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News

New USJETAA Member Portal Coming Soon!


Behind the scenes we've been hard at work implementing a new and improved member portal for USJETAA. For those of you who are JET alumni members of USJETAA, keep an eye on your email inboxes for more information about the change in the coming weeks. We will notify current members about how to access the new system and then announce it to the general public.

Some things you can look forward to:
  • More robust directory to better connect with other alumni
  • More membership tiers to support the JET alumni nework
  • Manage event registrations and donations through your profile
  • Easier to find information about your regional chapter
  • Mobile app

Chapter Grant Program Funding Awarded to JET Alumni Association of Washington, D.C.

Sasakawa USA and USJETAA are excited to announce the first recipient of our 2021-2022 Mini-Grant Program for JETAA Chapters and Subchapters in the United States. The JET Alumni Association of Washington, D.C. will receive a mini-grant to support the expansion of the five-month mentorship program that they successfully launched with a Sasakawa USA/USJETAA mini-grant in 2020. This program supports the professional development of JET alumni in the DMV area and strengthens the talent pipeline of future U.S.-Japan leaders. Additional details on the program can be found on JETAADC's website. and you can access the Mentee Application here: https://forms.gle/z2BG7zz3oUjowat76


Final Chapter Grant Application Deadline is OCTOBER  1, 2021

Sasakawa USA and USJETAA will continue to review mini-grant proposals from other JETAA chapters until the second-round application deadline on October 1, 2021. Additional information on the Mini-Grant Program can be found on USJETAA’s program page.

JETs on Japan Forum Applications Open

The JETs on Japan Forum features selected articles of JET alumni perspectives on U.S.-Japan relations. The series aims to elevate the awareness and visibility of JET alumni working across diverse sectors and provides a platform for JET alumni to contribute to a deeper understanding of U.S.-Japan relations from their fields.

Contributors receive a stipend between $250 and $500 depending on the article length and amount of research. Submissions are encouraged from mid-to-senior level professionals who are established in the current fields OR current/recent graduate degree students in both masters and doctoral programs. 

The first application deadline: October 1, 2021
APPLY HERE

This program is a partnership between USJETAA and Sasakawa USA.

JLGC / CLAIR New York Welcomes Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago!

JLCG  / CLAIR is one of the organizations responsible for the JET Program. Please read their formal announcement that Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago alumni chapters will now be supported by the New York office.

"JLGC / CLAIR New York is happy to welcome the JET Alumni Association chapters in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago into the alumni community under their jurisdiction, joining Canada and the United States. Both chapters formerly worked with CLAIR Tokyo, but will now be supported by the New York office, allowing them to be more closely connected with the North American chapters. These alumni associations will retain their autonomy as individual chapters and will continue to represent their own countries in matters concerning the JET Programme, as well as in matters related to JETAA International. We look forward to working with the alumni in both countries, and to promoting stronger relations between them and their counterparts in the US and Canada."

Alumni Interview: Teresa Fong (Tokyo, 2015-2020)

"I had the most wonderful Japanese teachers and classmates at Brandeis University. After studying abroad with their encouragement and getting a taste of what life in Japan was like, I wanted to experience more. I knew studying in Japan was different than working there, so I applied to find the differences! At that point, I decided to switch careers from health policy to international education, so it made 100% sense."

"Tokyo is known for being the "it spot" for everyone visiting Japan. There's a great dichotomy in the city. From Michelin-starred restaurants that can make your budget shake in fear to ones with meals barely hitting ¥1,000. I personally love going to cozy cafes tucked between high-rises and if whenever possible, eating 7 levels of matcha ice cream."

Read the full interview with Teresa here.
 


Alumni Interview: George Rose (Fukushima, 1989-1991)

"Fukushima is in Tohoku, northern Japan, and it is known for its agriculture, such as nashi (pears) and rice.  The city I lived in is also well-known for the Soma-Noumaoi Festival.   It is a famous horse race festival in Fukushima Prefecture.  The festival has a history of more than 1,000 years and today it remembers the society of the Warring States Period of fighting warlords. The festival is held for three days and men transform into samurai with beautiful costumes. They ride on horses with different flags, which represent their city, over a distance of 1,000 meters on a track.  I participated in the parade when I lived there.  But only walking, not riding a horse!"
 
"I did return to Japan in 2007 when I opened and ran an office for the New York Yankees in Tokyo. We lived in Minami Azabu, which was THE nicest place I have ever lived. I used to take my family up to visit Fukushima and we would visit old friends.  It was wonderful. My toddler son even got to ride a combine and do "inakari"."

Read the full interview with George here.
 


These alumni interviews are part of a partnership between the Japan Society Boston (JSB) and USJETAA in which JET alumni contribute short interviews about their experiences in Japan in each prefecture. To read the full interviews, please visit our website.

Your Generous Support Makes Our Programs Possible.
Join or Donate Today!

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Become a JET Alumni Member
USJETAA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, EIN 47-4042132. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Upcoming Events

New JET Webinar: Mentally Gearing Up for JET
September 9
8 pm ET/5 pm PT


Calling all new JETs. This event is for you! Congratulations! You're about to embark on an incredible journey in Japan, I hope you're excited!

There are several resources out there online that you can read about how to 'prepare' for JET, but the most important thing to prepare and take care of, especially during the unique 2021 orientation week, and first few months in your new home, is your mental health, well being, and quite frankly, YOU. Being prepared for things that you are expecting to happen, is one thing. But, being prepared to deal with the unexpected is where your true strengths will shine through. You're so ready for JET, more than know, but just to shake off some of the last-minute nerves, Kristy Ishii, Transition and Wellness Coach, JET Alumni (Gunma 2016-2018), is here to share with you some tips on how to mentally prepare for the JET program.
 
Event presented by the U.S. JET Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA) and Kristy Mariko LLC.
Partially supporting by funding from the Japan Local Government Center CLAIR and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Online Event: 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 facilitated by Daniel Morales of How to Japanese. Sessions are not recorded.

Join the Facebook Group to share resources and ask questions.
 
September 12 from 10 AM PT | 12 PM CT | 1 PM ET **NEW TIME!**

RSVP via Facebook
REGISTER on Zoom
 
In September, we will be reading a short essay titled "On Shiitake Mushrooms" by artist and epicure Kitaoji Rosanjin. Rosanjin was a multifaceted artist who had his works displayed at MOMA in New York City. Rosanjin also opened a popular restaurant in the Ginza district of Tokyo called Kadōkadō-byō. 

Japan-Related Careers Webinar Series


With the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation we are partnerning on this eight part webinar series from September to October includes tons of great topics for college students, returning JETs, and early career professionals. Many of the of speakers are JET alumni, including Bahia Simons-Lane of USJETAA, LinkedIn and Job Search Strategist Kamara Toffolo, Brooke Brown of Link Global Solution Inc., Trevin Dye of JETRO, and Jessica Kennett Cork of YKK.
  • Sept 15: Building a Japan-related Career
  • Sept 28: How to Land a Job Teaching English in Japan
  • Oct 6: How I Built a Business Career Related to Japan
  • Oct 20: How to Network in the U.S. and Japan
  • Nov 3: How I Built My Career Related to Japan as an Artist and Educator
  • Nov 17: Resume Recipe: How To Write A Resume That Sizzles
  • Dec 1: How I Built My Career as a Translator
  • Dec 15: Similarities and Differences in Japan and U.S. Business Practices

Events funded by Indeed and Recruit. In partnership with the American Association of Teachers of Japanese, The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Japan-America Society of Washington D.C., J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Japan-United States Friendship Commission, and USJETAA.

Chapter Workshop: Boards - What Are They, How Do They Operate, and How They Can Benefit Your Chapter

September 20 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT


This chapter workshop is for current and former JETAA chapter officers or board members. The 19 U.S. JETAAs all have different structures in terms of the relationship between the officers and the board of directors (if they have one). Some chapters have a board of advisors, some have a board of directors. Other chapters don't have either. In this workshop we will share the different JETAA board structures and also learn about how boards typically operate in the nonprofit sector. There will also be breakout sessions to facilitate discussion and information sharing. One breakout will be for board members who are not part of the chapter's operational leadership and one will be for chapter officers. 

