Sep 28

Michael Frazier to lead poetry workshop at Japan Writers Conference

Posted by Tom Baker

JET poet Michael Frazier will lead a poetry workshop at the Oct. 15-17 Japan Writers Conference, a free event that is happening online. The official description of his talk appears below.

Michael Frazier
A Poem is a Thing that Moves: Contemporary Lyric Poems
Craft Workshop

A lyric poem is a thing that moves, through time, one’s mind, and, in turn, moves the hearts of readers. We will read and analyze lyric poems that move towards unanswerable questions, via associative jumps, by Leila Chatti, Li-Young Lee, and Aracelis Girmay. We will write our own lyric poems!
Scan through most recently released poetry collections and you are bound to find poems marked not by chronological narratives, but by incongruent images, ideas, and questions seemingly held together by only a distinct first-person voice and the magic of poetry. In this workshop we want to dispel the illusion of the non-linear lyric poem. We will read a handful of lyric poems that rely on associative jumps by Leila Chatti, L-Young Lee, Terrance Hayes, and Aracelis Girmay. We will analyze how these writers navigate through a poem (motifs, music, etc.), and pursue a question to arrive at a new revelation (the turn). As a result, we will understand how their poems are maps for how their actual minds move and perceive the world. A poem is a thing that moves, through time, one’s mind, and, in turn, moves the hearts of readers. Under scaffolded prompting, we will write our own lyric poems that prioritize the patterns of our psyche.
Michael Frazier is a poet & HS Teacher living in Kanazawa, Japan. Pushcart Prize & Best New Poets nominated, his poems appear in Poetry Daily, The Offing, RHINO, Tinderbox, Tokyo Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Currently, he’s facilitating a biweekly zoom poetry book club open to the public. Message @fraziermichael to join!

Sep 28

WIT Life #357: LDP Presidential election and royal family shakeup

Professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, 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 offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

The Japanese LDP Presidential election will take place today (September 29th). The winner is expected to become the next prime minister following current PM Yoshihide Suga, leading the party in November’s general election. Here’s a run-down of the candidates, notable for being a lineup that is 50% women.

Taro Kono, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda are vying for LDP Prez

In other big news, Princess Mako of the royal family just welcomed home her fiancee, commoner Kei Komuro. When he was last in Japan over three years ago, he got engaged to Mako before coming to New York to attend Fordham Law School. They plan to marry and for Mako to return with him to New York, where he has been hired by a law firm. In renouncing her official title, she will be sacrificing almost $1.35 million in taxpayer money. Check out the Washington Post’s coverage of the palace intrigue captivating Japan (and the vitriol towards Komuro’s Covid ponytail)!

Sep 27

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers is produced by Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-2017), Margie Banin (Kochi-ken, 2005-2007), and Jim Walsh (Fukushima-ken, 2018-2020). Want to be featured next? Submit your information here.

Loren Greene (Osaka-fu, 2007-2010)

Accomplishment: Published two novels set in Japan

More Information: Loren wrote her first book, a story about a teen’s introduction to the Harajuku street fashion scene, during her second JET year. Titled ‘Meet You By Hachiko,’ she found the research and writing process a great way to learn more about Japan as well as pass the time when her students were on holidays between terms. After returning home post-JET, she continued to blog and write about Japan on her off-time to stay connected with her experience abroad, and started on a second novel while working in the travel industry.

‘Meet You By Hachiko’ launched in February 2020, a month before travel ground to a halt. The pandemic presented Loren with an opportunity to return to creative writing and devote more time to publishing: she completed her long-shelved second book, ‘Edokko,’ the story of a Canadian exchange student’s year in rural Kyushu. Both titles are now available in paperback and eBook format worldwide, under the imprint HachiPress, where Loren hopes to reach young readers interested in Japan.

Even after being away from teaching for a decade, writing about student life has become a nostalgic touchstone, and the nods in her books to those “only-in-Japan” experiences can be appreciated by any former JET.

Public Information:
HachiPress Bookshop:

Sep 27

Job: Assistant Correspondent, Economics Team – Jiji Press (Washington, DC, USA)

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

Position: Assistant Correspondent – Economics Team
Posted by:
Jiji Press
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Thanks to a former JET (Mie Prefecture, 2013-15) for passing along the following job opening:

The Washington DC Bureau of Japanese newswire Jiji Press is looking for an organized, resourceful individual to join our Economics team as an Assistant Correspondent. The ideal candidate will have experience working under tight deadlines with intermediate to advanced Japanese language ability. The Assistant Correspondent will be responsible for working with the Economics team to report on data in Japanese, taking notes and participating in high-profile press events with government officials in English, and booking and conducting interviews with academics and other public sources.

