Making the Most of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As the holiday season is in full swing, some of us are heading home to be with family or going on tropical vacations. And some of us will stay here in Miyazaki to watch the red leaves fall off the branches and warm up with a hot bowl of ramen. There is a chance it won’t be as nostalgic as your hometown traditions, but Miyazaki and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer during this season! So, we have compiled a list of ideas to battle those Japanese-shocked holiday blues. And hey, you might even discover a new tradition of your own! Continue reading

Dancing All Night: Takachiho’s Yokagura Festival

Miyazaki’s own Takachiho-cho is the birthplace of many Japanese myths and legends. These events are recreated in the form of yokagura (夜神楽), a traditional Shinto dance. The full traditional yokagura is comprised of 33 dances. Every night at 8pm, Takachiho Shrine (map) hosts an abbreviated version of yokagura which you can see for around 700円.

From November to February, however, each shrine in the village takes turns hosting all-night performances of the full yokagura! The revelry starts around sundown and doesn’t stop until the next morning, but the audience is free to wander in and out and drink shochu to stay warm (lots of layers are recommended).

To give you an inside look at this annual festival, former Takachiho JET Ellen Freeman has graciously allowed us to repost an article she wrote for the Kyushu Article Contest last year. Enjoy! Continue reading

Volunteer at the 2016 International Christmas Market!

Christmas time is here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we need all the help we can get to spread a little Christmas cheer. Fight the year-end blues by joining us on 23 December (also a National Holiday) from 13:00 – 17:00 for a wonderful Christmas volunteer opportunity.

This year, MAJET is teaming up with Rika hyuna_xmasvolunteer(Kiyotake International Association) and Sascha (former CIR) to join the Christmas Market at Ichibangai (map) in Miyazaki City. This is a typical Christmas Market and so there will be plenty of other stalls too. In order to have a successful stall, we need your help! We’re looking for people to dress up as Santa/Santarina and take some snaps with kids or make their day by giving them candy. We also need workshop assistants and carolers/ performers.

If any of these tickle your fancy then sign up today! Continue reading

The Miyazaki International Festival is looking for submissions and performances!

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Click to see the event flyer!

Hey MAJETers! If you read the “Plaza News” (which you should, there’s a lot of good stuff in there and Heyne works hard on it every month 😉 ), you may have already heard about this event. But just in case you haven’t, the 11th Annual Miyazaki International Festival will be held on Saturday, December 10th! There will be many events taking place, including a Japanese speech contest, a screening of the film “Hafu,” and hands-on activities. The Miyazaki International Foundation (MIF) would be very happy if MAJETers would come to the event and meet others living in Miyazaki. Continue reading

Calling all Volunteers!

As the days are getting shorter and cooler, it’s time to spread a little love and warmth where we can. Do you feel an urge to give back to the community but need a change from the usual English volunteer activities? Fear not! MAJET is excited to bring you a new volunteer opportunity where you can showcase your musical talents. Even if you feel like you are lacking in this area, join us anyway. The residents at Tano Care Home would love to meet you. Continue reading

MAJET’s 1st Sports Day!

Saturday, October 1st, 2016 marked MAJET’s very first Undokai! All week beforehand, we were worried that it would rain, and were even preparing to reschedule the event. We had faith, however, and when we gathered at Oyodo River that morning it actually turned out to be a beautiful, bright sunny day (albeit a bit hot for October). Everyone was pumped up and ready for the day’s activities! Continue reading