Breeze #113

March, 2017: Breeze Issue #113


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

Greeting From The Director


March is a month of collaboration for JFLA. We are excited to have another opportunity to collaborate with The Korea Foundation, Los Angeles, on Miso, an essential ingredient of the healthy diet in East Asia. Watch two guest chefs maximize the culinary potential of this mighty paste beyond simple Miso-soup and try different flavor profiles of Miso to your heart’s content! Another collaboration we want to highlight is through UCLA’s Yanai initiative where we will have a special appearance of an award-winning novelist, Ms. Tomoka Shibasaki, for a special talk after the screening of a movie that is based on one of her novels.

As we envision our programs for the new Japanese fiscal year starting in April, supporting Japanese language education nationwide will continue to be the main focus of our activities. We have already announced our new grant programs for 2017 with the deadlines getting nearer. Please contact us immediately if you are planning to apply.

Arts or language, collaboration is the key, as that is the only way we can maximize the impact of our activities through the support AND strength of our network in this age of diminishing resources and narrowing perspectives.



Hideki Hara, Director

With a Special Talk Session With the Author of the Original Story
"A Day on the Planet" (110mins, 2003)
Wednesday, March 8, 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

(From AsianWiki) Seven friends gather at Masamichi's (Shuji Kashiwabara) house in Kyoto, where he'll soon begin graduate studies. All of them college students; Nakazawa (Satoshi Tsumabuki), his adorable girlfriend Maki (Rena Tanaka), Nakazawa's best friend Keito (Ayumi Ito), insecure handsome guy Kawachi (Toshinobu Matsuo), the scruffy Nishiyama (Masaki Miura) and the seemingly detached Sakamoto (Atsushi Ishino).

The night slowly progresses and when they cross that hazy line between today and tomorrow, they find themselves greeted by the new morning of a new day.

”10 Years After” - A Special Post-Screening Talk Session with the Author of the Original Story

Award-winning novelist, Ms. Tomoka Shibasaki, will be present to have a special discussion with the audience after the screening. Here is how the discussion will proceed; first, before the screening, five main characters in the movie will be introduced to the audience, second, the audience will be encouraged to imagine what would happen to each one of those characters ten years after the story takes place, and finally, Ms. Shibasaki will disclose her own versions of the characters a decade later, which she described in detail in another work of hers, A Day on the Planet – 10 Years After.


Lecture & Demonstration
Uncovering the Mythology of Miso (Soy Bean Paste):
The Pinnacle of Healthy Food
Thursday, March 9, 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
Admission Free

Miso (soy bean paste) has its origins in China as far back as the 4th century, BC, and with its abundant health benefits derived from soy beans and fermentation, had quickly spread to the entire East Asia to become a staple food for the people in the region. One amazing thing about Miso is its variety – each country in East Asia, or sometimes each prefecture in the same country,  has its own Miso with unique taste.

In this program, two renowned chefs from East Asia (Japan & Korea) will introduce the history and health benefits of Miso, along with culinary suggestions of how to incorporate this healthy product in your daily cooking. Toward the end of the program, the audience will have a chance to try out a wide selection of Miso from Japan and Korea and enjoy the difference in taste. Don’t miss(o) it!


His decision changed the world
"Persona Non Grata" (139mins, 2015)
Wednesday, March 22, 7pm (JFLA Auditorium)
*Q&A session after the screening with director Cellin Gluck
In Japanese with English subtitles

August 9, 1948. Nagasaki, Japan. An aging midwife named Nobuko (Sayuri Yoshinaga) is visited by the ghost of her son Koji (Kazuya Ninomiya), whom she lost to the atomic bomb. From then on Koji visits his mother frequently to reminisce and catch up on lost time. Their biggest topic of conversation is Koji's kind-hearted fiancée Machiko (Haru Kuroki), who regularly visited Nobuko over the three years since Koji's death. Machiko and Koji both seem unable to fully accept Koji's death, but Nobuko slowly encourages them to move on.

Watch Trailer

2017 Japanese Language Grants Are Now Available!

We are pleased to announce the start of our Fiscal Year 2017-18 grant programs that we organize annually in support of Japanese-Language Education in the United States. These include the following:

  1. Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadlines: 3/1/2017 & 9/1/2017)
  2. Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadlines: 3/15/2017 & 9/15/2017)
  3. Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses (Deadline: 4/10/2017)
  4. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

Read More

Japanese Language Education Update 40:
CLTA Advocacy Workshop Report

17 Japanese teachers from all over California came together last month to talk about Japanese language program advocacy at a workshop titled, “Your Principal/Dean Will Adore You and Your Japanese Program.” The workshop was held during the California Language Teachers’ Association (CLTA) Annual Conference 2017 in Monterey, CA.  Some of the workshop participants had never attended CLTA’s conference before, and their registration was financially supported through a JFLA Project Grant administered by the California Association of Japanese Language Teachers (CAJLT).

Read More


Announcing "Lead with Japanese"!

Launched today, Lead with Languages is an unprecedented national campaign aimed at highlighting the growing importance of language skills and making language proficiency a national priority. Check out all of the “Lead with…” pages, but especially “Lead with Japanese!” Next week, a special “Lead with Japanese” advocacy video will also be viewable at that page.


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.

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