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Let's Talk Japan Podcast
58 minutes | Feb 14, 2016
028 Recent Japanese Cinema with Maurice Maloney
In this episode, Nick and Maurice Maloney (JET Alum, Fukui 2004-06) review the 2015 Cinematsuri Japanese Film Festival and share their opinions on which of these films you should see for yourself.
59 minutes | Mar 21, 2015
027 Yurei: The Japanese Ghost
In this episode, author, translator and folklorist Zack Davisson shares his vast knowledge of the Japanese supernatural. Zack has written extensively about this topic on his website hyaku-monogatari and is the author of the upcoming and much anticipated book, Yurei: The Japanese Ghost.
45 minutes | Nov 11, 2014
026 DISCO International Bilingual Recruiting
In this episode, Nick speaks with Catherine Rackley of DISCO International, a human resources firm specializing in Japanese-English bilingual recruitment. Whether you’re currently job searching or just curious about bilingual employment possibilities, this episode is full of useful information.
16 minutes | Aug 24, 2014
025 Making The Most Of Your JET Program Experience
It’s late summer, and that means hundreds of new JET Program participants have recently started their new life in Japan. In this episode, I share my thoughts on what steps they can take to have an enjoyable and memorable Japan experience. The Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching Smile Kids Japan Temple University Japan Testing Center Monbukagakusho Scholarship Information
48 minutes | Aug 3, 2014
024 Kokoyakyu – High School Baseball (JET Talks Series)
Welcome to a special JET Talks Edition of the Let’s Talk Japan Podcast. This episode features a panel discussion with the producers of “Kokoyakyu,” a documentary about high school baseball in Japan and the quest to qualify for the national summer baseball tournament at historic Koshien Stadium. High school baseball in Japan is a national obsession, and the Koshien summer tournament is a wonderful event through which to gain insight into Japanese society. The 96th National Summer Baseball Tournament will be played at Koshien Stadium beginning Saturday, August 9th, and will end with the championship game on Saturday, August 23 at 1pm (JST). Here is a list of this year’s teams, a schedule of the games, and the internet live stream link. Here are some other great Japan baseball related resources: You Gotta Have Wa & The Meaning of Ichiro, by Robert Whiting Banzai Babe Ruth, by Rob Fitts Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast Yakyu Baka website “JET Talks” is a speaker series organized by the JET Program Alumni Association of Washington, DC (“JETAADC”). JET Talks is loosely modeled after the TED Talks concept and features dynamic and interesting speakers with the goal of inspiring innovative ideas and conversations on Japan-related themes.
73 minutes | Jun 29, 2014
023 JET Program 2014 Pre-Departure Orientation, Washington, DC
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a pre-departure orientation for new JET Program participants, organized by the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan. The orientation covered a wide range of topics, and I am very grateful to the Japanese Embassy for allowing me to record the event and use the audio on the podcast. The presenters were all JET Program alumni, who shared their first-hand experiences and advice with the new JETs on a wide range of topics. In this episode, I have included three particularly useful presentations; including: (1) Things To Do Before You Leave; (2) Life in Japan; and (3) Life as an Assistant Language Teacher. These are just a few of the topics covered at the orientation, and I hope to share more of them with you in a future episode. Recommended JET Program Resources: The JET Program’s Official Website The JET Program’s USA Website Great JET Program youtube video created by an alum JET Program FAQs The JET Program Alumni Association Website The CIR Homepage Recommended Life in Japan Resources: Surviving in Japan (started by a JET Program alumni) Gaijinpot Don’t forget to follow the podcast on Twitter @letstalkjapan, and if you’ve enjoyed the topics covered so far, consider leaving a positive rating and review in iTunes. Doing so will make it easier for others to find Let’s Talk Japan when searching for Japan-related content. As always, feel free to email questions or comments to: email@example.com
64 minutes | Apr 5, 2014
022 Dave Carlson of the Japanofiles Podcast
In this episode, Nick speaks with Dave Carlson, a longtime resident of Japan and host of the popular Japanofiles Podcast. Originally from Michigan, Dave first came to Japan in 1983. Since then, he has resided in Japan on and off for 21 of the last 30 years. Together, Nick and Dave discuss a wide range of topics related to life in Japan, as well as what Dave has learned from other non-Japanese residents through producing his podcast. Some of Nick’s favorite Japanofiles episodes include: Episode 3 – Buying a home in Japan Episode 24 – Operating a traditional Japanese inn Episode 35 – Bicycling in Japan Episode 40 – Building a cabin in Japan Episode 43 & 45 – Life in rural Nagano
28 minutes | Mar 12, 2014
021 Cinematsuri Japanese Film Festival
In this episode, Nick speaks with Ambassador John Malott, President emeritus of the Japan American Society of Washington, DC about the inaugural Cinematsuri Japanese Film Festival. In addition to discussing what it takes to organize such an event, they cover recent trends in Japanese cinematography and introduce some of the best new films from Japan. As always, you can rate the podcast in iTunes, check it out on Facebook, or following along with Twitter.
55 minutes | Feb 9, 2014
020 Occupied Kyoto
In this episode, Nick sits down with Washington, D.C. native Jan Evans Hauser to discuss her experience living in Kyoto, Japan during the American occupation following WWII. At the time, Jan’s step-father was Brigadier General Eugene Harrison, who was the Chief of Staff to Major General Joseph Swing, the commander of the U.S. Army’s 1st Corps. During the occupation, 1st Corps was headquartered in Kyoto and responsible for administering the Southern half of occupied Japan. Together Nick and Jan discuss what life was like in Japan immediately after the war and how Kyoto captivated her imagination, just as it has so many others. To learn more about the Daimau Villa and its architect, click HERE. If you’re a fan of victorian architecture and find yourself in Washington, DC, I highly recommend a tour of the Heurich House Museum, built by Jan’s grandfather. For great reads about Kyoto, generally, and the American occupation of Japan, specifically, check out the following titles: The Heike´ Story, by Eiji Yoshikawa The Lady and The Monk, by Pico Iyer Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide, by Judith Clancy Embracing Defeat, by John W. Dower Kyoto Journal If you enjoyed this interview, you should also listen to Episode 4, in which I interviewed a close family friend about surviving the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast and life in Japan during and after the war. As always, you can rate the podcast in iTunes, check it out on Facebook, or following along with Twitter.
43 minutes | Jan 6, 2014
019 – Japanese Translation & Interpretation
In this episode, Nick speaks with Stacy Smith about the joys and challenges of working as a professional Japanese translator and interpreter. Stacy worked as a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR) for the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program in Kumamoto prefecture before eventually returning to the United States and turning her love of Japanese into a career. When not on the road with work, Stacy lives in New York City. Together Nick and Stacy discuss: how she became interested in the Japanese language how she went about deciding to become a professional translator & interpreter the impact of technology on the world of professional translation & interpretation and tips for improving your own Japanese study habits To learn more about Stacy, check out her website as well as her blog posts for JETwit. Also, here’s a great article about Japanese translation and interpretation. A special thank you to everyone who has left a positive rating and review in iTunes. The podcast can also be found on Facebook and you can interact with me on a more regular basis on Twitter @letstalkjapan
27 minutes | Dec 14, 2013
In this episode, Nick speaks with Michael Veltri, the owner and chief instructor of DC Aikido, about the history, philosophy and benefits of Aikido. If you live in the Washington, DC area and are interested in learning more about Aikido, I highly recommend you take a look at Veltri-sensei’s dojo. In addition to their webpage, you can check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Veltri-sensei recommends that all his students read The Spirit of Aikido, by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I also found The Aikido Student Handbook, by Greg O’Connor to be a very helpful resource. Additionally, this video series demonstrates how many of Aikido’s movements are executed. If you are enjoying the podcast, and have not already done so, be sure to leave a positive rating and review in iTunes and don’t forget to follow the podcast on Twitter @letstalkjapan.
44 minutes | Nov 11, 2013
017 Temple University Japan
In today’s episode, Nick speaks with Bruce Stronach, the dean of Temple University Japan, the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan. Together they discuss the unique undergraduate and graduate opportunities available at Temple’s Tokyo campus as well as recent trends and the likely future of higher education in Japan. TUJ Social Media: Facebook; Twitter (official & admissions); YouTube
48 minutes | Sep 14, 2013
016 Sake´ Nomi
In this episode, Nick speaks with Johnnie Stroud, the owner of Sake´ Nomi, a premium sake´ shop and tasting bar in Seattle, Washington. Together they discuss how Johnnie discovered sake´, what motivated him to open a business specializing in sake´, and why you should be drinking more sake´, preferably bought from Sake´ Nomi! Johnnie and Sake´Nomi were featured in a Japanese manga comic titled “Kurodo” by Akira Oze. In my opinion, they definitely nailed Johnnie’s likeness! The Price for a tasting flight of all three – a “kikizake sampler” – was $20 (2 oz. pour of each) Here are the official tasting notes and prices of the sake´ I sampled during my visit. (Pictured above, right to left) #1 Yaegaki Mu “Nothingness” – Junmai Daiginjo from Hyogo Prefecture Light amber tint, with crisp apple aroma. Wonderfully settled and calm, melting and smooth. Layered, complex, well-rounded, and balanced, Brewed with the “king” of sake´rice, Yamada Nishiki. $12 for 4 oz. in house pour; $40/720 ml bottle; $22/300 ml bottle. #2 Narutotai “Ginjo Shiboritate” Nama Genshu from Tokushima Prefecture Yeasty, sweet grain aromas. Soft, full, gentle mouthful, with ripened fruit sweetness and slight minerality. Lingering finish shows a touch of mint. The “oil can” would be ideal at a barbecue or with fatty sashimi. The brewery was established in 1804. $15 for 4 oz. in house pour; $ 50/720 ml can #3 Tedorikawa Kinka “Gold Blossom” Daiginjo from Ishikawa Prefecture Floral nose, with notes reminiscent of dates and raisins, Mild spice, minerality, and cinnamon notes on the palate. Subtly layered, soft and settled. Deep, rich, mature, and mellow, especially for a namezake (unpasteurized sake´). $15 for 4 oz. in house pour; $ 48/720 ml bottle Be sure to check out Sake´ Nomi’s great website, “like” their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter.
