Upcoming Events

JETAA Chapter Grant Info Sessions

USJETAA is pleased to announce that we are renewing our partnership with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation to offer the Chapter Grants for JETAAs. This Sasakawa USA Chapter Grant program supports JETAA chapters in hosting robust programs that further U.S.-Japan relations at the grassroots level. All projects should have a clear focus on a particular aspect or issue of U.S.-Japan relations. Applicants should think critically about the application questions and elaborate as much as possible on how the event contributes to U.S.-Japan relations in their local community. Grants are for U.S. JETAA chapters only. You do not need to be a chapter officer to apply, but you do need to have support from your chapter's JETAA officers to apply.


We are offering TWO Zoom sessions on this grant opportunity. We will describe the grant and application process, answer questions, and provide feedback on your ideas. Our colleagues from Sasakawa USA will be joining us at these sessions.

Session 1
Jul 7, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time / 12 PM PT

Register in advance for this meeting.

Session 2
Jul 7, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time / 5 PM PT

Register in advance for this meeting

Please contact Bahia Simons-Lane with questions about the grant:

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. 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 is on the second Tuesday each month, from 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time and is facilitated by Daniel Morales of How to Japanese. Sessions are not recorded.

In August and July, we will mix things up and leave the safety of Aozora Bunko by reading 承認欲求が強かった私に天才ダンサーが教えてくれた生き方 ( It's a personal essay by a woman named Aoi, writing about how she learned to live from a very talented hip-hop dancer she met. We will cover the first half in July and the remainder in August.

Join the Facebook Group to share resources and ask questions.

July 13th, from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Eastern Time

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

August 10th, from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Eastern Time

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

Event: The Same Moon - Book Reading with Sarah Coomber

July 22, 2021
5 pm PT / 8 pm ET
Japan Time: July 23, at 9 am


Join us for our second author event featuring JET alumna Sarah Coomber (Yamaguchi, 1994-1996)! Sarah will read a short passage from her book followed by a moderated Q&A. You do not need to have read the book to enjoy this event. We hope you'll join us.

Two attendees will receive copies of The Same Moon. Attend live to be eligible for the giveaway.

About The Same Moon

Recently wed—and quickly divorced—twenty-four-year-old Sarah Coomber escapes the disappointments of her Minnesota life for a job teaching English in Japan. Her plan is to use the year to reflect, heal and figure out what to do with her wrecked life while enjoying the culture of the country where she had previously spent a life-changing summer that included a romance with a young baseball player.

July JETAA Events

For July JETAA chapter events, check out this blog post for a round-up of activities you can join. Is an event missing? Let us know via email at


JETAA Portland, JETAABC, & JETAA PNW Character Bento Contest
July 11, 2021 at 11 AM PDT / 2 PM EDT

JETAA Portland, JETAABC, & JETAA PNW are excited to present our 2nd annual "Character Bento" (Kyara-ben) contest via Zoom on July 11, 2021 at 11:00am PDT. This year's theme is: Regions of Japan!

Here's your chance to be creative and have some fun trying your hand at Kyara-ben! Contestants will compete for awesome bento supplies and the ultimate bento bragging rights. The event is open to everyone: JET Alumni, JETAA Friends, and community members alike. All are welcome to compete or simply enjoy seeing everyone's Bentos and chatting with Japan-loving, like-minded people.
Contestants have until July 8th to submit their entries. Visit any of our chapter websites for the full description of guidelines, and click "Interested" or "Going" on the Facebook event here to get event updates and helpful bento making tips. We hope to see you there!
JETAA Great Lakes Nintendo Switch Game Night
July 30  from 7-10 PM ET 

We’re getting together for our bi-monthly Nintendo Night! Grab your Switch and join us on Discord for chatting as we play Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart.

We’ll have an hour and a half for each game, so there’s plenty of time to pop in and out, or play to your pixelated heart’s content.

We'll begin at 7:00 PM, and we will be voice chatting on Discord. Click this link to join the Discord or sign up for free.

Click Here for All Announced July JETAA Events
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 Events

Recruitment Begins for the 27th Class of Mansfield Fellows

Applications for the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program are open!

The 27th class of Mansfield Fellows will be selected from a wide range of federal agencies. They will be given the opportunity to develop Japanese language skills and receive an unrivaled, intimate view of Japan.

This class is planned to experience a full year in Japan from July 2023 - June 2024, including ten months of placements within Japanese government agencies, legislative offices, and private entities. Prior to these placements, Fellows enjoy language and cultural training, including intensive Japanese training and a homestay in Ishikawa Prefecture

Upcoming information sessions are scheduled throughout the coming months.

See this flyer for more information on the program.

No Friend to Girls: Kawabata Yasunari, Shōjo no tomo and the Appropriation of Girls’ Culture
July 15, 8pm EDT
Join us for the fourth session of Illuminating Japanese Studies with JF Former Fellow Deborah Shamoon. Kawabata Yasunari is Japan’s first Nobel laureate in literature, who is best known for novels such as Yukiguni (Snow Country, 1935-1947). This lecture will reevaluate Kawabata’s fiction in terms of his involvement with the girls’ literary magazine Shōjo no tomo in the 1930s and 1940s, and his appropriation of girls’ culture. Kawabata’s use of the idealized shōjo (girls) is a parallel to the fascist aesthetics and colonial ideology in his work of this time period. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A moderated by JF Former Fellow Melek Ortabasi.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature
On view through October 31
The New York Botanical Garden (Bronx, NY)
Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world, drawing millions to experience her immersive installations. Exclusively at the New York Botanical Garden, Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Her artistic concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity are inspired by her intimate engagement with the colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers. This exhibition is supported through the Exhibitions Abroad Support Program.

TCJS Gender in Japan: “Women’s Empowerment” Policy Trends & Remaining Issues: Lessons from the Little Women Project
Wed Jul 07 2021 9:00:00 AM (Tokyo Time Zone)

Organizing Institute(s): UTokyo Center for Contemporary Japanese Studies, the University of Tokyo
Speakers: Atsuko Muraki (Tsuda University)

TCJS Early Career Scholar Forum | Japanese University Students’ Critique on the Hiring Process of Firms
Fri Jul 09 2021 12:15:00 PM (Tokyo Time Zone)

Organizing Institute(s): UTokyo Center for Contemporary Japanese Studies, the University of Tokyo
Speakers: Naoki Iguchi (Mejiro University)

The Power of Cross-Racial Solidarity in Advancing Racial Justice
Monday, July 19, 7-8 PM EDT

How can marginalized communities overcome historical tensions and come together to advance racial justice? Join our discussion with key nonprofit and philanthropic leaders who are leveraging cross-racial partnerships: Don Chen, President, Surdna Foundation; Taryn Higashi, Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy; Rinku Sen, Executive Director, Narrative Initiative; and Bo Thao-Urabe, Executive and Network Director, Coalition of Asian American Leaders and Senior Program Strategist, AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. Moderated by Dr. Mya Fisher (JET alumna!), Founder & Chief Executive Transformation Officer, Global Equity Forward.

Learn More →

Monthly Networking for English & Japanese-Speaking Bilinguals
July 20 at 8 PM (and monthly)

Are you feeling the need to connect with other Japanese or English-speaking bilinguals? Then you won't want to miss out on our casual, monthly networking sessions!
There is no fee to join the event, but space is limited!

The primary language of this event is English, but we can organize Japanese-language breakout rooms upon request. Dates and times are subject to change. Feel free to email with any questions.

ご質問がございましたら、 までお気軽にお問い合わせください。

A Story of Obon with Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha
Thurs, July 22, 6 PM
Organizer: Japan America Society of Minnesota

Please join us as Reverend Todd Tsuchiya and Reverend Chiemi Onikura Bly  from Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha explain the origins of Obon and its history of how it has been celebrated in Japan, the US and locally here in the Twin Cities on Thursday, July 22nd at 6 p.m.!

Passing the Torch
July 23 to August 8, 2021
Organizer: Japan Society

From July 23 to August 8, 2021, the spotlight will shine on Tokyo, host to the world’s Summer Games. In celebration of this monumental event, Japan Society proudly presents Passing the Torch, a spirited program reflecting on sports in Japan.

As the Olympic flame began its journey across Japan, the series kicked off this spring with talks on judo, martial arts classes for kids, and sports-themed film screenings.

Now in our series' second wave, newly added programs highlight resiliency and strength in overcoming adversity by honing in on the mindset of superstar athletes, past and present. All roads will lead to our celebration of the Summer Games!

Bridging Cultural Differences at Work: A Conversation with Japanese and American Professionals
Wed, September 15, 6:00 pm

An informative and inspiring conversation with 3 professionals in Greater Cincinnati who have bridged cultural differences between Japan and the US for many years.  Virtual networking sessions to follow the event.
Upcoming DC Japan Book Club Events

All book club meetings will be from 6:30-8:00 pm over Zoom. Please email to request the Zoom link. Book club is run by Amy Sherman (Okinawa-ken 2006-2008) as part of JASWDC's programs.

July 12: Tokyo Ueno Station
Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu’s life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan’s Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station – the same place his unquiet spirit now haunts in death. It is here that Kazu’s life in Tokyo began, as a labourer in the run up to the 1964 Olympics, and later where he ended his days, living in the park’s vast homeless ‘villages’, traumatised by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.

August 23: Snow Country
Nobel Prize recipient Yasunari Kawabata's Snow Country is widely considered to be the writer's masterpiece, a powerful tale of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan.

At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages, a stunning novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.

September 20: Strange Nights, and Some Days Too: Why You'll Love Japan, for About a Year
With wry humor, deep cultural insight, and an impressive capacity for malt liquor and black pepper potato chips, Ken Seeroi takes you through real-life tales of women in short skirts, men with no teeth, a friend's suicide, a fight with a yakuza, and a maze of smokey back-alley bars throughout Japan. This raucous, first-hand account is unvarnished Japan seen from the inside, detailed in fifty-eight astonishing stories. Inside: What to do after you get arrested; Dating versus having sex in Japan; How to get a job in Japan (and when to walk away); Renting an apartment as a "foreigner"; How to secure a visa, then not get deported; Why Japan's safe, but not that safe; How to survive a massive earthquake; When to use Japanese, and when not to; Why you want a very small Japanese motorcycle; and The one thing you must never do in Japan.

October 25: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer's, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

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.

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