2017 Past Events

Meditation with Japanese Singing Lin Bowl, December 20, 2017

Wednesday, december 20
12:30pm, 1:00pm (20min sessions)
free admission

Mid-week fatigue is a familiar foe to many of us.  Why not maximize your relaxation and join us for a Sound Bath at Lunchtime!
The Singing Lin Bowl harmoniously combines the healing qualities of the Tibetan singing bowl and its Japanese counterpart, the Lin bowl. Relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing-Lin bowl lead you into a meditative state.
There is no charge and no reservation required. All are welcome to come, sit, listen, and refresh!


Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art, December 19, 2017

Session 4: Wisdom kings

In collaboration with LACMA
tuesday December 19, 2017 @7pm

What do you know about the Wisdom Kings (Myo-o in Japanese) in Buddhism?  They are third-ranked deities after Buddhas and Bodhisattavas who, with their wrathful visages and weapons, protect the Buddhas and intimidate wayward Buddhist practitioners back into devotion.
In this lecture, we will be introduced to the many kinds of Wisdom Kings and their various roles, as well as how they are portrayed artistically.
This will be the fourth lecture in this series and will begin with a quick review of what was covered in previous lectures to give first-time attendees context as to where Wisdom Kings fit into the hierarchy of deities in Buddhism.  No prior knowledge is necessary to enjoy this fun and fascinating talk!

Note: We are now using EventBrite as our RSVP system so don't be surprised if this looks different than before!

detailsclick here to RSVP

Free Japanese Cinema Screening, December 13, 2017

Beautiful Romance with Multilayered Sense of Cynical Amusement

A Bride for Rip Van Winkle   (179mins, 2016)

Wednesday, December 13 @7PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED
You could win a director Iwai's autographed poster!

Nanami(Hana Kuroki) is an apathetic, part-time junior high school teacher, whose only solace comes from connecting with others on “Planet,” a new social network service. One day, a young man named Tetsuya messages her and asks to meet in person. The two begin dating and quickly become engaged. When Tetsuya begs Nanami to increase her guest list for the wedding, Nanami reaches out to online-friend, Amuro(Go Ayano), a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, who hires actors to play Nanami’s guests on her big day. A few weeks following the ceremony, Tetsuya’s mother confronts Nanami with allegations of lying and cheating.


Bilingual Yoga at Lunchtime, December 06, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
(2 sessions, 20min/ session)

Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at lunchtime!
October 18 is Yoga day!  In this program, no need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair receiving relaxing instruction from a bilingual (English and Japanese) instructor. Learn simple Japanese phrases during the instruction and stretch your mind as well as your body.
There will be two free sessions beginning at 12:30pm and 1:00pm. No reservation necessary, all are welcome.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, November 22, 2017

A God Incarnate. A City Doomed.

Shin Godzilla   (120mins, 2016)

Wednesday, November 22 @7PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED

*Short Translation Lecture Before The Show

Make way for the ultimate homage to one of the most enduring legends of the big screen—Godzilla! The King of the Monsters is back in Tokyo for a city-crushing crusade that speaks to the very roots of the world-renowned franchise. 


Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art, November 14, 2017

Session 3: Bodhisattva
in Collaboration with LACMA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 7PM
Free Admission, RSVP required

The bodhisattvas are deities who have achieved enlightenment themselves but have delayed their own exit from the cycle of rebirth to guide others to enlightenment. Japanese Buddhism is full of these strange yet wonderfully virtuous attendant deities, from the monk-like bodhisattva of the hells to the horse-headed bodhisattva of compassion.


Japanema on the Road, November 12, 2017

A Blend of Gorgeous, Realistic Detail and Emotionally Grounded Fantasy

Your Name.    (106mins, 2016)
Directed by Makoto Shinkai


Sunday, November 12 @2PM (Starts) / 1pm (Door Open)  FULL

Venue: Torrance Cultural Arts Center, James R. Armstrong Theatre
(3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance, CA 90503)



The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers, living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body and he, hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet somehow, it works.


Lecture and Demonstration, November 09, 2017

The Light in the Shadow:  Expression of sumi ink
Thursday, November 9, 7pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
this event is full.

Suibokuga (水墨画), also called sumi-e (墨絵), is a form of art that uses black sumi ink to paint on washi paper.  This seemingly simple monochrome art form requires various brush stroke techniques which create and express the subtle nuances of light and shade onto a sheet of paper. Artist Yoshio Ikezaki has been creating contemporary monochrome art works using sumi-e techniques and some of his works are currently on view as part of the “ATMOSPHERE IN JAPANESE PAINTING” exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, November 08, 2017

Omnibus Film Based on 3 Classic Rakugo Tales

Rakugo Eiga   (110mins, 2012)

Wednesday, November 8 @7PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED

*Short Translation Lecture Before The Show

This film features Japan’s traditional art, “rakugo” as its theme. It is a modern adaptation of three rakugo tales presented in three short films (“Before After” based on the rakukgo “Nezumi” or “Rat”, “Life Rate” based on the rakukgo “Shinigami” or “The Reaper”, and “Sarugoke ha Tsuraiyo” based on rakugo “Sarugoke” or “Monkey Widow”). 


JFLA Lecture Series 43, November 07, 2017

The Art of Subtitling: Working behind the Scenes

Tuesday, november 7, 2017, 7PM
Free Admission, RSVP required

With the growing popularity of Japanese movies and animation, the demand for Japanese to English visual media translation is skyrocketing.
For audiences who cannot understand the original language, subtitles play a vital role in making movies entertaining. To translate dialogue into good subtitles requires special techniques to draw out the original meaning as well as the entertainment value of the movie with only a limited number of words.
In talking about how movie translation fulfills an important role behind the scenes, a professional from the industry will introduce the actual process of translating and its enjoyment.  During the lecture, we will demonstrate good and bad translations using professional subtitling software and video clips from a couple of Japanese movies.  This lecture is co-presented by Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA).


Yakuza Movie Screening, November 02, 2017

One Wrong Move and It’s All-out War
Outrage   (109mins, 2010)
Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Thursday, November 2 @7PM
Free Admission, No RsVP Required

In a ruthless battle for power, several yakuza clans vie for the favor of their head family in the Japanese underworld. The rival bosses seek to rise through the ranks by scheming and making allegiances sworn over sake. Long-time yakuza Otomo (Takeshi Kitano) has seen his kind go from elaborate body tattoos and severed fingertips to becoming important players on the stock market. Theirs is a never-ending struggle to end up on top, or at least survive, in a corrupt world where there are no heroes, but constant betrayal and vengeance.


JFLA Lecture Series 42, November 01, 2017

Yakuza: Origin and Structure of Japan's Organized Crime Syndicates

Wednesday, november 1 @7PM
Free Admission, RSVP required


This lecture is a three-part presentation. Part I takes the form of a historical overview, tracing the origin of the Yakuza from the early days to World War II, emphasizing the political and socio-cultural constructs that propagated the growth and spread of these traditional groups. Part II provides insight into the organizational structure of modern Yakuza crime syndicates, highlighting membership. Part III concludes the presentation with a brief examination of the most prominent laws aimed at controlling the Yakuza in Japan, as well as internationally.


3-Day Yakuzathon, October 31, 2017

Day 1: Tuesday, October 31 @7pm
Yakuza de Halloween Movie Screening
"Battles Without Honor and Humanity"  (仁義なき戦い) (99mins, 1973)
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Free Admission, No RSVP Required


Day 2: Wednesday, November 1 @7pm
JFLA Lecture
"Yakuza: Origin and Structure of Japan's Organized Crime Syndicates"
Lecturer: Silke Higgins (San Jose State University)
Free Admission, RSVP Required


Day 3: Thursday, November 2 @7pm 
Present Yakuza Movie Screening 
"Outrage" (アウトレイジ) (109mins, 2010) 
Directed by Takeshi Kitano 
Free Admission, No RSVP Required

Yakuza de Halloween Movie Screening, October 31, 2017

Kinji Fukasaku’s “Japanese GODFATHER” adapted from newspaper articles of real life yakuza
Battles without Honor and Humanity  (仁義なき戦い)    (99mins, 1973)
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku

Tuesday, october 31 @7PM
Free Admission, No RsVP Required

*Please come with your Gang or Mafia costume.

When this film first hit Japanese screens in January 1973, partially inspired by the success of The Godfather, it blasted out a new Ground Zero for crime cinema not only in Japan, but in the rest of the world, and spawned a legendary series that would lead to additional episodes, spin-offs, and countless imitations.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, October 25, 2017

Bow to Everything, Even to An Electric Pole
Campaign  (選挙)    (120mins, 2007)
Directed by Kazuhiro Soda

wednesday, october 25, 2017 @7:00PM
Free Admission, No RsVP Required

A documentary that closely follows the Kawasaki city assembly by-election in 2005. This is a directorial debut of Soda Kazuhiro, that has been entered into a number of film festivals, including the official invitation from the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007.


