Oct 21


Here’s a link to a 1.5 minute NHK news story (video) about the JETAA International Conference just held in Tokyo.  The story also references the approximately $500,000 raised for earthquake relief by JET Alumni Association chapters around the world.



The video includes a brief interview with Akita JET Paul Yoo, founder of volunteerAKITA and The Fruitree Project, who attended the conference.  Also visible in some of the shots are JETAA International Chair Shree Kurlekar (Shiga-ken) and JETAA USA Country Reps Megan Miller (Hyogo-ken) and Jessyca Wilcox (Hokkaido).  (Those are the people I recognized.  If you recognize others, please post in the comments section.)

The JETAA International Conference attendees are also scheduled to participate in a JET-led volunteer trip to Rikuzentakata this weekend.

Here’s the NHK article that accompanies the video:

外国語指導助手ら 被災地支援強化

10月21日 15時37分



Oct 20


Below is the official press release (in English and Japanese) announcing the recipients for JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund to the media in Japan.

FYI, a lot of hard work has gone into this process, using our JET contacts, bilingual and bi-cultural abilities to identify appropriate and worthy uses for the approximately $75,000 raised by the JETAA chapters in the U.S.

JETs and JET alumni should be extremely proud of the ways we’ve been able to support Japan in the wake of the 3/11 crisis. Many larger organizations have faced significant challenges in finding appropriate grantees, due in a large part to a very different and smaller Japanese non-profit sector that continues to grow and evolve in new ways. Our quasi-Japanese expat community of 55,000+ JET alumni spread around Japan and the world has been uniquely positioned to help meet these challenges.

Also worth noting is that the JETAA International meeting is taking place this week in Tokyo. JETAA representatives from each country are attending and will be participating in a JET-led volunteer effort in Rikuzentakata with the help of JET Paul Yoo, founder of volunteerAKITA and The Fruitree Project. JETAA International Chair Shree Kurlekar (former JETAA New York Vice-President) and other representatives will also be speaking with the Japanese media.

Thank you to JETs, JET alumni and Friends of JET everywhere who have contributed to the fund, volunteered their time, volunteered their translation and other skills and supported Japan in many other ways as well.

Ganbarou Nippon!




JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund

In its 25-year history, more than 55,000 people from 60 countries have participated in the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, developing strong ties with communities around Japan. Thanks to the years they spend in Japan, it is fair to say that JET participants come to view Japan as their second home, and most continue to maintain active connections with Japan after leaving the program. The most common way for JET alumni to stay connected is through the 50+ chapters of JET Alumni Association (JETAA) worldwide, which bring alumni together to share their experiences and to promote ties with Japan in their home countries.

Even JET alumni who did not have friends and family in the Tohoku region were deeply moved by the tragedy that unfolded there. In response, all 19 chapters of JETAA USA came together in March 2011 to launch the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund to support educational needs of communities in the disaster zone. Since March 11, the fund has raised $76,000 (5.8 million yen) from the U.S. JET alumni community.

Rikuzentakata and Ishinomaki have special significance for JET alumni since two of their colleagues lost their lives while teaching and living in these communities. Therefore, JETAA USA has decided to donate funds to programs in these two areas, with a primary focus on educational initiatives in Rikuzentakata. The aim is to improve the prospects of students who have been affected by the disaster, carry on the spirit of the JET Program and give back to the country that found its way into the hearts of JET alumni. Grants are being made for the following initiatives:

Hope for Tomorrow support for university applicants from Rikuzentakata ($25,000)– The costs of university entrance exams are a heavy burden for Japanese families and can be especially formidable for families affected by the disaster. Hope for Tomorrow, a new nonprofit organization, will defray exam fees and/ or associated travel and lodging costs in order to support Takata High School (located in Rikuzentakata) students applying to university. JETAA USA will financially support this program in Rikuzentakata.

