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No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners - Book Discussion with Author Joe Palermo!

In partnership with JETAAUSA working to connect our community across generations through their JET Generations initiative, JETAA Chicago is hosting a discussion of No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners!: My Life in Japan in the 80s with author and Monbusho English Fellow (Gunma, 82-83), Joe Palermo!

The Monbusho English Fellows Program (MEF) is the precursor to the modern day JET program, and No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners chronicles Joe Palermo's experience in Japan as a MEF in the 80s.

Join your fellow alumni, friends of JET and the author(!) on Sunday, August 29th at 4 pm CST for a discussion of No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners, using the experiences of one alumni in the 80s as a lens to reflect on our own understanding of Japan. Come ready to ask questions, share stories, and most importantly, learn about the similarities and differences that tie us together across our individual experiences!

Sign up via Guestlist!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the book (can be found on Amazon) and join us for an illuminating discussion in a virtual space via Zoom! This event is open to JET alumni and friends of JET. Registrations are limited, so grab a spot while you can!

Want a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the book? Check out a June 2021 interview with Joe Palermo in which he answers questions such as "When looking back, what's one story you didn't share, but would have liked to include?" and "Out of all the culture shocks you talked about, which one was the biggest?".

Can't get enough of Joe? In commemoration of Pokémon's 25th birthday this year, Joe wrote a piece about PokémonGo for Origami Magazine: "Confessions of a 62-Year-Old PokémonGo Player." He addresses the unfair stigma attached to those who play PokémonGo, and celebrates the opportunity provided by the game to broaden our social circles and improve our physical health. Read his article here!

If you have any questions, please reach out to We look forward to seeing you there!

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