Partially supported by funding from the Japan Local Government Center CLAIR and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

Seminar: Gift-Giving Practices in Japan

October 6
10 AM PT / 1 PM ET

REGISTER

During this lunch seminar, Dr. Mary J. Eberhardinger will briefly present her latest research on gift-giving practices in Japan from her new book followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion on attendees' personal experiences with gift-giving in Japan. Depending on the number of registrants, this event may use breakout rooms. Dr. Eberhardinger's book "A Rhetoric and Philosophy of Gifts" examines the relationship between gifts and rhetoric, with particular attention given to Japan where she lived as a JET Program assistant language teacher in Hyogo from 2008-2010. Her book includes a review of related literature, analysis, examples, and personal anecdotes of overseas experiences. Eberhardinger concludes the book by offering implications and opportunities for interpreting gifts, thereby addressing why the question concerning the relationship between gifts and rhetoric matters for the larger landscape of international relations, intercultural friendship, and peace-making. Attendees will receive a discount code for the book.

Partially supported by funding from the Japan Local Government Center CLAIR and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

JETAA Chapter Events

Events are added as announced. Is an event missing? Let us know via email at contact@usjetaa.org.
  • For September alumni events, check out this blog post for a round-up of activities you can join virtually or in your region.
  •  
  • For October alumni events, check out this blog post for a round-up of activities you can join virtually or in your region.

JET Alumni Highlights 


Op Ed: “Japan’s Olympic-Size Gamble on COVID-19”
 
As Japan hosts the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, JCIE/USA Senior Fellow James Gannon (Ehime, 1992-1994) discusses the country’s national COVID-19 response and implications as the country hosts the Tokyo Olympics. Jim Gannon is Vice-Chair on the USJETAA Board of Directors.
 
Great Lakes JETAA Interview with Daniel Stone of Two Birds One Stone Learning
 
If you’ve ever wondered how to use your teaching experience after JET, our next guest from Ohio has truly made his experience work for him. Daniel Stone (Saitama, 2004-2007) has started his own tutoring company as well as working towards becoming a licensed teacher. Read on to find out more about his business and the many schools he taught at while on the JET Program.

How to Master a Life Transition - TED Talk

Listen to Bruce Feiler (Tottori-ken, 1989-90) TED Talk on "How to Master a Life Transition". Bruce is author of Learning to Bow, The Council of Dads, and several other books.
 
Learning by Ear, Craft Brewing in Japan

Listen to the latest episode Daniel Morales' (Fukushima, 2005-2008) podcast How to Japanese as he talks with Mike Grant about "Learning by Ear, Craft Brewing in Japan". Mike Grant is the co-founder of Devil Craft brewing and has been operating in Tokyo for 10 years as of this year. Devil Craft has four locations in the Tokyo area. See Craft Beer Professional’s interview with Mike here
 

Ushiku Screening

Ushikudirected by Ian Thomas Ash, (Tochigi, 2000-2003) is a documentary on detainees at the infamous Ushiku immigration centre seeking asylum in Japan. Ushiku will be screening in the Electric Shadows Asian Film Festival in Antwerp, Belgium on September 5. The film was recently named one of Asian Film Festivals' eight films you shouldn't miss. Ushiku can also be screened On Demand in the US from August 30-September 9 in the I Will Tell International Film Festival and in Korea from September 9-16 in DMZ 국제다큐멘터리영화제 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival


From JET to the New York Yankees

Listen to this podcast by the Japan Society Boston featuring JET alum George Rose (Fukushima, 1989-1991) share how he went From JET to the New York Yankees.
 


Issue Brief of the Friends of the Global Fund Japan (FGFJ): “Launching a Pandemic Financing Facility: Three Proposals & Their Implications for the Global Fund”

James Gannon's (Ehime, 1992-1994) report addresses areas of convergence and divergence in the three recommendations put forth by world leaders for a new financing facility for pandemic preparedness and response, and their implications for the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, an international organization that has fought three of the world’s critical infectious diseases last 20 years. Jim Gannon is Vice-Chair on the USJETAA Board of Directors.
 
Laurel Lukaszewski Ceramics Available from Japan America Society of Washington, DC

Treat yourself to a glass of sake with these beautifully handcrafted cups by Laurel Lukaszewski (Kagoshima, 1990-1992). Each cup is decorated with intricate Japanese-inspired patterns that imitate rhythmic sounds in nature. Limited availability. Purchase here.

