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Japanese Language Classes and Winterfest 2020

JETAA Prairies members attending Japanese langauge classes in downtown Winnipeg. February 2020.
ETAA Prairies members attending Japanese langauge classes in downtown Winnipeg. February 2020.

For the month of February, JET Programme alumni members in Manitoba/Saskatchewan kept busy in February by holding Japanese language classes for its alumni and participating in an anime convention.

JETAA Prairies held Japanese language classes for its alumni members in downtown Winnipeg. What did we do? We reviewed/practiced our vocabulary, grammar, and actively applying it in casual conversation. This was a good opportunity to refresh our Japanese skills – especially in a city like Winnipeg where there’s limited chances to use Japanese.

JETAA Prairies members speaking Japanese in downtown Winnipeg. February 2020.
JETAA Prairies members speaking Japanese in downtown Winnipeg. February 2020.

Winterfest: Aikon’s Little Sibling

JETAA Prairies alumni atteneding Winterfest at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 22nd, 2020.
JETAA Prairies alumni attending Winterfest at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 22nd, 2020.

On Saturday, February 22nd, 2020, JETAA Prairies members had a table setup at Wintefest (the mini-version of Aikon) at the RBC Convention Centre. Meanwhile, in the spirit of the convention, a few of our members cosplayed during the day-long convention. For example, one of our members dressed up as one of the characters from the cartoon, Gravity Falls, and another one dressed up as one of the characters from Game of Thrones. Unsurprisingly, the anime map of Japan was in huge demand. Unfortunately, we only had one copy left (i.e. the display copy) as we didn’t get new copies of the maps in time. Well, next time.

Annual General Meeting: March 7th, 12pm, at Brazen Hall

Our next event will be our Annual General Meeting, It will be held at Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery at 12pm, March 7th, 2020. See you all there!

Event: Annual General Meeting/AGM

Date: March 7th, 2020

Time: 12pm

Location: Brazen Hall Kitchen and Brewery, 800 Pembina Highway

Please RSVP to JETAAMBSK@gmail.com.

Japanese Christmas Chicken Event!

JETAA Prairies, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, presented Japanese Christmas Chicken Night at JCAM in Winnipeg. Event sponsored by JCAM.
Playing charades at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba, December 15th, 2019.

This past Sunday, JETAA Prairies and the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba presented Japanese Christmas Chicken Event. Around 20 people showed up to feast on fried chicken, fries, salad from KFC. More importantly, this was the first-ever event of its kind held by JETAA Prairies.

If you didn’t know, having KFC chicken over the Christmas holidays is a tradition of Japanese Christmas. However, while we waited for the food to arrive, we participated in warm-up games like charades and decorating gingerbread cookies.

KFC food is here!
KFC food is here!
The food at Japanese Christmas Chicken Night
The food at Japanese Christmas Chicken Night

But that wasn’t all: another staple of Japanese-style Christmas is Christmas cake. Yes, we had cake for everybody and plenty of it!

Cake served as dessert for JETAA Japanese Christmas Night at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba, December 15th, 2019.
Hungry yet?

Were we done? No. Not so surprisingly, we concluded the night with some karaoke via the karaoke app, Karafun. Yes, we did the full Japanese experience on a snowy day in Winnipeg.

Guests enjoying some karaoke at JCAM, the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, December 15th, 2019
One of the other things we miss about Japan….
Enjoying karaoke at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba, December 15th, 2019.
The fun never stops…

2019 has been a very active and busy year for everyone at JETAA Prairies. This first-ever event was the perfect way to close out this past year. Everyone at JETAA Prairies would like to thank the people at JCAM for helping co-presenting this event.

Finally, we would like to extend our sincerest wishes to everybody in the JET alumni community and the many people whom crossed paths with this past year. Happy holidays, everybody!

JETAA Prairies alumni at the front desk for Japanese Christmas Chicken Night, December 15th, 2019, at the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba.
Thank you for stopping by.

JETAA Prairies Japan Trivia & Networking Night Part 2: Success!

JETAA Prairies presents Japan Trivia and Networking Night on the second floor of Dwarf no Cachette in Winnipeg, November 15th, 2019.
JETAA Prairies presents Japan Trivia and Networking Night on the second floor of Dwarf no Cachette in Winnipeg, November 15th, 2019.

This past Friday, JETAA Prairies hosted its second annual Japan Trivia and Networking Night at the Japanese restaurant, Dwarf no Cachette, in Winnipeg. JET alumni, JET prospects, and Japanese ex-pats/exchange students mingled for the next two-and-a-half hours over great Japanese food while testing their general knowledge about Japan in a relaxed atmosphere. More importantly, this trivia is non-competitive: it’s all about fun.

So, what’s the trivia’s format? Firstly, three teams of four were made on the spot. Secondly, the trivia had two halves of 20 questions each. So, what did the quiz masters ask? A variety of random questions. To clarify, here is a sample of some of the questions (for the answers, please look at the end of this post):

  • 1)”What is the nickname for the test trains that are used on the Japanese Shinkansen?
  • 2)”Who ‘sparks joy’ from Japan?”
  • 3)”What video game company did Hideo Kojima leave in 2015?”

