Sep 18

JET Prefecture Round up! 09.18.17

By Suzanne Bhagan (Tottori Prefecture, 2014-2015) Suzanne is a freelance writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Hey, everyone! It’s already past the middle of September and there’s a national holiday (Autumnal Equinox Day on 23 September) coming up. Here’s what’s going on in Japan’s JET community this week and the next!

 

Oirase Shimoda Matsuri

Oirase Shimoda Matsuri

When: 23 September – 24 September

Where: Oirase Town, Aomori Prefecture

Snap the “living dolls” that ride the giant floats during the Shimoda Festival in Oirase!

 

Kuma Fest 2017

When: 30 September

Where: Minamiaso, Kumamoto Prefecture

Pack a tent. It’s party time on the side of the world’s largest caldera for the first ever Kuma Fest!

 

Whitewater rafting in Japan

Hiroshima AJET’s Annual Whitewater Rafting Trip

When: 29 September – 1 October

Where: Yoshino River, Kochi Prefecture

Block 9 peeps, get your paddles ready! Hiroshima AJET is hosting its yearly whitewater rafting in Shikoku.

 

Miyazaki JET Trivia Quiz

When: 30 September

Where: Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture

September can be tough with classes, speech contests, and sports day so rustle up a team and head to the MAJET Trivia Night! It’s also a potluck so bring something yummy to share!

 

Howl’s Moving Castle

Hyogo AJET’s Book Club

When: 24 September

Where: Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

At this sesh, Hyogo JET’s Book Club will dissect Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. P.S. it isn’t considered cheating if you can’t finish the book and only watch the movie instead.

 

Kagawa AJET Moon Viewing and Party

When: 23 September

Where: Marugame Castle, Kagawa Prefecture

Forget yesterday’s eclipse. Kagawa AJET hosts a moon viewing party at Marugame Castle for the autumnal equinox! Take a tour of the castle, picnic, and enjoy the scenery!

 

Kamaishi Wine Festival

When: 30 September

Where: Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture

Get your drink on at the first ever Kamaishi Wine Festival! It takes place during the Kamaishi Magokoro Food Festival and the Rugby World Cup 2019 Fan Zone Rehearsal Event so drink up, eat up, and join in a game of street rugby!

Lake Biwa

 

Shiga AJET’s Biwa Bike Trip

When: 30 September – 1 October

Where: Maibara, Shiga Prefecture

Get ready for a legendary weekend of mad views and copious amounts of Pocari Sweat as Shiga AJETs cycle 150 km (93 miles) around Lake Biwa!

 

Night of Dance

When: 30 September

Where: Nakagami, Okinawa Prefecture

An exciting night of dance performances: hip hop, belly dance, tribal fusion belly dance, jazz dance, popping, flamenco, and more!

 

 

 


Mar 17

Life in Japan: How a 1 Year Stay Becomes a Decade

By Jon Dao (Toyama-ken, 2009-12) from his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


For the people who want to go to Japan, what’s your story? For the people who left, how’d you know you had enough? For the people who continue to stay, what’s your reason?

In this episode, Andy Morgan shares his ties to Japan. This is a great listen for anyone who’s planning to stay in the country after they finish JET. (Hint: learn the language!)

Andy’s first appearance detailed more of his roots and Intermittent Fasting knowledge. If you enjoyed that, be sure to check out the varying degrees of fitness talk in his second appearance,third appearance, and fourth!  


Jan 31

By Jon Dao (Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


 

In this episode of The Low Dao, Jon reconnects with two Toyama ALTs: Amy Derrah Noel and her husband Chris. Are you a soon-to-be returning JET worried about getting a job? This one’s for you! Have you ever thought about starting your own business? This one’s for you!

Listen to all the brutal honesty here:

Be sure to check out Amy’s site Wabi Scotia Pottery and like her Facebook Page!


Jul 14

Community Involvement on JET: Don’t Be Afraid to Start From Scratch

By Jayme Tsutsuse (Kyoto-fu 2013-2014), organizer for Cross-Cultural Kansai, seeking work opportunities in NYC starting August 2014!

Cross-Cultural Kansai's Summertime Picnic at the Kamogawa river in Kyoto. Celebrating global identities with delicious food, beautiful weather, and amazing friends.

Cross-Cultural Kansai’s Summertime Picnic at the Kamogawa river in Kyoto, celebrating global identities with delicious food, beautiful weather, and amazing friends.

At the JET Program Tokyo Orientation last summer, we were all told to get involved in our communities as much as possible. It seemed like good advice, so I jotted it down in my list of goals, expecting this promise to somehow become less vague once I settled in.

I’m not sure how I envisioned it would happen. Obviously there wouldn’t be a community, gathered with open arms, ready welcoming me in when I arrived. Fair enough. But really, what were we supposed to do?

A friend suggested that I check out Meetup.com, and I was surprised to see how popular it was in Kansai (not nearly as expansive as New York or London, but still!). Every weekend, I’d join events in Osaka or Kyoto, and I never failed to fall deep into conversations with new friends about our backgrounds, where we came from, how it affects who we are today and where we want to go in the future. I loved listening to their stories. And the more I came across these stories, the more I thought about how great it would be to create a space for them, a community premised on sharing these parts of ourselves.

For the complete story, click here.


Jan 20

Job: Japanese Garden Center Program Coordinator (Seattle)

This posting closes January 20, 2014. Via Pacific Northwest JETAA. Posted by blogger and podcaster Jon Dao (Toyama-ken, 2009-12)Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.

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PositionJapanese Garden Center Program Coordinator
Type: Part-time

Overview:

The Associated Recreation Council (ARC), in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, serves Seattle by offering a variety of recreational and lifelong learning programs, classes and activities, along with cultural educational programs.
ARC is currently seeking a talented and innovative individual for the Japanese Garden Program Coordinator; this position is responsible for overall development, implementation, and supervision of the advisory council-supported cultural programs and events at the Japanese Garden.

Read More


May 19

As part of an occasional series, Sheila Burt (Toyama-ken, 2010-2012) will begin profiling JETs who are or were in some way involved with rebuilding efforts in the Tohoku region.  The inaugural post is about Jessie Zanutig (Gunma-ken, 2009-12), who founded 3,000 Letters to Japan, an international letter exchange project aimed at lifting the spirits of students who are living in the communities hardest hit by the disaster.  Burt is currently a freelance journalist and English teacher in Matsuyama City, Ehime-ken.  Read more of her reporting at her blog, Stories from the Inaka.

Zanutig's apartment full of letters.

Zanutig’s home full of letters.

Jessie Zanutig was in the middle of celebrating her junior high school students’ graduation at a small restaurant in Kawaba Village, Gunma Prefecture, when the earthquake struck.  Buildings in her tiny mountainous town in northern Gunma shook violently, but her town was thankfully safe from the tsunami that was about to ravage several coastal communities in northeast Japan.

As Gunma residents banned together in the next few weeks to send supplies to neighboring Fukushima-ken, Zanutig began to correspond with a Canadian friend who was living in Ishinomaki, one of the hardest hit towns in Miyagi Prefecture, to learn more about the situation.  Her friend’s boyfriend, who is Japanese, lost his father in the tsunami and was struggling with the sudden loss of a family member.

“I was in contact with her a lot to make sure she was OK. Her students were having a really hard time,” Zanutig, 28, remembers.  “I thought, ‘I want to help but there’s nothing I can do.’ So I asked her, ‘If I just collected a few letters from friends and family, do you have a few students you can give them to?’” Read More


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