Jan 2

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Anime films, Final Fantasy Live, Yoshiki at Carnegie Hall

 

 

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Start 2017 off right by heading down to your local concert hall, cinema, or arts center for some fantastic new year’s fare. Whether you enjoy movies, travel, or orchestral performances classic video games, treat yourself and catch a break from the cold.

This month’s highlights include:

GKIDS

GKIDS

Now playing through Jan. 5

Ocean Waves

IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue

$15 

New 4K restoration! Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships. As the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, these new screenings of Ocean Waves are paired with Ghiblies: Episode 2, a unique 25-minute short film from Studio Ghibli, featuring several comedic vignettes of studio staff as they go about their day. Utilizing new animation techniques and software that would then be deployed on the production of My Neighbors the Yamadas, Ghiblies: Episode 2 made its North American debut in December 2016. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

GKIDS

GKIDS

January 5 & 9, 7:00 p.m.

Princess Mononoke: 20th Anniversary

AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

$15.99

A two-night event! Princess Mononoke, the classic animated film from groundbreaking writer/director Hayao Miyazaki and the legendary Studio Ghibli, returns to movie theaters in celebration of the beloved historical fantasy’s 20th anniversary and director Miyazaki’s birthday. The first Studio Ghibli film to receive an uncut U.S. theatrical release, Princess Mononoke returns to cinemas subtitled on Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m. and English-dubbed on Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. The celebration will include a special bonus screening of the music video directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Chage and Aska’s “On Your Mark”!

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Jan. 5-9

Club Diamond

The Public: Martinson Hall, 425 Lafayette Street

$25, $20 members

Part of the 2017 Under the Radar Festival! Tokyo, 1937: An American silent film about a Japanese immigrant is introduced by a celebrated narrator whose existence is being threatened by the impending arrival of the talkies. Ten years later, he will survive under U.S. occupation as a street performer, desperately attempting to finish this story. Admiration and resistance, dreams and survival, Club Diamond is a modern take on the immigration tale. Its creators are Nikki Appino, an award-winning filmmaker, Saori Tsukada, who has been described as a “charismatic mover” (Backstage) and a “startlingly precise dancer” (The New York Times), and has been developed in collaboration with violinist Tim Fain.

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Dec 29
"This graphic novel series arrests your attention, from the immersive quality of the art, to the highs of self depreciating humor, to the lows of isolation and despair that run through it. Those who have lived abroad will find a lot to relate to." (Top Shelf Productions)

“This graphic novel series arrests your attention, from the immersive quality of the art, to the highs of self depreciating humor, to the lows of isolation and despair that run through it. Those who have lived abroad will find much to relate to.” (Top Shelf Productions)

 

By Julio Perez Jr. (Kyoto-shi, 2011-13) for JQ magazine. A bibliophile, writer, translator, and graduate from Columbia University, Julio currently keeps the lights on by working at JTB USA while writing freelance in New York. Follow his enthusiasm for Japan, literature, and comic books on his blog and Twitter @brittlejules.

Everyone has felt out of place at some point in their lives. People who choose to live abroad sometimes make that their everyday. In Tonoharu, cartoonist and JET alum Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken, 2003-2006; Kyoto-fu, 2011-2016) illustrates a story exploring themes of human relationships through the experience of an English teacher in Japan on a journey of self-discovery. Told in three parts, the final volume was released in November and represents many years of work for Martinson that began to see fruition when he received the Xeric Grant for Comic Book Self-Publishers in 2007.

Tonoharu is a tale of several non-Japanese teachers of English living in the titular rural town outside of Fukuoka City, mostly from the viewpoint of a young American named Dan Wells. Wells feels out of place in Japan, but claims to have felt the same way back home without having the excuse of being a foreigner. The reader climbs in the back seat for an intimate road trip with him through his pursuit of purpose and success in his job and social life, privy to all manner of encounters from intimacy in the bedroom to traditional parades with locally made floats. In just one year, Wells encounters unique challenges in his work, frustrations with seemingly unrequited romantic interest for another American, confusion and alarm at the mysterious activities of other foreigners in Tonoharu, and worst of all, the inability to replace light bulbs in his apartment!

Tonoharu is full of quiet moments that when described may come off as unimpressive, but they are always captivating and powerful in the way the words and imagery captures the moodiness of imperfect exchanges between people that are not usually seen in glossier fiction. This quality is enhanced by a lack of narration—the framing story of Dan’s successor (also named Dan) features his narration, but in the main story the characters only express themselves by speaking to one another. Often the things they don’t say, their expressions and their body language, and the things they choose to say while alone, speak just as powerfully as the introspective autobiographical style of narrative-driven graphic novels such as Persepolis.