Mini Lecture & Documentary Film Screening, October 18, 2017

Dealing with Life and Death the Japanese Way

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @7PM
Free Admission, RSVP Required


Part I: Lecture (30mins)
“Dealing with Life and Death the Japanese Way” by Duncan Ryuken Williams (USC)

Part II: Documentary Film Screening (90mins)
Death of a Japanese Salesman  (エンディングノート(90mins, 2011)
Directed by Mami Sunada
Produced by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Part III: Q&A Session with Director Mami Sunada (30mins)
Director Sunada will answer your question (Televised live from Japan)


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, October 11, 2017

Winner of Best Animated Feature Award at the 2017 Fantasia Film Festival

Napping Princess  (ひるね姫〜知らないワタシの物語〜)    (110mins, 2017)

Directed by Kenji Kamiyama

wednesday, october 11, 2017 @7:00PM
Free Admission, No RsVP Required

From visionary director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East) comes a sci-fi fantasy that effortlessly weaves together the rapidly evolving technology of today’s world with the fantastic imagination of the next generation. With an ambitious mix of multilayered action, whimsical characters and inventive machines, Napping Princess is a genre- and universe-blending film that shows that following your dreams is sometimes the best way to discover your past.


Special Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art, October 10, 2017

Session 2: Buddhas
in Collaboration with LACMA

Tuesday, october 10, 2017, 7PM
Free Admission, RSVP required

The second lecture will talk about Buddhas.  For many, saying the name "Buddha" evokes the image of a serene ascetic or of a portly, laughing soul. However, the Buddhist pantheon is occupied by many different figures associated with the title ‘buddha’; the most prominent being Shakamuni, the historical Buddha; Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise; and Yakushi, the Medicine Buddha. 


JFLA Lecture Series 40, October 05, 2017

Explore the Home of Japanese Mythology: Shimane

Thursday, october 5, 2017, 7PM

Shimane, a prefecture located in the northwest of Honshū, is known as the “Province of the Gods" and is rich in Shinto-based Japanese mythology and folklore. In Shimane, there are many landmarks and sites from Japanese mythology and folklore such as the “the Underworld” (Yomotsu Hirasaka), the “Birthplace of Sake”, and many others including Izumo Taisha where all deities in Japan gather once a year in Kami-ari-zuki.  In this lecture, Shinto priest Izumi Hasegawa will show us Shimane’s charm and its relation to mythology and the Japanese traditions of Shinto.  She will also provide us with useful information for travel in Shimane.


Free Outdoor Japanese Cinema Screening @ The Source, September 29, 2017

Enjoy Outdoor Anime Weekend @ The Source
Free Admission & Free Popcorn*!

at The Source, 1st Floor Step Plaza (6940 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90621)

Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 7:30pm
The Boy and the Beast

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
(120mins, 2015)

In Japanese with English subtitles

Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Wolf Children

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
(117mins, 2012)

In Japanese with English subtitles

Sunday, October 1, 2017 @ 6:30pm
Summer Wars

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
(115mins, 2009)
In Japanese with English subtitles

*Provided by CGV Cinemas. Limited Supply


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, September 27, 2017

A Story of Sweet and Sensitive Transgender Family

Close-Knit   (彼らが本気で編むときは、)

wednesday, September 27, 2017 @7:00PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED

11-year-old Tomo (Rinka Kakihara) lives with mother Hiromi (Mimura), but Hiromi decides to give up on her and leaves their home. Tomo, now all alone, visits her uncle Makio's (Kenta Kiritani) home. Makio lives with his beautiful girlfriend Rinko (Toma Ikuta). Rinko was born as a man and now works as a caregiver at a home for the elderly. Tomo is a little confused by the situation, but they begin to live as a family.


Bilingual Yoga at Lunchtime, September 20, 2017

wednesday, September 20, 2017
12:30pm, 1:00pm (20min sessions)
free admission

Ever feel the “mid-morning slump” while at work in the office? How about taking a few minutes at lunchtime to refresh yourself?
Destress and reenergize at JFLA during our 20-minute, easy-to-do yoga stretch session!  No need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair receiving relaxing instruction from a bilingual (English and Japanese) instructor. Learn simple Japanese phrases during the instruction and stretch your mind as well as your body.
There will be two free sessions beginning at 12:30pm and 1:00pm. No reservation necessary, all are welcome!


Special Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art, September 19, 2017

Session 1: Shinto
in Collaboration with LACMA

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 7-8:30PM
Free Admission, RSVP required
Registration is full

Rather than a purely academic approach to Japanese religious art, the purpose of this lecture series is to help participants’ locate visual clues by which the deities can be identified and differentiated. The figures will be contextualized within Japanese religious history and connected to their iconographical antecedents in the arts of India, China, and Korea. The first talk will introduce the indigenous religion of Shinto and the deities within; the following four will look at Buddhist deities from four distinct classes: buddhas, bodhisattvas, wisdom kings, and celestial beings.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, September 13, 2017

2016 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard Jury Prize

Harmonium (淵に立つ)

wednesday, September 13, 2017 @7:00PM
Free Admission

Director, Koji Fukada's latest film uses themes of Japanese domesticity to investigate the surrounding fissures that expand to collapse a family shaken by tragedy. Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) hires Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano) in his workshop. This old acquaintance, who has just been released from prison, begins to meddle in Toshio’s family life.


