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JETAA Midlands helps launch the Derbyshire-Japan Season of Culture

19th October 2019

JETAA Midlands helps launch the Derbyshire-Japan Season of Culture

Picture: VIP speakers opening a sake barrel from Dojima Brewery (Left to right: Elizabeth Fothergill CBE, Trustee, Derby Museums; Lord Burlington, High Sheriff of Derbyshire; Marvin Cooke, MD, Toyota UK; Ambassador Tsuruoka; Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museum)   Ambassador Tsuruoka, the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Lo...

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Fuji Fest

17th October 2019

Fuji Fest

by James Gamgee, JETAA Scotland Chair Our first educational events have taken place this year. A special thank you to JETAA members Jess Williams and Luca Fois for their help in completing application forms. They raised £500 each. Together with £2,000 funding from the Japanese government via JETAA, this means we raised £3,000 this yea...

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Yamagoya, Waterloo: restaurant review

15th October 2019

Yamagoya, Waterloo: restaurant review

The pitch: Tonkotsu ramen from its Fukuoka heartland Review: Tonkotsu (a stock made from pork bones) continues to be, by a distance, the most popular style of ramen in the UK. Yamagoya is another chain, like Ippudo, Kanada-ya and others, with roots in Fukuoka. Reportedly, back in 1969 founder Masatoshi...

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JET Spotlight: Luke Happle

15th October 2019

JET Spotlight: Luke Happle

Photo: Luke (left) representing Ashinaga USA at a fundraising event for the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in Atlanta. Luke Happle was a CIR and Prefectural Advisor in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. He worked at the Miyagi Prefectural Office and the Miyagi International Association. After the JET Programme, Luke became a Programme Coordinator a...

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JETAA Autumn events roundup 2019

14th October 2019

JETAA Autumn events roundup 2019

This section of the newsletter is designed to be a guide to the range of upcoming JETAA UK events right across the country, coordinated by active Chapters in London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland. Some individual chapter updates and news are also included. Enjoy! Find all contact details on the About section of the website. ...

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Rio Yoshitake: bridging cultures through sake and fine wine

14th October 2019

Rio Yoshitake: bridging cultures through sake and fine wine

When Fukuoka native Rie Yoshitake came to London 33 years ago, it was with a hazy sense of a strong purpose.  "I don't know why exactly, but ever since I was young I was very interested in the overseas connection between Japan and other countries. Somehow, with age, I thought I would love to be a bridge between the UK and Japan. Of cour...

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JETAA UK welcomes back JETs at a special reception and LinkedIn seminar

10th October 2019

JETAA UK welcomes back JETs at a special reception and LinkedIn seminar

On 27 September, in collaboration with the Japan Local Government Centre (JLGC) and the Embassy of Japan, JETAA UK held its annual programme of ‘welcome back’ events for JETs freshly back from Japan – with something on offer for JETAA UK members who’ve been back for a little longer too. Once again, the event was held at Asia House in Lon...

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Yuriko Kotani: the Japanese comedian rising up the ranks of UK stand up

22nd July 2019

Yuriko Kotani: the Japanese comedian rising up the ranks of UK stand up

After ten years living in the UK, in 2014 Yuriko Kotani decided to try stand up. For most, the idea of doing stand up is unthinkable, let alone in a second language. When I asked the Japanese comedian how that first time felt, performing in English, she says, "It was absolutely terrifying." "I hated it. I thought I'll do it and then no ...

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More than 200 UK JETs depart for Japan!

22nd July 2019

More than 200 UK JETs depart for Japan!

On Friday 19 July, outgoing JETs, JET alumni and invited guests packed the Paul Webley Wing in SOAS’s senate building to celebrate the imminent departure of this year’s JET participants to Japan. More than 300 people attended the event which opened with speeches from the Ambassador, Matthew Billin representing the outgoing JETs, and Rob Gor...