56 minutes | Aug 26, 2013
015 JET Alumni Bike Shikoku’s 88 Temple Pilgrimage
In this episode, Nick speaks with JET Program alumni Chelsea Reidy and Elayna Snyder about their upcoming 900-mile bicycle tour of Shikoku’s famous 88 temple pilgrimage. Listen to hear them describe their creative “Temple by Temple Project,” which they are funding through Kickstarter, and how they plan to share their adventure with others. To learn more, check out their website, www.bigricefield.com, and the Temple by Temple Project on Kickstarter.
46 minutes | Jul 27, 2013
014 A Conversation with Yokohama Yankee Author Leslie Helm
In this episode, Nick speaks with Leslie Helm, author of Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations As Outsiders In Japan. The Helm family’s connection with Japan begins with Mr. Helm’s German great grandfather, Julius, who traveled to Japan as a young man in 1869, looking to make his way in the world. Julius would go on to found Helm Brothers, a company with diverse interests related to what would become Yokohama’s booming port economy. From there, the book’s narrative winds its way through four further generations of the Helm family. Mr. Helm recounts not only the family’s participation in major historical events, but also offers a frank assessment of the personal and intra-family struggles each generation faced while living in Japan. Together, these two aspects make for a compelling read. Mr. Helm was born and raised in Yokohama and left Japan in the early 1970s to attend university before returning as a journalist to cover Japan for Business Week and the Los Angeles Times. He currently lives in Seattle, where he is the editor of Seattle Business magazine. To learn more about Leslie Helm, including a list of upcoming talks and book signings, please visit www.lesliehelm.com. Also, check out this great article about Josh Powell, the book’s designer. If you are interested in purchasing Yokohama Yankee, and supporting the podcast, click HERE. I also recommend these other great books from Chin Music Press: Shiro: Wit, Wisdom, and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer, by Shiro Kashiba and Ann Norton Otaku Spaces, by Patrick W. Galbraith
34 minutes | Jul 15, 2013
013 Traditional Japanese Garden Design With Masashi “Mike” Oshita
This episode of the Let’s Talk Japan podcast was recorded at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina. Well-known in the region’s gardening circles, Masashi Oshita, or “Mike” as he is known locally, is a master of traditional Japanese garden design. Together, Nick and Oshita-san discuss what makes Japanese gardens unique, the challenges of creating a Japanese garden outside of Japan, and how traditional Japanese garden design elements can in incorporated into everyday life. Anyone interested in seeking Oshita-san’s design and installation services can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Below are some photos of Oshita-san and Nick together at the arboretum, as well as photos of local gardens designed by Oshita-san.
1 minutes | Jul 1, 2013
Summer Vacation Announcement
Six months have passed since the podcast launched and looking back, I have really enjoyed talking with others who share my interest in Japan and I hope you found the first 12 episodes interesting and informative. It has been quite a learning process and I am working hard to constantly improve the quality of both the podcast’s audio and content. Just a quick programing note, the podcast is going to be taking a little natsu yasumi to relax and spend time with family this month. As a result, July’s production schedule will not be as regular as in previous months. But don’t worry, I have some great interviews lined up for later this summer and into fall. As always, I welcome your feedback at email@example.com Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit the iTunes store and leave the podcast a positive rating and review. I also appreciate all the Facebook “likes” and Followers on Twitter. The podcast will return in a few weeks.