JF Nihongo Fall 2017 (Sep. 9 - Nov. 9), September 09, 2017

Sep. 9 - nov. 9
Register Now!

Put your roots down in Nihongo and grow!  Beginning this fall, JFLA will pour its energy into providing entry-level Japanese classes which help learners develop a strong foundation in the language.  People interested in learning Japanese at JFLA will have three Japanese-language courses.  In each class, students will learn concepts and communication skills which are essential to having a well-rounded understanding of everyday Japanese!  Register by August 25 and get a 10% early bird discount!


Dance Dance L'Asia, September 02, 2017

Step in Cultural Diversity through Dance!


Saturday, September 2, 2017    Door Open @3:30pm  /  Show @4pm

MI Concert Hall at Musicians Institute (1655 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood, CA 90028)

Free Admission (RSVP Required)

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles will be inviting dancers from all over Asia to share their cultures through dance at this special event. Dancers include Hilty & Bosch, Ray Basa, Wizstars, Culture Shock L.A., Good Time and more!

*During the show, Hilty & Bosch will host a workshop where they will teach their exciting style of urban dance. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity!


Matsuri the Festival, August 31, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Free food & drinks!
Free Admission!

Enjoy live music, free food & drinks, kimono dressing & photo session etc.  Don't miss the special performance by guitarist Toshi Yanagi of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live"!  This is the main event of "Japan Week on the Miracle Mile & Beyond" celebrating JFLA's re-opening.  Everyone is welcome!  Stop by and see us at our newly renovated center.  Come in your yukata! 


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, August 30, 2017

Red Turtle
Wednesday, August 30 @7pm
JFLA Auditorium (w/ Bigger Screen & Brand New Projector!!)
Admission: FREE (No Reservation Required)

For Studio Ghibli's first international co-production, they invited Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit to create his first feature-length film. The result, after eight years of work, is a breathtaking, original fable about a shipwrecked man's struggle to escape a deserted island, and the unexpected course his life takes when he's prevented from leaving by the titular sea creature.


Japanese for Travel, August 29, 2017

Tuesday, august 29, 2017
full, Registration closed

Do you have plans to go to Japan in the near future?  If so, prepare for your trip with us!  You will learn helpful travel tips from a tourism specialist from JNTO(Japan National Tourism Organization), and essential Japanese phrases from our JF Nihongo instructors.  We will demonstrate Japanese mannerisms too, so you won't be just a "stranger" in Japan.  This workshop is suitable for beginners and those who have no experience at all.  


Japan Week on the Miracle Mile & Beyond, August 28, 2017

August 28 - September 2, 2017
All Events are free!

Our center will be back!  After three months of renovation, we are gearing up to reopen our office on the Miracle Mile with a week full of events. Make sure to mark your calendars for our week-long celebration of Japanese language and culture at our new office. Admission is free for all events, but events marked with * require RSVP.  For details, click on the link below.

Passage to the Future, August 11, 2017

Traveling Exhibition

Passage to the Future: Art from a New Generation in Japan

August 11 - September 2, 2017
*Artist talk with Miyuki Yokomizo: September 1 [Fri], 7pm
Arena 1 Gallery (3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90405)
Admission: FREE

"Passage to the Future: Art from a New Generation in Japan" focuses on art produced in Japan at the beginning of the 21st century. It showcases 42 works - paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos - of eleven young Japanese artists who are presently attracting a great deal of attention, namely Atsushi Fukui, Satoshi Hirose, Maywa Denki, Tomoyasu Murata, Tetsuya Nakamura, Masafumi Sanai, Katsuhiro Saiki, Yoshihiro Suda, Tabaimo, Nobuyuki Takahashi, and Miyuki Yokomizo.


Strong and Versatile: Japanese Handmade Paper and Paper Thread, July 29, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Craft and Folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Boulevard)
Free to attend RSVP Required (event is full)

Can paper be turned into wearable clothing? Absolutely. In Japan, thread made from handmade paper has been used for weaving cloth since at least the 17th century. The cloth is called shifu (shi means paper and fu means cloth in Japanese) and traditionally it has been employed in a variety of uses, from making kimono for the elite, to work clothes for farmers. Hiroko Karuno, an expert spinner, natural dyer and weaver presents a slide lecture on the process of making Japanese handmade paper. Afterwards, she will demonstrate the intricate method of producing paper thread from a sheet of handmade paper and how to prepare it for weaving.


Grants Now Available!, June 18, 2017

Fiscal Year 2022-23

  1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant
    Deadlines:  3/1, 9/1/2022

  2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant
    Deadlines:  3/15, 9/15/2022

  3. Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses
    Deadline:  4/10/2022

  4. Japanese Language Education Project Grant
    Deadline:  Two months prior to the project start date


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