Sep 5

Job: Presidential Management Fellows Program – U.S. Office of Personnel Management (USA)

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

Position: Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program
Posted by:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Location: United States of America
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s an opportunity passed along to us:

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program has published the PMF Applicant Handbook, a brand new resource designed to provide a general overview of the annual application process and support applicants for the upcoming application cycle.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the Handbook in conjunction with: (1) the “2021 PMF Assessment Preparation Guide” (posted under the “Become a PMF\Assessment Process” section on the PMF website at and (2) additional resources and information found under the “Become a PMF” section at

The Handbook can be found under the “Become a PMF\Resources” and the “Academia\Resources” sections on the PMF website at

The PMF Class of 2021 Application is scheduled to open at Noon (ET), Wednesday, September 30, 2020, and close at Noon (ET), Wednesday, October 14, 2020. 

Finally, as a reminder, during the month of September 2020, the PMF Program will be hosting an informational webinar every Tuesday for potential applicants of the upcoming PMF Class of 2021 Application. Additional details and registration can be found under the “Become a PMF\2021 Application” section on the PMF website at

Sep 4

Job: Senior Program Associate – Columbia World Projects (New York, NY, USA)

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

Position: Senior Program Associate
Posted by:
Columbia World Projects
Location: New York, NY, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s a job that we came across in our LinkedIn feed:

Columbia World Projects (“CWP”) is an initiative intended to better connect Columbia University with the world at large where laws and policies are made, actions taken, and norms and attitudes are shaped. CWP will facilitate the application of academic work in the context of a broader, global discussion to address fundamental challenges in our home city, around the nation, and across the globe.

Columbia World Projects seeks a Senior Program Associate to support the activities and development of its Convenings and Scholarly Relations team. The Senior Program Associate will serve as a key member of the staff in advancing and administering work and convenings on large-scale problems such as the future of democracy, the character of cities, and project implementation, as well as initiatives geared to understand how best to enact policy ideas. The incumbent will work independently and collaboratively on matters of research, analysis, coordination, and administration, working closely with, and reporting to, senior staff at CWP. The role reports to the Director of Convenings and Scholarly Relations at CWP.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

Sep 1

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.

Jessica Brown, Oita-ken, 2000-2003

After returning to the UK from Japan in 2005 Jess made a promise to herself to maintain, if not improve, her intermediate Japanese language ability. Once settled in Scotland, she attended multiple Japanese courses and one-off lessons in search of what she had experienced when living in Japan. She craved immersion. Unable to find what she was looking for, Jess set up the Japanese language environment that she missed, an immersive Japanese conversation community. Nihongo Connection, started in 2014, now boasts 6 online conversation clubs per week with Japanese speakers based around the world. Jess also runs regular online courses to take Japanese language beginners from listening to chatting with other Japanese speakers in weeks.

More Information:
Just because you can’t find what you are looking for doesn’t mean it will never exist! If you want something badly enough you can create it yourself! What have you always wanted to do but you have been putting off? What has been stopping you? What can you do today to make a start to make it happen for you?

Public Contact Information:
Nihongo Connection on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Aug 28

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.

In recent days the Japanese news has been buzzing with news of PM Abe’s frequent hospital visits, and he officially resigned his post during today’s press conference. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Abe determined that stepping down due to a flareup of ulcerative collitis was the prudent choice. Intense speculation is taking place as to who within the LDP will be named as his successor, to serve out the remainder of his term through next September. Abe holds the record as Japan’s longest serving PM.

If this news brings you to tears consider crying therapy (涙活 or ruikatsu), which I’ve previously introduced in this column. There are a slew of Japanese words that have been coined with the kanji for “activity” as a suffix (活 or katsu). Some examples are trying to get pregnant (妊活 or ninkatsu), job searching (就活 or shuukatsu), and planning for one’s death (終活 or shuukatsu. Incidentally, this has the same pronunciation as the previous one so be careful!). Ruikatsu is the subject of the NYT featured op-doc Tears Teacher. Clocking in at less than 11 minutes, this short film is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy and stay safe out there!

