A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
A happy new year to you all! According to the zodiac, the year of Monkey will be a year full of curiosity, excitement and new challenges. Here at JFLA, our staff members are committed to make 2016 as curious and exciting as possible for you. To kick off the new year, we will bring Cinema Kabuki, a cinema version of the traditional Japanese theatre in high-definition format, to LA for the first time. The beauty of HD cinema is that it is much more accessible than the actual theatre (which can be very expensive) and yet the experience can be as up-and-close, if not more, than the real thing thanks to the cinematographic viewing angles. For viewers with little or no knowledge of Kabuki, we will provide a “crash course” lecture by a specialist this month. Don’t miss these opportunities to enjoy this great form of Japanese tradition in a comfy seat 5000 miles from its birthplace.
This monthly e-newsletter will be celebrating its 100th issue next month. To commemorate this occasion, we have launched the “Japan Found Me” campaign. If you have participated in our events in the past, whether its in LA, Seattle, or in Japan, please send us your memorable pictures and we will put them on our web site. It will be a great way to look back and see how the Japan Foundation found you and vice versa.
Once again, thank you for your continued interest in Japan and our activities. May 2016 bring so much fun and peace to you and your family!
Hideki Hara, Director
For our 100th issue of Breeze, we would like our subscribers who have experienced Japan through our events and programs to submit a picture so we can include it in our online newsletter. Whether you have been to one of our movie screenings, learned Japanese in our classes, experienced one of our cultural events, received one of our grants or even gone to study in Japan through one of our training programs, we want to share your experience with all our readers. Everyone who submits a picture will receive a small gift from us!
Starring acclaimed actor Kazuki Kitamura as Kyutaro Madarame, a masterless Samurai, the madcap NEKO SAMURAI wonders aloud: “what if we mashed up two of Japan’s most beloved cultural icons, the samurai and the cat?” The result: one of the most delightfully cute comedies to come from Japan in some time.
A dog-loving clan hires Madarame, penniless and out of work; his task is to assassinate the prized white cat of a rival, cat-loving clan (the two clans have been fiercely battling for centuries, we learn). But when Madarame melts at the sight of the cat, failing at his duty and kidnapping the feline, both clans seek to exact revenge—on the samurai himself, and the imminent showdown will test the newly-inaugurated “cat person.”
Professor Satoko Shimazaki, a kabuki specialist who teaches at the University of Southern California, will trace kabuki's roots back to the seventeenth century and give a user-friendly introduction to its aesthetics and special pleasures.
We are proud to announce a special group exhibition to showcase the beautiful artworks of Kaoru Mansour, Shingo Francis, and Devon Tsuno in our auditorium. This exhibition is curated by Los Angeles based artist Kio Griffith. Please join us for the opening night of the exhibition to meet these remarkable artists.
Starring popular comedienne Miyuki Oshima (best known for her impersonations of crotchety old men) as Tatsuo Fukuda (alias Fuku-Chan), a well-meaning, knowledgeable, yet shy maintenance man at an average apartment building, Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats offers a spry look at modern Tokyo.
Populated with eccentrics and oddballs, the building—and, of course, its tenants—seems in constant need of upkeep, which Fuku-Chan does with compassion, selflessness, and humor, although he is not exactly confident, especially with women. When Chiho (Asami Mizukawa)—an emerging photographer and former classmate of Fuku-Chan—reenters his life, it dredges up old wounds and reappraisal.
Treat yourself to some Japanese-style rest and relaxation at the JFLA Library. A trained specialist will provide free 3-5 minute shiatsu massage sessions, and while you wait, you can browse our many books, magazines, CDs and DVDs as calming Japanese music selected by our Director Hideki Hara plays in the background, providing a peaceful atmosphere for you to unwind and recharge. And relax (pun intended), you will not be made to suffer through a new-age music playlist. Gain peace of mind and body, and let shiatsu take away the pressures of everyday life.
Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today’s greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in theatres around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and six-channel sound.
Little Tokyo / Aratani Theatre
Saturday, February 6 @7:30pm
“Lion Dance (Kagamijishi)”
Westwood / Hammer Museum
Thursday, February 11 @7:30pm
“The Haunted Sword (Kagotsurube)”
Torrance / AMC Rolling Hills 20
Saturday, February 13 @7:30pm
“Togitatsu no Utare: Noda Version”
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.
Winter is here, and we are still accepting applications for our popular Japanese courses which will begin on January 13. Register by Friday, January 8 to qualify for our 10% early bird discount. Click below to see why our students are learning Japanese, how fun it is, and their favorite Japanese words.
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.
Hello Japanese language teachers! It is my pleasure to tell you about a FREE webinar course held by LangCred.org, and supported by the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles. The course is designed specifically for Japanese teachers who are interested in pursuing a Japanese language teaching credential in the United States, and it will demonstrate concrete steps to get started.
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.