September, 2012: Breeze Issue #59


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

Greeting From The Director

We had a wonderful OPEN HOUSE with over 650 guests in attendance on August 30th. Since we first opened our doors in 1983 here in Los Angeles, our mission has always been to promote Japanese culture and language education to further strengthen the US-Japan friendship. More importantly, we are now dedicating ourselves to making contributions to this already diverse and multi-cultural community of Los Angeles with an interesting and exciting addition of Japanese culture. One of the highlight of that day was when a group of 35 third graders from a nearby elementary school stopped by and enjoyed calligraphy and origami lessons!
We also started a new membership system for our library users and we encourage you to sign up for a JFLA card by paying ONLY $2.00 for an annual membership fee. We will try our best to better serve our visitors’ needs and inquiries by updating our catalogue, which currently includes 2,000 Audio Visual materials and more than 7,000 books and magazines on Japan.
To our local customers who can visit our center in person, we look forward to offering many kinds of events including art exhibits, film screenings, language classes, workshops and more. To our long-standing customers who live far away from Los Angeles, we will be happy to continue our services to reach as far as we can, so please visit our website to see how you can benefit from our facilities and services.

Misako Ito, Director

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We invite you to attend our matinee every Wednesday at noon as well as special showings on select dates. The JAPANEMA matinee series will be on 9/5, 9/12, 9/19, and 9/26 for the month of September. For the first JAPANEMA special series, we will be showing Cast Me If You Can on Wednesday, September 26th (7:00PM) at JFLA Hall.

"Nippon Through My Eyes" Photo Exhibition

In conjunction with our Open House, we will be hosting the photo exhibition titled "Nippon Through My Eyes." This collection features photos taken by the 32 participants who took part in the 2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program, which was a two week study tour of Japan. For many of the students, this was their first time to Japan and experiencing the country whose language they have been studying.

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JFLA Open House

We had our Open House on Thursday, August 30th, at our new Information Center on the Miracle Mile and had over 650 guests come through our doors. Throughout the day we had a consistent flow of visitors with some special guests arriving late in the afternoon for a reception including The Honorable Jun Niimi, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles; Kamilla Blanche, Deputy of Arts & Culture from the Los Angeles City Council District 4; and Councilwoman Jan Perry from the Los Angeles City Council District 9. We would like to thank Joe and Etsuko Price for their Showa and Taisho era bamboo basket displays; Kimono Agency - Suehiro for lending us their Kimono and Obi displays; Mike Penny for his original shamisen performance; Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Los Angeles, Ohara school of Ikebana Los Angeles Chapter, Shofu-Ryu, and Sogetsu Ikebana Los Angeles Branch for providing the beautiful Ikebana arrangements; and finally for our many supporters who came out to see our new Information Center. We hope you will continue to visit us to benefit from our resources and also to learn more about Japan.

2012 Japanese Language Proficiency Test: Registration Start

Registration has started for the 2012 JLPT and will last till Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 5PM PT. The online registration system will close at that time and any paper applications received after that date will be returned to the applicant. We have updated the website to reflect new changes to this year's application process so please make sure to read through everything before registering. If you plan to take the test in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, please register early as those test sites tend to fill up quickly. When a test site reaches capacity, it will no longer be available for selection and we do not offer any waiting lists, and you will need to select a different test site if you need to take the test this year. For more information, please visit the JLPT section of our website.

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Fall Term: JF Nihongo Courses!

We are currently accepting applications for the Fall Term of our Japanese languages classes at both our Little Tokyo and Miracle Mile locations starting on September 18th. We are also offering two special workshops on September 8th, Kana Reunion, for those who have previously taken a Kana class, and Tea Time, for those who want to enjoy Japanese language conversation with native speakers. Making sushi in Japanese will also be held on October 3rd.

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JF Standard Familiarization Workshops

Japan Foundation’s (JF Standard) for Japanese-Language Education was developed under the principle of “Japanese for Mutual Understanding” as a tool to help think about teaching, learning, and assessment in Japanese-language education in line with 21st century pedagogy. This workshop is compatible with current guiding principles for language education in the U.S. such as thematic instruction and backward-designed curricula. The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles will conduct two different types of workshops this year to introduce JF Standard.



The Japan Foundation Awards: 2012 Recipients

The Japan Foundation Awards have been presented every year since 1973 to an individual or organization for significant contributions to the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through activities in an academic or cultural field. This year Irene Hirano Inouye, President, U.S.-Japan Council was selected from the United States. We congratulate her on this tremendous achievement. Other recipients include Haruki Murakami (Writer/Translator) from Japan and the Department of Japanese Language and Civilization, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) from France.

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2012 J-LEAP

For the 2012-2013 school year, we recruited 10 additional teaching assistance to our Japanese Language Education Assistant Program. To prepare them for their new lives in the United States, we organized a week-long workshop in the beginning of August at UCLA with the cooperation of The Laurasian Institute, who is our partner in this project. They have since travelled to their assigned cities all across the United States and we will feature essays from them in a future issue of Breeze. For more information regarding J-LEAP, please visit the site below.

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2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program Report Part 2

The first participant arrived in Los Angeles at 11AM and my team and I were assigned to the gates where the participants were scheduled to arrive. Earlier in the morning, I received calls from two participants stating that their flight was delayed, which foreshadowed the many delayed flights we would encounter stateside. We were at the airport making sure to greet everyone as they exited their terminal to guide them to the shuttle buses that took them to the hotel. By 3:30PM, the last of the participants were scheduled to arrive, but one was delayed and would not arrive for another few hours. Back at the hotel, we prepared for the first night of the orientation as 32 high school students, some who just graduated, made their way down to the meeting room to meet everyone face to face for the first time.

