Breeze #100

February, 2016: Breeze Issue #100


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

Greeting From The Director

Let me extend my warmest “Thank You” to the readers of Breeze for enjoying this e-newsletter every month. So many people have sent in wonderful congratulatory messages with their memorable pictures of Japan to our “Japan Found Me” campaign to commemorate the publication’s 100th issue. I enjoyed every one of your comments and pictures and reaffirmed my commitment to bringing the best cultural experience of Japan to you.

In the last issue of Breeze, we announced Cinema Kabuki in Little Tokyo and two other locations in LA. If you have not checked our website on this rare opportunity to enjoy Japanese traditional theater up close, please do so as some of the venues require early reservations. We also have two art exhibitions currently going on in LA; Ishiuchi Miyako’s ‘Postwar Shadows’ at the Getty Museum, and ‘Chromatic Passage,’ a collection of three local artists’ artworks at our auditorium in mid-Wilshire.

Japanese language teachers in the United States should take a look at our 2016-2017 grant programs announcement. We are planning to ‘beef up’ our programs to serve you even better during our next fiscal year. And lastly but not the least, our biggest congratulations to the four Japanese language teachers who received Japanese Foreign Minister’s commendations! Our efforts to promote the Japanese language mean nothing without such dedicated teachers like you.



Hideki Hara, Director


A New Style of Kabuki Theatre Experience in HD with English Subtitles
Cinema Kabuki

Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today's greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in theatres around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and six-channel sound.

Saturday, February 6 @7:30pm
Little Tokyo / Aratani Theatre
“Lion Dance (Kagamijishi)”

Thursday, February 11 @7:30pm
Westwood / Hammer Museum
“The Haunted Sword (Kagotsurube)”

Saturday, February 13 @7:30pm
Torrance / AMC Rolling Hills 20
“Togitatsu no Utare: Noda Version”

Admission: Free

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Japan Found Me Campaign

We want to thank everyone who submitted a photo for our Japan Found Me Campaign celebrating the 100th issue of our online newsletter Breeze! We received many pictures from individuals all across the country and we want to share everyone's story with all our readers. Make sure to click the link below to see a full size collage of all the entries and to read about how these individuals Found Japan through our programs.

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Exhibition: Chromatic Passages - 彩時期
Curated by Kio Griffith
Tuesday, January 26 – Friday, March 4 (JFLA Auditorium)

Chromatic Passages (彩時期) is a three person exhibit of Los Angeles based painters Kaoru Mansour, Shingo Francis and Devon Tsuno each exploring color transitions through time, space, pattern and rhythm. The opulent quality of these paintings allude to a preternatural sense of place and moment beyond material boundaries . Using movement of color to evoke the ever-changing character of all landscapes, the artists exhibit their relationship to space and form inventing different ways of organizing the pictorial field, carefully constructing the field of vision into a thematic range of light and color.

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JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Screening
Heartfelt Movie that Sings the Song of the Unheroic Hero
"A Story of Yonosuke" (160mins, 2012)
Directed by Shuichi Okita
Wednesday, February 10 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

Yonosuke arrives at university in the late 1980s, a time when Japan is booming and the economy is raining cash. Hopelessly naive, and hopelessly self-confident, he comes to the big city and annoying and charming everyone in equal measure, but his good nature brings him romance and a loyal group of friends. The next 20 years finds him following the winding road of contemporary Japanese history, filled with twists and turns.

Watch Trailer


JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Screening
One of the Kawase’s Masterpiece Film
"Still the Water" (121mins, 2014)
Directed by Naomi Kawase
Wednesday, February 24 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.

Watch Trailer


Let's Chat in Japanese!
Monday, February 22, 6-8pm
Register Now!

Come join our casual conversation café!  Stop by anytime! At this popular event, you'll enjoy conversation with native Japanese speakers while having Japanese tea & snacks! All levels are welcome!  Bring your friends with you!  Japanese language experience is not necessary—this event is open to everyone, ages 18 and up!  If you are interested in our JF Nihongo language courses, this is a good opportunity to see our information center and classroom, and to meet our staff.


Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows
Through February 21, 2016 (GETTY CENTER)

In the 1970s Ishiuchi Miyako shocked Japan's male-dominated photography establishment with Yokosuka Story, a gritty, deeply personal project about the city where she spent her childhood and where the United States established a naval base in 1945. Working prodigiously ever since, Ishiuchi has consistently fused the personal and political in her photographs, interweaving her own identity with the complex history of postwar Japan that emerged from the shadows cast by American occupation.

This exhibition is the first in the United States to survey Ishiuchi's prolific career and will include photographs, books, and objects from her personal archive. Beginning with Yokosuka Story (1977-78), the show traces her extended investigation of life in postwar Japan and culminates with her current series ひろしま/hiroshima, on view seventy years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

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2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Now Available!

We are pleased to announce the start of our Fiscal Year 2016-17 grant programs that we organize annually in support of Japanese-Language Education in the United States. These include the following:

  1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadlines: 3/1/2016 & 9/1/2016)
  2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadlines: 3/15/2016 & 9/15/2016)
  3. Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses (Deadline: 4/10/2016)
  4. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

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New Library Acquisitions

We acquired several new books in English and Japanese during the past few months and below is a list of what we added. There are books in English focusing on upcoming events we are organizing such as Cinema Kabuki, as well as new Japanese language study materials for those interested in learning the language. Make sure to drop by and apply to become a member if you haven't already done so. Our annual library membership fee is only $2 and you get a free cloth book bag.


The Foreign Minister's Commendations in Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War

On December 9th, 2015, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the Foreign Minister's Commendation in Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War to 28 individuals and 14 groups with outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the United States. Out of the 28 individuals, there were four Japanese language teachers listed in alphabetical order including Associate Professor of Japanese Dr. Fumie Kato of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Mamiya Sahara Worland formerly of Great Falls Elementary School, Miyuki Johnson of Elkins Pointe Middle School (pictured), and Yukiyo Moorman of Walt Whitman High School. We congratulate them all on this wonderful achievement and for supporting Japanese language education in the United States.

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2015-2016 J-LEAP Reports

For the 2015-2016 school year, we invited ten assistant teachers (AT) to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the fifth year of this program where schools around the country are given the opportunity to invite an AT for up to two years to aid in strengthening their Japanese language program. This month, we will feature the reports from the following ATs detailing their experiences at American schools. There are also two reports written by Leslie Okada about the follow up training in San Diego as well as the importance of this program.



Japanese Language Education Update 27:
Overview of JFLA Japanese Teaching Resources

JFLA supports teachers who are teaching the Japanese language in classrooms across the US. To do that, we connect teachers to each other and spread the word about useful information and resources via JFLA’s Teacher Page and JFLA’s Library.

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2015 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 6/8

In July of 2015, 32 US high school students participated in the final 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 Ishinomaki. 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 memorable journey.

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