September, 2013: Breeze Issue #71


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

Greeting From The Director

I hope you have made the most of this beautiful summer!  I recently received a very touching thank-you letter from a participant on our invitation program to Japan for American educators.  It says:

“The visits to the schools were heart-warming and inspiring. As we all know, children are the same no matter the culture or nation. They love learning and have joy in their hearts. We particularly enjoyed our elementary school visit at Rikuzentakata. The principal has supported, educated, and loved these children through a horrible devastation. The student presentation and performance touched all of our hearts. As we watched them explain what it was like to survive the tsunami and perform a dance about the relationship between a fisherman and the sea, we were all brought to tears. Their strength, pride, and joy of life was a most commendable testament to the heart of your nation.”

The writer of this letter, a principal of a middle school in Georgia, also mentioned that her experience in Japan encouraged her to implement changes in her own school, in addition to sharing her ideas with district-level supervisors.  I truly believe in the power of education and the passion of the educators on the front line.  They nurture the future generations of our two great nations, and our investment in education is as essential as ever for the shared future of our irreplaceable globe. As many schools in the US have already started the new school year, I sincerely hope for a safe and even more fruitful year of learning on their campuses! At our center in Los Angeles, as we celebrate our first anniversary since relocating to this lovely Miracle Mile location, September brings many arts and cultural events as well.  So please be sure mark your calendar so that you won’t miss a thing!

Misako Ito, Director


JFLA Lecture Series 13
Washi: Infinite Ideas in Traditional Techniques
Thursday, September 19 at 7:00PM
Admission: Free (RSVP Required)

JFLA invites master washi (Japanese paper) craftsmen Hironao and Osamu Hamada from Kochi Prefecture to the United States, in partnership with Hiromi Paper Inc., the Kala Art Institute, Church History Librarian and the University of New Mexico, to give lectures and demonstrations on a four-city American tour through Los Angeles, Berkeley, Salt Lake City, and Albuquerque.

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Come and Visit Us at TARFEST
Saturday, September 21, 2013, 2:00-8:00PM
Venue: The La Brea Tar Pits (5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036)

TARFEST is a premiere arts and culture event in Los Angeles and the Miracle Mile District. Dozens of the nation's most distinctive emerging artists, performers, and cultural innovators come together and showcase their talents and ideas at historic and notable venues along the Miracle Mile. At the Japan Foundation Los Angeles tent, you can enjoy Japanese culture for free!

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Outdoor Movie Screening: HACHI - A Dog's Tale
Saturday, September 28, 2013 @ 7:00PM
Venue: The Riviera Country Club (1250 Capri Dr., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272)
Admission: Adults $20 [Includes Japanese Bento Box], Children under 12 $10 [Includes Kids Box]

Enjoy a movie night with the entire family! Children are welcome! Grass seating only - please bring your own blankets and lawn chairs. Following the screening there will be a Q & A discussion led by Producer Vicki Shigekuni Wong, who brought Hachiko’s popular tale to America, and special guest appearance by Hachi, the dog and his trainer! Photo sessions will be offered after the Q&A session.

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Free Japanese Film Screening is Back!!
September 11 and 25 at 7PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

Our regular free Japanese film screening, JAPANEMA, will come back in September! Mark your calendar for September 11th and 25th at 7pm. We will be showing "YOJIMBO" (110 Mins, 1961) on 9/11 and "ROBO-G" (111mins, 2012) on 9/25.

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2013 JLPT Registration Period Has Started
Deadline: Friday, September 27 at 9:00PM Eastern Time

Registration for the 2013 Japanese Language Proficiency Test opened on Monday, August 26th and will last through Friday, September 27th at 9PM Eastern Time. The test will be on Sunday, December 1st, which is the same weekend as Thanksgiving. For more information, please visit their website below.

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JF Nihongo Teatime
September 7 at 1:00PM ($2 to participate)

Come join our casual and informative conversation café that starts off the new term of our language courses - JF Nihongo Tea Time! You'll enjoy fun games and Japanese tea & snacks while you chat with native Japanese speakers! All levels are welcome! Japanese language experience is not necessary—this event is open to everyone, ages 18 and up!

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JF Nihongo Fall Term
September 19 – November 12
Early Bird Discount: Register by September 7 and get 10% off

Register Now for JF Nihongo Fall Term. We plan to offer courses that are designed for new Japanese-language learners, as well as those who are interested in improving their existing language skills. Join us at JFLA to study Japanese this fall!

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JF Nihongo Outstanding Students - Japan Trip Report

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai invites outstanding Japanese language students from all over the world. Last year, Ms. Whitney Nakayama was selected from Los Angeles to participate in a two week intensive Japanese language and culture program in Japan. She was a JF Nihongo student who dedicated herself to learning the language and showed exemplary language skills while taking Business Japanese in Los Angeles. Below we have included her report about her experiences in Japan during November of 2012. This year, we are also selecting a candidate for this program among our JF Nihongo students. The program is offered annually so if you are JF Nihongo student, study hard and you may be invited to Japan next year!

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2013-2014 Japanese Language Grants

The grants available for the 2013 Fiscal Year include the Japanese Language Contest Grant (Deadline: 9/3/2013), Japanese Teaching Materials Purchase Grant (Deadline: 9/16/2013) and Japanese language Education Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date). Application materials for Fiscal Year 2014’s Teacher Training Programs as well as Japanese Language Programs for Specialists will be available by early October, 2013.

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2013 Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses

On Tuesday, August 20, the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston held a ceremony to present the Japan Foundation's grant check to Johnston Middle School (Houston Independent School District). This grant was awarded so they can maintain their Japanese language program during these tough economic times. We hope that our grant support will help them promote the Japanese language education in their school district.

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2013 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 1/8

In July of 2013, 32 US high school students participated in the JET Memorial Invitational Program (JET-MIP). They travelled to Japan for a two week study tour of the Tohoku area, focusing on the cities of Rikuzentakata and Ishonomaki. These were the cities that Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson were assigned during their tenure as JET Assistant English 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 unforgettable journey.


Monkey Business: New Voices from Japan
Thursday, September 5, 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Venue: University of San Francisco - Fromm Hall 120 - Xavier Auditorium
Friday, September 6, 1:00PM
Venue: University of California, Berkeley - East Asian Studies (2223 Fulton, 6th FL)

Two Japanese writers visit the Bay Area to discuss their writing, Japanese culture, and what it feels like to live in post-tsunami Japan. They will be joined by Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica, Ted Goossen and Motoyuki Shibata, the editors of Monkey Business, the only English-language journal focused on Japanese literature, manga and poetry. There will be readings, discussions, and a Q & A session.


Call for Applications: Performing Arts Japan (PAJ)
Application Deadline: October 21, 2013

This program provides financial assistance to Japan-related art projects in the US and Canada that aim to introduce Japanese performing arts to local audiences in these areas, or to facilitate exchange between leading artists in Japan and North America. The Japan Foundation is now accepting applications for this program.

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Japan Related Links

We have compiled a list of links for all things Japanese in Southern California and afar. They are divided into many categories and sub categories as well. If you need information about Japanese language schools, or Japanese supermarkets, click the link below to find information on those topics and many more.

Click Here


Sayonara Meiko

We are sad to report that our long time Librarian/JLPT Coordinator, Ms. Meiko Kanezuka, left JFLA at the end of August. Meiko was in charge of running the library here at JFLA as well as organizing the Japanese language proficiency test with all 13 test sites in the United States. We thank her for her dedication and wish her the best of luck on her return to Japan.