Jul 1

Erased: My Favorite Anime

By Jack McDonough, 2021 prospective JET

Kayo and Satoru under a starry sky.  You can find Grace’s art here!

Think of something you regret; one thing that gnaws away at you; if only you could change it. What if you could? What if you had that chance to go back in time and change the past? Now imagine that your choices concern life and death matters, and you can only go back in time when someone is dead or dying: specifically the deaths of your mother and childhood classmate are riding on matters that are seemingly benign. Erased explores that reality.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (“The Town Where Only I am Missing”) is a mystery/thriller manga written by Kei Snabe and published by Kadokawa Shoten from June 2012 to March 2016. Erased is the anime adaptation that follows Satoru Fujinuma and his “revival(s)” (called “rerun” in Japanese), where Satoru is sent back in time involuntarily when someone near him dies; he sees a blue butterfly, and his consciousness is sent back into the past. Despite his power, Satoru is a failing mangaka who works at a pizzeria and lives alone in a cramped Chiba apartment; his only friend being Airi Katagiri, who is his coworker at Oasi Pizza.  Out of the blue, his estranged mother, Sachiko, comes to visit him. After leaving his mother in his apartment, he comes back later and finds her murdered. A blue butterfly flies in front of him and he is sent back to 1988; back to his 5th-grade self. 

Erased has a lot going for it in addition to the interesting plot. The soundtrack for the show is perfect and Satoru’s determination motif is reason enough to binge the anime. The music, written by Yuki Kaijura, adds an air of mystery, wonder, and sorrow that is unlike anything else you’ve heard before. Asian Kung-Fu Generation performs the intro song to the anime, which is one of the best openings to an anime out there. In terms of direction, Director Tomohiko Itou’s masterful attention to detail turns every scene into an art piece. Now that I’ve convinced you to watch the show, look out for the scene between Satoru and Kayo in the park. Every interaction between the characters offers more than mere plot progression or comedic relief; the depictions of friendship, family, and despair feel real and will hit you where it hurts. 

Erased is my favorite anime. The show has a controversial place in the anime community: some think the plot was too generic and that the ending was unsatisfactory. I disagree, but I do see why they have that opinion. The anime and manga do differ in their endings, so if you do wish for a different ending, you can always check out the manga.  Without spoiling the ending, while I wasn’t particularly surprised, I felt that the mystery is just the hook; the real meat of the story is Satoru’s relationship with Airi, Sachiko, and Kayo. Erased is more than just a time-travel mystery, it’s about a man who failed in his relationships, whether in small choices or big acts and what he does when he gets the chance for reconciliation. Satoru gets to go back and spend time with the people he loves the most; he gets to relive those precious, little moments that we all take for granted. He learns that he should’ve stopped and appreciated those times. You can’t go back in time. You can’t relive those moments, so learn from Satoru’s mistakes and cherish every minute.


Jul 1

The Japan Foundation, New York: How the Japanese Video Game Industry Found, Lost, and Rediscovered Its Way

About this event 

Super Mario, Pac-Man, Sonic, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and Metroid. If you’ve ever played a video game, chances are you’ve probably heard of some of these titles. Perhaps these titles might even evoke fond, nostalgic memories of childhood to some players who grew up with them. While many of these Japanese games are widely recognized, loved, and still played by many fans worldwide today, players might not realize just how integral these games were in popularizing the videogame culture in the west, and influencing both the growth and course of the global videogames industry. 

For our first episode focusing on the topic of videogames, we will be joined by Mr. Chris Kohlerand Dr. Mia Consalvo, who will be taking us on a historical journey with their presentations; delving deep into the history of the Japanese videogames industry, specifically focusing on events which kickstarted this global phenomenon, along with some of the issues which caused it to lose its way and fall behind its western counterpart in the 2000s.  

Dr. Rachael Hutchinson will moderate our discussion following the presentations, continuing the narrative of how the Japanese games industry recovered, and rediscovered its position in the global landscape, once again becoming an influential powerhouse in the international games market from the mid 2010s. 

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. If you have any questions about your favorite Japanese videogames, now is your chance to ask the experts! Please ask your question when you register for the event via Eventbrite. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the Q&A session on-air as well. 

