Memories of Japan
"The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is operated by local authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). The JET Programme was started with the purpose of increasing mutual understanding between the people of Japan and the people of other nations. It aims to promote internationalization in Japan's local communities by helping to improve foreign language education and developing international exchange at the community level." http://www.jetprogramme.org/; http://jetprogramme.com/
From 1998 through 2000, I participated in the JET Programme and was placed in Gunma Prefecture (ken), 3 1/2 hours northwest of Tokyo. Speaking little to no Japanese, I left the big cities of New York & New Jersey to live in a town of approximately 15,000 people. I was assigned to the Board of Education of Agatsuma town (machi) in Agatsuma county (gún), assigned to work in 4 Junior High Schools (chūgakkō = chū) with occasional visits to all 4 of the elementary schools (shōgakkō = shō), 4 kindergartens (yōchièn) and 4 pre-schools (shūgakumaè).
It was the best of times and the worse of times. In summary: I joined the Peer Support Group and later became the National Coordinator; lead/hosted Peer Support Group training seminar at Kobe Renewers Conference (5/99) with guest supervisor, Tomoko Osawa; Started off with kyudu but didn’t continue but did continue with Aikido for the 2 years; participated in the worldwide Ikaho Aikido demo 4/99; Prefectural Advisor Training 1 & 2; part of panel discussion at Prefectural Advisor Training 2, Occassional Japanese lessons but turned out mostly socializing with Japanese friends. Komochi-mura orphenage visits. Attended 2 Int'l Mental Health Providers-Japan (IMHP-J) conferences (Kyoto & Saitama),Participated in tea ceremonies as well as Korean & Polish cooking. Traveled to: Hokkaido (2x), Kyoto (2x), O’ahu (Hawaii), Kobe (2x), Osaka (2x), Nagano, Niigata, Tochigi, Yokohama, Saitama, (Tokyo, Gunma),Fukushima, Sendai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Singapore, Paris, Kenting, Taipei, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Ehime, Viet Nam, Beppu, and Izu Pennisula. I taught and was taught, made life long, wonderful friends from around the world and above all learned the differences and similarities between cultures. It was more than just a job. It became my favorite Gunma, known for its strong winds and strong women. A perfect fit.
Owner: Dominique Eugene
Size: 198 items