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
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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


Feb 3

JETAA Chapter Beat February 2nd 2016

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.

February is a big month for JETAA chapters around the world , with many of them hosting elections for the next JETAA councils and representatives. However, that does not stop JETAA chapters from holding some really great events too! Let’s have a look at some of the events happening this month.

1.JETAA Portland

Shinnenkai 2016 @ Grand Central Restaurant & Bowling Lounge

When: February 18th, 7-10pm
Where: Grand Central Restaurant & Bowling Lounge (808 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97232)

It may already be February, but it isn’t really the new year until you’ve celebrated it with JETAA Portland! This year JETAA Portland are bringing you a Shinnenkai full of food, fun, and games for the whole family. Join them at Grand Central Restaurant & Bowling Lounge for a casual evening of tacos and bowling as they celebrate the year of the monkey. 明けましておめでとう!

Mini-font-b-Bowling-b-font-font-b-Ball-b-font-font-b-Kids-b-font

2.  JETAA Ottawa

Curling

When: February 13th, 5-7pm
Where: Ottawa Curling Club ,440 O’Connor St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W4

Curling, the king of sports! Come and enjoy casual, beginner-friendly curling at the Ottawa Curling Club. You don’t need any experience or equipment to have a nice time! JETAA Ottawa has reserved two sheets of ice as well as instruction for the first half hour.

 

 3.JETAA Southern California

SuperBowl Sunday Hike

When: February 7th, 8:45-12pm PST
Where:859 E Sierra Madre Ave, Glendora, CA 91741

Want to go hiking ? This is a pretty easy 1.5 mile hike, but then the last part definitely gets your heart rate up. It’s about 1 1/4 hours to the top and about an hour down, depending on how much time the group spends taking breaks. It’s a good hike with great views from the top.
If you would like to go please RSVP on the JETAASC Facebook page.

 

4. JETAA Northern California 

JETAANC Volunteer Nite for Berkeley-Sakai Sister City Association!

Berkeley-Sakai Sister City Association needs our help! Come enjoy some pizza and beer and learn how you can assist their efforts to re-establish their student exchange programs and prepare for their 50th Anniversary in 2017.

**Register here:
http://berkeleysakaivolunteernite.eventbrite.com/

JET alumni and friends have helped revitalize U.S.-Japan sister city groups across the Bay Area and now we are turning our attention to Berkeley-Sakai! What they are trying to do is at the heart of the grassroots exchange mission of the JET Program and so it is naturally close to our hearts.

When: February 18th, 6:30-8:30pm PST
Where: Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley,California 94704

 

5.JETAA South Island

Summer j-kaiwa

Celebrate 2016 with drinks and nibbles at Space Academy on St Asaph Street. Anyone/everyone welcome for casual conversation in English or Japanese. It is a great place to meet new people and practice your language (or just hang out). JETAA South Island are looking forward to seeing lots of new and old faces!

When: February 2nd, 5:30pm ~
Where: Space Academy, 371 St Asaph Street, Christchurch, New Zealand 8011

 

6.JETAA Hawaii

Shinnekai and talk on the ‘other’ side of Japan

JETAA Hawaii is pleased to announce that for it’s 2016 Shinnenkai, that they will be hosting a presentation on the “other” side of Japan — organized crime (aka Yakuza) and its effect on Japan’s government, business and financial worlds, and society-at-large.

The speaker will be US Marine Colonel Grant Newsham, a senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo. Colonel Newsham lived in Japan for 20 years, and worked as a US diplomat and military officer, and in the investment banking and high-tech industries.

RSVP to jetaahawaii@gmail.com by Tuesday, February 2, 2016

When: February 5th,6-8pm
Where: Box Jelly Co-working space, 07 Kamani St, Honolulu, HI 96813


Jan 18

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.

Welcome to the second chapter beat for 2016 . There is so much happening in January in the JETAA world so I have selected just a sample for everyone to enjoy. For more information on events around the world please visit your nearest chapters Facebook pages or websites.

1. JETAA NSW

JETAA NSW New Years Beach BBQ

When: January 31st, 12pm
Where: Coogee Beach, NSW

Head to Coogee Beach to join JETAA NSW for their annual summer BBQ.

Take along your swimmers, snacks and BBQ favourites and help them kick off the new year with a bang!

2.JETAA Singapore

JETAA SG Welcome Back Reception

When: February 2nd, 6:30-9pm
Where: Japan Creative Centre (JCC), 4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372

Join  JETAA SG for the Welcome Back Reception organised by Embassy of Japan and CLAIR!

You’ll get to meet fellow ex-JETs, old and new, and also external companies and associations like JCCI, JUGAS, and SSEAYP.

Please RSVP your attendance by 24th January here: http://bit.ly/jetaasgwelcomeback2015

3.JETAA British Columbia

Annual General Meeting and Shinnenkai

When: January 29th, 6-9pm
Where: YWCA Hotel, 733 Beatty Street (Between Robson and Georgia St)

JETAABC is proud to invite all JETAABC members and their guests to the Annual General Meeting and Shinnenkai 2016. This is a great opportunity to stay connected with JETs and continue contributing to Japan/Canada relations in an amazing way. Please consider joining the JETAABC Board of Directors whether you are a recent returnee or have been beck for decades.

Annual General Meeting 2016

4.JETAA Mid-South

First Thursday (Muses Parade Edition)

When: February 4th, 8pm
Where:TBC on Muses Parade Route

First Thursdays are a casual monthly get together designed to allow JETAA members to meet up and hang out.  If you are interested in attending please feel free to drop in.

5.JETAA Northern California

JETAANC East Bay Networking Nomikai

When: January 21st, 7:30-9:30pm
Where:Diving Dog Brewhouse. 1802 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, California 94612

Join alumni and friends at our New Year’s East Bay Networking Nomikai (happy hour)! Let’s ring in the Year of the Monkey together at Diving Dog Brewhouse in the heart of Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood.

Register here.

6. JETAA Chicago

YPC Koval Whiskey Tour, Tasting & Discussion

When: January 21st, 6:30-8pm
Where: KOVAL Distillery, 5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, United States

Join JASC and JETAA members for a tour, tasting and discussion of Chicago’s very own KOVAL Distillery, set on the Northside of Chicago in Ravenswood.

Sample whiskey, gin, vodka and liqueurs while touring the distillery and learning more about the whiskey making process, and what sets KOVAL apart from the competition.  The tour will end with a discussion from Fuyuko Kojima, Japanese market manager for KOVAL, who will lend insight into KOVAL’s marketing strategies in Japan and discuss cultural obstacles and challenges.  Products will be available for sale during the event with a 10% discount for all attendees.

koval

7.Texoma JETAA

Dallas-Fort Worth(DFW) Shinnenkai Karaoke

When: January 30th, 2-4pm CST
Where: Round One Arlington Texas 76015

Sing you hello to 2016 and a belated welcome to returning JETAA members at Round One in Arlington with the DFW JET Alumni. 

8. JETAA Canberra

February Oshaberikai

When: February 3rd , 6:30~
Where: King O’Malleys, Civic

JETAA Canberra’s February Oshaberikai and get together will be at held at King O’Malleys.
If you can’t speak Japanese come along anyway, we all speak English too! This is a great way to meet the other JET Alumni in Canberra.

For those who haven’t been before here’s how it works: You only pay for what you eat/drink and JETAA Canberra provides the bar snacks.

 

 

That’s all for this fortnights chapter beat. If you have any events that you want listed please contact me on my email ashlie.oneill@ajet.net.
Have a great week


Nov 3

jetaaoc2015

The JETAA Oceania Regional Conference took place in Christchurch, New Zealand this year, over the weekend of Oct 16th-18th. JETAA Oceania is a meeting of chapters from two countries, Australia (5) and New Zealand (3), as well as the respective country representatives. Australia’s Country Representative, Eden Law (ALT Fukushima 2010-2011) reports on the proceedings of the 2015 JETAA Oceania Conference.

As far as I know, the JETAA Oceania Regional Conference is unique in the JETAA world, where two countries share an annual convention – not surprising, considering the geographical proximity and historically close relations (buddies and often times frenemies) of Australia and New Zealand. This year’s theme is “Staying Connected” – to past and present JETs and JET community, local Japanese organisations and cultural groups, sister city initiatives and of course, with other chapters. Because it’s such a core issue to many chapters, we had a lot to say, discuss and share – opinions, ideas and examples that have work and didn’t. Some ideas:

  • Maintaining connections with new JETs by following up after a month to see how they are going. If you have a newsletter, ask for article contributions (e.g. “Best experience”, “Most surprising aspect”, “What I should have packed”). These can also be used as material for the next pre-departure orientation.
  • Have a committee retreat – have a mini conference by going away to a nice country location to discuss ideas, plan schedule etc.
  • Provide some kind of charity work opportunity to give a sense of purpose and satisfaction
  • Market JET Programme as a way to gain transitional skills (e.g. being bilingual means you can see things from different viewpoints)
  • Sell JET as a professional development program
  • For a fun fundraising idea, have a trivia night where answers/clues can be bought for a small fee. Cheat for charity!

This conference also marks my presentation debut as a shiny, newly minted country representative, which was also the same for my New Zealand equivalent, Raewyn MacGregor. Our presentations were about what we’d do as CRs, considering that the role tended to be re-invented to suit each new candidate’s needs and personality. Apart from trying to reduce the wheel-reinvention aspect by keeping records and procedure documentation, we will also aim to focus on community and communication. To that end, I put forward a proposal to have regular, scheduled Google Hangouts for Oceania to keep in touch and continue the flow of dialogue, ideas and support for each other (and if possible, get some participants from outside Oceania to join in!). We will also look at ways of supporting recent returnees, whether in the form of support, mentorship or career opportunities.

We also discussed the Satogaeri Project and the Tokyo November conference, where Satogaeri representatives from several countries (and AJET) will meet and discuss several ideas, such as next year’s 30th Anniversary celebratory plans, and, most interestingly of all, the possible revival of JETAA International (JETAAI). This chapter had gone dormant for the last few years since losing funding during austerity measures implemented by previous governments. For some of you out there, you may be aware of (or have participating in) the short bursts of email communications regarding this chapter. From the documentation presented by CLAIR at the conference, it’s now clear why this was occuring, as JETAAI’s revival looks fairly certain, with proposed committee members election to be held (presumably with those present). There are other further surprising items on the agenda regarding country representatives, so I’ll await the post-conference report with interest.

On a final note, it became clear that the common ingredient running through all successful ideas was networking – building and maintaining relationships which can be tapped into for opportunities. This does require work and commitment – as is the case with anything worthwhile. You can’t go at it half-arsed if you intend to make things a success, after all. Special thanks go to our great chapter hosts, New Zealand’s JETAA South Island, lead by president Caroline Pope (and NZ’s Satogaeri representative) who ran a very efficient and tight ship, which our visiting CLAIR official from Tokyo even remarked on, as being better organised than recent conferences that he had attended. High praise indeed!

The conference site is still up in the meantime. Check out all the pics and posts on Twitter and Facebook by searching for #jetaaoc.


Oct 6

New: JETAA Middle East

Just want to share that JET Alum Ahmad Butt has just set up the new JETAA Middle East on FB and LinkedIn.  Ahmad is based in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) and is trying to get some momentum going for a chapter there.  Here’s the info. Please feel free to share with others.
JETAA Middle East

Sep 11

A loss in the JET alumni community

From the CLAIR New York Facebook page:

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ms. Nancy Kikuchi, one of the founding members of the JETAA Southern California chapter and a tireless advocate for the Japanese-American community in Los Angeles. Nancy was a Mombusho English Fellow before becoming one of the original JETs back in 1987. Returning to LA, she helped organize the chapter and served as its president from 1989 to 1993. Remaining active in alumni affairs, she went on to pursue a career in real estate, served as an advocate and consultant for the people of Little Tokyo, and worked for a number of community-based organizations. She was among five 2012 Women of the Year named by the Downtown Los Angeles Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California . Nancy embodied the talents, abilities, and aspirations of the finest JET Program participants, strengthening ties between Japan and her home country, and building on that experience to serve her community while always being there for Japan, for JET, and for her fellow alumni.