This is a FREE event. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email. 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Eventbrite Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-the-japanese-video-game-industry-found-lost-and-rediscovered-its-way-registration-161812729229 


Jul 1

JFNY Literature Series Ep#4

About 

JFNY Literary Series invites notable writers in Japanese literature and their translators to discuss their work, speak on the art of translation, and touch upon the current literary scene in Japan. 

This session features Hiroko Oyamada and her translator David Boyd, moderated by Kyoko YoshidaLucy North from the collective Strong Women, Soft Power and interpreter Bethan Jones also joins the session. Oyamada is an Akutagawa Prize-winning writer and the author of The Factory and The Hole, both of which were translated by Boyd. The Japan Foundation supported the English publications of The Hole through the Support Program for Translation and Publication on Japan

The event is now available to watch on our YouTube channel! Watch the event here: https://www.jfny.org/event/jfny-literary-series-hiroko-oyamada-x-david-boyd/ 


Jun 22

Job: Part-time Bilingual Opportunity – The Institute of Real Estate Management (Chicago, IL, USA)

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


Position: Part-time Bilingual Japanese/English Opportunity
Posted by:
The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM(R))
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Contract: Part-Time

Here’s a job received directly from the company:

Who we are 

At the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®), we believe that well-managed properties improve the quality of life for people who live, work and shop in them.  We are the champion of the property management professional—from college students to industry veterans across both commercial and residential portfolios.     The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®) is an international force of nearly 20,000 individuals united to advance the profession of real estate management. 


Jun 21

Job: Program Officer – Japan Center for International Exchange (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: Program Officer
Posted by:
 Japan Center for International Exchange
Location: New York, NY, USA
Contract: Full-Time

Here’s a job passed along to us directly from The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA):

The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA) seeks a full-time Program Officer to support our mission to promote US-Japan collaboration on common challenges and leadership on regional and global issues. Our programs aim for policy impact through leadership exchanges, intellectual dialogues among policymakers and scholars, and engagement of civil society and the international community.

In addition to US-Japan Political Exchanges, Congressional Staff Exchanges, US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogues, and philanthropic initiatives, our current programs address topics including global health, healthy aging, and strengthening democratic governance in Asia.

Application Process: For information on how to apply, please click here.


Jun 18

Japan-Insights: Solar Calendar of The Kanayama Megaliths

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

Kanayama Megaliths: Iwaya-Iwakage site, ©Tokuda Shiho

Dear Friends,

Have you visited to the Kanayama megaliths?

Let me introduce an essay from Japan-Insights archives.

The sixteenth one is on Jomon Astronomy by Dr. Harriet H. Natsuyama.

https://topics.japan-insights.jp/Public/pdf/japan-insights_jp/topics/JIN_KanayamaMegaliths.pdf

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 #magalith


May 29

Re:Zero: Death is not the End

By Jack McDonough, 2021 prospective JET

A half-elf mage and her familiar, Puck. You can find Grace’s art here!

If you’re a fan of anime, manga, or light novels, then chances are you’ve heard of the genre “Isekai.” Isekai, meaning another world, is a genre that features a character, usually from Earth, getting transported to another world, which is usually a standard fantasy world akin to Lord of the Rings. In most cases, the heroes of these stories find out they have hidden powers and are the only ones who can save the new world to which they’ve been transported. These heroes are usually men and are surrounded by beautiful women who have no agency. Re:Zero subverts those expectations and delivers to its audience Subaru Natsuki: a weak nerd from Japan. 

Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World is an anime adaptation of the light novel Ri:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu by Tappei Nagatsuki, where seventeen-year-old Subaru Natsuki is transported to the nation of Lugunica one evening after leaving a convenience store. Subaru, a recluse and avid reader of Isekais, is ecstatic when he realizes he’s been “Isekai-ed” into a world of mages, knights, and nobility. He meets a beautiful, half-elf mage (who will remain unnamed in this review due to spoilers).  His enthusiasm turns to horror when he finds out that, unlike other Isekai heroes, no dormant powers are awakened in him; his only power is that, upon death, time rewinds to the moment he arrived in Lugunica. Not only does he find out that he has this power after being murdered, he learns that magic renders him unable to speak about his ability. 

