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Although it seems like August 2011 was just last week, it is already August 2012 and the new JET Program participants representing Hawaii have departed for Japan!
To recap the New JET events this year, JETAA Hawaii hosted and assisted with a number of events to prepare the new JET participants for their new career in Japan: the New JET Orientation, New JET Mixer, and Natsunoya Enkai Etiquette Dinner. Many JET alumni from Hawaii should be familiar with these three events.
At the orientation, JET alumni assisted Hawaii JET Program Coordinator Lisa Sakamoto from the Consulate General of Honolulu’s office with a variety of events to give the new JETs a taste of what their jobs would be like. Executive board members Phillip Tsang and Darryl Toma performed a team-teaching lesson in Cantonese, and board members Jason Yumen and Clint Imholte presented a couple of stimulating activities that could be used in the classroom. At the end, the JET alumni sat on a panel to answer various questions from the new JETs.
To give new JETs an additional opportunity to meet each other, as well as ask alumni more questions, JETAA Hawaii hosted its annual New JET Mixer at Pearl Ultralounge at Ala Moana. We had a great turnout from new JETs and alumni alike!
Lastly, JETAA Hawaii held its annual sendoff dinner, the Natsunoya Enkai Etiquette Dinner to give the new JETs some last bits of advice, wisdom, and things to look forward to! In addition to sharing some of the Executive Board members’ best lesson plans from their time on JET, JET alumni demonstrated additional lessons and of course, simple (but important) enkai/nomikai etiquette such as how to pour and receive beer.
We had a blast planning and executing these events and we wish the new JETs from Hawaii the best as they are transitioning to their new lives in Japan now.
Thank you to all of the alumni who came out to these events! We look forward to seeing you at future events!
This past weekend (June 8-10), the Pan-Pacific Festival took place in Hawaii, which involved a range of events, even including a parade through Kalakaua Avenue with groups from all over the Pacific Rim.
Joining the festivities was Mayor Matsui and some of his delegates all the way from Hiroshima. Through the Japan Local Government Center (JLGC – CLAIR) in New York, JETAA Hawaii had the opportunity to assist the Mayor in some of his tourism promotion activities.
At the first event (June 9, Saturday), JET alumni Keith Sakuda, Kristine Wada, and Darryl Toma joined Mayor Matsui at Ala Moana Center Stage to give a presentation on Hiroshima and promote some of its famous and not-so-famous attractions that include the Peace Park Memorial and Museum, Atomic Bomb Dome, Miyajima, Okonomiyaki, Momiji Manju, Mazda Stadium (baseball), as well as some of the upcoming events such as the 2013 Hiroshima Confectionary Expo (April 9 – May 12, 2013) and Hiroshima Flower Expo. Following their presentation, a Kagura dance group performed on stage.
At the second event following the presentation at Ala Moana Center Stage, Keith, Kristine, and Darryl joined up with fellow JET alumni David Tokuda, Christine Toyama, and Reid Yamada to have lunch with Mayor Matsui and some of his tourism promotion delegates. Discussion topics varied, including JET alumni experiences, teaching methods, impressions of Hiroshima, and suggestions for improving tourism promotion for Hiroshima.
The next day (June 10, Sunday), JET alumni David Tokuda and Darryl Toma joined the Mayor and his delegation, along with a representative from the JLGC, to promote tourism to Hiroshima in Waikiki. Passerbyers filled out questionnaires about Hiroshima, received free information packets that included origami, and had chances to win a variety of prizes from Hiroshima that included brushes, beads, and various pottery.
Overall, the JET alumni that participated had a great time assisting Mayor Matsui and his delegation with their activities and look forward to future opportunities to assist them, as well as the JLGC.
A big thanks goes out to Mayor Matsui from Hiroshima City for giving JETAA Hawaii this opportunity. We would also like to thank Mayor Matsui’s delegation for their great support throughout each event. In addition, we would like to thank Naomi-san and everyone from JLGC in New York for her great support in coordinating everything. Last but not least, thank you very much to Lisa from the Honolulu Japan Consulate for assisting in coordination and of course, all of the JET alumni who participated in these events.
