近海る (Kin Kairu)

JET, Japan, Journalism and other J words

Archive for the category “General”

Three Months

“I need you to prepare to transcribe Trump’s victory speech,” the news director told me at roughly 10 p.m. on election night. Check marks filled my personal electoral map, while I watched the New York Times election prediction percentage do a complete flip. During the down times between state projections, I refreshed Twitter constantly for new calls. My other job, as the news director told me, was to simply wait and watch.

I was in the basement of the Hilton Midtown in New York City where the Trump victory event was held. As the night went on, and more states called in his favor, the cheers from upstairs seemed to shake the building. As I walked outside for a breather, the voices of protesters echoed through the avenues.

It has been three months since I came back to America. In many ways, my time in Japan is already starting to feel like a comatose dream. Partial memories replay in my mind which I can speak of with only a few, or perhaps only myself, really understanding. Not that the others around me don’t want to listen, but there’s only so much that one can speak of before the conversation becomes dull. Everyone else has their own life they wish to speak of as well, of course. In many ways, taking that temperature is still a skill I am trying to master.

Media center for the VP debate

Media center for the VP debate

My move back to America was extremely swift, giving only a few weeks between re-acclimating and throwing myself headfirst into the election. However I knew full well what going into a journalism job in late-August entailed. I prepped myself as much as I could, devouring articles and podcasts, and trying to learn from those elders around me how to handle my first electoral rodeo.

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The New J

National Press Building Entrance

National Press Building Entrance

As I arrive at the National Press Building, I meet my new boss in the lobby. Being so new to the city, he begins to teach me the ways of Washington DC addresses: Numbered streets go north/south, while lettered go east/west.

“There’s one catch though,” he added. “There is no J-street, which is a pretty well known joke within DC.”

I’ve made it my mission to find this narnia-esqe path.


You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. Well, the skinny of it is this: I am back in America, and have a new job as an assistant producer for a major Japanese television network’s DC bureau. I still find it hard to believe that I have landed such a perfect split between what I went to school for, and my general interests.

Some of you may wonder why I didn’t write something about my departure from JET. While the easy excuse is that I simply had no time during the transition period, I also had a feeling that I didn’t have any parting words on the subject. My final speech post really encapsulated many of the things I learned over the years I was an ALT. Anything else I would have added would either be repeats or complaints, neither of them constructive.

At first I thought I would write about the influx of reverse-culture-shock I would succumb to once back in the states. But the reality is that, well, I haven’t come across anything so dramatic which would warrant such a post. Sure, there are definitely some things here and there (looking at you, sarcasm), but nothing to the point of writing a self-indulged think piece.

However, having a lack of writing topics at the moment does not mean this blog is in the grave. For one, I think there is still something to say along the lines of the general transition post-JET. Whether that be switching job cultures, working in such a culturally mixed office space, being involved with the alumni association, or training the newbies, I’m sure I will continue to write about JET related topics in the future. While I’m also figuring out how much I can disclose, I’m sure my adventures in DC politics under the umbrella of the Japanese press will bring out editorials as well.

My Junior Correspondents

My Junior Correspondents

I’ve already been quite busy, and heading into the political sphere during this election is nothing short of a “throwing-myself-in-the-fire-pit” like initiation. But I went through the same process at the Missouri School of Journalism, and I have confidence that I can handle the heat again. These fires are just much larger and stinkier.

So here’s to transitioning from one of my preferred J’s to the next. And once I find J-street I can add one more to the line up top.

There and Back Again

“THIS WAY, SIR,” an airport agent calls to me as I stand jet lagged in the US citizens line. I approach a booth and am prompted to print out a photo of my face, which is a completely new process to me. I then bring all of the required papers to the customs officer, and had an odd sense of worry about what he might ask me.

“So, what are you bringing home, son?”

“Uh, treats, candy and other stuff like that.”

Then he waves me off with a most halfhearted, “See ya.”


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A Year and Stuff

I have a much different tone of this same post in another draft folder. In that post, I don more of a suit and tie, and speak like a best man at someone’s wedding: make fun of yourself, the ones you love and the future that’s yet untold.

However, I’ve never been a best man and honestly I’ve never been great at the whole “wedding” thing, so reading it now is a little odd.

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Doin’ It Right

We all need a little inspiration from somewhere.
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Randomly Picked Manga: Some Background

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Due to the holiday, I’ll be gone for the regular day’s posting.

See you soon!

Time Management (and the expectation of content)

It’s already a bit hard to imagine I’ve already been in Japan for a solid three weeks and my real job is going to start within the next two. Since I’ve been back, there’s been a lot to do: get the apartment set up for all of my needs, meeting future coworkers/other JETs on the island and seeing as many old friends as I can before the real employment begins. To say the least, I’m glad I got to do a lot of the previous, but every action takes away time that could be utilized somewhere else, for better or for worse. For example, writing a personal blog.

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Well, it’s just about that time.

It’s currently 4:00 a.m. where I’m at and my flight leaves at 11:00 a.m. The day has been filled with goodbyes, informational packets and lots of IPAs that I’ll never be able to have again. Though, I’m staying up because I’ve gained the particular skill over the years of being able to sleep on airplanes and it sure does make that 12 hour flight go by a lot faster.

However, this post is much more of a “wow, I’m really going to be busy this next week” sort of deal than anything else. On top of that, I don’t really know when I’m going to have full internet access. When I do, I’ll have plenty of things to write about. Hell, I got plenty of stuff out of today I could write about. I just need to cultivate it.

So, if there is no post by next Thursday/Friday, have no fear. I will most definitely be alive. I just may not have an internet soap box for me to remind all of you of that fact.

Being (Semi) Anonymous

Alright, let’s start out with some cliches.  1) Our society is becoming more connected than ever before and 2) Our definition of the word “privacy” is changing at an accelerated rate.  Especially with our phones, computers and gaming devices trying to integrate just about every social application they can, what’s “private” to my parent’s and grandparent’s generations is totally different than what I might consider private.

What does this have to do with blogging in Japan?  Well, while people in my generation may be more willing to share things online, I think an important distinction is to also add that these sorts of people are Americans my age. The opposite could be said about Japan.

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