Breeze #107

September, 2016: Breeze Issue #107


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

Greeting From The Director

Greetings! I would like to thank everyone who came out to see our street-style Kendama project last month. It was super cool to see a Japanese traditional game evolve into something that can empower American youth to express themselves. I believe that it is the very reason why we need to learn from other cultures — to fill your bag of tricks that can then be used to express yourself. Language is another example of this. Indeed, JFLA will start a new short course this fall for advanced learners of Japanese to better express their opinions, respond skillfully to other people’s statements and actively engage in intellectual discourse, all in Japanese. Please do not miss this great opportunity and register now as seats are limited.

As the hot summer weather subsides, it has finally become a good season to enjoy a long hot bath and relax at the end of a busy day. In case you do not have a natural hot spring or a Japanese monkey to accompany you at home, why not come to our exhibition ‘The Way of Japanese Bath’ that starts on Wednesday, September 7th. Photographer Mark Edward Harris will take you deep into the world of Japanese onsen (hot springs) through his works and his lecture on opening night. We will even provide you with a few language tips to boost your next onsen experience.

Last but not least, we are currently calling for Japanese-speaking professionals who learned Japanese as a second language to participate in our new video interview project. It is very important for the future generation of young professionals to get inspired by the need to learn other languages and cultures. If you think your bag of tricks, as a professional, was filled by learning Japanese, please help us inspire more people like you!



Hideki Hara, Director


Lecture Series 35:
The Way of Japanese Bath by Mark Edward Harris
Wednesday, September 7 @ 7:30pm (JFLA Auditorium)
Click here to RSVP

Japan, which lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is where a large chunk of the planet's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.  One benefit of this geological turbulence over the centuries has been the creation of hot springs (called “onsen” in Japanese) throughout Japan.

Mark Edward Harris, a photographer who has traveled to more than 90 countries and is the author of The Way of the Japanese Bath, will give a lecture on hot springs during which time he will show his art work, talk about his experiences, and describe the charm and wonder of onsen and its culture from an American point of view.

On the evening of September 7th, JFLA will host the opening reception for Mark Edward Harris’ exhibition, which will include a book signing as well as a brief Japanese language segment in which guests will learn simple words related to onsen from our instructor.

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Photo Exhibition:
The Way of Japanese Bath
Sep. 7 - Oct. 8 (JFLA Auditorium)
FREE Admission / No RSVP Required

Photographer Mark Edward Harris first experienced Japanese hot springs in the early 1990s in Beppu, a town located on the southern island of Kyushu. Afterwards, he traveled extensively throughout Japan to capture images of various types of onsen and published a photographic collection entitled The Way of the Japanese Bath which is now in its second printing.

In this exhibition, which showcases 18 photographs from the book, the subtleties of the tranquil onsen are translated onto the refined medium of washi (hand-crafted Japanese paper made from plant fiber). We hope that by viewing this collection you too will want to become immersed in the way of Japanese bath.

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Fantasy Comedy Adventure for Love of Bath in Modern Japan and Ancient Rome
"Thermae Romae" (108mins, 2012)
Directed by Hideki Takeuchi
Wednesday, September 14 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

An adaptation of Yamazaki Mari's popular manga, which has won both the 2010 Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for Best Short Work. Abe Hiroshi and the rest of its cast of talented actors with sharply sculpted faces throw themselves into their roles as citizens of ancient Rome. Another striking aspect is its large open set built at Cinecitta, Italy's largest film studio.

Lucius (Hiroshi Abe), an architect of spa baths for the Roman Empire, inadvertently travels through time and finds himself in a modern Japanese bathhouse. He takes elements of Japanese culture that he learns there back with him to Rome and is hugely successful, which leads the Emperor to command him to build a massive spa.

Watch Trailer


Special Screening
The Boy and the Beast
Sunday, September 25 @ 2pm (James Armstrong Theatre)
FREE Admission / No RSVP Required
In Japanese with English subtitles

The latest feature film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer WarsWolf Children): When Kyuta, a young orphan living on the streets of Shibuya, stumbles into a fantastic world of beasts, he’s taken in by Kumatetsu, a gruff, rough-around-the-edges warrior beast who’s been searching for the perfect apprentice.