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2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 1

This is the first part of an eight part series that will highlight the experiences of 32 participants of the 2012 JET Memorial Invitational Program. Through this program, participants travelled to Japan in July of 2012 for a two week study tour of the Tohoku area, focusing on the cities of Rikuzentakata and Ishonomaki. These were the cities that Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson were assigned to during their tenure as JET Assistant English Teachers. Sadly, they lost their lives during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March, 2011 and this program was created to commemorate their work. Participants took part in exchanges with local elementary, and high school students as well as local community members with the purpose of fostering friendship and goodwill between both countries. This month, we will be featuring the essays of the following participants:

2012-2013 Japan Foundation Teacher Training Program Awardees

We are pleased to announce the awardees for this year's teacher training program at the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Language Institute in Urawa, JAPAN. They include Gloria Montebruno (University of La Verne, CA) [Short-Term: July 18 to September 12, 2012], Emmanuel Ergas (Vashon Island High School, WA) [Long-Term: September 11, 2012 to March 8, 2013], and Naoko Nemoto (Mount Holyoke College, MA) [Advanced: October 24 to December 21, 2012].

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2012 Japanese American Leadership Delegation

In March of 2012 I traveled to Japan with USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, Counsel Toshio Odagiri and nine other delegates of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation.  It was a privilege to have been selected to join this important delegation.  The landscape first revealed itself at the start of our journey as we set down in Tokyo. The ride from Narita Airport to the hotel gave us a glimpse of the newly constructed Tokyo Sky Tree, as it dominated the skyline and symbolized so much of Japan’s upward gaze toward the future.  Reflecting upon the past, there were signs everywhere down below encouraging Japan to persevere in the struggle of the 3/11 aftermath. 

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Performing Arts Japan Grant

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. PAJ Touring Grants help present Japanese performing arts at multiple locations in the United States and Canada, with an emphasis on locations outside major metropolitan areas. PAJ Collaboration Grants help Japanese and American/Canadian artists develop a new work, which will further an appreciation of Japanese culture when presented to American/Canadian audiences. The grants are made to nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada only. Click on one of the links below for information on eligibility, grant coverage, review criteria and the application form.

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Schedule: July 28 - November 04, 2012
Venue: San Francisco Musuem of Modern Art

One of Japan's most prominent photographers, Naoya Hatakeyama is known for austere and beautiful large-scale pictures that capture the extraordinary forces we deploy to shape nature to our will — and, in photographs made after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the equally powerful impact of natural forces on human construction. Whether photographing factories, quarries, mines, or his tsunami-swept hometown in northeastern Japan, Hatakeyama is a keen observer of landscapes in transition, witnessing scenes of transformation with calm precision.

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History and Culture of Edomae Sushi-From Tokyo to Seattle

Schedule: Sunday, September 23rd (1:45PM to 5PM)
Venue: Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience

Since 1824 during the feudal Edo period, masters of Edomae Sushi have continued to prepare with precision and simplicity, a showcase of the local and seasonal delicacies of the sea. Join local sushi master Shiro Kashiba and his apprentice Daisuke Nakazawa, who stars in the movie "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," which will also be screened followed by a live sushi demonstration and sake tasting.

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Kimono in the 20th Century

Schedule: March 30, 2012 - March 10, 2013
Venue: Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena, CA)

This exhibition features a gift in 2008 from the June Tsukamoto-Lyon collection, which provided breadth and further quality to Pacific Asia Museum’s already substantial collection. Kimono in the exhibition run from the most formal type reserved for very special occasions to children’s clothing, undergarments and light summer wear.

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Hyakkimaru's Kirie World

Schedule: July 28 - September 15, 2012 (Tue-Sun 10AM-5PM)
Venue: Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs

Hyakkimaru’s Kirie World features renowned Japanese artist Hyakkimaru in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Colorado Springs and the city of Fujiyoshida.

A Traveling Exhibition of the Japan Foundation

"Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present"
PART II : Saturday, August, 25 - Sunday, September, 16, 2012

The new traveling exhibition of the Japan Foundation curated by Rei Masuda, curator at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, “Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present” is an overview of the diverse photographic expression that has emerged in Japan since the 1970s. In its final form, the exhibition includes 76 photographs by 23 photographers.

*Daido Moriyama, Kanagawa, 1969

Nikkatsu at 100: Visions and Voices

Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28
University of Southern California, University Park Campus
Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall

On September 10, 2012, Japan’s Nikkatsu Film Studio will celebrate its 100th anniversary. One of Japan’s oldest and most acclaimed film studios, the Nikkatsu libraries contain approximately 3,300 film titles, including some of the most important Japanese films from the silent era to the classical period, from the postwar era to the new wave, and up to the current renaissance of Japanese cinema. Nikkatsu’s collection includes period pieces, samurai films, melodramas, youth films, gangster films, “pink” movies, horror films and contemporary blockbusters, with major critical and box-office successes in each of those areas. This three-day event will draw from Nikkatsu’s library to celebrate 100 years of Japanese cinema, and will include screenings and discussions with filmmakers, scholars and critics on Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world.