Rikuzentakata tutoring project ($20,000) – Students in Rikuzentakata have been through traumatic experiences and lost considerable class time. The nonprofit organization Youth Empowerment Iwate, in cooperation with other groups, is launching a new initiative through which university students will provide extracurricular tutoring for middle school students while also using these sessions to lend a sympathetic ear to students who may feel intimidated discussing their concerns with older adults.

Rikuzentakata City education project ($10,000) – A special grant is being made to support JET-related activities and English teaching in the town.

Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund ($5,000)– The Taylor Anderson Fund is supporting a range of innovative programs in Ishinomaki, where JET Taylor Anderson taught and lived, including the exchange programs for local students and “reading corners” at elementary schools.

JETAA USA supporting JET participants ($10,000)– JET-run organizations and programs such as volunteerAKITA (which has been mobilizing JET participants to provide disaster aid since mid-March 2011) have responded to the disaster and recovery efforts. Individual grants are being made to help them sustain their disaster-related activities.









Hope for Tomorrow進学支援プログラム($25,000高校生の大学受験費用は一般家庭でも大きな負担となっているが、被災した家庭にとっては背負いきれないほどの負担となる。Hope for Tomorrowは新しく立ち上げられたNPOで、高田高校の学生を対象に大学受験にかかる旅費や宿泊費などの諸費用を支援する活動を行う。


陸前高田市内教育プロジェクト($10,000 JET関連の活動と英語教育を支援するための特別寄付を行う。





JETAA北部カリフォルニア支部(本部サンフランシスコ市):募金イベント“Japan Relief Fundraiser”を、ホテル・カブキのO(オー)居酒屋ラウンジにて実施。150人以上の参加があり、寄付と抽選が行われ、地元紙にも取り上げられた。

JETAAミネソタ支部:募金イベント“Japan Benefit Party”を、居酒屋・基(Moto-i)(海外初の店内で醸造した日本酒を提供する店)で実施。DJ、ライブ音楽で会場を盛り上げ、サイレント・オークションが行われた。





 全世界の元JET参加者のうち、約半数が米国人であり、米国にはJET同窓会(JET Alumni Association, JETAA)が19支部存在する。各支部は、全てボランティアベースのメンバーにより運営され、元JET参加者のネットワークを維持・強化し、文化・交流・教育事業やチャリティ事業等の実施を通じて、日米関係の一層の深化を図っている。米国JET同窓会の活動の詳細、同会震災復興支援基金への寄付はこちらから: HYPERLINK “http://www.jetaausa.comwww.jetaausa.com

Oct 17

Thanks to JETAA USA Country Representative Jessyca Wilcox for gathering this information in connection with an upcoming announcement regarding the JETAA USA Fund:

This is a small example of all the wide-spread efforts that JET alumni have been involved in. Most of the funds collected at the various events went directly to the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund, although portions of it were donated to other organizations to support Japan.

Photos: http://goo.gl/JYKNY
The JET Alumni Association of New York, in partnership with NY de Volunteer, raised approximately $10,700 during a three-hour Fundraiser for Japan on April 5 at Slate in Manhattan. Reporters from Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, NHK, Bi-Daily Sun New York, and the Asahi Shimbun were in attendance. NHK aired a noon-time report on April 6, 2011 (Japan time) and Asahi Shimbun featured the event in its special Earthquake reporting section.
NHK: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/jishin0311/movie/chapter_66.html
Asahi Shinbun: http://www.asahi.com/special/10005/TKY201104070092.html

JETAA Pittsburgh (sub-chapter of JETAANY)
Photos: http://goo.gl/U2jxG
JETAA Pittsburgh chapter co-sponsored a benefit concert in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and Brother’s Brother Foundation, a top-rated charity by Forbes Magazine. The event included participation by 2 cast members from PBS’ “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and many university students and alumni (including many music students who performed), JET alumni, and members of the local Japanese community.