Laurel Lukaszewski / @laurellukaszewski is an artist based in Washington, DC, who creates ceramic installations and sculptures inspired by her study of Japan over the past three decades.

Laurel is the Secretary on the USJETAA Board of Directors and former Executive Director.
 
Great Lakes JETAA Interview with Michael McVey

Micheal McVey (Saga-ken, 1991-1992) holds a Doctorate in Education, works at Eastern Michigan University, and was a JET in Saga-ken during the 90’s. Learn how JET has influenced the course of his career, from published work with international scholars, to book reviews, to work in global strategy development.
 
September 11th Lesson Plans
 
For teachers looking for lessons on the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Daniel Stone (Saitama, 2004-2007) of Two Birds One Stone Learning created a 33-page e-book includes 15 weekly reports, newspaper articles from the September 12th. 2001 Los Angeles Times, and six comprehension questions with answers.  There's a student handout and teacher answer key versions. Download it here: The 9/11 Diaries: A Front line Airline Worker’s Perspective Fifteen Weekly Reports for the Fall 2001 Semester.
 

Job Board


Visit the Job Board for more great opportunities.

Community News & Events

News


Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program

Applications are open for the 2022 cohort of the Rangel Fellowship. The Rangel Fellowship is a premier U.S. Department of State program created to attract diverse talent to its Foreign Service. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

The Fellowship seeks individuals committed to promoting positive change in the world as U.S. diplomats in the Foreign Service. Selected fellows will receive support for graduate school, internships, and professional development. The Fellowship provides a pathway to a uniquely rewarding career as a Foreign Service Officer representing the United States of America. Applicants must be college seniors or graduates, can come from any academic discipline, and must be seeking entry into graduate school in fall 2022.


Mansfield Fellowship 

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.

See this flyer for more information on the program.


Events


Difficult Subjects: Religion and Public Schools in Contemporary Japan
September 16

Noon - 1:30 pm ET
Zoom


Sponsor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
Speaker: Jolyon Thomas, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
 
ONIGIRI ACTION 2021 Open Session for Teachers & Community Leaders
September 18
10am PT / 1pm ET
Zoom


It’s time to start planning Onigiri Action activities and events at your school, organization, workplace, and more. We will hold an open session for teachers and community leaders to share the plan for 2021, exchange ideas, and answer questions about holding events. We will also introduce this year’s campaign theme and how to participate in the “State Onigiri“ challenge!

DC Japan Book Club: Strange Nights, and Some Days Too: Why You'll Love Japan, for About a Year
September 20
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm ET
Zoom 

Please email jbookclubdc@gmail.com to request the Zoom link. This book club is run by Amy Sherman (Okinawa-ken 2006-2008) as part of JASWDC's programs.

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.
Authentic Japanese Tofu: From Bean to Block
September 22
6:30 pm ET
Online Workshop

Tofu is a versatile food enjoyed in many Japanese dishes, from silky, chilled hiyayakko to deep-fried agedashidofu. At this online workshop, learn how to make fresh, authentic tofu from the comfort of home with London-based chef and culinary educator Akemi YokoyamaAll participants will receive a recipe and ingredient list, and may follow along during the workshop or simply observe.
 
Special Duty: A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community
September 23 
Noon - 1:30 pm ET
Zoom

Sponsor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
Speaker: Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, Director, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
The Japanese Garden: Living Classroom of Nature, Architecture & Culture
Tuesday, September 28
7 PM ET
Online


Explore the historical journey of one of the world's oldest land art forms, the Japanese garden. At this interactive webinar, experts of critical acclaim from various creative fields examine how Japanese landscape design principles and aesthetics have impacted the ways in which modern society approaches art and architecture while helping mold the human relationship with nature. Part of the Living Traditions Series.
 

Differences Between Japan and China: Perspectives From Japanese Journalism, 1980 - Present
September 30

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm ET
Zoom


Sponsor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
Speaker: Seiichirō Aso, Journalist, Japan 

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

Grantors and Major Donors

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About USJETAA
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 www.usjetaa.org.
 
Copyright © 2021 USJETAA, All rights reserved.


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