Mar 27

JET Alum, Andy Shartzer releases Parody of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Dubbed “Small Charcoal Grill / Shichirin”


JET Alum Releases a Parody of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Dubbed “Small Charcoal Grill / Shichirin”
As you may or may not know, in January 2019 Ariana Grande found her new tattoo the center of controversy when what she thought said “7 Rings” in Japanese actually said shichirin which means “small charcoal grill.”

A recent JET alum, Andy Shartzer (Shizuoka, 2014-2016), and his sketch group Overstep Comedy, made a tribute to the art of Japanese BBQ, “Small Charcoal Grill / Shichirin” — written by and starring Andy Shartzer, directed by Jatin Chhugani, and produced by Otter Lee and Helen Shih. In the original song, Ariana shows her love and appreciation for her friends by buying them expensive gifts. In this parody, “Andiana Grande” shows his love for his boys with expensive, delicious morsels of meat. While the video is a parody of Ari’s tattoo fail, it is also an homage to her aesthetic of the original “7 Rings” and a tribute to the art of Japanese BBQ.

Overstep Comedy is an Asian-American comedy group in NYC dedicated to increasing representation and kicking ass!

Full Video:

Instagram: @OverstepComedy
Twitter: @Overstep_Comedy

Mar 23

Congrats to JET alumnus and Oscar winner, Tim Harms!

Congratulations to JET alumnus Tim Harms, member of JETAASC, who won an Oscar for best Short Film (Live Action). “Skin,” directed by Guy Nattiv and produced by Andrew Carlberg, Tim Harms, and Jaime Ray Newman, is about how at a small supermarket in a blue-collar town, a black man smiling at a 10 year old white boy sends two gangs into a ruthless war. The trailer is available on YouTube. You can learn more about the film here

Photo from:

Mar 19

JETAA Chapter Beats March 2019

Chapter Beats March

JETAA Chapter Beat is a periodic mosaic of events taking place in the JETAA sphere. Compiled by AJET‘s Director of Alumni Relations Megan Buhagiar (Ishikawa Prefecture, 2017- Present)



    1. Career Workshop
      Yvonne Thurman-Dogruer
      March 5th, Time TBD
      1156 15th St. NW, Suite 1105
    2. Still looking for a job? Want to learn how to get to next stage in your career? Join us on March 5th for a workshop featuring Yvonne Thurman-Dogruer, Director of Administration at Brookings Institutuion. Ms. Thurman-Dogruer, a former JET, has years of experience in mentoring and guiding applicants. The workshop (located at 1156 15th Street, Suite 1105) will include tips on resume-writing, applying to jobs, networking, and information on careers availiable at Brookings. Follow our Facebook page for more information on the event and RSVP information.



    1. Meishi Exchange and Networking Event
    2. DATE: Thursday, 7 March 2019
    3. TIME: 18:30 – 21:30 EST
    4. VENUE: Legends Bar

6 W 33rd St, New York, New York 10001

  2. Details
    • Join us for our largest networking event of the year! We get 100+ attendees every year so make sure to get your spot!

      When: Thursday, March 7th, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

      Where: Legends Bar, 6 West 33rd Street @ 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Private space downstairs)

      Cost: $15 prepay (Wednesday, March 6th at noon/ $20 (Thursday, March 7th Cash at the door)

      What you get: We’ll be serving “hearty hors d’oeuvres” included in the entry price. There will be a ***special extended happy hour*** for attendees! And of course, you’ll get the opportunity to connect and meet INCREDIBLE people!

      Questions: Contact Ryan (

    1. AGM 2019
    2. DATE: Saturday, 19th March
    3. TIME: 13:00 – 17:00
    4. VENUE: CLAIR Singapore

6 Battery Road #26-01/02 Singapore

  1. Details
    • 2018 was exciting, and we’re looking forward to what else 2019 can bring for us! Come join us as we create our personalised art pieces, decide on our favourite haiku writer, take a trip down memory lane, and choose our next board representatives!

      (And yes, if you would like to be JETAA SG’s favourite Haiku writer, submit your Haiku by 28th Feb! Stand to win a pair of Kiriko glasses and a voucher!)