JETAAMN (Minnesota)
Photos: http://goo.gl/oImj2
The Minnesota JETAA chapter held a huge Japan Benefit Party at Moto-i in Minneapolis on April 16th.  This event included a rocking DJ set by members of local band Solid Gold, a silent auction and prize raffle, both with some truly amazing items donated by local businesses and individuals. Free appetizers and half-priced sake were provided by Moto-i, the first sake brewery restaurant of its kind outside of Japan.

JETAANC (Northern CA- San Fransisco)
Photos: http://goo.gl/Nu4Rd
JETAANC has raised over $17,000 with a large portion of that going to the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund. Events include:

Individual alumni have also organized and participated in successful benefits as well:

RMJETAA (Rocky Mountain)
Photos: http://goo.gl/5DgsN
The JETAA Chapter based in Denver, CO put on a Sushi Rolling Benefit this past month. The event featured musical performances of shamisen and jazz by a local Japanese jazz musician. Guests learned the art of rolling sushi as they bid on silent auction items. All funds raised went to the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund.

JETAAMC (Music City)
Photos: http://goo.gl/sRWBP
This chapter, based in Nashville, TN had a Top Chef Tsuanami Dinner Relief event (a five course dinner with sake pairings) to pull in funds from the local community for the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund. JETAAMN partnered with the Japan America Society of Tennessee for this event which also included a silent auction.

JETAA Great Lakes
Faye Valtadoros (President of GLJETAA) is also a high school Japanese teacher in Clarkston, MI. They have an exchange program with Chiba and the Japanese students arrived shortly after 3/11. Faye and the students at her school collected money for the JETAA USA Earthquake Fund. The story was featured on ABC news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfE-6cLtHTE&noredirect=1
Faye has also coordinated a Taiko Drum Benefit Concert at her high school on October 29th. Again, all funds raised will go to JETAA USA Earthquake Fund.

JETAA Heartland
This chapter helped coordinate and raise money at a File Festival with all money going towards Japan. Warren McAllen, president of the chapter, is featured on the NBC news coverage of the event as he represents the JET Program and JETAA USA.

Oct 17


Here’s a link to coverage (including video) of JETAA Heartland’s Japanese Film Festival fundraiser for Japan earthquake/tsunami relief back in March 2011.  The video features an interview with JETAA Heartland President Warren McAllen!


Here’s the video and article:

By: Beth Vaughn

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – Two and a half weeks have passed since an earthquake struck Japan, triggering a huge tusnami that has killed more than 10,000 people. Another estimated 18,000 people are still missing.

Though time has passed, the disaster is still at the forefront of many minds in the Heartland.

All proceeds from the Greater Kansas City Japanese Film Festival Sunday afternoon at Johnson County Community College went directly to agencies working in the Japanese relief effort.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association and the Heart of America Japan-America Society are putting on the event.

The film festival was planned even before the quake shook Japan. The original purpose was to promote Japanese flims in the Heartland and to grow a greater understanding of Japanese culture.

This year’s films include Chocolate Underground, Harimaya Bridge and Red Beard.

JETAA also plans to send volunteers to Japan in the coming months to help rebuild areas that now face devastation.



Oct 11

Via Pacific Northwest JETAA:

On Friday August 26, we had the great honor of giving a presentation about the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association at the Hyogo Seminar, which was hosted by Hyogo Prefecture (coordinated by theHyogo Business and Cultural Center) and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). The Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Toshizo Ido, gave a comprehensive presentation on the many great qualities of Hyogo. Consul General Kiyokazu Ota, Masaaki Akagi, the Executive Director of The Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR New York), and Ginn Kitaoka, the Executive Director of the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center all gave warm opening remarks.

During our presentation, we highlighted the great things our chapter does. Ryan Hart (Chiba-ken, Ichihara-shi, 1998-99) (former PNW JETAA President, JETAA USA Country Representative and JETAA International Vice-Chair) shared what JETAA and current JETs are doing on the national and international level, Karin Zaugg-Black shared how her JET experiences shaped her career and her personal involvement with Japan, and Erin Erickson explained how we have supported Japan Relief efforts. Leela Bilow, Jana Yamada, and Casey Mochel shared their memories of Japan and how they continue to be involved with the Japanese community after JET.

