Monday, December 27, 2010

What is your favorite Japanese film?

I took part in this YouTube collaboration, hosted and edited by a YouTuber living in Tokyo.

The film I talk about is "After Life" by Hirokazu Koreeda.

More info HERE.

My part in the video below starts at about the 4minute30second mark.


PS - What is your favorite Japanese film?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily English question

So I have a 1st year student who comes into my office just about every Mon, Wed and Friday just after the Media Center opens to ask me a question related to English grammar. Some are easier than others to answer and explain using my Japanese and simple English.

Here was today's question...

The set-up is this: it's a Family Circus one-panel comic strip.

Billy and Dolly (two children) are sitting at the kitchen table and their dog, Barfy, is watching them.
They're about to each eat a hot dog.

Billy says in the caption: "Hey! Don't say you-know-whats in front of Barfy."

OK - explain this cartoon to the Japanese student using simple English and very little Japanese, and specifically explain the usage of "you-know-whats" - you have 5 minutes. Go! :)


Go HERE if you aren't familiar with The Family Circus comic strip.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brian Setzer - Run Rudolph Run

Fun Christmas music from one of my favorite musicians!


Are Christians the New Persecuted?

Interesting video from one of my favorite information channels on YouTube.

Good back and forth viewpoints from 6 British citizens on why they think that Christians are or are not persecuted in the UK today.

I wish America was moving more towards the secularism that is evident in England, but that is unhappily not the case. When people like Sarah Palin can gain traction in American politics, it makes me very wary of America's future.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fukuoka Day 15 - Toyonoshima v Kisenosato - Nov. 28, 2010

A great sumo match from the final day of the Fukuoka Basho.

Check out my all-Sumo channel - JasonsinJapan (link on the right hand nav bar) - on YouTube for the final matches from senshuraku - Day 15 of the tournament.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

questions about why I vlog

A college student in America recently emailed me on YouTube via my Myargonauts channel, and asked me if I would answer a few questions about my vlogging experience for a class project.

So here are his questions and my answers.

Thanks for stopping by.


Have you ever felt nervous in front of a camera? Does the nervousness ever go away or is it something you just learn to deal with?

I don't feel nervous just talking to a camera. I do sometimes get nervous talking in front of large groups, but being a teacher gets you used to being up in front of a group and retaining their attention.

I don't think of all the people that will eventually watch the video - I just pretend I'm having a chat with one friend.

How do/did you overcome or learn to deal with camera shyness?

Again - I never really had camera shyness. I was in drama club and speech and debate when I was in High school, so

I've had lots of practice talking in front of others.

The first few vlogs I did with me just talking at the camera were a bit awkward, but I've gotten better by watching others and editing helps. It helps to think about what you're gonna say in detail before you start to record, so you're not searching for words while on camera.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their own vlog?

Watch other vloggers that you like - what do you like about their videos? Try to imitate their pace\style\topics, etc at first and then develop your own style.

If you want loyal viewers, then try to find a niche to fill - there are 1000s of vloggers - but not everyone is talking about the same thing - find something somewhat unique to talk about and then be consistent and sincere.

What equipment do you use?

Hand held digital camera for on location and sometimes indoors, and my built in iSight camera on my Mac.

Is the type of camera important?

It is if you want to shoot widescreen or in HD - but for simple vlogs where it's just you talking at the camera, then not really.

Lighting and sound are more important - make sure your face is well lit and we can hear you and there is no music drowning out your voice.

What software do you use for editing video?

I often just upload what I shoot straight - I'm kinda known for my one-take vlogs. But when I do need to edit or add titles, I use iMovie on my Mac.

What is your editing process?

If I'm trying to be more entertaining than informative - then I try hard to keep the pace brisk and edit to the music.

Why did you decide to start vlogging?

At first I was just uploading small 1 or 2 minute clips - mostly of my school life.

