Saturday, December 10, 2016

Summer Japanese work at Concordia Language Villages

In 2016 two of our students worked as Japanese language staff at a Concordia Language Village. They seemed to enjoy the experience. Concordia is once again looking for staff members. This may be a good chance to use your Japanese, help young people, and make money over the summer in a fun environment. Let me know if you need a recommendation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

George Washington University conference on Showa Japan

Road to the Pacific War in Recent Historiography 

Co-sponsored by the Japan Publishing Industry Foundation of Culture and 
the Sigur Center for Asian Studies  

Friday, November 4, 2016
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St., NW, State Room, Seventh Floor   
Washington, DC 20052 

The conference will be followed by a reception at 4:00pm.

Why did Showa Japan rush into war? What was the key to its failure? To shed light on these questions 70 years after the war, the recently published book Fifteen Lectures on Showa Japan offers new research findings and the most up-to-date results of research on early Showa history in Japan. Four prominent Japanese historians who contributed to this volume will present on the following topics:

Professor Sochi Naraoka of Kyoto University
"World War I and Japan: the Start of a Foreign Policy Based on International Cooperation and the Two-Party System"

Professor Tomoki Takeda of Daito Bunka University
"Japan's Foreign Policy Strategy in the 1930s and Japan-US Negotiations"

Professor Kaoru Iokibe of Tokyo University
"The Early Showa Period within Modern History"

Professor Kiyotada Tsutsui of Teikyo University
"Army, Political Parties, and Public Opinion in the Early Showa Period" 

Discussants will include:

Ronald Spector, Professor of History and International Affairs, GW 

 Daqing Yang, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, GW

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

今日の諺 Today's Japanese proverb

目は口ほどにものを言う (めはくちほどにものをいう)

the eyes say as much as the mouth

The eyes express as much meaning as words. / Similar to "the eyes are the windows to the soul."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

今日の諺 Today's Japanese proverb


ten people, ten colors

If you ask ten people their opinions, you will get ten different opinions. / Everyone is different.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Memrise course for Intermediate Japanese

We have created a new Memrise course for the Intermediate Japanese class (JAPN-214). You can access it here:

Please check it out!

今日の諺 Today's Japanese proverb


If you want to understand the sea, think like a fish.

Try to understand how people feel in order to get along with or make friends with them. (Similar to walking a mile in their shoes.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Online "Virtual Exchange" with Kanto Gakuin University

This year marks the first year of an official online "virtual exchange" between American University and Kanto Gakuin University. After two years of pilot exchanges, the "virtual exchange" has finally become a part of the regular curriculum.

Intermediate level students meet up online once a week with their peers at Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, just outside of Tokyo. The students discuss timely topics relevant to what is studied in the classroom as well as current events, interests, and whatever they would like to know about life in each other's countries.

We hope to expand this "virtual exchange" in years to come to include all students who are interested in participating.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ibaraki Christian University in Hitachi, Japan unpaid internship

We are looking for students who are interested in doing an unpaid international internship related to teaching. Specifically, we are looking for interns to help undergraduate English majors in Japan improve their English. Interns will work with students in and outside of the classroom to help them academically and provide opportunities to practice English communication. Interns will also plan and create opportunities for students to use their English in nonacademic settings such as playing games, sports and other extracurricular activities.

Those interested in our program can visit for more information including testimonials from past participants. Please note that the position is ongoing. We welcome all students at American, Australian, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and United Kingdom colleges and universities irrespective of religious faith, culture and nationality.

While applications are welcome at all times, we are especially interested in applicants who would like to intern during our spring semester, between the months of April and July and our fall semester, which starts in late September and runs until the end of January. From this year, we are also changing our internship program to welcome interns for winter terms too. Interns are also welcome for a full academic year. Dates for internships are flexible and can be arranged depending on individual schedules.

October Japanese events at Hillwood (near AU)

Please check out these interesting events being held this month at the Hillwood Museum (just 2 miles from AU).

Nitori International Management Trainee Program

Nitori is a 1-year exclusive RPO project to hire 35 students graduating from universities in the US for full-time positions in Japan.  This is the 3rd consecutive year running the US program for Nitori and it is modeled after the JET Program, in terms of the support students receive in making their transition into life in Japan a smooth one.

The program is designed as a few years training position in Tokyo retail stores or headquarter office followed by a transfer to global offices including US and Japan. This role is a unique chance for students with Japanese and English ability to contribute to the globalization of a popular Japanese brand.

Full information about the company and position are available at:

Watch our 2 minute informational video: (this video was produced in 2015 and we are working new video)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA News Highlights

Sasakawa USA is hiring: Seeking a Congressional Relations Manager

Sasakawa USA currently is seeking a full-time Congressional Relations Manager to identify and develop relations with members and staff of the U.S. Congress and the executive branch to build greater understanding of U.S.-Japan relations. 

