Florida JETAA

Tanabata Potluck Party

Posted by President


Dear Florida JETAA Members,

This is your South Florida Regional Representative, Wendy Lo, we will be holding our 2ndannual JETAA Tanabata get together on Saturday, July 19th at 4pm.

This year our president, Bahia and her husband Chris, have kindly offered their home for us to have the JETAA Tanabata party. Bahia’s place is in Miami, 33134

In the tradition of a Japanese summer festival  I am suggesting that people attending to wear a yukata or jinbei. I have a few ladies yukatas with obi that I can lend out for the party and three men’s jinbei and one men’s yukata (but no obi).
I will also have some tanzaku slips in which you can write your wishes for Tanabata. Luckily, Bahia and Chris have Bamboo growing in their front yard so we can tie them onto the branches.

I know it will be past the actual Tanabata date, but it’s the spirit of it all that counts and this was the only available date.

This is a potluck so please feel free to bring a food item or drink.

Please RSVP to wlo01@hotmail.com by July 16th. If you are bringing a guest please include that in your RSVP.

If you plan to bring a food item, please let me know and I will place that on the list.

Parking is extremely limited, so please RSVP, Bahia will email parking instructions and her address to those who RSVP as the date approaches.

This is a great way to meet new and old JET alumni and to reconnect to our time in Japan. I hope to see you there!


Wendy Lo

JETAA-FL, South Florida Rep.

(Toyama-ken, 2002-2005)


Second Annual City of Sunrise Anime Film & Japanese Culture Festival

Posted by vice president


The City of Sunrise and Tate's Comics have partnered to host the second annual Anime Film & Japanese Culture Fest. This free event features displays of vintage Japanese cars and motorcycles; bonsai, Taiko drum, martial arts and manga demos; and a sumi e-brush painting activity. There will be vendor tables and Japanese food will be available for purchase.

In addition, Tate's Comics is sponsoring a Cosplay Costume Contest and screenings of two Hayao Miyazaki films - "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Castle in the Sky." (Film seating is limited, and passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Jun 28, 2014: 12 pm - 6:30 pm (Sat) - Free Admission




JET-inspired Kanji App on Kickstarter

Posted by vice president


My name is Saren and I am a JET alum living in Irvine, California. My six year-old, Genji, is in Japanese Saturday School here and now that he is a 1st grader, he's starting to memorize the first of his ichinensei kanji. Kanji, as I'm sure you remember, isn't easy. It's a lot of rote memorization and repetitive practice. It's the same for all beginners, no matter how old.

Genji and I started brainstorming recently about what the perfect app would be to help memorize kanji. I said it needed to have tons of good looking flash cards, and Genji said it should all be one big game. It was an awesome beginning to what would become our personal passion project together.

We call our project Kanjilicious and this weekend we put it up on Kickstarter.


We would really like to engage with the larger JET community, so I'm writing to ask if you wouldn't mind posting our Kickstarter link into the JETAA network, or pass it along to friends who you think might like the app. Of course we're looking for backers, but we're also looking for collaborators, designers, developers, anyone who has had similar experiences, and shares our love for Japan and Japanese.

Here are the other relevant links just in case.

Thank you very much for the time and consideration. Please let us know if you have any questions.


m(_ _)m

Saren Sakurai

Miyagi-ken 1999-2001


CAREER FORUM for Positions in the U.S.

Posted by President

I received the following message about a career forum being held in NYC on June 14th.

Details below:

My name is Catherine Rackley of DISCO International
(aka CareerForum.net).  I hope you don't mind my
contacting you out of the blue, but as a fellow JET alumnus
(Shibayama, Chiba 2005-2006) I wanted to make some information
available to you and your JETAA Florida members about a job
fair for Japanese-English speakers that we will be holding
next month.

If you haven't heard of our Career Forums before,
allow me to offer a brief explanation.  We hold
them a few times a year in Japan and the U.S. and
on a smaller scale in Sydney and London. However,
our Boston Career Forum is our biggest event, spanning
three days and featuring over 200 companies.