Jul 18

JET Talks Film Screening – “Kokoyakyu High School Baseball” Documentary and Q&A Panel

 

JETAA DC is proud to present the launch of JET Talks– a speaker series modeled after TED Talks that will feature dynamic and interesting individuals to inspire innovative ideas and conversation on Japan within the DC community.

JETtalks

 

Upcoming Events: Kokoyakyu Documentary and Q&A – Tuesday, July 22

Play Ball! On July 22, please join JETAADC at the Japan Information and Culture Center (1150 18th St NW #100, Washington, DC 20036) as it presents its first “JET Talk” of the 2014-2015 season: a screening of the award winning documentary Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball, followed by a discussion with two of the film’s producers.

Kokoyakyu is the first English-language film to examine high school baseball in Japan, in particular, the annual summer high school baseball tournament. The film follows one team as it seeks to play in the prestigious tournament, and along the way demonstrates why high school baseball has become a national rite of passage for many of Japan’s youth.

Following the film, Nick Harling (Mie-ken, 2001-03), JET Talks Co-Chair and creator of the Let’s Talk Japan Podcast, will lead a discussion with Kokoyakyu’s Producers Alex Shear and Takayo Nagasawa as they discuss the making of the film and the differences between the U.S. and Japan when it comes to the “National Pastime.”

Click here to register for Kokoyakyu.

Light refreshments will be served. Identification will be required to consume alcoholic beverages. Admission is free, but you must preregister.

If you have an interesting and dynamic speaker you’d like to hear speak on anything related to Japan, email us at jet.talks@jetaadc.org.


Jul 3

Leading U.S.-Japan Exchange in Northern California: JETAANC

The following was written by JETAA Northern California President Mark Frey (Kumamoto-ken, 2002-06) with contributions from Xander Peterson (Miyazaki, 2009-2012) and was originally published in Japanese in the most recent edition of the CLAIR Forum which is distributed to pretty much every prefecture and town government in Japan as well as every Japanese consulate and embassy.  Below is the English version.  Here’s a link to the CLAIR Forum (PDF) which has the article in Japanese.

Leading U.S.-Japan Exchange in Northern California: JETAANC

By Mark Frey, President, JETAANC, mark.frey@jetaanc.org

Many of you know participants of the JET Program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program). They may be your co-workers or friends. But what happens to them when they return to their home countries? I hope to show you some of the exciting things that former JETs are doing on behalf of U.S.-Japan relations. I will also suggest some ways that you can engage JET alumni to further your own goals.

In 1989, two years after the start of the JET Program, former JETs gathered and established the JET Program Alumni Association (JETAA) with the aim of giving each other support and continuing the mission of the JET Program to foster grassroots international exchange.

Over the past 25 years, JETAA has grown into a vibrant worldwide organization. There are now over 57,000 JET alumni living across the globe. Over 28,000 of them live in America. That’s about 1 in every 8,000 American adults! You can see the positive impact that JET alumni can have in promoting Japan around the world.

This year I became President of JETAA’s Northern California chapter, JETAANC. With over 3,000 members, I am proud to say that we are one of the largest and most active chapters in the world. Next year we will celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

Our alumni are working at every level of every sector of the local economy, including for-profit, non-profit, education, and government. They are promoting exchange between the U.S. and Japan whenever and however they can.

Every year, our alumni provide substantial support to the JET Program. Read More


May 20

JETAA Scotland logo

Very nice!  I’m not sure if it’s new, but I hadn’t seen it before and I just noticed it in a JETAA UK Facebook post:

JETAAScotland

 


May 13

CLAIR Sydney Newsletter No. 75

CLAIRlogoPosted originally by Hiromi Hakuta to the JETAA Oceania FB page.

