Archive for December 2016

Spring Internship Opportunity

December 27, 2016 – 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, CULCON and the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF) in Washington, DC are seeking TWO spring 2017 interns to support current initiatives, which include activities promoting U.S.-Japan cultural, educational and people-to-people exchange. Interns will be working from a small office in a team-oriented and fast-paced environment and will be expected to be both proactive and flexible in completing assignments.

APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR SPRING 2017 INTERNSHIPS: January 4, 2017 . Our goal is to make decisions by January 16 . (This will depend on the interview process.)

The internships are located in Washington, D.C. Minimum 30 hours/week for 6 weeks, 9 am-4 pm.  The internships are unpaid, but interns receive a reimbursement for actual local transportation costs.

Applicants should be current undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in Japan, excellent communication, research, Internet and organizational skills. Some knowledge of the Japanese language is helpful, but not critical. Please send a resume and cover letter to: culcon@jusfc.gov. Please include preferred start and end dates as well as contact information (email and phone) for up to two references.

Additional details about the internship program may be found here.

JUSFC Meet Our Grantees Series: Graham Kolbeins – Writer, Designer, Film Maker

December 16, 2016 – 

Writer, designer and filmmaker Graham Kolbeins was named a recipient of the 2016 Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship and traveled to Japan in March for three-month residency. Kolbeins was based mostly in Tokyo, but traveled to Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Gunma and Okinawa to conduct interviews for his film, Queer Japan.

Queer Japan is an ensemble film that looks at people across the LGBT spectrum and beyond. Kolbeins’ goal was to interview a diverse group who identified as LGBT or other gender categories, and to share their stories of their triumphs and struggles being a sexual minority in Japan.

Kolbeins has worked with a variety of gay artists during the last five years. With his collaborator, Anne Ishii, he traveled to Japan in 2011 and interviewed nine gay manga artists for two books: The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame and Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. Many of the comics were featured in English for the very first time. Publication and success led to a book tour that allowed Kolbeins to travel throughout North America and Japan.

Following that experience, Kolbeins was hungry to continue learning and researching the different expressions of gender and sexuality in Japan, in the present day as well as during the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1902) periods. He returned to Japan in October 2015 and created a pre-production trailer that served as the foundation for his film.

Certain aspects of Japanese society, such as familial obligations and expectation, make it difficult to be open and fully yourself,… » READ MORE