But I started to watch more and more YT vloggers in Japan and I thought I could take a shot at talking to the camera.

I was already getting emails with questions about Japan, even tho I only had about 100 subscribers when I did my first on-camera vlog. Then I looked around YouTube and noticed no one really had made videos about the process of becoming a JET and I found my niche.

Did you know any other vloggers at the time?

I was an active commentator on other vlogs, but I didn't know any of them in person.

Was it hard to start a vlog?

No - they're incredibly easy to start. Everyone has a few good stories to tell, etc.

They are though very hard to maintain. To post consistently for a year or two takes some dedication.

You will run out of ideas or motivation from time to time, but if you have loyal viewers, they'll inspire you, give you suggestions, and make you want to keep going.

How did you know what to say or what to vlog about?

Well, there seems to be a bottomless well of people that are interested in Japan and learning Japanese who watch YouTube.

So talking about Japan became my main niche.

When I decided to start talking about movies or my other interests, such as watching Sumo, I actually started new channels so it wouldn't distract from my main channel's Japan focus.

Why have you continued to vlog?

Well, the JET Programme recruits new JETs every year, so there are always new folks coming along that want to come to Japan and learn about JET. So I keep vlogging for them.

What motivates you to keep vlogging?

My viewers are by and large a great group of people. They are very appreciative of the work I do, and they leave me great comments and send me wonderful emails. That is a big motivation. And now that I'm no longer a JET, but am back in Japan and teaching at a university, I hope to have all new insights and adventures that I can share with my viewers.

-Jason H.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My new students - already poking fun at their teacher

Overall, my new college students are a pretty cool bunch.

I have about 53 ichi nen sei (Freshmen) who are 18/19 years old,
and I have about 49 ni nen sei (Sophomores) who are 19/20 years old.

My classes are 90 minutes, but split into 2 sessions with a 5 minute passing period between them.
So I teach for 45 minutes, that group of 25 or so students leave and the next group comes in for their 45 minutes.

The other half of the 90 minutes is spent reading. My students are supposed to read 10,000 English words every week. They have a bunch of ESL books to choose from which are color coded to difficulty level - so white sticker books are the easiest, with easy vocabulary and smaller word counts, and up to dark blue books, which are like regular novels.

I'm the only teacher in my classroom, and I'm in charge of all the lessons, grading, attendance, etc. Quite a change from the ALT status of most JETs, myself included.

Today I was teaching my 1nen sei about the English word "too." As in "too young" or "too old."
They had a list of 6 opinions and had to guess the age the person was talking about.
For example, "She is too young to drive a car." What age do you think this person is?

So I went around class asking various students their ideas.
One opinion was "He's too old to play soccer." I asked one girl and she said "40."
I laughed and told her I was 41, so I'm not allowed to play soccer anymore?
The class laughed as I pretended to mark down minus 1 pt for her answer.

Later I asked a boy about the opinion "She's to old to dance." He responded "45."
So I'm too old to play soccer and almost too old to dance.

The last question was about marriage.
"He's too old to get married."
I asked a boy about this in the previous class, and he said "There is no age limit on love." In English! Awwwwww....
But in this class, the boy I asked responded "35."
I pretended to immediately mark him down 1 pt for the answer and everyone laughed.
I mimed that I can only move around in a wheel chair according to them and should just watch TV all day. :P

I know when you're 18 or 19, 40 does seem awfully old, but the funny thing is I don't "feel" 40 most of the time. Compared to my fellow professors, who are all married and most have kids, I feel like a single, fun-loving guy.

