Breeze #104

June, 2016: Breeze Issue #104


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

Greeting From The Director

Let me start this month's greetings by saying a big thank you to those who came to the screening of 'Hand in the Glove,' a Thailand-Japan collaborative film that was entirely shot in the city of Kumamoto. Many of the audience members were generous enough to make a donation to the victims of the recent earthquake that hit the city and the surrounding areas in April. We sincerely hope that all the people in the affected areas will return to some semblance of normality as soon as possible.

Our 'Japan in Asia' film series will conclude this month with the screening of 'Black Square,' a beautiful example of collaboration between Japanese and Chinese film arts. We will be returning to the regular JAPANEMA series after that with the exception of a very special lecture on Thursday, June 23rd, by a renowned Japanese cinema scholar, Dr. Daisuke Miyao of University of San Diego, on the topic of the birth of Japanese Actresses. If you are interested in classic Japanese cinema, this is a must attend opportunity for you!

We will be holding another 'Nihongo Tea Time' where Japanese learners of any level can come and enjoy chatting with native Japanese speakers. Please bring your friends who have always wanted to learn some Japanese as there is no prior experience necessary.

Last, but not the least, we are currently recruiting applicants who want to join our pool of part-time Japanese language lecturers. Our language classes are becoming more and more popular and we need talented instructors who are open to new challenges. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Hideki Hara, Director


Japan in Asia Film Series #4:
A Magic Realist Romance China and Japan Teamed Up
"The Black Square" (144mins, 2014)
Directed by Hiroshi Okuhara
Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
English subtitled

Japan-China collaboration about "war and the present" that depicts complex human events involving tangled eras and national borders.  Directed by Hiroshi Okuhara, who was honored with the New Currents Award at the 4th Busan International Film Festival for Timeless Melody.

Struggling painter Zhao Ping (Chen Xixiu) lives in the outskirts of Beijing. One day he becomes captivated by a painting called the "Black Square," which is completely black. The next day he chases the black object as it flies through the air, and he encounters a naked man (Hideo Nakaizumi)…


Family Drama Full of Characters You won't Want to Leave Behind
"Our Little Sister(海街diary)" (128mins, 2015)
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Wednesday, June 22 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
FREE Admission / No RSVP Required
In Japanese with English subtitles

“Our Little Sister”, directed by internationally acclaimed director Hirozaku Kore-eda, is adapted from Yoshida Akimi’s best-selling graphic novel “Umimachi Diary”.  Three twenty-something sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura.  When they learn of their estranged father’s death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral.  There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them.  Suzu eagerly agrees, and begins a new life with her older sisters.

Amidst the many and varied colors of Kamakura’s four seasons, the four sisters cause each other emotional anguish, and support each other through life’s trials, developing a very special bond in the process.  Set against the summer ocean sparkling with sunlight, radiant autumn foliage, a tunnel of gorgeous yet impermanent cherry blossom trees, hydrangeas damp from the rainy season, and brilliant fireworks heralding the arrival of another summer, their moving and deeply relatable story depicts the irreplaceable moments that form a true family.

*Sony Pictures Classics will release OUR LITTLE SISTER in Los Angeles and New York on July 8, 2016

Thursday, June 23 @ 7pm
Special Lecture: Classic Japanese Films
Lecturer: Daisuke Miyao (professor, UC San Diego)

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.


JFLA Invites Applications for an Open Pool of PT Japanese Language Lecturers
Closing Date: July 31

With our many years of experience and achievements in Japanese Language Education, JFLA has been offering Japanese language courses in Los Angeles since 2012. The courses will be based on our “JF Standards,” which were developed by our headquarters in Japan. We are seeking applicants who are passionate about Japanese-language education as well as those who will be proactively involved in JFLA activities. 

Please note that part-time positions are as-needed positions and do not accrue rights to tenure.

Read More


International Japanese Essay Contest on Soseki
for Japanese Language Learners
Deadline: August 10

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki, The Asahi Shimbun and three other organizations will jointly hold an international Japanese essay contest on the influential Japanese author.  First and second prize winners will be invited to a symposium in Tokyo!

Read More


2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Still 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)

Read More


Japanese Language Education Update 31:
Three Free Resources for Teachers

Hey Japanese language teachers! Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I’d sure like to connect my students to students in Japan”? How about, “Well shucks, I wish I could tell my students which JLPT level they should take before taking the test!”

Well, it turns out that there are FREE resources that will help you do just that:

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Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Japan Foundation Program Participants

The Japan Foundation offers two training programs, one for specialists in a cultural or academic field at our Japanese Language Institute in Kansai as well as another for Japanese language teachers at our Japanese Language Institute in Urawa. For the current fiscal year, we offered three postgraduate doctoral students with the opportunity to train in Kansai and two Japanese language teachers to train in Urawa. We hope they are able to make good use of their time in Japan and hope to hear about their experiences in a future issue of Breeze. If you would like to learn more about these training programs or apply for them during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, please visit the link below this fall.

Short-term Teacher Training Program (June 28 to August 18)

  • Ms. Madeleine Graham (Odyssey Middle School - San Mateo, CA)
  • Ms. Kristin Wingate (Cranford Public Schools - Cranford, NJ)

Japanese Language Program for Specialists (Short-term: June 8 to August 3)

  • Ms. Lin Li (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Mr. Samuel Timinsky (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Japanese Language Program for Specialists (Long-term: October 5 to April 5, 2017)

  • Ms. Elizabeth McDonald (University of California, Riverside)

Read More


New Library Acquisitions

We acquired several new books in English and Japanese as well as Japanese-language study materials, children's books, DVDs, and CDs during the past few weeks and have included in the link below. Make sure to drop by and apply to become a member if you haven't already done so. Our annual library membership is now free so anyone can join.

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