Monday, October 26, 2009

Man in the Box - Facebook Abuse

Pretty much sums up my attitude toward Facebook. I don't mind the site so much, but I'm really glad I don't work in an office like this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In-Depth JET Application campus visits in San Diego

Hey Gang -

Here are the dates for the in-depth information sessions with Angel from the Japanese consulate in LA.

She will be at USD on Tuesday, October 27th from 12:30 to 2pm in the UC Forum A.

She (and I) will b at UCSD the same day (10/27) from 5pm to 6:30pm in the International Center lounge.

And she will also be at SDSU on Tuesday, November 3rd from Noon to 1:30pm at the International Students center.

For a complete list of all the information sessions in Southern California Click Here.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Jason does Kendo (剣道)- Part One

My most recent YouTube vlog. I edited some footage I shot back in July on the last day of school at my main Jr High School.

Some of the "honors" this video has after the first 24 hours it was on my channel:

#31 - Most Discussed (Today) - Japan
#1 - Most Discussed (Today) - Howto & Style - Japan
#9 - Most Discussed (This Week) - Howto & Style - Japan
#33 - Most Discussed (This Month) - Howto & Style - Japan
#13 - Most Viewed (Today) - Howto & Style - Japan
#83 - Most Viewed (Today) - Howto & Style - South Korea
#5 - Top Favorited (Today) - Howto & Style - Japan
#47 - Top Favorited (This Week) - Howto & Style - Japan
#52 - Top Rated (Today) - Japan
#1 - Top Rated (Today) - Howto & Style - Japan
#10 - Top Rated (This Week) - Howto & Style - Japan
#46 - Top Rated (This Month) - Howto & Style - Japan

My description from the YT sidebar:

After school, on the last day before summer vacation, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the kendo team at my main Jr High school one last time.

I decided I would put on all my gear and let the kids have one last whack at me after their practice ended.

Yamasaki sensei was kind enough to help me out with filming and explanations, and the whole team stuck around even though I'm sure most of them were pretty tired. (Practicing kendo, where you're wearing fairly thick clothing, in Japan in the summer time is a hot and sweaty job)

I can't really show the kids too much, but you'll see a little more of them in part TWO since they'll be wearing helmets. I really have enjoyed my time hanging out and working out with the kendo team, even though I've gone to practice less in my last two years.

I hope you enjoy this vlog, I apologize in advance for my poor Japanese, and I hope you watch part TWO - Coming Soon! :)



a good guide to kendo terms: Click Here

a beginner's guide to kendo with two methods for tying the tenogui: Click Here

けんどう(剣道)translates to "way of the sword"

Monday, October 19, 2009

UCSD and CSUSM campus visits

Hey Gang -

I'll be out recruiting for JET this week.

On Monday the 19th, I'll be at UCSD from 10am to 3pm.

It's a Programs Abroad EXPO and there will be lots of tables with lots of info.
Not sure where my table will be, but start at the Price Center and walk along and I'm sure you'll see me and oh-so-colorful signs. :)

I will also be at the Traveling Tukwut Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, October 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Kellogg Library Plaza at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM).

If you're near/at either of these schools, please stop by and say hello.

I will post information about the official information meetings later in the month at UCSD, USD, and SDSU in this blog next week. (Someone from the Japanese consulate in LA comes to these meetings to discuss the application in depth)

See ya,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2 recent web articles

The first one is just another reason I can't wait to move back to Japan...

Click Here

Don't get me wrong, I love America, I just wish it wasn't inhabited by so many idiots.

The 2nd article is about Japan:

Click Here

It's a list of ten things you should do if you visit Japan - I've done 8 of them. Anyone care to guess which 2 I HAVEN'T tried yet? :)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zeplin in Tokyo - 25 - Colab: What annoys you about Japan?

An interesting collaboration video I took part in.

The question posed was "What annoys you about Japan?"

There are some interesting and varied responses.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pictures from my last month in Shimane

final kendo at TJH - 8
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I uploaded about 50 more pics to my Flickr account.

These pics are all from July 2009, my last month living in Shimane.

