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Last update: 2013-06-26

Episode 54

2013-06-26
Length: 37s

The Japanofiles Podcast is back!  In today's program, Alan and Sarah Lamberg discuss their experiences living and working in rural Nagano Prefecture, and they also talk about volunteer work for the Japan Cat Network in Tohoku. 

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Episode 53

2011-08-31
Length: 35s

For today's episode, Dave talks with nine people about their experiences with the Japanese police. 

[NOTE: This may possibly be the final episode of the podcast.] 

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Episode 52

2011-07-15
Length: 30s

Today's guest, James Van Lieu, first came to the Matsumoto area in the late 1980s to work for several years as an engineer at Epson. In 2010 he moved back to Matsumoto, this time under very different circumstances.  For today's Japanofiles Podcast, James talks about his experiences living and working in Matsumoto -- both then and now.

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Episode 51

2011-06-30
Length: 52s

Daniel Martin and John Koons, two members of the Matsumoto foreign community, recently went up to northeastern Japan to help with the relief effort. In today's Japanofiles Podcast, which focuses on the devastated Tohoku region, Daniel and John share their experiences of volunteering in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, and they also talk about traveling through the areas affected by the tsunami, earthquake, and radiation.

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Episode 50

2011-06-14
Length: 37s

Today's guest is Winifred Bird, a journalist who lives in Matsumoto.  With interests in nature, science, and all things Japanese, Winnie has written about such diverse topics as rice farming, micro wind turbines, the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, affordable housing for disaster victims, the Ainu language -- even about Japanese cheese. For Episode 50, Dave talks with Winnie about her reasons for coming to Japan and about her work.

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Episode 49

2011-05-31
Length: 31s

Shiga-mura, formerly a small village to the north of Matsumoto city, became a part of Matsumoto during the 2005 amalgamation campaign. Today's guest, Oliver Carter, explains why he came to Japan and settled in Nagano Prefecture, and he also talks about life in the Shiga District of Matsumoto.

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Episode 48

2011-05-14
Length: 20s

Caitlin Hoffmann visits The Japanofiles Podcast to discuss her experiences of living and working in Matsumoto.  

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Episode 47

2011-04-30
Length: 26s

For Episode 47 of The Japanofiles Podcast, Dave discusses jishuku as well as hanami.  He then talks with Brian O'Donovan, a native of Ireland who now lives in Nagano Prefecture.

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Episode 46

2011-04-15
Length: 27s

Today's Japanofiles Podcast features a discussion with long-time Matsumoto resident Martin Gillis. Martin explains some of the many activities that he's involved with in the local community, and then the conversation turns to various cultural topics.

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Episode 45

2011-03-31
Length: 35s

James Brown visits The Japanofiles Podcast to talk about the joys and challenges of living in Ikusaka Mura, a small mountain village in Nagano Prefecture.  To close today's podcast, Darryl Pearce performs an original blues piece.

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Episode 44

2011-02-28
Length: 37s

Episode 44 of The Japanofiles Podcast takes up the topic of driving -- in particular, getting a Japanese driver's license. Dave talks with eight people about their experiences.

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Episode 43

2011-02-14
Length: 43s

Today's guest, Heather Fukase, lives on the outskirts of Matsumoto in a part of town known as "Azusagawa" (literally, "Catalpa River"). Formerly a separate village out in the Minami Azumi District, Azusagawa-mura was incorporated into Matsumoto city during the most recent amalgamation campaign.  Despite the new Matsumoto city address, Azusagawa still retains many features of an older, more traditional way of Japanese village life.  After introducing herself and explaining why she chose to live in Azusagawa, Heather talks about daily life in rural Shinshu (Nagano Prefecture).

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Episode 42

2011-01-31
Length: 23s

For Episode 42, Dave talks with Susanne Prein of Germany.  Susanne hails from Würzburg, home of Phillip Franz von Siebold, who in 1823 was the first European to teach Western medicine in Japan.  Susanne explains how she was introduced to Japanese culture and language as a student at the Siebold High School in Würzburg, and she then describes her subsequent study and work experiences in Japan.

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Episode 41

2011-01-14
Length: 19s

After visiting a local beekeeper and learning a little about Japanese honeybees, Dave drops by the Japan Chernobyl Foundation (JCF) headquarters in Matsumoto and talks with the Secretary General of JCF, Sadako Kamiya.