      Resin Origami Art
      Haiku Writing Contest
      Recap past activities
      Election of new board

    1. Kobe International Club London Branch Opening Party
    2. DATE: Friday, 15th March
    3. TIME: 19:00 UTC
    4. VENUE: City Miyama Restaurant

17 Godliman Street, EC4V 5BD London, UK

  1. Details
    • 日本語は下に続きます。)
      We are pleased to announce that the London Branch of the Kobe International Club will soon be established! The Club acts as the international network of the Kobe City Government, where people with links to Kobe can come together and engage in a wide range of activities, such as promoting the many things that make Kobe a wonderful city, and providing useful information for Kobe’s development.
      Come and celebrate at the inauguration party: join us and meet people based in London and further afield who have a special relationship with Kobe City, in a casual environment.
      About the Kobe International Club:

      Fee for food and drink: £50 (service charge included)
      * Due to restrictions on room capacity, the number of spaces available is limited.
      * Please register by Friday 22nd February by clicking “Going” on this Facebook event.




    1. Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
    2. DATE: March 9th
    3. TIME: All Day
  3. JETAA Southern Alberta
    1. JETAA Cooking Lesson #3: Temaki Zushi and Onigirazu
      • DATE: Saturday, 9th March
      • TIME: 13:00 – 15:00 UTC-07
      • VENUE: Kerby Centre

1133 7 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, Alberta T2P 1B2

  • Details
    1. Exciting news! We have our third cooking lesson coming up! In this lesson you will learn how to make temaki-zushi and onigirazu! Everyone is welcome, JET Alumni, or not. Cost is only $10. Parking is available. Register quickly because seating is limited! Please email to reserve your place!
  1. JETAA NZ3 South Island
    1. Sake Tasting with JETAA South Island
    2. DATE: Friday, March 15th
    3. TIME: 19:00 – 22:00 UTC+13
    4. VENUE: Tomi Japanese Restaurant

Edgeware Mall

76 Edgeware Rd

Christchurch, New Zealand

  1. Details
    • Join JETAA for an evening of fine Japanese food and drink.

      Enjoy a multi-course Japanese meal accompanied by samplings of five premium sake varieties.

      This event is limited to 20 participants, so please RSVP either by selecting “Going” on this event page or emailing

      This event is priced at $30 per person; payment may be made on the night or paid via bank deposit into account number 11-7892-0469438-00. For those paying via bank deposit, please put your name in the payment reference.

      NB: Those who drive are to follow their own alcohol standards and drive safely at your own risk.

  2. JETAA Auckland
    1. AGM 2019
    2. DATE: Sunday, March 10th
    3. TIME: 15:00 – 17:00 UTC+13
    4. VENUE: Q1/240 Broadway

Newmarket (Station Square, Newmarket)

  1. Details
    • It’s time to get together to plan out the year ahead for JETAA Auckland…

      …So come along and join us in Newmarket for our AGM ^_^

      We’ve already started brainstorming lots of fun activities Japan, JET, and social-related for you all for the coming year, but we’d love further input from everyone who is a member of JETAA.

      You’re all welcome to come along, even if you’ve recently “returned” to NZ, are looking to reconnect with JETAA, or simply want to reminisce about your time in Japan ^_^

      Also, our treasurer committee position is up for election, so if that sounds like something right up you alley, put your hand up for it!

      Snacks and drinks are provided by JETAA :)

  2. JETAA Chicago
    1. Soup and Rice
    2. DATE: March 8th
    3. TIME: 18:00 – 20:00 CST
    4. VENUE: JASC – Japanese American Service Committee

4427 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60640

  1. Details
    • Based on the idea of Soup & bread community meals, we wanted to host our own community meal and gathering during the cold winter months.
      How does it work?
      Volunteer soup makers bring a crock pot of their favorite soup to share, we provide rice, bowls and spoons. Soup eaters make a donation which will be donated to the Lakeview Food Pantry.
      Call or e-mail to with any questions or to sign up to bring soup:
      Joan Ambo – (773) 275-0097 x228|
    1. 2019 PNW Shinnenkai
      • DATE: Saturday, March 16th
      • TIME: 16:00 – 19:00
      • VENUE: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of WA

1414 S Weller St, Seattle, Washington 98144

  • Details
    1. 明けましておめでとうございます!

      Save the date! Join the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association on snow-free March 16 (Saturday) as we celebrate another year! Meet new friends and reconnect with old ones as we reflect on 2018 and look ahead to 2019, the year of the boar.

      The event will be potluck-style and free -so there will be no tickets or fees! Please register using the Google Form listed below, and specify what kind of food item you are able and willing to bring.

      Drink (alcoholic beverage) tickets will be available day-of for $5.00 (2 drinks).

      [[ Register Here – ]]

      Please consider allergies to and common dietary restrictions towards ingredients such as nuts, gluten, meat/fish, dairy, mushrooms, etc. If you will be bringing an item with any of the aforementioned ingredients, we will ask you to indicate so on a large index card at the event (PNWJETAA will provide index cards).


