What’s it like being a Toyama CIR?

Though CIR work varies greatly depending on where you are placed, there are some shared responsibilities, so this section will only cover those. Your predecessor or supervisor will be your best resources for learning more on how to do translation, interpretation, school visits, events, and more.

As a Toyama CIR, you will be meeting with your fellow CIRs at a 定例会 at least once a month. For those in a city or town hall, your office will typically receive a business trip request form in advance to let them know. At the end of each 定例会, the next month’s meeting date will be decided, so be sure to mark down in your schedule and speak up about which dates won’t work for you.

The 定例会 are typically held in Toyama City, but some may be held in concurrence with trips to other municipalities (for 視察研修 or event-related reasons, see below). The purpose of the 定例会 are to come together to exchange CIR-specific updates, ask your fellow CIRs for advice, and plan for JET World Festival (世界まつり/JET Fest, see the next section).

Another part of being a Toyama CIR is planning or participating in 視察研修. These annual work trips take the CIRs to different municipalities within the prefecture and are planned by either the CIR who lives and works in that area or close to it. This gives the other CIRs not based in the area the chance to see and experience what the region has to offer, and the CIR based there to plan and execute a tour that may inspire them for future tourism/PR-related jobs or guided interpretations.

Since many CIRs are expected to be knowledgeable about Toyama as a part of their position, having firsthand experiences offered throughout the prefecture serves as a valuable learning opportunity. Previous 視察研修 have included making washi postcards at the Gokayama Washi no Sato following a visit to Gokayama itself, going to the Asahi Jade Beach and Nyuzen Town’s Sugisawa no Sawasugi Nature Preserve, and learning the Owara Kaze no Bon song and dance at Yatsuo High School.

Finally, all Toyama CIRs contribute Japanese relay essays to the Kitanihon Shimbun, as well as Japanese blog posts to toyamacir.net. Blog posts are less frequent in schedule and usually include self-introductions from new CIRs or reports/promotions of specific events or highlights during your time in Toyama but are not restricted by specific topics and have no word limits. Meanwhile, relay essays are on a fixed schedule with fixed topics. One CIR’s article is published each week in a rotation, so when the current topic is finished, it resets back to the first person with a new one.

These topics center on introducing some aspect of your home country and culture to elementary readers in around 400 or so characters, and in the past have included festivals and childhood games, or else have touched on more personal topics such as school memories, how you came to be interested in Japan, or what your favorite part of learning a foreign language is, etc. Don’t worry, your Japanese will usually be checked by native speakers, so don’t be afraid if you’ve made any mistakes or aren’t sure what to say.

Be sure to check out the blog for past posts, especially our JET Fest coverage.

Go to Top