CIR Introduction (国際交流員の紹介)


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Adam Barnett (Aug 2015 – present)

Hello! I’m from Windsor, in the United Kingdom. My father is English, and my mother is Kenyan. I began Japanese study in middle school, and graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA in Japanese Studies. During my course, I did a yearlong study abroad in Tokyo, where I became more interested in Japan and decided to find a job out here. I applied to be a CIR as I wanted to experience life outside of the city During my first year in Tokamachi, I lived in the Matsunoyama region where I fell in love with the amazing scenery and medicinal onsen. I’m grateful for this opportunity to experience many different things while working in such a great environment.



Sven Bjelan (Aug 2017 – present)

Hi! My name is Sven. I am from Croatia. It’s a small Mediterranean country in Europe. Republic of Croatia and Tokamachi have long and beautiful history that started in 2002 when Croatian National Soccer Team choose City of Tokamachi for training camp for FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea.
I started to learn Japanese on second year of my fist university, Academy of Fine Arts, because I decided to apply for an exchange student program and study at Tokyo Chuo University.After graduating Academy I enrolled for Japanlogy course and the Zagreb, University of Humanities and Social studies and in fourth year I received MEXT scholarship and went to study at Osaka Kyoiku University. After coming back to Croatia I was asked to apply for JET programme because Tokamachi wanted Croatian CIR. I am very happy that I can work here and deepen relations between my county and Tokamachi and Japan. Tokamachi winter is so much fun ! I like snowboarding.



Amanda Marble (Aug 2018 – present)

Hi there! My name is Amanda and I am from the United States of America. I was raised in Iowa and have roots both there and near St. Louis. I studied Japanese at University of Iowa and spent my final year on study abroad at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. I fell in love with Japan and was ecstatic to be offered a job with JET as I have been interested in translation work for years.
I enjoy traveling, playing video games, and doing Les Mills gym classes (Pump and Flow). It tends to snow a lot in Iowa but maybe not as much as Tokamachi. It reaches -20C in Iowa on the regular during winter so I can honestly say I am looking forward to winter in Tokamachi, because snow is way more fun when you don’t freeze!


Joelle Lim (Aug 2016 – July 2018)

Hello! My name is Joelle and I am from the United States of America. Although I was born and raised in California, my grandparents emigrated from the Philippines. I have many hobbies, the main ones being: bowling, listening to music, dancing (hula), traveling and eating around the world. I started studying Japanese in my first year of high school and continued until my third year of college. Within that time frame, I was fortunate to study abroad twice in Japan. The first time I stayed with a host family for 6 weeks in Osaka, where I developed my Osaka dialect. The second time I studied at Hosei University in Tokyo for a year on an exchange program. Before graduating from college in America, I applied to a program called JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) which has led me to living and working in Tokamachi City today. I am unbelievably grateful to be in a town full of nice and amazing people!