It was an interesting follow-up class to the Tuesday lesson which kicked off this unit about life transitions, such as graduating from school, getting a job, buying a house, getting married, etc.
Aside from some interesting cultural differences, when I asked them what the most important transition in a child's life is, and what the most important transition in an adult's life is, I got some interesting answers.
They have a ceremony here for when you turn 20 years old, and some cited that as an important childhood transition.
But I tend to think of 20-year-olds as adults. I think a big childhood transition is learning to walk and talk and going to school for the first time.
Maybe the 20-year-old ceremony is a good transition for adolescence to adulthood.
According to the supplied phrases in the textbook I'm using, common activities that define the stage of life called "adulthood" include getting a job, getting married, and buying a house. I'm 1 for 3 on those criteria. See, I told you I wasn't a real adult yet. :)

Anyway - class is going well overall, and my kids seem to be enjoying my lessons and learning along the way.

too old to dance, but never too old to sing karaoke! :D

Monday, October 11, 2010

Swap Meet in Oceanside

Swap Meet in Oceanside - 4
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I had a big storage unit for the 5 years I was in Japan - full of "stuff." No furniture or practical items, mostly just comics, CDs, books, DVDs, toys, etc, etc.

So little by little after I got home I started to sell stuff off. First, I found a guy in LA who bought 30 "long comic boxes" from me for about $600. I only kept about 3 long boxes of my most favorite books.

Then we had a garage sale at the house, and I sold my Laser Discs players, a bunch of Star Wars toys, and other stuff.

I traded in a bunch of CDs for credit at a local used shop, and eventually got my 10'x10' storage space, which I was paying $76/month for, down to a 5x10 space, thus making my monthly rent $54.

I figured that was about it, when I got an email after I listed some comics on Craigslist from the local organizers of a swap meet in Oceanside. They wanted to have a "collector's con" aimed at comic fans, Pokemon fans, anime fans, etc.

It was only $25 to rent the space, and even tho I'd never sold at a swap meet before, I decided to give it a try just two weeks before I was set to leave for Japan.

Luckily I knew a pal, Mark, who had helped when we ran the booth at Comic Con back in July, so I called him up and arranged for him to help me for part of the day. He ended up working the whole 9 hours, and we were pretty busy - I sold over $600 worth of stuff, so minus some expenses I made about $450.

It was a lot of work, but overall it felt good to "give away" some of my stuff and let others enjoy it instead of it just sitting in my dark storage for another potential 4 or 5 years.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back in Japan - Jason's Adventures Phase 3

Hello All -

I made it back to Japan earlier this month and right now I'm in the process of getting the necessary visas etc to allow me to start work at the university.

I'm living in another rural town - much like Taisha where I lived before - but this time I'm not with JET, but I've been hired to teach English at a fairly small university.

I'll have Freshmen and Sophomores my first year and also be helping out with their language support room in the media center. Should be plenty to keep me busy, and lots of new challenges as I've never taught that age student before.

September has been really hot and humid so far, but I'm settling back in somewhat - today was actually the first "coolish" day we've had so far - haven't had to turn on the aircon once today so far, which is nice.

I'm watching sumo and eating ramen and getting back into some of my old habits.

I'll be moving into my new apartment in mid-October, and I've been lucky so far as local folks - new friends - have been nice enough to offer me a place to stay until then.

I hope to have lots of new adventures in Japan to tell you about.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun email from a former student

It's always fun to get email from my students, and this one showed up in my inbox this morning somewhat out of the blue...

Kaori was a student who graduated from my Jr High in 2007 and she is now at a university. I mentioned her in a vlog - she's a super cool kid, but I hadn't communicated with her in a while - I sent her a message when I visited Japan back in March when she was graduating from HS, but she was so busy, she never got back to me.

Japanese people in general are notoriously slow at replying to email, so just be patient if you try to strike up a correspondence with someone in Japan.

Here is the email (with slight edits for content, but it's all her own style and wording):

Dear Jason

Hello! Jason! How are you?

I'm kaori k........ I was Taisha junior high school student 4 years ago.

Do you remember me?

I'm sorry to sent you the letter so long time.

I was very busy that time.

I would sent the letter because I had very happy news.

I passed the university exam!

Now , I go to university of M.........

M........ is far.

