May 14

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

Last week AND this week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

Sometimes life catches up with you, but thank goodness we were prepared for that! Like a long running anime series with bonus filler content, the Krewe had a couple aces up their sleeve, a la Rapid Fire Question Challenges! Last week, we dropped the Rapid Fire Challenge featuring our Episode 10 guest, MattVsJapan. This week, we are dropping the Rapid Fire Challenge featuring one of our Episode 7 guests, Bradley Trenery. After each episode’s Rapid Fire Challenge concludes, make sure you stick around until the end as we preview an upcoming episode that will kick off a series about the New Orleans-Japan Music Connection. Stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks!

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, Facebook: Krewe of Japan Podcast Page, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Apr 30

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

IRASSHAIMASE! Grab a milk tea and tuna-mayo onigiri and join Jennifer & Doug as they completely torture themselves talking about all the goodies you can get at Japanese Convenience Stores! Discover the role convenience stores play in daily life, konbini “must buys”, important phrases to help survive checking out, & most importantly, the best konbini chain to rule them all. If you weren’t craving a melon soda and FamiChiki before, consider this an apology in advance. MATA OKOSHI KUDASAIMASE!

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, Facebook: Krewe of Japan Podcast Page, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Apr 23

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

Jennifer & Doug unsheathe their verbal katana as they talk about Netflix’s hit documentary Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan. Notably, the documentary introduced a cast of overlooked historical figures who played a prominent role in the Sengoku Period, the Lady Samurai. Tomoko Kitagawa, a narrator featured in Age of Samurai & Japanese historian, joins the Krewe to highlight the impact of these influential women, as well as share some stories of her journey from study abroad student to world-renown historian and best-selling author. This is an interview you won’t want to miss!

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, Facebook: Krewe of Japan Podcast Page, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Apr 16

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

The Krewe is neck deep in travel nostalgia! Nigel, Jennifer & Doug talk about re-visiting Japan (one day…), reflecting on some traditional & non-traditional tourist destinations. Who wouldn’t want to zip line into Godzilla’s mouth?! They are joined by Kay Allen, Deputy Manager for the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Los Angeles Office. Kay provides fantastic insight into travelling Japan, some of her favorite destinations, and how the Olympics and CoVid-19 have reshaped the tourism industry in Japan.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, Facebook: Krewe of Japan Podcast Page, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Apr 8

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

The whole krewe is on hand for a special Japanese language study episode! Nigel, Maddy, Jennifer & Doug are all in on a discussion on Japanese language study, goal-setting and fluency. They are joined by MattVsJapan, a popular language study YouTuber who developed his own language learning methodology called Refold. Together, Matt and the Krewe discuss the concept of “fluency”, experiences in language learning, and overcoming obstacles that can typically impede progress.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Apr 1

Krewe of Japan Podcast E09 – The Life & Legacy of Lafcadio Hearn ft. Bon & Shoko Koizumi

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

Nigel, Doug & special JSNO guest host (and professor of English at Tulane University) Matthew Smith explore the life & legacy of esteemed journalist/author/folklorist Lafcadio Hearn, also known as Koizumi Yakumo. Hearn’s interest in the occult took him all over the world, including the cities of New Orleans & Matsue. In fact, his books on Japanese culture, folklore & ghost stories played a pivotal role in introducing Japan to the Western world during the late 19th century. Joined by Hearn’s great-grandson Bon Koizumi & his wife Shoko, the Krewe takes an in-depth look into all things Lafcadio Hearn and his impact on the world then and now.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Mar 25

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

Just in time for the final weekend of the Spring Tournament/Haru Basho in Osaka, Doug & Nigel talk all things Sumo with Andrew Freund, director of USA Sumo and 2012 Martial Arts History Museum Hall of Fame inductee. Andrew shares his story of how he went from corporate English teacher in Japan to coordinating & facilitating high profile sumo events including the annual US Sumo Open & sumo appearances on ESPN SportsCenter & John Wick 2. He also shares in-depth insight into the sport that he’s learned and gained great appreciation for through his countless (if not daily) interactions with professional sumo legends.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Mar 19

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

This week on the Krewe of Japan Podcast

In the first of many episodes focusing on English teaching in Japan, Doug & Jenn take a look at various types of teaching opportunities, both JET and non-JET avenues. This conversation transitions into an interview with two English professionals based out of Fukushima Prefecture: John Loynes (British former-JET-turned-eikaiwa-entrepreneur) & Bradley Trenery (Australian private school English instructor). John & Bradley share their unique journeys to Japan and offer some interesting insights into working in their respective educational environments, along with some hilarious tales that will permanently etch the Japanese word for “population” in your memory bank.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast is a weekly episodic podcast sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans. Check them out every Friday afternoon around noon CST on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Want to share your experiences with the Krewe? Or perhaps you have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel). Until next time, enjoy!