We will look forward to the next time we can meet!
Wow! It’s been awhile since we’ve posted here, but we have some big news coming up for this weekend!
Straight from Hiroshima City, Mayor Matsui will be visiting Hawaii during the Pan-Pacific Festival this weekend. He will be making various appearances and meeting with different organizations to promote Hiroshima.
JETAA Hawaii will be assisting the visiting delegation from Hiroshima with a couple of events, and we would like you all to Twitter or post to Facebook anything about these to get the word out and support Hiroshima!
1) Hiroshima Tourism Promotion at Ala Moana Center Stage
June 9, Saturday, 11:20am – 11:35am
3 JET alumni will be assisting Mayor Matsui and his delegation with a short presentation to promote tourism in Hiroshima.
2) Hiroshima Tourism Booth
June 10, Sunday, 3pm – 7pm
2 JET alumni will be volunteering at the Hiroshima Tourism Booth promoting Hiroshima and disseminating information and goods.
Anything you can do to spread the word and get the name of Hiroshima out there would be great!
And with that, we leave you with some iconic images that remind us of Hiroshima. What are your favorite memories of Hiroshima? なつかしい！
On October 13 at the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu, Consul General Kamo welcomed JET returners, JET alumni, people involved in JET selection process and members of various local Japanese organizations at his residence for the annual JET Welcome Back Reception. Four of the JET returners gave presentations on their individual experiences full of anecdotes and stories, most of which other JET alumni could relate to. It was great to be reminded of the JET Program’s goals (and achievements) of grassroots international exchange by seeing real examples in those four presentations.
On the following evening, October 14, JETAA Hawaii members and friends gathered at Nocturna Lounge for JETAA Hawaii’s annual Returner’s Mixer. Whether they were singing karaoke, playing Guitar Hero, dancing away on the XBox Kinect, or just chatting with each other, attendees all had a great time. I personally enjoyed meeting all of the new returners and look forward to seeing you all at future events! Thank you to everyone who attended!
Again, welcome back JET returners and if there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us at JETAA Hawaii!
Next up in our list of events:
+ Volunteer at IHS: Please join us on November 19th Saturday from 7-8AM to help serve breakfast at the IHS (Institute for Human Services) men’s shelter near K-mart! Take some time out of your Saturday morning to volunteer with us! Please see our Pingg invite for more information and to RSVP.
+ November Happy Hour: November 8, Tuesday, 5-7PM, Taco Tuesdays at Dave and Busters at Ward Center.
If you have not been receiving our monthly e-mails and would like to be added to our list, please contact us at jetaahawaii [at] gmail [dot] com.
Check out this article on JETwit.com!
Oops! It seems that we completely missed writing an article for August, so forgive us!
August’s main event was bon dancing at the Jodo Mission of Hawaii. Members and friends dusted off their jinbei and yukata (and geta!) and enjoyed the food, music, and dancing at the bon dance!
If you know of any local Japanese culture-related events that you would like to share with us, feel free to e-mail us and let us know!
As our unofficial welcome event for the recent JET returnees, we hold this casual event every year. This year, we enjoyed a large participation from 17 members and friends at Aiea Bowl. Whether it was the competition, the conversation, the food, the beer, or the thrill of bowling for the first time, everyone had a great time!
At the end of the night, we awarded three prizes based on different merit: the highest score, the lowest score, and the team with the highest score. JET alumni and recent returnee Dawn brought two of her nieces, one of whom which won the prize for the lowest score. Upon being given the first chance to choose from two different gift cards and the mystery prize, Tatiana wisely chose the mystery prize: a white JETAA Hawaii t-shirt and (yes, you’ve guessed it) a fresh avocado! JET alumni Jon Trace took the highest score of the night with a score of 170. JET alumni Laurie Shimabukuro’s team had the highest score of the night and she beat the rest of her team at jan-ken-po and received a prize.