Mar 2

JETAA All-Chapter Ski Trip Raffle

Want to test your luck and see if you can save big on this trip? We’ve added 2 Raffle Ticket options for rooms! Here are the details:

1) Private King Room Raffle Ticket – $800 value, sleeps 2. $8 Ticket

2) Sofa Bed Raffle Ticket – $300 value, sleeps 1. $3 Ticket

Each ticket bought counts as one entrance to the raffle, so you ABSOLUTELY CAN buy multiple tickets to increase your odds of winning! The drawing will be on Saturday 3/9.

The raffle tickets are on our Eventbrite page in the link below. Best of luck!

Feb 28

Mothra “Leaps of Faith”: A JETAANY Storytelling Event

On Saturday, February 23rd, JETAANY hosted its first Mothra storytelling event (inspired by The Moth Storytelling Hour) at Hostelling International of New York City. The theme for the inaugural event was “Leaps of Faith.” Hosted by Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, 1992-1994) and Kirsten Henning (Hyogo-ken, 1999-2002), they along with eight other JET alums gave a brief five-minute story of a time when they took a “Leap of Faith” in Japan.

Ann Chow (Hyogo-ken, 2007-2009) kicked off the storytelling by taking a Leap of Faith and going on a school trip. Even though she knew it was going to be expensive because most of the money she spent would be on seafood, which she couldn’t eat, she decided to attend. Someone noticed Ann wasn’t eating and the chef made a special meal for Ann with all kinds of chicken, beef, and pork. Michael Christian Younker (Ishikawa-ken, 2006-2008) reminded all of us of the glorious onsen experience. However, none of us probably had to experience onsen on the first day with their supervisor like Michael did. Next up was Catherine Khadabux (Ehime-ken, 2011-2015), who described one of her New Year’s resolutions to use 100 different toilets. This was a challenging goal for her because her routine had become limited to work and home life during a personally difficult year in Japan. However, Catherine’s new explorations led to an uplifting change in mindset. Steven (Aichi-ken, 1992-1994) followed Catherine and talked about a dojo, which he frequently passed by. He ended up taking a Leap of Faith and joined. Steven learned a bunch of different forms and techniques. Their dojo even won a tournament! To end the first half of the event, Alex Varney (Saga-ken, 2011-2013) told us an emotional story of Charles Keller who married Tomami Ayukawa, a Japanese national. However, Charles didn’t know anything about his wife’s family and took a Leap of Faith to reach out to various cities and prefectures in Japan in hopes of finding his wife’s relatives after her passing. Luckily, Alex was able to connect Charles with his wife’s sister, and the 85-year-old widower came to Japan to meet the family.

To start the second half of the Mothra Event, MariTi Blaise Lovell, (Hokkaido-ken, 2015-2018) spoke about her students. There were six girls and ten boys in her “best/worst” class. She likened the experience with her own neighborhood and learned she needed to earn the students’ respect. After MartTi, Giuseppe “Joe” di Martino (Yamagata-ken, 2013-2018) described his Leap of Faith while traveling and having his final “hurrah” tour of Japan. He became very intrigued by a cat and the moral of his adventure was to “feed the cat!” Kirsten Henning (Hyogo-ken, 1999-2002) was a Kobe JET when it hosted England for the World Cup in 2002. She studied a plethora of David Beckham interviews, so she was able to understand everything he said. Following Kirsten was Zachary Piper (Kochi-ken, 2001-2004), who lived in a small village. He learned that many people were friendly and had lots of amazing parties, but learned to always knock before entering a house because some people liked to use “ropes and candles in their private time.” Last, but not least was Rick Ambrosio (Ibaraki-ken, 2006-2008), who, like many of us, was adopted by a Japanese family. One day, Ai asked Rick if he wanted to go to the club on a Thursday night. Rick was excited about going to a club and took a Leap of Faith when he went with Ai and her mom. After driving around for hours and going deep into the rice fields, they approach a tacky building. Rick was perplexed that the club would be hidden in the building, but was still excited about going. However, Ai’s mom found out the place was closed, so they decided to drive to the next club. At this point Rick was astonished that there was more than one club this far into the inaka. Some time later, they made it to another establishment, which was open and adorned with a massive neon crab sign. Rick was shocked to find out they had taken him to a “kani” or crab restaurant, not a club (many Japanese people have a hard time distinguishing their “r’s” and “l’s,” so when Ai said clabu, Rick thought it was club and not crab).