Prior experience covering economics is not required, but an understanding of DC policy-making and politics is highly encouraged. The individual will work with Japanese journalists, and will also provide assistance and context regarding American topics. Prior experience working with foreign nationals or in a foreign setting is a major plus.

Read More
Sep 27

Job: ESOL Teacher – Mercy Center (Remote and/or Bronx, New York, USA)

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

Position: ESOL Teacher
Posted by:
Mercy Center
Location: Remote and/or Bronx, New York, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Thanks to JET alumna, Alexei Esikoff (Fukushima-ken, 2002-2003) for forwarding us this opportunity:

Here is the detailed info: We are currently looking for experienced educators who are available to work from September 2021 – June 2022 remotely and/or in-person. Please see the information you requested about the work we do and the ESOL instructor position below.  We are looking for instructors for our evening classes (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm). 


  • Proficient English speakers with good working knowledge of English grammar and language use. 
  • Experienced teachers with good interpersonal skills who enjoy working in diverse linguistic and cultural settings. 
  • Passionate teachers looking to empower immigrant communities through English language education. 
  • Applicants with ESL teaching experience required. TESOL/CELTA certification highly preferred. 
Read More
Sep 26

Author Suzanne Kamata to host panel discussion on identity at Japan Writers Conference

Posted by Tom Baker

JET alum Suzanne Kamata will lead a panel discussion on “Writing Identity” at the Oct. 15-17 Japan Writers Conference, a free event that is happening online. Suzanne is the author of multiple novels and nonfiction books, which you can read about at The official descriptions of her talk appears below.

Suzanne Kamata
with Clara Kiyoko Kumagain, Kristin Osani, Clarissa Goenawan, Sara Fujimura
Writing Identity, From Inside and Outside
Panel Discussion

Identity politics play a large part in determining which stories are published and how they are currently received in the English-speaking market. Generation Z readers — the audience for YA and New Adult titles — are especially aware of issues surrounding diversity, appropriation, and ownership. In this session, to be moderated by Suzanne Kamata, four authors of different backgrounds, writing about Japan from inside and out of their lanes, will discuss diversity, identity, inclusivity, and their own experiences and approaches to writing these in their own work.
In this era of #ownvoices and a heightened awareness of identity politics, what stories should be told, who should be allowed to write them, and how they should be presented are often contentious issues. In this moderated session, five authors of different backgrounds, writing inside and out of their lanes, will discuss diversity, identity, inclusivity, and their own experiences and approaches to writing these in their own work.
Award-winning author Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in the United States, but has lived in Japan for more than half of her life. She is the author or editor of 15 published books including, most recently, The Baseball Widow (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2021) and Pop Flies, Robo-pets and Other Disasters (One Elm Books, 2020).
Clara Kiyoko Kumagai is from Canada, Japan and Ireland. She writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, and has had work published in Banshee, Room, Event, and Cicada. She currently lives in Tokyo.
Kristin Osani @KristinOsani is a freelance Japanese to English translator, writer, and editor
Her previous projects include Left Alive, Oninaki, Code Shifter, Dragalia Lost, and many more. Her short fiction is forthcoming in Flash Point SF.
Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, the UK, and the US. Rainbirds, her first novel, has been published in eleven different languages.
Sara Fujimura @SaraFujimura is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her young adult novels include Tanabata Wish, Breathe, Every Reason We Shouldn’t (Tor Teen, 2020) and Faking Reality (Tor Teen, 2021). She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.

Sep 24

Joe Palermo to speak about self-publishing his memoir at Japan Writers Conference

Posted by Tom Baker

Joe Palermo, who came to Japan on the pre-JET MEF program in the 1980s, has written a memoir about what life in Japan was like back then. Next month, he will give a presentation at the Japan Writers Conference (a free event that is happening online this year) on how he went about self-publishing it – a topic sure to be of interest to anyone who has written about their own Japan experiences. The official descriptions of his talk appears below.

