Aug 9


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:

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.  

Apr 19

2013 Japanese Government Scholarships 04.19.12

Via JETAA Pacific Northwest. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97).

The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle is now accepting applications for the following 2013 Japanese Government Scholarships for studying in Japan.

U.S. citizens living in the states of Washington, Montana, and Northern Idaho are eligible to apply at our office.

The application forms are available on our website at: Read More

Feb 21

JETAA Southeast to hold JLPT language course in March

Via JETAA Southeast:

The JETAASE chapter will have a JLPT language course in March. If you are near JLPT N2 level or aspiring to be, this course is for you!

March 5th
March 12th
March 26th

Time: 7:45pm – 9:15pm (90 minutes)

Class location: Healey Building downstairs conference room (the corner of Forsyth and Walton)
Address: 57th Forsyth St. NW, Atlanta, GA

The in-person class will be open to the first 10 participants. For those residing outside of the Atlanta area, a long distance learning option may be available. The class will be taught by Japanese language instructor Sakiko Suzuki

Please sign up at the form below if you are interested in participating.

Jan 31


How to Pass Your Love of Japan onto Your Kids

By Jessica Kennett Cork (CIR, 1997-2000, Hiroshima-ken)

(Note:  Click here to join the JET Alumni Parents Facebook group.)

My kids (7, 5, 2 and 4 months) are the only blond-haired kids in their school.  My two oldest know the names of all the Pokémon characters in both English and Japanese. My toddler can sing the Totoro and Anpanman theme songs in Japanese.

No, we don’t live in Japan. We live in a suburb of Atlanta.  But I knew that even though we live in the United States, I wanted to share my love of Japan with my kids.  I don’t want to “force” Japan on them, and it is fine with me if their future careers have nothing to do with Japan. But at the same time, I want for them to appreciate our family’s adopted culture, and to understand that since I met their dad in a Japanese class in college, they wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Japan.

And so I decided to enroll them in Japanese/English bilingual immersion school. We’re lucky to have several here in Atlanta: two daycare centers and one elementary school. Almost all the other kids in the school are full Japanese or half Japanese, so it is not always easy on my blondies.  The elementary school is Japanese Ministry of Education approved, which means homework every day, even during summer vacation, and lots of parental involvement expected from the PTA.  Not to mention the pressure to come up with a decent o-bento for lunch. My seven year old often wonder why his o-bento doesn’t have cute rabbits made out of apples and carrot flowers. But at the same time, he got to pound rice for New Year’s, grow tomatoes and morning glories as part of his life skills class, has mandatory music and art class, and can use chopsticks better than I can.

But what I love most about the school Read More

Oct 4


Thanks to JETAA Music City President (and Arkansas Cherry Blossom PrincessTerry Vo (Kumamoto-ken, 2007-09for the heads up:

Join us for a Japanese-Style Potluck on October 4, 2011. Come mingle, eat, drink, and be merry! This event is open to our Friends of JET Alum as well so please feel free to invite your family and friends! Please bring either your favorite Dish, Dessert or Beverage!

RSVP DEADLINE: September 30 to Leah

Location: 1812 Cahal Avenue, Nashville TN 37206″

Sep 20

2011 JLPT Registration Deadline 9/30


The JPLT will be offered this year in the following locations:

  • Atlanta, Georgia (Georgia State University)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (Northeastern University)
  • Chicago, Illinois (De Paul University, Lincoln Park)
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
  • Los Angeles, California (University of Southern California)
  • New York, New York (Lehman College, The City University of New York)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Villanova University)
  • San Francisco, California (San Francisco State University)
  • Seattle, Washington (University of Washington)
  • Washington, DC (Georgetown University)

“If you intend on taking the test, you must have your registration paperwork in by Sept. 30th!! This is not a postmark date, so send it quick! For more details, see The Japan Foundationwebsite.”

Jun 21

Volunteer to become a Host Family for Exchange Students from China, Korea or Japan

via Carleen Ben (Oita-ken 2006-2008) Carleen currently works as a Program Associate at The Laurasian Institution, a non-profit organization promoting international exchange programs between US – China, Japan, and Korea.

Volunteer Host Family:

Remember your time in Japan or as a study abroad student where you were welcomed by super amazing host families?  Do you miss sharing your culture and learning about new ones??

Single parents, retirees, “empty nesters,” young couples with small children, as well as more traditional two parent families with teenagers/pets, all are currently sharing and enjoying the exchange experience!

If you are interested in hosting a student or know of someone who is interested, please email us at

We are looking for host families in all states throughout the US!

Students’ arrival date: August 13th 2011

End of the program: June 2012 (when host school’s term is over)

Host Families are important members of the U.S. Department of State’s citizen diplomats. If you are interested in being part of this program and the larger picture of supporting public diplomacy, please contact us! Feel free to ask us any questions. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Yoroshiku oneigaishimasu!


Feb 16

Japanese primary school teachers unhappy with new English teaching role?

Thanks to JET alum Conrad Chafee for sharing this article from the Daily Yomiuri (2/16/11):

“60% of Schoolteachers Irked by English Classes”

“More than 60 percent of primary school teachers feel teaching English is a burden, according to a survey that also suggests many educators are ill-prepared for the April start of English as a compulsory subject for fifth- and sixth-graders. Benesse Corp., a correspondence education and publishing company, surveyed head teachers in charge of school administration and fifth- and sixth-grade homeroom teachers from 8,000 public primary schools in July and August. About 4,700 teachers gave valid responses.
According to the survey, 62.1 percent of homeroom teachers, who teach all or most of the subjects at primary schools, said they felt teaching English was a burden. About 72.9 percent said they believe it would be better to have teachers who specialize in teaching English to instruct students.”