“In CLAIR monthly Newsletter No.75, we introduce JETAA South Island activities, a cycling festival in Hiroshima and Japanese schools that are seeking Sister School relationships with Australian or NZ schools. My business trip to New Zealand is also introduced on that!”

http://www.jlgc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CLAIR-newsletter-No.75.pdf


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


Apr 5

JQ Magazine: NY JET Alum Collaborates with Japanese Expats on ‘2nd Avenue’

JET alum Tony Waldman (second from left) on the set of Web series "2nd Avenue." (Courtesy of Tsukasa Kondo)

JET alum Tony Waldman (second from left) on the set of Web series 2nd Avenue. (Courtesy of Tsukasa Kondo)

 

By Julio Perez Jr. (Kyoto-shi, 2011-13) for JQ magazine. A bibliophile, writer, translator, and graduate from Columbia University, Julio is currently working at Ishikawa Prefecture’s New York office while seeking opportunities with publications in New York. Follow his enthusiasm for Japan, literature, and board gaming on his blog and Twitter @brittlejules.

She’s an aspiring actress with visa problems; he’s a gay law student and newly homeless. Can a fake marriage solve their problems? Mariko and Taichi are the stars of a goofy Web comedy filmed on location in New York called 2nd Avenue. You can tune into their zany adventures on YouTube and view the entire six-episode first season, which ended this past February.

The creative team behind 2nd Avenue includes Mari Kawade (director), Maho Honda (who plays Mariko), and Tsukasa Kondo (who plays Taichi). Kondo, who also is the writer for the series, was inspired by the many Web series online and decided to try writing something that would never be seen on Japanese TV, but would have a place on YouTube. He adds that his biggest inspirations for the story are “the actress Maho Honda, my life in New York as a gay man, and American TV shows.” Honda and Kawade also cite the diversity of New York City itself, and the stories of what people do just to survive in it, as a significant creative inspiration.

As you may have guessed, you can’t do something awesome involving Japan in New York without some JET alumni getting involved. Tony Waldman (Mie-ken, 2005-09) and his group New Beard provide the soundtrack for the show. The idea for this pairing took root after he met Kawade at the JET Alumni Association of New York’s annual Meishi Exchange event in 2013.

“She mentioned that she was looking for music for this Web series,” Waldman says. “We exchanged contact info and kept in touch. Many months later, she…asked if we could use my band New Beard’s music in the show. Us here in Beard Town (Williamsburg) gave her the OK, and our music became the soundtrack to the entire show…a true JETAANY Meishi Exchange success story!”

Read More


Apr 3

JETAA Portland announces new officers

jetaa_portland_logoSaw this on the JETAA Portland email blast:

New JETAA Portland Officers Announced

The votes have been counted! The officers elected to the new April-to-March term are below.  Congratulate them the next time you see them.  Also, thanks to last year’s officers — Brooke, Jeffrey, Veronica and Matt Turner.

President   Jeffrey Houser
Vice President      Brooke Muetzel
Treasurer   Veronica Adversalo
Secretary   Matt Krzyzynski

ALSO…. JETAA Portland continues its long tradition of one of the greatest JETAA events out there, the Iron Chef Potluck, where they typically invite the JETAA Pacific Northwest (based in Seattle) folks to come down for some friendly competition and communal eating.

Iron Chef: May 17th

The JETAA Iron Chef competitive potluck is planned for Saturday, May 17th.  Check the JETAA Portland website or look for an email with more detail in the next few weeks.  Start thinking about those recipes!


Apr 2

JETAA Northern Ireland looking for more ex-JETs in Northern Ireland

UK-JAPAN_kanji_03Taken from a recent JETAA UK email blast:

Hello everyone,

My name is Richard Fleming (a.k.a Richie, The Richie, Tricky, and Dick). I have recently been nominated to chair the Northern Ireland chapter of JETAA UK and I need your help.