Ryan Hart very generously allowed us to share his speech with you. Below is a brief excerpt, and his full speech is below the cut.

From its inception, the JET Alumni Association has helped former participants of the JET Program “Bring Japan Back Home.” What does this mean? We help former participants network, make new friends and transition their careers. We help the JET Program by recruiting, interviewing and training new teachers for their journey. We also help our communities we live in to support Japanese culture and raise awareness of the strong ties between our countries.

On March 11, 2011, like so many other things in our lives, this changed. Instead of “Bringing Japan Back Home”, our chapters and membership have rallied not only to raise money for immediate earthquake and tsunami relief, but also to strengthen the value of our relationship with local communities and organizations in Japan.

The JET Program, since 1987, has grown into the largest and most successful work exchange program in the world. Each year, the program brings thousands of teachers to Japan to promote language education and to strengthen Japan’s relationship with a number of countries. Since 1989, our Alumni Association of former program participants, has mirrored that growth and has steadily grown as a true grassroots organization, built from our individual members up. JETAA is now 53 chapters in 18 countries. As a former chapter president here in Seattle, a former Country Representative for JETAA USA’s 19 chapters and as former Vice Chair for JETAA International, I have been truly blessed to have had the chance to work and be a part of this growth.

From its inception, the JET Alumni Association has helped former participants of the JET Program “Bring Japan Back Home.” What does this mean? We help former participants network, make new friends and transition their careers. We help the JET Program by recruiting, interviewing and training new teachers for their journey. We also help our communities we live in to support Japanese culture and raise awareness of the strong ties between our countries.

On March 11, 2011, like so many other things in our lives, this changed. Instead of “Bringing Japan Back Home”, our chapters and membership have rallied not only to raise money for immediate earthquake and tsunami relief, but also to strengthen the value of our relationship with local communities and organizations in Japan.

  • Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, JETAA USA started raised money as a national organization and chapters voted to allocate this money directly to the affected local communities. We have formed a national advisory committee for the relief fund, of which I am proudly serving as a member. To date, the JET alumni have raised over $60k in funds and we are exploring continued fundraising efforts to make an even bigger impact.
  • AJET, as an organization of current JETs living and teaching in Japan, has been partnering with organizations such as Peace BoatSecond HarvestForeign Buyers Club and 5toSurvive to raise money and awareness of recovery efforts. The Osaka AJET Chapter has worked on food drives with Kozmoz International of Kyoto, and have driven food and supplies themselves to Tohoku from Osaka.
  • Mike Maher-King, a Fukui JET, formed Smile Kids Japan, a program of visiting orphanages throughout Japan. After March 11, he partnered with an organization in Tokyo called Living Dreams to start the Smile & Dreams project for Tohoku children to make sure the needs of the orphanages and the needs of the children who rely on them are met. He recently presented at TED Talks in Tokyo.
  • Paul Yoo, an Akita JET, founded the Fruit Tree Project (delivering $23,571 worth and 38,612 items of fresh fruit to Tohoku) and VolunteerAkita, which was the backbone of the BIG CLEAN project that was directly involved in the cleanup of Kessenuma. He is now working as the Home Communication Manager for two orphanages in Sendai to ensure their needs are communicated with organizations involved with relief efforts.
  • Hotdogs and Hugs was an aid organization of JETs from Saga-ken, who traveled from Saga Prefecture in western Kyushu, all the way to Tohoku, raising awareness and funds for relief efforts along the way.
  • Save Miyagi was founded by Canon Purdy, a JET Alumni who was in Miyagi-ken.
  • Billy McMicheal, a CIR in Fukushima, has formed Hearts for Haragama, which is raising funds for the Haragama Youchien Kindergarten in Soma, Fukushima.
  • Kat Geeraert, an alumnus who also lived in Soma, has started Friends of Soma to raise money for relief efforts.

