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What's life like for a Japanese foreign correspondent in the UK? Reflections on the pub!

12th May 2020

What's life like for a Japanese foreign correspondent in the UK? Reflections on the pub!

Written by Mikako Yokoyama; translated by Jeremy Gordon.  Since October 2019, I have been working as a foreign correspondent in Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun’s general European bureau. As the name suggests, while the office is in London, we cover news across the whole continent. Personally, I am primarily respo...

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JETAA UK May 2020: lockdown and Ashinaga fundraising events roundup

12th May 2020

JETAA UK May 2020: lockdown and Ashinaga fundraising events roundup

Featuring chapter news and upcoming JETAA UK events right across the country, coordinated by active Chapters in London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland. North West Chair's Message Hi everyone, I hope this message finds you well in these unusual times. JETAA NW has been quiet in terms of socia...

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JETAA UK and Ashinaga launch first joint campaign in 2.6 Challenge

10th May 2020

JETAA UK and Ashinaga launch first joint campaign in 2.6 Challenge

An exciting development for JETAA UK this year is our partnership with the UK branch of Ashinaga – a Japanese charity which has been supporting orphaned and single-parents students for over 50 years, and continues to expand its reach.  On 26 April, we launched our first event with Ashinaga UK as part of the 2.6 Challenge, a nationwide...

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JETAA London quiz goes digital in showdown of Japan knowledge

9th May 2020

JETAA London quiz goes digital in showdown of Japan knowledge

Ever adaptable and keen to meet members’ appetite to answer trivia questions on a competitive basis during lockdown, the JETAA London chapter hosted its first ever ‘online pub quiz’ on 30 April.  Over 30 people, and more including multi-person teams, joined from their homes with cups of tea and G&Ts in place of the pints of bi...

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2020 Welcome Back Careers Event: key info for companies and JETs

8th May 2020

2020 Welcome Back Careers Event: key info for companies and JETs

JETAA UK is going to partner with Japan Local Government Centre  (CLAIR in London) for the next ‘Welcome Back Careers Event and Exhibition Space’, which will be held on Friday 23 October 2020. This event provides the opportunity for former JETs to receive key advice and insight on the post-JET experience and job opportunities aroun...

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JET Spotlight: Zoë Vincent

8th May 2020

JET Spotlight: Zoë Vincent

Zoë Vincent was an ALT in Unzen city in Nagasaki prefecture from 2015-2016. After JET, she moved to work for the Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association. For that work promoting the region, hit by disaster in 2011, she has been featured both on NHK TV show Japanology Pl...

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Fuji Fest 2019: Round-up and Report

25th January 2020

Fuji Fest 2019: Round-up and Report

The Fuji Festival 2019 got off to a great start in September with a visit from Martin from Tsuchigumo Daiko to Kilmaron School in Cupar. Pupils of all ages were joined by a group from Castlehill Additional Support Class as they had the opportunity to learn Taiko drumming skills, a Japanese style of drumming. It was a fun packed, high energy afte...

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JET Spotlight: Alison Beale

25th January 2020

JET Spotlight: Alison Beale

Alison Beale was an ALT in Taketa, Oita prefecture. She is Director of the Japan Office for Oxford University, also her alma mater, with responsibility for forging and fostering links between Oxford and Japanese universities.  She talked to JETAA UK about her pride in being a JET and how the experience has shaped her life and career....

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JETAA New Year 2020 Events Roundup

14th October 2019

JETAA New Year 2020 Events Roundup

This section is 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. Please look out for the dates of upcoming AGMs for JETAA Scotland, Midlands and North West. Where contact d...

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Japan Centre's Tak Tokumine on lessons from a life made in the UK

20th January 2020

Japan Centre's Tak Tokumine on lessons from a life made in the UK

Tak Tokumine is probably the most famous Japanese entrepreneur in Britain. As the man behind Japan Centre, the food hall and retailer just off Leicester Square, he’s helped to popularise authentic Japanese ingredients among a wider audience at the same time as Japanese restaurants – including some of his own – have boomed in popularity. ...

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JETAA NW Trip to Altrincham, film and bonenkai

12th January 2020

JETAA NW Trip to Altrincham, film and bonenkai

On Sunday 1st December, JETAA North West members spent a very pleasant afternoon in Altrincham, a charming Cheshire town just outside Manchester. We met at the train station and wandered over to the market. In the market hall, there were a number of independent food traders to choose from and we all selected a different cuisine, in...

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JETAA NW Doki Doki Festival

28th December 2019

JETAA NW Doki Doki Festival

On November 9th and 10th 2019, alumni represented JETAA NW at the annual DokiDoki festival held at Sugden Sports Centre in Manchester.  It was a great opportunity to connect with other people who share a passion for all things related to Japan.  There were wonderful performances, including Taiko, singing, and dancing as well as many craft and...

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Abeno, Bloomsbury: restaurant review

16th December 2019

Abeno, Bloomsbury: restaurant review

(Note: picture is the Kiso Mix of seasonal mushrooms, lotus root and cheese) The pitch: Europe’s 'original' specialist okonomiyaki restaurant Review: While 'Japanese pizza' may be a misnomer it captures something about the nature of okonomiyaki's appeal. Outwardly it's relatively unsophistic...

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Forget carol concerts: JETAA London do Christmas karaoke!

7th December 2019

Forget carol concerts: JETAA London do Christmas karaoke!

We come to the end of social activities for 2019 with the JETAA London Chapter – お疲れ様です!   On Friday 22 November alumni gathered at the Glasshouse Stores in central Soho for some socialising and to sufficiently wet whistles for the following two hours of glorious Japanese-style karaoke (complete with all of the del...

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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 begins for 2019

17th October 2019

Fuji Fest begins for 2019

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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