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Episode 40

2010-12-31
Length: 25s

Episode 40, the first Japanofiles Podcast of the new year, features an on-location inverview with Charles (Charlie) Ward.  First, Charlie and Dave drive north from Matsumoto and they head into the mountains of Yasaka-mura to tour Charlie's recently-acquired tract of forest land. Later in the show Charlie explains how he acquired the land.  He then describes his plans for a cabin in the woods and begins cutting the timberframe.

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Episode 39

2010-12-14
Length: 3s

In a continuation of the discussion from the previous episode, Rhonda Shimano talks with Dave about various aspects of being a long-term resident of Japan, including child raising and the Japanese education system, as well as community involvement.

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Episode 38

2010-11-30
Length: 3s

Today's guest, for Episode 38 of The Japanofiles Podcast, is Rhonda Shimano, another long-time resident of the Matsumoto area. Rhonda originally came to Matsumoto to study music under Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the originator of an approach to teaching known in Japan as Saino Kyoiku (Talent Education), and better known overseas by the name "Suzuki Method". After talking with Rhonda about her experiences, Dave then chats with visitors to the Saino Kyoiku Summer School, and then visits the Shinichi Suzuki Memorial Museum in Matsumoto.

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Episode 37

2010-11-14
Length: 23s

While many of the English-speaking foreign residents in Matsumoto are language teachers, some have come here for other reasons.  Today's Japanofiles Podcast guest, a doctor from Iraq, talks about the motivation behind her sudden decision to move to Japan, and about the help she received from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). She also discusses her work in Japan, as well as her plans for the future.

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Episode 36

2010-10-31
Length: 23s

In the center of Matsumoto city, clustered around Matsumoto Castle, there are several dozen public wells, including the historic Genchi no Ido. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment recently listed the water from this artesian well among the "Hundred Famous Waters of Japan".  Today's guest on the Japanofiles Podcast, David Ockert, first explains his reasons for moving to Matsumoto. He then talks about the various fresh-water wells in town and, to conclude, he leads a group on a walking tour of the downtown wells.

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Episode 35

2010-10-13
Length: 32s

Today's Japanofiles Podcast explores the pleasures and challenges of bicycling in Japan. After talking with Colin Willimott about some of his experiences, Dave speaks with seven other people, including an Olympic athlete who lives in Asama Onsen, about cycling in the Matsumoto area.

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Episode 34

2010-09-30
Length: 29s

Today's Japanofiles Podcast features two women. The first guest is Ann, who lives to the south of Matsumoto in Shiojiri City. Ann explains why she came to Japan and then discusses a few of the challenges she has faced living in Shiojiri.  Today's second guest is Karen Ricks, who visited the show last year for Episode 8 and talked about the many activities she's involved in here in Matsumoto. Today Karen shares information about a big change that has taken place recently.

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Episode 33

2010-09-14
Length: 23s

August was a month of goodbyes and hellos.  Episode 33 of The Japanofiles Podcast begins with a farewell event at Studio Sonic.  Next is a conversation with a recent visitor to Matsumoto, Matthew O'Neill.  Matthew is a musician who spent a month in Matsumoto participating in the Saito Kinen Festival. The final segment is a chat with Peter, another recent visitor to Japan.

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Episode 32

2010-08-31
Length: 26s

After discussing the Obon Festival, Dave visits the Bon Odori dancing in his neighborhood.  He then introduces Matsumoto Bon Bon and talks with some of the participants.  The second half of the podcast features a discussion with Jesse Holyoak, who came to Matsumoto to be an exchange student at Shinshu University.

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Episode 31

2010-08-14
Length: 27s

Episode 31 of The Japanofiles Podcast features an interview with Milton Beattie, a long-time foreign resident from New Zealand.  Dave then takes a train ride up to Nagano City to visit the immigration office and check on his visa status.

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Episode 30

2010-07-31
Length: 23s

Jonathon Adams drops by The Japanofiles Podcast to share the story of how he became interested in Japan and why he moved to Matsumoto.  He then discusses some of the challenges of being a vegetarian in Japan.

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Episode 29

2010-07-14
Length: 33s

For today's Japanofiles Podcast, I visit SWEET Corporation to talk with the company president, Kyota Charles Watanabe. Watanabe-san, who has family ties to both the US and Japan, shares some of his family history. He then talks about his work at SWEET, and about some of the various community activities he sponsors, including the annual Shotengai Eigasai Film Festival.