54 minutes | Jun 15, 2013
012 Japan Summer Reading Recommendations
In this episode, Nick speaks with members of the Washington, DC-based J Book Club about their summer reading recommendations. If you would like to support the podcast, please consider purchasing some of the books discussed in this episode using the print and Kindle links below. By doing so, the podcast will receive a small commission to help offset production costs. The books are listed in the order in which they were discussed, regardless of whether they truly match the category under which they are listed. Introduction to Japan (suggestions for: departing JETs, summer students, first-time visitors, etc.) Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami – (Kindle Edition) The House Keeper And The Professor – Yoko Ogawa – (Kindle Edition) Popular Hits of The Showa Period – Ryu Murakami The Briefcase – Hiromi Kawakami – (Kindle Edition) Fear And Trembling – Amelie Nothomb – Learning to Bow – Bruce Feiler – (Kindle Edition) For Fukui’s Sake – Sam Baldwin- (Kindle Edition) Confucius Lives Next Door – T.R. Reid – (Kindle Edition) Getting Naked With The Father-in-Law – Shaune Sakamoto – (Kindle Edition) New Books (published in the last year) The Lake (Kindle Edition) & Kitchen (Kitchen)- Banana Yoshimoto Manazuru (Kindle Edition) – Hiroko Kawasaki A Tale For The Time Being (Kindle Edition) – Ruth Ozeki Yokohama Yankee (Kindle Edition) – Leslie Helm Death Sentences (Kindle Edition) – Chiyaki Kawamata Japanese Literature/Fiction Botchan (Kindle Edition), Kokoro (Kindle Edition), I Am A Cat (Kindle Edition) – Natsume Souseki Makioka Sisters (Kindle Edition) – Junichiro Tanizaki The Pillow Book (Kindle Edition) – Sei Shonagon Battle Royale – Koushun Takami The Buddha In The Attic (Kindle Edition), When The Emperor Was Devine (Kindle Edition) – Julie Otsuka Out, Real World (Kindle Edition) – Natuso Kireno History / Biography Kamikaze – Black Rain (Kindle Edition) – Masuji Ibuse Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball (Kindle Edition) – Robert Fitts Shutting Out The Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation (Kindle Edition) – Michael Zielenziger Train Man: Densha Otoko – Hitori Nakano Banzai Babe Ruth (Kindle Edition) – Robert Fitts Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (Kindle Edition) – Isabella Bird Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World (Kindle Edition) – Donald Keene Arts / Culture Viewed Sideways: Writings on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan (Kindle Edition) – Donald Richie Japan Journals: 1947-2004 (Kindle Edition) – Donald Richie Geisha (Kindle Edition), Kimono: Fashioning Culture – Liza Dalby Minka: My Farmhouse In Japan (Kindle Edition) – John Roderick Miscellaneous Tokyo Vice: A Western Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (Kindle Edition) – Jake Adelstein Yakuza (Kindle Edition) – David Kaplan and Alec Dubro Doing Time – Kazuichi Hanawa Rice As Self (Kindle Edition) – Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
48 minutes | Jun 14, 2013
JET Talks by JETAADC – Live Your Dream Q&A
Let me be the first to welcome you to “JET Talks”, a brand new speaker series organized by the JET Program Alumni Association of Washington, DC (“JETAADC”). JET Talks is modeled after the TED Talks concept and will feature dynamic and interesting speakers with the goal of inspiring innovative ideas and conversations on Japan-related themes. JET Talks is separate from the Let’s Talk Japan podcast but our goals are the same – to get people talking and thinking about Japan. Shauna Tischler came up with the idea of JET Talks and currently serves as JETAADC’s Thought Leadership Chair. From 2000-03, Shauna worked as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Program in Gifu Prefecture. Special recognition is also owed to Leigh Ann Mastrini, the current President of JETAADC, and the Japan Information and Cultural Center of Washington, DC for hosting the first JET Talks event. Regular listeners of the Let’s Talk Japan podcast will recall that in Episode 11, I spoke with director Regge Life about his film Live Your Dream, chronicling the lives of JET Program participants Taylor Anderson and Monty Dickson who passed away in the March 11th 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Regge was recently in Washington, DC, along with Taylor’s father, Andy Anderson, and Monty’s sister, Shelly Frederickson, to speak at the first JET Talks event – a screening and panel discussion of the film Live Your Dream. More than 120 guests were in attendance and the event was a huge success. For anyone who has not yet seen Live Your Dream, I encourage you to listen to Let’s Talk Japan episode 11, as it provides a good overview of the film. In this JET Talks, you will first hear introductory remarks from the JET Talks organizers and panelists, followed by the panel discussion, which followed the screening. Enjoy the Talk!
37 minutes | Jun 1, 2013
011 Live Your Dream – A conversation with film director Regge Life about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami
In this episode, Nick speaks with film director Regge Life about his documentary, Live Your Dream, chronicling the lives of JET Program participants Taylor Anderson and Monty Dickson, who passed away in the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This is a moving tribute and a must see for anyone who loves Japan and its people. For more information about Live Your Dream, including a list of upcoming public screenings, click HERE. Options on how to purchase the film can be found HERE. If you are interested in contributing financially to Taylor and Monty’s legacies, please consider these organizations which have been set up by their families: The Taylor Anderson ’04 Memorial Fund at Taylor’s high school, St. Catherine’s in Richmond, Virginia University of Anchorage, Alaska Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture
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