Again, special thanks to our sponsors Hostelling International of New York City for providing the space, Ito En for providing the tea, and Lagunitas Brewing Company for donating the beer.

Feb 28

Written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03), WIT Life is a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

The sports portion of today’s Japanese news showcased the celebration of Kazu Miura’s 52nd birthday.  Looking as dapper as ever in a fashionable white suit in front of a huge cake, he shared that every birthday he wore a different color suit (past years have included bright red, yellow and blue), but that he had run out of colors so had to return to white.  Perhaps it is this enthusiasm and youthful spirit that enables him to keep pace on the soccer field with professional players decades his junior.  Miura (a.k.a. “King Kazu”) began his career in 1986, and he is considered to be Japan’s first soccer superstar.

He was the subject of a NYT profile last year, in which he was described as the epitome of Read More

Feb 12

Brainstorm and Networking event in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

USJETAA is hosting a fun brainstorm session over lunch in Atlanta on Sunday 2/16 1pm to 5pm. Come learn how to get involved and what is on the horizon for the chapter and sub-chapters. Please share with any JET alumni friends that live in GA, NC, SC and AL. Together we can strengthen the JET alumni community!

Feb 7

The Story Pub: JET Alum’s new storytelling website wants your stories!

The Story Pub

Everyone has stories.
We believe those stories should be shared.
The Story Pub is a place to share those stories.

Click to Submit

Co-created by JET Alum Jay Schneider (Hyogo, ’97-’00), The Story Pub is a new website looking for real stories from real people, and we know JETs have lots of great stories to share! Whether your stories are about your adventures in Japan or elsewhere in the world, we want you to share your stories. The Story Pub accepts written stories on any topic at any time, but invites you to submit a story to our first Theme Challenge:

Theme Challenge: February 2019

Topic: New (that’s the topic–“new”)

Submission Deadline: Sunday, February 17, 2019 (11:59 PM SST)

Entries will be posted starting: February 19, 2019

Instructions: Think of a story from your own life which relates to the topic for the theme challenge. Write that story. Submit that story. Make sure when you do, you choose the correct Theme Challenge category. Wait for your story to be published.

What’s “New?”

How you interpret the topic is up to you, but it could be:

  • That time you started a new job, new relationship or new storytelling website
  • That time you traveled to a new place
  • When you moved to a new country, city, or just a new apartment
  • That time you decided to try something new and submit a story to that new storytelling website

Again, how you choose to relate your story is up to you, however if you have a great story, but aren’t really sure that it fits the theme, remember, The Story Pub accepts stories on any topic and any time.

Welcome to The Story Pub

Feb 7

Mothra “Leaps of Faith”: a JETAANY Storytelling Event

JETAANY is excited to invite you and your colleagues to our first-ever, live storytelling event, co-hosted by JETwit’s own, Steven Horowitz and Kirsten Henning! Come to the historic Hostelling International NYC on Saturday, February 23 for the chance to hear true stories told live on stage about experiences related to the JET Program. Laugh, cry, and connect with other community members at an evening of spellbinding tales!

WHEN: Saturday, February 23, 7:00 PM. (Doors open at 6:30 PM.)
WHERE: The Ballroom at Hostelling International, 891 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
ADMISSION: $10 online (early bird special 2/17), $12 at the door. Learn more and buy tickets here.

Buy Tickets Here

RSVP: No RSVP required, just bring your ticket. See who else is coming on the FB events page.

The JET Alumni Association of New York (JETAANY) is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit based in NYC. We are the New York branch of a 70,000 strong community of former participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), all having lived and worked in Japan through the Japanese government. Our organization has been promoting intercultural understanding and exchange for over 30 years. In that time, thousands of stories have been lived and told by JET alumni, as well as the people they connected with. Through this event, we hope to share the spirit of the JET Program with you and help alumni recall their own fond memories.

Thank you for your support. We hope to see you on the 23rd!


May <>

Feb 5

Job: Software Engineer – Nisshin Global (Shizuoka, Japan)

Posted by Sydney Sparrow. Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email

Job Title: Software Engineer
Posted by: Nisshin Global
Location: Shizuoka, Japan
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s a job sent directly to us from the company:

A Shizuoka based media company is looking for a software engineer with experience using PHP and Ruby. This is a good opportunity for those who are interested in working in the ever-changing media and publishing field. N3 level Japanese required.

