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The JETAA Chicago Leadership is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone in our community. To learn more review our Community Conduct & Agreements.

Set up by a JET currently placed in Hokkaido, this gofundme is aiding in the relief of the earthquake that occurred there recently.


Read about it below and donate here.


The Town of Atsuma is a small town located on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. The majority of people who live there are young families and retirees. It’s a beautiful, welcoming and kind place, one that I’ve had the pleasure of calling my home for the past year. 

Unfortunately, on September 6th, at around 3 am, disaster struck. A 6.7 magnitude earthquake. The highest level on the Japanese meteorological scale is a 7. It left the town, broken and caused many landslides in the area. Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and families have been separated.

In in the midst of chaos, I’ve witnessed a community come together in ways I never imagined possible. In everyone’s worst nightmare, people are pulling together, keeping their spirits high, loving and supporting one another. 

Once the dust settles, things start to sink in and the clean up begins, Atsuma is going to need our support more than ever. 

The money from this will be going towards relief for the town. Whether it’s helping to rebuild homes, fixing the land in the parks and roads or replacing the many school supplies that have been destroyed, I will be working with the town to see where it most needed. 

Please donate what you can. A little goes a long way! Let’s show this quaint town that it’s loved and supported across the globe.

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Friday, September 14, 2018

5:30 - 9:00 pm

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA)


Up in Grand Rapids, MI this Friday? Why not check out this exhibit?


From the artist:

The art project I'm showing was created as part of the Furusato Vision Project, an opportunity which began in 2017 for JET alumni to create projects in the towns they had taught in. So, I created the artworks in this exhibition while in Amakusa, Kumamoto-ken last November and paired them with works done in Grand Rapids this summer. In both locations I focused on residents memories as they related to urban change (depopulation in Japan and economic decline in Grand Rapids).


Thursday, October 4, 2018

5:30 - 7:00 pm

Japanese Culture Center


Join the Japan America Society's recipient of the 2018 Cultural Achievement award, and the Japanese Culture Center's Shodo Calligraphy instructor, Oda Hekiun for an evening exploring Japanese calligraphy!


The evening will include a brief introduction, demonstration, and history of shodo/Japanese calligraphy, and will also give participants the opportunity to learn hand to hand from from master calligrapher Hekiun Oda-sensei! Explore the unique and centering art of calligraphy, and even leave with a few works of your own.


Grab a ticket here.


Those who wish to continue in the art can speak with Oda-sensei about joining classes after the event.


No previous experience in calligraphy, or knowledge of the Japanese language required. All ages are are welcome.

The Speaker

Mr. Hekiun Oda began studying Shodo at the age of 5 under Goun Katsura, himself a master. Mr. Oda moved to Chicago in 1990, and has held exhibitions and demonstrations at venues, including the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Culture Center, UNIQLO, and McHenry County College.


In 2009, he established the Oda Japanese Calligraphy School and has taught over 100 students. Mr. Oda obtained a “Shihan” – the highest rank in Shodo – in Nov. 2011 from Genshinkai, an association of calligraphers in Japan.


For Oda Shihan, Shodo is a reflection of the calligrapher’s heart. He explores the beauty of this art form by re-imagining his encounters with life and nature in thin or thick lines and powerful or gentle strokes. Mr. Oda’s artist vision is to create beautiful works based on his solid shodo foundation and to share them with the public.

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JETAA CHICAGO

Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Alumni Association of Chicago
Connecting JET alumni in the Midwest - Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana
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