Design by Roland Carlos
  • Hajimemashite, Kumamoto by Liam Nolan
  • Ramadan by Mana Haleem
  • Rub the lamp, one wish left, no time baby. by Jeff Kaiser
  • A Message from KumAJET
  • Reflections on JET in Kumamoto
  • Photos by Olivia Lee, Erika Egner, and Roland Carlos
  • Haiku by Audrienne Manansala
Design by Jemma Gallagher
  • Half Past Ten by Christopher Hester
  • Last Breaths of Spring by Audrienne Manansala
  • Adventures in the Life of a Developing Obachan:
    a satire about premature aging
     by Jemma Gallagher
  • The Color Run in Kitakyushu by Mana Haleem
  • The Golden Country: Iwate
  • Continue? The Return of an ALT After JET by Matthew Khor
  • Photos by Jemma Gallagher, Erika Egner, and Olivia Lee
An HQ Version (80MB) of this issue is also available. 
Design by George Leach
  • Untitled by Arianna
  •  by Charlie Fieseler
  • (Is there) Life After JET(?) by Joe Tomei
  • Tabaruzaka by Roland Carlos
  • Photos by Olivia Lee, Chalice Mitchell, and George Leach
Design by Valeria Reyes
  • The Story...So Far by Brendan Amy
  • The Future of the Japanese Elementary School Program by Sam Muller
  • Snap, Crackle, Pop - A few crispy hikes by Jeff Kaiser
  • Takahama by Chris Hester
  • An Outsider Amongst Outsiders by Julia Green
  • Reverse Culture Shock: A reflection by Lauren Sorondo
  • Photos by Erika Egner, Olivia Lee, Chalice Mitchell, and Lacey Lee
Design by Valeria Reyes
  • Skateboarding in Kumamoto by Sam Van Ginhoven
  • 4,541 Miles of Perspective by Jarissa Lum
  • Chinese Characters Worth Getting Tattoed by Chris Ott
  • Short Stories from Kumamoto by Sam Zimny
  • Summertime Swimming in Kyushu by Chris Ott
  • Photos by Lacey Lee and Valeria Reyes

Design by Zachary Johnson
  • Prose: Personal Musing on the Value of Experience by Aria Coveney
  • Photo: Takahashi Inari Shrine at Hatsuuma Festival by Hiroshi Fukushima
  • Full Bloom: Night and Day by Adele Jackson-Gibson
  • Photo: Sunset over the Cherry Blossom Trees at Tachioka Lake in Uto City by Inandi Roux
  • I Identify With by Zachary Johnson
  • Poem: Are humans not after all, just hope and desire made into flesh? by Aria Coveney

Design by Valeria Reyes
  • Nagasaki by Erik Smith
  • Hiking Kumamoto: Mount Gankai by Lander Sims
  • An Adventure in Immobility by Jon Hughes
  • Baby's First Oharai & A Chat with the Smiling Girl by Valeria Reyes
  • Japan's #1 Mascot & Kumamoto Governor Visit Boston & NY by Mark Frey
  • Photos submissions from Laura McGhee

Design by Zachary Johnson
  • Ringside by Zack Kraushar
  • Experiencing Racial Differences in Japan by Adele Jackson-Gibson
  • The UN Comes to Kumamoto by Erik Smith
  • Out in Japan by Zachary Johnson
  • My "Oh No" Moments by Melissa Barcellos
  • California Kawaura Dreaming by Erin Dillon

Design by Andrew August
  • Kumamoto ALTs Say Goodbye - speeches, poems, and reflections of returning JETs
  • Can I get a medal too? by Alys Turner
  • Making the most of Eikaiwa by Melissa Reed
  • Welcome to your new ALT PA
  • New KumAJET team
  • The 2012-2013 KumAJET goodbye
  • Mayumi's cutting edge by Andrew August
  • An incoming JET's search for adventure by John Roche


Design by Ian O'Kidhain
  • Festival on Fire by Joe Fingerhut
  • The Mighty Rooster by Mollee Reitz
  • Bittersweet by Melissa Reed
  • Well, If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge...Would You? by Ian Cruz
  • Spring pictures by Kaile Heng

Design by Laura Turner
  • Guarding the Yokozuna by Hugo Dragonetti
  • Positivity and Teaching by Mollee Reitz
  • Onsen Etiquette by Chris Ott
  • In Pictures: International Friendship Festival

  • Ni Kyu Bee by KumAJET
  • A Little Bit of Mullet-tude Goes a Long Way by Joe Fingerhut, former Kumamoto City ALT
  • Photography by Inandi Roux taken in Uto and Ashikita
  • An American in Kumamoto by Jason Shon
  • Beating the Winter Blues by Marie August and Jason Shon
  • Reminders: 2012 International Friendship Festival, Travel, 2012 Skill Development Conference, Reappointment Information, Photo Directory
  • A Fond Farewell includes reflections of several departing JETs
  • 無 on the Mind by Laura Turner
  • Michael's Japan Memoirs:  Reflections on Two Years Spent in Hitoyoshi in Senryu Form by Michael Hofmeyr
  • I do Nichibu.  Nichi-who?  JETs who do Japanese traditional dance share thoughts from their time on, and off, the tatami by Ruth Rowntree-Kai, Cody Jones, Emily Taylor, Matt Khor, and Erik Smith
  • Goodbye from KumAJET  Farewell messages from this year's KumAJET Reps
  • New KumAJET Representatives  Meet your new KumAJET Representatives
  • Who's that Pokemon Vegetable? by Laura Turner
  • Leftover Rice:  Japanese traditional festistive wear - and where to be seen in it this sticky season by Ruth Rowntree-Kai
  • Announcements & Reminders:  Re-entry Permits, Planned Power Outages, AJET Connect Magazine - New Sports Editor's Content Call-Announcements & Reminders:  Re-entry Permits, Planned Power Outages, AJET Connect Magazine - New Sports Editor's Content Call

  • Internationalization in the Nude by Chris Ott
  • Spring Photos by Michael Hofmeyr
  • A Message From the New Japanese PA by Hideki Harada
  • Announcements for Current JETs
  • Everyday I'm (Noh) Shuffling by Laura Turner
  • A Tokyo Transition by Scott Borba
  • Photos by Michael Hofmeyr
  • Natural Italian with Plenty of Heart by Andrew August
  • The Six Higo Flowers by Jason Shon
  • Photos by Ian O'Kidhain
  • Information on the abolishment of the Alien Registration System
  • Kumamoto News: bicycle parking bans and bicycle parking fees in Kumamoto city
  • Announcements for current JETs: Kumamoto as a ordinance-designated city, call for TOAs, and SDC General summary
  • More Than a Tape Recorder by Joe Fingerhut
  • Ichi Kyu Bee! by Adam Chludzinski of KumAJET
  • Some Humble Encouragement by Ian O'Kidhain
  • Photos by Michael Hofmeyr
  • Kiwi Culture by Jason Shon
  • Change in Remuneration for JETs Arriving in 2012
  • Photos by Katakin Peace
  • Kumamoto in the News
  • From the Editor

What's The YOKA?
The YOKA is an English-language newsletter published by the International Affairs Division with the help of current and former Kumamoto JETs.  For current JETs this is an opportunity not only to learn about some of the activities and events your fellow JETs are involved in, but also to get a glimpse of the what post-JET life is like from one of your sempai.  Likewise, we hope The YOKA will give former Kumamoto JETs an idea of what current JETs are up to and help you maintain connection with the Kumamoto JET community. 
What does 'YOKA' mean?
'Yoka' (よか)is Kumamoto dialect for 'yoi' (良い), which means 'good'.  
Want to Contribute?
We aim to issue The YOKA on a seasonal basis.  Any contributions would be welcome.  Whether you are a current or former Kumamoto JET, if you would like to write an article, contribute, or have any questions about The YOKA, please contact the PAs at  Thank you.
Send me The YOKA!
Currently we send The YOKA to all current and former Kumamoto JETs by email. If you know of a current or former Kumamoto JET or someone else who would like to receive The YOKA, or if your email address has changed and would like to receive The YOKA at a different address, please let us know at

・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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