  • Wide variety of publications across different mediums
  • Creation of impactful media content
  • Good exposure to the media and publishing field in Japan

The Company: This company was founded 25 years ago as a local publishing company printing free magazines with content centered around places, events, and restaurants around Shizuoka city. Since its establishment, the company has enlarged its operations to include internet- based media and creation of online content. The company is now looking for software engineers as the company is looking to extend their distribution to neighbouring cities. Non-Japanese are encouraged to apply.


  • Utilise existing software engineering skills to create programs and exciting content
  • Sharing unique ideas and perspectives with the team

Key Requirements:

  • Software programming experience using Ruby and PHP
  • Japanese N3 and up

Read More

Jan 28

Job: Sales Engineer – VANTECH Co., Ltd. (Tochigi, Japan)

Posted by Sydney Sparrow. Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email

Job Title: Sales Engineer
Posted by: VANTECH Co., Ltd.
Location: Sano City, Tochigi, Japan
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s a job received directly from the President of the company:

A company specializing in the manufacturing and processing of metal filters, strainers, and electrical car components is looking for an American sales engineer to join their team in Sano city, Tochigi prefecture. With the company’s plans to break into the US market by exporting their products, this is a great opportunity for those who want to utilize their language skills and expand their network. Native English speaker with N2 level Japanese required.

  • Exciting career advancement
  • Opportunity to liaise between the US and Japan
  • Diverse workplace

The Company: VANTECH Co., Ltd. (

This company has been in the metal filter manufacturing business for over 20 years, and currently hold the largest domestic market share in filter production for the air-conditioning industry. Furthermore, products are exported to China, Thailand, and Nepal. Current employees include Japanese nationals and people from various foreign countries (China, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc.) in different departments, making this company a diverse and exciting workplace.

Following the company’s success in the domestic and Asian market, the booming AHR and automobile industry in the US proves exporting to the American market to be a promising next step.

Read More

Jan 28

JETAA Chapter Beats February 2019

Chapter Beats February, 2019

JETAA Chapter Beat is a periodic mosaic of events taking place in the JETAA sphere. Compiled by AJET‘s Director of Alumni Relations Megan Buhagiar (Ishikawa Prefecture, 2017- Present)


  1. JETAA Rocky Mountain


(*RSVP required. See below for details.)
Tamai Tower Penthouse in Sakura Square
1255 19th St.
Denver, CO 80202, USA

When:  Saturday, February 2 @ 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Japan Exchange & Teaching Alumni Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter, is proud to announce that we are hosting our annual Shinnenkai on Feb. 2nd. This year is special because we are working with the Sakura Foundation and Sakura Square, building a bridge between JET and Japanese American communities in Denver. Come join us for food, fun, and a kampai to celebrate 2019. We will have some fun activities to help our communities learn more about each other, and share our stories. The event will be catered so please bring your appetites.

An RSVP is required. This event is $20 a person that covers attendance, parking, drinks, and entertainment at the Tamai Tower Penthouse in Sakura Square, located in Downtown Denver at 1255 19th Street. There is a parking garage you can enter on Larimer street. You will be given a parking validation before you leave the event.

Ticket Purchase Link –

Please direct any additional questions to the JETAARM event coordinator, Teri Galvez (




  1. JETAA Singapore


Hey JETAA members!

Here’s wishing you a happy and smooth sailing 2019! 明けましておめでとう!

As our first event of 2019, we are officially launching the haiku contest!


What’s a haiku… ? 

A haiku is a simple poem with a 5-7-5 syllable structure. It usually represents the mood or thoughts of the writer at that point of time. We are accepting responses in both English and Japanese.



Write your own haiku (5 syllables)

It’s easy as ABC (7 syllables)

How about today? (5 syllables)


References – (article in Japanese) (article in Japanese)


What to do – 

1) Write your own original haiku (2 entries each; no plagiarism please!) in English, Japanese, Singlish or a mixture of the above mentioned languages.

2) Your entry should contain your name, prefecture, period/year(s) on JET and the haiku.

3) “Like” us on JETAA Singapore Facebook page if you haven’t done so.

4) You can PM us your entry via JETAA Singapore Facebook page or reply email (to to enter the contest

5) Deadline will be February 28th, 2019, so do submit by then!


Winner(s) will… 

– be announced during our AGM 2019 (16 March 2019) as a way to start JETAA 10th anniversary celebrations! Please mark it in your calendars.

– win attractive prizes; first prize is a pair of Kiriko glass and Capitaland vouchers!


Hope to see your entries soon!




