Keeping Us Connected

March Greetings JET Alums,

In efforts to keep us current & connected, we’ll be sending periodic email newsletters, which’ll provide Japan related news, a recap & forecast of JETAA events, and highlight alums in action.

Helping Japan from Here: 

We hope that everyone you know in Japan is safe. It’s hard to be so far away in such a time, but there are many relief efforts underway and ways in which you can help from here. Please see the posting below on Resources, Donations, and Taking Action, and stay tuned for future info as well.

A Recap and a Few Forecasts:

  • JETAA Annual Meeting & Shinnenkai: On February 5th, more than fifty JET Alums and their families gathered at the Nisei Veterans Hall to elect new officers and celebrate the new year in style. With a buffet of food, flurry of raffle prizes, and variety of booths, JET alums shared ideas, stories, and business cards.
  • NCAA Tournament: Whether you take a liking to sports matters not. To put a method to March Madness, we will be doing a NC(JET)AA Bracket Bonanza. Choose teams based on your knowledge, favorite mascots, or be like me and do eeny meeny miny mo for each matchup. Visit the JETAA Facebook Bracket Group.
  • Upcoming Japanese Festivals in Seattle: Sakura Matsuri at Seattle Center April 1-3, Sakura-con at the Washington Convention Center April 22-24, and our annual Hanami gathering. Email if interested in helping out.

Stay tuned for further details & dates, or email with your interests.

Other News & Membership Drive: JET Programme no more?

  • Situation: Osaka-ken has cut the it’s contracts for JET and are instead using a private company, NET (Native English Teaching Program). Other prefectures face the same fate.
  • Reason: during these challenging economic times, the Japanese Government is under increasing public pressure to justify expenditures both past and present. The JET Program is under scrutiny as it is an expensive program to maintain. In part, in response to inquiries regarding the impact & benefit of continuing the JET Program, MoFA periodically compiles lists of past participants who have gone on to be successful in strengthening international ties between Japan and the US in areas of business, education and politics, to name a few.
  • Our Role: to show the positive impact that the JET Program has on former participants and how in turn, Japan also benefits by the investment they place in the JET Program.
  • How? Provide them with the information they’re requesting. Please let us know what you do and where you work. Stay tuned for further info soon.

Alums in Action: what some JET Alums are doing in the working world.

  • Ryan Hart (Ichihara City, Chiba Pref, 1998-99) gave a well-received presentation at the 2011 JET Returners’ Conference in Yokohama on Building Personal Brand Equity. You can check out some of the content on the blog he created and maintains for his presentation at Ryan has served as PNWJETAA President, JETAA USA Country Representative, and JETAA International Vice Chair. Omedetou, Ryan!
  • Nate Maddox (Shodoshima Island, Kagawa-ken 2003-05) is directing Rumors, which is a farce by Neil Simon for the West Seattle-based Twelfth Night Productions. Performances will be on March 25-27 and April 1-3. This will be his Pacific Northwest directorial debut! If you’re living local or in town, check it out! We’ll be there.
  • Bruce Rutledge’s (Chiba-ken, 1985-87) company, Chin Music Press, is teaming up with Patrick W. Galbraith (The Otaku Encyclopedia) to publish a book called Otaku Spaces, which captures an intimate view of the lives of 20 hard-core collectors/uber-fans in Japan and elsewhere. Their other book, Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, was featured by NPR’s Morning Edition in its annual wrap-up of books indie booksellers love. Also, Bruce & his wife spent much time this past year with Shiro Kashiba to write his memoir/cookbook Shiro, coming out later this year. Kashiba is a well-known sushi chef in the Northwest who helped open Seattle’s first full-fledged sushi bar at Maneki in the late 1960s.

Stay well, warm, and safe.

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