These events are not just an excellent chance to
see what kind of job market is out there for Japanese
speakers, but above all a real opportunity to land
a job that makes use of both Japanese language and
a sincere interest in Japan.  They are, of course,
completely free for job seekers to attend.

As I mentioned, our next event is coming up next
month and is already featuring some great companies
like Disney, Fujisankei Communcations, JTB (Travel)
and others with even more expected to sign up.

CAREER FORUM for Positions in the U.S.
Saturday, June 14, 11:00AM - 6:00PM
Metropolitan Pavilion, 2F (New York, NY)

If you would be so kind as to forward this
information on to your members, it would be
greatly appreciated.  Please feel free to include
the information on your site's job posting section
or Facebook page as well with my contact info included.
I truly hope that some members will be able to take
this opportunity to use their experience in Japan
and Japanese skills in their careers.

Please feel free to contact me if you
or any of your JETAA Florida members have
any questions at all.

Kind regards,


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Tampa Natsumatsuri 2014

Posted by President

We invite you all to attend our biggest annual event, the Tampa Natsumatsuri! Come for Japanese games, food, auction, and sales of arts & crafts, books, and more! The festival will be held on 6/14/2014 from 9 AM to 12 PM at 821 S Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, Florida. Free!

natsumatsuri flyer 14


New Newsletter from the Prime Minister’s Office in Japan

Posted by President

Recently, Prime Minister's Office distributed We Are Tomodachi Winter 2013, which covered the Abe administration's economic policies, Japanese traditional cuisine known as "washoku," tourism, and other captivating aspects of Japan. We also launched a website that provides the most up-to-date information and it has been very well received by its readers.

As a part of our activities, we have also launched an electronic magazine that characterizes Japan and people whose interest stays about Japan.  We hope this helps you to understand Japan in a deeper way while also drawing your attention to some of its interesting features. You can find this publication at the following URL:


The issue just released highlights the following topics.

▽ "Abenomics" Is Progressing
"Abenomics" forms the backbone of the Abe administration's policies.  This article provides an easy-to-read explanation of the latest developments within the Abenomics Growth Strategy as well as its outcomes over the year since the administration's inauguration.

▽ "Proactive Contribution to Peace"
This article introduces the reader to the formulation of Japan's first-ever National Security Strategy, the formulation and structural enhancement of Japan's National Defense Program, which goes hand-in-hand with that Strategy, and the enactment of the Special Intelligence Protection Act, which ensures that information is properly protected.

▽ Japan As Seen through the Eyes of Non-Japanese We asked several non-Japanese who are intimately familiar with Japanese culture to talk about its appeal.  This article also features some of the things that have surprised visitors to Japan and highlights some ways to enjoy a stay in Japan to the very fullest.

▽ Tourism in Japan
What says spring more perfectly than sakura?  This article spotlights some of the best-loved locations for viewing sakura, or cherry blossoms, in areas all around the country.  It also includes the most up-to-date information on tourism in Japan, which is getting more and more convenient all the time.

In the future we wish to keep expanding the circle of people who are well acquainted with these aspects of Japan.  We hope you introduce this electronic magazine as well as the Tomodachi website (http://japan.kantei.go.jp/letters/index.html) widely to the people around you, including your friends, colleagues, and other people in your community.  We look forward to your assistance in spreading the word about these.

We also hope that you register on our website to receive our magazine by e-mail so that we can keep you informed of the latest information.  This is a good opportunity to register for the magazine if you haven't done so already.

The Abe administration will continue to develop its policies more and more going forward.  With your assistance, we will continue to send out the message of both Japan's efforts and its areas of appeal to people everywhere around the globe.  We would like to continue to be engaged with you and help you understand Japan better.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

To join the mailing list, please contact Michael Herrero, JET Program Coordinator, michael.herrero@mi.mofa.go.jp


11th Annual Florida-Japan Summit

Posted by President

Presented by SEUS/Japan Assoc. in partnership and hosted by The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens



MAY 19, 2014

FLORIDA DELEGATION, SOUTHEAST U.S./JAPAN ASSOCIATION ('SEUS/JAPAN') is pleased to announce that Florida Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner has confirmed his plans to participate, along with Japanese Consul General Shinji Nagashima, in the 11th Annual Florida-Japan Summit this year hosted by and presented in partnership with The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, FL, on the afternoon of Monday, May 19, 2014 from 1:45 - 4:45 pm. The half day program will feature keynote remarks by Consul General Nagashima of the Consulate General in Miami.

