May 20

Roland Kelts to host talk with Hayao Miyazaki in July

According to a news item on the Anime News Network (which was first reported by Publishers Weekly journalist Kai-Ming Cha in her personal blog), Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica, will host a talk with Hayao Miyazaki (director of Spirited Away among other animated films) on July 25 in Berekely, CA.  Miyazaki will be making a rare U.S. appearance to receive the second annual Berkeley Japan Prize for lifetime achievement, presented by the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

This is familiar territory for Roland, who hosted a talk with novelist Haruki Murakami last October when Murakami was presented with the first Berekely Japan award.

May 18

Roland Kelts on “Redline” director Takeshi Koike

In his latest Daily Yomiuri column, “Soft Power/Hard Truths,” Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica, sits down with “Redline” director Takeshi Koike to discuss his latest work and delve further into the heart of manga and anime.

May 1

Roland Kelts on Sakura-Con: Yomiuri column and podcast

Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica, has a recent Daily Yomiuri column on his experience at Sakura-Con in Seattle in April.  You can also listen to a podcast about the event in which he’s interviewed.

Apr 10

Roland Kelts speaking at Sakura-Con in Seattle

Here’s the link to his page on the Sakura-Con site:

Apr 2

Even more video from the JET Alumni Author Showcase

Thanks to Lawrence Brenner (, an online video and content specialist who covers a lot of Roland Kelts’ events, we have even more video from the JET Alumni Author Showcase laid out in nice YouTube video clips:

Apr 1


A good (and long) interview with Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica, by Bamboo and Sara (aka Chicks-On-Anime) has been posted on the AnimeNewsNetwork.

Mar 31

In case you missed it (or enjoyed it so much you want to relive it), below is a highlights clip from the JET Alumni Author Showcase along with clips of each of the three author readings, all of which took place March 22 in NYC.  (Bonus tip:  Try to picture each author teaching an English class in a Japanese high school as you watch them do their readings.)

Highlight Clips

James Kennedy (Nara-ken, 2004-06), author of The Order of Odd-Fish

Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica:  How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.

Robert P. Weston (Nara-ken, 2002-04), author of Zorgamazoo

Mar 31

JETAANY Hosts First Author Showcase

126By Gina Anderson (Nara-ken, 2003-05), former JETAA DC newsletter chair and Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02), editor of JQ (JETAA NY) Quarterly Magazine

New York City’s Holiday Inn hosted a summit for published JETs as JETAANY launched its debut JET Alumni Author Showcase on March 22. The panelists included pro writers Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), Robert Weston (Nara-ken, 2002-04) and James Kennedy (Nara-ken, 2004-06).  (Click here and here for photos and here for video clips.)

Drawing over 60 JET alums, friends and family, the event kicked off with some words from Akira Sugiyama, director of the Japan Information Center of the Consulate General of Japan in New York. Moderator and playwright Randall David Cook (Fukui-ken, 1991-93), creator of the critically acclaimed Off Broadway plays Sake with the Haiku Geisha and Fate’s Imagination, asked each author to share a favorite selection of their works with the crowd.

A professor at three different universities including Tokyo University, a writer and editor for two magazines and a columnist for the Yomiuri Shimbun, Kelts spoke about Japanamerica:  How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S., his non-fiction book about the eponymous subject. He began by Read More

Mar 26

Many thanks to JET alum Vlad Baranenko for capturing the JET Alumni Author Showcase in photographs.  Click “Read More” below to see all the photos.





Read More

Mar 25

Roland Kelts recent articles in The Daily Yomiuri and Adbusters

Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica, has two recent articles published.

