October, 2013: Breeze Issue #72


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

Greeting From The Director

Our JF Nihongo Fall term started with a full enrollment of very passionate Japanese language learners at our center. Thank you for your interest! As you read in the previous issue of Breeze, we invited an outstanding student from our JF Nihongo Program in 2012, and this year, we are sending another outstanding student from our classes for an all expense paid trip to Japan!  She will be visiting Japan soon and we look forward to hearing about her experiences.

Last week, I participated in the splendid opening ceremony of a San Diego elementary school. Barnard Asia Pacific Language Academy is a public elementary school (which recently changed its name from Barnard Mandarin Magnet School), and they just started teaching Japanese to their K-6 children in addition to Mandarin Chinese and Korean. They also obtained a new facility to accommodate a larger number of children. When they first started five years ago they only had 138 students – now they have almost 600. 

The learning of a foreign language is indeed an essential and critical 21st century skill, and I feel so happy for these lucky children that they can be immersed in a multicultural and multilingual environment while they are still young.   

Misako Ito, Director


Fiscal Year 2014 Program Guidelines Available

We offer grant programs for Arts & Culture (for the 13 states west of the Rocky Mountains) and Japanese Language Education (all 50 states). If you are interesting in applying, please visit our grant page below to find out more information about the programs available in the U.S.

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Japanese Kite Workshop
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 7PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

In this workshop, Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki will introduce the history of kites in Japan and talk about the materials and techniques used to build and design Japanese style kites. This will be a hands-on workshop so participants will also have an opportunity to build a small, traditional Japanese kite made of bamboo and washi (Japanese paper). Dozens of hand-made Japanese kites will be also be on display. Make sure to bring your kids for a fun evening of Japanese craft.

Check Our Website For More Information.


Passage to the Future: Art from a New Generation in Japan
Date: Friday, October 18 – Friday, December 20
Venue: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This internationally touring exhibition features forty-two works from eleven Japanese artists, some internationally known, some relatively obscure, "Passage to the Future" is a concise yet broad-ranging display of contemporary Japanese art - a showcase of sculpture, photography, filmmaking, painting, ceramic ware, and installation work. On the opening evening, the reception and lecture by Yusuke Minami (Deputy Director/Chief Curator of the National Art Center, Tokyo) will be held.

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JFLA Lecture Series 14: New Visions of Japanese Studies at UCLA
Date: October 21, 7PM at JFLA Auditorium

Join us for a talk with Professor Katsuya Hirano and Professor Michael Emmerich, two new Japanese Studies faculty members at UCLA, who will discuss exciting new developments in early modern and modern Japanese literature, history, and popular culture.

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2014 JET Information Session
Date: Saturday, October 26 at 1:30PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

If you are interested in applying for the JET Program in 2014, please join us here to learn more about opportunities with JET. Recruiters will be on hand to give a overview of the program and also answer any questions you may have.

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ai kuwabara trio project US Tour 2013
Dates: November 14 (Berkeley, CA), November 16 (Los Angeles, CA)
November 18 (Denver, CO), November 20 (Anchorage, AK)

Ai Kuwabara and Yusuke Morita formed a Jazz piano trio named "ai kuwabara trio project" in 2012 followed by their debut album "from here to there," which was released in November. The trio's second album "THE SIXTH SENSE" was released in April 2013. This album topped Japan's Tower Records Weekly Jazz Charts elevating them to the top of the world of Japanese jazz. The "ai kuwabara trio project" will be performing a four-city US tour in November.

Check Our Website For More Information.


Free Japanese Film Screening!!
October 9 and 23 at 7PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

For the month of October, we will be showing "Tokyo Story" by Yasujiro Ozu (136 mins, 1953) on 10/9 and "Always - Sunset on Third Street - 3" by Yamazaki Takashi (142mins, 2012) on 10/23.

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World x Friends = The Japan Foundation
JF Blog Site

The Japan Foundation Headquarters recently moved their blog to blogspot in order to feature stories from JF offices world-wide detailing their mission to promote Japanese culture and language. Currently, there are seven countries participating, including Japan, with the latest entry from Los Angeles. Make sure to follow this blog if you are curious about our work worldwide.

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2013 JLPT Registration Period Ends
Test Date: Sunday, December 1 (Time Varies By Test Site)

Registration for the 2013 JLPT ended on Friday, September 27 and the test will be held on Sunday, December 1 in 13 cities nation-wide. The number of applicants increased to the highest number of we have had in the US so far. AATJ will be mailing out vouchers and vital information sheets to those who registered in early November. Until then, please make sure to study hard for the test!

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JF Nihongo Fall Term Starts

The fall term of our popular JF Nihongo Japanese language courses started two weeks ago with close to 100 students! If you are interested in learning Japanese in the Los Angeles area, please check in mid-November for more information about Winter term, which is scheduled to start in late January.

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2013 Salary Assistance Grant for Barnard Asia Pacific Language Academy

On Friday, September 27, we attended the Grand Opening of Barnard Asia Pacific Language Academy to present a $20,000 check for their brand new Japanese language program. The salary assistance grant, provided by the Japan Foundation, will be used to enhance their foreign language program, which currently includes Mandarin Chinese, Korean, along with Japanese. We wish them success with their new program and hope that it will benefit the students in the San Diego area.


2013 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 2/8

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 region, 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 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 unforgettable journey.


J-LEAP Report Part 1/6

For the 2013-2014 school year, we invited 12 teaching assistants to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the third year of this program where teaching assistants are invited for up to two years to assist in strengthening the Japanese language program at their respective schools. This month, we will feature the reports from the following TAs describing their experiences at American high schools.


2013 Invitational Group Tour Program for US Educators
Report by Steven Johnson

Prior to this summer, all I knew about Japan was learnt from books and movies and a few college courses I had taken on the history of Japan. All this has changed as I was able to visit Japan this past July. It was my first opportunity to travel to Asia, and I feel fortunate that I was one of the fourteen American educators selected to travel to Japan through the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

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Critical Language Scholarship (Japan)
Program Date: June 5 - August 4, 2014
Hosting Institution: Dokkyo University
Deadline: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 5PM PT

A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical foreign languages. The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils and The Ohio State University/Ohio University.

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Staff Update

We are happy to introduce our new Librarian, Ms. Yoko Shimojo, who started working at our library on the 1st of October. She previously worked at the Japanese American National Museum and East Asian Library at the University of California, Los Angeles and looks forward to serving our guests here at JFLA.