January, 2013: Breeze Issue #63


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

Greeting From The Director

Happy New Years From The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles!

It has been just over half a year since we moved into our new office on the Miracle Mile and I would like to personally thank the many guests who have visited during this time. In 2013, we plan to proactively expand our many programs including but not limited to film screenings, lectures, workshops, JF Nihongo Courses, cultural activities, and school programs so please make sure to join us to experience Japan.

Also, we plan to have the results of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) available online by the end of January. The 2012 test was held in 243 cities in 62 countries world-wide, but unfortunately in China and South Korea with the most test takers, the number of examinees dropped by 24% and 17% respectively. In contrast, the United States saw an increase in the number of examinees by 28% with the addition of two new test sites in Michigan and Houston. This would not be possible without the hard work of those who are studying Japanese language and I am grateful for your support.

Misako Ito, Director

Exhibition: Celebrating New Years With Japanese Toys

One of the features of Japanese toys is their close connection with annual events celebrated at different times of the year with customs originating in religious rituals. This sense of history and traditional custom is particularly alive in the games children play during New Years. For the month of January, we will be disiplaying different Japanese toys typically played by children during this time of year. Make sure to drop by JFLA to view the different items on display and play New Year's board games, and spinning tops.

JFLA Lecture Series 2: PARO
Saturday, Jan. 12, 1-2:30pm

In this lecture, Dr. Takanori Shibata, the creator of PARO will speak about the development of PARO and its practical applications, and the cultural impact of robotics in Japan. The therapeutic robot PARO was designed to comfort the elderly, people with disabilities, dementia patients, as well as autistic children. PARO has been used in Japan, Europe and the U.S. for several years.

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JFLA Lecture Series 3: Restoration of Fukushima from 3.11
Thursday, Jan. 24, 7pm-8:30pm

In this lecture, Mr. Satoru Mimura of Fukushima University's Future Center for Regional Revitalization (FURE) will talk about the restoration and rehabilitation of Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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Making Sushi In Japanese: Setsubun
Wednesday, January 30th at 7PM

Let's celebrate Setsubun, traditional Japanese event, by making special sushi, Eho-maki ! We will throw soybeans to chase out demons and eat sushi in the traditional way to bring in good fortune. All through, you will learn Japanese vocabulary and basic expressions as well as Japanese culture, while making sushi through the instruction of a professional chef of Sushi Chef Institute (www.sushischool.net). No prior Japanese learning experience necessary. Seats are limited, so please register now!

January JAPANEMA Schedule

1/9 "Crayon Shinchan The Storm Called..."

1/9 "Eclair For Our Future, For Children"
1/16 "Wanko The Story Of Me, My Family And My Dog"
1/23 "Can You See Our Lights? First Festival After The Tsunami"
1/30 "Fukushima Hula Girls"

JF Nihongo - Winter Term Course
Early Bird Registration Deadline 10% Off: January 10th, 2013

We will be starting our second year of JF Nihongo Courses with winter term at the end of January, 2013. To mark our one year anniversary, we will be offering a 10% discount if you apply before the early bird deadline (Jan. 10). Past students will also be eligible for an additional 10% discount for if their continued support of our courses. The Everyday Japanese series including Mastering Kana and Making Friends 1 & 2 will be offered at both our Little Tokyo and Miracle Mile locations and Business Japanese will only be offered at our Miracle Mile location. We look forward to offering Japanese language classes in 2013.

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2013 J-LEAP Application Ending Soon
Deadline: January 31st, 2013

The Japan Foundation is now accepting applications from host schools for the 2013 Japanese Language Education Assistants Program (J-LEAP). Click Here if you are interested in inviting a Native Japanese Teaching Assistant to your school next year.

[Important] Calling all Japanese Teachers: The 2012 Japan Foundation Survey

We ask for your help with our 2012 Japanese Language Education survey we are currently conducting. The results of this survey will give a good idea of the current state of Japanese Education around the world. If you are a Japanese language teacher in the United States including Guam, the Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico we ask for your cooperation and support. Click Here for the results of the previous survey conducted in 2009. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Andrew Cohen at Survey2012@jflalc.org.

Nikkatsu's "Roman Porno"
The Cinefamily

1/13 at 8PM "Angel Guts: Red Classroom"
1/20 at 6:45PM "Following Desire (aka Ichijo's Wet Lust)"
1/27 at 7PM "Twisted Path of Love (aka Lovers Are Wet)"

2013 JET Memorial Invitation Program (JET-MIP) Announcement

On March 11, 2011, two Americans participating in the JET Programme as assistant English language teachers lost their lives during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Taylor Anderson, who was in Ishinomaki City and Montgomery Dickson, who was in Rikuzentakada City will be forever remembered as cultural ambassadors representing the U.S. They had a positive influence on the people and communities they served and JET-MIP was created immediately following the disaster to commemorate their work. This year we will continue this program, which provides 32 high school students the opportunity to visit Japan, with a focus on the Tohoku region, and learn about Japanese language and culture first hand.

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2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program Report Part 6: Sendai and Ishinomaki

In the morning we hopped on the bus and headed towards Sendai. This was the longest ride thus far at about three and a half hours. When we got to the city, the bus made its way to Sendai Castle where we had lunch. Afterwards, we had some time and were able to walk around the castle; however, many participants didn't know that this was the castle. There were lots to see there including Gokoku Shrine, a large equestrian statue of Date Masamune, and various shops and vendors.

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2012 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 5

This is the fifth 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:

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J-LEAP Report: Part 3

For the 2012-2013, we invited 10 additional teaching assistants to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). We have been featuring reports from all the participants describing their experiences as teaching assistants at American high schools. This month, we will introduce the following TAs: