Nov 6

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015) 

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog. 

volcano in Japan

Kaimondake, Kyushu

Mad for Mountains

When: 11-12 November

Where: Gokase, Miyazaki Prefecture

Miyaki AJET invites you to spend a packed weekend in Gokase kayaking, taking in the vibrant koyo, making friends at a cabin party, and checking out Heike Matsuri!

Climb Kaimondake

When: 12 November

Where: Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture

Kagoshima AJET is inviting all community members to finish off SDC weekend strong by hiking up one of Kagoshima’s volcanoes!

Get ready for the ride of your life!

Oita Bikescapade #1

When: 12 November

Where: Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture

This autumn, join Oita AJET for a wicked biking trip on the Yabakei trail.

HAJET Book Club: The Left Hand of Darkness

When: 12 November

Where: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

Why not join HAJET for a chilled afternoon of discussion about books? They will be covering The Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.


Oct 30

JET Prefecture Round up 30.10.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015)

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog.

Hey, past and present JETs! Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on in Nihon-land this week!

 

Japanese demon in crowd

Onomichi Betcha Matsuri

Onomichi Betcha Festival

When: 1-3 November

Where: Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture

On Culture Day, head to Onomichi for its famous Betcha Matsuri. At the festival, three oni (Betcha, Soba, and Shoki) will “beat” the sickness out of you to bless you with good health for the following year! The festival also a temple walk and amazing taiko performances.

 

Shizuoka City Daidogei Festival

When: 2-5 November

Where: Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture

Shizuoka AJET invites everyone to an annual event that features street performers from around the world juggling, dancing, and performing acrobatics, comedy, and aerial acts!

 

yellow man on street and crowd

Daidogei Festival

Portraits of Japanese Culture

When: 3 November

Where: Moriyama, Kyoto Prefecture

Spend Culture Day appreciating ukiyo-e paintings at Sagawa Art Museum with Shiga AJET.

 

Learn to make Japanese sparklers

When: 3 November

Where: Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture

Did you know that only three companies in Japan make traditional sparklers? KumAJET invites you to join in this exciting workshop that involves real-life gunpowder!

man with Japanese sparkler

Learn how to make a traditional Japanese sparkler

 

Kamamoto Pottery Festival

When: 3-5 November

Where: Miyama, Kagoshima Prefecture

This annual pottery festival is held in the small pottery village of Miyama. Get some Korean-inspired Japanese pottery for your kitchen!

 

Halloween Dinner Party

When: 5 November

Where: Matsue, Shimane Prefecture

It’s never too late to celebrate Halloween. Join in a traditional Halloween dinner party for lots of fall food. Fancy dress is optional but there’s a prize for the best outfit!


Oct 23

JET Prefecture Round up! 23.10.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015)

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog.

What’s on this week? Halloween parties and lots of other unique festivals! Here’s a snapshot of some cool events to check out!

Halloween parties galore!

AJET Block 6 Halloween Bash

When: 28 October

Where: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Calling all ghouls and girls! Join Block 6 for their annual Halloween bash. Party includes nomihodai, a costume contest, and a dance contest! Get your groove on!

Omura Halloween Party

When: 28 October

Where: Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture

Is there anywhere spookier to celebrate Halloween than in a cabin in the woods?

Mitokusan Fire Festival

Mitokusan Fire Festival

When: 29 October

Where: Misasa, Tottori Prefecture

Are you brave enough to walk on fire barefoot like the monks do?

Iwami kagura

Iwami Culture Display

When: 29 October

Where: Iwami, Shimane Prefecture

Block 9 JETs, share in this JET Furusato Vision Project cultural event! Join in the Iwami kagura dance and ignite your creative spark with Iwami yaki pottery workshops!

 

 


Oct 16

JET Prefecture Round up! 10.16.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015) 

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog.

Hey JETs, past and present! October’s not even over yet and there’s still a lot going on! Read on to find out how you can get in on all the action!

Are you ready for a Halloween-themed pub quiz?

 

Journey to the end of the night

When: 21 October

Where: Toyama Park (West), Children’s Square, Tokyo

Join in a massive (and free!) game of tag that spans six parks and about 9 km across the city!

 

Hocus Pocus Pub Quiz Night

When: 21 October

Where: Tajima, Hyogo Prefecture

If you like answering Halloween-inspired trivia questions, drinking, and just plain having fun, this one’s for you!

 

Get your kit on!

Fukui FA Cup

When: 21 October

Where: Fukui Prefecture

Block 5, get ready for the biggest and best co-ed 5-a-side football tournament this side of Japan. No team required!

 

Space World Trip

When: 21 October

Where: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture

Think fast! All JETs are welcome to visit Kyushu’s famous theme park that’s closing at the end of the year.

 

Space World

Mount Ishizuchi Hike

When: 21 October

Where: Ehime Prefecture

Hike up the highest mountain peak (1982 m) in western Japan with Ehime AJET!

 

Halloween Costume Contest

When: 22 October

Where: Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture

Get in on the Halloween action early with a costume contest and pumpkin weight guessing contest at the Ryujin Taisai Festival!

 

Explore Toyama city and help a worthy cause!

AJET Charity Toyama Scavenger Hunt

When: 22 October

Where: Toyama-shi, Toyama Prefecture

Explore the city, make new friends, and raise money for a good cause! Proceeds will go to the Bridge For Smile charity.

 

Outdoor Climbing Day at Zakkokutani

When: 22 October

Where: Toyama Prefecture

Beginner and experienced climbers, grab your harnesses and let’s go outside!


Oct 9

JET Prefecture Round up! 10.09.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori-ken, 2014-2015)

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog.

Hey, everyone! There’s another national holiday this week (Health and Sports Day) so who’s ready for some hiking, kiritanpo, kayaking, parades, beef, and screaming? Read on to find out more!

 

rice stick

Kiritanpo, an Akita specialty

Kiritanpo Festival

When: 7-9 October

Where: Odate, Akita Prefecture

Enjoy live performances and kiritanpo (rice grilled stick and specialty of Akita prefecture) at this unique festival.

 

29th Yufuin Eat Beef and Scream Tournament

When: 9 October

Where: Yufuin, Oita Prefecture

I scream, you scream, we all scream for beef (literally)! Head to Mount Yufu for this unusual event that combines beef eating and screaming into a stratovolcano.

contest

Yufuin Eat Beef and Scream Tournament

 

Jumangoku Festival

When: 9 October

Where: Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture

Help carry the mikoshi and be part of one of Ogaki’s biggest events for the year!

 

yokai

Yokai parade

Yokai Parade

When: 14 October

Where: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Celebrate Halloween early by hitting the street with Kyoto’s very own yokai parade.

 

Biwa Kayaking 2017

When: 14 October

Where: Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture

Pack a bento and come kayak Japan’s largest freshwater lake with a professional instructor!

 

mountain

Mount Miune

Mt Miune Hike

When: 15 October

Where: Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture

Strap on those hiking boots to climb Shikoku’s third tallest peak.

 

 

 


Oct 2

JET Prefecture Round up! 10.02.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture, 2014-2015)

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or on her blog.

Put away that cool biz. October is here! Before you snuggle under that kotatsu, here are some events to get you nice and toasty!

festival

Otsu Matsuri

2017 Otsu Festival

When: 8 October

Where: Otsu, Shiga Prefecture

Get ready to work it. Shiga AJET invites volunteers to flex those muscles to pull festival floats at the famous Otsu Matsuri.

Block 6 PicnicKai 2.0

When: 7 October

Where: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

This fall, Block 6 kicks off their welcome undoukai/picnic in the park for all Block 6 JETs, new and old.

riverboat

Cruising in Hita

Hita Riverboat Dinner

When: 8 October

Where: Hita, Oita Prefecture

Oita AJET welcomes all JETs and friends to hop on a pleasure boat, drink, eat, and relax on Hita’s Mikuma river.