It is 12 hour from Shimane by car.

But M........ is very good place!

Many people is kind!

I like M........!

I enjoy life.

Jason,what are you going to do this summer?

I am going to do volunteer activity during summer vacation!

And, reading many books ,listening many musics ,thinking many things etc....

I am going to enjoy this summer vacation!

I hope that you enjoy this summer!!

Good bye,Jason!

from kaori k.........

Here is a pic of us in school back in 2006:

Yukiko, Kaori & me

Kaori and her classmate Yukako used to write me letters in English for practice:

Letters from Kaori & Yukako - 2

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jason & SpongeBob

Jason & SpongeBob
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I've posted the rest of my San Diego Comic Con pics at my Flickr site - enjoy!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zack (Walter) and Jason at Comic Con 2010

Zack (Walter) and Jason at Comic Con 2010
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I've got well over 150 pics on the way, as well as tons of video footage too from the 2010 San Diego Comic Con.

I worked Preview night on Wednesday and then all 4 full days from Thursday to Sunday at a friend's booth in the retailer section of the main convention floor. But I also had time to spend some money, attend some panels, and see some celebrities, old and new.

If you don't know the "celebrity" in the photo above, just Google "Walter Jones Zack" and you'll see... :)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Jason's going to Comic-Con & selling stuff

I'm going to Comic Con this year all 4 days + Preview Night on Wednesday. I have to help out at a friend's booth in exchange for the 5-day pass, so I won't be able to see all the panels I want to go to, but I hope to hit a few of the big ones, including panels about Tron, Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory and Scott Pilgrim.

I hope to take footage each day and make vids for my TaishaJason YT channel in August.

Friday, July 09, 2010

NHK not to air next sumo competition live

I'll still try to have updates on my all-Sumo channel on YouTube - JasonsinJapan - but my access to footage via TV Japan may be limited.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

4th of July and Holidays in Japan

Here is my latest vlog - shot around my house in San Diego on July 4th - Independence Day.

I also talk about holidays in Japan - what days are similar, what days have no meaning in Japan and how this is an opportunity for JETs to teach a little about your culture, whether you're from the UK, Australia, Canada, America or elsewhere.

In the text below the video on the YouTube page, I ask my viewers to leave a comment telling me what their favorite holiday is and why. Feel free to leave a comment here on this page too.

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fuyu Yasumi 2010: An ALT Goes to New York

My friend and fellow JET (altho I guess I'm now a former-JET) made this excellent video chronicling his trip home last year for winter vacation. He used it in his classes in Japan with his Jr High students.

Good example of how you can bring real world information and practical knowledge into the classroom and make your lessons more interesting for your students.

Well done Eric!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

男らしい日本語って: Manly Japanese

Great video by a fellow J-vlogger living in Shiga ken.

With subtitles so you can follow along if you don't speak Japanese.

The stuff at the end about approaching a woman is pretty funny.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

New vlog from TaishaJason channel

Do you have a good "random act of kindness" story? Please feel free to share in the comments below or over on the forums at

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blog TV May 29th at 8pm PST

join me tonight for a chat about JET, Japan and anything else that comes up.

Click Here for my Blog TV channel.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great vid on arguing with Japanese people

Made by my pal Hiko and some of his friends. With English and Japanese subtitles.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Grand Sumo Tournament has started

Sumo has started once again, and even tho I'm currently living in California, I still watch sumo daily via a cable channel I pay for here called TV Japan.

I'll have highlights and commentary on my all-Sumo channel on YouTube - JasonsinJapan.

Just click on the video below to be taken to my YouTube main channel page for sumo.


Friday, May 07, 2010

money vs happiness

I've got a good job now in California. I make decent money, my co-workers are generally cool people, the office is nice and conveniently located, and the work itself is fairly easy.

But it doesn't excite me - it doesn't challenge me very often - it's very repetitive. I don't wake up excited about going to work - I do it out of duty and obligation, instead of any desire to contribute to the greater good.

