Project,” a unique educational campaign to provide enhanced resources to learn about Japanese language and culture through film. This DVD release contains the feature film as well as Japanese language resource kit as a bonus disc produced by The Japan Foundation, Sydney. Director Tsutomu Abe’s hilarious comedy follows a dysfunctional Japanese family that is selected to compete on a popular game show for an irresistible 3 million yen, but the challenge that looms ahead is next to impossible.
SHUUKAN NY SEIKATSU PROFILE
This New York-based Japanese-language free paper has big plans for its English-language “Cool Japan” page, which runs every Saturday. JET alum and associate editor Paul Benson has recruited some writers from JETAA New York to report on the newest Japan-related happenings, and JQ would like to help spread the message! www.nyseikatsu.com
RESOBOX, JAPANESE ART GALLERY IN QUEENS
Resobox manager Takashi Ikezawa would like to invite a JQ writer to visit his Long Island City gallery and write about it. The gallery frequently hosts exhibition opening parties, displaying a wide variety of Japan-themed art (the art of Justin Baldwin was showcased earlier this year), classes in shodo, dance and martial arts, and workshops/events. Private tours are available on weekends by appointment. www.resobox.com
SACHIYO ITO DANCE COMPANY ARTICLE
Sachiyo Ito and Company is the only dance group in New York City to perform Japanese classical dance, Okinawan dance, and contemporary works based on these traditions. They had their 30th Anniversary Concert last year near New York’s Lincoln Center in October, taking the audience from medieval Japan to present day through dance and live music. Takers are invited to write about Ito-sensei herself or review an upcoming concert. www.dancejapan.com
KYUSHU BATTENKAI OF NEW YORK
Since last summer, JETAANY has joined forces with the Kyushu Battenkai (an association of Japanese from Kyushu living in New York), and more than 60 participants attended the group’s Fall Gathering last September. As New York is home to many other similar prefecture associations, this team up is a model for future JETAA Chapter-Prefectural Association events. The Battenkai’s president would be happy to get in touch with any JET writer interested in a Q&A or a feature article about the organization and its ties with JETAA.
We are accepting reviews on anything you’d like to spread the word about. Current review copies of books available include the newly released novels Edge, (written by Ring author Koji Suzuki) and A Guru is Born by Takeshi Kitano, as well as Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe by contemporary Japanese historian Frederik L. Schodt.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR JAPAN FIX?
In an effort to revive the “Japan Fix” posts, we’d like to share a recent discoveries to help readers find a little piece of Japan close to home. How do you get your Japan fix wherever you live?
ROBIN SAKAI OF GAIJIN POT
Gaijin Pot is a site that offers jobs, apartments and classifieds in Japan. Run by Robin Sakai, it strives to bring the Japanese and expat community together.
REVIEW OF JAPANESE LANGUAGE STUDY OPTIONS IN THE NYC AREA
We would like to add a listing as well as a possible review of Japanese language study options in the New York area. One of these is Hills Learning, founded by Jon Hills, who works with JETs in New York to promote his learning center, which teaches four languages to children and adults and offers annual Japanese Language Proficiency Test courses! Jon also co-presents monthly Asian networking events. Jon is open to a profile. Learn more at www.hillslearning.com.
CONSULATE GENERAL SCHOOL CARAVAN
This is a decade-plus program run by New York’s Consulate General of Japan that sends consulate staff (American and Japanese) to New York high schools and junior high schools to introduce students to Japanese culture, and JET alums have even served as presenters! The purpose of this article will be to increase awareness of the program so more JETAA members can get involved.
KEIO ACADEMY OF NEW YORK
Based in Purchase, NY, Keio Academy is a school for bilingual and bicultural education established by its Tokyo namesake. Besides the various activities the school offers, it also seeks to recruit JET alums for potential work opportunities. We can put you in touch with their business officer, who is happy ro speak with more JETs about the subject.
ASIA SOCIETY OF NEW YORK
Recently, NYC’s Asia Society held its New York Japan CineFest short film program. We’ve never profiled Asia Society, so this would be a great time to find out more about how they select their Japanese attractions and exhibitions.
JAPAN INFORMATION CENTER OF NEW YORK
Profile. Take advantage of Japan Information Center to promote Japan! The Japan Information Center (JIC) is the cultural and public affairs section of the Consulate General of Japan in New York. The JIC distributes educational materials, posters and pamphlets on Japan, provides speakers on various aspects of Japan to the schools throughout this region, Provides information on the Japanese Government Scholarships & the JET Program, distributes the e-newsletter Japan Info, and loans videos/DVDs and cultural artifacts.
Visit JQ magazine online at http://jetaany.org/magazine.