Breeze #108

October, 2016: Breeze Issue #108


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

Greeting From The Director


This fall, JFLA has launched two new in-house Japanese language courses, one for discussion and the other for polite conversation, the latter of which is currently open for registration. These courses are catered toward the needs of intermediate-level learners who want to kick their language skills up a notch and become a schmooze-talker in Japanese. Indeed, schmoozing is very important in inter-cultural communication as it is all about making others feel better even when you are criticizing their opinions in a discussion! Best of all, it is a skill that you CAN learn by better understanding the language and culture that spawned it. Please stay tuned as we will offer more similar courses  in the future.

Fall is the starting season for schools and art organisations. The Japan Foundation has just announced the 2017-2018 grant programs. If you are interested in applying for a grant during the next cycle (April 2017 to March 2018), please take a moment to read carefully our new guidelines as the deadlines for applications may differ by program, an extreme example of which is the Performing Arts Japan program with the deadline already nearing on October 31st this year! Take heart, procrastinators, as JFLA still has open opportunities for small grants for this year in Japanese language (project grant) and arts and culture (mini grant).

Finally, from the middle of October to early November, JFLA will be hosting an original exhibition of a magnificent collection of Japanese traditional ceramics. This collection is so large that we would have to split them into two parts and put them on display alternately. Please do not miss this rare opportunity to enjoy the tranquility and a sense of wonder these ceramics stir up within you. No worries for missing our regular Japanese cinema screenings because of the exhibition. Thanks to the generosity of our neighbour the Goethe Institut, LA, we will continue to satisfy cinephiles with special screenings of legendary Kurosawa movies including “Seven Samurai.” Now that is magnificent.



Hideki Hara, Director


Traveling Exhibition:
YAKISHIME - Earth Metamorphosis
October 18 – November 18, 2016 (JFLA Auditorium)
*Opening Night Reception on Oct. 14 [FRI] @7PM
Light refreshments will be served.

This exhibition introduces yakishime ceramics, which developed in distinctive directions in Japan, as a part of Japanese traditional culture. It introduces yakishime in the context of the tea ceremony and washoku, Japanese cuisine. It will offer visitors from other cultures an excellent opportunity to experience a sensibility and aesthetic unique to Japan.

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Takao Kawaguchi: About Kazuo Ohno - Reliving the Butoh Diva's Masterpieces
October 7 - 9, 2016 (REDCAT)
Tickets: $10/$12/$16/$20/$25
Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Takao Kawaguchi, who first came to REDCAT with the Tokyo-based collective Dumb Type, reimagines legendary works by revered Butoh master Kazuo Ohno in an original production that prompted both excitement and commotion in the Tokyo cultural scene. Any interpretation of the inimitable work of Kazuo Ohno requires the performer to suspend his personal beliefs and interpretation, in order to project his body onto the forms and contours of the aged dancer as precisely as possible. The result is a copy that is in itself an original, a choreography created by Kawaguchi with the illusory image of Ohno, one of the most honored artists in dance history.

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Takao Kawaguchi in presentation / performance SLOW BODY -BRAIN DOES NOT HAVE SENSATION VOL. 27
Monday, October 10 @ 7pm (REDCAT)
FREE Admission / Click Here to RSVP

Solo, uninterrupted movement at an almost imperceptible speed, in the nude, for 70 minutes, surrounded by participants drawing the body, just like in an art class.

The workshop is presented in conjunction with Takao Kawaguchi's residency in Los Angeles for performances of About Kazuo Ohno: Reliving the Butoh Diva's Masterpieces (at REDCAT October 7, 8, 9), and the workshop Body Sculpting (at REDCAT October 8).

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Photo Exhibition:
The Way of the Japanese Bath
Through 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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Kurosawa's Finesse Thriller!
"Rashomon" (88mins, 1950)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Wednesday, October 12 @ 7pm (Goethe-Institut Los Angeles)
In Japanese with English subtitles

A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema—and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune—to the Western world.