Thank you everyone for coming out to our events! We truly appreciate your participation and are doing our best to provide you with great events. We look forward to seeing you at future happy hours and events!
In November through January, we’re looking at organizing a series of volunteer events for those of you who are looking to contribute to your community, so be on the lookout for more information!
*Please e-mail us at jetaahawaii [at] gmail [dot] com if you would like to be added to our e-mail list or have not been receiving our e-mails.
Apologies for the delay in updating you all on our July activity! July was another busy month with the Experience Enkai, JETAA USA National Conference, and the New JET Participant Pre-Departure Reception.
**It seems that some people have not been receiving our e-mails sent out to the membership. Typically, we send out an e-mail at the beginning of the month to notify everyone of our upcoming and past events, as well as reminders prior to events, so if you have not been receiving those, please e-mail us at our jetaahawaii [at] gmail account.**
Annual JETAA Hawaii Experience Enkai
July 8, 2011, Friday | Natsunoya Tea House
Another part of our series of events put on to prepare the newly-selected JET participants, the Experience Enkai is the big farewell where the JET alumni have one last chance to impart wisdom (or reminisce about crazy stories in Japan) with the new JETs before they leave. The event annually takes place at Natsunoya Tea House in one of the Japanese-style dining rooms and sets the perfect atmosphere for the main theme of the event – enkai etiquette!
JET alumni taught the new JETs everything they will need to know during an enkai from how to properly pour and receive beer to their jikoshoukai (self-introduction). As alumni, this is one of our favorite events where we enjoy having the chance to talk with the new JETs in a friendly atmosphere over food and drinks, encouraging them and giving them advice prior to their departure.
Following the etiquette courses, the delicious (and plentiful!) meal, and jikoshoukais, we finished the night with a string of games. One of the games that we played called Jan-ken Train, may even come in handy for the JETs who end up teaching at elementary schools!
We would like to thank Natsunoya Tea House for the great service and for hosting us every year. Another big thank you goes out to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau for donating a plethora of items that the new JETs will be able to use as gifts and prizes during their life in Japan. Lastly, thank you to all of the JET alumni who came out and supported JETAA Hawaii in preparing the new JETs!
Click on the header above to check out photos from the event!
2011 JETAA USA National Conference
July 14-17, 2011 | Washington D.C.
Every year, all of the main JETAA chapters in the US gather for the JETAA USA National Conference which is hosted by a different JETAA chapter each time. This year, the conference was organized and hosted by the Washington D.C. chapter. With the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami this past Spring, many of the topics covered this year were centered around how JETs in Japan, JET alumni, and JET alumni chapters have been helping to support the various relief organizations, as well as how we can continue to help out.
It was very encouraging and interesting to meet officers from other JETAA chapters and learn about their chapters and events. As I mentioned in my July e-mail, we have a lot of great ideas that we took back from the conference that we hope to bring to JETAA Hawaii. For a full run-through of what was covered at this year’s conference, please see this link.
Although we did not have the chance to take many photos, we did get one photo with fellow JET alumni Anthony Bianchi who is the first American-born city official elected in Japan. He currently serves as a City Council member in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. For a video clip introducing Anthony Bianchi, see this link.
New JET Pre-Departure Orientation and Reception
July 29, 2011, Friday | Consulate General of Honolulu
I had the opportunity to attend the New JET Pre-Departure Reception, the last official event for the new JETs that takes place the day before they depart for Japan. During the orientation portion, I was given the chance to impart some last words of wisdom to the new JETs and I’m hoping some of them remember a little of what I said. Seeing the new JETs being briefed on where to meet at the airport the next morning, on what will happen when they arrive in Tokyo, and seeing their returned passports, now with visas, brought back fond memories!
As we say farewell to this year’s newly selected JETs, we challenge you all to do your best in Japan in representing Hawaii and the rest of our country! …And now that the new JETs are gone, we look forward to welcoming back all of our returning JETs from Japan!
