April, 2016: Breeze Issue #102


A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese

Greeting From The Director

April is the first month of both the new school and fiscal year in Japan. As both a student and practitioner of international cultural exchange, it is the month for us to renew our commitment to bring the best experiences of Japan to the United States.

Currently, the Japan Foundation supports 22 educational institutions and school districts in the US through our Salary Assistance grant. The primary goal of this program is to financially assist schools while they are trying to establish new Japanese language programs or to recover from a temporary fiscal set-back. It is one of the biggest grant programs offered by the JF for language education in terms of grant size, and the application deadline for the 2016/2017 school year is approaching soon. Please take a moment to read the terms and conditions and do not hesitate at all to contact us if you have questions.

Speaking of deadlines, our Japanese language courses still have some seats remaining for spring term. Please join hundreds of former and current students to expand your cultural horizons now.

Last but not least, I would like to say a big thank you for those who came to the Germany-Japan film week last month. I hope you enjoyed comparing two cultural perspectives on the same theme manifested in sometimes very different artistic expressions. We are currently planning to do more events like this to bring many other countries together. After all, in the world we are living now, what is needed most is a celebration of differences among cultures.

Sincerely,

 

Hideki Hara, Director

Exhibition: Neo Japonism: Shunga
Curated by Kio Griffith
Through Saturday, April 23 (JFLA Auditorium)

This exhibition features 25 Japanese and American artists’ original works inspired by “shunga”, sexually explicit and ornate paintings or prints that originated in 17th century Japan.

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JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Screening
"Finding Calico" (107mins, 2015)
Directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa
Wednesday, April 13 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

A drama inspired by non-fiction book "Maigo no Miechan: Chiiki Neko to Shotengai Saisei no Monogatari" (Mie the Stray: A Story of Community Cats and Shopping Street Revitalization) about a search for a feline. Yoshihiro Fukagawa (In His Chart) directs.

Kyoichi Morii (Ogata Issey), a retired school principal, lives alone after the death of his wife. One day, the strait-laced and narrow-minded Morii is visited by Mie, the stray cat his late spouse loved. He tries to shoo her away, but when she suddenly fails to show up, he gets worried and begins to look for her.

Watch Trailer

Spring term will start on April 23!
Register Now!

Your potential blooms this spring!  We are now accepting registrations for our popular Japanese courses which will begin on April 23rd. Listen to the voices of our students. They’ll tell you the reasons why they are learning Japanese, how fun it is, and their favorite Japanese words.

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2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Now Available!

We are accepting applications for the following grants:

  1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadline: 9/1/2016)
  2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadline: 9/15/2016)
  3. Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses (Deadline: 4/10/2016)
  4. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

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Now Tweeting at JFLA @JFLALC1

JFLA is now officially tweeting so make sure to follow us at our Twitter account. We have also updated our mailing list categories to better help our subscribers receive the information they want. If you haven't already done so, please make sure to Signup For Our Mailing List so you don't miss any exciting updates from us.

New Library Acquisitions

We acquired several new books in English and Japanese as well as children's books and DVDs during the past few weeks and have included in the link below. There are also some new manga so make sure to drop by and apply to become a member if you haven't already done so. Our annual library membership is now free so anyone can become a member.

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JF Teaching Materials Purchase Grant Awarded to Silver Creek High School

We want to thank Nick-sensei for sharing this photo of his wonderful Japanese students!! We are pleased to see that they are benefitting from their new books, which were purchased through our "Teaching Material Purchase Grant." This grant program is offered twice a year from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, to support Japanese language teachers, who need additional funding to purchase teaching materials. The next deadline is 9/15/2016 so please check out our website for more information.

JF Teaching Materials Purchase Grant Awarded to Paint Branch High School

Mr. Shintaro Seto, Counsellor for the Embassy of Japan, visited Paint Branch High School (Burtonsville, MD) and presented our "Teaching Material Purchase Grant" check to Assistant Principal Dollye McClain. We thank everyone for supporting Japanese language education in the city of Burtonsville and hope that the new teaching materials will enhance Ms. Mikiko Korn sensei's Japanese program!

Japanese Language Education Update 29:
An Example of Successful Advocacy

At the middle school level, Cranford Public Schools in New Jersey offers Spanish, French, German, and Latin – and now they offer Japanese. This year, the school district's high school Japanese program reached down into the middle school to expand its offerings.”

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2015 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 8/8

In July of 2015, 32 US high school students participated in the final JET Memorial Invitational Program (JET-MIP). They travelled to Japan for a two week study tour of the Tohoku region, focusing on the cities of Rikuzentakata and Ishinomaki. These were the cities that Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson were assigned during their tenure as JET Assistant Language Teachers. Sadly, they lost their lives during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March, 2011 and JET-MIP was created to commemorate their work. Participants took part in exchanges with local elementary, middle and high school students as well as local community groups with the purpose of fostering friendship and goodwill between both countries. Each month, we will feature four essays written by the participants describing their experiences in Japan. Click below to read about their memorable journey.