Breeze #103

May, 2016: Breeze Issue #103


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

Greeting From The Director

JFLA is happy to announce the launch of “Japan in Asia,” our new film series which feature films that have been created through collaborations between Japan and other countries in Asia.  Asia-wide co-production is becoming a trend in the Japanese film industry with more and more movies being created with directors, actors, and staff from a wide range of countries. These films provide many interesting insights into understanding the region and Japan in general. What themes in life resonate throughout the region? Are there any qualities or nuances in acting or directing that can be considered as truly Japanese? If you are interested in these questions, this new initiative is for you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partner organizations that have made this film series possible.

As it just so happens, one of the films we will be screening, “Hand in the Glove,” was almost entirely shot in Kumamoto, a city that was recently hit by a huge earthquake. My thoughts are with those affected in the city and other parts of the Kyushu region.



Hideki Hara, Director


Japan in Asia Film Series #2: Singapore-Japan Co-Production
"Fly Me to Minami" (103mins, 2013)
Directed by Lim Kah Wai
Wednesday, May 11 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
English subtitled

There are two different love affairs this winter. 

Sherine (Sherine Wong), a talented editor of a leading Hong Kong fashion magazine was ordered to come to Osaka suddenly during winter holiday season.  Because the assignment was in such a short notice, she could not get hold of professional photographers.  Instead Sherine’s friend Naomi introduced her brother Tatsuya (Kenji Kohashi), an armature photographer for Sherine’s disposal.  Through their work, distance between Sherine and Tatsuya gets closer.

Sol-ah (Paek Sol-ah), a part-time flight attendant and a co-owner of Japanese fashion shop in Seoul visits Osaka Minami to see her lover, Shinsuke (Terunosuke Takezai).  He is married with a son and is running Korean shop in Minami.  Sol-ah tries to find out ways to get out from this no-way-out situation.

It was particularly cold winter in Minami.


Japan in Asia Film Series #3: Thailand-Japan Co-Production
"Hand in the Glove" (70mins, 2015)
Directed by Yusuke Inaba
Wednesday, May 25 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
English subtitled

Depicting the meeting between a Japanese woman and a prince who is visiting Japan on the sly.  Director-cum-screenwriter Yusuke Inaba starred in Hold Your Breath Like a Lover, which was screened at the 67th Locarno International Film Festival. 

Prince Ariel of the Kingdom of Levelle (Chanon Rikulsurakan), together with his minder, Chris (Selina Wiesmann), visit a Kumamoto hotel for a secret holiday, where Hide (Eisuke Sasai), an old friend of Prince Ariel’s father, works as the general manager.  Immediately after arriving, the prince attempts to wander off by himself, but is discovered by Chris and returned to his hotel room.

Struggling with the daily pressure of being heir to the throne, the prince sees the holiday as the perfect pretext to experience “freedom”: meanwhile, Chris demands him act as befits his royal heritage.  However, no stranger to how Ariel must feel.  Chris comes up with a plan, and entrusts Hide to find a minder in the form of an approved date partner...

Watch Trailer


JF Nihongo Tea time
Let's chat in Japanese!
Thursday, June 9, 6:30-8:00pm (JFLA Auditorium)
Register Now!

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.


2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Now Available!

We are accepting applications for the following grants:

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

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Japanese Language Education Update 30:
A stellar lesson plan from a stellar teacher

Tomokazu (Tetsu) Morikawa has been acknowledged to be an excellent Japanese language teacher by numerous organizations. Last March he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award by the California Language Teachers’ Association (CLTA) and this month he will be awarded the San Francisco Mayor’s Teacher of the Year Award.

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Mark Gervacio Participates in the Fukuoka Japanese Cultural Exchange Program

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, with the guidance of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese selected Mark Neil Gervacio, a Japanese major at the University of Hawaii at Monoa, to participate in the 2015 Fukuoka Japanese Cultural Exchange Program. Gervacio along with several other participants from various countries in Asia as well as Australia participated in this week-long exchange from February 24th through March 3rd, 2016. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity to distinguished Japanese language learners to deepen their understanding of the culture and society of Japan with a focus on Fukuoka Prefecture through visits to local universities, companies and a homestay. Click the link below to read about Joshua's adventures in Japan and his thoughts while visiting Japan for the first time through this unique program.

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Support for Kumamoto

On April 16th at approximately 1:25 JST a series of earthquakes, the largest being 7.0 magnitude, struck beneath Kumamoto City in the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. This disaster took the lives of at least 48 people with thousands injured. Severe damage was reported in Kumamoto as well as in the neighboring Oita Prefecture. More than 44,000 people have been displaced from their homes and search & rescue efforts are still ongoing. US forces in Japan have also contributed to earthquake relief efforts through the long-standing alliance between Japan and the US. If you are interested in helping out, please visit the link below for information on earthquake relief. We hope you will stand in solidarity with our friends in southern Japan.

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