Hyogo AJET Rafting

When: 7 October

Where: Nagaoka, Kochi Prefecture

It’s time for HAJET’s annual rafting trip down south. Grab a paddle pronto!

 

 

 


Sep 25

JET Prefecture Round up! 09.25.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture, 2014-2015)

Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Konnichiwa past and present JETs! This autumn’s already steaming up with a host of events to keep you occupied. Here are some highlights you shouldn’t miss!

sumo

Bull sumo wrestling

Bull Sumo Wrestling in Ojiya

When: 1 October

Where: Ojiya, Niigata Prefecture

Forget human sumo wrestlers! Head to Tsunotsuki or bull versus bull wrestling in Ojiya to see which beast comes out on top!

 

mountain

Mount Daisen

Tottori AJET Daisen hike

When: 30 September

Where: Saihaku, Tottori Prefecture

It’s already fall so you know what time that is: time to tackle Daisensan, the tallest mountain in the Chugoku region!

 

bonfire

Bonfire

Block 4 Welcome Party: Odo Beach Bonfire

When: 29 September

Where: Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture

Calling all Block 4 peeps! Bring some booze and marshmallows and get to know one another!

 

Kamasube! Masaka Rhythm 2017

When: 30 September

Where: Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture

Cozy up with live music from over 20 local artists and groups and nosh some tasty food at this music festival.

 

float

Nebuta parade

Goto Island Festival

When: 29 September – 1 October

Where: Fukue, Nagasaki Prefecture

Head to one of the main Goto islands for Nebuta parades, fireworks, dances, and a whole lotta fun!

 

Kanda Float Festival

When: 24 September – 1 October

Where: Miyako, Fukuoka Prefecture

Join in one of Kyushu’s three major float festivals that’s famous for its “fighting floats” where competing floats hit one other!

 


Sep 18

JET Prefecture Round up! 09.18.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture, 2014-2015) Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Hey, everyone! It’s already past the middle of September and there’s a national holiday (Autumnal Equinox Day on 23 September) coming up. Here’s what’s going on in Japan’s JET community this week and the next!

 

Oirase Shimoda Matsuri

Oirase Shimoda Matsuri

When: 23 September – 24 September

Where: Oirase Town, Aomori Prefecture

Snap the “living dolls” that ride the giant floats during the Shimoda Festival in Oirase!

 

Kuma Fest 2017

When: 30 September

Where: Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture

Pack a tent. It’s party time on the side of the world’s largest caldera for the first ever Kuma Fest!

 

Whitewater rafting in Japan

Hiroshima AJET’s Annual Whitewater Rafting Trip

When: 29 September – 1 October

Where: Yoshino River, Kochi Prefecture

Block 9 peeps, get your paddles ready! Hiroshima AJET is hosting its yearly whitewater rafting in Shikoku.

 

Miyazaki JET Trivia Quiz

When: 30 September

Where: Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture

September can be tough with classes, speech contests, and sports day so rustle up a team and head to the MAJET Trivia Night! It’s also a potluck so bring something yummy to share!

 

Howl’s Moving Castle

Hyogo AJET’s Book Club

When: 24 September

Where: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

At this sesh, Hyogo JET’s Book Club will dissect Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. P.S. it isn’t considered cheating if you can’t finish the book and only watch the movie instead.

 

Kagawa AJET Moon Viewing and Party

When: 23 September

Where: Marugame Castle, Kagawa Prefecture

Forget yesterday’s eclipse. Kagawa AJET hosts a moon viewing party at Marugame Castle for the autumnal equinox! Take a tour of the castle, picnic, and enjoy the scenery!

 

Kamaishi Wine Festival

When: 30 September

Where: Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture

Get your drink on at the first ever Kamaishi Wine Festival! It takes place during the Kamaishi Magokoro Food Festival and the Rugby World Cup 2019 Fan Zone Rehearsal Event so drink up, eat up, and join in a game of street rugby!

