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  • 23 Oct 2020 4:30 PM | Anonymous


    Tayō-sei: Japanese Language and Cultural Exchange Program



    Square USJETAA Logo

    Application Deadline: November 3, 2020

    Application form available at bottom of page.

    Applicants will be notified of status by November 10, 2020

    Tayō-sei is a virtual Japanese language and culture seminar series for Black and LatinX college students at schools across the four states served by the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association Southeast (JETAASE): Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

    The free course provides an opportunity for students underrepresented in studying or working abroad in Japan, specifically for those from LatinX backgrounds and students of color, to develop an interest in studying and living abroad in Japan among this cohort. This course will give them the opportunity to consider Japan as an option in the trajectory of their lives.

    We’re looking for students who:

    • Have a passion for global languages and cultures
    • Are interested in Japan, but have not taken any Japanese language classes or travelled to Japan
    • Identify as a student of color or have a Latinx background
    • Are enrolled in a U.S. university (especially community college or historically black colleges and universities)

    Preference will be given to students who have not taken Japanese classes or traveled to Japan, who attend historically black colleges and universities, who are first generation college students, and who are community college students.

    This program is completely free and funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles. 

    Recognition of Completion:

    At the end of the series, JETAASE and USJETAA will award students a certificate of completion. Each student will be mailed a printed certificate and a small assortment of Japanese sweets. To receive the final recognition, students must attend 3 of the 4 required classes and submit the final survey.


    • There will be four sessions total.
    • The first three sessions will each have a different guest speaker and a Japanese lesson.
    • The final session will be a final wrap reflection on what you've learning and providing resources on pursuing Japanese language, study abroad, or work after college. 

    **JASA is not affiliated with this program offered by USJETAA.

  • 4 Sep 2020 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    The Birmingham Historical Society has compiled an impressive piece on the life and legacy of Samuel Ullman. 

    Samuel Ullman and the Poem "Youth"

    "Civic, religious, and educational leader, Samuel Ullman penned the poem “Youth” in this Birmingham residence. Ullman was 78. The poem sums up his philosophy of purpose and service, and the optimism that defined his life and continues to inspire." - Birmingham Historical Society, August 2020

    Find the full story on their website:


    Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

    Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

    Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

    Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing, child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.

    When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.

  • 23 Jul 2020 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    "Alabama man thinks three lines can change the world"

    "Scotty Colson of Birmingham and Toru Suzuki of Hitachi, Japan, are trying to bring the worlds closer with haiku." Read more on!

  • 12 May 2020 5:37 PM | Anonymous

    The National Association of Japan-America Societies has shared with us a private webinar. Join Chairman Dave Shear as he discusses Diplomatic Challenges in Asia and answers questions from JAS representatives across the country.

    "Diplomatic Challenges in Asia"

    Participating in the audience were leaders from 27 Japan-America Societies, from Boston, Colorado, Dallas/Fort Worth, Georgia, Greater Austin, Greater Cincinnati, Greater Philadelphia, Hawaii, Houston, Indiana, Kansas City, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Orleans, New York, North Carolina, Northern California, Northwest Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, South Carolina, Southern California, Tennessee, Toronto, the State of Washington and Washington DC participating, along with NAJAS Board members.

  • 15 Apr 2020 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    One Week left to register for the Free Online Trauma-Informed Interpreter Training by AshaKiran

    If you wish to reduce the language gap by helping people within your community with your language skills, this is the perfect training!

    Go ahead and apply by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to reply back with any questions. 

    Thanks and stay safe!

    Training details

    Schedule- April 28- May 26, 2020 from 6pm -8pm. 

    Where- adobe connect platform

    In person workshop- June 6-7, 2020

    Where- Central Alabama (venue tbd)

    ( In person can be shifted to online or postponed. Participants will be informed accordingly before May end)

    Other requirements:

    • Complete online quiz after each webinar.
    • Donate 10 volunteer hours for AshaKiran or any other crisis organisation.( AshaKiran will let the participants know of any volunteer opportunities)
    • Shadow other experienced interpreters.(AshaKiran will try to connect the participants with other interpreters).  

    (All in person requirements to be adjusted pending public health status).

    Deadline to apply- April 21, 2020

    Link to apply:


    For more information and registration:  OR


  • 11 Apr 2020 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    Please see a message below from the US - Japan Council as well as a personal message from our Honorary Consul General on the recent passing of Irene Hirano Inouye.

    Message from the USJC Board of Directors Chair Phyllis Campbell

    It is with profound sadness that I must inform you of the passing of U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye on April 7, following an extended illness. We extend our deepest condolences to her family.   

    I know we are all devastated by this news. Irene was a singular figure in U.S.-Japan relations, respected by leaders on both sides of the Pacific as she carried out the mission of USJC. Since the founding of the Council, she infused the organization with her wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit, kept her pulse on every aspect of USJC while keeping her eye on the strategic vision, and managed to approach every challenge with fearlessness and determination.    

    Back in January when she wrote to the USJC membership about her plans to retire later this year and assist in the Board of Directors’ search for a new CEO, she expressed the hope that her leadership of USJC will have made a lasting contribution to the U.S.-Japan relationship. Serving as president of the U.S.-Japan Council, she wrote, “has been an honor of a lifetime.”  

    I hope Irene realized that it was actually our honor to have known her. Many of you have your own wonderful memories of Irene from USJC, from her community activities, and from her previous positions, including as the president and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum. For me, she was and always will be an inspiration and a model of leadership. 

    While current circumstances will prevent us from gathering in person to pay tribute to Irene, her family will share with us any plans for a future memorial service after the current global crisis has ended. Her family has asked that, in lieu of flowers or cards, donations be made in Irene’s name to the U.S.-Japan Council. 

    In addition to her leadership of USJC, Irene’s professional and community activities included serving as Chair and Trustee, Ford Foundation; Chair and Trustee, Kresge Foundation; Chair, Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Center; Chair of the Advisory Board, Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, University of California at Los Angeles; Trustee, Washington Center; Trustee, Independent Sector, and member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; member of the Advisory Board, Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California; Chair, Board of Directors of the American Association of Museums; Board Member, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Member, National Board Smithsonian Institution; member, Toyota Corporation’s Diversity Advisory Board; member, Business Advisory Board of Sodexho Corporation; President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by Presidential appointment; and Chair, California Commission on the Status of Women. 

    Until a new CEO is named, Irene’s responsibilities at USJC will be supported by Chief Operating Officer Terri Swetnam and Executive Vice President Laura Winthrop Abbot. 

    In the meantime, I know you join me in mourning the loss of a most vibrant and iconic woman, who graced us with her friendship and extraordinary leadership.  

    Very sincerely yours,


    Message from Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan in Alabama


    Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye

    It is with great personal sadness that I learned of Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye’s passing earlier today.

    Throughout her life, she dedicated herself to the success of the Japan-USA relationship. Having been the wife of Japan-born US Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) and the founder/CEO of the US Japan Council, she never tired of promoting the cause of Tomodachi (friendship) between the two countries.

    Hers was a story that spanned a lifetime.

    Her many accomplishments are catalogued across Japan and the United States; most recently in Alabama.

    Her bold keynote speech at the Japan America Society of Alabama 30th Anniversary Annual Dinner in September 2019, heralded the commitment both nations made to each other and to the world. She spoke of her life, her struggles, her successes and of her partnership with her husband. Her speech was informational and inspiring.

    All who were in attendance will remember her presentation.

    The executive director of JASA, Ms. Jolie Thevenot, summed up her feelings by saying “the confidence and passion with which she spoke was infectious and incredibly motivating for me in my work with JASA.” She further added, “it was a night I will always remember”.

    We will miss Mrs. Inouye. She left her mark on the world by making it a better place. Why? The answer is simple- because she cared.

    -8 April, 2020

    Mark Jackson

    Honorary Consul General of Japan

  • 7 Feb 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    HIROTEC Manufacturing America, located in Fayetteville, Tennessee is part of the HIROTEC

    Group, headquartered in Hiroshima, Japan. HIROTEC Group delivers body-in-white closures, exhaust systems, flexible closure manufacturing tooling and stamping dies to automotive customers around the world. With a US headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, HIROTEC Group operates 25 facilities in eight countries.

    We are currently seeking a dynamic Bi-Lingual Administrative Assistant to become a part of the HIROTEC team. The ideal candidate will be responsible for administrative duties in two or more languages including translating and interpreting for both English and Japanese while performing the following duties and responsibilities:

    •  Strong Manufacturing knowledge.
    •  Collecting and analyzing information and preparing presentations.
    •  Coordination of domestic/international travel arrangements for various team members.
    •  Maintaining inventory and office supplies including office equipment.
    •  Other duties and projects may be assigned to ensure operational objectives are
    • accomplished.
    •  Providing general administrative support (i.e. answer phone calls, organization and distribution of correspondence, coordination of meetings).

    The position requires a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; or three to five years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

    Must be fluent in Japanese and English (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), excellent typing and proofreading skills as well as outstanding organizational skills.

    If you are hardworking, dependable and enjoy a group environment, come join the HIROTEC MANUFACTURING AMERICA team.

    An excellent work environment and benefits await you!

  • 6 Jan 2020 8:31 PM | Anonymous

    Live and Work in Japan in Birmingham’s Sister City!

    Teach English in Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture! The Hitachi Municipal Board of Education is looking to fill a direct-hire position for a native English instructor (ALT). This position is reserved exclusively for candidates from Hitachi’s Sister City of Birmingham, Alabama.

    Job Description Employed by the Hitachi Municipal Board of Education and based at a public junior high school, you will assist Japanese teachers of English in planning and conducting English lessons. Although you will mainly teach at junior high school(s), there will be periodic visits to elementary schools, kindergartens, and/or other city schools for special activities. Although no Japanese is required for this job, it is highly recommended and beneficial to have basic Japanese skills. Successful applicants with a high level of Japanese ability (N2 or above) may have the occasional chance to work on translation of documents related to Sister Cities and various other projects for Hitachi City Hall.

    Contract Period Initial contract is for one (1) year with the opportunity to continually renew every year Contract will commence on April 1st, 2020 *We ask for an initial two-year commitment for visa purposes, etc.

    Requirements ① Hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject ② Be a current or former resident of Birmingham (graduate of surrounding university etc.) ③ Be able to commit to completion of initial two-year contract ④ Have a strong interest in Japan (language/culture) ⑤ Prior teaching experience preferred but not required

    Benefits • Visa Sponsorship • Airfare from Birmingham and return ticket upon completion of contract • Housing provided • Work commuting costs covered (when public transportation is necessary) • National Health Insurance

    About Hitachi Hitachi City is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 1.5 hours from Tokyo by limited express train. Positioned on the east coast, Hitachi is surrounded by both the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. With the establishment of Sister City ties in 1982, Birmingham has its oldest and most active Sister City relationship with Hitachi. Hitachi employs four ALTs from its two Sister Cities (Birmingham City and Tauranga City, New Zealand) and engages in various cultural and economic exchanges with these cities.

    *Please contact Scotty Colson, Hitachi’s representative in Birmingham, at for application materials and further inquiries.

  • 6 Dec 2019 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    Writers in Kyoto Present the Fifth

    Annual Kyoto Writing Competition

    December 1, 2019 / Writers in Kyoto / Comments Off on Writers in Kyoto Present the Fifth Annual Kyoto Writing Competition

    THEME: Kyoto (English language submissions only)
    DEADLINE: March 31st, 2020 (Midnight JST)
    GENRE: Short Shorts (unpublished material only)
    WORD LIMIT: 300 Words (to fit on a single page)
    FORM: Short poems, character studies, essays, travel tips, whimsy, haiku sequence, haibun, wordplays, dialogue, experimental verse, etc. In short, anything that helps show the spirit of place in a fresh light.

    Submission Requirements

    • Limited to one submission per person
    • You do not need to be located in Kyoto to participate. We accept submissions from anywhere in the world.
    • Must be submitted by Microsoft Word attachment file. (Submissions by PDF attachment are NOT accepted.)
    • At the top of the Microsoft Word attachment (not in the body of the e-mail), please include the following: Full Name, E-mail Contact, Nationality, Current Residence (Town, Country).
    • Do not provide any special formatting to your piece. We request your information at the top with the text directly below.
    • Please send your Microsoft Word attachment file to:

    Top Prizes:

    First Prize: ¥30,000, Kyoto Prize (To Be Decided), One-year complimentary WiK membership (April 2020 – March 2021), publication on the Writers in Kyoto website, and inclusion in the WiK Anthology

    Second and Third Prize: Kyoto Prize (To Be Decided), Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto by John Dougill and John Einarsen, publication on the Writers in Kyoto website, and inclusion in the WiK Anthology

    Publishing Rights/Copyright

    Writers in Kyoto reserves the right to publish entries on its website. Winning entries will be eligible for publication in the WiK Anthology. Authors retain the copyright of their own work.

    Local Prizes:

    Japan Local Prize: A selected ceramic piece from the Robert Yellin Yakimoto Gallery 

    USA PrizePhila-Nipponica: An Historic Guide to Philadelphia & Japan and one-year complimentary Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia membership

    Kyoto prizes are generously provided by the Kyoto City Tourism Association.  Phila-Nipponica: An Historic Guide to Philadelphia & Japan is awarded by the Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia. This competition is also sponsored by the Kyoto Journal and Kyoto International Community House.

    The WiK Competition logo was designed by Rebecca Otowa, author of The Mad Kyoto Shoe SwapperAt Home in Japan, and My Awesome Japan Adventure.

    For More Information about Writers in Kyoto: 

    Echoes: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 2017

    Edited by John Dougill, Amy Chavez and Mark Richardson.

    Encounters with Kyoto: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 3

    Edited by Jann Williams and Ian Josh Yates.

Contact Us

Tel: +1 (205) 703-0960

2081 Columbiana Rd #10

Vestavia Hills, AL 35216

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