I know some of you are saying, "You're making good money at a decent job - why complain?"

Because I had a job for 5 years that I really ENJOYED and I was pretty good at doing.
And I take the train most days to work and I can see the drones making their way to their offices each day to punch the clock and put in their hours so they can afford a new iPad and go out on the weekends. I don't want to become one of those drones.

Which is why I'm going to give up a much better paying job in a city I really like to move back to Japan and work for less money in a city where I won't know anyone.

If my 5 years on JET taught me one thing about myself, it's that I really love teaching. I like the day to day challenge of it - the quest to find a better way to involve and interest your students in their lessons - the ever-changing variety - the school atmosphere in Japan with large school events and it's own brand of school spirit. And I enjoy teaching English.
Perhaps not as much as I would if I could teach history, which is a subject closer to my heart, but with English it's easier in a way to notice real progress in your students. At the end of the year you can tell if they learned anything and are able to communicate at a higher level than when they started.

So I'll be giving up job security in California for the unpredictable and sometimes frustrating job of teaching English in Japan - and I can't wait! :)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog TV April 24 & 25

I'll be on Blog TV tomorrow at 8pm PST and most likely again on Sunday at Noon.

Swing by for a chat if you can.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What's your favorite Japanese food?

My buddy in Kobe, Japan - BusanKevin - made a collab video featuring a bunch of YouTube pals talking about their favorite Japanese food.

I'm in there toward the end of the video. I mention Pocky - which is my favorite Japanese snack, but if I were in Japan when he made this request, my guess is I would have gone out to a restaurant and filmed me eating something like Japanese curry or okonomiyaki or yakisoba - some of my favorite Japanese dishes.

What Japanese food do you like?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yokozuna Hakuho v maegashira #4 Tosayutaka

Yokozuna Hakuho v maegashira #4 Tosayutaka
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I uploaded about 40 pics to my Flickr site from Day 10 of the Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament. Click on the picture above to see more.

HD video from that day is available on my all-SUMO YouTube channel -


Friday, March 26, 2010

computers translating Japanese to English

I got the cutest email from a former student this past week.

I saw her at graduation and we exchanged emails - if you're lucky as an ALT you'll have students like her that are eager to continue using their English and communicating with you even tho you are no longer their teacher.

But her email shows a little lack of confidence on her part in regards to her English ability. Many of my kids use an online translation program when sending me email, because they don't want to make mistakes in their English.
What they don't realize is how bad most translating programs are, as you'll see in a moment.

This example isn't actually that bad - I can read and understand what she was trying to say.

Here is the email:

Hi ! Jason !

It passed the high school.

I am very indebted to you.

Speaking with you was very happy.

Your smile was loved.

It never forgets.

Thank you for a lot of memories.

It is you bright and it will exist in the future.

You are loved.


Tennis works hard.

It assists in Jayson from Japan.

It doesn't forget.

Thank you up to now.

Moreover, it E-mails.


Knowing a little about Japanese, you can clearly see sentences where she wrote a typical Japanese sentence and the translation program turns it into readable but stiff English that no native speaker would ever say.

For example, a typical phrase used in messages of thanks is "ima made arigatou gozaimasu" which the computer turned into "Thank you up to now." Not bad, but my guess is most native speakers would say something more like "Thanks for all your help in the past" or "I really appreciate all the help you've given me."

And the computer often inserts "it" if the Japanese omits a subject such as I or me.

Anyway - it was a cute email, and students like this one are the reason I went back to see them all graduate.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Adachi Museum of Art

Adachi Museum of Art - 6.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Hey Gang -

I posted about 30 pictures to my Flickr site I took last Sunday at the Adachi Museum of Art, near Matsue in Shimane.

The Adachi Museum is very famous for its gardens, constantly rated among the best in all Japan.

I got my camera back from the camera store, where they were able to replace/fix the shutter button (cost - $100) in about a week.

