A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
As nights get longer and days get shorter, now is the best time to indulge yourself in deep intellectual dialogue and profound artistic expressions at JFLA. For the month of November, we are planning those types of events just for you. Fram Kitagawa, founder and director of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the creators of Play the LA River will talk about creative approaches to using art to revitalise communities on two continents. An electro-acoustic quartet comprising of internationally renowned musicians from Japan and the US will demonstrate what musical spontaneity is really all about.
If you are a teacher of Japanese language and going to the ACTFL (American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages) meeting in San Diego this month, we will see you there as JFLA will host a booth at the conference. We will have lots of goodies for teachers to take home, as well as provide information on programs related to the Japanese language education offered by the Japan Foundation . If you have not responded to the survey questionnaire we sent out to you regarding the state of Japanese language education in the US, we will even have a laptop PC setup with our friendly staff to help you complete the survey on the spot.
We will continue to provide as much useful information as possible for the teachers of Japanese language. Our newest addition online is an article on advocacy (“What is advocacy”) which describes in very plain terms how teachers can start spreading awareness about the benefits of learning Japanese in school and beyond. If you have not visited our resources page, please do so, and if you cannot find the information you are looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.
We always have many more events and announcements that the monthly newsletter cannot cover so please make sure to check our web site often or connect with us via Facebook for the latest event information from JFLA!
Hideki Hara, Director
Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we will be closed from Thursday, November 26th to Monday, November 30th. The library will reopen on Tuesday, December 1st.
Sure to roil the electroacoustic ether with a mix of free improvisation, noise and experimental electronics, this exciting international collaboration unites four standout sonic innovators for a first-ever U.S. tour. Legendary guitar improviser Tetuzi Akiyama and no-input mixing board hero Toshimaru Nakamura join with the acclaimed electronic music and sound art duo of Bryan Eubanks (saxophone, electronics) and Jason Kahn (drums, percussion) to build up and unspool riveting soundscapes, as the quartet sets out to probe the dimensions of group performance and spontaneous music creation. This tour is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan program.
Fram Kitagawa, founder and director of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the creators of Play the LA River talk about creative approaches to placemaking and community vitality on two continents.
This event is co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation with support from the UW-JSPS Joint Symposium on Socially Engaged Art in Japan.
Japanese teachers listen up! It’s November again, which means it’s time to gear up for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 2015 Convention and World Languages Expo. This year it’s in San Diego, so JFLA staff will be taking a road trip down south for an intense week of activities.
Our JFLA booth (#1129) is going to be extra special this year! First, staff from the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles will join us on Saturday to share information about the JET program. The Japan-America Society of Southern California will visit us to spread awareness about the national Japan Bowl. We’ve also invited some current participants in our Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP) to stay at our booth and talk to K-12 teachers who might be interested in hosting an assistant teacher. In addition, we’re setting up a corner for attendees to complete the Japan Foundation’s Survey on Japanese-Language Education. Stop by to chat about your Japanese program, learn about our grants, support programs, and free resources, and get a goodie bag!
Would you choose your natural child, or the one you believed was your own during six years together? Kore-eda Hirokazu, the acclaimed director of Nobody Knows and Still Walking, returns with another incredibly touching family drama, winner of the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Following an unexpected phone call, affluent architect Ryota and his wife, Midori, learn that their six-year-old son, Keita, was switched at the hospital and is not their biological child. Seeing Midori’s devotion to Keita even after the news, and observing the rough yet caring family that has raised his natural son for the last six years, Ryota begins to question his own values on fatherhood as he must choose between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture,’ a decision that will change their lives forever.
JFLA accepts applications for projects that take place in the 13 states west of the Rocky Mountains. For the states east of the Rocky Mountains, please visit our New York office for similar grant programs.
This program provides specialists (Researchers, Postgraduate Students, Librarians, Museum Curators, etc.) who need a good command of Japanese language for conducting their field-related work and research with Japanese-Language courses specifically designed for their needs. The program is held at the Japan Foundation - Japanese Language Institute, Kansai in Japan. There are two durations including a two-month course from June to August, 2016 and a six-month course from October, 2016 to April, 2017. For more information, please visit the link below.
This program provides four types of training programs for Japanese-language teachers. They include Long-term, Short-term, Advanced, and Graduate programs. The program is held at the Japan Foundation - Japanese Language Institute, Urawa in Japan. We have included a link to feedback from Dr. Sueyon Seo from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee who participated in the short-term program this past summer. For more information regarding this opportunity, please visit the link below.
The 2016 National Japan Bowl will be held Thursday-Friday, April 14 -15, 2016 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Because of construction in downtown Washington DC, the date of the 56th Annual Sakura Matsuri might change. The Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASW), which sponsors both events, hopes that the Sakura Matsuri, the nation's largest one-day Japanese cultural event, will be held as usual on the day after Japan Bowl. However, the actual date will not be known until Fall 2015.
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.
When I first heard the word advocacy in connection with Japanese language, I was confused. Did I have to talk to lawyers? Now I know that advocacy is an ongoing process that Japanese language teachers do in order to spread awareness about their school’s Japanese program. After all, if nobody knows that you hold fun Japan-related events, nobody will come. If your students don’t know that more than 49,000 Americans are living and working in Japan, they might not consider doing it themselves. If parents don’t know that Japan is America’s fourth largest trading partner, they might not think that Japanese would be a good skill for their child’s future career. If administrators don’t know that your school’s students are having a blast learning Japanese, they might not support it enthusiastically.
On October 15, 2015, Consul General Masahiro Omura from the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle visited the University of Idaho (Moscow, ID) and presented the Japan Foundation’s grant check to Dean Andrew Kersten in the support of their Japanese language program. Consul General Omura had a wonderful opportunity to interact and chat with Japanese language learners and people involved in Japanese Studies over tea and snacks!
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts and Lakeside School District celebrated the start of the Japanese Language and Culture education in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Consul-General Kinefuchi from the Consulate General of Japan in Nashville attended this ceremony as one of the special guests and presented the Japan Foundation’s grant check for their Japanese language program.
Consul-General Kinefuchi also visited Governor Esa Hutchinson of Arkansas the next day, and conveyed his intention to work together with the Governor in order to strengthen the economic partnership between Japan and Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson said that he wanted to make Arkansas better known by Japanese people and further promote relations between Japan and Arkansas.
Consul Koji Kaneko, Director of Japan Information Center at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, visited Parkway South High School (Manchester, MO) at the beginning of 2015-16 school year, and presented The Japan Foundation's “Salary Assistance Grant” ($26,852) to Principal Patrice Aitch for their Japanese language program! Our grant will be used toward Japanese levels 3 and 4.
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.