SUIKA-WARI: It’s not a pinata, it’s a watermelon!!!


Some of you JETs may have been lucky enough to partake in this time honored Japanese tradition: Suika-wari. ????? Suika means ‘watermelon’, and wari means ‘to split’. It’s not smashing pumpkins, but close! Actually, I’ve only done suika-wari twice, and both times were over here in Seattle! Funny how that works.

So, suikawari is very similar to the Spanish tradition of pinata. You have one person who is blindfolded and given a stick. They are spun around, and people direct them towards the watermelon, which is sitting on a clean tablecloth on the ground. It’s different in that sense, since with a pinata you’re swinging in the air, whereas with suikawari, you slice down at it like a samurai! The blindfolded person has one stroke in order to split the watermelon. However, usually the stick is blunt, so it’s half splitting, half bludgeoning! It’s not pretty! Continue reading


Join us for a PNWJETAA Happy Hour at Wann Izakaya in Belltown, Downtown Seattle. Time TBD.



Come celebrate with PNWJETAA as we kick off the Aki Matsuri weekend in Bellevue. Join us for a Happy Hour at Yama Restaurant in Bellevue in the Bellevue Galleria location (Taphouse, Theater, Gene Juarez, Rock Bottom.) Time 5:30pm.


Tsukimi (Moon-Viewing)

Moon Viewing at the Seattle Japanese Garden
7 – 10 p.m., A magical night of entertainment in honor of the autumn moon. Admission $15.



ATTENTION: WE ARE VERY SORRY THAT THE SUMMER PICNIC THIS WEEKEND (August 18) HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Not to worry though, we will be having another picnic type of get together by the end of the year, so please stay tuned for further information.


PNWJETAA Officers Meeting

Panama Hotel Cafe & Teahouse at 6pm.


Aki Matsuri

2007 Aki Matsuri Information akimatsuri

Join JETAA at our booth for the 10th Annual Aki Matsuri! PNWJETAA will have a booth together with the Seattle Consulate to answer questions about the JET Program and to make sure all JET Alumni know about us! This is one of our larger events, so if you have an hour or two to help out, please come out! Plus, you will get to take advantage of all the other cool things happening at the event listed below. See you there!

When: Saturday, September 8 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and
Sunday, September 9 (
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.), 2007
Place: Bellevue Community College Main Campus [directions]
G-Building (Gymnasium), L-Building and R-Building [campus map]

Japan comes to Bellevue Community College (BCC) for a weekend! A two-day program of Japanese cultural and educational events for all ages! Matsuri (Festival) features:

More than 60 Exhibitors … ranging from fine arts and crafts to Japan related business.

Lively Performing Arts Program on the stage including koto, shamisen, ikebana demonstrations, and Japanese dances & songs. Feel the beat of Japanese Taiko Drums! Observe the elegant Tea Ceremony performed in the Tea House.

On-going Martial Arts demonstrations by the local dojo members.

Special exhibits, demonstrations and workshops by guest artists from Hyogo, Japan are planned as follows:


Wa-rosoku: A 4th generation warosoku craftsman (Yasukazu Matsumoto) from Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo-ken will exhibit and demonstrate the making of “Japanese Candles” using traditional techniques and materials.



Take Zaiku: A 5th generation take’ zaiku craftsman (Kazutaka Toda) from Miki-shi, Hyogo-ken will exhibit and demonstrate traditional bamboo craft, and conduct a “kids toy making workshops” using bamboo materials.



Higo Chonkake Goma Perfromance – Mr. Kazuhito Miki will demonstrate his splendid feat using a top and a cord on the stage (Sat. 11:30 am & Sun. 3:30 pm) to shamisen accompaniment by his wife.



Special Exhibition of the 100 Shrine Forest Paintings and Photographs with the theme of “The Journey to Pray for World Peace and Live in Harmony with Others” by the delegation from Ichinomiya Junpaikai @ L-Bldg. L122


The following workshops will be conducted during 2007 Aki Matsuri. Pre-registration is required. More details will be announced soon.