These are just a few examples of the direct impact JETs and JET alumni have had. Given the number of teachers who have taught in Japan since 1985, there probably are many more individual efforts out there that we don’t know about.

What we do know is that, in light of what happened on March 11, JET alumni around the world are not only focused on “Bringing Japan Home”, but also “Bringing Home to Japan.” Collectively, we have a renewed focus not only on strengthening US/Japan relations, but also the ties with the communities we once lived, worked, and taught in. We know that our contracts we were given to us by local governments and boards of education throughout Japan, weren’t just annual contracts, they were invitations to a legacy. It should be very clear to the many communities across Japan who have invested in the JET Program since 1987 that there is a long-term value in the relationships that have been formed with the many JET Program participants that have come and gone. Whether it be through media campaigns, tourism promotion, school exchange programs, or relief and fundraising efforts, JETAA is now looking to continue our legacy in “Bringing Home Back to Japan.”

Thank you.

Ryan Hart, Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, 1998-99

Oct 8


In a speech on October 7 at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lauded the JET Programme for its vital grassroots relationship building, cited the JET alumni community’s role in raising money for earthquake/tsunami relief and cited Monty Dickson and Taylor Anderson as models of the kind of cross-cultural exchange that is so important to successful relationships between countries and cultures.

Here is a link to Secretary of State Clinton’s speech on the State Department’s website along with a video.  http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/10/175151.htm

Below are a few excerpts followed by the full text of the speech.

“More than 35,000 people have participated in exchange programs sponsored by our two governments, programs like the Fulbright and the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, known as JET.”


“[A]lthough these ties have already benefited both of our nations, they are not self-sustaining. We have to continue to invest in them.”


“The American people are proud to count Japan among our closest friends. I recently heard the story of an Alaskan named Monty Dickson who taught English at Yonesaki Elementary School as part of the JET program. While in Japan, Monty came to love Japanese poetry, and on the morning of March 11th, he had translated a poem by Shiba Ryotaro into English, and it read: “There’s nothing as beautiful as dedicating one’s life for a cause.” And just a few hours after writing those words, Monty Dickson was swept away in the tsunami. In fact, both of the Americans who died that day, Monty and Taylor Anderson, were teachers in the JET program. Their lives and their cause are part of the fabric of the friendship that we now share. The Dicksons, the Andersons, and the entire extended family of JET alumni have been working to help the communities that both Monty and Taylor lived in and grew to love.”


“The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of a system in the Asia Pacific that has underwritten peace, stability, and prosperity for decades. And the close connections built by the Monty Dicksons and the Taylor Andersons and the U.S.-Japan Councils, those are the foundations that not only keep the cornerstones strong but keep building higher and higher.”


Remarks at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC
October 7, 2011 Read More

Sep 26


Thanks to Andy Anderson, father of Taylor Anderson, for sharing this information:

  • Translations of various Japanese newspaper articles, provided by a friend for the Andersons:


Daily Yomiuri

An American Teacher Falls Victim to the Tsunami

Our Daughter’s Best-Loved Books to Her Students

Family of the Deceased Donates to Ishinomaki

The family of Taylor Anderson (then 24), an American woman engaged in English language instruction at elementary schools in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture before falling victim to the tsunami, visited Mangokuura Elementary School in Ishinomaki on the sixth and presented the school with 40 books. Anderson’s father, Andy (54) addressed 60 students saying, “Find your dreams and live. That is what my daughter did.”

The woman of whom he spoke was Virginia-native assistant language teacher Taylor Anderson. Anderson came to Japan in 2008 and taught English at elementary schools in Ishinomaki City. On the day of the earthquake, she watched over the school children from Mangokuura Elementary to see that they had evacuated before heading back for home. She was swallowed up by the tsunami waves.