Lake Biwa

 

Shiga AJET’s Biwa Bike Trip

When: 30 September – 1 October

Where: Maibara, Shiga Prefecture

Get ready for a legendary weekend of mad views and copious amounts of Pocari Sweat as Shiga AJETs cycle 150 km (93 miles) around Lake Biwa!

 

Night of Dance

When: 30 September

Where: Nakagami, Okinawa Prefecture

An exciting night of dance performances: hip hop, belly dance, tribal fusion belly dance, jazz dance, popping, flamenco, and more!

 

 

 


Mar 1

JETAA Chapter Beat 3.11 5th Anniversary Memorial Edition

Ashlie O’Neill (Hyogo-Ken, 2013-Present) AJET National Council Vice Chair and Director of Alumni Relations. Ashlie is in her second year on the AJET National Council as the Director of Alumni Relations. She works alongside Ryan Hata (National AJET Director of Alumni Resources ) and members of JETAA to strengthen the relationship between former JETs, current JETs and Japan. Please feel free to contact her email at ashlie.oneill@ajet.net or her Linkedin profile. Ashlie helps to keep you up up to date with JETAA happenings around the world.

This month marks the 5th anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake and the loss of the lives of the two JETs Taylor Anderson and Monty Dickson.  Many JETAA chapters around the world are getting together to remember those affected by the disaster as well as raise money for various organisations in Tohoku. This edition of the JETAA Chapter Beat will focus on these events.

Screenings of Tohoku Tomo

 

About the film: In March 2013, Wesley Julian launched and successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to create Tohoku Tomo — a documentary film telling the story of true friendship and commitment to Japan’s recovery by the international community following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Julian and a small team traveled across the United States and Japan to interview individuals who have made and continue to make a difference in Tohoku.

Many of these people dropped what they were doing and dedicated themselves to Japan’s recovery. Many of them even took it upon themselves to establish non-profit organizations aimed at connecting with and rebuilding Tohoku and its communities. At the core of all of these organizations are individuals. Many of these groups were founded by members of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET Program). What started as a love of Japan through teaching blossomed into a true friendship and commitment to the Tohoku region. These founders and many other volunteers have truly become friends of Tohoku. They are, in Japanese, Tohoku Tomo.

Locations

JETAA Alaska
When: February 29th, 6:00pm
Where: The BP Energy Center, Anchorage

JETAA Midsouth/NOLA
When: March 3rd, 5:30pm
Where: Tulane University, Newcomb Campus, Jones Hall 102, New Orleans

JETAA Toronto
When: March 9th, 6:30pm
Where: Revue Cinema

Sasakawa Peace Foundation and JETAADC
When: March 11th, 4:30pm
Where: The Mayflower Hotel, Washington DC

JETAA NSW
When: March 16th, 6:00pm
Where: Japan Foundation, Sydney

JETAA Southern California
When: March 18th, 7:00pm
Where: Occidental College, Choi Auditorium, los Angeles

Florida JETAA-Miami
When: March 30th, 8:00pm
Where: Florida  International University, modesto A. Maidique Campus, Room GL 100

Florida JETAA-Orlando
When: March 31st, 8:00pm
Where: Asia Trend/ Y.E.S.S Center

 

113 Projects

About the Project: The mission of the 113 Project is to create a venue for dialogue and action that reclaims the message of the Tohoku disaster as an opportunity for good. The 113 Project will encourage collaboration among thought leaders, activists, community members and volunteers to continue the critical work of recovery and revitalization in Tohoku as well as to look at and address together challenges faced by others through the lens of lessons learned out of the Tohoku experience.

