A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
As the summer breeze turns slightly chilly, there is no better time than now to enjoy the cultural events we offer. Our Japanema cinema screening is making trips outside our LA home, trying to reach a wider audience. "Postwar Shadow," a collaborative exhibition with the Getty Museum opens its door to the public in a few days. The exhibition features an internationally renowned Japanese photographer Ms. Ishiuchi Miyako and her prolific body of work, as well as the works of five other female Japanese photographers of younger generations. Do not miss this rare opportunity to take a glimpse of a diverse artistic expression of Japanese photography.
For those who will not be able make it to these events, I still have several important messages to deliver. The guidelines for the 2016-2017 Japan Foundation grant programs have been announced and if you are interested in applying for a grant in the fields of arts & culture, academic studies, and Japanese language education, please review our grants carefully and let us know if you have any questions and concerns. Also, we have just announced the call for application for our J-LEAP (Japanese Language Education Assistant Program) program, which will send native Japanese Language Assistant Teachers (ATs) to select organizations across the country interested in hosting them. This program is currently in its 5th year and has proven to be a great learning opportunity for not only the ATs and the students who are taught by them, but also for the host teachers in terms of the various training sessions that the Program provides for them. So if you are a teacher of Japanese language and interested in honing your team-teaching skills, please give this opportunity a serious thought.
Last but not the least, I would like to direct your attention once again to our Facebook page for updates that this monthly newsletter cannot cover in a timely fashion. In order to make sure you’re seeing posts from JFLA in your Facebook News Feed, just click on the "Liked" button at the top of our Facebook page and select "Get Notifications" from the dropdown menu. There is also a feature in the same menu called "See First". Click both and we will stay better connected.
Hideki Hara, Director
Get ready for a captivating behind-the-lens discussion with a master of modern photography, the prolific and provocative photographer, Ishiuchi Miyako who will be in L.A. this October for the opening of her brand new photo exhibition titled Postwar Shadows at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Since the late '70s, Ishiuchi Miyako has produced collections of her own photography which have explored various thought-provoking subjects such as post-war daily Japanese life in the formerly US-occupied town of Yokosuka, as well as the vulnerability and aging of the body, especially the female body. In her lecture, Ishiuchi will provide us with an insight into her photographic style, in which she uses pathos rather than passion to express herself and create work that contains a quiet quality while being powerful and profound at the same time.
A Letter to Momo was seven years in the making. The handmade animation is superb, from the painstakingly rendered serenity of the island's Shinto shrines to the climactic finale – a frantic chase featuring thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits that is the best cinematic flight of supernatural fancy in years.
This event is supported by Japan Business Association of Southern California(JBA).
In the 1970s Ishiuchi Miyako shocked Japan's male-dominated photography establishment with Yokosuka Story, a gritty, deeply personal project about the city where she spent her childhood and where the United States established a naval base in 1945. Working prodigiously ever since, Ishiuchi has consistently fused the personal and political in her photographs, interweaving her own identity with the complex history of postwar Japan that emerged from the shadows cast by American occupation.
This exhibition is the first in the United States to survey Ishiuchi's prolific career and will include photographs, books, and objects from her personal archive. Beginning with Yokosuka Story (1977-78), the show traces her extended investigation of life in postwar Japan and culminates with her current series ひろしま/hiroshima, on view seventy years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Beginning in the 1990s, a number of young female photographers in Japan garnered attention by making provocative self-portraits and intimate images of domestic scenes. Challenging the status quo of the male-dominated photography community, their work prompted the controversial and reductive term onnanoko shashin, or “girl photographs”.
This exhibition showcases the versatile and complex work of five midcareer Japanese-born artists who emerged in the wake of “girl photography”: Kawauchi Rinko, Onodera Yuki, Otsuka Chino, Sawada Tomoko, and Shiga Lieko. Mavericks in their field, these women continue in the tradition of such pioneers as Ishiuchi Miyako, whose work appears in the companion exhibition Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows.
