Ehime JETs Online: Justin and JTravels

By Justin Woodard

Hey everyone! Quick editor’s note: This is the first in (hopefully) a series of articles focused on current and former Ehime JETs, and the media they create. I mainly want to focus on blogs and Youtube channels, but basically anything local JETs create is fair game! If you are or were an Ehime JET and would like to share your blog, channel or etc with us, please get in touch at themikanblog@gmail.com.

On a bright and sunny day during a pandemic filled Golden Week, I hopped on my bike and started riding to a beautiful little shrine in a small suburb just outside of Matsuyama called Hojo. I had my phone in hand and a goal in my head that started back before I came to Japan. One day as I was sitting in my college fraternity watching the “Abroad in Japan” channel on YouTube, I thought to myself that it would be a lot of fun to go around Japan filming the places I get to visit, just like the sarcastic British guy I was watching. Now there could also be a sarcastic American guy making YouTube videos. Fast forward two years and I’m on my bike pedaling past rice fields and old homes until I arrived at my favorite shrine in Hojo. As I was parking my bike, I realized I didn’t have any plans for what I was going to talk about in my first video, so I improvised, as all good YouTubers do. I started talking about the proper way to enter and exit a shrine as well as the dos and don’ts while praying so as not to offend the gods of Shintoism.

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Who Doesn’t Like A Good Story?: Game Mastering at the 2022 Ehime AJET TTRPG Conference

By Charles Marshall

While I love the life I’ve made for myself here, there’s definitely things that I miss having the ability to easily get involved with when I lived back in Alaska. And I’m sure that’s something a lot of us can relate to to some extent or other regardless of the hobby or passion. For me, it tends to be theatre, musicals and, most relevant to this article, table-top role-playing games, or TTRPGs for short.

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Unbeaten Paths: Nanyo 2021 (Happy New Year Edition)

Welcome to 2022, everyone! Hopefully it’ll mark a much easier year for folks to actually get into Japan than the rest of the 2020s so far. This is the last entry for this set, but considering we still have folks due to arrive who were delayed by the Omicron shutdown, I’m sure there’ll be another set of Unbeaten Paths published before the end of the year.

Anyway, on to our beloved rural southern third, Nanyo! As with before, we also have some introductions from new JETs in the last Unbeaten Paths, located here. On to the new folks!

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Unbeaten Paths: Chuyo 2021 (Actually Here Edition)

Edited by Jordan Rocke

Welcome back, everyone! Here’s part 2, looking at the closest thing you’ll find to a city in Ehime: Chuyo. As with last time, you can find a decent number of 2021 Chuyo JET intros in our previous Chuyo installment, located here. If you’re in the mood for more intros after this, check out our previous installment from Toyo, located here. Now here’s the intros!

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Backtrack #18: So Many Happy Days (David Leeming, Matsuyama ALT, 1995-1997)

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My time in Japan seems so long ago yet it feels like yesterday. My journey onto the programme was probably like many of you, as it was far from being straight forward. After my degree I undertook a TEFL certificate which led me on to teaching children in a summer school in Kent (Pilgrims). I loved it. I knew that teaching was something that I enjoyed and hoped to do it again one day. That day came quite quickly. A friend of mine called me to tell that he knew of a role teaching English at a school in Volos, Greece. I gave up my job that day and I literally packed my bags the next week, took a flight, and headed to the town I would call home for the next 9 months. I guess it was lucky I passed the onsite interview. The folly of youth 😊. It was a shock to the system as teaching for exams is very different from teaching English for ‘fun’ in the summer. Yet it gave me a great grounding in teaching and the use of English.

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Backtrack #17: Bridges Were Built (Jessica Shepherd, Matsuyama Central SHS ALT, 2011-2015)

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

My name is Jessica Shepherd, and I was placed in Ehime on the island of Shikoku from 2011 to 2015. I am originally from Quebec, Canada and am currently residing there now. Matsuyama was my first choice for placement, and I was lucky enough to get it. Actually, it was my fiancé at the time who chose Matsuyama. I was happy to go anywhere in Japan since each place had its interesting features. He wanted to walk the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage during our time in Japan and living in a big city on Shikoku would also allow him to find a job in his domain: French cooking and pastries. It was such a great placement! It has everything you want in a big city (500 000 people) with all the charm of country life. He did end up walking the pilgrimage and I could join him on weekends. One of the best experiences of our lives.

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