Breeze #77

March, 2014: Breeze Issue #77


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

Greeting From The Director

March is here, and with it comes that tragic memory of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan's Tohoku area in 2011, and the resulting loss of 18,500 people.

I was in Tokyo on that day, March 11th, and eleven days later I came to Los Angeles to be the director of JFLA. Three years have passed, and the time has come for me to return to Tokyo.

I started my job here wanting to show our deep gratitude to our American friends who open-heartedly extended their warm hands to us when we were in turmoil. All programs we started since 2011 were ways to say Arigato (Thank you!) to you. Though it seemed nearly impossible at the time, we even relocated our office so that we could better serve the community.

Together with the four years I served in Washington DC, I have spent seven years in the US and it has become my second home. Now just like when I came here, I am bidding farewell to you with lots of Arigato for your kind support of the Japan Foundation for years to come as well. Thank you!

Misako Ito, Director

JFLA LECTURE SERIES 16: Artist Talk with Koki Tanaka - 55th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition Award Recipient
Tuesday, March 11 at 7pm
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

Artist Koki Tanaka and curator Gabriel Ritter will discuss the ability to unlock human potential through collaboration and its relation to disaster recovery, like the Great East Japan Earthquake. Tanaka's exhibition, abstract speaking – sharing uncertainty and collective acts, explores the relationship between creation and collaboration.

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"The Great Passage" Screening
Wednesday, March 5 at 7PM
Venue: Egyptian Theatre, Los Angeles

JFLA in collaboration with the Japan Business Association (JBA) and American Cinematheque presents the screening of "The Great Passage," which was selected as Japan's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. Details and ticket information will be available on the JFLA website soon.

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JFLA LECTURE SERIES 17: Noh Theatre in the 21st Century
Thursday, March 13 at 7:30pm
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

A lecture and demonstration of Japanese traditional Noh theatre will be given by professional Noh actors Tatsushige Udaka and Haruna Tanaka. They will perform a short dance and chant to showcase the distinctive features of Noh body movements while introducing the role of Noh masks and costumes. The lecture will discuss Noh's continued status as live performance art and how Noh actors of the 21st century connect to the traditional theatre form.

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JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Double Screening
"5 Centimeters Per Second" and "The Garden of Words"
Wednesday, March 26 at 7PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

5 Centimeters Per Second is told in three interconnected segments: we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

The Garden of Words tells the story of Takao, who is training to become a shoemaker, skipped school and is sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious woman, Yukino, who is older than him. Then, without arranging the times, the two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days.

PHOTO EXHIBITION: The World Heritage in Japan
Part 2: February 25 (TUE) – March 22 (SAT)
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

From historical monuments to beautiful natural environments, currently, there are a total of 17 cultural and natural sites in Japan registered as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.  Over 60 beautiful photographs of these sites were taken by renowned photographer, Kazuyoshi Miyoshi, is currently on display as a two-part exhibition at JFLA through March 22nd during normal library hours.

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JFLA DISPLAY: Hinamatsuri (Japanese Doll Festival)
Through March 28

In celebration of Hinamatsuri, also known as Japanese Doll Festival or Girls' Day, which is held on March 3, we will be displaying our Hina-ningyo (Japanese dolls) set in our library for the month of March. The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period (8-10th century AD) when people believed that the dolls possessed the power to contain evil spirits. Make sure to visit this annual exhibit.

Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Japanese Language Grants

We are pleased to announce the start of our Fiscal Year 2014-2015 grant programs that we organize annually in support of Japanese-Language Education in the United States. These include the following:


  1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadline: 9/1/2014)
  2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadlines: 3/15/2014 & 9/15/2014)
  3. Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese Language Courses (Deadline: 4/10/2014)
  4. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date).

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JFNY is Seeking a Part-Time Japanese-Language Lecturer

The Japan Foundation, New York (JFNY) invites applicants for a part-time lecturer position in Japanese language. The position will be effective July/August 2014, with teaching duties beginning in September 2014. With our many years of experience and achievements in Japanese-Language Education, we, in cooperation with The Nippon Club, offer an original Japanese language and culture course, JF Japanese Language Course. Our course is based on "JF Standard" which our Headquarters in Japan have developed. We seek applicants who are committed to Japanese-language education and open to "JF Standard."

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2013 JLPT Results Update

We have been notified by AATJ that hard copies of all score reports for those who took the 2013 JLPT in December were mailed out by the end of February. Please note that the website to view your scores online will only be available until March 31 at 5pm (JAPAN TIME). All test taker data will also be deleted from the JLPT Online Account at that time.

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Japanese Language Education Update #4: Advocacy - Call for Ideas and Examples

Let's strengthen the Japanese program at your school! Advocacy leads to student recruitment, administration pride, and parent interest. The more people know how fun Japanese is, the more they'll want to learn it, and the more students you'll have! These are big goals, so it's best to break them down into simple, clear activity plans. That's where JFLA's upcoming Advocacy Activities page comes in. We are compiling a list of things teachers can do to spread the word about the Japanese language.

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TALK: The Art of the Future - Itō Jakuchū's Colorful Realm
Saturday, March 8 at 2PM
Free To The Public

The past 20 years have witnessed a meteoric rise in the acclaim of the painter Itō Jakuchū (Japan, 1716–1800), which is owed in no small part to the Price Collection, which includes many important works by the artist. Yukio Lippit, Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities and professor of history of art and architecture at Harvard University, explores the remarkable artistry of Jakuchū through his celebrated set of 33 nature scrolls, Colorful Realm of Living Beings, widely believed to be the greatest work of bird-and-flower painting in Japan.

Love To Nippon
3.11 Memorial Event
Saturday, March 8 @ LAPD Headquarters

People in Los Angeles will never forget the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Tohoku, Japan on March 11, 2011. Along the coastline, thousands of people lost their lives with many of the survivors still living in temporary pre-fabricated houses. They are also waiting for their missing loved ones and family members. It will take a long time before their community-oriented way of life is restored, one filled with smiles and vitality. We would like to ask for your continued prayers and support for the children, the elderly, the farmers, the fishermen and all the people in Tohoku.

J-LEAP Report Part 6/6

For the 2013-2014 school year, we have 11 assistant teachers (AT) at 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 report from the following AT, who will describe his experiences at American high schools.

2013 JET Memorial Invitation Program: Participant Essays Part 7/8

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.

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