Joe Palermo
No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners! Self Publishing a Memoir in eBook, Paperback and Audiobook Format at Minimal Cost
Short Lecture with Q&A

A young Japanese woman was running through Tokyo station screaming “Save me! Save me!” There was a Japanese man chasing her and closing in. He grabbed her wrist and caught her about 10 feet in front of me. The woman was still yelling “Save me! Save Me!” but the Japanese people in the crowded station ignored her, not wanting to get involved.
This is the beginning of one of the stories from my experience living in Japan in the 1980’s, where I had moved right after graduating university. It was still rare to see an American who could speak Japanese fluently. This book guides the reader though my many adventures navigating through Japanese culture while living in the outskirts of Tokyo, as well as Tokyo proper.
I will detail my experience writing and publishing a book and audiobook about my life in Japan, using Amazon KDP and Amazon ACX. I will talk about what I learned through the process and what I would do differently.
Joe Palermo has retired after 30+ years as a corporate executive at the Nielsen Company and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). He lived and worked in Japan for eight years and is the author of “No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners! My Life in Japan in the 80’s”.

Sep 21

Gift-Giving Practices in Japan – 10/6/2021 at 1 PM ET


During this lunch seminar, Dr. Mary J. Eberhardinger will briefly present her latest research on gift-giving practices in Japan from her new book followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion on attendees’ personal experiences with gift-giving in Japan. Depending on the number of registrants, this event may use breakout rooms. Dr. Eberhardinger’s book “A Rhetoric and Philosophy of Gifts” examines the relationship between gifts and rhetoric, with particular attention given to Japan where she lived as a JET Program assistant language teacher in Hyogo from 2008-2010. Her book includes a review of related literature, analysis, examples, and personal anecdotes of overseas experiences. Eberhardinger concludes the book by offering implications and opportunities for interpreting gifts, thereby addressing why the question concerning the relationship between gifts and rhetoric matters for the larger landscape of international relations, intercultural friendship, and peace-making. Registrants will receive a discount code for purchasing her book.

Partially supported by funding from the Japan Local Government Center CLAIR and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Sep 21

Seeking Applicants for the 2021 EngageAsia Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award (Humanities Category)!

See: for full details. 

Deadline: October 15, 2021

One of the 2020 winners was a JET alum!

Nominations for the Award are also welcome anytime via

Application Details are Below and Here:

Application Details

The Elgin Heinz Award recognizes exceptional teachers who further mutual understanding between Americans and Japanese. The 2021 award will focus on humanities teachers and consist of an award grant of up to $1,000.

2021 applications are due on October 15, 2021.

The award is named in honor of Elgin Heinz for his commitment to educating students about Asia as well as for the inspiration he has provided to the field of pre-college education.

See the most recent Award Ceremony HERE.

Eligibility Requirements

The award is open to current full-time K-12 classroom teachers of any relevant subject in the United States. There are two award categories, one in the humanities and one in Japanese language. The 2021 award will be awarded only in the Humanities category and the 2022 award will focus on Japanese Language.

Previous award recipients often have over 10 years of teaching experience and have been engaged in teaching their students about Japan for a substantial period of time.  Candidates must demonstrate sustained commitment to improving mutual understanding between Americans and Japanese, and must have made a significant contribution to enhancing students’ knowledge of Japan.

Applicants for the Japanese language category must have excellent command of the Japanese language and may be contacted by members of the selection committee to verify this.

Nomination Procedures

Applicants for the Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award are accepted in two ways:

  1. Educators who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply on their own. A nomination is not required.
  2. Nominations are also accepted, and we encourage those in the field to nominate educators whom they believe are deserving of this award.

Letters of Nomination should briefly highlight the qualifications of the candidate and must include his/her name, contact information, and indicate the school at which the candidate currently teaches.

EngageAsia, which is administering the award, will accept Letters of Nomination at any time and will inform candidates that they have been nominated for the Award. Those nominated must submit a full application as indicated below.

Nominators should keep in mind the deadline for applications is in September. Therefore, it is recommended that nominations be submitted by mid-July in order to provide potential candidates the time needed to compile their applications.

Letters of Nomination should be e-mailed to EngageAsia at:

Application Procedures & Deadlines for 2021
(Humanities category)

Applicants must submit the following documents by October 15, 2021 to be considered (please note: all materials must be submitted in one PDF document via e-mail to EngageAsia, the award administrator, at:

1. Cover Sheet that includes the following information:

  • Full name and home address
  • School name and address
  • E-mail and telephone contact information
  • The subjects and grades you currently teach
  • A list of Japan-related programs in which you have participated
  • Names and contact information for those submitting letters of support

2. A narrative (not to exceed three (3) pages typed, double spaced) describing your efforts to further mutual understanding between Americans and Japanese through your classroom teaching. Please describe your classroom atmosphere and your approach to teaching about Japan and Japanese Language. Applicants should also highlight leadership positions held and detail how they have impacted other educators locally and/or nationally.