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Manga exhibition at the British Museum: review

22nd July 2019

Manga exhibition at the British Museum: review

Staging an exhibition on manga, the Japanese tradition of comic books, is akin to staging an exhibition on American pop music: taken as a whole, the subject is so wide, so intertwined in its cultural context, who knows where you’d start? On top of that, while Pokemon and Dragonball may be fairly well known in the context of gaming and anime, u...

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JET Spotlight: Vanessa Villalobos

22nd July 2019

JET Spotlight: Vanessa Villalobos

Vanessa Villalobos was an ALT in Tochigi City in Tochigi Prefecture north of Tokyo. She has built two businesses out of her experience on JET: an English tutoring agency for Japanese people in London, and a Japanese tutoring agency to connect Londoners with Japanese teachers. She told JETAA UK how she became an entrepreneur and the o...

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Roundup: upcoming JETAA events in Summer 2019

11th April 2019

Roundup: upcoming JETAA events in Summer 2019

This section of the newsletter is designed to be a guide to upcoming JETAA UK events right across the country, coordinated by active Chapters in London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland. Some individual chapter updates and news is also included. London Recent events have included a trip to sunny Pri...

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Ippudo, Central St Giles: restaurant review

17th July 2019

Ippudo, Central St Giles: restaurant review

(If you're interested in writing a restaurant review for JETAA UK – including a good chance of winning a £25 voucher – see how here) The pitch: The UK’s most authentic tonkotsu ramen?  Review: The last ti...

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JETAA Northwest Pre-Departure Events 2019

2nd July 2019

JETAA Northwest Pre-Departure Events 2019

JETAA Northwest Pre-Departure Events 2019 On June 8th and June 22nd, JETAA NW held social evenings in Liverpool and Manchester respectively for JETs heading to Japan this summer.  Incoming JETs and Alumni came together for an evening of delicious Japanese cuisine and socialisation as a farewell celebration.  There were many storie...

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JETAA London Learns About Sake At Kanpai Brewery

27th June 2019

JETAA London Learns About Sake At Kanpai Brewery

In June, JETAA London took advantage of the sunny weather and headed to Kanpai: London’s very own sake brewery. JET alumni were treated to a private tour with Tom, one of the co-founders, to learn all about how this traditional drink is brewed. It was a fascinating experience – we learned all sorts of weird and wonderful facts on how rice t...

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JETAA North West Japanese Afternoon Tea and Kimono

25th May 2019

JETAA North West Japanese Afternoon Tea and Kimono

JETAA North West: Japanese Afternoon Tea in Chester On May 18th, JETAA North West collaborated with SugarSalt Bakery and Kimono Keiko for the second time to bring together Japanese and British culture in the form of an Afternoon Tea at The Unity Centre, Chester. Upon arrival, participants were presented wi...

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Largest ever manga exhibition outside Japan

11th April 2019

Largest ever manga exhibition outside Japan

The British Museum in London is to stage the largest ever exhibition about manga held outside Japan. Manga and the connected anime and gaming industries are undoubtedly among Japan's greatest cultural exports. This exhibition both recognises the stature and richness of manga culture and explores how it became a global phenomenon, too tracing i...

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Roundup: upcoming events in Spring 2019

11th April 2019

Roundup: upcoming events in Spring 2019

We'd like to introduce a new section of the newsletter – designed to be a guide to upcoming JETAA UK events right across the country, coordinated by active Chapters in London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland. Some individual chapter updates and news is also included. London Following

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London Photography Walk 2019

11th April 2019

London Photography Walk 2019

Walking tour of iconic film locations in the City of London  On Saturday 6 April the JETAA London Chapter held a tour around the square mile of the City of London which showcased filming locations from films such as Great Expectations, Children of Men, Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, James Bond, The Bourne Ultimatum ...

