May, 2014: Breeze Issue #79

 


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

Greeting From The Director

It has been over a month since I arrived here in the United States and I am enjoying the sunny days while easing into my new life in Southern California. The past month included many activities in and out of our office including JF Nihongo Tea Time and the start of spring term for our Japanese language classes. We also organized another lecture series featuring Rakugo and Kokeshi as well as our biweekly Japanese movie screening (JAPANEMA).

Since starting my work in the U.S., I am constantly fascinated by the diversity and active reaction of our audience, which is something that I have never found in other countries. Perhaps it is because our two countries maintain a deep, multi-faceted, and overwhelming number of ties between the economies, cultures, histories, and heritage communities. I feel moved by these bonds which have been tempered by time.

The month of May traditionally marks the start of Golden Week in Japan consisting of several holidays during the same week. We here at JFLA are working on several events throughout the month including Lecture 19 featuring Dr. Robert D. Eldridge and his work with Operation Tomadachi and its lasting impact. Our 20th lecture will focus on Japanese Gardens with author Allen S. Weiss. We will also be showing "The Castle of Cagliostro" and "The Chef of South Polar" as part of Japanema. Finally, we are preparing for the world premier of the exhibition "Japanese Design Today 100" at UCLA at the end of June. Don't miss out on these fun and interesting events organized by JFLA.

Naomi Takasu, Director


JFLA Lecture Series 19
Operation Tomodachi and Afterwards: A U.S. Marine Corps Perspective
Thursday, May 15 at 7:00PM

Dr. Robert D. Eldridge, the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for G-7, and Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy Officer, Marine Corps Installations Pacific (Okinawa, Japan) will talk about the actions taken by Americans immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011, known as "Operation Tomodachi."

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JFLA Lecture Series 20
Ten Theses on Japanese Gardens
Wednesday, May 21 at 7:00PM

Author of “Zen Landscapes: Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics” (Reaktion Books, 2013), Allen S. Weiss will talk about the essential elements of Japanese gardens: Simultaneously a sensual matrix, a symbolic form and a memory theater, these gardens exhibit beautiful miniaturization and precise craftsmanship.

More Information Coming Soon!


JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Screening
The Castle of Cagliostro (102min., 1979) Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Wednesday, May 14 at 7:00PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

Renowned international thief Lupin III comes to the small European duchy of Cagliostro to investigate some excellently-forged money and stumbles across a national conspiracy going back some hundreds of years. Lupin and his friends must rescue the beautiful Clarice from the hands of the evil Count Cagliostro and solve the mystery of a hidden treasure dating back to the 15th century.


JAPANEMA: Free Japanese Cinema Screening
The Chef of South Polar (125min., 2010) Directed by Shuichi Okita
Wednesday, May 28 at 7:00PM
Venue: JFLA Auditorium

Nishimura has a passion for cooking, but never would he have imagined the task before him now: He is unexpectedly assigned to a south polar mission to serve as head chef at the Dome Fuji station. Leaving his wife and daughter behind for a year. Along with the other crew members, they experience one existential crisis after another in the icy cold. And then they run out of Ramen!


Japanese Design Today 100
Friday, June 27 – Saturday, July 19
Venue: UCLA Department of Architecture & Urban Design, Perloff Hall (Decafé)
(1317 Perloff Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095)
Admission: Free
More Information Coming Soon!


Summer Camp for Teens: Discover Little Tokyo
July 21-25

We are excited to announce our Summer Camp for Teens: Discover Little Tokyo - our special annual program just for teens! This is a fun and interactive language day camp. Campers will learn basic characters, Katakana (ex.ア、イ、ウ), and easy expressions in Japanese through fun activities while exploring Little Tokyo. It is a wonderful opportunity for teens to be immersed in the language and the culture both inside and outside of the classroom!


JFLA is Seeking a 1 Full Time & 1 Part-Time Japanese-Language Lecturer

With our many years of experience and achievements in Japanese Language Education, JFLA has been offering Japanese language courses in Los Angeles since 2012. The courses will be based on “JF Standards,” which was developed by our Headquarters in Japan. We are seeking applicants who are passionate towards Japanese-language education through “JF Standards” as well as those who will be proactively involved in JFLA activities.


Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Japanese Language Grants

We are still accepting applications for the following grants:
1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadline: 9/1/2014)
2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadline: 9/15/2014)
3. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date).

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Japanese Language Education Update #6: Advocacy Tip #1 and Workshops

Greetings educators! The Spring 2014 volume of ACTFL’s Foreign Language Annals was published last month with an article titled “Elementary School Foreign Language Teaching: Lessons Learned Over Three Decades 1980-2010)” by Nancy C. Rhodes. This article is a must-read for anyone curious about advocating for foreign language programs in elementary schools and the lessons apply to all levels of education.

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Event Report: JF Nihongo Spring Tea Time at JFLA

We want to thank all the participants of our "Spring Tea Time" on April 12. There were many new and familiar faces alike who spent a Saturday afternoon practicing Japanese with native speakers and making new friends. Forty participants were in attendance and we hope everyone enjoyed the conversation while partaking in Japanese okashi (sweets) and ocha (tea). We really appreciate our native Japanese volunteer because without them, this event would not have been possible. The next Tea Time event will be held in early September. Don't miss it!


Event Report: Kokeshi - The Tohoku Artisan Spirit by Manami Okazaki
By Alex Forbess

Several dolls were lined up formidably in front of the lecture room as spectators entered to be amazed of their simple features. From their shy faces to their colorful stripes and unique designs, everyone wondered how these armless dolls, the Kokeshi, could be portrayed as a powerful symbol of the Tohoku region. Featured journalist and author Manami Okazaki explained how the Kokeshi nurtured victims of 3.11 as well as their prominence in pioneering Japan's well-known Kawaii culture.

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Hey Teachers!
Bring Your Students to JFLA to Experience Japanese Culture

We offer a free School Program for elementary school teachers to give their students a fun and informative introduction to Japanese culture and traditions through videos, presentations, language lessons, and other activities. Each session is approximately 90 minutes long and is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays between 10 AM and 4 PM (Not available on weekends and holidays).