JETAA Northern California
When: March 8th, 6:30pm
Where: JCCC NC , 1840 Sutter Street, San Francisco

JETAA Rocky Mountain
When: March 13th, 2:00pm
Where: Sie Film Center, Denver

PNWJETAA
When: April 22-24th
Where: Cherry Blossom Festival, Seattle

For a full list of Tohoku Tomo and 113 Project events, please see the Tohoku Tomo website at http://tohokutomo.com/screenings/ or email them at info@tohokutomo.com.

Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story

Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story Logo

 

About the film: This film is a story about Taylor Anderson and all the young people who travel the world trying to make a difference. Taylor was an extraordinary American who dedicated herself to teaching Japanese children, living her dream right up to the events of March 11, 2011. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan were a disaster that no one could have expected. 

When:March 13th, 1:00pm
Where: Sendai Mediatheque, Sendai, Japan

Details: http://jetprogramme.org/en/info/greateastjapanearthquake/

 

Additional Events around the world

JETAAWJ and National AJET

D-prep: A disaster Preparation Event

Recognizing the need for more disaster preparation events in English, JETAA Western Japan and AJET will hold D-PREP.
When: March 13th,10:00-3:00
Where:Canadian Academy ,Rokko Island, Kobe
RSVP: by March 10th at this link

For more information, please e-mail Rose Tanasugarn at jetaawj@gmail.com
unnamed

JETAA Vic/Tas/SA
The Big Bento Lunch

When:March 1st-31st
Where: Anywhere you wish

Hosting a Big Bento Lunch is as easy as rounding up up a group of your friends and work mates and eating some delicious Japanese food!
Since 2012, Big Bento Lunch participants have raise more than $30,000 for many charities by holding family picnics or parties or and getting bentos delivered to work places. It is simple and fun!

To register your lunch and help us support the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund, visit the Big Bento Lunch website at www.bigbentolunch.com.au


Aug 7

@api #005, the Asian Pacific Islander AJET webzine

Posted by Albert David Valderrama (Ibaraki-ken, 2010-present), JET Programme ALT/PA, co-founder and National Co-Representative of API AJET, and Chief Editor of the @api webzine.
_______________________________

@api #005 is out now! Read the full issue at http://goo.gl/rnrBqh or click the image below.

@api #005

@api #005

Inside this issue:

  • People: Faces of API AJET, National Representatives
  • Essay: A Year of Pretending to be Japanese by Aimee Wenyue Chen
  • Review: HOME:WORD by Cat Dinh
  • Interview: @api Exclusive with Sandy Cheng, Chair of the AJET National Council

What is “@api“?

@api” is a web-based magazine put together by contributors and members of the Asian Pacific Islander Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching (API AJET). Archived issues are available on Issuu and WordPress.

What is API AJET?

Asian Pacific Islander AJET (API AJET) was created during the summer of 2012 following many talks about the specific issues the API community faces.

This special interest group (SIG) aims to create a supportive environment for all APIs living in Japan. We also hope to increase awareness about API issues and incite dialogue among curious JETs and non-JETs. Furthermore, API AJET hopes to act as a tangible resource for anyone interested in understanding an API’s unique perspective (as a foreigner) in Japan.

The group is open to all. Join to share, discuss, and learn about the API experience. Membership is free!

For more information go to our website at api.ajet.net, email us at api[at]ajet.net, or find API AJET on FacebookGoogle+, and Twitter (@apiajet).


Jul 1

AJET: Stonewall Japan – LGBT Computer-based Q and A sign-in

Saw this originally posted to the JETAA Southern California Facebook group by Stephen Haverfield:

Passing along info from Stonewall Japan: LGBT Computer-based Q&A sign in:

Greetings from Stonewall Japan! Many of you may know of our organization already but for those unfamiliar, we are one of the national AJET special interest groups. With almost 800 members, we are definitely the largest of the SIGs, and our mission is to provide a safe community for LGBTQIA English language speakers living and working in Japan.

http://ajet.net/contact-ajet/special-interest-nationality-language-groups/Stonewall.ajet.net

We are contacting you today to let you know about the resources we have been putting together for the incoming 2014 JETs. As departure looms, we’re sure you are all extremely busy with preparing the new JETs for their life abroad. In order to help with that process, we have created a small handout about living as an LGBTQIA person in Japan. It includes links to resources and has a lot of great information that we certainly wish we had had when we first arrived on JET! We have also gathered some wonderful volunteers from Stonewall’s leadership to provide Q&A sessions through Google Hangouts for incoming JETs BEFORE they leave, which we hope will answer a lot of lingering questions and alleviate some stress from the often stressful process of preparing for departure.

