2016 Tampa Natsumatsuri Announcement

JETAA Table at Tampa Natsu Matsuri
Hi everyone,

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Tampa Natsumatsuri has been set for June 11 from 6pm9pm!

That’s right, we’re moving to the evening!  This should make it less hot and hopefully easier for people to attend.  It’s also more traditional.  We just haven’t been in a position to do it until now.

I’m also very please to announce that we have a new festival Director!  Tom Gregorich is a JET alumni who has been active in sharing Japanese culture since his return to the US.  He’s been a personal friend of mine for many years and I know he’s going to do a great job.  Of course, I’ll still be involved, but Tom will be handling most of the coordination.

To help with the transition, we’ve also established a new email address that is dedicated to festival business.  Please add TampaNatsuMatsuri@gmail.com to your address book and direct festival questions there from now on.  This is the last festival email you’ll receive from the Tampakumi address.  But you will still receive emails from me about other Tampa Japanese community events.

As always, we need your help to make the festival a success.  Tampa Natsumatsuri is a non-profit community-based festival.  This means, it’s you, the Tampa Japanese cultural community, that make it happen.  So we need exhibitors, vendors, game operators, cosplayers, martial artists…anyone who participates in Japanese culture to come show off what you love.  As I always say, if there’s something you’ve always wanted to see at the festival, that’s a good sign you’re the one to bring it!

Thanks and see you there,


Tampa Natsumatsuri Founder

JETAAFL Tampa Region Representative.

Events Update!

cool-japan-2016Check out many of the exciting events coming up in the next month!

02/25/2016 – Nihongo de OK, 6-7 PM (Tampa)

The second Nihongo de OK Japanese language only event is scheduled for Thursday 2/25 from 6-7pm. It’s an informal opportunity for learners of Japanese and those who speak Japanese as a second language to use Japanese. RSVP to John at tampakumi [at] gmail.com for the location details.

02/27-02/28/2016 – COOL Japan, 12pm-5pm (Miami)

A FREE, family-friendly two-day event dedicated to Japanese Traditional & Pop Culture! Play games or participate in the contests to with prizes, drink tea and listen to J-pop or Taiko drumming. A few members of JETAA in Miami will be running a table on Sunday (02/28) about the JET Program and the awesome JETAA support network!

02/27/2016 – Miami Coffee 会話 (Kaiwa), 5pm – 7pm

A casual Japanese conversation meeting. Native Japanese and speakers of all proficiency levels are welcome. Contact Lauren at LSorondo1@gmail.com for more information.

03/03/2016 – Tampa Japanese Conversation Table

A Japanese conversation practice event! All levels are welcome, but come prepared to speak ONLY in Japanese. Contact John at tampa@floridajetaa.org for more information.

03/04/2016 – Tampa Tsudoi, 7pm – 9pm

Just a time to meet some people who share an interest in Japan. Both Japanese and English are spoken. Contact John at tampa@floridajetaa.org for more information.

03/05-06/2016 – 26th Annual Asian Culture Festival (Miami), 10am-6pm

An annual festival at the Fruit and Spice Park celebrating Asian culture. Come enjoy crafts, art, and exotic music and dance, as well as a tasty selection of authentic Eastern cuisine. Some Miami JET Alumni will be sharing information about the JET Program at CGJ Miami’s tent. Showcasing Japan, there will be an origami and shodo corner, an Ikebana demonstration, and taiko perforances!

Admission: $12 per person; Children Ages 6–12: $5

Help Support the Tampa Japanese Summer Festival!

Only 21 days to go! Help us fund this free non-profit festival and show your support for Japanese culture in Tampa Bay! This is a really wonderful event and our biggest of the year. I hope you all will help us support it through the purchase of these cool t-shirts!

We still have a long way to go. The company prints the shirts we have orders for and then they ship directly to you. Order at the link: www.booster.com/tampa-natsumatsuri


Tampa Event: Hiroya Tsukamoto at Jan Platt Library

Hiroya Tsukamoto: Acoustic Guitar Music With Japanese Folk Songs

Join Hiroya Tsukamoto as he performs solo acoustic music that will include original materials along with Japanese folk music and the stories behind them. Hiroya is a one-of-a-kind composer, guitarist and singer-songwriter from Kyoto, Japan and his sound has been described as cinematic acoustic music.

Funded by the Friends of the Jan Platt Library.

Monday, February 02, 2015
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Jan Kaminis Platt – Witt Community Room A & B

View on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Hiroya+Tsukamoto

Tampa Tsudoi New Location

Tampa Tsudoi is an informal meetup of people interested in Japanese language and culture.  There’s no agenda.  Just come meet people who share an interest in Japan.  It’s always the first Friday of each month from 7-8pm.  We’re meeting at Village Inn at 11302 North 30th St. Tampa.  It’s always the same time and place so no RSVP is necessary.  Come for a few minutes or stay the whole time.  Both Japanese and English are spoken.  For more information contact tampa@floridajetaa.org.

New JET Meet & Greet!

JET alumni around the state can meet with this year’s new group of kouhai after their Q&A sessions! Come, eat, drink, answer questions, and talk about the good ole days! Everyone will have to cover their own costs of food and drink, but this is a great way to reconnect to JET and get to knew the new generation of JETs!

Please RSVP for any and all sessions you might like to attend:


Date: June 18
8:00n PM
Where: Shin Sushi (803 N. Orange Avenue Orlando, FL 32801)
RSVP: Alison, secretary@floridajetaa.org


Date: June 22
Time: after Q&A; email for precise time
Where: Liang’s Bistro (17515 Bruce B Downs Blvd  Tampa, FL 33647)
RSVP: John, tampa@floridajetaa.org


Date: June 28
Time: 7:30 PM
Where: Mi-kan Japanese restaurant (80 SW 8th Street, 1st Floor; same building as consulate)
RSVP: Abby, jet@mi.mofa.go.jp

Job Opening: University of Tampa

Education Abroad Advisor, The University of Tampa

The Office of International Programs at The University of Tampa has an opening for an Education Abroad Advisor to work in a fast-paced environment counseling students on UT’s portfolio of education abroad options including UT travel courses, semester/year abroad, international internships, student research abroad, language abroad and community service learning abroad. The advisor also assists faculty in the development and coordination of materials and programs that engage and promote education abroad. The Education Abroad Advisor will report directly to the Associate Dean of International Programs.

The successful candidate will have:

  1. Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred
  2. Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  3. Experience using Studio Abroad Database system required
  4. Counseling or advising experience in an International Programs Office in a university setting preferred
  5. Highly proficient in Microsoft office products including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
  6. Participation in an Education Abroad Experience or work experience abroad preferred
  7. Proficient in Adobe In-Design preferred

For further details and to apply go to: https://jobs.ut.edu

Applicants should be prepared to attach a Cover Letter and Resume. Review of applications has already begun. For immediate consideration, please submit materials by 05/01.

The University of Tampa is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Tampa Tsudoi (new place!)

The Tampa Area Regional Representative hosts a Japanese conversation practice club (known as a tsudoi) the first Friday of every month starting at 7:00 PM.


Starting February 1, the location will be changing to the Panera Bread at 11860 Bruce B Downs Blvd in Tampa (just outside University of South Florida).


For more details, please email tampa@floridajetaa.org. This event is free and open to anyone in the community, whether affiliated with JET or studying Japanese formally or informally (or if a native speaker).