At first, I thought that Re:Zero was interesting, but nothing worth writing about. After watching half of the first season, it dawned on me that this anime was the perfect blend of horror, mystery, and adventure that requires you to binge the whole series. Subaru’s ability to rewind time by dying fleshes out the story by allowing the audience to see what-if scenarios that otherwise would be inaccessible. In these other timelines, almost every character that appears on-screen dies in some gruesome way, often multiple times, before Subaru finds a way to save them from their demise.

 Another one of Re:Zero’s strong points is the nation of Lugunica, which transforms from a seemingly simple place to one of interesting lore and complex political issues that every character has a stake in. Characters that received 5-10 minutes of screen time in season one turn out to be major players with rich backstories in season two, showcasing Nagatsuki’s thorough world-building and attention to detail. The way Nagatsuki builds Subaru from an annoying, selfish, and sexist boy into a caring and heroic man is masterful. There’s also a bevy of plot twists to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat and plenty of awesome fight scenes to behold. Couple this with quality animation and an amazing soundtrack and you’ve got something worth writing about. 

Should you watch Re:Zero? Yes. Right now. This show is a classic case of “more than meets the eye.” What starts out as a simple fantasy, turns out to be a must-watch nightmare. You’ll love and hate every second of Subaru’s torturous struggle to save the lives of his new friends and understand the mysteries of his new world; this Isekai. 


May 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.

Japan’s COVID-19 situation continues to worsen, and the state of emergency declaration for Tokyo, Osaka and eight other prefectures has been extended through mid-June. Okinawa in particular has shown high case numbers as of late. And yet the Olympics are still scheduled to proceed without a hitch?…Meanwhile, here in the U.S. we are slowly coming out of our quarantine slumber and rejoining the real world. Last weekend’s warm temperatures allowed my partner and I to discover a great Japanese cafe during a walk.

This spot is 969 NYC Coffee, opened by owner/chef Mitsumine Oda in 2016. He worked in the past for a Tokyo company, but he hated being a salaryman under someone else’s direction. Sick of long hours and in search of independence, he decided to quit and strike out on his own in the U.S. Oda first worked at a sushi cafe in Manhattan for three years, where he earned enough money to buy a house for himself and his sister and mother, who had also immigrated and became citizens.

969 NYC Coffee’s menu features a variety of onigiri, ramen, sushi and other Japanese food faves. Don’t be fooled by the name, as it also has an extensive menu of non-coffee drinks, especially matcha options. We got a smattering of delicious dishes, starting with onigirazu, a sandwich with rice instead of bread and wrapped in seaweed (I tried this for the first time and found it to be very filling!). We enjoyed the two types of Hiroshima fried oyster (カキ or kaki), adorned with avocado and a slice of American cheese, and fried mackerel (アジ or aji), also with avocado as well as a spicy mayo sauce. Rounding out our meal were seaweed salads and luxurious coconut milk matcha lattes (made with matcha from Japan, Oda noted.)

Our 969 NYC Coffee feast consisted of seaweed salads, coconut matcha lates and two kinds of onigirazu: fried oyster and fried mackerel
Read More
May 28

Japan-Insights: Japan-Insights: The Symbol of Modern Japan

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

Dear Friends,

Have you heard of the story behind Meiji Jingu Shrine?

Let me introduce an essay from Japan-Insights archives.

The fifteenth one is on Emperor Meiji by Dr. Ewa Rutkowska.

https://topics.japan-insights.jp/Public/pdf/japan-insights_jp/topics/JIN_SymbolOfModernJapan.pdf

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 #Meiji


May 27

Job: International Relations Specialist – Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation (Hiroshima, Japan)

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


Position: International Relations Specialist
Posted by:
Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Location: Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan
Contract: Part-Time

Here’s a job received directly from the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation:

Application Process: http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/hpcf/nyusatsu/koboshiryo_R030520.html


May 26

Using Bilingual/Bicultural Employees to Support Japanese Businesses in the USA

Please share if you know any HR professionals working at Japanese companies.

Kasia from Ikigai Connections will be promoting the benefits of job seekers who have been on JET to companies in the US, and will be explaining what it means to have lived/worked overseas, what the JLPT is, how “fluent” is misconstrued, and why they need you.

The free webinar is on June 9 (Wed) 5-6 PM EST and is sponsored by the Pacific Tango Group.

Details/registration: https://bit.ly/3f2wSGk.


May 20

[EP8] Exporting Studio Ghibli: The Road to Worldwide Recognition

Please join The Japan Foundation, New York for a talk with Steve Alpert, former head of Studio Ghibli’s international division about introducing Studio Ghibli to the world!

About this event 

Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki can now be considered household names around the world, but it wasn’t always that way. In the early days of global distribution with 1997’s Princess Mononoke, major companies like Disney and Miramax were reluctant to take risks on a then-largely unknown animation studio. Various dramas took place between the unbending integrity of Miyazaki and those companies while deciding how to “westernize” the very Japanese style of Ghibli works. 

For the second episode of our special “Studio Ghibli series,” we will take a closer look at the early days of Ghibli’s global distribution which were crucial to setting the tone for many subsequent releases of Miyazaki’s works. This event will be moderated by Dr. Rayna Denison who will also be giving us a short presentation about Studio Ghibli’s marketing strategies, and will also be joined by Mr. Steve Alpert who was the “resident foreigner” in the offices of Ghibli and its parent company Tokuma Shoten as the head of the international division for 15 years.

Mr. Alpert joined Studio Ghibli in 1996, one year prior to the release of Princess Mononoke in Japan and played a central role when Miyazaki’s films were starting to take off in international markets. His main role was to sell the international rights to the studio’s films and products, but also served as an intermediate between Miyazaki and distributors, helping to protect Ghibli’s works at the front line in the process of localization. In practice, he was also closely involved with everything from public relations to the translation of the films into English. He even helped as a voice actor and character reference for the louche spy Castorp in The Wind Rises

In this session, Mr. Alpert and Dr. Denison will discuss how Studio Ghibli created its current international presence and share some of the behind the scenes at Studio Ghibli as described in Mr. Alpert’s book, Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man.  

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. If you have any questions about the localization of Studio Ghibli’s works, and the inner workings of the studio, now is your chance to ask the experts! Please ask your question when you register for the event via Eventbrite. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the Q&A session on-air as well. 

This is a FREE event. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email. 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Eventbrite Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ep8-exporting-studio-ghibli-the-road-to-worldwide-recognition-registration-152406713583 


May 14

Japan-Insights: Emperor Gotoba: A Swordsmith Emperor in Medieval Japan

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

Emperor Gotoba forging a sword from the poetry anthology Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, circa 1840, Utagawa Kuniyoshi; Courtesy of Library of Congress

Dear Friends,

New essay on Japan-Insights!

2021 marks the 800th anniversary of Emperor Gotoba’s arrival in the Oki Islands, Shimane prefecture. Our Expert, Paul Martin, takes a closer look at the extraordinary life and influence on the sword and poetry worlds of the emperor.

https://topics.japan-insights.jp/Public/pdf/japan-insights_jp/topics/JIN_EmperorGotoba.pdf

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 #Oki


May 2

Japan-Insights: Experiencing Edo culture near Tokyo

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

Woodblock print depicting tattooed Kabuki actors purifying themselves in a waterfall before completing the pilgrimage to Mt. Oyama. 1863, by Kunisada (Utagawa Toyokuni III) ©Isehara city, Board of Education

Dear Friends,

Have you visited Mt. Oyama near Tokyo?

Let me introduce an essay from Japan-Insights archives.

The fourteenth one is on Mt. Oyama Pilgrimage by Mrs. Alice Gordenker.

https://topics.japan-insights.jp/Public/pdf/japan-insights_jp/topics/JIN_OyamaPilgrimage.pdf

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 #Oyama


Apr 27

JFNY Literary Series Episode #3

JFNY Literary Series invites notable writers in Japanese literature and their translators to discuss their work, speak on the art of translation, and touch upon the current literary scene in Japan. 

This session features Kanako Nishi and her translator Allison Markin Powell, moderated by writer Kyoko NakajimaGinny Tapley Takemori from the collective Strong Women, Soft Power and interpreter Bethan Jones also joins the session. Nishi is an award-winning writer who has published more than two dozen books in Japan. Several of her writings are available in English online, all of which were translated by Powell: 

Merry Christmas

In the Age of Endless Scrolling, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki Helps Us Stand Still

On Beauty, Sexual Violence, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

VIO 

The event is now available to watch on our YouTube channel! Watch the event here: 


Page Rank