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Hi everyone, we hope you’re staying warm and having a great start to the new year!


This Saturday, January 27th, we’re hosting a Shinnenkai at Bosso Ramen Tavern in Cambridge to kickstart the new year. Come join us to connect with fellow JET alumni and friends over a nice warm bowl of ramen (or sushi! Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options are also available). We’ll be meeting at 7pm, and Bosso Ramen Tavern is conveniently located right near the Harvard Red Line stop with some street parking available. We cannot guarantee a spot to anyone who doesn't RSVP for them or their plus one(s) so don't forget to fill out the Google form below or respond to this email!

Please RSVP here by January 26th using our Google Form:

If you have any questions, please email us at


We hope to see you there! 今年もよろしくお願いします!


Shinnenkai Overview

Date: Saturday, January 27th 2024, 7pm

Location: Bosso Ramen Tavern (24 Holyoke St, Cambridge, MA 02138 - Google Maps Link)

Join the US JET Program Alumni Association for an exciting online open panel discussion as we delve into the intricacies of teaching, studying, working, volunteering, and living in Japan!

This event is designed specifically for young professionals and students to gain valuable insights about what it’s really like to live in Japan. Our panel guests will include five alumni from the JET Program, TOMODACHI Initiative, and study abroad programs.

They will share their first hand experiences and invaluable advice on various aspects of life in Japan, from navigating the job market to immersing oneself in local culture and making lasting connections.

If you are considering applying for the JET Program, TOMODACHI Initiative, study abroad, or independently moving to Japan, this program is for you! Or sign up just to hear about their fun and challenging experiences in Japan.

This is a free, hour-long presentation with Q&A hosted on Zoom.

Location: Online via Zoom

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET

Happy June to all and apologies for missing a few weeks of "Monday Mokuso" postings - the month of May turned out to be a whirlwind for me; it just came and went: boom!

Hopefully my apology has been accepted and let's get on with some Japanese stuff I have been thinking about lately and perusing online.

Did you know you can time travel back to Japan?

A couple of years ago I came across this photo site called, "Old Photos Of Japan" and wow - it has become one of my favorite spots for stepping through the time portal and visiting Japan of years past. The curator of this site has incredible photo's collected and a great skill at writing up history around a particular theme. One of his most recent entries was the story of the survival of Yokohama after the massive 1923 earthquake.

Looking at the picture above and having my eyes go all around from the center, all the way out to the edges, I was left wondering: HOW on earth did anyone possibly survive this catastrophe? Then when my eyes finally let go of the picture, I was somewhat amazed - not amazed - that the author asked the same question. What a horrific picture of devastation that pulled me and had me feeling if I was there. I could almost smell the smoldering ruins of what was a vibrant city.

For the full entry on the bit I have captured above, CLICK HERE to go back in time and visit Yokohama right after this tragedy hit 100 years ago. And while there, visit some other periods in Japan's past and see/experience/learn things like:

Don't get lost and c'mon back to our 21st century.


Black Ships Festival

C'mon back to 2023 as this year mark the 40th anniversary of the Black Ships Festival - being held in Rhode Island, August 11th through the 13th.

For those history buffs reading this, you may recall that Commodore Matthew (no relation!) Perry arrived in Japan in 1853 and shocked the locals with a small fleet of self powered, black smoke billowing ships and he proceeded to force Japan to open up from isolation.

I will be heading to the event as an official "rep" of the New England Chapter and now in communication with the consulate if we will hold a JET program awareness booth on site during the event. Check out the calendar of events - most everything is free and there are several paid entry events that you may want to join.

Here's what you can expect at this year's event:

  • Traditional Taiko drumming

  • Origami folding

  • Martial Arts Demonstrations

  • Meet-and-greets with Superheroes and princesses

  • Cosplay costume contest

  • And much more!

I hope to see you in Rhode Island this August - or maybe we'll meet on a historic street in 19th century Tokyo, Japan!


Interesting Links:

Enjoyed Old Photos Of Japan's website? Please consider donating to support their work

Black Ship photo from Brooklyn Museum digital collection - LINK

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