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Nanban, Brixton: restaurant review

11th April 2019

Nanban, Brixton: restaurant review

The pitch: Ramen and Kyushu ‘soul food’ with south London flavourings Review:  Nanban, run by JET alumni (ALT in Kitakyushu) and Masterchef 2011 Winner Tim Anderson, opened in 2015. It is one of a number of Japanese restaurants in Brixton, south London, that include Okan and KOI-Ramen Bar and is s...

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Annual General Meeting 2019: Highlights and Report

10th April 2019

Annual General Meeting 2019: Highlights and Report

The 2019 JETAA UK Annual General Meeting took place in Liverpool in January, presenting committee members with the chance to meet up, take stock, and discuss JETAA's calendar of events and future direction in this historic and beautiful city. Delegates from the Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR London) and the Embassy of Japan in the UK als...

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The extraordinary history of London Japanese RFC

7th April 2019

The extraordinary history of London Japanese RFC

On 20 September the rugby world's focus and fans will shift to Japan as the Rugby World Cup kicks off for the first time in Asia. A premonition of that shift took place four years ago when Japan beat South Africa in Brighton during the 2015 World Cup, probably rugby's biggest upset in living memory. Rugby has traditionally been a n...

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JET Spotlight: Simon Wood

7th April 2019

JET Spotlight: Simon Wood

Simon Wood was an ALT in Kumamoto Prefecture between 1995-1997. Following his return to the UK he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His career as a diplomat has taken him on four overseas postings – twice back to Japan, to Denmark, and currently Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as HM Consul-General. 1. What inspired you to join the...

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JETAA London winter drinks

8th March 2019

JETAA London winter drinks

Last Friday ex-JETs gathered in a characterful pub in Soho for a few Friday drinks. It was great to welcome some new faces to the London Chapter and it ended up being quite an international crowd. The force was strong with Nagasaki JETs with no less than three people from different parts of the southern prefecture!  After talking just a...

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JETAA London 2019 AGM

20th January 2019

JETAA London 2019 AGM

明けましておめでとうございます!Happy New Year! Hope you are all having a wonderful start to 2019, the year of the pig! Last Thursday 17 January, JETAA London held an annual general meeting in our usual Somers Town settings to go over the events of 2018 and think ahead to what exciting things we could do in 2019. It was a...

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Shoplifters review: Japanese Palme d'Or winner 2018

16th January 2019

Shoplifters review: Japanese Palme d'Or winner 2018

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku) depicts an underside of Japan that few foreigners see or think about and, in my experience anyway, few Japanese people discuss in public. While Kore-eda is well-established as a director of perceptive films about contemporary family life, this was nonetheless a surprise winner of the Pa...

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Home Sweet Tokyo season 2 airs

13th January 2019

Home Sweet Tokyo season 2 airs

Home Sweet Tokyo, NHK's first comedy led by a foreign writer, has aired for its second season. The show was created by former JET BJ Fox, who was interviewed by JETAA UK about his experiences and inspirations last year.  Another run of four...

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People Still Call it Love: The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 preview

13th January 2019

People Still Call it Love: The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 preview

The Japan Foundation Touring Programme returns this February and March, touring an impressive 19 cities across the UK, spanning Inverness to Exeter. Now in its 16th year, and arguably the largest programme of its scope in the UK, this year’s theme is that time-honoured subject of cinema – lo...

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E-kagen Sushi & Noodle Café, Brighton: review

13th January 2019

E-kagen Sushi & Noodle Café, Brighton: review

The pitch: Japanese comfort food in an authentic no-frills café setting. Review: E-Kagen is a great-value, no-frills café set above an Asian supermarket in the centre of Brighton. Don’t expect high-end, delicately flavoured works of art here: E-Kagen gives you a big, robust punch of flavour and you ...

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JET Spotlight: Stuart Drinkwater

12th January 2019

JET Spotlight: Stuart Drinkwater

Having fallen into studying Japanese himself as a teenager Stuart Drinkwater, a Senior Associate at PwC, now helps run the Birmingham Japanese Conversation Exchange (BJCE) group.  JETLAG talked to him about his experiences on JET and how working for PwC facilitated a ret...