3. Three letters of support from individuals or organizations familiar with you and your teaching on Japan. A letter from a student explaining how your efforts affected his/her perceptions and understanding of Japan is permissible as a letter of support. One letter must come from the school’s principal or vice principal. Support letters can be sent under separate cover or included with all application materials.

4. A proposal not longer than three pages detailing how the candidate would utilize a grant of up to $1,000 (pending EngageAsia’s financial ability to offer a grant in 2021) to bolster Japanese language and/or Japan related endeavors in his or her classroom or at his or her school. The proposal must be specific and include a budget.

5. A professional resume
The application should be submitted in one PDF electronically to:

Deadline for 2021

Complete applications must be received by EngageAsia on or prior to October 15, 2021 to be considered for the 2021 award.

Review & Selection

A national selection committee administered by EngageAsia will review complete applications received by or on October 15, 2021. The selection committee consists of leaders in the field of education about Japan and Japanese language. The award winners will be announced in the winter of 2021.

Sep 20

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: Aarti Barve, Okayama-ken (2006-2008)

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers is produced by Ryan Hata (Tottori-ken, 2014-2017), Margie Banin (Kochi-ken, 2005-2007), and Jim Walsh (Fukushima-ken, 2018-2020). Want to be featured next? Submit your information here.

Aarti Barve, Okayama-ken (2006-2008)

Accomplishment: New website and customized online Japanese courses

More Information: Aarti Barve is the founder of, a platform for customized online Japanese courses. With an experience of 17yrs + including, teaching at the University of Mumbai, Aarti prepares students for JLPT exams. She has designed a special fee structure for the JET alumni. JET alumni can use the HAJIME 21 code to avail a discount of 20% in fees. You can reach out on either email ids to know the detailed fee structure.

Public Information:

Sep 20

Job: Various Positions with Japanese/American Companies – DSA International (USA)

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

Position: Various Positions with Japanese/American Companies
Posted by:
DSA International 
Location: USA
Contract: Full-Time

Thanks to Emi Tanaka from DSA International for passing along the following job openings across the United States:

New Job Listings! Japanese/American Companies seeking candidates nationwide. Japanese language or cultural background is a big plus! All of our positions are direct-hire with company benefits! See below a small listing of some of our urgent job openings!  

  • CPA Trainee/Experience-Mgr CPA Firms- San Diego, New York, Chicago, California to $150K/yr
  • Accounting Manager -Arizona to $110K/yr
  • Sales Engineers-California, Michigan, Chicago, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky  to $130K/yr
  • CPA Trainee/Experience- San Diego, New York, Chicago, California to $150K/yr
Read More
Sep 18

Japan-Insights: The day the world plunged into darkness and arose again in light

************By Makoto Shirai, secretary, Japan-Insights Research Institute (Non-profit organization in Tokyo)

Kagura: Theater of Tradition Amid Innovation. The day the world plunged into darkness and arose again in light. Dieter Georg Adlmaier-Herbst, Germany

Dear Friends,

Have you enjoyed an ancient Japanese theater “Kagura”?

Let me introduce an essay from Japan-Insights archives.

The twenty-first one is on Kagura: Theater of Tradition Amid Innovation by Dr. Dieter Georg Adlmaier-Herbst.

Please share this expert’s experience!

Japan-Insights is a nonprofit open database compiled by leading experts in Japanese studies. The posts present a broad range of historical and contemporary topics that encourage visitors to engage with the real Japan through immersive experiences. Follow the Facebook page and website to learn about and share these insights from around the country!”

#japan #japaneseculture #izumo

Sep 15

JETAA Podcast Beat

JETAA‎‎‎‏‏‎​ Podcast Beat is a weekly round-up of current JET and JET alumni podcasts and podcast appearances compiled by Emmalee Manes (Toyama-ken, 2016-19)

Do you have a podcast or did you recently appear in a podcast? Help us share it with the community by filling out this form.

Welcome to the JETAA Podcast Beat! I hope the beat will be a great way for everyone to stay updated on JET alumni as well as current JET involvement in podcasts. If you have the chance, please enjoy listening to one of these recent episodes this week!