Donated on the sixth was a collection dubbed “Taylor’s Library,” 40 volumes in total. Anderson’s personal favorites were included in the collection, which was purchased using money from a fund established by the surviving parents and Anderson’s alma mater.

At the dedication ceremony held at Mangokuura Elementary, Andy shared memories from Taylor’s childhood. “Once she started reading, she wouldn’t stop. She read and expanded her imagination.” He also shared the power of reading that brought her dream of becoming a bridge connecting Japan and America to fruition.

Kaito Hikiji (12), a student representative who expressed thanks to Andy and family in English, said, “Ms. Anderson told us about Harry Potter, and it was easy to feel close to her. We will think of these books as Ms. Anderson and treat them with care.”

The family plans to donate books in succession to each of the six schools at which Anderson taught.


(Not sure which publication this is from.)

“Find your dreams and live.”

An Expression of Love through Books

Surviving Family of the American ALT who Fell Victim to the Earthquake Disaster Donates Picture Books

The family of Taylor Anderson (then 24, U.S.), the Ishinomaki City assistant language teacher (ALT) who perished in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, donated books Anderson read as a child to a local elementary school as “Taylor’s Library” on the sixth of this month.

In attendance at the dedication ceremony held at Mangokuura Elementary School in Ishinomaki City were 64 sixth-grade students (then fifth graders) who had class with Anderson on the day of the earthquake. Father Andy (53) greeted them saying, “It will make us so happy if you will read these books, find your dreams, and live on.”

“Ms. Anderson was nice. I want to read these books with care,” said Moeka Abe (12), a student of Anderson’s.

Donated were approximately 40 volumes comprising children’s literature and picture books newly-purchased by Andy and family. The books are now kept on a bookshelf built by local carpenter Shinichi Endo, who currently resides in temporary housing in Higashi Matsushima City. Endou lost his three children to the tsunami. His eldest son and second daughter were both students of Anderson.

“I built the bookshelf while picturing Ms. Anderson’s cheerful spirit. I felt that this job was my opportunity to start looking forward in life,” he explained.

Anderson first came to Japan in 2008. Besides Mangoku Elementary, she instructed students in English at one kindergarten and a total of six elementary and junior high schools in Ishinomaki City. “Taylor’s Library” will also be donated to these institutions.

On the day of the earthquake, Anderson saw that the students from Mangoku Elementary evacuated to nearby Mangoku Junior High and was on her way home on her bicycle when she was swept away by the tsunami.


Asahi Shimbun

Students of our Daughter: Learn English through Books

“She loved to read as a child. I hope that you will all find your dreams in these books, too.” On the sixth, the family of Taylor Anderson (then 24), the American assistant language teacher who passed away in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture on the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, visited Mangokuura Elementary School where their daughter had taught and presented the school with 40 English-language books and a bookshelf. They have named it “Taylor’s Library.”

On the day of the earthquake, Anderson, along with other faculty, saw that the children had evacuated, and upon parting with them was hit by the tsunami.

“Had she lived, she would have been working for the people of Ishinomaki.” Anderson’s father, Andy (53), who resides in the state of Virginia, decided to donate books to the kindergarten and elementary and junior high schools—seven institutions in total—where his daughter taught.

The students who had class with Anderson on that fateful day greeted Andy and his wife, Jean (53), in English, saying, “Taylor’s class was fun. It made us like English.” Jean shared that her heart was warmed at the chance to stand in the place where her daughter once stood.


Sep 20

Thanks to Leah Zoller (CIR Ishikawa-ken, Anamizu, 2009-11) for sharing the below.  Leah is currently a writer and translator for The Art of Japan: Kanazawa, an art-based tourism project via a METI grant to the Cooperative Association for the Promotion of Kanazawa-Kaga Maki-e in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.

Ishikawa AJET has just published a digital cookbook for charity.  The book is designed for the English-speaking expat in Japan.

CLICK HERE for details and to purchase the Ishikawa AJET Digital Cookbook.