I am reaching out to everyone in the hope that there are some former JETs here in NI who still want to be involved with JETAA events. Are you one of them?! If so, get in touch!

If you are lucky enough to be reading this from a location outside of NI, good for you. Thanks for still reading. Are you formerly from here? Do you know any former JETs who may be lying around Belfast/Derry wishing they had someone to talk to about how amazing Japan is? They obviously don’t have to be from here, they could be from anywhere, as long as they’re here and interested in getting involved.

We’re a small province and we all pretty much know each other through no more than 2 or 3 degrees of separation. Everyone knows my mate Paddy. He has a beard and drinks Guinness.

I welcome contact from all quarters. I’m determined to reinvigorate the NI chapter and link in with other individuals/organisations which have a connection with Japan. The Japan Society have already invited me to their Hanami event, I would like to have a few former JETs to accompany me!

Anyway, apologies for the mass Mailshot, but the wider you cast the net the better your chances of catching something. If you’ve been on a night out in Belfast you’ll understand why that saying is not always good advice.

Also, even if you don’t know any former JETs here, I welcome any suggestions to try to kick start our chapter!

Best regards,

Richie

JETAA Northern Ireland:  http://www.jetaa.org.uk/about-jetaa/chapters/northern-ireland/


Mar 10

Donate for Tohoku on March 11 and Make Your Support TWICE As Effective!

2x4-Vertical3/11 Update:  FYI, the 24 hour deadline for Global Giving to match donations to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund and other 3/11 initiatives has been lifted, and they will continue to match JET contributions until matching funds run out. So JETs/alums can continue to double their donations!

*Link to the Global Giving Matching Page:  http://www.globalgiving.org/leaderboards/japan-matching-2014/ to see how much various groups are raising.

*Link to the JETAA USA Event Page:  https://www.facebook.com/jetaausa

*The link to donate has been added!

Put this on your calendar!  

JETAA USA is supporting the Taylor Anderson Memorial Foundation for a 24 hour donation drive that starts when the clock strikes midnight in Japan on March 11. And GlobalGiving has offered to match these donations.

This is a great opportunity to show our ongoing support for Tohoku by going to the Global Giving website on March 11th to make a donation during the matching grant period.

Online donation drive

Donation websitehttp://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/jets-rally-for-tohoku/

Starts: 12:00 midnight Japan time on 3/11 (11 am EST, March 10; 8 am PST, etc)

Ends: 11:59 p.m. Japan time on 3/11 (10:59 am EST on March 10)

Background

Three years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the devastation in Tohoku has largely faded from the news. However, so much remains to be done for the survivors and TAMF has been partnering with a number of organizations in Japan to provide relief and help the people of Tohoku build a strong and vibrant future.

Smile Together IshinomakiTAMF has provided funding to the following projects:

  • Living Dreams: Tohoku Kids Project

  • Hope for Tomorrow

  • JET Micro Grants

  • Taylor Anderson Reading Corners

  • Taylor Sendai YMCA Scholarships

  • Exchange Programs

For more information on TAMF, please go to http://www.taylorandersonmemorialfund.org/, their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/taylorandersonmemorialfund, or watch the NHK interview with Jeanne and Andy at https://vimeo.com/86637051.

JETAA USA is proud to partner with TAMF to carry on the support JETs and JET alumni have shown for Japan and the people of Tohoku ever since March 2011.

Caroline Kennedy visiting Miyagi Prefecture

Details:

All donations up to $1,000 per individual donor made to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund on March 11th Japan time will be matched by Global Giving through their Japan Match Global Giving program. (Global Giving will charge a 15% facilitation fee to cover their costs, which donors may choose to cover if they wish so that their full donation amount goes to TAMF. See the page for details.)

We are also very happy to see Ambassador Kennedy giving her backing to their mission, as well.  For coverage of her recent trip to Ishinomaki and visit to Mangokuura Elementary School, where Taylor taught, please check out the article at http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/recovery/AJ201311250099.


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