よっぱれい英会話 English Nomikai Podcast

In this eikaiwa podcast targeted to Japanese English-learners, Emmalee Manes (Toyama-ken, 2016-19) talks to fellow JET alumni, current JETs, and Japanese English teachers and friends about cultural differences between Japan and their home countries (all while sharing some drinks!)

Tokyo「東京」with Lilly!

Emmalee and Lilly (Toyama-ken, 2015-18) talk about life in Tokyo during the pandemic, their favorite Tokyo neighborhoods, and ways that Nashville and Tokyo are similar.

インスタ: @yoppareikaiwa

How to Japanese Podcast

Everyone learning Japanese needs a senpai – this podcast is your digital senpai. Join Daniel (Fukushima-ken, 2005-08) from and guests to learn what strategies have been effective for them as they study, live, and work in Japan and using Japanese.

S02E20 – Instinctual Nattō and Introversion

On the final episode this season, I talk about the importance of celebrating your little victories as you study a language. And in Japanese, I think about how to balance introversion and extroversion as you’re studying. Listen until the end – I provide a short update on one of the episodes from Season 1.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to

You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Reinventing Professionals

This podcast hosted by Ari Kaplan (Hyogo-ken, 1993-94) is designed to offer ideas, guidance, and perspectives on how to effectively navigate a perpetually shifting professional landscape, with a unique focus on the legal industry and the technology that is driving its evolution.

How Legal Events are Evolving

I spoke with Nehal Madhani, the founder and CEO of Alt Legal, a company that provides trademark docketing software. We discussed the challenges that Alt Legal helps trademark professionals address, its 2021 Alt Legal Connect virtual conference, what attendees can expect, and how events are evolving.

Sep 14

Posted by Tom Baker

In non-pandemic years, the Japan Writers Conference is held on an autumn weekend at a university somewhere in Japan. This year it is being held online (Oct. 15-17), which means you can participate no matter where in the world you are.

At least nine JETs (including classic-edition MEFs) will be among the published writers giving presentations on how to write well – and how to sell your work. These include memoirist Joe Palermo, poet Michael Frazier, poet and picture book author Holly Thompson, textbook author Todd Jay Leonard, and travel consultant Joy Jarman-Walsh. More JET alums are mentioned in the (slightly JET-edited) official press release below:

Published writers to share how they did it

TOKYO (Sept. 14, 2021) – The Japan Writers Conference has announced a lineup of more than 30 presentations by published writers in a variety of fields, from food writing to screenwriting and from to novels to haiku, for its 15th annual event on Oct. 15-17.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s conference will be held online, with Zoom details to be made available at As always, it will be a free, interactive event open to all who are interested in the art, craft and business of writing.

Poetry, memoir, fiction and publishing will be major themes. Tokyo Poetry Journal associate editor Zoria Petkoska will discuss how technology enables “cyber poetry,” while noted haikuist Michael Dylan Welch will look into the past to examine the use of place names. Karen Hill Anton and Lianne Wakabayashi will discuss crafting their Japan-related memoirs. Novelist and JET Joanne Anderton will explore mixing autobiography into speculative fiction, while novelists Charles Kowalski (another JET) and Michael Pronko will speak about creating characters. Multiple writers will share tips on both traditional publishing and self-publishing.

Astrophysicist and author Elizabeth Tasker will participate in a panel discussion on “Social Media for Writers,” while young adult novelist Sara Fujimura will join a panel on “Writing Identity.” Prominent multi-genre author – and JET – Suzanne Kamata will be part of both panels.

For more variety, journalist Melinda Joe will serve up the basics of food writing, photographer Edward Levinson will discuss finding inspiration in nature, filmmaker Yuri Kageyama will premiere a work on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and “Jeopardy!” quiz show champion Tom Baker, still another JET, will describe how to write trivia questions. And that’s far from all.

Details on this year’s event can be found at
Inquiries should be directed to

Sep 10

Job: Assistant Director – Hyogo Business & Cultural Center (Seattle, WA, USA)

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

Position: Assistant Director
Posted by:
Hyogo Business & Cultural Center
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Thanks to JET alumnus, Braden Bennight (Aichi-ken, 2014-2017) for passing along the following job opening:

The qualifications can be found in the description, but the ideal candidate will be someone bilingual/fluent in Japanese, who has experience working in a Japanese office environment. JET alumni who were CIRs seem to more commonly fulfill those qualifications, but application to the job is of course not limited to former CIRs.

Please find below English and Japanese versions of the job description.

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