See the full article at:

Feb 4

Learn Chinese New York – Chinese Language Night

J-DOC, C-DOC, and K-DOC are recurring features written by Friend Of JET, Jon Hills, who maintains the blog for Hills Learning ( Hills Learning is a NY-based language learning services company offering customized and personal Japanese, Chinese, English, and Korean language learning options.

This event listing can be found at: Chinese Event NYC

Are you interested in learning Chinese, and celebrating Chinese New Year at the same time? Come join the staff at Hills Learning for a fun night out to celebrate the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival. This is a great opportunity to Learn Chinese in New York, so please join and bring your friends. Oh yeah, 新年快乐! (Happy New Year in Chinese)

Dec 30

Learn Chinese – A New Year’s Resolution

J-DOC, C-DOC, and K-DOC are recurring features written by Friend Of JET, Jon Hills, who maintains the blog for Hills Learning ( Hills Learning is a NY-based language learning services company offering customized and personal Japanese, Chinese, English, and Korean language learning options.

Chinese Class listing can be found at: Chinese Classes NYC

Are you interested in learning a new language for the New Year? As I myself living in Japan have discovered, Chinese is quite an interesting and fun language to pursue. Please read our article about Learning Chinese Basic Phrases for some advice on which phrases are necessary to master when greeting fellow Chinese speaking comrades. Happy New Year!

Dec 16

New Spring Japanese Classes at Japan Society of New York

New Spring Classes at the Toyota Language Center

© Satoru Ishikawa.

To learn more about classes, please call the Toyota Language Center at (212) 715-1256, or consult our comprehensive Course List.

Important note:
Our classes fill up quickly. We strongly recommend that you register early.

Spring 2011 Japanese Japanese
Courses with the aim of strengthening students’ abilities to communicate effectively.
Registration now open. Learn more

Spring 2011 English
Courses to learn to speak English more fluently.
Registration now open. Learn more

Spring 2011 Shodō
Hands-on workshop to introduce the techniques of shodō.
Registration now open. Learn more

2011 Spring Learn To Read Hiragana and Katakana
Mini-workshops for beginning students to master the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana.
Registration now open. Learn more

Japan Society
333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017

Dec 15

Boren Awards for International Language Study

Stephanie Boegeman (ALT, Akita-ken, 2006-09) gets her kicks from finding fun crazy ways to see the world and getting paid to do it. She is constantly in search of job, internship, and travel ideas to add to her site Playing With Hire, in the hopes that more JET alumni and like-minded souls join her in her quest to find creative, inspiring, and unique ways to make ends meet.

Still honing your Japanese skills and looking for someone to subsidize your studies? American students who fit this description may want to look into the Boren award. There’s even a guaranteed government job waiting for you when you graduate. *Deadlines are in February*. More information on applicant criteria and other applicable languages is here.

Sep 15

Guinea Pigs Needed for Kanji Reading Experiment

Karl Rosvold (ALT/CIR in Hiroshima Prefecture, ’93-’96) is conducting an online reading experiment targeted at foreigners who are learning or have learned Japanese. He’s looking for as many participants as possible who are native or near-native English speakers and “upper-beginner” or above in Japanese (defined as having passed the old JLPT 3/new JLPT N4). There are a few other conditions which you can see on the experiment website.

Registration will start around September 25th. To participate in the experiment, simply fill out a short questionnaire on the website, then come back two more times, about a week apart to take two short Japanese reading comprehension tests, with or without hints about the kanji in the text. Each step should take about 30 minutes. Ideally, people will participate because they feel the experiment is interesting and beneficial, but for participants living in Japan, Karl is also offering a 2000 yen QUO gift card to the first 100 people who complete the whole experiment.

Please check out the temporary website for more information:
or feel free to e-mail Karl at Please let him know that you saw this message on Jetwit!

Jul 14

Learn Kanji on the iPad with New “Kanji for Fun!” App

JET alum Blaine Leckett (Shimane-ken, 1990-92) has designed a new app for the iPad and available at the iTunes Store for Kanji learners everywhere. With Kanji for Fun! you’ll be remembering your Kanji in no time… and have fun doing it!

Kanji for Fun! is a puzzle game where you match up the Kanji character with its English meaning. There is also a reference section that contains the entire joyo Kanji list. In the reference section you can see the Japanese and Chinese readings and have the ability to practice writing each character with the proper stroke order.

First is the game – A simple yet addictive matching game that will have you pairing Japanese characters to their English meanings in no time. Even if you know nothing about Japanese, just playing in practice mode or sneaking a peek at the game list will greatly increase your Kanji proficiency. And if you’re an expert, try some of the more advanced grades and play with a larger grid.

Second is the reference list – With nearly 2,000 Kanji at your finger tips, take a few quiet moments with your iPad where you can learn new characters, study their readings, or practice writing stroke orders with your finger.

For a limited time, Blaine is offering promo codes so you can try Kanji for Fun! for free. Contact him through his site at to request a code.

Dec 27

Recommendations for intensive Japanese language programs in Tokyo?

Via JETAA DC yahoogroup:

JET alum Jordan Heiber (Fukui-ken, 2000-02) is looking for info/recommendations for intensive Japanese Language Programs in Tokyo — similar to the one offered by Keio University.  Requirements would be:

1) year long course

2) qualifies the participant for a student visa for the year

3) ideally close in proximity to Minato Ku

Jordan notes:  “The Internet is overflowing with less-than-useful information on this, so I’m hoping some of you may have some insider’s knowledge.  Thanks.”

If anyone else in the JET-o-sphere has helpful information, please share in the comments section of this post.  Or e-mail jordansensei [/at/] hotmail [/dot/] com.

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