We are the Champions

Japan has a lot of mascots.  Do you ever find yourself lying awake in bed at night trying to figure out which prefectural mascot is the best?  I know I do.  But thanks to the Yurukyara Prefecture Character Contest I can finally get some rest.  And when I do, can you guess that special champion whom I'll be dreaming of?  Yes, that's right, folks, Kumamon is #1!

Here are the top five Prefectural mascots:
#1 Kumamon                                  
Kumamoto Prefecture

#2 Barry-san
Aichi Prefecture

#3 Chiume-chan
Fukuoka Prefecture

#4 Yanana-chan
Gifu Prefecture

#5 Yoichi-kun
Tochigi Prefecture

To see all the characters go to http://yurugp.jp/

To see the rankings go to http://yurugp.jp/ranking.php?start=1&uk=

To vote for a character send a blank email to req@yurugp.jp and put the number of the character in the subject line.  Kumamon's number is 93.  

You can vote once a day.

Thank you Scott for bringing this important information to our attention.


It was a dark and stormy night. Rain pounded down on the hills of Kumamoto. The bamboo forests of Nankan were shrouded in a thick fog which swirled almost audibly. No weather conditions could have better set the scene for the Legendary Tamana Halloween Party, which took place at the Sekia Hills resort on October 29th. Zombies, robots, computer game characters, a green man, witches andKumamons, not forgetting oji-chans and oba-chans, gathered to celebrate the night of all things evil. Lady Gaga herself (or so we believe) was also spotted playing a piano with a small man seated above it... Bloodthirsty though many of these characters appeared, their thirst on the night was for Jungle Juice – and lots of it! Over 40 litres of the mysterious concoction was consumed, along with just under 120 litres of beer. With music loud enough to wake the dead, every zombie, monster and witch was eager to show off their dance-like convulsions, which rocked the Sekia Hills until the early hours. Thankfully, Tamana is now exorcised of its evil. For 2011 at least...

Tamana gun would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all who came and made the event a success.  May your souls be saved forever more.
Jake Andrews
Ichi Kyu Bee!
The weekend of October 1st/2nd saw Kumamoto host its first ever beach Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Hosted by KumAJET in association with Disc Sports Japan, Ichi Kyu Bee (DaiIkkai Zen-Kyushu Beach Ultimate Tournament) invited ALT and Japanese teams from all over Kyushu to participate in the 2 day event.
About half of the teams arrived on Saturday and participated in a Hat Tournament. ALT teams from Kumamoto, Saga, Oita, Miyazaki as well as Japanese teams from Fukuoka and Nagasaki all arrived and played together in a format which mixed up teams, giving all participants a chance to meet each other, and play in a non-competitive, fun, manner.

Ichi Kyu Bee was an event which drew inspiration from the very successful and annually hosted Taj Ultimate.  Both events were created and hosted by JETs for JETs and their Japanese friends.  Both events strive to further the broad objective of the JET Programme: grassroots internationalization.  IKB’s vision was to further strengthen the ties between Japanese and foreigners by providing a sporting event which encourages internationalization and friendship between local Japanese, Japanese from other prefectures, and foreigners in a setting that fosters camaraderie, sportsmanship, and respect.
The day proved a great success and with music playing across the four courts marked across the beach, Japanese and ALTs alike were able to socialize in a relaxed and light-hearted manner whilst playing Ultimate.  In the evening teams retreated to their nearby bungalows to wind down and enjoy a well-earned BBQ and drinks.
Sunday saw the arrival of a total of nine Japanese teams from a total of six different prefectures in Kyushu for a total of 141 participants. Out of the thirteen competing teams, the Kumamoto Powers (a shakaijin team associated with Disc Sports Japan) emerged victorious, defeating one of the three Fukuoka teams 9-7 in the final.   
When KumAJET first set out to hold such an event, it was our hope that ALTs and Japanese people would come together and spend a weekend laughing, relaxing and making new friends. One of our goals for this year was to encourage grass roots internationalization. We feel we achieved this, and could not have hoped for a more successful weekend.
Roll on 2QB! 


Know of an upcoming event or festival?  Been somewhere amazing? Done something memorable? Eaten something delicious? Know a good Japanese phrase or obscure English word?  We'd like your input!  Anything related to Kumamoto or Japan, the JET Program, teaching, and international exchange is welcome.  If you would like to contribute, please don't hesitate to contact us at kumamotopa@gmail.com.   

Upcoming Events

3333 Stone Steps
What:  Hike up Japan's longest stone staircase
When:  Saturday, November 19
Where:  Misato machi
Cost:  1000 yen
applications due November 11
Men's World Cup Volleyball
When:  Thursday and Friday, November 24, 25 
Where:  Kumamoto Prefectural Gym
tickets start at 2000 yen
Skill Development Conference
When:  Thursday and Friday, December 1 and 2
Where:  Kumamoto Tersa Hotel (Kumamoto City)
Attendance for all Kumamoto ALTs is mandatory

Language Box

Japanese Phrase of the Week

意味 (meaning):
literally, 'decent from heaven'
refers to the practice of government employees finding high-ranking jobs in private companies after retirement.
例文 (example sentence):
Prime Minister Jason said, 'We need to do something to prevent "Amakudari."  But I don't know what we should do.'
じ ごう じ とく 
jigou ji toku

意味 (meaning):
to get what you ask for
to reap what you sow
to get what's coming to you
例文 (example sentence):
Aさん: テレビを9台買っちゃって、お金がない!貸してちょうだい
Bさん: 訳が分からない。自業自得だ。
A-san:  I bought nine TVs and now I have no money!  Can you lend me some?
B-san:  That's ridiculous.  Serves you right.
おうじょうぎわ が わるい 
oujougiwa ga warui

直訳 (literal translation):
'the timing of submission/death is bad'

意味 (meaning):
to be a poor loser
not know when to give up
例文 (example sentence):
Aさん: 寒くない?雪が降ってつのに半袖で外に出かける人はいないよ。
Bさん: 少し寒いけど大丈夫だよ
Aさん: 往生際が悪いぞ
A-san:  Aren't you cold?  Nobody goes out in short sleeves when it's snowing.
B-san:  It's a little cold but I'm ok.
A-san:  You just don't know when to give in [to the cold].  
Obscure English Word of the Week
Absquatulate [ab skwoch uh leyt]
1. to flee, to abscond

example sentence:
Jason: "The aliens are here!  Absquatulate for your lives!"

related forms:
absquatulater, noun
absquatulation, noun
  [ren uh fawrm, ree nuh fawrm]
1. kidney-shaped

example sentence:
Jason:  The doctor says I have a perfectly reniform kidney.  
Marie:  Congratulations. 
  [oh ver wee ning]
1.  presumptuously conceited, confident, or proud
2.  exaggerated, excessive, or arrogant

example sentence:
Jason:  Hey Marie, did you know I could jump rope more times than anybody else in my class when I was in the 3rd grade?
Marie:  Did you know nobody cares?  Keep your overweening pride to yourself.

・If you have been to a good English-speaking doctor, please email the PAs about it.

・Good luck with the new semester of classes! 

Important upcoming dates:

・Starting in October - New ES/JHS ALT School Visits  
Upcoming Events:

・September 5 - Taco Night, 7PM at Tortacos, Kumamoto City
・September 26 & 27 - Ashikita Beach Party, Otachimisaki Park, Ashikita, check-in starts at 4PM

Area Guide


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