  1. JETAA Ireland


The Japanese Speech Contest in Ireland

In order to encourage and promote Japanese language education in Ireland,
JLTI and the Embassy of Japan in Ireland jointly host an annual Japanese speech contest.
The 17th Japanese Speech Contest will be held on
Saturday, 9 March 2019.
Application forms now available:
General Category
Secondary School Category Reference: Judging CriteriaApplication Deadline
Secondary School Category (TY & LC1 Group): 11 February 2019
Secondary School Category (LC2 Group): 18 February 2019
General Category: 22 February 2019Please note that each category has a different closing date.
Criteria for Participation

  • Participants must not be Japanese native speakers and should be resident in Ireland for more than six months at the time of application
  • (General Category): Participants cannot have lived in Japan for longer than 5 years in total.
  • (Secondary School Category): Participants must be studying Japanese for the Leaving Certificate in Ireland, and may not have taken more than two weeks total of classes of Japanese in Japan.
  • Neither participants themselves nor their immediate family members may be members of the JLTI.
  • Past winners may not enter the same category.
  • Participants should submit the application form and their speech script to the JLTI Committee by e-mail by the deadline.


Organised by Japanese Language Teachers of Ireland (JLTI)
The Embassy of Japan
Supported by The Japan Foundation
The Japan Business Society in Ireland
Department of Education and Science






The 10+ Reunion is a casual get-together for any JET alumni who departed for the JET Program in 2009 or earlier. Join fellow alumni to re-connect and reminisce about your time in Japan.

Date: Sunday, February 3
Time: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Teaism Penn Quarter
(400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004)
Price: $20

Attendees have a choice of bento (fried chicken, salmon, or black bean cake) and each meal is accompanied by desserts and an exclusive Japanese green tea sampling. +1’s are welcome!

Please register and pay in advance by Wednesday, January 30.

Feel free to contact if you have any questions.





Do you want to share Japanese culture with NYC youth?

At this annual event with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of NYC, we help introduce different aspects of Japanese culture to the kids and their big siblings.

Activities include:
– Kimono/Yukata/Happi Coat Fitting – Origami – Japanese Writing – Chopstick Challenge – Making Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

If you are interested in volunteering please complete this form by Thursday, February 7.

Send questions to Ryan at

When: Sunday, February 10 at 10:30am – 3:00pm
Where: 40 Rector St, New York, New York 10006
RSVP: Please complete this form by Thursday, February 7.

  1. JETAA

The Heinz College has partnered with JETAA because our faculty have found that students affiliated with JETAA have found great success not only as a Heinz College student, but as a professional in their field.

(Free) Application Deadline Extended: January 31, 2019



30% of tuition per semester guaranteed minimum scholarship for eligible individuals affiliated with JETAA who are enrolling in any master’s degree program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.

Heinz College offers top-ranked graduate degree programs in Information Systems & ManagementPublic Policy & Management, and Creative Enterprises Management. Heinz College provides students with the analytics, technology, and policy skills necessary to solve complex societal problems in an increasingly connected world. Our research excellence and expertise in data analytics set Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the #1 academic program for Analytics Education.

To learn more about our programs and the application process, prospective students can listen to a recorded webinar.


  1. JETAA Toronto



Midnight Curling

JETAA Toronto welcomes you to our annual winter sporting tradition: Midnight Curling. Join us on Saturday, February 9th at the High Park Club for food, drink, and a night of rock-throwing, sweeping, hollering, and grace on ice.

No curling experience? No worries! An instructor will be on hand to guide you in the all the finer points of Canada’s other national sport. Don’t forget to bring a pair of clean indoor running shoes and warm, layered, comfortable clothing.

We’ll be meeting up at the High Park Club’s lounge area for refreshements at 9 and going on the ice at 11. The bar will be open for beverages, but food options may be limited because the dinner rush will be over, so please eat before coming or be prepared to order in.


Tickets: $20 + eventbrite fee at

Find the event on facebook at

Event Details

Date: Saturday, February 9th, 2019

Time: 9:00 pm to 1:00 am

Place: High Park Club (100 Indian Rd)

Questions? Contact

See you on the ice!







JETAA NSW Wollongong Beach BBQ

DATE:            Sunday, February 10th 2019

TIME:              12:00 – 15:00 UTC+11

PLACE:          Stuart Park North Wollongong

George Hanley Drive

North Wollongong

Come join us for a day of family fun on the South Coast.
Friends and family welcome.

Sunday, February 10th, 12-12:30 start.

We will be claiming a public BBQ at North Beach, Wollongong:

On Sundays, trains to Wollongong leave Central every hour, usually from Platform 2. Cost is $2.70 on Sundays!