The orientation handout is attached and the link to the Q&A session sign-up is here:
http://stonewall.ajet.net/new-jet-info-session-sign-up-2014/

However, as you know, the time for orientation is limited, especially considering AJET will no longer have a presence this year at Tokyo orientation. So we were encouraged by National AJET to send this out to the JET alumni associations / orientation coordinators post-haste. We hope that you can distribute the handout and the link to the Q&A to the incoming JETs in your area as soon as possible (the deadline for the Google Hangouts sign up is July 12th and we have a limited amount of spots open).

Lastly, we want to congratulate you on the work you’ve done and continue to do to make sure the new JETs arrive in Japan with the knowledge they need to hit the ground running. A big Otsukare-sama goes out from the whole Stonewall team.

Thank you and onegaishimasu,

Sincerely,

The Stonewall Japan Leadership Team
stonewallsig@ajet.net

Attachment: Handout https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n2WwAeSZYmv2nqVETSA8SI4lKbMLKi9vp3AUn4salVc/edit?usp=sharing


Jun 20
AJET Chair Kay Makishi (front row, left) at the Spring 2014 AJET Opinion Exchange Meeting in Tokyo, June 2014. (Courtesy of CLAIR)

AJET Chair Kay Makishi (front row, left) at the Spring AJET Opinion Exchange Meeting in Tokyo, June 2014. (Courtesy of AJET)

 

By Eden Law (Fukushima-ken, 2010-11) for JQ magazine. Eden lived and worked in the core city of Iwaki on JET, and is JETAA New South Wales‘s webmaster, meaning he is the voice on all the online and social media for the Sydney-based chapter like Twitter, Instagram (both @jetaansw) and Facebook.

At the start of this year, dramatic changes took place as CLAIR (the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations) formally announced changes to its relationship with AJET (the Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching), with the full details made public by the latter on their Facebook page on a post dated January 27. The immediate outcome of this decision means that AJET’s participation and input at CLAIR-organised events such as the Tokyo Orientation and After JET conferences will be discontinued.

While AJET has had a low profile in the collective consciousness of many on the programme, these changes will inevitably impact all JET participants, most immediately in how conferences will be held and run, and how AJET will continue to represent and assist the needs of the JET community. Historically, the volunteer organisation has existed from the start of the JET Programme and is run by JETs to benefit and support participants in Japan. Now, it faces the biggest challenge of its 27-year history.

For those who may not have heard of or know about AJET, its constitution describes it as a volunteer organisation whose purpose is to foster a successful working relationship between JET Programme sponsors and participants, as well as to promote and support the JET community. In turn, it presents itself as a representative of the same community. Founded in 1987 right from the start of the JET Programme itself, AJET’s early work was very much focused on providing a support network for the first participants.

Kay Makishi (Fukuoka-ken CIR, 2011-14), 2014’s outgoing AJET chair who completed her one-year term on the AJET council, sums up her focus on the JET community: “I wanted to see more energy spent on starting projects like our Professional Development Conference Calls…[and] collaborating more with JETAA so JETs have more support finding jobs post-JET,” she explained.

Read More


May 21

AJET Connect Magazine Interviews an Award-winning Saga JET Author

SagaAndreBookVia the Saga JET Programme website:

This month’s edition of AJET’s Connect Magazine features a double (DOUBLE) page spread interviewing current Karatsu City JET Andre Swartley about his award-winning book – Leon Martin and the Fantasy Girl. If you haven’t read this month’s edition, the interview and short review is below. If you want you buy a copy of the book click here.

