A Slice of Life From Japan: The Japanese English Teacher (JTE) I Will Never Forget

Today, I found a memoir-like post hidden away in the depths of my hard drive.  I thought this little piece perfectly conveyed what it was like to teach on the JET Program, as well as introduced some  unforgettable characters all JETs are bound to meet on the journey.  It’s a long post, but if you can slog through it, it perfectly summarizes my unforgettable experience working with my Japanese English Teacher (JTE).

The Japanese Countryside

“You have to meet Uchida-sensei,” all of the staff at the school told me repeatedly.  “He’s going to be one of the English teachers you work with.  Plus, I think he’s about the same age as you.” read more

The Cherry Blossoms of Japan’s Snow Country, Niigata

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The harsh, cruel winter had come to a calm end. The roaring winds from the sea of Japan quieted to a whisper, and the walls of snow melted down into the nearby Shinano River, flowing along the rice fields and out into the open sea. The locals opened their windows to welcome in the fresh air of a spring long awaited, the sun a welcome sight from the months of grey skies and winter storms. In yukiguni—or snow country, as Niigata prefecture is famously known thanks to the Nobel prize winning book of the same name—winters can bring up to seven feet of snow fall. read more

American in Niigata

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As soon as I stepped off the train, with luggage in both hands and two Japanese officials at my side, I knew that I was definitely not home in the United States anymore. Thousands of miles away from the familiar and transplanted in a new country, nothing had registered mentally—but physically, however, I was indeed feeling it.

July in Japan. I was hit with a tidal wave of humidity that drenched me senseless. The Japanese government in Tokyo decided to send me to this hot, humid sauna called Niigata, Japan. I was sweating profusely, my body was jet lagged, and there was a ringing in my ears that I would later know as “cicadas.” My eyes were heavy, my legs like water and my heart still in Salt Lake City. read more