A Second Adventure to the Modern Japanese Bath gets Even Hotter!
"Thermae Romae II" (113mins, 2014)
Directed by Hideki Takeuchi
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

Sequel to the spectacle-laden comedy Thermae Romae, a live action adaptation of Yamazaki Mari's popular comic. Depicts the humor arising from the contrast in time and space between bathhouses in ancient Rome and contemporary Japan. The film is the first Japanese production shot on location in Bulgaria, and was realized on a grander scale than the first film.

Roman Empire bathhouse architect Lucius (Hiroshi Abe) for some reason travels in time to contemporary Japan whenever he's stuck for new ideas. He becomes famous with constructing a new bathhouse and receives an order to build one in the colosseum to help gladiators recover from their wounds, but faces difficulties. Thus, Lucius travels again to modern day Japan through the time slip but finds himself wrapped up in a conflict that divides the Roman Empire.

Watch Trailer


Come and Visit Us at the 14th Annual TARFEST
Saturday, September 24 @ 4-10pm (La Brea Tar Pits)

TARFEST is a premiere arts and culture event in Los Angeles and the Miracle Mile District. Dozens of the nation's most distinctive emerging artists, performers, and cultural innovators come together and showcase their talents and ideas at historic and notable venues along the Miracle Mile. At the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles tent, you can enjoy Japanese cultural activities for all ages! 

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New Course: Discussions in Japanese
September 24 to October 8 (3 Classes) @ JFLA
Register now!

Do you want to brush up your Japanese?  Do you want to use your Japanese in a professional way?  In this course, you will develop the skill to describe a wide range of general topics in detail, give your opinions regarding these topics, exchange opinions effectively with others to develop the discussion in a group.


JF Nihongo Fall Term Starts on September 10
Register now!

We offer unique and exciting language courses, the JF Nihongo (Nihongo=Japanese), which are based on the Japan Foundation's JF Standard.  These courses focus on how well learners can do things in practical settings. Using materials from Japanese daily life, you will enjoy these friendly, interactive, and above all, fun courses.

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2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Still Available!

We are accepting applications for the following grants:

  1. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadline: 9/15/2016)
  2. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

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2016 JLPT in the US
Test Date: Sunday, December 4
Registration Deadline: Monday, October 3
Test Fee: $60

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is an internationally accredited language examination that is offered in five different levels, designed to measure a person's Japanese-language skills. In the United States, it is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese and will be held at 16 cities across the country. Online registration will end on Monday, October 3rd so make sure to register early if you plan to take the test this year. For more information, please visit the site below.

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Performing Arts JAPAN 2017-2018
Call for Applications
Deadline: October 31

The Japan Foundation is now accepting project proposals for Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) touring and collaboratrion grants for the 2017 - 2018 fiscal year. This program is designed to provide financial assistance for non-profit organizations in the US and Canada that aim to introduce Japanese performing arts to local audiences.

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Japanese Language Education Update 34:
Do you speak Japanese at work?

Hello professionals! The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is in the planning stage of a video project to promote the study of the Japanese language. We are gathering the contact information of Japanese-speaking professionals who learned Japanese as a second language. Would you like to be interviewed about your experiences studying Japanese and speaking it at work?

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The Japan Foundation launches "Hirogaru" website!

"HIROGARU" is a site for learning different things about Japan and the Japanese language through your own interests. Engage with various aspects about Japan through reading or listening to information on 12 fascinating topics. Features audioclips, videos, vocabulary lists and quizzes.

Hirogaru Website


Sakurakai is Presented With Japan Foundation Grant!

On August 24, Consul General Uchiyama of the Consular Office of Japan in Portland presented the Japan Foundation's $8,000 grant check to Sakurakai (non-profit educational institution which provides children over 4-years old with Japanese immersion courses). Sakurakai will use our grant support for expanding their Japanese language program. We wish them the best of luck during this school year!


J-LEAP, A Program Born of the Japan-U.S. Summit
Twelve Young Native Japanese Language Teachers to be dispatched to the United States

The Japan Foundation dispatched twelve native Japanese assistant teachers (ATs) to K-12 institutions offering Japanese language courses in twelve cities across the United States. They will be assigned there for two years on the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP) until the end of July 2018.

Now in its sixth year, J-LEAP is a program that was launched by the Japan Foundation in 2011 as part of an initiative to strengthen US-Japan exchange programs for young people. J-LEAP was proposed during the Japan-U.S. summit in November 2010 between former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and President Barack Obama.  With Japanese language education programs expanding across the United States, ATs will assist with Japanese language classes under the guidance of Lead Teachers (LTs) for a maximum of two years.

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