Job Opening: Part-time Bilingual Japanese/English Opportunity – IREM

Part-time Bilingual Japanese/English Opportunity
Chicago, IL


Who we are 

At the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®), we believe that well-managed properties improve the quality of life for people who live, work and shop in them.  We are the champion of the property management professional—from college students to industry veterans across both commercial and residential portfolios.     The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®) is an international force of nearly 20,000 individuals united to advance the profession of real estate management. 

Join us!

We are experiencing tremendous membership growth in Japan and are seeking candidates who are proficient in both writing and speaking Japanese and English to join our international team!

You would serve as our main point of contact to our members and staff at IREM Japan and work on exciting projects and assignments that support our Japanese membership. 

For more information:

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Fun Link Friday: The Tiny Worlds of Tanaka Tatsuya

In previous Fun Link Fridays we’ve featured the miniature worlds of Takanori Aiba‘s bonsai trees, making fantastical spaces with tiny models and growing techniques. This week our fun link is the art of Tanaka Tatsuya, who was recently featured on Spoon & Tamago for his work with more everyday objects.

For the past decade, every day (every day!) Tanaka has been creating mini landscapes using food, combs, dinnerware, pencils… any object can become the setting of a tiny adventure! He now has nearly 4,000 of these little calendar pieces, each more magical than the last.

His work is being featured at The Mizuho Museum in Nagano, but you can also follow his teeny worlds through his Twitter and Instagram. Enjoy!

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Resource: Japan Foundation Database of Translated Japanese Literature

For those who research translation and Japanese literature (or just really enjoy reading!), the Japan Foundation has created a database that catalogs Japanese literature translated into over two dozen languages.

The website is set up with a bilingual interface in Japanese and English, with both simple and advanced search functions. Searches can be done in either romaji or in Japanese (with kanji, hiragana, or katakana).

Simple searches allow you to explore the database by keywords (FreeWords), language, or the range of publication years, while the more advanced search option includes Title, Author, and Publisher as well. As you can see in the image below, if I was curious what works by Izumi Kyoka had been translated into other languages since I read him in college, I could do an author search and find that a number of his short stories have appeared in languages like Spanish, French, Russian, Hungarian, and more in the last 15 years.

Clicking on each entry brings up the details of the database information, including publishers, translators, the number of pages, and even the ISBN, making the books easy to find when you’re ready to purchase them somewhere.

There’s a detailed help guide in Japanese and English that also features small screen caps, so I won’t go into detailed ‘how-to’ here, but the system is easy enough to navigate even if you’re a beginning reader of Japanese because of the bilingual instructions. The database is not comprehensive, but I’m sure it will continue to grow as more and more people translate Japanese literature and become aware of its existence. There are instructions on the main page as to how people can get their works put into the database, so be sure to let authors and translators know about it! Happy reading!

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Fun Link Friday: Social Media Omamori

Looking to protect yourself against bad vibes from internet trolls? Want some good luck in getting lots of retweets and likes? The capsule toy company Tama-kyu has created mock-ups of the common omamori, charms sold at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, that are specifically targeted at SNS (social media) users!

Whether you’re hoping to avoid getting blocked or to go viral, these little charms might be for you! Check out their website for all the varieties they sell. And remember, use your SNS responsibly!

Happy Friday!

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Resource: Radio Garden for Japanese listening

Lifelong Japanese language learners are often looking for ways to integrate listening practice into their daily lives, whether it’s movies, podcasts, anime, TV shows, or other media we tend to download. One cool project, Radio Garden, offers another option: tuning into radio stations around the world!

Radio Garden is a digital research project developed by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It features a 3D map with radio stations throughout the world tagged with geolocation. Interested in some Japanese radio? You can slide over to that part of the globe and jump between whatever city features a stream and get listening!

You can also use their search function to find stations by city, mark your favorites, and jump from the radio feed directly to a particular station’s website. You can also click around and see popular or nearby stations, so it’s a fun way to explore some new listening options from wherever you happen to be!

Happy listening! 📻

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Fun Link Friday: Dinosaurs Found in Japan Identified as New Species

Okay okay, in some ways this is old news, but it’s still fun!

In 2004 a team of researchers working on Awaji Island (Hyogo Prefecture) found dinosaur bones, including a lower jaw, shoulder, and some other parts. Named “Yamatosaurus izanagii” (a reference to the 8th century text Kojiki), the dinosaur was determined to be a new species.

Fast forward to 2019, a nearly entire body of yet another species, now known as “Kamuysaurus japonicus,” has been discovered in Mukawa, Hokkaido. There are still many questions remaining about the evolution of these species, but hey, dinosaurs are super cool! As is knowing that we’re still only scratching the surface (literally and figuratively?) in archaeological discoveries of the prehistoric past around the globe.