When I moved to rural Ishikawa in 2009, I had to entirely revamp my philosophy on cooking: how to work with the ingredients I had available in my small town; how to cook without a full-size oven; how to deal with metric measurements; and how to cook for one. I started this project with the hope that any JET, regardless of cooking skill or Japanese language ability, could arrive in Japan and immediately have a guide to simple home-cooking and be able to make the food s/he wants to eat.

The recipes are written in English with the Japanese terms for the ingredients right on the page, along with helpful hints for navigating the grocery store. Measurements are in metrics, and the recipes are meant for Japanese kitchen equipment, so you never have to worry about recipes not fitting in the oven range or not cooking through. Furthermore, 30 JETs and friends and I did extensive testing on the recipes to make sure they all were easy to understand and actually worked correctly. The recipes are a mixture of Japanese, foreign, and fusion food, and include a large number vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes.

Because this is a pdf, we were able to save on printing costs and keep things more environmentally friendly. The pdf is interactive: there are hotlinks to recipes from the indices, and the document is searchable. Our design team did a fantastic job, and it’s a very useful friendly layout.

The cookbook costs 1000 yen, and all proceeds go to Second Harvest Japan, a charity that brings food and supplies to food banks, orphanages, single mothers, immigrants, et al. This charity has been critical in the relief efforts after the Tohoku Earthquake.

The original post on the Ishikawa JET Blog is here: http://ishikawajet.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/master-cooking-in-japan-with-the-ishikawa-kitchen/

Payment options include using paypal for a downloadable pdf (see link) or contacting AJET directly at ishikawaajet@gmail.com to pay via furikomi and receive the document by email.

Sep 20

Members of Monkey Majik with Deputy Minister Len Edwards

Here’s info on a charity concert (“charity live”) by JET alum Maynard Plant’s (Aomori-ken, 1997-2000) hit band Monkey Majik in Sendai on October 16th, as part of their ongoing effort to support rebuilding and recovery in Tohoku, in their capacity as Tohoku Tourism Ambassadors.




そしてこの出来事を全国の皆様に伝え続けて行かなくてはならないという強い想いから、プロジェクト第3弾となるチャリティライブを故郷 被災地 仙台で開催することを決断しました。



~MONKEY MAJIKがゲストを迎えてのチャリティライブ~


TBC事業部 TEL022-227-2715
ニュース・プロモーション TEL022-266-7555
詳しくは こちら へアクセス願います。

Sep 20

Originally posted on the JETAA USA website by Jessyca Wilcox:

Rachel and Josh, JET alums from the DC area were married this past summer. They met while on JET in Kumamoto-ken, falling in love with Japan and each other during their years in Japan. As they celebrated their marriage this summer, Rachel and Josh approached JETAA USA, expressing a desire to have their wedding guests give to the JETAA USA Earthquake Relief Fund in lieu of getting toaster ovens, china, towel sets and mixing bowls. We were deeply touched by their thoughtfulness, belief in the JET alum community and their continual and sincere dedication to Japan.

The generous contributions Rachel and Josh’s wedding guests made in their name will help the Japanese communities that most need it. ども ありがとう ございました!

About the bride

Rachel is from Alexandria, Minnesota.  An English major at Gustavus Adolphus College, she flew on a JET plane to Japan to test out her teaching skills and try something new!  Little did she know, a Texan would capture her heart!

About the groom

Josh is from Dallas, Texas.  He did Computer Science at the University of Texas (Dallas) and went on to get his MBA before JET.  Unsure about joining the corporate world and eager to experience Japan, Josh flew out of Texas.  Little did he know, a blond Minnesotan was waiting for him!

How they met

Rachel and Josh met in Japan while on JET. Rachel was just starting her second year as an ALT in Kumamoto-ken, when Josh landed on the foreign soil.  Taking care of the ‘newbies’ as a social chair, Rachel helped plan Orientation for the new JETs.  They met the weekend before Orientation, at a lantern festival with friends.  Josh asked Rachel if she thought they’d be friends had they met under normal circumstances in the United States.  Rachel looked at the charming Texan and said, ‘Yes, we’d be friends.’  He agreed and the rest is history.