In addition to the half-day summit program on the afternoon of May 19, a networking reception will be held immediately following on the evening of Monday May 19, from 5:00-6:30 PM at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens as well for all registered participants. The reception will include special remarks by a Wakayama, Japan government official regarding the upcoming 20th anniversary of the State of Florida's official sister state relationship with Wakayama. Registration and admission to this year's Summit is $25, which includes a Japanese 'Bento' box lunch available prior to the summit program and participants will have the option for a self-tour of the Morikami Japanese Gardens. Online registration is now available; please click here to register. You may also contact SEUS/Japan for more information by phone: (786) 235-8289; by e-mail: info@fl-seusjapan.org; or online at:


Enterprise Florida and Team Volusia EDC are co-sponsoring this year's summit. Additional and/or promotional support is being provided by the following supporting organizations: The Florida Atlantic University School of Urban and Regional Planning; The Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance; The Palm Beach Business Development Board; The Japan Foundation for Global Partnership; The Beacon Council; The World Trade Center Miami; The Doral Chamber of Commerce; and The Consulate General of Japan in Miami.

Founded in 1975, the mission of Florida Delegation, SEUS/Japan is to promote ties of trade, investment, tourism, education and friendship between Florida, Japan, and six other southeast U.S. states through an annual joint meeting program hosted in regular rotation by SEUS/Japan member states and Japan. Florida Delegation, SEUS/Japan has individual, non-profit and corporate membership programs open to all individuals, businesses and organizations interested in supporting Florida Delegation, SEUS/Japan's mission. The next 37th Annual SEUS/Japan joint meeting will be held in Tokyo this coming September 18-20, visit us online for more details. SEUS/Japan holds the annual summit meeting programs around the State. This will be the second time the Morikami has hosted the event, as it hosted the 1st summit in 2003.

More details here: http://www.fl-seusjapan.org/documents/11AnnualFl-JapanSummit2014.pdf


Orlando Opening at Golf Channel: Translation and Voiceover

Posted by President


Overview:  English > Japanese translation and voice-over of Golf Channel’s nightly news, instructional and entertainment programming from Orlando, Florida studios

Job Responsibilities:

• Perform E > J translation of golf programming and generate a typewritten script to be used for voice-over sessions
• Proofread E > J translations of golf programming performed by other translators
• Conduct live and post-production voice over of golf programming
• Occasional simultaneous interpretation and live voicing of (E > J) golf highlights, news stories, features, etc.


• Native Japanese ability (Tokyo Standard, reading, writing, speaking)

• Near-native English (reading, writing, speaking)

• Excellent knowledge of the game of golf and its vernacular

• English to Japanese translation experience; broadcast setting preferred

• Japanese voice-over experience • English to Japanese simultaneous interpretation a plus

• Experience with Japanese OS and word processing (Microsoft)

• Ability to work with tight deadlines • Flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays

• Ability to work in Orlando, Florida office

• Must provide proper documentation from the Department of Immigration and Naturalization confirming ability to legally work in the United States

Apply at: http://www.nbcunicareers.com/view-job?id=208132

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Welcome New Officers!

Posted by President

The 2013 Board is a wonderful mix of old and new faces. Here are the results of the 2013 call for nominations.

Since the positions were uncontested, there was no need for a runoff this year and we did not hold elections. The submitted running platforms are being posted as introductions to the new officers.