If anyone is keen on walking or cycling, Stuart Park is a 30 min walk or 10 min bike ride from North Wollongong Station.

Everyone else should get off at Wollongong station and get the 55A (free bus) from the stop opposite the station. Get off near the corner of Kembla st and Blacket st – this is the 7th stop and will take about 12 minutes to get to.
The free bus runs every 20 minutes from 09:40am – 5:20pm

Taxis (including Maxi Taxis) or Uber are also options. There is a taxi bay right outside the ticket gates on the east side of the station.

There is free, un-timed parking opposite Diggies Café and along Cliff rd, however this gets very busy.

– Food you would like to cook.
– Something to sit on.
– Sun protection.
– General picnic supplies.
– Outdoor games and your sense of fun!
* There is a kiosk nearby that sells take away food and drinks, however, there is nothing in the way of a convenience store or supermarket nearby.





  1. JETAA Quebec/Atlantique

Winter Book Club



DATE:            February 21st

For its sixteenth edition, the JETAA Q/A Book Club will delve into Hiro Arikawa’s International Bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles!

Here are the details for the winter meeting:

  • Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: free (free snacks too!)
  • Location: The lounge of Argo Bookshop (1915, Sainte-Catherine St. West)

Argo Bookshop (est. 1966), the oldest independent English-language bookstore in Montreal, is now owned by two fellow JET alumni, and long-time book club participants, who have generously invited us to use their lounge to host these events!

The Travelling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa

Synopsis (277 pages)

We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts…

An instant and international bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe…

With his crooked tail–a sign of good fortune–and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. As they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.

(Synopsis and book cover from Indigo)

Here are handy links to purchase or borrow the book!

If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please contact us!

Even if you are not completely finished, your presence will always be welcome!





When:                        February 16, 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where:           JCCCW
1414 S Weller St
WA 98144

Cost:               $20+

Contact:         Email




Join the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association as we celebrate another year! Meet new friends and reconnect with old ones as we reflect on 2018 and look ahead to 2019, the year of the boar.

Brown Paper Tickets
Facebook Event Page

Admission includes food from local restaurants and vendors served buffet-style, non-alcoholic drinks, and raffle entry. Wine and beer will be available for purchase with admission and on the day of. Everyone is welcome to this family-friendly event, and children under 10 are free with an accompanying adult.

We will be having our traditional nijikai at Venus Karaoke following the party. We look forward to seeing you then!

Online Sales
General Admission: $20
General + Drink Tickets: $25
Children under 10 years: Free

Day-Of Sales
General: $30
General + Drink Tickets: $35
Drink tickets: $5 for 2 tickets



Special Announcement

National AJET’s first set of LINE stickers will be available soon! The eight sticker set features National AJET’s official mascot, Tsuru-chan–a red-crowned crane that represents AJET’s mission to nurture and cultivate the JET programme and its’ participants. Add a little character to your LINE chats with this collection, available in the LINE sticker shop for




Jan 25

Learn more about one of the United States’ Country Reps: Faye Valtadoros


Thanks to Ikigai Connections for the story!

Senpai Success Story #6: Faye Sensei, the Japanese Language Teacher

Welcome to the Senpai Success Story (senpai = mentor), where you can read about others who have walked a unique career path using their Japanese language/cultural skills.

I am a particular fan of this week’s SSS because I believe we need more Japanese language teachers to teach and inspire students. My own story started because of my Japanese high school teacher, Van Camp Sensei, and I am forever thankful for him opening my eyes to a whole new world. (If you have your own SSS to share, please reach out to

Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? That’s my life, but here’s my version of that movie. Growing up in a bilingual household, I was already the odd man out. No one in my neighborhood spoke anything but English. To make matters worse, in those days, it was frowned upon to learn a different language as a child. They felt it messed with one’s English learning. The school even told my mom to not speak anything but English with us at home. She didn’t listen. Greek was my first language, and we spoke it at home. We went to Greek school from 1st grade, after school, twice a week. We ate the Greek foods that people couldn’t pronounce, but it was delicious! It wasn’t until I was an adult that I appreciated that we went to Greek school, that we spoke it at home, and that we were forced to speak/read/write it.

Growing up I had a huge admiration for my teachers. I looked up to them for guidance, reassurance, help, education, and problem solving. I had some great teachers in my lifetime. It was because of my teachers and the work they did that inspired me to want to be a teacher when I grow up.