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Episode 28

2010-06-30
Length: 22s

When you hear the words 'Japanese food', what comes to mind? For today's Japanofiles Podcast, I talk with seven friends, and together we explore the wonders of natto -- a popular Japanese food that is little known outside Japan. 

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Episode 27

2010-06-14
Length: 37s

Today's guest, David Ruzicka, was recently asked to participate in a series of university lectures that explored cultural differences, specifically the way that people from various countries view Japan.  The conversation focuses on a wide variety of topics, including food, education, child rearing, technology, and more.

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Episode 26

2010-05-31
Length: 27s

What do you do when the company you work for goes belly up?  Today's guest, Thomas Leitke, talks about his experience of working for GEOS, a major operator of eikaiwa (English conversation) schools in Japan. The company filed for bankruptcy in April, leaving Thomas and many other language teachers without work. Thomas also talks about some of the activities he pursues in his free time.

In addition, an uguisu (Japanese bush warbler) sings a lovely rendition of "ho-hokekyo".

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Episode 25

2010-05-14
Length: 32s

Mervin Salazar became inspired to learn Japanese after winning a trip to Japan in the 1990s. He then went on to work for several Japanese computer companies, and later to serve in Japanese municipal and prefectural government as a Kokusaikoryuin, or "Coordinator for International Relations" (CIR). As a CIR, Mervin has worn many hats and dealt with many cultural and social issues, including racial discrimination. For Episode 25 of The Japanofiles Podcast, Mervin talks about some of his experiences living and working in Nagano Prefecture.

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Episode 24

2010-05-01
Length: 43s

Tyler Lynch runs a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) in the hot-spring resort area known as Togura Kamiyamada Onsen.  For Episode 24 of The Japanofiles Podcast, Tyler explains how he got into the ryokan business, and he talks about the various tourism-related activities he is involved with.

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Episode 23

2010-04-14
Length: 40s

Mary Aruga first came to Japan, to an all-girls high school in Kagoshima, as part of a one-year Rotary Club exchange program. She later returned to Japan to study as a university student. For this episode of The Japanofiles Podcast, Mary discusses her school experiences, and then talks about how she met her husband and settled down in his family home in Nagano Prefecture. She also discusses the challenges of learning to become "a good Japanese daughter-in-law", and she shares her thoughts on raising bilingual/bicultural children.

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Episode 22

2010-03-31
Length: 33s

In Episode 22 of The Japanofiles Podcast, David Varnes talks about how his interest in Japan grew slowly over many years, and why he became interested in martial arts.  He then explains his decision to move to Japan and talks about his involvement with several Japanese judo dojos, and he also explains what it is like to train and compete in Japan.

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Episode 21

2010-03-14
Length: 34s

Whitney Conti, Editor-in-Chief of YoMoYaMa Magazine, visits The Japanofiles Podcast to discuss her interest in local media and publishing, as well as her experiences living and working in Omi Mura,  a small Japanese village in Nagano Prefecture.

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Episode 20

2010-02-28
Length: 32s

Will Springmeyer visits The Japanofiles Podcast to discuss the sister city relationship between Matsumoto and his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. With family connections to Matsumoto spanning more than three decades, Will has many interesting stories to share.  He also talks about his music background and performs some original tunes.

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Episode 19

2010-02-14
Length: 44s

Today's show features a discussion with Charles Ward, better known to his friends as Charlie, and increasingly well-known as the creator of the manga character Fukuro-chan. Charlie discusses a wide range of topics -- from his year-long bicycle journey around Japan to the many interesting activities he's been involved in since moving to Matsumoto.

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Episode 18

2010-01-31
Length: 36s

This episode of The Japanofiles Podcast begins at "Ame Ichi" , an annual Matsumoto event with close to 450 years of history. The second segment of today's show features long-time resident Herb Leisenfelder, who talks about his experiences living and working in both Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures.

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Episode 17

2010-01-14
Length: 40s

Today's guest, Shirley Delsart, talks about a number of her Japan-related experiences, including coming to Japan for the first time in the 1980s, as well as her subsequent decision to move here to Nagano Prefecture. Shirley also shares stories about language mistakes and various cultural differences she has experienced.…

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Episode 16

2009-12-31
Length: 35s

John Koons, outdoor adventurer and 'man about the globe', visits The Japanofiles Podcast to discuss his reasons for moving to Nagano Prefecture, and to talk about his recent experience of hiking around Tohoku, the northernmost region of Japan's Honshu island.