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Calling Hiroshima ALTs – Cities of Peace project

12th January 2019

Calling Hiroshima ALTs – Cities of Peace project

Photo credit: ©Clive Barda photography Calling former Hiroshima JETs – help needed with a UK-Japan Season of Culture project: Five Primary Schools in Coventry, UK are seeking a partnership with five schools in Hiroshima city, Japan to support our Cities of Peace project which was launched in September this year. As part of th...

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JLPT Bootcamp – Edinburgh 2018

2nd January 2019

JLPT Bootcamp – Edinburgh 2018

Overview Nihongo Scotland is a JETAA Scotland member-organized Japanese language group which has been operating since the summer of 2014. The group began as a small weekly study group for ex-JETs and has since grown to welcome students of Japanese from the wider community.  Nihongo Scotland has, to date, perform...

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JETAA North West Japanese Music Performance

15th December 2018

JETAA North West Japanese Music Performance

Saturday 13th October, JETAA, in conjunction with Japan Society North West, held a concert and workshop of Japanese folk music (minyou). This well-attend event welcomed Hibiki Ichikawa and Abkari Mochizuki from London to deliver an entertaining and educational performance th...

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How to make Japanese part of your life in the UK

17th October 2018

How to make Japanese part of your life in the UK

Image credit: Yoshiaki Miura Many JETs return from Japan keen to continue to use their Japanese in some way, be it professionally, just for enjoyment or gaining further qualifications, such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. But without the opportunity to use Japanese in everyday life, even when will is there, it can quickly dry ...

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Interviewing at Japanese companies: what you need to know

17th October 2018

Interviewing at Japanese companies: what you need to know

It’s now very likely that during your working life you will interview at a company or organisation from outside your home country, or be interviewed by someone of a different nationality: indeed, anyone who’s participated on the JET Programme has already experienced this at least once. Earlier this year

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Japan and the Midlands

17th October 2018

Japan and the Midlands

by Rob Gorton – JETAA Midlands Chair When I first returned from the JET programme I lived in London, where there’s an extremely large Japanese community. When I moved to the Midlands for work, I wondered whether I’d be able to find anything similar, and was worried not. Would there be anyone who shared my interest in Japan or my ex...

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Beth Kempton: 'Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life'

14th October 2018

Beth Kempton: 'Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life'

Former JET Beth Kempton has written a book seeking to distil the famous and elusive Japanese principle of wabi sabi into an approach to our fast-paced world. Praised by the Sunday Times as "a truly transformative read" (and with translation rights already sold in 19 languages), Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life 

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JET Spotlight: Olly Wells

10th October 2018

JET Spotlight: Olly Wells

While Olly Wells had planned to go into teaching before JET, the experience has proved the foundation of a thriving career in the state and international sectors. He is currently headmaster of Rong Qiao Sedbergh School in Fuzhou, China, and is also doing a PhD at Lancaster University. JETLAG caught up with him to discuss his experiences....

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Okan, London: restaurant review

7th October 2018

Okan, London: restaurant review

To learn how to submit restaurant reviews to JETAA UK yourself – and stand a chance of winning a £25 Japan Centre voucher – please see this guide. Okan, London The pitch: Delicious Okonomiyaki a stone's t...

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JET Spotlight: Gemma Treharne-Foose

6th October 2018

JET Spotlight: Gemma Treharne-Foose

Gemma Treharne-Foose's three years in Shimane-Ken – first in Hirata and then Hamada – have had a major impact on her life: she realised a desire to 'sell Wales to the world' and, after working in PR for the Welsh government, a decade later she even named her marketing and communications business Ichibata after the train she took to visit h...

