As we welcome a new year, 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 new returnees and JET vets) from all JETAA chapters worldwide to write and share more material that we can post online to the widest JET readership on the web through our hosts at the global JET alumni resource site JETwit.com.
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.
BOOK REVIEW: SHIRO: WIT, WISDOM AND RECIPES FROM A SUSHI PIONEER
A stunning new book from Seattle-based (and JET alum founded) Chin Music Press! Shiro Kashiba is the godfather of the Seattle sushi scene, and he was the first to bring the modern sushi bar to the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s. SHIRO, published in time for Shiro’s 45th year in Seattle, is a memoir/cookbook filled with the chef’s musings on the bounty of the Pacific Northwest and how we can preserve it for generations to come. It’s filled with beautiful personal photos, recipes, illustrations and tons of interesting facts about sushi and the Northwest food scene. Perfect for the foodies, Japanophiles or history buffs! For more info, click here.
‘THE RICE COOKER CHRONICLES’ SERIES
We are running a new series on JETwit about solo cooking experiences while on JET (check out “Nattode,” the first piece in the series). 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!
‘WINTER IN JAPAN’ ANECDOTES WANTED!
This quarterly anecdote topic is winters in Japan from JET alumni around the world! If you have a strange, delightful (or both—we all do) short story to share about your fuyus past in Japan, we’d love to publish it. Participate in Yuki-matsuri? Go for a particularly invigorating onsen dip to beat the cold? Funny story to share about getting a kotatsu or ceramic heater? Let us 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. It turns out Ari, who speaks regularly at legal career events, has a new book coming out soon on the theme of “reinvention” intended not just for lawyers but for all professionals re-thinking their careers in a society where the ground increasingly seems to shift below our feet. 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 ALUMS DEVELOP JAPANESE FLASH APP
Mark Makdad, founder of software company Long Weekend Mobile, has developed with his partner Ross Sharrott the Japanese Flash vocabulary builder app for iPhone, as well as the Rikai Browser for iPad for reading Japanese. Interested in giving these products a spin and writing about them?
‘JET INSTANT NOODLE’ COMICS
Profile of JET alum artist Shun Endo and his “JET Instant Noodle Comics.” Read samples here.
JET ALUM/SAKE EXPERT JOHN GAUNTNER
John Gauntner is a JET alum and noted lecturer on sake who travels the world to speak all about this appealing beverage. He has published a score of books on the topic and spoke at New York’s Japan Society last year. Visit his website www.sake-world.com.
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 http://www.jetsetjapan.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 FOR JAPANESE LANGUAGE EDUCATION (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.
A good upcoming film is Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty (co-written by Hayao Miyazaki), coming to theaters Feb. 17. Also, 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.