Daily YomiuriSoft Power Hard Truths / American anime fans party, but don’t pay
On the widening gap between Japanese and American fandom:

AdbustersDame-Ren (No Good People) – A glimpse into Japan’s embrace of Western-style capitalism
On Japan’s new generation of dropouts and street performers:

Mar 25

Here are some photos from yesterday’s JET Alumni Author Showcase, courtesy of Noriko Furuhata, the JET Liason at the Consulate-General of Japan in New York:

Randall David Cook (Fukui-ken, 1991-93), Rob Weston (Nara-ken, 2002-04), Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99) and James Kennedy (Nara-ken, 2004-06) discuss their writing

Randall David Cook (Fukui-ken, 1991-93), Rob Weston (Nara-ken, 2002-04), Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99) and James Kennedy (Nara-ken, 2004-06) discuss their writing

Read More

Mar 11

James Kennedy “Librarian” essay sets blogosphere atwitter

Following James Kennedy’s (Nara-ken, 2004-06) recent post of his essay describing the heretofore unpublicized lifestyles and rituals of librarians (a “cult” of which Kennedy’s own wife is admittedly a member) in connection with the American Library Association’s awarding of the “Best Book for Young Adults” to Neil Gaman, author of Coraline, rather than Kennedy’s The Order of Odd-Fish, the blogosphere was atwitter with commentary about Kennedy, who will be appearing in NYC March 22 for the JET Alumni Author Showcase along with Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99) and Robert P. Weston (Nara-ken, 2002-04)).

The Handless Poet’s Maria Alexander said:

I’m buying James Kennedy’s book, The Order of Odd-Fish.  I’m buying it entirely because of this blog post.  James Kennedy could quite possibly be the funniest man in America.

School Library Journal’s Elizabeth Bird wrote:

Bad news for my husband. I have just fallen head-over-heels in love with James Kennedy, author of the YA novel The Order of Odd-Fish. Ladies and gentlemen of the liking men variety, I advise you to be very careful in reading this blog post of his which tells (in a fashion) of his experience with the last ALA Media Awards. He had me at “conniving sidelong lope” and now I feel compelled to read every damn word the fellow has ever written, starting from the early scribbles he scrawled out as a toothless mewling babe. Ba-bump goes my little heart. I also feel inclined to give him a bad review with the sole intention of hoping that he will write about me and do complicated things with my name. As I read through it I almost want to dedicate this entire post solely in the purpose of getting you to read this blog. Go. Now. Read. This. Man.  I, for my part, am off to read his book.  Even if it is YA.

Read More

Mar 10

JET Alumni Author Section at Kinokuniya – more photos

Here are a few more photos from the photo-op last Friday to promote the JET Alumni Author section at Kinokuniya in anticipation of the JET Alumni Author Showcase (set for March 22; e-mail authors at jetaany dot org to rsvp).

The books featured include:

*See a more complete list of JET alumni authors and their works at

Stop by Kinokuniya and take a look!


L to R: Noriko Furuhata (Consulate), John Fuller (Kinokuniya Store Manager), Toru Mukaikubo (CLAIR), Hirotaka Ono (Consulate), Tony McCormac, Steven Horowitz, Amber Liang, Roland Kelts, Akira Sugiyama (Japan Information Center), Ryoko Kobayashi (CLAIR)

Read More

Mar 10

Roland Kelts on Japan’s News Zero interviewed by Sho Sakurai

Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99) was recently interviewed by Sho Sakurai on Japan’s News Zero program.  Click here to watch the clip on YouTube.  (Good opportunity to practice your Japanese a bit as well. :-)

Mar 10

KRAZY! Roland Kelts to speak at Japan Society (NY) this Thursday

Talking KRAZY! Japan’s Evolving Pop Culture

Curatorial Panel Discussion
Thursday, March 12, 6:30 PM

Left to right: Bruce Grenville, Toshiya Ueno, and Roland Kelts, photo © Matthias Ley.

What are the forces that drive the narrative and artistic sophistication of Japanese manga and anime? What accounts for their dominance in Japanese visual culture and their international popularity?

Join KRAZY! curators Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Toshiya Ueno, Professor of Sociology at Wako University, in conversation with Roland Kelts, Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and author of Japanamerica, together with moderator Joe Earle, Director of Japan Society Gallery, as they discuss the continuing evolution of visual culture in Japan.

Followed by a reception.


$15 non-members
Japan Society Members free

Advance ticketing is required.  Please call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm.

Page Rank