Aug 24

Panel discussion on MFAs at 2020 Japan Writers Conference

Posted by Tom Baker

Many JETs are writers before coming to Japan, while others find that Japan give them something to write about. If you’re thinking about furthering your writing career by getting an MFA, then you might want to listen to what JET alums Percival Constantine and Warren Decker have to say about.

The two will be part of a panel discussion at the 14th annual Japan Writers Conference, titled “The MFA: The Good, The Bad, and The Expensive.”

Due to the pandemic, this year’s Japan Writers Conference is being held online, meaning there is no travel involved. Here’s the official description of Percy and Warren’s event:

The MFA: The Good, The Bad, and The Expensive

John Gribble, Kristina Butke, Percival Constantine, Alec McAulay, Warren Decker
Panel Discussion

Should I get an MFA or other graduate-level degree in writing?
Aren’t they expensive? Are they difficult? Are they any good? What sort of program should I look at? What kind of benefits should I expect to receive? These questions and others will be addressed in this session.
Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and other advanced degrees with a writing emphasis have become a viable option for those seeking to improve their writing skills and advance themselves professionally. Some programs are full- or part-time on a university campus, some are on-line, some are hybrids, blending elements of both. The panelists, all with advanced writing degrees, will each talk about the programs they attended, their own experiences and answer your questions.

John Gribble is a noted gasbag. He rarely knows what he is talking about, but he states his ignorant opinions with great vigor. He has spent far too much of his life in school and other institutions. He is also a poet, co-organizer of the Japan Writers Conference and the Tokyo Writers Workshop, and earned his MFA at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.

Kristina Elyse Butke is an American writer, editor, and teacher who indulges in cosplay, art, and all things otaku. She has a BA in English Literature from Capital University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. A former college English teacher, playwright, and composer, she now writes fantasy and horror. Her work has been published by ExFic, First Class Literary, and Synaeresis Magazine, among others. She’s also worked the convention circuit, presenting panels on writing fanfiction and genre fiction at events such as Ohayocon, Matsuricon, and Colossalcon. In terms of editing, one of her latest projects included subtitle edits for Pied Piper Inc.’s release of the anime Skip Beat!, and she currently edits and contributes to Speculative Chic.

Kristina lives in Kumamoto prefecture in Japan, where she works in multiple high schools as an assistant language teacher. When she isn’t working on all the things, she travels to shrines, hunts for Kumamon, and spends more money than she should at the JUMP shop.

Raised on a consistent diet of superhero comics, action movies, and video games, Percival Constantine wanted to grow up and write the type of fiction he consumed. Now as a prolific author of pulp fiction, he’s written around thirty books across various genres. He’s also the host two podcasts—Japan On Film and Superhero Cinephiles. When he’s not working on projects, he somehow finds time to teach classes in literature, film, and English. Born and raised in Chicago, he’s now based in Kagoshima, Japan.

Alec McAulay is an award-winning writer and director. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, he has lived in Japan since 1989. He teaches Creative Writing at Yokohama National University. Alec has an MA Screenwriting (Distinction), and a PhD (Screenwriting) from the Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University. His children’s novel Robot Santa (unpublished) is about a ‘hafu’ Scottish-Japanese girl who builds a robot Santa to save Christmas.

Warren Decker is a teacher and writer based in Izumi, Japan. He has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in The Best American Poetry 2018, The New Ohio Review, Modern Haiku, Sou’wester, and other journals. His first book of poetry The Long Side of the Midnight Sun is available from Isobar Press. He has an MFA in creative writing from the online program at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Aug 24

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: Gregory Beck, Hiroshima-ken, 2006-2011

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.

Gregory Beck, Hiroshima-ken, 2006-2011

New saké education and consulting website and business.