So it was nice to have my new Nikon Coolpix L110 with me at the museum. I'm still getting used to all the settings, etc., but I was able to take some nice shots. Click on the picture above to be taken to my Flickr site.

Below is one of SIX short movies I shot at the museum using my new Nikon, which shoots HD movies in 720p.
So if you click on the movie to watch it on YouTube, you can select to view it in HD and it looks pretty good. You can also click around to see the other 5 parts.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Snowing! Snowing!

We've had really crazy weather since I've been back in Japan - even a full blown snow storm one day, which I capture here.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - My new Website

Hello All -

Well - this blog is nearing its end. Not that it's going away - I plan on keeping it here as an archive, and for anything I want to post that doesn't fit my new website.

What's that you say - you don't know about my new website??

Well head on over to and check it out!

Here is a little video introduction I made for the site:

I've been helped a lot with the site by my web guru friend from Finland - Linus. I don't have the computer skills to put all the code together, etc.

We've got a lot more to do to make it a great resource for people wanting to know about living and working in Japan, but it's a good start and over the course of the next 4 or 5 months, I hope to make it a helpful site for everyone interested in JET and Japan.

I'll still post here occasionally and use it for posting fun videos I find on YouTube, but text posts will most likely move to the blog I'm starting at

So head over to the site, join in on the forums, and thanks to everyone that has been reading this blog, which has chronicled my life in Japan since 2004.


And here is a video I made with my Dad, John, announcing the debut of JapanJuku.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day in Japan

I used to get a lot of "giri-choco" and special presents from my kids/students when I was teaching in Japan.

Almost always homemade, the cakes and chocolate were always delicious!


I was on TV! (Subtitled)

A fun vid from a fellow J-vlogger from America named Samantha.

Well done on the singing Sammi!

With subtitles for those that don't speak Japanese.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Asashoryu retires and leaves SUMO - Feb. 4, 2010

The big news from the world of Sumo.

I'm stunned and disappointed, but not entirely shocked, since this seems like the culmination of many transgressions over the yokozuna's career.

But the sport will miss him this year, and I will miss him as well.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine and Matchmaking (Izumo City, Matsue City Shimane)

A short, 3-minute video in English, with nice views of my former home-town - Taisha in Shimane.

I'll be heading back to Shimane in March to attend graduation ceremonies and visit friends and students. I'm very excited to be going back.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Britt, Mom, & Lynda at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo

Britt, Mom, & Lynda at the entrance
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I joined my sister, niece and Mom for a trip to the San Diego Zoo in early January.

It's been about 3 years since I'd been to the Zoo - I went with my Mom and Dad during a trip home from Japan in 2007.

San Diego has a wonderful zoo, with great exhibits and lots of animals. And we had a wonderful day - it wasn't too crowded and the weather was fantastic.

Click on either picture here to see a few more from the day.

I also shot lots of video and will edit all the footage together soon for a video on my YouTube channel.



Monday, February 01, 2010

My niece, Brittany and my sister, Lynda

My niece, Brittany and my sister, Lynda
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I haven't posted many pics from my time back in San Diego since I got back to the States in August 2009.

So I'll try to put up some pics from some of the fun I've been having while at home in San Diego.

Just after I got back, my sister, Lynda, along with her daughter, Brittany (my niece), and I went to LegoLand, which is about 10 minutes from where we live.

Brittany had been working a summer job at the park, so we were able to get in for free and enjoy a casual day of walking around in what is really a park for families with small children. But we still had fun.

I made a video about it on my main YouTube page here:

Enjoy the pics and I'll try to post more soon.

Jason Vader

LegoLand in Carlsbad, CA - #11

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

My friend Chris, from high school, had a hand in making this video. Great stuff!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yellow Lightcycle - Tron Legacy

Yellow Lightcycle - Tron Legacy
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I am a HUGE fan of the original TRON movie from 1982. I saw it a bunch of times in the theater when I was about 12 or 13 years old.