You can read more about the finds at this Mainichi Shimbun article as well as view a neat digital video rendering of what the dinosaurs may have looked like walking.

Happy Friday! 🦖

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Book Announcement: Defining Shugendō: Critical Studies on Japanese Mountain Religion

Defining Shugendo: Critical Studies on Japanese Mountain Religion

Editor(s): Andrea Castiglioni, Fabio Rambelli, Carina Roth

Defining Shugendo brings together leading international experts on Japanese mountain asceticism to discuss what has been an essential component of Japanese religions for more than a thousand years.

Contributors explore how mountains have been abodes of deities, a resting place for the dead, sources of natural bounty and calamities, places of religious activities, and a vast repository of symbols. The book shows that many peoples have chosen them as sites for ascetic practices, claiming the potential to attain supernatural powers there.

This book discusses the history of scholarship on Shugendo, the development process of mountain worship, and the religious and philosophical features of devotion at specific sacred mountains. Moreover, it reveals the rich material and visual culture associated with Shugendo, from statues and steles, to talismans and written oaths.

For more information, see:

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Fun Link Friday: Edible Toast Masterpieces of Japanese Art

In the past we’ve shown a variety of tasty pieces of art for Fun Link Fridays, typically of the bento variety. But what if toast was your literal canvas?

Last month My Modern Met featured a piece on Japanese designer Manami Sasaki, who is taking breakfast to the next level with some incredible representations of Japanese artwork and other delicious designs.

Playing with squid ink, edible flowers, and a variety of vegetables and fruit, Sasaki brings ukiyo-e prints into colorful and flavorful life. I’m not sure I could wait that long for my toast, but I sure do admire her work! You can see more at the My Modern Met article or on Sasaki’s instagram.

Happy Friday!

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Japanese Translation Competitions and Prizes

For those who are looking to test out their translation skills as they level-up their Japanese, I’ve compiled a list of currently active translation prizes and competitions.

This includes those that are specific to Japanese translations and those that are more generally for international works in translation. Know of something not here? Leave a comment or shoot us an email!



JLPP International Translation Competition
Japanese Literature and Publishing Project, Agency for Cultural Affairs

Translation of Japanese Literature Prize [US citizens]
Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, Columbia University; Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission

Lindsley and Masao Miyoshi Translation Prizes and Grants [non-US citizens & non-permanent residents]
Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, Columbia University; Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission

Japan Association of Translators Contest
Japan Association of Translators

John Dryden Translation Competition
The British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation

Kurodahan Press Translation Prize
Kurodahan Press [**cancelled as of 2021**]

Selden Memorial Translation Prize
Cornell University, Department of Asian Studies


Best Translated Book Award
University of Rochester

International Booker Prize
The Booker Prize Foundation

John Glassco Translation Prize
Literary Translators’ Association of Canada

Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize
The American Literary Translators Association

National Book Award for Translated Literature
National Book Foundation

PEN Translation Prize
PEN America

The TA First Translation Prize
The Society of Authors

Warwick Prize for Women in Translation

Willis Barnstone Translation Prize
University of Evansville

World Literature Today Student Translation Prize
World Literature Today


Know of other competitions not included here? Let us know!

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Book Announcement: Prostitutes, Hostesses, and Actresses at the Edge of the Japanese Empire: Fragmenting History

Prostitutes, Hostesses, and Actresses at the Edge of the Japanese Empire: Fragmenting History

Nobuko Ishitate-Okunomiya Yamasaki

Book Description:

Analysing materials from literature and film, this book considers the fates of women who did not or could not buy into the Japanese imperial ideology of “good wives, wise mothers” in support of male empire-building.

Although many feminist critics have articulated women’s active roles as dutiful collaborators for the Japanese empire, male-dominated narratives of empire-building have been largely supported and rectified. In contrast, the roles of marginalized women, such as sex workers, women entertainers, hostesses, and hibakusha have rarely been analyzed. This book addresses this intellectual lacuna by closely examining memories, (semi-)autobiographical stories, and newspaper articles, grounded or inspired by lived experiences not only in Japan, but also in Shanghai, Manchukuo, colonial Korea, and the Pacific. Chapters further explore the voices of diasporic Korean women (Zainichi Korean woman born in Japan, as well as Korean American woman born in Korea) whose lives were impacted, intervening ethnocentric narratives that were at the heart of the Japanese empire. An appendix presents the first English translation of a memorable statement on comfort women by former Japanese propaganda actress, Ri Kōran / Yamaguchi Yoshiko.

Prostitutes, Hostesses, and Actresses at the Edge of the Japanese Empire will appeal to students and scholars of Japanese literature and film studies, as well as gender, sexuality and postcolonial studies.

For more information:

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