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Episode 15

2009-12-20
Length: 34s

For this episode of The Japanofiles PodcastErin King talks about her lifelong interest in Japan, and about various other Japan-related topics -- language study, her work situation in Nagano Prefecture, thoughts on Japanese cultural identity, and more.…

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Episode 14

2009-12-06
Length: 33s

Episode 14 of The Japanofiles Podcast features a discussion with Daniel Martin, an American from Oklahoma. Daniel first came to Matsumoto as a university student, and he now lives and works here. Our conversation covers various topics, including Daniel's experience as a student in Japan and how that contrasts with his present life as a shakaijin.…

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Episode 13

2009-11-26
Length: 44s

For this episode of The Japanofiles Podcast, I am joined by Mark Brierley, another long-time resident of Matsumoto.  Mark talks about his early interest in Japan and about his various work experiences.…

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Episode 12

2009-11-14
Length: 20s

Richard Robinson, the man who brought Halloween to Matsumoto, is my guest for this episode.  In addition to explaining why he organized the annual Halloween in Matsumoto event, Richard talks about his early interest in Japan, as well as his reasons for moving to Matsumoto.

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Episode 11

2009-11-01
Length: 27s

This "kiri-otoshi" episode of The Japanofiles Podcast features short discussions with six different guests.…

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Episode 10

2009-10-27
Length: 40s

This week I talk with Ian Beattie, a self-employed carpenter and long-time resident of the Matsumoto area. Ian shares his thoughts on a variety of topics related to housing and the construction business in Japan.…

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Episode 9

2009-10-13
Length: 25s

This installment of The Japanofiles Podcast explores two aspects of traditional Japanese culture. The first segment presents a visit to a Japanese harvest festival, the Taimatsu Matsuri (Torch Festival), which is held every autumn in Asama Onsen. The second segment is a discussion about kyudo, Japanese traditional archery.

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Episode 8

2009-09-30
Length: 38s

After presenting a few of the autumn sounds from my neighborhood, I talk with Karen Ricks about her reasons for coming to Japan, and about the many activities she's involved in here in Matsumoto.

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Episode 7

2009-09-17
Length: 39s

This episode of The Japanofiles Podcast features a discussion with Kevin Leahy, translator of the popular Vampire Hunter D series of Japanese novels. Kevin talks about his childhood encounters with Japanese culture; his decision to work in Japan; his interest in many genres, including horror, science fiction, manga and animation; how he became a professional translator; and his experiences translating the Vampire Hunter D novels.

 

 

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Episode 6

2009-09-08
Length: 24s

In this episode of The Japanofiles Podcast we discuss housing. The conversation explores the good and bad of living in various types of rented accommodation, including dormitories, houses and apartments, and also touches on buying property in Japan.…

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Episode 5

2009-08-27
Length: 28s

Have you ever considered teaching in Japan?  Episode 5 of The Japanofiles Podcast features Sean Mehmet, who talks about his experiences as a private school instructor and as an Assistant English Teacher (AET) with the JET Programme, as well as his current work as an Associate Professor at a Japanese university. Sean also shares his thoughts on getting a job teaching English in Japan. In addition, he talks about his Canadian ancestors' ties to Japan, which span back to the 1800s.…

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Episode 4

2009-08-17
Length: 27s

For this episode of The Japanofiles Podcast, Leslie Tokiwa, a fourth-generation Japanese American, joins me to talk about her experiences living and working in Japan. Topics include teaching English through the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme and performing Japanese traditional music as a member of two different taiko drum ensembles.

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Episode 3

2009-08-01
Length: 23s

In Episode 3 of The Japanofiles Podcast, I talk with Jai Heward about his experience of buying a house in Japan.

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Episode 2

2009-08-01
Length: 37s

This episode of The Japanofiles Podcast begins with a short introduction to the Asama Onsen hot springs area of Matsumoto City. Next, David Gray, the owner of an English language school in Matsumoto, joins me to talk about his experiences teaching and running a business in Japan.

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Episode 1

2009-07-06
Length: 47s

Welcome!  For this inaugural episode of The Japanofiles Podcast, I introduce Matsumoto City and Nagano Prefecture, Japan. I then talk with some of the participants in the Tour de Utsukushigahara hillclimb bicycle race. I'm also joined by Darryl Pearce, who shares some of his experiences as well as one of his original blues compositions.

 

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