This Friday night from 7:30PM, join us at the Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s bon dance! If you would like to attend, please RSVP at this link. Also, please join us for our monthly happy hours that take place on the 2nd Tuesday of each month – details for the location are announced in our monthly e-mails.
Thank you everyone for your support and we hope to see you at our events!
Every June after the new JET Program participants have been selected, JETAA Hawaii gets quite busy! Here’s the scoop of what went down this past month:
New JET Pre-Departure Orientation
June 18, 2011, Saturday | Tokai University
Every year, the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu organizes an orientation for the newly-selected JET Program participants to brief them on everything from packing to teaching English. This event serves as their first real introduction to the job they have accepted. JETAA Hawaii assists every year with various teaching-oriented activities and a Q & A forum at the end.
One of the activities that the new JETs particularly enjoyed was the JTE-ALT (Japanese Teacher of English – Assistant Language Teacher) Team Teaching simulation organized by JETAA Hawaii Co-events Coordinator Kai Kaapana and recent-returnee Phillip Tsang. Serving as the “native speaker,” Phillip Tsang spoke in only Cantonese while Kai Kaapana translated in English. This activity threw the new JETs into a whirl of confusion, but at the same time giving them a glimpse of what their students will experience. In addition, the activity showed them the potential for how fun their lessons can be!
New JET Mixer
June 24, 2011, Friday | Pearl Ultralounge
Another part of JETAA Hawaii’s combo of annual events put on for the new JET Program participants, the New JET Mixer is planned specifically with the purpose of giving the new JETs an extra opportunity to bond with each other, as well as ask additional questions they might have with alumni. For JET alumni, this event also serves to fulfill our selfish desire to impart our wisdom upon the new JETs before they depart.
At the end of the Friday workday, we all gathered at Pearl Ultralounge to enjoy good company and good food! We were also joined by two Japanese teachers of English, one from Osaka and one from Okinawa, who happened to be in Oahu for a conference.
Monthly Happy Hour
June 28, 2011, Tuesday | Dave and Busters
We continued our monthly happy hour in June with Taco Tuesday at Dave and Busters. With $1 tacos and $3 beers, this was the perfect way to end the work day. There isn’t much to say except that everyone had a great time relaxing and talking story over delicious and cheap tacos. Join us for the next happy hour at Bar 35!
A big thanks to everyone participating in the events, especially the JET alumni who have attended the new JET events. Also, a big thank you to JET alumni Phillip Tsang for organizing the great team teaching demonstration with Kai Kaapana.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at our next events! We have some great activities lined up for the fall, so please join us! For more pictures, see our flickr page at flickr.com/jetaahawaii or click on the headers from the event descriptions above.
On Wednesday, May 25th, JETAA Hawaii gathered at Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana for Happy Hour with Global Village Hawaii. Students from Global Village Hawaii had the chance to practice their English with JETAA members and friends and members alike got to catch up with each other. We were surprised to hear that some of the students live as far as Hawaii Kai (and some even further!) and commute to school every day by bus. It just goes to show how much we (or myself, at least) rely on automobiles to get around here in Hawaii. Everyone had a great time and we look forward to more monthly happy hours.
Thank you everyone who joined us! We hope to see you again at our next happy hour and other events!
Once again, JETAA Hawaii volunteered at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s annual Kodomo no Hi Keiki Funfest event. This Children’s Day event offers a wide variety of activities and games for children of all ages, featuring everything Japanese from Taiko performances to Hanafuda lessons.
JETAA Hawaii hosted its usual table making paper daruma, helping children exercise their creativity through arts and crafts. As the event fell on May 1st, JETAA Hawaii also included paper lei making. Children learned about the tradition of daruma and setting goals while having fun with gluesticks and construction paper!
We would like to thank the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for having us each year and of course, all of our hardworking volunteers who came out. We’re looking forward to the next event we can help out with!
For pictures from the event, check out our Flickr page.