January, 2012: Breeze Issue #51


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

Greeting From The Director

In old times, February traditionally marked the start of the New Year with Spring coming right around the corner. There is a special ritual tied to this event to cleans away all the evil from the past year and to purify the home by driving away evil spirits through the custom of Mamemki. For our office, it is business as usual as we successfully organized the first JF Nihongo Course in Los Angeles. To kick off this event, we hosted a ceremony and reception at the Japanese American Community and Culture Center with many special guests from the local Japanese community as well as the first group of students who were registered for the class. This was a big success with over 100 guests in attendance. The Japanese language course was also very successful resulting in the creating of another class to accommodate the additional students who were interested in learning Kana. During the month of February, we will be preparing for a very special evetn in March to mark the one year anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan. Please read about this upcoming event below and we hope you will come out to enjoy this very special event..

Misako Ito, Director


Click here for full image

Overcoming Disaster: Arigato from Japan

On Friday, March 2nd, 2012, a concert tour featuring some of Japan's top performers in several musical genres, will tour several cities in three different countries to express the gratitude of the Japanese people for the immense response received from all over the world after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The people of Japan hope to express some of their appreciation for the care and assistance that they received and to show that the nation is recovering, and that the affected region is rediscovering joy after so much destruction. The tour will take the performers to Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongchin, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong and features some of the best musical artists from the Tohoku region, which was most impacted by the disaster. This event is organized by the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles and the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and is free to the general public. Please click here for additional information.


JF Nihongo Courses Additional Mastering Kana Course

Due to popular demand, we will be offering an addiitional Mastering Kana Course, which will start on Saturday, February 18th, and will meet once a week for four weeks. The first Mastering Kana course was very popular and filled up very quickly with 16 students. With the additional class, we hope to be able to accommodate everyone who was interested in learning how to read and write kana. This class is also filling up quickly so please register as soon as possible to reserve a spot.

For more information, please visit Courses.


J-LEAP Report: Part 5

This month, we have invited Naoko Nogamoto, a teaching assistant at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky, and Yui Ito, a teaching assistant at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, to share their experiences at American high schools. As you may recall, we sent 15 Japanese teaching assistants to assist Japanese-language teachers at select high schools all over the country. Each month, two participants will report on their experiences.


Shota Kinjo (Walt Whitman High School, MD)

Before starting off my story, I want to wish everyone— “A Happy New Year!” Looking back, 2011 was definitely an unforgettable year and was a turning point for the game, which is my life. I was blessed to be able to meet many wonderful people prior to receiving this position as well as after and my success would not have been possible without their support. Read More


Sayaka Hanami (Kelly Walsh High School, WY)

“What are you doing in Wyoming?” When I say I’m living in Wyoming, most people have the same reaction. And I answer “I am teaching Japanese Language”, they also ask me, “Does Wyoming have any students who want to study Japanese?” My answer is of course “yes.” Read More


New Books for the New Year

This month, we have five new books in the Nihongo Library and one DVD, which are listed below.

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion
Akiko Fukai, Barbara Vinken, Susannah Frankel, and Hirofumi Kurino

Fiber Futures: Japan's Textile Pioneers
Published By Japan Society New York

Education Nation: Six Leading Edge of Innovation in our Schools
Milton Chen, Forword by George Lucas

アート戦略都市 EU・日本のクリエイティブシティ
Supervised by: 吉本 光宏 (Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto)

政治と秋刀魚 日本と暮らして四五年
Gerald L. Curtis

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
Featuring: Dr. Takeshi Yoro, Naohiro Kazaoka, Yu Miyasaka, Takumi Nakamura, Akito Kawahara, and Takeshi Sugimoto



JET Memorial Invitation Program - Participant's Essays Part 5

This is the fifth part of an eight part series that will highlight the experiences of 32 participants of the 2011 JET Memorial Invitational Program. Through this program, participants travelled to Japan in July of 2011 for a 10 day exchange that focused on Japanese language and culture with the purpose of fostering friendship and goodwill between the youth of both countries. This month, we will be featuring the essays of Emily Friedensohn, Kaleialoha Nishimura, Tom Cude, and Dominik Mikulcik.


Event Report: 2011 JLPT

The 2011 JLPT was administered on Sunday, December 4th, 2011 at 11 test sites across the United States. JFLA was responsible for administering the test in Los Angeles at the USC test site. Results should be send out in mid to late February so please be on the lookout for your results around that time. If you have recently moved and would like to update your mailing address, you can reply to your email confirmation or contact us directly at noryoku@jflalc.org. The 2012 JLPT will be in December of 2012 and we will have additional information on our website in July so please check back if you are interested in taking the test next year.


Staff Update

With the new year comes additional staff members to help us with our growing office. This month, we would like to welcome Yuka Kitazono and Satomi Williams. Kitazono sensei will be the new Lecturer for the upcoming JF Nihongo Courses, which will start later this month at the JACCC. Satomi Williams will be replacing Maiko Ota Muranaka in the library and also helping us with various tasks around the office. We are very excited about the new programs starting this year and hope you can be apart of it too.