Upcoming Events

JETs in the Gaming Industry

Date: April 27, 2021
Time: 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the gaming industry? Our JET alumni speakers will share their own journeys after JET and how they got started in the gaming industry. Join USJETAA and our speakers to hear tips and advice for landing a job in the field. If you have a question about working in the gaming industry, please make sure to include the question when you register so we can ask  the question live!

This webinar is partially supported by the Japan Foundation CGP and CLAIR.


USJETAA Japanese Reading Group 

The goal of the USJETAA Japanese Reading Group is to help advanced beginner and intermediate level students improve their reading skills. Each month we will look at a short reading from Aozora Bunko, a repository of public domain literature. Participants should attempt to do the reading on their own and come to the meeting with any questions. We will spend the meeting each month reading the assignment sentence by sentence to understand how the Japanese is working. This event will be on the second Tuesday each month, from 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time and is facilitated by Daniel Morales of How to Japanese. Join our Facebook group to keep the conversation going and get notified of upcoming events.

May 11, 2021 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Eastern Time

RSVP via Facebook or join by Zoom Link (no registration required)

In May, we'll be reading Yosano Akiko's "紅梅 (Red Plum)". Yosano Akiko (December 1878 – 29 May 1942) is "one of the best-known female poets from post-classical Japan." She is known for her tanka. We're reading a short passage about her garden.

June 8, 2021 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Eastern Time
RSVP via Facebook or join by Zoom Link (no registration required)

In June, we'll be reading Dazai Osamu's 春昼 (Leisurely Spring Day)" ( Dazai Osamu (1909-1948) is one of the highest regarded Japanese authors of the 20th century. He wrote novels such as "The Setting Sun" and "No Longer Human" and is known for his semi-autobiographical style. We are reading one of his journal entries.

Miso Ramen Cooking Class with Table for Two

3PM PT/6PM ET on June 2nd. 

Let's learn how to make tasty miso ramen at home via zoom! You can cook along or just watch! All Kids & adults of all ages are welcome. Join with your family and friends!

The event will also include a short presentation about soy, including health benefits, culinary uses, and fun chopsticks competition using edamame (or any beans)!#EdamameChamp is here! Join TABLE FOR TWO’s annual Spring campaign. Learn about cooking with soy and your participation also helps children learn to eat healthier. Their partner organizations donate, 1 participant = food education for 1 child.

April JETAA Chapter Events

For April alumni events, check out this blog post for a round-up of activities you can join or check out our event feed.

May JETAA Chapter Events

For April alumni events, check out this blog post for a round-up of activities you can join or check out our event feed.

Is an event missing? Let us know via email at
We rely on your generosity to support our programs, so please consider a tax-deductible donation to USJETAA to help us continue our work. USJETAA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, EIN 47-4042132. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donate here.

Other Japan Events

What is Japan? Its National History until 1868
April 26, 2010 at 9 PM EDT (April 27, 10 am JST)
As part of YCAPS’ Getting to Know Japan Series, Michael Cucek (Temple University Japan) will deliver an overview of Japanese national history until 1868 and the start of the Meiji Restoration. His presentation will be followed by Q&A and discussion.
This event is supported through the CGP Salary Assistant Grant for U.S.-Japan Community Grassroots Exchange Program. 

4/27-4/28, 9:00-12:30pm (EDT)

Sponsors: Foreign Policy; Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C.; European Union; Nuclear Energy Institute. Speakers include: Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, Iceland; H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, President, Colombia; Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan; John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Rt Hon Alok Sharma, President, Cop 26, 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, United Kingdom; Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General, Environment Department, European Commission; Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, United Kingdom; Keiichi Ono, Assistant Minister/Director-General And Ambassador for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.  


Zen Monastic Life in Contemporary Japan
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Bridging Foundation Executive Director Tom Mason is joined by Cornell University Visiting Scholar and Butsumo-ji Temple Head Abbot Rev. Dr. Masaki Matsubara for an inside look into monastic life in contemporary Japan. Through his collection of personal photos, Matsubara will share first-hand experiences from his five years of rigorous temple training.