Review and Interview: Leon Martin and the Fantasy Girl

Leon Martin and the Fantasy Girl delves into cultural exchange on a level that most people never get a chance to experience. When a group of American high school students arrive at a small German town for a summer work-study program, they find themselves caring for a potentially illegal alien in a life-threatening situation.

Leon and Autumn, a pair of teens staying with the same host family, are at the forefront of the action. Instead of spending their summer doing the work they traveled to Germany to do, they find themselves looking after a girl named Shin. Her presence is the glue that holds this story together, as well as what makes it so unbelievable. Shin’s story is vague at first and takes its time in clearing itself up.

The build-up to the second half requires readers to have some faith that that these characters will eventually find themselves in slightly more realistic situations, which they do. Spending a summer abroad in Germany is adventurous, but saving a fellow foreigner who should have been taken into custody from the beginning is a bit of a stretch. Read More


Apr 12
Members of the JET Alumni Association of New York Japan-a-Mania 1-18-2014 (Courtesy of Monica Yuki)

Members of the JET Alumni Association of New York volunteering in the annual Japan-a-Mania community event with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, January 2014. (Courtesy of Monica Yuki)

 

By Eden Law (Fukushima-ken, 2010-11) for JQ magazine. Eden is JETAA New South Wales‘s webmaster, meaning he is the voice on all the online and social media for the Sydney-based chapter like Twitter, Instagram (both @jetaansw) and Facebook. Outside of JETAA, he doesn’t exist, and is merely a concept of a shadow of a dream of an enigma, wrapped in mystery and served with a side of salad. 

Introduction

The following is a shamelessly biased opinion: Being a member of JETAA is fantastic. One gets to help organise and be involved in events and projects that reach the general public here in Sydney (like the Japan Festival), hang out with a great group of like-minded people that know all the best Japanese places to eat, drink and be merry, and who are rarely inhibited in any karaoke session. There is ample opportunity to new people constantly, both inside and outside that chapter’s home city’s J-community, so in a way, the JET experience never truly ends.

That’s a personal assessment of what it’s like being a member of JETAA, the alumni association for former JETs. JETAA chapters exist all over the world from where the JET Programme has drawn its recruits. They give former JETs a way to connect with their local J-community and like-minded peers, and are essentially a non-profit social organisation with a Japanese cultural bent. And because JET is made up of a diverse group of people from all walks of life, JETAA chapters have great potential as a resource with links in government, business, education, academia and social networks.

But it can’t be denied that many chapters struggle with visibility or relevancy, in attracting members to events or to join their committees. The last point is especially important, as new members help to keep the organisation dynamic and active. And while the reasons for this are different for every situation, some similar and salient points can be discerned, notably from online forum comments (like LinkedIn). While a comprehensive discussion can probably fill a volume or ten, this article will nevertheless discuss these points.

So what does JETAA have to deal with?

Read More


Mar 11

Japan Times article on AJET report on disaster preparedness

Great article written by a JET alum journalist Patrick St Michel.

Clarify Your Role, Prepare Before a Disaster Strikes

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/03/09/issues/clarify-your-role-prepare-before-a-disaster-strikes/#.Ux8Vc2RATDk

When she first arrived in Japan from Ireland in 2008, Sarah Hickey was mostly concerned with adjusting to her new life in Fukushima Prefecture. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme placed her in Iwaki, which is itself a large city, but she found herself near the coast in less metropolitan surroundings.

“There was nothing there, just a supermarket and a school I was teaching at. It was an incredibly beautiful place — but it was tough,” she says.

Gradually, Hickey grew accustomed to her corner of Iwaki, where she taught English at several junior and senior high schools. One thing she wasn’t ready for were natural disasters, which she says scared her. She also doesn’t recall receiving information about what to during a natural disaster at school during JET’s Tokyo orientation or when she first arrived in Fukushima. Read More


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