What is KumAJET?
KumAJET is the local chapter of the Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET). AJET is a national volunteer organization of JET Programme participants whose mission is to serve the JET community by building support networks, organizing useful information, and offering resources to enhance the lives of JETs.
KumAJET strives to be a group that brings people together to have fun and make friends here in Kumamoto. Whether you’re looking to do some volunteer work, get out for a night on the town, or explore some of Kumamoto’s scenery, we are the group for you.
KumaJET members include current and former JETs as well as members of the local community. Our events are open to all residents of Kumamoto, both foreign and Japanese. Along with planning our own unique KumAJET events, we provide details about other events going on in the prefecture here and on our official Facebook page.
KumAJET’s main objectives are to connect JETs and Kumamoto residents together to engage in socializing, explore the prefecture, and make great memories here in Japan, all while giving as much back to our communities as we possibly can.
The 2017-2018 Team
June Ang, Treasurer
Country of Origin: Singapore
Hello to anyone and everyone who is taking time to read this! Welcome to Kumamoto if you are living in this wonderful place and you are an incoming JET!
Kumamoto is unique in that it has the geographical location to have plenty of onsens and lots of things to do, from dolphin cruises in Amakusa to white water rafting in Hitoyoshi and the beautiful dancing ladies in Yamaga.
I am one of those invisible gaijins who will be in charge of all things finance for KumAJET for this coming new year. Come and join us in all the major and minor events that members of our committee will be posting on the Facebook page!
Here’s to a good year in 2017 – 2018! May I pass over the accounting books to the next person with a surplus in the accounts.
Kristina Butke, Webmaster
Hello and welcome! I’m just your average American otaku who made the pilgrimage to the geek mecca that is Japan. Of course Japan has wonderful anime and manga that is emblematic of Cool Japan, but there’s so much more to Japan than pop culture and creativity.
I’m interested in Old Japan–the folklore, literature, history, spirituality, and traditions that make Japan a wholly unique country to explore. If you see me running around the shrines of Kumamoto Prefecture, stop and say hello as I try to catch ’em all–goshuin, that is!
My role in KumAJET is to make our website as spiffy as possible. This includes updating the site with information not only about KumAJET events, but to build a compendium of all the lovely things Kumamoto Prefecture has to offer you.
Our website is just one of the many bridges meant to connect you to the Kumamoto community. Please enjoy!
Chiri Davis, Public Relations Officer
Hey Everyone! My name is Chiri Davis. And, no, I didn’t misspell my own name.
I’m from Detroit, Michigan, USA. Now, I’m currently living in Amakusa, Kumamoto. I will be going on to my 3rd year on JET.
I’m a person who truly loves being around others and making people happy. I’m a party lover and known by some as a city boy. I enjoy listening to bass bumping music, exercising daily, and watching educational YouTube videos. Recently I’m really interested in science and politics recently.
I can speak Japanese on a daily conversation level, but I’m always trying to improve my Japanese more every day.
Bilal Khan, Chief Communications Officer
Hi there! I’m Bilal, and I’m originally from Virginia back in the States. I like traveling, staying fit, and making new friends.
This will be my second year in Kumamoto, and I’m excited to be spending it as a member of KumAJET.
I’ll be in charge of opening up our events to more members of the Kumamoto community, not just JETs. I’m looking forward to what the coming year holds in store, and I can’t wait to meet you all!
Melissa Kirkland-Swann, Volunteer and Donations Manager
Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I’m from the UK. I’ve been living in Kumamoto for almost a year now, working as a senior high school ALT in Ozu.
My hobbies include shodo (Japanese calligraphy), painting, and taking pictures. I also like going to the gym in my free time. Travelling around Japan is also a great passion of mine.
I’m looking forward to meeting all of the new JET Programme participants coming to Kumamoto in August, as well as being able to help organise events which bring everyone together from all corners of Kumamoto!
Also, if you’re ever in the Aso/Kikuchi/Ozu area, drop me a Line – I’d love to show you around or meet for a coffee!
Gregory Lambert, KumAExplorer
Kia Ora, my name is Greg and I’m from New Zealand. I love playing sports, camping, and exploring the outdoors.
My goal is to encourage more people living in Kumamoto to join a team as a way to make new friends and see Kyushu.
Drop me a Line if you are interested in Rugby, American Football, Touch Rugby, Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Kickboxing, MMA, Jiu Jitsu or, any other sports that I can help connect you with.
Chris Ott, KumAExplorer
Hey everyone! My name is Chris. I’ve been in beautiful and magical Kumamoto for a bit now, and I am looking forward to sharing with any adventurers or prospective adventurers out there all that Kumamoto and Kyushu have to offer.
So much to do on this island! Swimming in rivers and gorges, inner-tubing, jumping into waterfall pools, and sliding down natural rock waterslides; beaches, snorkeling, and camping by the surf; spectacular hiking, camping in mountainside campgrounds; exploring on rental bicycles, roller luging, driving hi-speed go-karts, riding Honda dirt bikes, (getting a motorcycle license??); hot springs ranging from the super acidic to the super alkaline, from the super-clear to the super-muddy to the super-carbonated, from the posh and refined to the undeveloped and natural; amazing rural cafes, restaurants, and coffee houses; and more. There is so much waiting to be done and seen! If you are interested in outdoor adventuring and exploring, or have some questions, please shoot me an email : christopherott [at] hotmail [dot] com.
Looking forward to seeing you all on some adventures!
Olivia Poole, Secretary
Hello everyone, my name is Olivia! I’m from the UK and I will be starting my second year on JET in August 2017. I teach at a high school in Kumamoto City.
Living in the city means I am always happy to hang out with visiting ALTs and go for a drink! My hobbies are travelling around this lovely country, going to the gym, and watching rubbish TV.
I am looking forward to planning some great events and sharing this wonderful prefecture with you all!
Chase Sutherland, Creative Marketer
Hi! I’m Chase, a Michigan native and twin that was raised on a farm but who actually isn’t Luke Skywalker. I’m coming up on my second year as an ALT, right here in the eastern part of Kumamoto city. The city life here is pretty fun, but occasionally I like to relax out in the countryside.
I dig movies, novels, videogames, anything with a great story really. I’m kind of a quiet dude at first but unique experiences and adventures are my jam, so don’t be afraid to ask me a question or say hi!
Joyce Tan, Photographer
My name is Joyce and I am from sunny Singapore. It’s summer all year round back home so winter in Japan is really fun for me. I now live in the southern end of Kumamoto in lovely Asagiri and going into my 2nd year on JET.
I love travelling and taking pictures (you might have seen some of them in the YOKA), and my no. 1 passion is music and singing. If anyone is interested, I’ll be down for some casual jamming sessions!
I look forward to meeting you at our upcoming events. Remember to smile for the camera!