From the studio that brought you Eden of the East, FLCL and Ghost in the Shell comes an exhilarating blend of Japanese folklore and storybook charm reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. This award-winning feature film is sure to amaze animation fans of all ages.
16-year-old Haruka is on a mission to find her mirror — a precious childhood gift from her late mother that has disappeared. On her search, she follows a strange foxlike creature to Oblivion Island, a mystical world overflowing with once-cherished items taken from their neglectful owners. Trouble follows Haruka and her new friend Teo at every turn as they contend with the island’s overbearing ruler, who will stop at nothing to use the mirror for his own sinister plan!
Reiko Asakawa is researching into a 'Cursed Video' interviewing teenagers about it. When her niece Tomoko dies of 'sudden heart failure' with an unnaturally horrified expression on her face, Reiko investigates. She finds out that some of Tomoko's friends, who had been on a holiday with Tomoko the week before, had died on exactly the same night at the exact same time in the exact same way. Reiko goes to the cabin where the teens had stayed and finds an 'unlabeled' video tape. Reiko watched the tape to discover to her horror it is in fact the 'cursed videotape'. Ex Husband Ryuji helps Reiko solve the mystery, Reiko makes him a copy for further investigation. Things become more tense when their son Yoichi watches the tape saying Tomoko had told him too. Their discovery takes them to a volcanic island where they discover that the video has a connection to a Physic who died 30 years ago, and her child Sadako...
Are you interested in Inviting a Japanese Assistant Teacher (AT) to your K-12 classroom for up to two consecutive school years? Do you want to give your students an opportunity to learn and hear Japanese from a native speaker or an additional native speakers for some variation? If so, make sure you apply for J-LEAP, which was started in 2011 with the help of the Laurasian Institute (TLI). Our goal is to nurture a new generation of highly qualified Japanese language teachers in the United States and we currently have a total of 19 ATs in 11 different states nationwide. There are ten new ATs this year and we will be featuring the reports from two ATs every month as they write about their experiences at American schools. We have also included a report by Leslie Okada Roberts of TLI about the arrival training and the importance of the program.
For information on Japanese Language Programs, please visit Teacher Training Program at the Japanese Language Institute, Urawa, or Japanese Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields at the Japanese Language Institute, Kansai. There are multiple programs including long-term, short-term, advanced and graduate for the teacher program and 2-month and 6-month courses for the specialist program. Your application must ARRIVE at JFLA on or before the deadline. Please notify us of your application in advance.
The Japan Foundation is now accepting project proposals for Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) touring and collaboration grants for the 2016 - 2017 fiscal year. For details, including guidelines and application, please visit here.
The Japan Foundation does a massive global survey every three years to gather information about Japanese language education, and the time has come again. For some of the results from the 2012 Survey, click here.
Earlier this month, JFLA staff started emailing and calling every school which teaches Japanese in the US. We are asking one person from every school to fill out one 15-minute online survey about global issues and one 3-minute supplementary survey about issues in the United States.
We acquired several new books in English and Japanese during the past few months and below is a list of what we added. There are books in English focusing on upcoming events we are organizing such as Ishiuchi Miyako, as well as new Japanese manga, children's books, and DVDs. Make sure to drop by and apply to become a member if you haven't already done so. Our annual library membership fee is only $2 and you get a free cloth book bag.
On September 16, 2015, Consul General Furusawa from the Consular Office of Japan in Portland visited Yujin Gakuen Elementary (Eugene, OR) and presented the Japan Foundation's grant check to Principal Piowaty in support of their Japanese language immersion program. Students welcomed Consul General Furusawa and performed a Japanese song at the grant ceremony.
On August 25, 2015, the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit presented the Japan Foundation's grant check to Cuyahoga Community College. Our grant will be used for expanding their Japanese language program!
In July of 2015, 32 US high school students participated in the final 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 Ishinomaki. 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 memorable journey.