Watch Trailer


The Original "Magnificent Seven" by Kurosawa!
"Seven Samurai" (207mins, 1954)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Wednesday, October 26 @ 7pm (Goethe-Institut Los Angeles)
In Japanese with English subtitles

One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira Kurosawa—featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura—seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action, into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.

Watch Trailer


New Course!
Introduction to 'Polite' Japanese
Oct. 22 - Nov. 5 
Register Now!

Politeness in Japanese is essential for smooth communication in social settings.  In this course, you will be familiarized with the system of honorifics (“keigo” in Japanese). The courses are aimed for those at the B1 level and consist of a concise set of three meetings (once a week for three weeks).

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FY2017-18 Program Guidelines Available Soon!
Deadlines: Multiple for Arts and Culture / December 1st for Japanese Language

For information on Arts and Culture Programs, please visit our website with additional information on the JF world-wide website!

For information on Japanese Language Programs, please visit:

There are multiple programs including long-term, short-term, training program on a specific theme (new for 2017), project-based training program and graduate program (Master's Course) for teachers and 2-month and 6-month courses for the specialist program. Your application must ARRIVE at JFLA on or before December 1, 2016 for Japanese Language Programs. Please also notify us of your intent to apply in advance.

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2016-17 Japanese Language Grants Are Still Available!

We are accepting applications for the following grant:

  1. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

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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 collaboration 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 35:
Three Outstanding High School Japanese Teacher Websites

When middle schools students are deciding which language to study in high school, how will they look for information about their options? Via the internet, of course.

They must be curious. What is it like to study Japanese? Who is the teacher? Will they be able to read manga after four years? Does the program have an AP class?

Having a teacher webpage is your chance to tell them that your Japanese class is fun, interesting, and effective. Check out the following outstanding websites for inspiration:

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2016-2017 J-LEAP Reports

For the 2016-2017 school year, we invited twelve native assistant teachers (AT) to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the sixth year of this program where schools around the country are given the opportunity to invite an AT for up to two years with the goal of strengthening their Japanese language program. This month, we will feature the reports from the following ATs detailing their experiences at American schools.



JET Experience Video

The JET Program USA is excited to announce their new JET Experience video! Current and former JETs share their experiences on the Program. Revolutionary. Adventure. Unforgettable. Transformative. Sugoi. Epic. Excitement. Life-changing. Kizuna (絆). Ichigo-ichie (一期一会). These are how they sum up their JET experience in one word. What was your time on the JET Program like? Share this video, share your #JETexperience!

Applications for the 2017 JET Program is now available. Please visit the JET Program USA website for more information!

View Video


PHOTO METI: Japan is beautiful

Japan has varied iterations of beauty, including natural elements,
the seasons, urban scenes and the spirit of hospitality.
Welcome to Japan. Your journey begins here.

PHOTO METI PROJECT is a platform to introduce various parts of Japan with beautiful representative images.

By collecting and showcasing images rich in nature and sceneries of high cultural context, we will introduce our country, Japan. Images on this site are presented based on Creative Commons; meaning that we promote secondary use. Starting from here, we hope more people will be interested in Japan and choose Japan as their next destination. By connecting with “Kankoyoho Platform”, which is a database of Japanese sightseeing information, we will introduce basic information and degree of congestion as well as information for foreign visitors for each area. We are working to welcome photo posts from you in the future which we believe will strengthen PHOTO METI PROJECT as a co-creation sightseeing platform.

View Photos


Japan's First Lady Presents JF Grant to P.S. 147 Isaac Remsen School

On September 19, Japan's First Lady, Akie Abe, presented a check for $30,000 to P.S. 147 Isaac Remsen School on behalf of the Japan Foundation. The grant will be used to support the teachers' salaries for the one and only Japanese dual-language immersion program in New York. This grant is part of our Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses, which provides financial assistance to schools looking to start a new Japanese language program or expand/maintain their existing program. We hope the Japanese program at Isaac Remsen School lasts for many years to come.

DNAinfo News Article

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