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Sep 30

Via JETAA Ottawa. Posted by Gemma Villanueva (Fukushima 2008-11), the editor for the JETAA Ottawa Newsletter.

Download your digital copy of the JETAA Ottawa Newsletter now!

What’s inside this issue?

PM ABE’S VISIT | WELCOME BACK, NEW RETURNERS! | CHEF HAMANA Q&A | JET ALUMNUS MICHAEL MAHER KING OF SMILE KIDS JAPAN  | ONSENS: SOLIDIFYING FRIENDSHIPS IN STRANGE PLACES | AND MORE!

JETAA Ottawa

Happy reading!


Feb 28

News agency Kyodo News has recently been publishing monthly articles written by JET alumni who were appointed in rural areas of Japan, as part of promotion for the JET Programme. Below is the English version of the column from January 2013. Posted by Celine Castex (Chiba-ken, 2006-11), currently programme coordinator at CLAIR Tokyo.

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Khalid Birdsong (Osaka-fu, 2003-05) attended Howard University, in Washington D.C. from 1993-1997. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. He is currently an Art teacher at a private school in Palo Alto, CA for grades Kindergarten through 4th. He is also a freelance cartoonist and webcomic artist. His comic about living in Japan can be found at www.friedchickenandsushi.com .

 

FCS028helloshimamoto

 

I couldn’t speak their language!

I moved to Japan in the summer of 2003 to work as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Junior High School for the JET Programme. I was placed in a small town called Shimamoto near the mountains in-between the cities of Osaka and Kyoto. I ended up living there for two years. Two years full of wonderful experiences and pleasant surprises. As an African-American man from Atlanta, Georgia, living in Japan also had its challenges! One of the most difficult was learning the Japanese language.

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Aug 9

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Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has  just published the Kameoka Diaries Volume 2. This is a follow-up to Kameoka Diaries Volume 1, Lars’ insightful and entertaining (especially to any JETs) e-comic about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Notably, you can purchase a copy for $0.99 for iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch or pay $1 for a PDF version for Mac/PC/Android/whatever.

More info here and below:  http://larsmartinson.com/kameokadiaries2-now-available/

In Lars’ words:

When I submitted my first e-comics to Apple, ( The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One and Young Men of a Certain Mind ) it took one month for them to get approved, so I’m surprised & delighted it only took two days this time. But hey, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

I’ll write more about the new volume of The Kameoka Diaries soon; I just wanted to get this announcement blog entry out right-away.

So please check it out. And if you enjoy it, please consider writing a review on iBooks, and/or telling your friends, and/or tweeting about it, and/or “liking” it on Facebook. Thanks a bunch!

JETwit Note:  I just downloaded a copy onto my iPhone as soon as I saw the announcement.  Volume 1 was great, even on an iPhone screen.  


Jun 7

SCBWI Tokyo Illustration Day with John Shelley

SCBWI-Tokyo Publicity Assistant Suzanne Kamata (Tokushima 1988-90) shares the following:

Sunday August 19, 2012

SCBWI Tokyo Illustration Day with John Shelley:

Breathing Life Into Your Pictures

Power up your pictures! Give your illustrations vitality and zest! This SCBWI Tokyo Illustration Day featuring illustrator John Shelley will focus on techniques that children’s illustrators use to create resonance in their work and will explore how visual psychology works to convey mood, emotion, and movement. The Action and Emotion Illustration Assignment to be completed in advance of the workshop provides an opportunity for illustrators to develop their craft through open critiques at the event.

Time:  Sunday, August 19, 2012, 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Place:  Tokyo Women’s Plaza, Audiovisual Room, A & B
5-53-67 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (by the Children’s Castle and United Nations University). For a map see www.scbwi.jp/map.htm Read More


May 5

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Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has  just announced the Kameoka Diaries, Lars’ e-comic about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto, is now available on iTunes.

More info here and below:  http://larsmartinson.com/my-first-two-e-comics-now-available/

The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One [ Direct iBookstore Link ]
The Kameoka Diaries: Volume One is a humorous (?) account of my experiences living and working in Central Japan, told over eight chapters. It includes an exclusive chapter not available anywhere else!

JETwit Note:  I just downloaded a copy onto my iPhone. 250 pages for only $0.99, and I always love Lars’ work.  Plus, it’s my first time using iBook which it turns out is pretty nifty. :-)

 


Apr 17

Congratulations to Aaron Porter (ALT Kyoto-fu, Yawata-shi, 1998-2001), who is the 2012 winner of New York’s Japan Day @Central Park poster contest!

From the JapanDayNYC.org website:

“Japan Day – Cherry Blossom Art Contest”

Contest Results

WINNER

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the New York City, Japan Day invited visual artists to submit artwork that featured the beautiful of both cherry trees and Central Park.

Thanks to all of your support, the art contest received total of 45 submissions. All Jurors will agree that, there were a number of impressive entries that made the selection process a challenge.  In fact, the Judges also awarded 5 honorable mentions, in addition to choosing a winner.

We are delighted that we can now reveal the winner of the Japan Day Cherry Blossom Art Contest — Aaron Porter and his art work!

【Japan Day 2012 Official Poster Visual using Mr. Porter’s Art Work】

 

From Aaron’s profile on the Japan Day NYC website:

Aaron is originally from Chicago and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Scientific Illustration from Northern Illinois University. He began his career as a newspaper artist in South Florida in 1988 in a pre-digital world. Aaron first worked for the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, then the Miami Herald. While in South Florida, Aaron earned a MFA in painting at the University of Miami.

Shortly after finishing his course work, he was accepted into the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program the summer of 1998. He taught English in four junior high schools in Yawata City (Kyoto Prefecture) and still to this day considers it the most exciting three years of his life. While in Japan, he spent his spare time getting to know Japanese culture and painting. His paintings during this period were most often about Japanese culture. During his time in Japan, he had a painting exhibition at the Kyoto International Center in Kyoto Station as well as a number of other small shows in coffee houses and wherever he could get his work shown.

Aaron returned to the States the summer of 2001 and began his new career in newspapers at The Journal News in White Plains, New York. Presently, Aaron is a part-time digital art instructor at the Bronx Community College as well as a freelance graphic artist and illustrator.

Aaron is married to a Japanese woman from Fukuoka whom he met in New York City after he returned from Japan. They live in Up State New York, visit NYC often and travel to Japan each year to visit her family. Much to his wife’s disappointment he speaks very little Japanese.


Mar 20

Davids_Book_Launch_1

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Thanks to Lindsay Tsuji for this write-up and thanks to Nadine Bukhman for the photos.

A chilly Toronto’s eve didn’t stop friends and fans of one artistically inclined JET alum from dropping by the Goodfellas Gallery in Toronto to celebrate the launch of his new book Life After the B.O.E. JETAA Toronto’s David Namisato (Aomori-ken CIR, 2002-04) was the cause of some serious hurrah on February 8.

Most JETs are no stranger to David’s comics. Started back in 2005, they chronicle the ins and outs of what life is like as a foreigner on the JET Programme. The enkais, the onsens, the team teaching…it’s all in there. Read More


Mar 12

Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has just just published the latest edition of his new cartoon series calledKameoka Diaries about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Click here to read the Kameoka Diaries #7.

http://larsmartinson.com/kameoka-diaries-7/


Feb 24

Kameoka Diaries #6 by Lars Martinson

Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has just just published the latest edition of his new cartoon series calledKameoka Diaries about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Click here to read the Kameoka Diaries #6.

http://larsmartinson.com/kameoka-diaries-6/

 


Feb 9

Kameoka Diaries #5 by Lars Martinson

Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has just just published the latest edition of his new cartoon series calledKameoka Diaries about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Click here to read the Kameoka Diaries #5.

http://larsmartinson.com/kameoka-diaries-5/


Jan 1

“Tonoharu” author Lars Martinson launches new webcomic – “Kameoka Diaries”


Lars Martinson (Fukuoka-ken 2003-2006), author of the graphic novels Tonoharu: Part Two andTonoharu:  Part 1, has just launched a new cartoon series called Kameoka Diaries about his return to teaching English, this time in Kameoka, Kyoto.

Click hereto read the post and the first cartoon.


Nov 14

Life After the B.O.E. the Book is now on sale at Amazon.com and CreateSpace!

Life After the B.O.E. the Book


Nov 10

Life After the B.O.E. goes on sale next week.

Direct links to Amazon and CreateSpace, which are selling the books, will be posted at that time, but in the mean time, here are some teasers:

The proof peaking out of the box it came in.

Read More


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