August, 2012: Breeze Issue #58
A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
Greeting From The Director
August marks the end of Summer and the start of fall as many students around the country get ready to go back to school. We here at JFLA are also gearing up for the opening of our information center and public space at our new office in the Wilshire Courtyard. Please make sure to mark August 30th on your calendar so you can join us for an afternoon of festivities. Last month, we also completed our largest event at our new office when 32 high school students gathered here for an orientation before going to Japan. These along with many other activities are detailed below so I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of Breeze in addition to the videos on our Facebook page.
Misako Ito, Director
JFLA Opening Fall 2012
Come join us for our Open House on Thursday, August 30th, 2012, starting at noon. Be the first to view our new office, which has our information center; multipurpose room with AV equipment; rooms for workshops, JF Nihongo courses, as well as cultural events. Our inaugural exhibit is a photography show "Nippon Through My Eyes." We will also provide hands on experience in calligraphy, short-film screenings and musical entertainment. Japanese snacks and drinks will also be served and gift bags will be handed out to the first 50 guests. Don't miss out on this opportunity.
Japanese Language Grants Application Deadline: September 1st
We offer several types of grants to promote Japanese-language education in the US and the following two grants have September 1st deadlines. If you are interested in applying for either grants, please make sure you send your applications so they arrive on or before September 1st.
- Grant Program for Contests Designed for Japanese-Language Learners
- Japanese-Language Teaching Materials Purchase Grant
Check out JF Nihongo Classes this Fall!
Registration for JF Nihongo classes opens August 13th for the Fall Semester. We offer beginner to advanced Japanese classes at two locations, Miracle Mile and Little Tokyo. For more information on the JF Nihongo classes we offer, please visit us at http://www.jflalc.org/courses.html.
We hope to see you soon!
Also, there are still two summer workshops available this month so please check the summer course listings for more info http://www.jflalc.org/courses-summer.html.
2012 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
The 2012 JLPT registration will start on Tuesday, September 4th and last through Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 5PM PT. You will be able to register online through our registration site or through the mail with the downloadable PDF application. We have documents detailing general information about the test, this year's rules/policies, and the special arrangement documents so you can get started on that early. For more information, please visit the JLPT section of our website.
2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program Report Part 1
by Thomas Lin
In July of 2012, I took 32 high school students from all across the United States for a two week study tour in Japan including the Tohoku region, which focused on the two cities of Rikuzentakata and Ishinomaki. These were the cities that Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson were assigned to during their tenure as JET Assistant Language Teachers. The JET Memorial Invitation Program (JET-MIP) is dedicated to these two aspiring individuals who worked hard to promote exchanges between Japan and the United States and built lasting friendship between people of both countries. Sadly, both Monty and Taylor lost their lives during the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and the JET Memorial Invitation Program was started to continue their work by nurturing future generations to build networks with their counterparts in Japan. Building bridges is the theme of the program as the participants sought to discover their passion as it relates to Japan and consider a future in international diplomacy through programs such as JET.
In the following issues, I will document their journey from their first meeting in Los Angeles, to the eye opening journey through the Tohoku region, and finally to the tearful good-byes as they departed home after the program.
JF Nihongo Summer Camp for Teens: Discover Little Tokyo Report
We successfully completed the first ever special program, summer camp for teens in Little Tokyo. The students made many new discoveries while touring the many stores and cultural landmarks in Little Tokyo as well as participate in a scavenger hunt in the area. They especially enjoyed partaking in conversations, in Japanese, with people in the local community. This course would not be possible without the support of everyone involved including JANM, Koban, and the shop owners.
The arts and cultural events in the United States is organized by both JFLA and JFNY. We are in charge of events for the 13 states west of the Rocky Mountains and the New York office is in charge for the remaining 37 states. If you live in the eastern half of the US, make sure to visit the JFNY website to learn about the type of events that they are offering.
A Traveling Exhibition of the Japan Foundation
"Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present"
PART I : Saturday, June, 23 - Sunday, July, 29, 2012
PART II : Saturday, August, 25 - Sunday, September, 16, 2012
The new traveling exhibition of the Japan Foundation curated by Rei Masuda, curator at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, “Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present” is an overview of the diverse photographic expression that has emerged in Japan since the 1970s. In its final form, the exhibition includes 76 photographs by 23 photographers.
*Daido Moriyama, Kanagawa, 1969
BOWERS AFTER-HOURS: YUKIKO MATSUYAMA & THE KOTO YUKI BAND
Back by popular demand, the Bowers is proud to once again host Yukiko Matsuyama performing World Pop featuring the Japanese Koto. This Grammy winning musician began studying the traditional koto, the national instrument of Japan, at the age of 9. Southern California in 1993 and exposure to L.A.’s diverse cultures and rhythms has been eloquently fused into Yukiko’s music today. Just back from Japan, her band features Hirotaka Ogawa, with whom she recorded her CD Beyond the Space. This show marks the official release of the CD in the U.S. and is not to be missed! The instrumentation for the concert will be koto, electric and acoustic guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass and drums.
Friday, August 17, 2012 (Bowers After-Hours 5 - 7 PM; Performance: 7 - 8 PM)
Fee: Member $25/Non-member $35 (does not include dinner)
July 12–September 30, 2012
Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 and quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. After achieving fame through ground breaking exhibitions and art “happenings,” she returned to her native country in 1973 and is now one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists. This retrospective features works spanning Kusama’s career.
Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water is being shown in the Museum’s Lobby Gallery in conjunction with the Yayoi Kusama retrospective. Timed tickets are required to view Fireflies on the Water and can only be reserved on the day of your visit at the admission desk.
KYLEE at JPOP Summit Festival
August 25 & 26, 2012 from 11AM to 6PM
San Francisco Japantown
Kylee is an upbeat 18 year-old pop singer/songwriter born to an American father and Japanese mother. She is currently signed to Sony Music Japan and has become a fast-rising multi-cultural star that is developing a major following in both the U.S. and Japan. Kylee has been featured in the U.S. on the Today Show, and her second single, “missing/IT’S YOU,” released in 2010, was featured heavily in a commercial for online apparel retailer NISSEN. In 2011 she performed for an audience of more than 50,000 people at an official Major League Baseball game and also sang for President Barack Obama during a visit to her home state of Arizona earlier this year.
The 72nd Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival
Celebrating Our Culture and Community
August 11 to 19, 2012
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
Fourth Annual Los Angeles Tanabata (Summer Stars) Festival!
August 10 - August 13
The L.A. Tanabata Festival (LATF) is a most unique and “colorful addition” to the Nisei Week Festivities in Little Tokyo. The fantastic displays are made by individuals, families, groups, organizations, businesses, churches, temples, government offices, and etc.
Nikkatsu at 100: Visions and Voices
Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28
University of Southern California, University Park Campus
Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall
On September 10, 2012, Japan’s Nikkatsu Film Studio will celebrate its 100th anniversary. One of Japan’s oldest and most acclaimed film studios, the Nikkatsu libraries contain approximately 3,300 film titles, including some of the most important Japanese films from the silent era to the classical period, from the postwar era to the new wave, and up to the current renaissance of Japanese cinema. Nikkatsu’s collection includes period pieces, samurai films, melodramas, youth films, gangster films, “pink” movies, horror films and contemporary blockbusters, with major critical and box-office successes in each of those areas. This three-day event will draw from Nikkatsu’s library to celebrate 100 years of Japanese cinema, and will include screenings and discussions with filmmakers, scholars and critics on Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world.