I had a great, special-edition DVD of the original movie, and it got stolen off the front seat of my car one day back in 2004. (Note to self - re-buy that DVD)

And it looks like they're gonna do the original movie proud with this sequel: Tron - Legacy that comes out in December.

I might be living in Japan in December, so I hope they get the movie that same month. Can't wait to see it!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

I like Superman

I like Superman
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

More pics from 2004. These feature me in a classroom doing my jikoshokai (self-introduction) in front of a combined class of 3rd graders at one of my five Japanese elementary schools during my first year as an ALT in Shimane.

I encourage you to click the pic above and go to the page these pictures are on and read the captions below each picture for more information.


Friday, January 22, 2010

チュッキョ・フィギュア 浅田真央 インタビュー 2週目

There is an INCREDIBLE amount of coverage of Mao Asada on YouTube. Just click on the above video to watch on YT and then look to the right at all the "related" videos and you'll see an endless amount of vids about the Japanese figure skater.

I can't imagine any American skater in recent years getting as much media time year-round as Mao gets in Japan.

I was in Japan for the last winter Olympics, where the Japanese had disappointment after disappointment, except for the one Gold Medal they got in womens' figure skating for Arakawa's brilliant routine.

I'm sure the pressure will really be on Asada as the country hopes for another Gold Medal in February in Vancouver.

The only reason I see these videos on YouTube is that I'm currently posting SUMO videos every day to my all Sumo channel. When one of my videos gets a lot of ratings or comments, it often ends up in the Top Most Rated or Top Most discussed videos in all of Japan for the sports category. And inevitably, the video at #1 will be a Mao Asada video.

She sure has her fans!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pictures of me teaching in Elementary school

Shaking Hands
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I encourage you to click on the above picture and go to my Flickr site to view all the pictures AND read the captions! :)

I'm often asked to show lessons from my classes, and usually if I'm taking the pictures, I'm not in them, but this was my first year as an ALT (February 2005) and one of the HRTs took these pics of me with a combined class of about sixty 3rd graders.

I sorted thru and found a bunch that don't show faces clearly, so you can get some idea of how I would conduct a lesson. This was a simple lesson of learning words from flashcards - a common lesson at Japanese elementary schools.
We also did a dance/song and played a board game in this extended class that lasted about 80 minutes (with a break in the middle).

I found this CD rom of pics in my boxes of stuff from Japan and haven't seen these pics in about 5 years. Do I look younger? :)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

funny story from school - messing up in Japanese

Do you have a funny story about messing up while trying to speak a foreign language? Or a story of a foreigner speaking to you in English and just getting it all wrong? Leave a comment. :)


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great website about Taisha in Japanese and English

My former Japanese language tutor, Imaoka sensei, and an ALT from Taisha who I've known for 4 years - Angharad James - worked on the English language version of a guide to famous local sites in Taisha, like Izumo Taisha shrine.

It's a really great page of photos and information - so check it out Here!

Here are the opening lines:

Japanese speakers may refer to this guide when giving a tour of the Izumo Taisha area to English speakers. The following questions are ones foreign visitors might ask at the sites.


This site makes me very nostalgic for my town.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stache - yes or no?

In the first 6 hours after I posted this video today, I've gotten one-hundred comments. hahaha

Click on the "watch on YouTube" link and read some of the comments - fun stuff!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome to the January 2010 Grand Sumo Tournament - Hatsu Bashou

I'm starting my coverage of the January Grand Sumo Tournament today - and continuing thru to January 24th.

Come on over to my all-sumo channel for daily updates.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

It's cold in Japan, even inside my apartment!

About one year ago I filmed the above video in my apartment in rural Japan. It was COLD!

And today I'm sitting in my parents' house in San Diego and it's sunny and about 70.F (21.C) and lovely outside. :)