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JETAA UK Careers Forum 2018

6th October 2018

JETAA UK Careers Forum 2018

On Friday 21 September the annual JETAA UK Careers Forum was held at Asia House in London. We welcomed back the newly-returned JETs for a day of panel discussions and breakout sessions to discuss the transition period from being an ALT or CIR in Japan into employment in the UK and how to best leverage those JET skills. JET alumni from a...

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JETAA North West After the Earthquake: New Media Art Showcase

2nd September 2018

JETAA North West After the Earthquake: New Media Art Showcase

After the Earthquake: Japanese Contemporary New Media Art Showcase On August 27th JETAA NW collaborated with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool and invited the public to a presentation in the stylish cinema room, The Box.  Director of FACT, Mr Mike Stubbs, gave a presentation on the background an...

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JETAA North West: Free as a Bird by the Keiboku Calligraphy School

23rd August 2018

JETAA North West: Free as a Bird by the Keiboku Calligraphy School

On August 18, JETAA North West was invited to join Free as a Bird, the Keiboku Calligraphy School’s second exhibition and performance at the Jacaranda Club in Liverpool.  The Keiboku School is a large private calligraphy s...

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JETAA London – Pre-Departure Event

6th August 2018

JETAA London – Pre-Departure Event

On Friday 20 July the London Chapter hosted a pre-departure gathering for outgoing JETs. The event followed the pre-departure orientation and embassy reception, and many took the short walk over to the Marquis Cornwallis to meet JET alumni and get advice based on first-hand experience (and be introduced to the concept of NIJIKAI!) It wa...

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JETAA North West Kimono Afternoon Tea in Chester

24th July 2018

JETAA North West Kimono Afternoon Tea in Chester

On July 21st, JETAA North West collaborated with SugarSalt Bakery and Kimono Keiko, both based in Chester, to bring together Japanese and British culture.  We named the event Kimono and Japanese Afternoon Tea. We had hired a room at The Unity Centre in Chester and upon arrival we were presented with a selection of beautiful...

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JETAA London: World Cup – Samurai Sunday!

19th July 2018

JETAA London: World Cup – Samurai Sunday!

On a scorching Sunday 24 June JETAA London met at Katzenjammers Bierkeller near London Bridge for a thrilling fun-filled afternoon of football. There were two second group matches: England v Panama and Japan v Senegal. Both teams could seal their progress into the knockout stage with wins, so all was to play for. A rowdy atmosp...

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The JET with his own TV show

12th July 2018

The JET with his own TV show

A former JET broke major ground last year when he became the first non-Japanese person to have his own sitcom on NHK.  BJ Fox – a comedy alias – is the star of Home Sweet Tokyo. The show focuses on the lives of the British Bryan Jenkins (played by Fox), his Japanese wife Itsuki and their daughter Alice after the family mo...

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Dojima: the first Japanese-owned sake brewery in the UK

12th July 2018

Dojima: the first Japanese-owned sake brewery in the UK

The first Japanese-owned sake brewery in the UK is on the cusp of opening. Dojima’s purpose-built facility on the grounds of the Fordham Abbey estate in Cambridgeshire promises to be a 'taste of Japan in the heart of the English countryside'. It’s been nearly 200 years in the making. The Hashimoto family behind Dojima first started b...

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Europe's largest Japanese food hall opens

12th July 2018

Europe's largest Japanese food hall opens

Europe’s largest Japanese food hall has just opened in Westfield London. Ichiba combines an array of food stations with retail space for Japanese culinary staples, sweets and treats, kitchenware and ceramics, sake, books and beauty products. All in all, 3000 Japanese products are reportedly on sale! Diners can choose between a ...

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Harajuku Kitchen, Edinburgh: review

8th July 2018

Harajuku Kitchen, Edinburgh: review

Submitted by a former JET: Hokkaido 2007-2009 The pitch: Award-winning, high quality Japanese food Review: I’ve actually visited this place a number of times over the years and have been constantly impressed with the high quality food offered. The menu does get refreshed every now and then and...

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