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
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!
Enjoyed Old Photos Of Japan's website? Please consider donating to support their work
Black Ship photo from Brooklyn Museum digital collection - LINK
Long ago, in a land far far away...
I lived in Japan for about 5 years and I must unfortunately say: I really focused on teaching English - much to my long-term detriment. Yeah, I picked up Japanese along the way and if someone put a katana to my head, demanding me to reveal my skill level, for one who has never taken any official Japanese language placement test, I would still have to say that I am at the "conversational" level (sorta!).
To be quite transparent, I have started to study Japanese (again) and I am leveraging the app: Duolingo. And to be totally transparent, Duolingo is in no way sponsoring today's Monday Musing! I just like the app, it's fun and I want to write about it and soft-promote it as an easy way to jump in to learn Japanese.
Japanese attracts learners of many language backgrounds
In addition to being one of the most popular languages to study in the U.S., Japanese is also #2 in China and #4 in Vietnam, and it's even #4 in Japan (!) — due to the tourists and business people from abroad who are motivated to learn Japanese!
Japanese isn't related to the languages spoken in any of these places, showing that Japanese learners aren't deterred by a challenge, like studying the language's 3 writing systems.
The countries with the highest percentage of people studying Japanese are the Philippines, China, and Malaysia. In the last year, interest in learning Japanese has grown the most in Bangladesh, China, and Nepal. I guess Japanese remains a a global phenomenon!
Learners study Japanese to connect with their interests
What makes Japanese so appealing to such a broad audience? Japanese learners are studying
for a non-traditional reason: just for fun! Many people studying Japanese do so to connect with Japanese culture and help them understand more of the language they encounter in anime and manga, and 26% of new Japanese learners on Duolingo say "just for fun" is their primary motivation for learning.
The motivations of Japanese learners are unlike those studying the top 2 languages on Duolingo, English and Spanish. English learners cite school as a top motivation, and Spanish learners cite “connect with people” as their #1 motivation. On the other hand, people studying Japanese are doing so to connect with their hobbies and interests!
Young learners are the most excited about Japanese
People studying Japanese tend to be younger on average than those studying other languages: 86% of Japanese learners are under 30, and 70% are between 13 and 22. In fact, Japanese ranked #3 among this age group in the U.S. last year!
So... are YOU ready to study Japanese?
Are you already studying Japanese?
HOW well do YOU speak Japanese?
Do you want some resources to help you study Japanese (besides my blatant mentioning of Duolingo)?
Let us know as we are here to help you keep the learning going and while you are at it, check back on my progress and keep nudging me to keep going - I need all the support I can get.
From Duolingo: https://blog.duolingo.com/who-studies-japanese-on-duolingo/