Bahia Simons-Lane, President
Bahia is continuing on as President for another term, and we are very lucky to have her!  Here is her introduction:

Originally from Washington, DC, I was a JET in Gunma prefecture from 2005 – 2007, where I taught at an all girls’ high school deep in the mountains.  I held the position of ALT Advisor for the Gunma Board of Education from 2007 – 2008 and planned the prefectural Mid-Year Seminar for JET/non-JET ALTs and JTEs, provided support for Gunma JETs and worked closely with the Prefectural Advisor (JET CIR), and taught at a variety of special needs schools that otherwise would not have a native English speaking teacher (including the blind school, deaf school, physically/mentally handicapped schools, and hospital schools).  I am currently pursuing a Master’s in International and Intercultural Education at FIU.

I believe that Florida JETAA can play a more active role in bringing alumni across the state together, as well as provide support for JET at the national level of JETAA and locally. Florida JETAA faces some unique challenges in becoming a vibrant alumni association; primarily that Florida is a large state and our alumni are very spread out. During my tenure as president, I have helped increase involvement in our virtual community through our website, Yahoo Groups list server, Facebook group, and our Twitter account. I have maintained Florida JETAA’s connections with the Japanese Consulate in Miami, and established relationships with the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese and the Asian Studies Department at Florida International University. I have worked hard to make sure the two hubs of JET alumni in Miami and Tampa are regularly communicating and supporting each other’s activities as much as the distance provides, as well as tried to provide support to our regional representatives throughout the states. Along with the other officers, I have also incorporated Florida JETAA as a non-profit corporation in the state of Florida and revised and improved our chapter by-laws. At the annual JETAAUSA National Conferences I have benefited from seminars, workshops, and advice from the other 18 chapters across the USA and have brought that knowledge back to share with Florida JETAA’s officers and members.

Allan Mordetsky, Vice President

Allan is in the middle of his term as Vice-President.  Here is Allan's introduction:
My name is Allan and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I was a JET ALT in Saitama from 2005 to 2007 and then stayed in Japan until late 2010. Since returning to the US I’ve tried to get involved with Japanese culture related activities here in South Florida to continue my study of Japan (and still studying Japanese but I’m getting rusty haha.). I’ve volunteered at events at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, for the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami, and at various Japanese and Asian festivals.
I ran for office because I feel JETAA is a great way to remember and honor the places we called home while on the JET Program. By being active in various events we can maintain our ties to Japan and help spread the culture we learned, as well as creating new ties with the Japanese community here in Florida.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to another year JETAA. Take care!

Tom Gregorich, Treasurer

We are so happy to have Tom back on the Board. Our one-time Vice President brings a lot of experience to the table.  Here is his introduction:

I lived 2 years in the most beautiful prefecture in Japan, Tokushima-ken, in 2001-03 where I worked as an ALT at a public high school in rural Anabuki-cho along the Yoshino river. After returning to the states I took up a career in the TV industry blending my love of Japan and fondness for the game of golf and am currently an associate producer at Golf Channel Japan. I have an MBA from UCF an BS in biochemistry from Indiana University. I took on the role of chapter treasurer last year from Gerard Batista and look forward to continuing to help build our Florida chapter.

Jennifer Garcia, Secretary

Jennifer is a new face on the Board.  Here is a little bit out her in her own words:

My name is Jennifer Garcia and on Bahia's recommendation, I'm putting forth my own nomination to become the new secretary. I've only just returned from a two year post in Tamba-shi, Hyogo-ken as a high school JET. I'm originally from Miami and did my undergraduate and graduate schooling in Asian Studies at Florida International University. I've loved Japan for most of my life and even after returning from living over there, I'd like to be involved in its continued promotion, and of course, to continue the JET experience that helped me achieve my dream.

Barbara Barrett, Information Officer

Barbara is also a new face on the Board. Here is her introduction:

I did jet 2008-10 in Shikoku and now reach ESL at University of Miami. She recommended me for the info officer position. I love using Facebook and blogging so I think I would be a good fit for the position.