More Information:
While on JET, most of us gained some secondary expertise on Japanese alcohol, but few would argue they were as diligent in this area as Greg. After drinking hundreds of saké at Hiroshima’s annual Saké Matsuri and eventually returning to the restaurant industry, Greg became a saké and shochu specialist at Mutual Trading Company, a certified Saké Sommelier, and Saké Program manager and consultant at various Izakaya around Los Angeles County. Greg has recently settled in Long Beach and founded, an online resource, blog, and consultation business, with a focus on food pairings, using Saké to elevate any culinary experience, and hopes to have a brick-and-mortar retail location by as early as next year.

Public Contact Information:

Aug 17

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: James McKnight, Gunma-ken, 2001-2004

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.

James McKnight, Gunma-ken, 2001-2004

James McKnight wrote Yellow & Black Fever: Life, Love and Baseball in the Land of the Rising Sun, a memoir of the first three years (2001-2004) out of twelve total that he lived in Japan. Mainly about life as an ALT in a small town, James writes about struggling to fit in, traveling around Japan-Asia, and about a group of Japanese pro baseball fans that took him under their wing and accepted him not as a gaijin, but as an equal. Current and former JETs might enjoy reading James’ memoir as he is certain many of the struggles and successes he experienced are similar to the ones they experienced. This memoir may well bring back good memories for former JETs, and for current JETs it might shed light on what life was like as a JET nearly 20 years ago. As James’ baseball friends lived in Osaka, he had a 500 km journey in order to see them and watch Hanshin Tigers games together. However, he says it well worth it as inside a baseball stadium he could escape the troubles of his everyday life. James’ book is available on and also on Amazon in other countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, France, and Japan.

More Info:
James is currently working as an Adult Education – Workforce Instructor on a Native American Reservation in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and has found that working on the reservation is almost like being a foreigner in Japan again. He began teaching in 2001 as a JET, worked two years as Gunma Prefectural ALT Advisor in the Board of Education Office (2004-06), then became licensed as a Foreign Instructor in order to teach full-time at Chuo Secondary School, an English Immersion School in Takasaki, Gunma (2006-2013). James taught there for 6 1/2 years and learned exactly how hard it is to be a full-time middle school/high school teacher in Japan. He found it very challenging, but adapted to the long work hours and enjoyed teaching the students and learning from his co-workers.

James returned to the U.S. in 2013, and is certified to teach high school social studies, adult education, and career – technical education. He would be glad to help anyone interested in learning about full-time teaching in Japan or teaching in Arizona as well. Prior to becoming a teacher, James worked as a sports journalist and public relations professional for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Arizona – Class of 1990 with a B.A. in Journalism, James has also earned a Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Secondary Education from Pima College.

Public Contact Information:
James can be reached at He can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Aug 11

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: Valerie Hwang, Hyogo-ken, 2009-2012

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.

Valerie Hwang, Hyogo-ken, 2009-2012

Founded Intrepid Ayurveda – Ayurvedic Health Counseling business and website.

After years of post-JET soul-searching, adventuring, and creative endeavors, Valerie has launched her career in Ayurvedic medicine as a Health Counselor Intern at the California College of Ayurveda. Her mission is to provide guidance through the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda so that her clients have the path and tools to live their lives to the very fullest.

Public Contact Information:
Website —
Email —

Aug 8

USJETAA Webinars

The School of International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute Scholarship Information Session

Session 1 (Aug 11, 2020 at 5:30 PM Pacific Time / 8:30 PM Eastern Time):
Session 2 (Aug 13, 2020 at 6:00 AM Pacific Time / 9:00 AM Eastern Time):

Are you interested in attending graduate school? The School of International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute has partnered with the USJETAA to offer a scholarship to JET alumni interested in pursuing a master’s degree program at SIT. SIT will commit to providing 30% tuition scholarships for eligible JET alumni. Please join us to learn more about the mater’s programs and scholarship available to JET alumni. JET alumni who have completed their MA at SIT have been invited to join us for this presentation.

