November, 2013: Breeze Issue #73


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

Greeting From The Director

We are very fortunate to gain many new friends of Japan through our grant program for Japanese language teachers and schools nationwide. I feel particularly happy when we support the launch of a new Japanese language course or when a school that has never applied for our grant program comes to us from a state like New Hampshire, Maine or New Mexico where we typically do not see many schools teaching Japanese!  Even from a big city like New York City, we hear about new schools that are teaching Japanese, which is an unexpected surprise!

To all the Japanese language teachers who subscribe to this newsletter, we all look forward to seeing you at the 2013 ACTFL Annual Convention in Orlando, FL to update everyone on the current status of Japanese education in the US. See you then!  

Misako Ito, Director

ai kuwabara trio project US Tour 2013
November 14 (Berkeley, CA), November 16 (Los Angeles, CA)
November 18 (Denver, CO), November 20 (Anchorage, AK)

Born in 1991, pianist Ai Kuwabara has previously been introduced in the media as "Genius Girl." With skill and sensitivity that are sure to amaze, she has shot to the top with her music. While her music calls to mind Michel Petrucciani and Esbjörn Svensson, she expresses her creative world with the backing of her lush sensitivity and precise technique. Every original composition that Kuwabara writes down is free and emotional, occasionally avant-garde, and lies beyond the frame of jazz pianists that have existed thus far.

For Details & Tickets

Date: Saturday, November 09, 6:30PM (Egyptian)
Sunday, November 10, 12:30PM (Chinese 6)

We are proud to sponsor the award-winning film, "Like Father, Like Son," directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda at AFI FEST 2013 presented by AUDI in Hollywood. Please come and watch this touching film, as well as three other films from Japan also being screened including "R100," "The Wind Rises," and the short film "Tokyo Giants."

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ACTFL 2013 Booth #1024
Date: Friday, November 22 – Sunday, November 24
Venue: Orange County Convention Center (Orlando, FL)

During the 2013 ACTFL Conference, we will be organizing a booth for the seventh consecutive year in support of Japanese-language Education in the United States. Please make sure to drop by our booth to learn about our activities and attend our presentation that will cover our findings of the Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2012 as well as JF Standard and Can-do evaluations. We look forward to seeing you there.

Free Japanese Film Screening!!
Wednesday, November 13 and 27 at 7PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

For the month of November, we will be showing "The Twilight Samurai" by Yoji Yamada (129 mins, 2002) on 11/13 and "What the Snow Brings" by Kichitaro Negishi (112mins, 2005) on 11/27.

2014 J-LEAP Application Has Begun
Deadline: January 21st, 2014

We are now accepting applications from schools interested in hosting an assistant teacher for up to two years through the Japanese Language Education Assistants Program (J-LEAP). If you are interested in inviting a Native Japanese Teaching Assistant to your school next year, please click below for more information!

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Fiscal Year 2014 Program Deadline

Several of our grant programs supporting Japanese arts and culture projects as well as teacher/language training programs have upcoming deadlines in November and early December, so please make sure you submit your applications if you are interested in applying.

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2013 JLPT Update
Test Date: Sunday, December 1 (Time Varies By Test Site)

We received news from AATJ that the vouchers and vital information sheets have been printed and will be sent out by the first week of November. If you do not receive your test materials, you can still print everything from "Your JLPT Online Account." Please note that the test takes place at the end of Thanksgiving Weekend so don't forget!

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JF Nihongo Update

Another student from our JF Nihongo courses earned an all expense paid trip to Japan for a two week intensive Japanese language training at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai. Peggy-san will be leaving next month and is very excited about this opportunity. Please also make sure to check our website in mid-November for information about registering for JF Nihongo winter term.

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2013 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 3/8

In July of 2013, 32 US high school students participated in the JET Memorial Invitational Program (JET-MIP). They travelled to Japan for a two week study tour of the Tohoku region, focusing on the cities of Rikuzentakata and Ishonomaki. These were the cities that Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson were assigned during their tenure as JET Assistant Language Teachers. Sadly, they lost their lives during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March, 2011 and JET-MIP was created to commemorate their work. Participants took part in exchanges with local elementary, middle and high school students as well as local community groups with the purpose of fostering friendship and goodwill between both countries. Each month, we will feature four essays written by the participants describing their experiences in Japan. Click below to read about their unforgettable journey.

J-LEAP Report Part 2/6

For the 2013-2014 school year, we invited 12 teaching assistants to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the third year of this program where assistant teachers are invited for up to two years to aid in strengthening the Japanese language program at their respective schools. This month, we will feature the reports from the following ATs, who will describe their experiences at American high schools.

A Learning Journey to Strengthen the U.S.-Japan Friendship
Report by Dick Cvitanich

In July of 2013, fourteen educators from all across the United States were invited to participate in a two week tour of Japan to exchange ideas and build professional networks with their Japanese counterparts. They visited educational institutions and government organizations, as well as experienced Japanese cultural activities firsthand in Tokyo, Saitama, Sendai, Kyoto, and areas devastated by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Mr. Dick Cvitanich shares his experiences from the trip in the article below.

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My Summer in Urawa
Report by Noah Miles

Every year, several non-native teachers nationwide are accepted to our teacher training program at the Japan Foundation Japanese Language Institute Urawa. This program is offered in three durations at different times during the year for participants to improve their Japanese-language skills, teaching methodology, and their knowledge of Japan. Click below to read the read about experiences of Mr. Noah Miles who participated in the short term program during the summer of 2013.

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Event Report: JFLA Lecture Series 13
Washi: Infinite Ideas in Traditional Techniques
Reported by Colin Marshall

"So why do they call it 'rice paper'?" one audience member asked. The answer came from a particularly authoritative source on the subject: the brothers Hironao and Osamu Hamada, makers of traditional Japanese paper and grandsons of paper-making Living National Treasure Sajio Hamada. The misnomer "rice paper," Hironao explained, doesn't reflect anything about the actual ingredients or procedure for creating traditional Japanese paper, or washi.

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2014 JET Program: Apply Now
Deadline: Tuesday, November 26 at 5:30PM ET

The JET Program is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 JET Program year, to be received by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the link below.

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Staff Update

We are happy to introduce our new Japanese-Language Program Coordinator, Ms. Amanda Rollins, who has been working in our office for the past few weeks organizing and promoting our cultural events. She will be in charge of coordinating Japanese-language related projects and will be on hand at the upcoming ACTFL Conference, so please make sure to drop by our booth to say hi.

Library Closure
Saturday, November 23, 2013

Due to building maintenance, our library will be closed on the fourth Saturday in November. We will still be open on November 9th and the December 14th, which will be the last Saturday opening for 2013. We appreciate all our library patrons and apologize for the inconvenience.