August, 2016: Breeze Issue #106

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

Greeting From The Director

Greetings! As an organization that brings Japanese fun and wonder to your doorstep, we will continue to work hard throughout the summer season presenting you a vast array of workshops and events! Our all-time popular Sushi workshop is coming back once again with the master sushi chef Andy Matsuda. Please make reservations today as seats will be gone like pancakes, scratch that, spicy tuna rolls. In addition, JFLA will rock Southern California this August with street-style Kendama, a Japanese cup and ball toy. Young masters from both Japan and the US will be battle-performing everywhere in LA and San Diego (and later in Mexico)! You do not need a smartphone app to find them — just tune in to our web site for further announcements.

For those who are enjoying a nice summer break somewhere cool and quiet, I recommend our brand-new e-learning course on the Japanese language. It is mainly meant for self-learners, but there is also an online ‘Community’ for subscribers to interact among each other and some courses are even tutor-supported. We definitely want to see this new endeavor succeed, so any feedback from first-time users is welcome. Best of all, it is entirely FREE!

Indoor or outdoor, we have something for everyone. Why don’t you ‘Japanize’ your August with us?



Hideki Hara, Director

Anger and Grief turns into Atonement and Salvation
"The Cross" (122mins, 2016)
Directed by Takumi Igarashi
Wednesday, August 10 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

This film is based on the novel "Jyujika" by Kiyoshi Shigematsu, which won the 44th Yoshikawa Eiji Bungakusho in 2010.

In the autumn of his second year of middle school, Shunsuke Fujii committed suicide.  He left behind Yu, who was named as his close friend in his suicide letter, and Sayu, whose birthday fell on the same day he died.  Shunsuke’s father was unable to forgive his classmates who knew about Shunsuke’s bullying but did nothing.  And Shunsuke’s mother was still filled with pain as she clung to the memories of her son.  Each of them will be confronting the weight of their own respective cross.  Will they find forgiveness in the end?  After 20 years, where will their lives lead them?

JFLA Lecture Series 34:
Feel the Beat! Taiko Across the Pacific
Thursday, August 11 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
Admission: This event is sold out

The art form of Japanese taiko drumming is practiced across the globe – not only in Japan, but in other parts of Asia, Europe, South America, and of course, the United States. Is there a difference in the way taiko is performed regionally throughout the world?  Are a taiko performer's origins discernible by listening to the sound?  This interactive presentation will explore the art form of Japanese taiko drumming, from both a historical and performance perspective.

More Information

Los Angeles Premiere of the Documentary Film about the World Largest Wholesale Seafood Market
"Tsukiji Wonderland" (110mins, 2016)
Directed by Naotaro Endo
Wednesday, August 24 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
FREE Admission / No RSVP Required
In Japanese with English subtitles

The Tsukiji Market, which is called "Kitchen of Japan", is the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world. The market was built about 80 years ago and it continues to attract people throughout its rich history. Fish and seafood from Tsukiji begins to color the Japanese tables and forms what is considered the backbone of Washoku, or Japanese cuisine. With an almost religious fervor, some of the country's best chefs come to Tsukiji to sample the latest tasty and exotic morsels, plucked from the sea that morning. This film will show you the passion of people in Tsukiji and the important essence of Japanese traditional cuisine through interviews with vendors, plus commentary from food celebrities such as multi-Michelin-star chefs Jiro Ono and Rene Redzepi. Tsukiji Wonderland is a sumptuous feast for sushi lovers everywhere and a rare glimpse of Japan's ancient legacy.

Watch Trailer

Workshop: Making Sushi in Japanese
Thursday, August 25 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
Fee: $35
Register Now!

Experience sushi like never before in this popular workshop!  Learn to make different types of sushi, order sushi in Japanese, and eat them!  A professional sushi chef will instruct participants during the sushi-making, and our language instructors will teach them useful vocabulary and expressions as well as manners and customs related to sushi.

Read More

Save the Date!
Street-style Kendama Master: AKIRA TAJIMA Demonstrations & Clinics Tour

  • Thursday, August 25 @San Diego feat.  TJ Kolesnik (Kendama USA)
    Public demonstrations & clinics
    *Exact time and place to be announced later on JFLA website
  • Saturday, August 27, 11am-4pm @Venice Beach Boardwalk
    *5pm- @UNIQLO Santa Monica Place  *Exact time to be announced later on JFLA website
    Public demonstrations & clinics feat. Jake Wiens (Kendama USA)
  • Sunday, August 28, 3pm-5:30pm @I Am 8-Bit Gallery
    “Grooves n' Kendama”:  Kendama demonstrations & dublab DJ's Japanese EDM
    feat. Jake Wiens (Kendama USA), DJ sets by Hashim B & Juke Bounce Werk

2016 JLPT in the US
Test Date: Sunday, December 4
Registration Period: Monday, August 29 to Monday, October 3
Test Fee: $60

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is an internationally accredited language examination that is offered in five different levels, designed to measure a person's Japanese-language skills. In the United States, it is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese and will be held at 16 cities across the country. This year, we will host the test for the first time in the state of Florida at Florida International University in Miami. Online registration will go live on Monday, August 29th so make sure to register early if you plan to take the test this year. For more information, please visit the site below.

Read More

JF Nihongo Fall Term Starts on September 10
Register now!

We offer unique and exciting language courses, the JF Nihongo (Nihongo=Japanese), which are based on the Japan Foundation’s JF Standard.  These courses focus on how well learners can do things in practical settings. Using materials from Japanese daily life, you will enjoy these friendly, interactive, and above all, fun courses.  Register by August 26 and get 10% off discount!

Read More

International Japanese Essay Contest on Soseki
for Japanese Language Learners
Deadline: August 10

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki, The Asahi Shimbun and three other organizations will jointly hold an international Japanese essay contest on the influential Japanese author.  First and second prize winners will be invited to a symposium in Tokyo!

Read More

2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Still 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. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

Read More

Japanese Language Education Update 33:
How to find a Japanese language teacher

Whether you’re a university searching for a professor, an online school hoping to add Japanese to your course offerings, or a K-12 immersion school looking to hire, here’s a guide to finding a Japanese language teacher for the upcoming fall semester.

Read More

The Japan Foundation launches FREE "JF Japanese e-Learning Minato" website!

Minato allows anyone to study the Japanese language any time using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In order to make Japanese learning more accessible, we are providing a wide range of courses that allow student to select one that will suit their personal interests. The courses offered are the Marugoto course (an integrated class about Japanese language and culture), the Hiragana/Katakana course (focusing on the written characters), and the Anime/Manga Japanese Language Course (fun for visual learners). While they are mainly 'self-study courses' that allow student to learn at their own pace, there are also 'tutor-supported courses' that provide assignment assistance, evaluations, and live lessons with teachers. Further, although online learning can be a lonely pursuit, the online "Community" lets users communicate and interact with their fellow Japanese language students worldwide.

If you are a teacher with questions about the courses, please contact Ms. Umeeda or Mr. Kurihara at General website users should contact with questions. Media should contact

Minato Website

New Library Acquisitions

We acquired several new books in English and Japanese, children's books, and CDs during the past few weeks and have included a lit in the link below. 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 join.

Read More

Staff Update

As of July 29, Yoko Shimojo will be cataloguing her last book at our library to pursue a career as a librarian at the Library of Congress. Yoko's departure comes after three years working here at JFLA as she dedicated her work to taking care of the patrons and books in our library. We will surely miss her expertise and knowledge of books and wish her the best of luck in Washington DC.