SIT offers master’s degree programs in part-time, low-residency and full-time, face-to-face, global formats in the following subjects:

Master of Arts in Climate Change and Global Sustainability
Master of Arts in Development Practice
Master of Arts in Diplomacy & International Relations
Master of Arts in Global Health Policy, Administration & Management
Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management
Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership & Management (Online with brief residencies in Vermont)
Master of Arts in International Education (Global, Online with brief residencies in Vermont)
Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Leadership (Online with brief residencies in Vermont and abroad)
Master of Arts in Sustainable Development (Online with brief residencies in Vermont and abroad)
Master of Arts in TESOL (Online with brief residencies in Vermont)

Japanese Jobs for JETs

Aug 20, 2020 08:00 PM EDT:

The JET experience is a life-changing one, and when you return home, you may feel confused and/or stressed about the job search, specifically for jobs that allow you to use your Japanese. Join this seminar if you’re still on or already done with the JET Program, and learn some key tips about job searching.

Anne Hooghart (Shiga, 1990-1991) is an instructor, consultant, and parent of bilingual kids. Anne maintains a personal and professional focus on fostering interest in the Japanese language and culture.

Kasia Lynch is the Founder of Ikigai Connections. Kasia aims to be a kakehashi (bridge) between job seekers who want to utilize their Japanese language and/or cultural skills, and the global companies that need them.

Faye Valtadoros (Kagawa, 1998-2000) is a 6-12 grade Japanese teacher. Faye strives to open her students’ eyes to all the amazing things about the Japanese language and culture while talking about her JET days and what she learned while living in Japan.

Aug 6

Obon Classics: Special Lecture & Performance Event

The Japan Foundation will present a special lecture with Isaku Kageyama, Sumie Kaneko, and David Wells on some of the traditional Japanese musical instruments used for the Bon Odori, a summertime folk dance festival which is the highlight of a centuries-old Buddhist custom called Obon. This lecture will be focusing on the history of Japanese music, and will also cover the histories of taikoshamisen, koto, and fue.   

There will be demonstrations of traditional performances by the guest artists, and the various instruments will be played together at the end to showcase how they sound together to create Obon festival music.  

Live chat will be enabled on the YouTube stream, so guests can ask questions, and participate in the Q&A session during the stream.  

I would appreciate it if you could share this free event with your friends in the taiko community.   

Date and time: Saturday, August 15, 5pm EDT  

Facebook event page:

YouTube link:  


Aug 4

GlobalizeDC Events

Thanks to GlobalizeDC for sharing some events that are happening this week that may be of interest to you. 

Online Course: Race in American Life
Application Deadline: Tues, August 4 (today) 
Mya Fisher, recently of the US-Japan Council, is offering a free 4-week sociology mini-course on “How Race and Ethnicity Shape American Life.” Those working in the U.S.-Japan space are encouraged to apply, including TOMODACHI program alumni, so they can gain some context for understanding why what is happening in the US at this time is so important.
For more information and to apply, click here.

Confucius Institute U.S. Center: Virtual Discussion – “Social Justice in the World Language Classroom”
Program Date: Wed, August 5, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
How is the language classroom uniquely suited to challenge bias, stereotypes, and nurture student voices? How can world language educators continue to support justice, equity, and inclusion within our communities? What does social justice education look like in the Chinese language classroom? This free webinar will explore these questions and more with a panel of educators and social justice advocates. For more information and to register, click here.

EngageAsia: “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard” – Turning Horror into Hope
Presented in Partnership with MIT Japan

Program Date: Wed, August 5, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan, join EngageAsia for a discussion of the documentary film, Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard, and a ceremony to remember and honor this event.
Register here. Interested persons are encouraged to watch the film for free prior to the program here.

Aug 4

JETwit’s JET Alum Movers & Shakers: Jessica Frey, Fukuoka-ken, 2005-2007

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.