Rev. Dr. Masaki Matsubara earned a Ph.D. in Asian Religions from Cornell University. He taught at the Department of Religious Studies at UC Berkeley (2009-2013) and was the BDK Fellow at the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University (2013-14). He is now a Visiting Scholar in the East Asia Program at Cornell and also a Visiting Lecturer at the Contemplative Studies at Brown University. He also serves as a Visiting Professor at Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. 


That Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means!
Three strategies for talking about race and racism across cultures
April 27, 2021 7 PM ET / April 18 at 8 AM JST

Join JET Alumna Mya Fisher of Global Equity Forward at a webinar to learn how to (1) establish and articulate an equity and inclusion vocabulary, (2) clearly communicate the vocabulary with your audience, and (3) develop shared meaning across cultures to organize, collaborate and take action.

  • Establish and articulate an equity and inclusion vocabulary
  • Clearly communicate the vocabulary with your audience
  • Develop shared meaning across cultures to organize, collaborate and take action

Class: How Does Race Shape American Life?

New  summer course begins May 14th!
Applying a sociological lens, this course examines how the history and identities of American racial groups impact their life prospects and outcomes. The goal is to provide a foundation for understanding and critically examining the events of 2020 (e.g. coronavirus pandemic, politics, policing, criminal justice, rise in violence against Asian Americans and the protests for racial justice).

This 8-week course is also a great opportunity for personal exploration and community discussion of these issues.

**Special Note**
  • JET alumni are eligible for a 15% discount. Please use the "discount inquiry" button below for further details.

Discount Inquiry

Mrs. Taft Plants a Tree
Tuesday, April 27, 8-9 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 28, 9:00-10:00 JST  

Join us for an author talk with Ambassador John Malott, former President & CEO of the Japan-America Society of Washington DC and author of Mrs. Taft Plants a Tree, How the Cherry Blossoms Came to Washington.


US Japan Council Remembering Irene: A Memorial Tribute
April 28, 2021 (U.S.) / April 29, 2021 (Japan)
Time: 8:00pm ET / 9:00am JT

You are invited to join family and friends for a special event, "Remembering Irene: A Memorial Tribute,” at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET on April 28, and 9:00am JT on April 29. The virtual program will feature remembrances of Irene’s impact on and contributions to society through the countless lives she touched and the many causes she championed. 


"Ten Years Since 3.11" – Part 2: Deprivation of Hometown: Evacuees 10 years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident
April 28, 2021 at 5:00:00 PM (PST Time Zone)

The "loss and transformation of hometown" experienced by the evacuees of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident has become a key issue in the lawsuits against TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) and the Japanese Government. According to Takehisa AWAJI, lawyer and Emeritus Professor of Rikkyo University, this “loss and transformation of hometown” is a violation of the "right to a peaceful life as a comprehensive life interest", in other words, a violation of human rights. It is important to note that "loss" and "transformation" are the central components of “homelessness of the mind” as a result of modernization (Peter L. Berger, et al.). “Loss” and “transformation” are also inseparably related to the depopulation and decline of a local society or community.


Hayao Miyazaki: Children Entrusted with Hope
April 29, 2021 at 2 PM EDT
The Japan Foundation, New York will start a special Studio Ghibli series as part of our Pop Culture Series! For the first episode on Studio Ghibli, we will take a closer look at the life of Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Studio Ghibli, and how it influenced his work, especially the children characters he created. Please join us for a discussion with two anime experts, Susan Napier and Helen McCarthy. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. If you have any questions about Miyazaki’s worldview and characters, please submit them through Eventbrite when you register.


Made in Fukushima: The Woodblock Prints of Saito Kiyoshi
Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8-9:30PM EDT
Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9:00-10:30 JST

Curator Rhiannon Paget of the Ringling Museum discusses Kiyoshi Saitō’s skillful negotiation of his medium, his shifting approach to design, and his sense of place and identity. Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art’s Frank Feltens moderates the discussion.


Why Japan succeeded and then failed in the pandemic

Apr 30, 2021 12:00 PM EDT

Japan has fared very well in averting a major COVID-19 crisis.  Death tolls have been minimal compared to many European countries and the United States. This led Japanese policy makers to congratulate themselves on the success of the Japanese model although no one could explain what it was. Today, however, Japan faces the fourth—likely to be the most deadly—wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Art Talk Live: Reframing Japonisme

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 12:30 PM EDT

The fable of the 19th-century European “discovery” of Japanese prints and their catalytic effect on Impressionist painting is by now comfortably worn, threadbare even. But what were painters in Europe actually encountering?

