Category Archives: Uncategorized

Have you heard of Brass Band Camelia?

By Patrick Peh


At the end of January we had Tsubaki “Matsuri” (meaning Festival), which is a massive festival held at Tsubaki Shrine, marking the coldest day this winter. But what I am going to write about here is not so much about the festival but about a concert band of the same name. In my final year of the JET program, I had the honor and privilege to perform with Brass Band Camellia in Masaki Culture Center. Previously, in Listen to the Japanese School Band I narrated the story of students playing their instruments in band. This time, I will write about their teachers who play their instruments in band.

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Ehime AJET TTRPG: Spooky Scary Skeletons in Matsuyama

Edited by Jordan Rocke

On February 5th, 2023, JETs and other English educators from all over Ehime converged in Matsuyama for Ehime AJETs first TTRPG conference for the year! This was the second in-person TTRPG event since the start of the pandemic, and the first not to be hosted in an Australian’s house in Hojo. The game in question was The Skeletons by Jason Morningstar, published by Bully Pulpit. For more information on the game and how to play it, you can check out the page here, or you can check out game #9 in this previous article by your humble editor here. However, the biggest question is: how did the games unfold? To answer that question, I’ve asked representatives from each of the four tombs to explain how they found the event, and what their impressions were. Please enjoy this tour of the catacombs, far more populated than you would expect!

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Backtrack #27: A Lightbulb Moment (Maura McCarthy, Uwajima SHS ALT, 2013-15)

2015-05-22 11.38.39-2_Original

What’s your name, when and where was your placement, and where are you from originally?

My name is Maura McCarthy, and I had a placement in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.

I’m a military dependent, so I’m not from one place in particular– but I spent my last year of high school and undergraduate career in North Carolina before JET. I lived in Kanagawa prefecture for 3 years in high school (on a military base), so Japan was also a part of my upbringing in some ways. 

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Where the Track Splits: The Aiaru Iyonada Line and the Uchiko Line

By Carl Sotomil

Hello there Mikans! My name is Carl, and I like trains. I am the ALT for Iyo-Nakayama, so if it still does not ring any bells until now, nice to meet you.

I live in the middle of the mountains (that’s where “Nakayama” got its name) in Iyo City, so much so that I can not even call it a city anymore. My daily life is almost entirely dependent on taking the train from the mountains to the city below. I love being on trains here in Ehime because it is almost guaranteed that you will have a seat every morning; though I am sometimes a little frustrated with the lack of scheduled trains, sometimes going hours without one!

A lot of you are probably afraid of going south because the Yosan Line splits into 2 lines, though I can reassure you that you will enjoy where both lines go through. Allow me to guide you through the mountains and the coastline by rail!

Map of the 2 lines
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Backtrack #25: I Didn’t Want to be in England (Steve Turner, Hojo High School ALT, 2003-06)


What’s your name, when and where was your placement, and where are you from originally?

I am Steve Turner. I was an Ehime Ken ALT in Hojo Senior High School, in Matsuyama for 2 years and then added Imabari Nishi Senior High School and Imabari Technical High School for a year.

I was originally from Walsall near Birmingham in England. The ongoing joke was if there was a small group of brummie sounding kids now in Japan.

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Vampires, Witches, Skeletons, Mesoamerican Gods and a Big Bloody Castle: An Introduction to Solo Journaling TTRPGs

By Jordan Rocke

G’day everyone! It’s “the blog editor didn’t want to bother everyone during the holidays and now has no content for the blog queued up” time! This time, I want to talk about something that has been getting me through a lot of dead deskwarming time: Solo Journaling RPGs.

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30 Candles: Three Tales of Candlelit Horror

Edited by Jordan Rocke

On October 22nd, 2022, a decent cross-section of the population of Ehime JETs and former JETs turned up to sleepy little Hojo to try their best not to set fire to my unsuspecting tatami. Specifically, we all played a homebrew horror game named 10 Candles. We split into three groups in different parts of my house. Fueled by top-tier Hojoan pizza and Andrew’s amazing brownies, all our flavours of madness were bound to come out. As such, I asked players from each of the three groups to write a short summary of their experiences in the game. Please enjoy, thank you again to everyone who attended, and I appreciate that my house remains intact despite all the candles we burned through!

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