Jessica Frey, Fukuoka-ken, 2005-2007

Accomplishment: Jessica J.M. Frey is an author, screenwriter, and professional smartypants. With an MA in Communications and Culture, she’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on radio and television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. She also has an addiction to scarves, ‘Doctor Who’, and tea, which may or may not all be related. Her life’s ambition is to have stepped foot on every continent (only 3 left!)

J.M.’s also a professionally trained actor who takes absolute delight in weird stories, over the top performances, and quirky characters. She’s played everything from Marmee to the Red Queen, Jane Eyre to Annie, and dozens of strange creatures and earnest heroines as a voice actor.

Her debut novel “Triptych” (written while in Japan) was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly. Since then, J.M.’s published eight more novels, the most recent being her digital-only queer time-travel novel “The Woman Who Fell Through Time”, which was named a winner of the 2019 WATTY AWARD for Historical Fiction.

J.M. Frey continues to write and hopes that one day to finish the sprawling historical epic she started while touring the hauntingly beautiful Iya Valley. It’s eluded her so far, and she thinks she might just have to travel back to Japan to chase down that inspiration again…

J.M. Frey is currently located in Toronto, Ontario, and welcomes inquiries and mentees looking to get into writing.

Public Contact Information:
Website –
Twitter –
Instagram –

Jul 28

Mystery in the mountains: Piecing together the fate of a downed American aircrew in rural Japan by JET alumnus, David Caprara (Nara-ken, 2012-2014)

JET alumus, David Caprara (Nara-ken, 2012-2014) has been working as a journalist post-JET. He credits his time on the JET Programme to help his career. For three years, he worked in New York City for two Japanese media outlets, NHK, and the Tokyo Shimbun. Before that, he was a freelancer for a wide array of international outlets around the world. He recently wrote an article for the Japan Times surrounding some rumors he heard in Nara that a plane had crashed into the holiest mountain of the Kumano Kodo during WWII and decided to conduct some research into this as a journalist. It sort of puts a highlight on the bond between the US and Japan and on JETs and their placements. 

Interested in reading the full piece? Please click here.

Jul 26

Job: Translator/Interpreter Contract Positions – Central Motor Wheel of America (Paris, KY, USA)

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

Position: Translator/Interpreter Contract Positions
Posted by:
Central Motor Wheel of America
Location: Paris, KY, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Thanks to JET alum, Jeremy Patrick (Shizuoka-ken) for passing along this JET relevant job with his company:

Central Motor Wheel of America (CMWA) is a supplier of aluminum and steel wheels for Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Subaru, and other automobile makers.  

We are in the middle of an expansion project that will see several supervisors from Japanese equipment suppliers coming to the US to oversee equipment assembly, installation, connections, programming, and startups. As part of that, we are looking for 4 translators/interpreters to support our project. These will be contract positions lasting 5-6 months with two positions beginning in August and 2 more in September.

Read More

Jul 24

Job: Japanese Client Manager/Paralegal – The Jensen Law Firm, PLLC (Remote)

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

Position: Japanese Client Manager/Paralegal
Posted by:
The Jensen Law Firm, PLLC
Location: Remote
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s a remote job passed along to us:

Communicate with Japanese speaking clients for an immigration law firm located in midtown Manhattan. Gather information for immigration applications and ensure client satisfaction.

Requirements: Native Japanese speaker; immigration paralegal experience; good communication skills; reliable; attention to detail.

Application Process: Email resume to

About The Jensen Law Firm, PLLC

Established in 1996, the Jensen Law Firm PLLC, “Jensen Law Firm,” has been providing expert legal services on a full range of immigration matters for over twenty years. Our team has particular expertise in navigating the legal system to provide the best solutions for, especially difficult and complex cases. We also specialize in assisting foreign companies seeking to do business in the United States. In addition to the transfer of personnel, we assist these clients with general corporate, employment, and other regulatory matters.


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