June, 2012: Breeze Issue #56


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

Greeting From The Director

This month, we officially start working out of our new office in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. We are very excited to be at our new location and look forward to hosting events and re-opening our library and public space to our patrons. The library will be more accessible and have more open space so that our users will be able to enjoy their experience at the new JFLA. Future JF Nihongo Courses will also be conducted at our new location, in addition to our Little Tokyo classroom, with the first series of classes starting in July. We will announce on the main page of our website when the library will re-open to the public.

Misako Ito, Director

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The New JFLA

Our new office is located in the Wilshire Courtyard and includes facilities that will be available to those interested in learning more about Japanese language and culture. We have over 10,000 square feet of space, which includes our Nihongo Library, multipurpose room with AV equipment, rooms for workshops, JF Nihongo courses, meetings, as well as our office space. We hope to see you soon.

Come Learn Japanese This Summer!

We will offer three special courses for summer term

1) Summer Camp for Teens: Discover Little Tokyo: This course is designed for teens (14-18 year old), who are interested in learning Japanese and are also want to explore the Little Tokyo.

2) Japanese for Fun: Making Sushi with Mom/ Dad: This workshop will be offered for both parents and children, who are interested in making sushi and learning about the language and culture related to food.

3) JLPT The Basics: N4 & N5: This three hour workshop is designed for those who are interested in taking the N4 or N5 level Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Registration will start in mid-June.

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2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program Participant Announcement

We are excited to announce the selection for the 2012 Jet Memorial Invitation Program. This program was started last year to commemorate the work of two JET participants, Taylor Anderson and Montgomery Dickson, who sadly lost their lives in the Great East Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011. We plan to carry out this program for five years and are currently in the second year of offering this exciting opportunity. The 32 participants represent some of the best Japanese language learners in this country and we congratulate them for the hard work they put in to get this far.

Click Here for A Complete List of Participants

2012 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

We are please to announce three new test sites for the 2012 JLPT. These include Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the University of Michigan; Boulder, Colorado, at the University of Colorado; and Houston, Texas, at Rice University. This is the first time the JLPT will be offered at these Universities as the test grows to accommodate more and more test takers in the United States. Stay tuned next month when we will release more details of this year's test including cost and registration procedures.

Effectiveness of Japanese-English Dual Language Immersion Programs in the U.S.
Phase 1: Case Study – Japanese Language Curriculum and Its Outcomes –

Hitomi Oketani, Ph.D.
Eastern Michigan University

This Case Study is a part of a larger scope of project (EMU-JASSEM Project) which we (1) Investigate what ways of curriculum are the most effective in regards to teach Japanese language to children who study at Japanese-English Dual-Language Immersion Programs in the U.S., and (2) Investigate whether there are any causal factors influencing Japanese language achievement and academic development. Although the classroom observations and interviews to teachers and/or administrations of different types of Japanese-English immersion schools only included a limited number of schools in this case study, all programs achieved highly academically.

Read More

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Studio Ghibli is Coming to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)!

SIFF Cinema Uptown and the Japan Foundation is thrilled to present a comprehensive retrospective of Studio Ghibli's films, featuring new 35mm prints, rarely seen treasures that have never been released in North America, and most films presented in both their original Japanese language with English subtitles and the celebrated English language versions as supervised by Studio Ghibli. Don't miss your chance to see some of the greatest animated films of all time back on the giant screen!

(c) Studio Ghibli

PHANTOMS OF ASIA: Contemporary Awakens the Past
May 18-Sept 2, 2012 at The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco

Life. Death. The cosmos. What’s it all about? Bold new art—along with objects from the museum’s own renowned collection—explores spirits, spirituality, cosmic order, and the afterlife. This is a provocative interplay of 150 artworks from past and present, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, site-specific creations, and more by artists from all over Asia. Pause and reflect on your own place in the universe while taking in some amazing art.

Kizuna 絆:West Meets East
May 5-November 4, 2012 at Denver Botanic Gardens

This season’s signature exhibition, Kizuna: West Meets East, brings together two installation artists working in bamboo: Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Through different working methods, both artists employed this versatile natural material to create large site-specific works for the Gardens.

In addition to these ephemeral artworks, Denver Botanic Gardens will proudly unveil the newly expanded Japanese Garden, Shofu-en, with the additions of the new Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Pavilion and Tea Garden in June. Living displays illustrate the diversity of bamboo species.

*Photograph Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens and Scott Dressel-Martin (photographer)