In this talk, curator Rachel Saunders will take a close look at a major new acquisition that shines a distinctly different light on European interest in “Japanese art,” and the ways in which this new category was constructed in Japan itself.

Led by: Rachel Saunders, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Curator of Asian Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art


The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.

Innovation Salon | Smart Cities During & After COVID
Monday, May 10th at 4:30PM (Pacific Time)
Tuesday, May 11th at 8:30AM (Japan Time)

Cities around the world are increasingly looking to technology to help them better understand and serve their citizens. “Smart Cities” denotes the efforts to use electronics and data to analyze and improve a wide range of city services, from traffic and transportation, to waste management, utilities and services related to health, education, crime prevention and social services. This move has been driven by–and sparked the growth of–a vibrant group of companies and entrepreneurs eager to apply their technologies to improve daily living.

Register here.
11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan
On view through May 5
The Japan Foundation presents the online exhibition 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan with the aim of promoting new artistic exchanges in the time of COVID-19. This exhibition, on the theme of “Translating Distance,” features new and recent video works by 11 Japanese and Japan-based artists.


Facing the Mountain Virtual Book Launch
May 11, 2021 (U.S.) / May 12, 2021 (Japan)
Time: 5:00pm PT /  9:00am JT
Location: Virtual Event 

Join Densho on May 11 for the official launch of Facing the Mountain, a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. The virtual event will feature a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda (Council Leader and JALD '08), who has conducted oral histories with many of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015. USJC is proud to be a community co-sponsor of this event. 

Japan Book Club
All events will take place over Zoom from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

The DC-based Japan book club has three upcoming events, and we would love it if you could advertise these in your upcoming newsletters. Anyone is welcome to attend, and interested readers should email for more information.

May 17: Earthlings (Sayaka Murata)

As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest, a place that couldn’t be more different from her grey commuter town. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial and that every night he searches the sky for the spaceship that might take him back to his home planet. Natsuki wonders if she might be an alien too. Back in her city home, Natsuki is scolded or ignored and even preyed upon by a young teacher at her cram school. As she grows up in a hostile, violent world, she consoles herself with memories of her time with Yuu and discovers a surprisingly potent inner power. Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.

Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful, Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.

June 14: Confessions (Kanae Minato)

After calling off her engagement in wake of a tragic revelation, Yūko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yūko has given up and tendered her resignation. But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge. Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you'll never see coming, Confessions explores the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger.

July 12: Tokyo Ueno Station: A Novel (Yu Miri)

Winner of the 2020 National Book Award in translated literature and a New York Times notable book of the year. A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations. Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history, from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics that ended his days living in the vast homeless village in the park, to the destruction of the 2011 tsunami, and finally the announcement of the 2020 Olympics. Through Kazu's eyes, we see daily life in Tokyo buzz around him and learn the intimate details of his personal story, how loss and society's inequalities and constrictions spiraled towards this ghostly fate, with moments of beauty and grace just out of reach. A powerful masterwork from one of Japan's most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis.

Walking the Tōkaidō: A Self-Guided Multi-Disciplinary Experience
June 1 – August 31
The Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS) is now accepting applications from K-12 educators and the general public for Walking the Tōkaidō: A Self-Guided Multi-Disciplinary Experience. Walk (or run or bike) the 310 miles from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto at your own speed and learn about Japan while you do it! Log your miles on a virtual platform and view the route via Google Street View. At each of seventeen milestones participants will receive an e-mail with historical and cultural information about the places they “visit” during their journey. Registrations will be accepted through June 30. This project is supported by CGP.


Japan Writers Conference 2021
October 16-17, 2021
Seeking presenters, learn more here.

The 15th annual Japan Writers Conference will be held in October this year. The organizers are now looking for writers, editors, and publishers to give presentations on the art, craft, and business of writing. If you are a writer, now is a good time to think about taking part. Many JETs have participated in this event over the years!



Thank you to our grantors, program partners, and donors!

USJETAA is an independent, self-sustaining 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that serves as a resource for and about the JETAA network and alumni in the United States. To learn more about our activities, become a registered member, or to support our efforts, please visit us at
Copyright © 2021 USJETAA, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp