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JETAA Q&A Meet-n-Greet – RSVP/Location Update!

JETAA Summer Happenings
Is it just me or is summer off to an oddly cooler start? Enjoy it while it lasts! For this edition of the newsletter we have an assortment of events for you to consider. Aside from our own events, JETAA is partnering with organizations such as the Japan-America Society of Houston, in hopes to connect you with some Japanese Cultural Activities that you might be interested in and give you that natsukashii tingle…


Hands-on Japanese Pottery Experience

Saturday, June 1, 2013
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sam Houston National Forest, 45 Shady Oak, Sheperd TX, 77371.
Cost $60 for JASH member $75 for nonmembers.
Reservations at (

Shane Tidmore, a Japanese trained ceramic artist will present the history of ceramics in Japan and give you the tools to make tea bowls, flower vases, pots and much more.

Shane studied in Japan under pottery masters, and some of his pieces sell for over 5K.

After the clay work you will have a chance to sign up for a time slot to work the fire kiln: a giant pottery oven that takes 5 tons of wood at a temperature of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit firing 24 hours a day for 5 days in order to glaze the Japanese pottery.

This once in a lifetime experience will take place in a picturesque national forest, an ideal setting for the serene art of clay work.

Materials and lunch will be provided. The event is Saturday! There are still a few open spots, If you are interested sign up now by emailing (

June Pub Quiz@ Porch Swing Pub

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
7:30 PM
Porch Swing Pub
69 Heights Blvd Houston, TX 77007

Come spend their bar tab join the JETAA Team as they defend their multi-win dominance!
To make a reservation email (

Mastering Fish the Japanese Way

A lecture with All-Japan Sushi Association Director Masayoshi Kazato

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Free Sushi Reception: 6:00 PM Free Lecture 7:00 PM
Rice University, Sewall Hall 309

From preservation necessity to luxury treatment, learn how fisuh has been finessed into an artform from none other than the All-Japan Sushi Association Director Masayoshi Kazato. This delicious event is FREE!

Departing JET Q&A Session After-Party!

Saturday, June 29, 2013
6:00 PM
Sushi Raku (Tentative)

While soon-to-depart JETs will spend the day at the annual Q&A Session, it’s important that the JETAA teach them about the Japanese tradition of Enkai! Come out to meet with our newest group, share stories, advice, and make new contacts. To make a reservation please email (

Sake Professional Course

Thursday, August 8 – Saturday, August 10, 2013
Four Seasons Resort and Club, Dallas

The course is led by John Gauntner, a JETAA member who has since become known as “The Sake Guy”

The content of this intensive sake course will be identical to that of the Sake Professional Course held each January in Japan, with the exception of visiting sake breweries. The course is recognized by the Sake Education Council, and those that complete it will be qualified to take the exam for Certified Sake Specialist, which will be offered on the evening of the last day of the course.

The course is geared toward industry professionals wishing to expand their horizons in a thorough manner into the world of sake, and will therefore be somewhat technical in nature, and admittedly somewhat intense. It is likely more than the average consumer needs! But the course is open to anyone with an interest and sake and will certainly be enjoyable.

The cost for the three-day class, including all materials and sake for tasting, is US$825. Participation is limited and reservations can be made now to secure a seat,
with payment due by July 8, 2013.

For more information and a view of the daily syllabus, please see ( now. Testimonials from past participants can be found there as well. For reservations or inquiries, please send an email to ( .


Texoma JETAA – Japan Festival – JETAA/Pre-JET Meet-ups – Hadoken!

Hello TEXOMA JETAA Community,

In this Spring Update we have a few items coming up that we thought you would be interested in, but for the most part, we just wanted to remind everyone that the Houston Japan Festival is this weekend. Grab your sunscreen and your friends and come out to enjoy some sunshine and some takoyaki as we talk about JET and Japan!

1) The 20th Annual Japan Festival in Houston’s Hermann Park
This weekend! From 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM Saturday April 13 & 10:00 – 5:00 PM Sunday April 14, JETAA will have a booth to talk about Japan, the JET Program and have some cultural fun and games at this year’s Japan Festival in downtown Houston. If you’re anywhere near Houston, you should bring your friends and family and come out to experience a bit of Japanese culture. If you’re able to volunteer some time, sign up for a time-slot and come out to help us have fun and support Texoma!

Booth Sign Up Sheet

Japan Festival Details:

2) JETAA/Pre-JET Multi-City Meet-Ups
The 2013-2014 JET Program initial Short-List/Alternate notification went out last week and everyone is excited for their chance to live in Japan. Remember that feeling of excitement? Some of the short-listers up in Dallas are getting proactive and are working to arrange a meet-up in the DFW area (Time – TBD). However, I wanted to take a pulse and see if any other JETAA members in other cities might be interested to meet-up if there was enough interest as well. Austin? San Antonio? Oklahoma City? If you’re interested in sharing your sagely advice with the next class, email and I’ll start collaborating with the departing candidates to see what can work.

3) Google Maps after the Great East Japan Earthquake
In honor of the Second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Google has released new Street View Photos of the damaged areas after the March 11 Typhoon damage. Both haunting and intriguing, it will be interesting to watch the progress as the communities of Japan rebuild.

Google Article Link

4) Pub Trivia – First Wednesday of the month (next to be May 1st)
Pub Trivia is still alive and well but we are always looking for new blood. We have a regular group of about 4-6 JETAA members who play on the 1st Wednesday of the month (sometimes more often) but newcomers are more than welcome. Please remember that the team sizes are capped at 7 people so if you are not a member of the Facebook group “Texoma Jetaa” please join and RSVP if you plan to attend so we can reserve enough tables and adjust team sizes accordingly. Side note, the JETAA team, “There’s always money in the Banana Stand” has won 2 out of the last 3 Trivia Nights!

Facebook Group Link

5) For a bit of fun: “Hadoken” Photo Craze in Japan (and now the US)
If you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon enough. Based on the popular Dragon Ball or Street Fighter, the fad begun with Japanese students taking photos of themselves posing as if hit with energy attacks. The craze has jumped the pond and is now among (popular?) memes such as planking and the Harlem Shake.

The Hadoken Meme

End of Summer BBQ in Houston

What: 2012 JETAA BBQ!

When: Saturday, September 8th, 5:00 PM

Location: Dusty & Emily’s House, 912 Eleanor St., Houston, Tx, 77009

Come one come all! we will be having an End-of-Summer barbeque just north of downtown Houston. Come on down and enjoy that last little bit of the searing summer sun before it’s gone (in approx. 3 months). Standard BBQ Food and drink will be provided by JETAA, but feel free to bring anything special you might be interested to eat and share.

JETAA will also be taking charity donations for The Alliance for Multicultural Affairs, so bring some cash!

Central Texas Camping Trip Update and Survey

We are very excited to officially announce the Texoma JETAA Central Texas Camping Trip (aka the JETAAstrophe). We would like to invite both members of JETAA, their families, and friends to Central Texas for a weekend of good times. The event will take place on October 5-8 at Garner State Park.

Event: Texoma JETAA Central Texas Camping Trip (aka the JETAAstrophe)
Location: Garner State Park
Date: October 5th-8th

If you are planning on coming, please fill out the form at the “continue reading” link by September 15th.

Please email any questions to

Continue reading Central Texas Camping Trip Update and Survey

Central Texas Camping Trip! Save the Date: Oct. 5-8

Texoma JETAA,

We are currently in the midst of planning a camping trip somewhere in central Texas. Our hope is that as many people from around the state will be able to make it. As for the time being, we have only the date to announce – Friday, October 5th to Monday, October 8th. We will announce further details as the plan comes together. We hope to see you there!

-Dusty Downing
Texoma JETAA Webmaster

Young Professional’s Networking Night & Bonenkai

The Japanese Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association (JETAA) Texoma, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the Japan America Society of Houston (JASH) invite you to a Young Professional’s Networking Night and Bonenkai at Sushi Raku! Come enjoy Happy Hour prices on drinks and appetizers and get to know some of the Japanese related Associations around
Houston. We will also be having a raffle!

Don’t forget your business cards!

Date: Tuesday December 13, 2011
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Sushi Raku, 3201 Louisiana St., Houston 713-526-8885

Link to Event Flyer

Help the International Girl Scout Leaders on November 11th

Hey Houston JETAA members … JET Alum Paul Cummings works with a State Department public diplomacy program, and will welcome a big group of International Girl Scout Leaders to Houston at the end of the week. On Friday, November 11th, the group will split into smaller groups to have dinner with local volunteers, and unfortunately 3-4 people still do not have a dinner host. There is no home stay element, nothing fancy, just an opportunity to have dinner at someone’s home and make new friends from distant lands. If you’d like more information, please contact Paul at 832-369-3470 or by e-mail at Thanks!