February, 2012: Breeze Issue #52
A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
Greeting From The Director
In old times, February traditionally marked the start of the New Year with Spring coming right around the corner. There is a special ritual tied to this event to cleanse away all the evil from the past year and to purify the home by driving away evil spirits through the custom of Mamemaki. For our office, it is business as usual as we successfully organized the first JF Nihongo Course in Los Angeles. To kick off this event, we hosted an opening reception at the Japanese American Community and Culture Center with many special guests from the local Japanese community as well as the first group of students who were registered for the class. This was a big success with over 100 guests in attendance. The Japanese language course was also very successful resulting in the creating of another class to accommodate the additional students who were interested in learning Kana. During the month of February, we will be preparing for a very special event in the beginning March to mark the one year anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan. Please read about "Overcoming The Disaster Arigato from Japan" below and we hope you will come out to enjoy this very special event.
Misako Ito, Director
Overcoming The Disaster: Arigato from Japan
On Friday, March 2nd, 2012, a concert tour featuring some of Japan's top performers in several musical genres, will tour several cities in three different countries to express the gratitude of the Japanese people for the immense response received from all over the world after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The people of Japan hope to express some of their appreciation for the care and assistance that they received and to show that the nation is recovering, and that the affected region is rediscovering joy after so much destruction. The tour will take the performers to Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongchin, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong and features some of the best musical artists from the Tohoku region, which was most impacted by the disaster. This event is organized by the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles and the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and is free to the general public.
For more information including requesting tickets, please Click Here.
JF Nihongo Courses Additional Mastering Kana Course
Due to popular demand, we will be offering an additional Mastering Kana Course, which will start on Saturday, February 18th, and will meet once a week for four weeks. The first Mastering Kana course was very popular and filled up very quickly with 16 students. With the additional class, we hope to be able to accommodate everyone who was interested in learning how to read and write kana. This class is also filling up quickly so please register as soon as possible to reserve a spot.
For more information, please visit Courses.
J-LEAP Report: Part 5
This month, we have invited Naoko Nogamoto, a teaching assistant at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky, and Yui Ito, a teaching assistant at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, to share their experiences at American high schools. As you may recall, we sent 15 Japanese teaching assistants to assist Japanese-language teachers at select high schools all over the country. Each month, two participants will report on their experiences.
Naoko Nogamoto (Scott County High School, KY)
It has been more than five months since I had started to work at Scott County High School. Scott County High School is located about15 miles away from Lexington, Kentucky with about 3,000 students (including ninth grade). Currently about 100 students are taking Japanese I, II, III, and AP. My main job is to teach Japanese III.
Yui Ito (Waddell Language Academy, NC)
My name is Yui Ito. I am a teaching assistant at E.E. Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. I think North Carolina is an unfamiliar destination for most Japanese people. Before I came here, my impression of North Carolina was a place with many hurricanes. But now my impression has changed, North Carolina has very beautiful nature and the people are charming. Charlotte is an important city for banking. Charlotte is called “The Bank of America City”, because Bank of America is headquartered here. There is even a Bank of America stadium!
New Library Materials for February
This month, we have one new DVD and one new magazine in the Nihongo Library.
Directed by Kyoko Gasha
Samurai.jp (Issue 1, June 2011)
Publisher Kiyomi Tagawa
JET Memorial Invitation Program - Participant's Essays Part 6
This is the sixth part of an eight part series that will highlight the experiences of 32 participants of the 2011 JET Memorial Invitational Program. Through this program, participants travelled to Japan in July of 2011 for a 10 day exchange that focused on Japanese language and culture with the purpose of fostering friendship and goodwill between the youth of both countries. This month, we will be featuring the essays of Akia Hodges, Chris Mahmood, Cayra DeGiulio, and Jackson Morawski.
2011 JLPT Results Notification
The JLPT Administration Committee in the United States will be sending out 2011 Test Results by the end of February, 2012. To ensure that your results are delivered in a timely fashion, we ask that you contact us before February 13 if you want to update your mailing address. Please make sure to send all requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to include both your old and new address. Alternatively, you can also reply to the email confirmation you that received after you registered for the test.
This year's test will be held in December of 2012. We will not be offering the July test in the United States and none of the other administration committees in North or South America will be offering it either. For more information including cost, test sites, and registration process, please visit our website in July.
Event Report: JF Nihongo Opening Reception
On Saturday, January 14, 2012, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, hosted a reception at the Japanese American Community and Culture center to mark the opening of JF Nihongo Courses in Los Angeles. Over 100 guests attended this event, which featured original music by Grammy Award winning Master Koto Artist, Yukiko Matsuyama, speeches by leaders of the Little Tokyo community, a screening of the animation "Atamaya (Mt. Head)," Nihongo Game with students from the inaugural class, and a tour of the JF Nihongo classroom. We thank all the guests for attending this event and if you were unable to make it, we hope you can support us by attending a future event.
We are sad to announce that Deputy Director Mari Shogase will be leaving us this month after three and a half years of service here in Los Angeles. During her time here, she was instrumental in supporting Japanese language education in the United States as well as promoting Japanese culture events in Southern California. "It has been a wonderful and exciting experience for me. I want to thank everyone who I had the pleasure of meeting for their support and I hope that someday our roads will cross again!" She will be succeeded by Rei Suzuki, who will take over the duties of Deputy Director starting the second week of February. We wish Mari the best of luck in her next appointment at the Japan Foundation's Tokyo Headquarters and hope you will continue to extend your warm support to our next Deputy Director.