Here I am about to enter high school, and low-and-behold my district is offering Japanese. It wasn’t heard of then; no one had it in Michigan, it was different. But, it was the “Japan-boom” in Michigan, so it was the new language to learn. I was signed up for French, but it didn’t happen. My mother made me take Japanese. She felt that since I spoke English and Greek, I needed to learn another language, and one that could possibly take me somewhere in my future. I didn’t like it. I already wrote and read Greek letters, which has its own alphabet; I didn’t need another language that had a different writing system. I even dropped out of it at one point, but my mother put me right back in. I held on, but didn’t try my best. I’ll admit I didn’t know how to study for this language. That was the problem, now that I look back on it: I didn’t how to study for it. I was clueless and felt helpless.

Senior year of high school, I got the opportunity to go to Japan with the school and visit our sister school in Shiga. At this point I was slowly starting to like Japanese. While in Japan, we stayed with a student from our sister school, went to school everyday, but we also went to the Michigan Boat, where Americans were working on the boat. I saw one guy selling phone cards, and he was doing it all in Japanese. I was so envious at that point. I was thinking, “wow, I’ll never speak Japanese that well.” Little did I know where my life was going to take me.

Those two weeks in Japan made me realize that Japanese is indeed a cool language to learn. The culture, the food, the houses, the school, the people – everything just made such a huge impression on me, that I started appreciating it.

Upon returning home, I went to Eastern Michigan University, entered their Japanese program, but I had no idea how much college is different from high school. I was overwhelmed. I almost dropped out of the Japanese program. My professor, Tabuse-Sensei, told me that if I don’t go to Japan for a study abroad for a year, she wouldn’t let me graduate. Everyone listened to Tabuse-Sensei, so off I went to Japan.

That time I spent on the study abroad in Kagawa, Japan, was the best time ever. Having that kind of immersion was the best thing for me and my professors at EMU knew it would have a positive impact on me. I came back to EMU, and my professors were blown away. I not only came back with so much knowledge, but a much larger base of vocabulary and grammar, and much more confidence. I also came back with a new fire, an urge; I wanted to become a Japanese teacher. I finally figured out my two loves: teaching and Japanese.

Fast forward to my senior year of college. I was introduced to the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme. Tabuse-Sensei highly recommended I apply, so I did, and I got accepted. Off to Japan I went, back to where I lived before, Kagawa.

Here I am now, a high school Japanese teacher. I reflect on my time in high school and I see my students struggling, so I often tell them my story to give them hope. To show them that just because you don’t like something now, doesn’t mean you won’t excel in it later in life. I give them tricks to studying; with technology there are so many apps out there that one can use to learn Japanese. I now love to talk about my time in Japan, my own struggles with learning the language, and how important Japanese is in the state of Michigan. I thank my mother all the time. I also thank Tabuse-Sensei for pushing me to live in Japan.

Lesson here is: don’t give up. Do push yourself. Total immersion is the way to go; just hop on that plane and do it. Study abroads are so important and essential to our learning a language. Keep it up and you will be successful! Also, Japanese teachers are so few and far between, if you have the love of Japanese and teaching, do it! Get that teacher certification! You already have me over here cheering for you!

Jan 25

“We Are Tomodachi”

Check out the latest “We Are Tomodachi” publication provided by the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan:

The theme of the 2019 Winter issue is “A Society with Health and Longevity.” In this issue, we showcase the initiatives and achievements taking place in Japan, which is facing the challenges of a super-aging society. We present a diverse line-up of articles including the breakthrough discovery of Nobel Laureate Dr. Tasuku Honjo, which has opened a doorway to new medical treatments for cancer; the advances in medicine achieved by a medical cluster created in Kobe; innovative solutions for hearing problems, which are inextricably tied with aging; and innovative approaches to health checkups and normalizing dementia in society. Other stories include product manufacturing technology for nature-friendly plastic; a cleaning project in Bangladesh carried out by a Japanese agency and the Dhaka people.

A Major Discovery to Help in the Fight Against Cancer

A Biomedical Cluster Taking Medicine to a New Stage

Unconventional Speakers Deliver More Than Words

Monitoring Health in Everyday Life

Restaurant of Mistaken Orders Brings Smiles

New Biodegradable Material Reduces Plastic Waste

A Milestone Project in Dhaka

Jan 23

The Story Pub: Call for Submissions

Jay Schneider, a JET alum from Hyogo (1997-2000) is starting a website for sharing stories and is looking for real people who want to share their true stories. The stories can be about anything, but of course all JETs have great stories, not only from their days in Japan, but also in their post-Japan lives. Feel free to share your stories with him here.

Page Rank