I had a whirlwind month - trying to pack and get ready to go home, trying to say goodbye to places and friends, attending farewell parties, and having to say goodbye to students and teachers, many of whom I've known for 5 years.

Below is a sampling of some of the pics I can share on Flickr.

But before I explain those, the picture above is me (yes, me) in my full kendo gear. I wanted to shoot some video footage on me putting on all the gear, and the kendo coaches were nice enhough to oblige, and the kids on the team pitched in too. I'll try to get that footage edited together and posted on my YouTube page in the coming month.

Goodbye photo display TJH - 4

This picture is of my farewell display for my main Jr High School - Taisha Chu - where I taught for 5 years. I wanted to do a display that featured just the current students, so I made two displays with one featuring older students, now graduated, and this one featuring current kids.

HP at YouMe Town

It wasn't all hard days and sad memories tho - I got to see a bunch of my former students at farewell parties they threw for me, and a few invited me out to see the most recent Harry Potter film at the nice theater in Izumo.

Hearn by Harris library event - 12

Trying to bring closure to so many of my activities at school and in the community was difficult. I scheduled an elementary school teacher brain-storming meeting for the last week I was in Taisha, and ended up sleeping thru my alarm that morning (something I almost never do) and being late for the meeting, just so tired from all the packing and running around I was doing during my final week.

I also had a chance to end my time as a library volunteer with a special event I called "Hearn by Harris."
The above picture shows me reciting one of Lafcadio Hearn's speeches to a small audience of mostly friends and students and teachers. I wanted to pass along some advice on preparing students for speech contests, since I'd had so much fun doing that activity every year and my schools had enjoyed success at all of the contests.

Final day at Taisha Sho - 12

By far the toughest and most emotionally exhausting part of my final month was saying goodbye to the students and staff at all my schools, especially the ones I've been teaching at since 2004.

Some of the schools had really fun and touching farewell ceremonies for me on my final day, and I put up picture displays at all my elementary schools and my main Jr High School.

I really do miss my students - much more than I miss any particular aspect of Japan.

I wish I could show you all the fun pictures and video I have from these ceremonies, but I can't on the open internet.
Having said that, I am trying out a new online photo service called Phanfare that I like quite a bit. It's a much more private option than Flickr, and much easier for me to share my photos with people I know, since I can send specific links to content that remains private without requiring the viewer to register with the site.
If you know me personally, feel free to send me an email and I'll send you a link to more pics and video.

This might be my last update to FLICKR for a while. I might upload a few pictures from my life here in San Diego, but the site might be quiet until next year, when I plan on returning to Japan.

Thanks for your views and comments.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

【車窓風景】 一畑電車 川跡→出雲大社前(HQ推奨)

Someone sent me a link to this video, made by a Japanese train enthusiast.

It shows the scenery from Kawato station to IzumoTaisha station.

No narration or music, just the inaka passing by the window.

This is very representative of where I lived in Japan from 2004 to 2009.

In fact, I used to ride this train on occasion. During my first year, if it was raining, I would sometime take the train to school, as the final stop is about a 5 minute walk from my main Jr High School.

The 2nd to last station at about the 10minute mark (Hamayama koen station) is about a 5 minute walk from my old apartment.

You can see the huge, white torii for IzumoTaisha at about 12;49 into the video.

Enjoy a little glimpse into MY Japan.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

My new exclusive JET Twitter account

I've been using Twitter for a while now - mostly just for fun and personal Tweets and for following friends. I don't have a cell phone here in America, so I post to Twitter from my home MAC.

My general account is Taisha Jason.

But I thought it might be best to offer a Twitter account with general advice and guidance for JET Applicants and people interested in moving to Japan.

So I've started a 2nd Twitter account - just Click Here.

I've titled it JapanJET and I hope to make daily posts with small bits of information that I hope will be helpful to people going to Japan to live and work.

Feel free to leave feedback here or send me a note on Twitter.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Simon and Jason visit In-n-Out

Check out the video below - currently playing on my main YouTube channel (Myargonauts) - that features me and my cousin, Simon, who is visiting San Diego from England.

I took him out last week and our travels took us to In-n-Out Burger - my favorite fast food burger place.