Mar 11

Krewe of Japan Podcast Launch! New Episode 3/12 ft. JET Alumni Wesley Julian & Dan Martin

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

Sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans, the Krewe of Japan Podcast launched a new weekly episodic podcast in February 2021.  But what is a “krewe”? A krewe is an organization that stages a parade or event for the New Orleans Carnival season. Much like a Mardi Gras parade with diverse entertainment and an overarching theme, this Krewe is about to march right into the podcast library of those not only in New Orleans but those around the globe. Through insightful and entertaining conversations with a variety of experts and professionals (both foreign and native Japanese), Japan enthusiasts, and others in various fields involving Japan, the Krewe of Japan Podcast will highlight a broad spectrum of Japanese culture, travel, history, language and much more. Past and soon-to-be-aired guest interviews include (but not limited to):

  • Matt Alt, accomplished writer/translator/localizer based out of Tokyo who wrote the book Pure Invention
  • MattVsJapan, a popular YouTube language show host who has his own Japanese learning methodology called Refold
  • Shoko & Bon Koizumi, the great-grandson of the esteemed 19th century literary figure Lafcadio Hearn (Japanese name: Koizumi Yakumo)
  • Andrew Freund, director of USA Sumo
  • Dr. Samantha Perez, history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and coordinator of the Matsue-New Orleans Sister City Exchange Program
  • Saeko Yatsuka-Jensen, a Japanese professor from Tulane University
  • A joint conversation on English teaching opportunities in Japan with John Loynes (former JET, privately-owned Eikaiwa entrepreneur) & Bradley Trenery (Private English Instructor)

This week’s episode (dropping tomorrow, March 12) will feature an interview with a couple JET Program alumni, Wesley Julian and Dan Martin. Wesley and Dan produced the fantastic documentary about the global community’s response to the Great East Japan Earthquake called Tohoku Tomo and its “follow-up” docuseries highlighting all that Tohoku has to offer called The 113 Project. They shared a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Tohoku Tomo and The 113 Project, their insights and experiences with Japan both before and after the tragic day of March 11, 2011, and how you can still help Tohoku with its recovery.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast can be found on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Missing your platform? Have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel).


Sep 17

Life After JET: Podcast interview with Stephen Horowitz, Director of Legal English Programs

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Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, Kariya-shi, 1992-94) is the founder of JETwit, a member of the JETAA USA Board of Advisors, and Director of Legal English Programs at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NYC, “the most ethnically diverse urban place on the planet.” He also writes for the St. John’s Legal English Blog.

I was recently interviewed for a podcast episode by Louise Kulbicki, founder of StudyLegalEnglish.com, about the legal English work I do at St. John’s Law School with the LLM students and other non-native English speaking students there. Since my experience on JET teaching English and learning to function well in a cross-cultural environment has been core to my current career, and since JETs often want to know what people do after JET, I thought I’d share the interview here in case of interest.

Here’s a link to the podcast episode titled “LL.M. Legal Writing Tips with Stephen Horowitz

Topics covered:

  • Legal English LLM programmes for non-native speakers
  • Legal English writing challenges and tips
  • Using IRAC – Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion
  • Understanding categorization
  • Legal English resources

And here’s the video version of the podcast:

To learn more about what I do, or if you’re interested in getting into the field of legal English, you can read more at the St. John’s Legal English Blog. Feel free to contact me as well. (Did I mention I’m fortunate to work with two other JET alums at St. John’s Law School?)


Dec 24

JQ Magazine: Jamming After JET — Rural Island Alums Release New Albums

“Living in Japan exposes you to music you would not have heard otherwise. I owe most of my knowledge to availability of 100 yen records all over the country and the friendly record store employees that were eager to teach me about Japanese music.” (Courtesy of Eli Cohen)

 

By Greg Beck (Hiroshimaken, 2006-11) for JQ magazine. Greg is a writer, producer, home brewer, and Social Coordinator for JETAA Southern California and Arizona. A former news producer for Tokyo Broadcasting System in New York, he currently works freelance in Los Angeles. For more cinema reviews, follow him on Twitter at @CIRBECK #MovieReview.

Regardless of your placement on JET, music is a constant part of the experience. Whether it is karaoke parties with friends, music festivals like Fuji Rock, “live house” local performances, or simply singing Beatles and Carpenters with your students (over and over), all of us take something musical with us from our time on JET. But what about musicians who join JET? JQ reached out to two alumni from small islands off the coast of Kyushu, who have gone on to release their own albums, and hear from them how these unique records reflect that experience.

Eli Cohen (Kagoshima-ken, 2009-2010) runs the International Admissions department at one of the City University of New York’s institutions. He is also a DJ who started a record label, Alliance Upholstery. His new album, Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk —1981 to 1988, is a collection of music that fits into this genre.

If that sounds obscure, we thought so, too. Cohen explains: “In high school I was really into Japanese punk (Teengenerate, Guitar Wolf). This is where my interest in Japan started. As I grew older, I became very interested in Japanese music from the ’80s, as well as fashion and art from the era. Japanese people refer to this style as ‘City Pop.’ Outside of Japan, the term is a little vague and people often call this Japanese Boogie. The sound reflects the attitude and excitement of the bubble, bright and full of optimism,” adding that his favorite artist is Toshiki Kadomatsu.