David Shaw, Webmaster

David continues on in his position as webmaster. Here is his introduction:

As Webmaster of Florida JETAA, I help maintain our website and promote fun events for returning JETS, current JETs, and also to introduce people to Japanese culture. I am also involved in planning events in the Miami area. One idea I would like to do is some type of movie screening or Japanese film festival at O-Cinema or another similar location. Also karaoke in the Miami, South Beach, or Ft. Lauderdale regions. I would also like to help out with any other events and I have a relatively flexible schedule to accommodate others ideas.

Our incoming and continuing officers' contact information is available on the Florida JETAA Board and Regional Representative Pages! We also have openings for Regional Representatives for Tallahassee, and Treasure Coast. Please email president@floridajetaa.org if interested.

Thanks to the outgoing officers and regional representatives for all their hard work and dedication! Welcome to the incoming JETAA officers! This will be another spectacular year!


Office of International Services (OIS) Student Programs Coordinator Position Opening

Posted by President

University of South Florida


The Office of International Services (OIS) Student Programs Coordinator is responsible for developing and facilitating programs to help international students integrate into campus and community life, and to promote interaction between international and domestic students. The Coordinator increases the visibility of OIS through marketing efforts and increasing the involvement of domestic students and community members in the mission of OIS.


This position reports to the Office of International Services Director. The Coordinator is charged with providing opportunities for international students, scholars, and staff to share their culture on camps and in the community and promote the increase of intercultural and global awareness. The Coordinator coordinates with university units to prioritize and allocates tasks to meet the needs of international students; organize administrative and academic areas to resources; and complies with university, campus, and departmental policies and procedures. The position supervises student workers, interns, and volunteers in support of program and activities.


  • Plan and organize traditional campus programming events for international students including New Student Information Sessions, Document Check, Welcome Party, Week of Welcome, Orientation, Homecoming Parade, International Festival, International Education Week, iBuddy and Graduating Sash Ceremonies. Establish the annual master calendar of OIS and produce monthly calendar of programs, activities, and workshops. Coordinate workshops and training programs for international students and scholars on topics such as US taxes, Navigating Life in the US, Using University Resources, Wellness, Getting Around Tampa Bay, Special Immigration Topics, and Life after Graduation. Arrange speakers, book rooms and serve as leader of sessions/workshops. Use social media to inform and market to students and scholars.
  • Collaborate with community organizations and seek new opportunities for OIS to be actively involved in community events and provide effective programs of volunteer service for international students. Manage partnerships to deliver basic services such as airport pick-ups, shopping trips, obtaining furniture, and holiday celebrations. Work with Fulbright local groups on programming for past and current Fulbright students and scholars.
  • Build new programs to meet the needs of new and continuing students, scholars, and their families. Establish programs such as International Coffee Hour, International Friends (Mentor) Program, English Conversation Class, International Speaker Series, Global Cafe, Women's Group, and Spouse Programs. Work with other offices on short term and summer programs.
  • Plan events to develop ties with future alumni, build up alumni database, and work with university partners outside the US. Assist with fundraising efforts.
  • Maintains wide knowledge of university and community resources available to students and scholars. Conduct research and assist director with developing policies and procedures to guide the delivery of international student services.

QUALIFICATIONS (Education & Experience):

Minimum Qualifications:

This position requires a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate area of specialization with at least one year of experience coordinating programs for students or scholars. Work experience may not be substituted for the Bachelor’s degree requirement for this position.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Master's degree in Higher Education, College Student Personnel, or other appropriate area of specialization preferred.
  • Experience planning activities and events, promoting interaction between international and domestic students, and ability to work with diverse populations.
  • Experience working with students in a college or university setting.
  • Exposure to international education as demonstrated by living in a different country, working or studying in a different country, or working with an international student population.
  • Experience developing and implementing marketing strategies.
  • Excellent written, oral, and organizational skills as well as desktop publishing and computer skill.
  • Ability to recruit, supervise and develop student workers/interns and volunteers.
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

This position is subject to a criminal background check.

Job Opening Number: 3788

Posting Date: 02/28/2014

Posting End Date: 03/12/2014


To apply go to https://gems.fastmail.usf.edu:4440/psp/gemspro-tam/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_HM_PRE&Action=A&SiteId=1

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