20 Jan 2019
2nd April 2018
JET Furusato Vision Project 2018
The idea of the ‘furusato’ or hometown still holds strong sway in Japan. The JET Programme represents a unique opportunity for participants to become embedded in a local Japanese community and, though they can stay for a maximum of five years, many continue to feel a strong connection to where they were placed after finishing the programme.
Tapping into this nostalgia, CLAIR launched the ‘JET Fursato Vision Project’ in 2017. The programme offers a chance for eight JET alumni each year to return to their former ‘home away from home’ and reconnect with people and places they had strong connections with, in addition to the wider community.
But this is more than simply a trip down memory lane: participants will develop and implement their own ‘Vision Plan’ that utilises skills and connections gained post-JET to make new contributions to their former community, in a way that deepens that community’s ties to the wider world.
The aim of CLAIR and local government partners is as follows: “Exploring opportunities to use JET alumni in globalisation and local revitalisation activities...to further expand the potential of the JET Programme and to publicise the successes of the Programme widely both in Japan and abroad.”
The first round of the JET Furusato Vision Project took place between 26 October and 10 November 2017. Eight JET alumni who had been based in Western Japan were selected to participate from 106 applications.
Projects were truly diverse in nature, including: forging connections with sake breweries in Ehime Prefectures to meet growing demand for the drink in Quebec; an art history professor conducting a study of traditional bamboo arts and basketry in Oita Prefecture; a professional photographer planning a five day photo tour of Kitakyushu; a project to promote Miyazaki beef in Mongolia and an art project looking at the enduring hometown pride of residents of Amakusa, Kumamoto and Grand Rapids, Michigan as both experience challenging demographic shifts.
In 2018 it’s the turn of JET alumni who were placed in Eastern Japan. Please check the list of eligible prefectures (organised by region below):
Hokkaido Region: Hokkaido
Tohoku Region: Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kanto Region: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa
Chubu Region: Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi
Please learn more details about the project, including how to apply, on the JET Programme’s website: http://jetprogramme.org/furusatovisionproject/
Application Deadline: Friday, 20 April 2018 (9:00am Japan Standard Time)