Upcoming events: Autumn 2016
As summer winds down and the temperatures begin to cool, Sasakawa USA's calendar is heating up with upcoming events in Washington D.C., Tokyo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Pensacola. Not all events are open to the public -----     check each event link for details and check their events page for new listings.  
Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA

1819 L Street NW
Suite 300
Washington DC 20036


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Haiku lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 27 @ Japanese Embassy


Discover how haiku has transcended culture and language to become one of the most popular forms of poetry in the world!

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC), invites you to a presentation and panel discussion on English-language haiku, a type of Japanese poetry known for its brevity and depth.
Award-winning haiku poet Abigail Friedman will present her internationally acclaimed lecture, Reading Haiku Beyond Borders. After her lecture, haiku poet Roberta Beary and co-founder of the World Haiku Association Jim Kacian will join us for a special discussion about the international appeal of haiku.
Come for an engaging lecture, open Q&A session, and official announcement as we gear up for the Embassy of Japan's annual haiku contest!

A retired U.S. diplomat and accomplished, award-winning haiku poet, Abigail Friedmanis most recognized for her books, I Wait for the Moonand The Haiku Apprentice. Her haiku, haibun, and writings on haiku have been featured in poetry publications in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Honored throughout North America, Europe, and Asia for her innovative and unconventional hybrid of haiku and senryu, Roberta Beary's book of short poems, The Unworn Necklace was selected as a William Carlos Williams Book Award finalist and Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award winner.
Founder of Red Moon Press, the largest publisher of haiku and haiku-related books outside of Japan, Jim Kacianhas written 14 books dedicated to haiku or haiku-related genres. He is co-founder of the World Haiku Association and founder and president of The Haiku Foundation. 
You are invited to
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
1150 18th St NW
Suite 100
Washington DC 20036 US
Event venue map
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. In the event of a cancellation, please contact us at

Doors open 30 minutes before the program. Program begins at 6:30PM.
No admittance after 7:00 or once seating is full, whichever occurs first.

Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee a seat.

1150 18th Street NW, Suite 100 | Washington, D.C. 20036-3838
TEL: 202-238-6900 | FAX: 202-822-6524 |
© 1991-2016 Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Japanese networking events next week

One of our finest Japanese language alumni, Ms. Sunny Zhang, wrote to us from the Japan-America Society of Washington DC with the following excellent opportunities to network and meet people interested in Japan.

I am writing to inform you that we will be holding two events next week on cultural exchange between Americans and Japanese:

  • On Thursday, September 14th, there will be Japanese students from the Japan Global Initiative Program to present the culture and uniqueness of Japan.
  • On Friday, September 15th, there will be a roundtable event with the Japan Global Initiative Program in the JASWDC office. The roundtable will be one hour networking and one hour discussion between American and Japanese students with food and drinks. Our office is conveniently located in downtown DC, near the Farragut North and Farragut West Metro stops.
Japan Global Initiative (JGI) is a new association which provides support and educational and cultural opportunities to enlighten and raise young professionals and leaders with global insight. The 2016 cohort comes from Utsunomiya University (Tochigi), Waseda University (Tokyo), Chuo University (Tokyo), and Hiroshima City University (Hiroshima).

This is a great learning and networking opportunity not only for American students who are studying about Japan and Asia, but also Japanese students who are currently studying in America. Moreover, college students will have a reduced entry of $15 for the happy hour/roundtable on Friday. 

If you have any questions, please email us at 

Monday, September 12, 2016

JLPT Deadline Coming Soon

The deadline to register for the December 4th Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is October 3rd. Make sure to register before the deadline if you would like to take the exam. You can take the test at Georgetown University here in Washington, DC.

Register here:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Miss Japan won by half Indian Priyanka Yoshikawa

This is an interesting development, for sure. She is the second half-Japanese winner in the last two years.

(image via

Amnesty International is hiring

The local coordinator for Amnesty International has contacted us with the following message for AU students and alumni:

Full Time/ Part Time Campaign Jobs with Amnesty International
Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization, comprising 7 million members worldwide.  We work on issues like protecting human rights defenders, stopping police brutality, and helping Syrian refugees.  You can find out more about our campaigns at 
We are looking to hire students to work directly for the organization in field based positions, talking to the public about our work and generating more support. We offer:  Base pay of $15/ HR, growth potential, a warm and welcoming work environment, great work experience, and the opportunity to work directly for the world’s largest human rights organization.  

Interested students should submit a short introduction and resume to:
We will contact successful applicants in 3-4 days.  Hope to hear from you! 

Working to protect human rights worldwide

Monday, September 5, 2016

AU Martial Arts Organization

AU students interested in traditional Japanese martial arts should see the attached flyer!

AUMAO flyer

2016-2017 Career Forums

Disco International (I love that company name) has once again sent us a list of their big Career Forums scheduled for the near future:

2016-2017 Career Forums
*Approximately 30 hiring companies
*Scholarships available for students to help cover travel expenses

BOSTON CAREER FORUM 2016 (Nov. 18 - 20)
*Approximately 200 hiring companies
*Scholarships available for students to help cover travel expenses

*Approximately 30 hiring companies
*Scholarships available for students to help cover travel expenses
*Special financial participation incentives for qualified IT/engineering students

Attached PDF flyer

2016 TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference III

This message was received from the US-Japan Council:

     I am writing today about an exciting opportunity for American and Japanese students at your school to participate in the 2016 TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference III held in Washington, D.C. October 20th-23rd.

The theme of the conference is "Exploring U.S.-Japan Relations in the Nation’s Capital: Leadership, Legacy, Politics and Policy." We are looking for enthusiastic undergraduate/graduate American and Japanese students who have interests in U.S.-Japan relations, Japanese or American culture, and/or want to meet peers with similar interests. It is an opportunity for leadership training, networking, to learn about Japanese and Japanese-American contributions on a national level, and to think about ways they, as students, might contribute to strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship in the present and future.  

There is no cost to students to participate! Transportation to and from the conference, as well as food and accommodations will be provided to all students free of charge.  Attached is our recruitment packet, with an invitation letter from our President, Irene Hirano Inouye, a flyer about the conference to share with students on your campus, as well as information about the application. This is an amazing opportunity and an excellent chance to share ideas and be part of the conversation.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Last night we had a very nice welcome (back) party for the Japanese language learners and Japanese exchange students at American University. I would like to thank everyone for attending and sharing their time with each other. I think everyone had a good time and most people might have made a few new friends. I would especially like to thank Gorky Cruz at CLEAR for hosting us. 皆さん本当にありがとうございました。すごく楽しかったです。I hope to see all of you again at future events over the course of the academic year. Feel free to invite your friends next time, as well!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Kyle Miyata Larson wins first Sprint Cup race!

Kyle Miyata Larson, 24 years old from Elk Grove, CA, became the first Japanese-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race yesterday at the 2016 Pure Michigan 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan.

After becoming the first Asian-American Rookie of the Year in 2013 for his wins in the Nationwide Series, he advanced to the prestigious Sprint Cup Series the following year.

The city of Elk Grove takes special pride in Kyle, giving him a key to the city in 2014. Mayor Gary Davis describing his rise in car racing, says, "He might be doing for NASCAR what Tiger Woods has done for golf."  Larson seems to be ready to give back to his town and his fans.

"Larson, dressed in a suit and tie, stayed outside for two hours in 96-degree heat signing autographs and posing for photos with every single person who waited in line. " (Holly Cain, NASCAR.COM)

Larson's grandparents, like many Japanese-Americans, were interned in camps in Tulelake, CA, during World War II, which ultimately led to them settling in California.

In 2014 Kyle welcomed his first child, Owen Miyata Larson. Perhaps the proud legacy will continue.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Japanese Program Meet & Greet (交換留学生の歓迎会)


We will be holding a Meet & Greet 歓迎会 for AU Japanese language students and exchange students coming from Japan.

Date: September 2, 2016 (Friday)

Time: 5:00 - 6:00 PM

Place: CLEAR, Asbury Hall, North Wing, Lower level

Please come and meet other Japanese language students (せんぱい and こうはい alike) as well as our new incoming Japanese exchange students. Let's welcome everyone (back) to American University and get to know each other!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sept. 26 talk - Reviving the Spirit Within: Minority languages of Japan


Reviving the Spirit Within: Minority languages of Japan

Date:    Sept. 26, 2016
Time:   5:30 PM
Place:   Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and  
             Research (CLEAR), Asbury - North Wing, Lower Level

This talk by Ken Knight, Ph.D., will be simultaneously hosted by the Japanese Language Program and CLEAR at American University and the Linguistics Student Organization at California State University Northridge.

Dr. Knight will discuss the cultural and political forces that have led to the marginalization and loss of native minority languages in Japan as well as revitalization efforts underway to counteract the cultural and linguistic attrition faced by native Japanese groups dispersed across the globe.

Please come and participate in this lively discussion.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Virtual Exchange with KGU

Professor McKim of Kanto Gakuin University met with Japanese Program Coordinator Ken Knight of AU in Shinjuku, Tokyo a few weeks ago to discuss the ongoing virtual exchange between the two universities. Beginning this academic year, the 10-week program becomes mandatory for intermediate students at AU. It offers an integral and immediate means of applying the Japanese that they have worked so hard to acquire (before even setting foot in Japan).

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tokyo Dinner 2016

AU students studying in Tokyo met with Waseda students scheduled to come to American University in the fall for a first-ever dinner meeting hosted by the Japanese Program head, Dr. Knight. Everyone met near Waseda at Takadanobaba and enjoyed an interesting meal including many hard-to-find skewered (串) foods. This event was very kindly sponsored by AU Abroad (with special thanks to Assistant Director Ethan Merritt)!

The entire group
Zoe's crazy asparagus
Presenting the asparagus
At the game center after dinner