As we march into spring, JETAA New York’s JQ magazine continues to provide content with an ever-expanding array of articles, interviews and features (see our recent stories here). We’re now looking for new writers, including recent returnees and JET vets, from all JETAA chapters worldwide for posting stories via our host at the global JET alumni resource site JETwit.com. (Scribes are also encouraged to join the JET Alumni Writers group on LinkedIn.)
Below are story ideas grouped by JET participants and alumni (JET World) and those more on Japanese culture (Japan World). If you’re a JET or JETWit contributor from anywhere in the world, we welcome your interest or additional story ideas! Contact JQ’s editor Justin Tedaldi (magazine [at] jetaany [dot] org) to sign up for stories, and click here to see the story ideas online.
Here’s our spring 2012 ideas pitch package.
JETS IN SOCIAL MEDIA
The official JETAANY Facebook page has been firing on all cylinders, serving as an additional alumni news outlet and upcoming event bulletin board. Talk to the people in charge for a profile on the impact of JET chapters, social media style!
BOOK REVIEW: ‘PACIFIC COSMOPOLITANS’
Decades before Americans cheered on Ichiro Suzuki, Japanese baseball fans swooned over Babe Ruth. And a century prior to the craze for anime and manga, American art collectors hoarded Japanese woodblock prints. Few relationships can match the depth, or importance, of the cultural ties between America and Japan over the past two hundred years. In Pacific Cosmopolitans, JET alum/Director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Michael Auslin tells this absorbing history in full for the first time. http://goo.gl/yl4Ns
‘THE RICE COOLER CHRONICLES’ SERIES
We are running a new series on JETwit about solo cooking experiences while on JET (read previous entries here). Did you discover a new favorite comfort food in Japan, learn to cook a mouthwatering meal that you still serve today or accidentally buy something really weird only to discover (and reluctantly) eat it in your mansion? We want to hear about it!
‘SPRING IN JAPAN’ ANECDOTES WANTED!
Our quarterly anecdote topic is spring in Japan from JET alumni around the world! If you have a strange, delightful (or both—we all do) short story to share about harus past in Japan, we’d love to publish it. Whether you won a hanami karaoke contest or just got hilariously drunk visiting a World Heritage Site, we want to know!
‘JET GOT ME A JOB’ SERIES
We’ve heard from several JETs recently who have found jobs in their home countries working for Japanese companies, organizations or related fields in education. If the JET experience was a big help in netting that job, we encourage you to write about it.
JET ALUM LAUNCHES CROSS-CULTURAL CONSULTING SERVICES SITE
Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido ’95-’97) has also spent several years in Japan outside of the JET Program. Although she have been doing Japanese-American cross-cultural business consulting and training for several years now, she has just officially launched a website advertising these services. Bridges to Japan is based in the NYC metropolitan area, but services clients all over the country. Talk to Jennifer or write about the site for an article.
JET AUTHOR ARI KAPLAN
JET alum author Ari Kaplan (Hyogo-ken, 1993-94), who practiced law for nine years at a big firm before setting out on his own and, among other things, writing The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development which became a big hit in the world of lawyers and especially among law students facing an increasingly uncertain job market and career prospects. For more information about Ari, visit his website at www.arikaplanadvisors.com. You can also see media coverage of him on WGN-TV Chicago, in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog and in the Houston Chronicle.
‘JET INSTANT NOODLE’ COMICS
Profile of JET alum artist Shun Endo and his “JET Instant Noodle Comics.” Read samples here.
ISSHONI LONDON – JET ALUM BLOG
London JET alum Vanessa Villalobos writes about Japan-related events, news, review and interviews. This would be a good Q&A piece for any JETs wanting to learn more about how our alumni groups operate overseas. Learn more at:
An innovative telecommunications site for Team Teaching, founded by a JET. www.teamteachers.com
JETSET – CANADIAN JETS IN JAPAN
Melissa C. runs JETset, a site for Canadian JETs in Japan and a well-known resource center for JET participants. See more for a profile at www.jetsetjapan.com.
JAM FOR JAPAN TOHOKU MUSIC EDUCATION GRANT APPLICATION
Relief International and Musicians Institute are providing Music Education Grants to accredited educational institutions and musicians located in (but not limited to) Japan’s earthquake tsunami affected areas. The purpose of this grant (up to $5,000 per institution) is to provide youth educational music programming assistance and support of recovery efforts to music departments, and to provide new music instruments to schools with an established musical arts curriculum and/or individual music students. The deadline for grants was Feb. 29, but the executive grant research intern is interested in talking with a writer for a feature story on this. www.ri.org/get_involved/event-details.php?ID=5
WE ARE NEW YORK PROJECT
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)’s We Are New York (WANY) Project is a volunteer-led initiative that offers free English conversation groups to immigrant New Yorkers (which includes Japanese natives) at community sites around New York City’s five boroughs. Trained volunteers then travel to our partnering community organizations (churches, schools, libraries, senior centers, CBO’s, etc.) and help immigrant New Yorkers practice English by leading conversation groups at those sites 2 hours a week for 10 weeks. Speak with the volunteer coordinator for a feature story or volunteer yourself to engage your community in a meaningful way. www.nyc.gov/html/imm/html/home/home.shtml
RESOBOX, JAPANESE ART GALLERY IN QUEENS
Resobox manager Takashi Ikezawa would like to invite a JQ writer to visit his Long Island City gallery and write about it. The gallery offers a wide variety of Japanese art exhibitions (the art of Justin Baldwin was showcased earlier this year), classes in shodo, dance and martial arts, and workshops/events. Private tours are available on weekends by appointment. www.resobox.com
JAPAN FOUNDATION OF NEW YORK OFFERS JAPANESE COURSES!
