Jessica Gerrity is one of our most recognised Kiwi faces in Japan, a regular on Japanese TV shows as well as a PR ambassador for her Japan home province of Saitama Prefecture. She does not stop there, because she has found a niche place in the world of the traditional martial art of archery or Kyudo. We hear from Jess, how Japan is now opening up the martial arts world to invite more people from around the world through “Martial Arts Tourism” to try out Kyudo in Japan. Jess shares how she was able to stand out in the cut throat world of the entertainment industry and the benefits of taking an interest to next level such as practicing a traditional art like Kyudo.
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In this episode you’ll hear:
- How Jess came to be in Japan and first entered the world of Japanese TV
- How you can make yourself stand out and be remembered in auditions
- Finding your ikigai or “place” in Japan through a traditional Japanese art
- The ways in which Japan is opening up international “Budo” (marital arts) tourism
Jessica Gerrity was born and raised in Auckland, NZ. She has lived in Japan for 21 years and has 3 children (8, 12 and 14).
She currently works in varied fields including government, media and publishing.
Since 2018 she has been the PR and Tourism Ambassador for Saitama Prefecture (Love Saitama Ambassador) where she has lived for 15 years.
She works in the media and on Japanese tv, radio and magazines as a tv personality, and a narrator.
She writes for and is on the board of editors for kyudo magazine: Kyudo Nippon, as well as writing for Budojapan.com as an English speaking correspondent.
Five and a half years ago she started kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery and is currently 3rd dan. The pandemic brought about the opportunity to start Sports Yabusame, a type of horseback archery. She holds shodan in sports yabusame. She has been practicing naginata for 1 year and holds 5th kyu. Jessica also practices shihan mato - a type of kyujutsu or archery using a smaller Japanese bow called a hankyu.
Jessica first came to Japan during her first year at the University of Auckland while studying her Bachelor of Planning. Just before graduation of her Masters in Planning she decided to work and live in Japan as an English instructor.
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