Sep 15

Sisters of JET alum run half-marathon for Tohoku orphanages

Jen Wang (Miyagi, 2008-09) created the alias “Hibari-sensei” for her Japanese pop culture blog, Gaijin Teacher Otaku, after her students called her by the name of a character she cosplayed. She also writes for J-music website Purple SKY.

The sisters of former JET Lucy Onodera (Miyagi, 2002-04), who is still living and working in Miyagi-ken, are running a half-marathon on September 25 in London for Living Dreams.

The charity is raising money to help provide orphanages in Tohoku with basic necessities, school supplies, and counseling services.  Onodera plans on visit the children in the future.

Alice and Claire Goodwin have raised £1,537 to date.  To donate, please visit their Global Giving page.

Sep 15

JET alum returns to Minamisanriku with charity funds

Jen Wang (Miyagi, 2008-09) created the alias “Hibari-sensei” for her Japanese pop culture blog, Gaijin Teacher Otaku, after her students called her by the name of a character she cosplayed. She also writes for J-music website Purple SKY.

Canon Purdy (Miyagi, 2008-10) made headlines when Today‘s Ann Curry found tracked her down after the earthquake and tsunami hit Minamisanriku, where she was visiting former students. She then started up Save Miyagi to help the students she had once taught. NBC Bay Area did a follow-up report on her trip back to Minamisanriku in late August, where she handed over the 300 thousand yen (roughly $3500) she raised to the board of education.

Photo from the Save Miyagi blog

Sep 13


JET Endurance….for the long run

JET Endurance is a new charity set up by UK-based JET alums to help continue to support earthquake/tsunami relief efforts in Tohoku.

No website yet, but here’s the link to the JET Endurance Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/jetendurance?sk=wall

And a few words from the FB page:

“Six months on from the Great East Japan Earthquake – JET Endurance is set up as a charity by former JET participants in the UK. Whether you’re a JET (current or former), or just want to do what you can to help get Tohoku and Japan back on its feet, follow this page and spread the word to your friends! Watch this space for exciting news about fundraising, events, volunteering and stories…….”


Sep 8

Via Embassy of Japan in the UK. Posted by Dipika Soni (Ishikawa-ken, 2003-06). Dipika has recently moved back to London as is currently looking for new work opportunities related to Japan, translation, or other fields.


The Akari Lantern Project has been organised by a group of people, both Japanese and non-Japanese, to raise money for the JAPAN SOCIETY TOHOKU RELIEF FUND which is helping local communities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

As part of the Mayor of London’s Thames Festival, on the 10th &11th September, they will hold a lantern making workshop and other Japanese craft activities on the grass outside the Tate Modern.

This will culminate in a Lantern Parade as part of the Night Carnival. The lantern parade will be accompanied by Japanese drumming by the JOJI HIROTA TAIKO DRUMMERS.

People can take part by making lanterns out of recycled bottles, creating their own pin badges, origami cranes and stop-frame animation.

For more details, please click on the following link:

Sep 7

From the Kahoku Online Network:

震災で犠牲の米国人ALT 志文庫に託す 遺族が絵本寄贈




And here’s a very rough summary in English:

“American ALT, lost in the disaster, is memorialized in a library; Family donates picture books”

The reading corner / library contains copies of books that Taylor read growing up. The dedication ceremony was held at Mangokuura Elementary, with 64 of Taylor’s former 5th grade students attending. There are 40 books in the shelves, which were built by Endo-san, a woodworker who lost his three children to the tsunami – two of whom were Taylor’s students at Watanoha Elementary School. Endo-san said that he built the shelves thinking about how bright and genki Taylor was, and that this project helped him to move forward with his own life, too. Andy Anderson told the students that he will be happy if they read books and hold on to their dreams in life.


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