JQ is looking to write up a profile with the course coordinator. The Japan Foundation, New York, in cooperation with The Nippon Club, will offer an original Japanese language and culture course, JF Japanese Language Course starting January 2012 as a part of The Nippon Club Culture Courses. These interactive and small classes are for beginner through intermediate learners to enjoy Japanese culture – manga/anime, pop music, origami (paper folding), calligraphy, chopsticks training, and more! This new course is based on the Japan Foundation’s JF Standard, which provides a framework of levels of Japanese language proficiency. Classes begin in January 2012. www.jfny.org/language/index.html
FUKUSHIMA “EIGAO SMILE” WRAPPING PAPER BENEFIT
Profile on EMI Japan Recording artist Akemi Kakihara and her unique project! “えがお” is Japanese, means “SMILE”, pronounced as “EGAO” These lovely drawings were received as gifts by Fukushima Soma Minato Preschool 3-, 4- and 5-year-old students. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the fear from the nuclear radiation problem is far beyond imagination. These drawings captured those precious moments and their smiles, and continue to raise awareness and support children in Fukushima and Japan.
DVD REVIEW: DOCUMENTARY OF J-POP GIRL GROUP AKB48
AKB48 was conceived in 2005. Beginning as a small all-girl singing group based in the Akihabara district of Tokyo – the city’s bustling electronics and anime/pop culture shopping Mecca – AKB48 has grown to 60 members and topped Japan’s Oricon music charts with the two best-selling pop singles in 2010 as well as another two singles ranking in the Top 10. With a complicated balance of competition and friendship among its members, the group’s bond is extremely strong. DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 to be continued traces AKB48’s history with scenes from concerts and rehearsals, member general elections, and fan activities both in Japan and abroad. The film also includes personal interviews with select members that reveal each of the girls’ personal struggles, joys, path to growth, and dreams. http://store.newpeopleworld.com
SACHIYO ITO DANCE COMPANY ARTICLE: 30th ANNIVERSARY PROFILE
Sachiyo Ito and Company is the only dance group in New York City to perform Japanese classical dance, Okinawan dance, and contemporary works based on these traditions. They had their 30th Anniversary Concert near New York’s Lincoln Center in October, taking the audience from medieval Japan to present day through dance and live music. Takers are invited to write about Ito-sensei herself or review an upcoming concert. www.dancejapan.com
KYUSHU BATTENKAI OF NEW YORK
Since last summer, JETAANY has joined forces with the Kyushu Battenkai (an association of Japanese from Kyushu living in New York), and more than 60 participants attended the group’s Fall Gathering last September. As New York is home to many other similar prefecture associations, this team up is a model for future JETAA Chapter-Prefectural Association events. The Battenkai’s president would be happy to get in touch with any JET writer interested in a Q&A or a feature article about the organization and its ties with JETAA.
We are accepting reviews on any Japanese restaurant that you’d like to spread the word about. (Even better if they’re run by JETs.) JET alum Jamie Graves works at Kajitsu, an East Village restaurant in New York specializing in shojin cuisine, an ancient Japanese culinary practice developed in Zen Buddhist monasteries.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR JAPAN FIX?
In an effort to revive the “Japan Fix” posts, we’d like to share a recent discoveries to help readers find a little piece of Japan close to home. How do you get your Japan fix wherever you live?
ROBIN SAKAI OF GAIJIN POT
Gaijin Pot is a site that offers jobs, apartments and classifieds in Japan. Run by Robin Sakai, it strives to bring the Japanese and expat community together.
REVIEW OF JAPANESE LANGUAGE STUDY OPTIONS IN THE NY AREA
We would like to add a listing as well as a possible review of Japanese language study options in the New York area. One of these is Hills Learning, founded by Jon Hills, who works with JETs in New York to promote his learning center, which teaches four languages to children and adults. Jon also co-presents monthly Asian networking events. Jon is open to a profile. Learn more at www.hillslearning.com.
CONSULATE GENERAL SCHOOL CARAVAN
This is a decade-plus program run by New York’s Consulate General of Japan that sends consulate staff (American and Japanese) to New York high schools and junior high schools to introduce students to Japanese culture, and JET alums have even served as presenters! The purpose of this article will be to increase awareness of the program so more JETAA members can get involved.
KEIO ACADEMY OF NEW YORK
Based in Purchase, NY, Keio Academy is a school for bilingual and bicultural education established by its Tokyo namesake. Besides the various activities the school offers, it also seeks to recruit JET alums for potential work opportunities. We can put you in touch with their business officer, who is happy ro speak with more JETs about the subject.
ASIA SOCIETY OF NEW YORK
In Jan. 2010, NYC’s Asia Society held a concert called “Hogaku,” or Japanese folk instruments played with modern flair. We’ve never profiled Asia Society, so this would be a great time to find out more about how they select their Japanese attractions and exhibitions.
JAPAN INFORMATION CENTER OF NEW YORK
Profile. Take advantage of Japan Information Center to promote Japan! The Japan Information Center (JIC) is the cultural and public affairs section of the Consulate General of Japan in New York. The JIC distributes educational materials, posters and pamphlets on Japan, provides speakers on various aspects of Japan to the schools throughout this region, Provides information on the Japanese Government Scholarships & the JET Program, distributes the e-newsletter Japan Info, and loans videos/DVDs and cultural artifacts.