Cultures of Soul Records (click image for audio samples)

Many JETs can probably relate to Cohen’s experience as a JET placed on a rural, island, both in the difficulties adjusting, and the unexpected opportunities. Having spent several years before JET living in Osaka and Tokyo, Cohen was placed in Minamitane, below the southernmost tip of Kyushu, which he describes as “a tiny town of about 8,000 people on the island of Tanegashima.” Before that, he says, “I had felt very little culture shock when I first moved to Japan as I had only lived in major cities. Tanegashima was my first taste of inaka life and a very unique and challenging experience.” While he admits, “The students were great but I prefer city life and was eager to return to Tokyo,” he also shared the following: “JAXA, the Japanese space program, is based in Minamitane. There was a bar in town appropriately titled Moon Bar. I would DJ there on occasion and tried to incorporate space themes into the sets.”

Read More


Dec 1

 

Writer Graham Shelby (Fukushima 1994-97) recently teamed up with The Butcher’s Apron Radio Show to produce this full-on audio story (music, sound EFX, the whole thing) about a distinctly JET experience.

Asakawa JPG

“The Asakawa Christmas Party” tells the true story of a complicated Christmas party Graham and a few other American JETs attended at a Japanese elementary school. It was complicated because…

a.) it took place on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

and…

b.) the teachers asked them to teach “a traditional American Christmas dance.”  (FYI – there aren’t any).

How’d it turn out?  Doozo. 

The story was produced as part of Selfridge and Co’s Reasons to Believe series of original Christmas tales.  Graham has a few more Japan stories here.

 


Aug 3

Let’s Talk Japan, Episode 24 – Kokoyakyu Documentary

 

Let’s Talk Japan is a monthly, interview format podcast covering a wide range of Japan-related topics. Host Nick Harling (Mie-ken, 2001-03) lived in Japan from 2001 until 2005, including two great years as a JET Program participant in Mie-Ken. He practices law in Washington, D.C., and lives with his wife who patiently listens to him talk about Japan . . . a lot.

JETtalks

 

 

This episode is a special JET Talks Edition of the Let’s Talk Japan Podcast featuring a panel discussion with the producers of “Kokoyakyu,” a documentary about high school baseball in Japan and the quest to qualify for the national summer baseball tournament at historic Koshien Stadium. High school baseball in Japan is a national obsession, and the Koshien summer tournament is a wonderful event through which to gain insight into Japanese society.

The 96th National Summer Baseball Tournament will be played at Koshien Stadium beginning Saturday, August 9th, and will end with the championship game on Saturday, August 23 at 1pm (JST). Here is a list on this year’s teams and a schedule of the games.

“JET Talks” is a speaker series organized by the JET Program Alumni Association of Washington, DC (“JETAADC”). JET Talks is loosely modeled after the TED Talks concept and features dynamic and interesting speakers with the goal of inspiring innovative ideas and conversations on Japan-related themes.

If you have not already done so, be sure to follow the podcast on Twitter @letstalkjapan and leave a positive rating/review in iTunes.


Jun 30

Let’s Talk Japan, Episode 23 – 2014 Embassy of Japan JET Program Pre-Departure Orientation

 

Let’s Talk Japan is a monthly, interview format podcast covering a wide range of Japan-related topics. Host Nick Harling (Mie-ken, 2001-03) lived in Japan from 2001 until 2005, including two great years as a JET Program participant in Mie-Ken. He practices law in Washington, D.C., and lives with his wife who patiently listens to him talk about Japan . . . a lot.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a pre-departure orientation for new JET Program participants, organized by the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan.

The orientation covered a wide range of topics, and I am very grateful to the Japanese Embassy for allowing me to record the event and use the audio on the podcast. The presenters were all JET Program alumni, who shared their first-hand experiences and advice with the new JETs on a wide range of topics.

In this episode, I have included three particularly useful presentations; including: (1) Things To Do Before You Leave; (2) Life in Japan; and (3) Life as an Assistant Language Teacher. These are just a few of the topics covered at the orientation, and I hope to share more of them with you in a future episode.  If you know of someone considering the JET Program or moving to Japan, there’s a lot of useful information in this episode.

Enjoy,

Nicksmall dot

If you have not already done so, be sure to follow the podcast on Twitter @letstalkjapan and leave a positive rating/review in iTunes.


May 15

AJETlogoVia the AJET website:

On May 7th, we held our fourth AJET Professional Development Conference Call. Our guest speaker was former JET, Mr. Anthony Bianchi (Aichi-ken, Kiyosu City, 1989-91) who now serves as a city council council member in Inuyama City, Aichi prefecture. Mr. Bianchi is often highlighted in the Japanese media and is well-known for being the first American-born elected official in JapanClick here to read a short interview with him on AJET.net.

"The JET Program has great benefits for the country. One of the greatest, but overlooked is the former participants themselves. They all have a great knowledge, understanding and affection for Japan. All have gone on to various careers and are great but underutilized network."

Anthony Bianchi (Aichi-ken, 1989-91)

Mr. Bianchi discussed the inner workings of his current position, various initiatives to improve English and international communication in his community and how JETs can potentially get involved with local politics in their communities.

Click here to listen to the recording of the call on the AJET website:  http://ajet.net/2014/05/13/professional-development-call-anthony-bianchi/


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