After finishing the quiz, participants told quiz masters that they really enjoyed the event. For example, one participant (who came to last year’s trivia event) said she enjoyed this year’s edition more than last year’s. Also, the other participants who came for the first time have said that it was really fun and enjoyed the questions.

Our next event will be on December 15th for our Christmas Event. This event is for alumni. Likewise, please stay tuned for more details.

Lastly, JETAA Prairies would like to thank Dwarf no Cachette, the University of Winnipeg East Asian Languages and Cultures Program for sponsoring the event, and to those who came out for the event. See you all next year!

Answers: 1)Dr. Yellow, 2) Marie Kondo, 3)Konami.

It’s Back! Japan Trivia & Networking Night @ Dwarf!

This is the poster for JETAA Prairies Japan Trivia and Networking Night 2019
JETAA Prairies will be hosting its annual Japan Trivia and Networking Night at Dwarf No Cachette on Provencher Road in Winnipeg, November 15th, 2019 at 6:30pm.

Do you like Japan?! How about Japanese food?! Are you genki for some trivia?! Why not all three?!

JETAA Prairies is hosting its second annual Japan Trivia & Networking Night (sponsored by The University of Winnipeg East Asian Languages & Cultures Program). Interestingly, this year, it will be at the local favourite, Dwarf no Cachette Cafe & Gift, on Provencher.

How To Prepare

Above all, this event is open to the public and not just exclusively for JET Programme alumni. In the meantime, please check out last year’s Trivia & Networking Night. To prepare yourself, we suggest you to check out news sites like The Japan Times, blog sites like SoraNews24, and of course, good ol’ Wikipedia. But remember, this event is for fun and nothing is really at stake. Just a good excuse to unwind after a busy week and get ready for the weekend.

If you think nothing has significantly happened in Japan this past year so far, please think again. A new emperor has ascended the throne, thus ushering a new era; the tragic Kyoto Animation fire; a particular typhoon rampaged Japan this past month; and a particular rugby tournament is happening now as we speak in various locations. If you like Japanese music, don’t forget to research the Japan’s version of Billboard, Oricon, and listen to the latest in Japanese pop music. We will be surely asking about current events. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt to know your Japanese history, language, business, and geography.

One Last Thing

More importantly, please send your RSVP to rsvp@jetaaprairies.ca OR hit the “Going” button for this event in our Facebook group by Friday, November 8th, 2019.

See you all there!

Name: Japan Trivia & Networking Night

Place: Dwarf No Cachette, 157 Provencher Rd

Date: November 15th, 2019 at 6:30pm.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older. All participants are responsible for their own cost of food/drink.

JETAA Prairies Delights Folklorama Patrons

Hinode Taiko performing at the Japanese Pavilion, Folklorama 2019, @ Petrus Hall
Hinode Taiko closing the night with a boom.

After a year-long absence, JETAA Prairies (the local JET alumni for Manitoba and Saskatchewan) returned for this year’s Folklorama. The Japanese Pavilion is one of the most popular pavilions. This year’s iteration took place at the large Petrus Hall on Inkster from August 11th to August 17th. Out of the Japanese Pavilion audience who attended the week-long festivities, over 400 patrons visited the JETAA Prairies table.

What’s New at the JETAA Prairies Table?

JETAA Prairies information table in the culture booth section at the Japanese Pavilion at Folklorama 2019
Our table

Coupled with the traditional brochures and pamphlets, we brought back the Japan map and invited the public to place stars on where they’ve been. We also had an ema made of paper and cardboard. An ema is a small wooden plaque found at Shinto/Buddhist shrines. People write their wishes and hang them at a specific place at the shrine. We asked people to write down their wishes. Here are some of their wishes:

JETAA Prairies Ema full of wishes on August 17th at Petrus Hall, Folklorama
“I wish to get a puppy!”
“I wish to get a horse!”
“Let’s go to Japan!”
“Follow me on Instagram…”
JETAA Prairies map on the final night of the Japanese Pavilion, Folklorama 2019, atPetrus Hall, August 17th.
The map on the final night.

The Entertainment and the Food/Refreshments

In terms of entertainment, this year’s Japanese Pavilion provided folk dancing performances, martial arts demonstrations (judo and karate), and even an idol dance group. After those performances, the final act of the show is the thunderous sounds of Hinode Taiko. Also, the Pavilion offered Japanese food like sushi, Japanese beer, and kakigori (shaved ice flavoured with syrup).

A Diverse Group of People

Interestingly, we met a diverse group of people who have Japan as part of their lives. Firstly, we met people who are planning to apply for the JET Programme this year (or the following year). Secondly, we met people who had lived and worked in Japan via a private teaching company and we also met a former JET from the late 90s! Lastly, a teen stopped by and explained that her parents were both JETs! For the most part, JET alumni enjoyed their interactions with the crowd.

Wrap-Up

By the end of the week, the people filled our Japan map with stars and ema. We even ran out of JET pamphlets towards Friday! Good thing we’ve found a pile of them in one alumni’s home. Above all, JETAA Prairies would like to thank JCAM (Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba) for allowing us to have a presence at the Japanese Pavilion. Likewise, thank you to all the JETAA Prairies volunteers who administered our table.

Certainly, if you would like to contact JETAA Prairies, please contact us via our Contact Form or our Facebook group.

We Need More Volunteers for Folklorama!

Gondo, Nagano City, March 2018
Gondo (Shopping Street), Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, March 2018

Hello, everyone!

We need JET alumni to be present at our booth at the Japanese Pavilion for Folklorama. Here’s the information below:
Location: Petrus Hall | 2624 Inkster Blvd.
Dates: Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019 (Folklorama week 2)
Times: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
*Show times are 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm Sunday to Friday and 5:15, 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm on Sat. If we can get more than 2 volunteers per day, we can split the time up as only 2 staff are needed at a time.

Japanese Pavilion link:
https://www.folklorama.ca/find-a-pavilion/54?pavilionId=54

If you would like volunteer, please let us know via our Contact Form or our Facebook group comment section.

That’s a Wrap: Ai-Kon 2019

Over 150 people stopped by at the JETAA Prairies desk over the past weekend at Ai-Kon at the RBC Convention Centre. People of all ages and backgrounds asked questions and picked up free swag. (Also, it does help that a couple of the JETs cosplayed, too.)

Members of JETAA Prairies gives a group selfie by their info desk at Ai-Kon 2019.
Hello!

In addition, we held a panel/Q&A regarding our wonderful/wackiest stories from Japan. We gave our presentation at the JCAM room and each JET took turns telling their stories. Likewise, at the end of the panel, we invited the audience to share their stories. For example, one member of the audience told a story about when she was in Japan for a school trip, the class accidentally took a wrong turn and found themselves in the red light district.

JETAA Prairies members giving a presentation about their wackiest stories from Japan
Packed house!

Interestingly, we met several people who are close to or have already graduated from university. We encouraged them to apply for the JET Programme. More importantly, we only hope that they can apply and we see them at Pre-Departure Orientation. We wish them the best of luck!

Lastly, JETAA Prairies would like to thank the organizers of Ai-Kon and Consulate-General of Japan in Calgary for allowing us to be there.

#AskaJET: Our Ai-Kon Panel Preview

A preview of JETAA Prairies' Presentation/Q&A Panel for Ai-Kon 2019
A preview of JETAA Prairies’ Presentation/Q&A Panel for Ai-Kon 2019. “Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan” will happen Friday, July 26th, at 7:30pm at Rm 15, at the RBC Convention Centre.

Yes, we’re planning for our much-anticipated Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan panel for Friday, July 26th at 7:30pm. The above image is one of our slides for the upcoming panel. Likewise, there will be more material to cover.

In the meantime, we will also try to trend Twitter by inviting people to ask questions before and during the panel by using “#AskaJET”. For example, a potential tweet might be “Hey @jetaaprairies, what are the coolest spots in Japan? #AskaJET”. If you have questions, feel free to give @jetaaprairies a shoutout!

See you there!

Volunteering Opportunity: JETAA Prairies Alumni Needed For Folklorama! Onegaishimasu!

People place their push pins to places they have been to in Japan. Japanese Pavilion, Folklorama, August 2017
People place their push pins to places they have been to in Japan. Japanese Pavilion, Folklorama, August 2017

With Folklorama on the horizon, we are looking for volunteers to staff the JETAA Prairies table at the Japanese pavilion. This is a great place to meet people who have been to Japan, who want to go to Japan or who may be interested in the JET Programme.
As this is a multi day event, we are hoping to get many volunteers as we can. At least 2 volunteers are needed each day. Even if you can only help out for one day, that would be great!  

FOLKLORAMA:
Location: Petrus Hall | 2624 Inkster Blvd.

Dates: Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019 (Folklorama week 2)
Times: 5:30pm to 10:30pm 

*Show times are 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm Sun to Fri and 5:15, 6:45, 8:15, 9:45 pm on Sat. If we can get more than 2 volunteers per day, we can split the time up as only 2 staff are needed at a time. Please let us know via our Facebook Group or our Contact Form if you can help out and what day/days you are available.


Japanese Pavilion link:
https://www.folklorama.ca/find-a-pavilion/54?pavilionId=54

Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan Panel + Q&A at Ai-Kon 2019!

JETAA Prairies will hold a panel + Q&A on Friday, July 26th, 7:30pm in the JCAM Room (Room 15) at the RBC Convention Centre
JETAA Prairies will hold a panel + Q&A on Friday, July 26th, 7:30pm in the JCAM Room (Room 15) at the RBC Convention Centre

Do you see that dotted red circle in the above image? That is the JETAA Prairies panel + Q & A called Wild and Wonderful Stories from Japan. It will take place at Room 15 at the RBC Convention Centre, Friday, July 26th, at 7:30pm. More importantly, our alumni will be present to share their wacky stories from the Land of the Rising Sun. Also, for those who are thinking about applying for JET Programme some time in the future, this is the perfect opportunity to ask your questions.

Finally, please check the Ai-Kon website routinely to make sure you’re updated with the most recent schedule. See you all there!

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