May, 2017: Breeze Issue #115

 


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

Greeting From The Director

Greetings!

At the end of this month, we will be temporarily moving up to the 3rd floor of the same building in the Miracle Mile to make room for the renovation of our current office on the first floor. Our multipurpose hall will be equipped with an upgraded projector and a bigger screen for your superior experience. A new foyer space will be created with wall-to-ceiling bookcases that contain all sorts of materials for Japanese language teachers and learners. The renovation will be completed by the end of July, and we will be celebrating our reopening in early September through a series of events at our new office.

Even from our temporary office, we will be reaching out to the local community and beyond, more actively than before. In fact, some of our JF Nihongo classes will be held in our temporary office as well, and we will be collaborating with a neighboring museum for a project featuring Japanese handmade paper (Washi). So please stay tuned!

Sincerely,

 

Hideki Hara, Director

Koreeda's tempestuous family affairs
"After the Storm" (117mins, 2016)
Wednesday, May 10 @7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles

Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely meet ends and pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki) seem to be moving on with her life with hobbies with the local elderly ladies. He gets a contract to aid in a manga series with an upcoming artist but his ambitions stymie him from it initially.

He tries to renew contact with his beautiful ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) and in a stormy summer night sheltered at his mother's home with his family he attempts to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). Ryota reaches an understanding on his family life and uses the chance to bond with his son and tries to make memorable experiences he had with his father as a child with his son before time and place for it passes over. (Wikipedia)

Watch Trailer

Japanese Language Special Course
Introduction to Polite Japanese
5/6 - 5/20
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).  You will learn how to use basic honorifics at various levels depending on different situations.  Course of three meetings.

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2017 Japanese Language Grants Are Available!

We are pleased to announce 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" (Deadline: 9/1/2017)
  2. Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadlines: 9/15/2017)
  3. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

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2016 Japanese Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields - Long Term:
Report By: Elizabeth Stela - University of California, Riverside

This program provides specialists (Researchers, Postgraduate Students, Librarians, Museum Curators, etc.) who need a good command of Japanese language to conduct field work and research through an intensive residential training course on the Japanese language at our Japanese Language Institute in Kansai. This year, we had one participants in the long-term program that just ended on April 5th. You can read about her experiences during the six-month program at the link below.

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Japanese Language Education Update 42:
Message from Derek Chin, our new advocacy coordinator

I joined the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles in 2016, after working for the JET Program as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations) for 3 years.  The Japan Foundation was appealing because of its emphasis on international exchange and cross-cultural understanding, a direction that I myself wanted to continue after finishing my CIR role.  Having now taken up new Japanese language advocacy duties from this year, I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to JFLA’s overarching vision.

Through the support and promotion of Japanese language education, I hope to help promote greater cross-cultural dialogue.  This is undoubtedly a powerful tool in intercultural understanding, as it allows us to interact with Japanese speakers on a direct, person-to-person level, beyond the stereotypes and beyond the filter.  It allows us to understand others from their point of view while expressing our own, which is crucial for any sort of communication.

Moreover, opening up dialogue by learning Japanese language and culture provides us the opportunity to see the intersections of our society and Japanese society, as well as of our individual experiences.  That is, rather than seeing our cultures as diametrically opposed, how can we discuss and relate to social issues and challenges as global citizens with our own respective cultural backgrounds, and work together to face them?  How can we create meaningful dialogue between Japanese people and non-Japanese people, and instead of talking about very basic topics or drawing very broad, superficial conclusions – Japan is “this way” and America is “that way,” – how can we exchange more thoughtful ideas about real issues from multiple angles and perspectives?  At the more personal level, such as when making new friends, how can we develop empathy for experiences shared between different cultures?

I must admit that I do not know the answer to these questions.  It is therefore my hope to work together with the rest of you to find the answers.  By working together, what we may discover is an idea on contributing to not only Japanese society, not only American society, but a globally interconnected society.

 

JFLA Will Be Hibernating Until August

We will be temporarily closing our office at the end of this month for remodeling and moving into a temporary space until the end of July in preparation for our grand re-opening in September. During this time we will still be organizing our core programs; however, events at our auditorium such as our Japanese movie screenings and lectures will go on hiatus until we are ready to show off our new space with an updated projection system. Our JF Nihongo classes will relocate to our temporary office (in the same building) starting in June so there wont be any impact for those who are currently taking our classes here in the Miracle Mile. We thank everyone who has visited and supported us during our first five years here and we look forward to supporting the local and national community for the next ten years.