Your Japan #56 - December

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An Online Newsletter Showcasing Our Programs for the Month of December, 2023!

December is finally here and we are now in the midst of the holiday season with the passing of Thanksgiving and Christmas & New Year (Shogatsu) just around the corner.

This is the last month to view our current exhibition so make sure to drop by before it is gone for good. Make sure to attend our wellness event in conjunction with the exhibition. There will also be one online lecture per month going forward until the end of the fiscal year in March. The topic this month will be Netsuke or Japanese miniature sculptures.

On the Japanese language front, we will begin registration this month for Winter Term of our Japanese languages courses so make sure to check our website starting on the 7th for registration information. Classes will start in January. We also have two new J-LEAP participants reporting on their activities during their first few months in the U.S. so make sure to read about their experiences.

We have many events for the coming month so we hope you will join us for one of our events either at our office, at our partner organizations or online!

Through December 16th, 2023
Hours: Mon-Sat 12:00PM–6:00PM
Closed: Sundays
Venue: JFLA
-Admission Free

In commemorating the 40th anniversary of its operation, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles proudly presents the art exhibition titled Expression of Life: The World of Self-Taught Artists with Disabilities. This exhibition features over 35 vibrant artworks from Katayama Studio's collection. It is one of the earliest art studios in Japan dedicated to supporting self-expression and art activities for individuals with disabilities. The studio has been doing so for two decades. 

Featuring 12 artists' work, ranging from calligraphy to oil painting, we hope these free-flowing and lively art pieces will convey diverse perspectives on creativity and life.

Read More >

7:00-7:25PM, 7:30-7:55PM (PT)

Refresh and recharge with a sound bath! The singing bowl used for this program harmoniously combines the healing qualities of both the Tibetan singing bowl and the Japanese traditional singing bowl. Choose a space near your favorite artwork in the exhibition Expression of Life: The World of Self-Taught Artists with Disabilities, relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing bowl lead you into a meditative state. 

Learn More >

Registration starts on Dec 7th!

Let’s learn Japanese together.
We are not just a class. WE ARE COMMUNITY!

Learn More >

Tuesday, December 12th @7PM (PT)
-Admission Free, RSVP REQUIRED

Netsuke are small toggles that are attached to the end of the cords used to hang various accessories – like tobacco pouches, writing sets and medicine containers – from the kimono sash, or obi. The cord is passed underneath the obi and the netsuke hangs over the top of the sash, securing the accessory in place. Netsuke are made of a variety of materials and are often masterpieces of sculpture, often carved into animals, insects, comical human figures and even lucky gods.

In conjunction with Japan Foundation's video series, Doors to the Arts of Japan, Japanese art historian Meher McArthur will introduce these miniature works of art, exploring their evolution in Japanese kimono culture, their production and their popularity with collectors around the world. The short lecture will be followed with a brief Q&A session.

Read More >


Part 1 Deadline: December 1ST, 2023

Interested in a grant opportunity which brings an assistant teacher from Japan to help strengthen and enhance your K-12 Japanese language program? J-LEAP (Japanese-Language Education Assistant Program), co-administered by Laurasian Institution and Japan Foundation, is currently in its eleventh year and is now accepting applications from host schools for the 2024 cycle!

For the next three issues of Your Japan, we will be featuring reports from participants in this year's J-LEAP to tell you about their experiences assistant teaching at American schools. This month, we would like to welcome Yohei Takaba, who is currently at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, CA, and Shiori Kobayashi, who is currently at Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, CA! You can read about their experiences at the link above.

Learn More >

JFLA Unveils New Resources and Programs Designed to Support Japanese as a Heritage Language (JHL) Education in the U.S.

We are pleased to announce the following programs designed to support individuals involved with Japanese as a Heritage Language (JHL) education across the United States: 

Book Donation: With this initiative, JFLA will donate up to $1,000 per applicant of educational materials and children's books in support of JHL education. Guidelines for donation, application forms, as well as a list of previously requested books/materials can be found on the Keisho Nihongo website.

Event Support Project: Aimed at promoting JHL education, this project will provide up to $1,000 in financial support for Japanese language-related events such as benkyo-kai, workshops, presentations, seasonal events, speech contests, etc. 

Following a careful review of the program guidelines, please submit your school’s application(s) for the Book Donation Project/Event Support Project no later than February 29, 2024, to 

Project Grant: The Project Grant offers up to $5,000 in financial support for various educator-focused activities related to JHL education, including workshops and conferences, seminars, as well as original projects such as curriculum development, research, and more. Further details and application procedures may be found on our website:

For further details, including program guidelines and application instructions, please visit the Keisho Nihongo website.

For inquiries related to any of the programs mentioned above, please contact We encourage potential applicants to visit JFLA’s website and review the program guidelines thoroughly before submitting their applications. 

General Invitation to Join JF USA Digital Library 

Our digital library system in coordination with our New York and Toronto office is still going strong and we recently added more volume to popular books so there is less of a wait time. We have also been incrementally adding new books as well so make sure to signup for an account below and also let your friends know about this free service.

Starting in 2023, we will be sending out updates once a week on Wednesdays by 6:30PM pacific time. If you register and do not receive a welcome email from us within a Wednesday of registering, please contact us so we can help you out. We hope you will enjoy this service from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles!

Click Here to Complete the Signup Survey (If the link doesn't work check back later!)

2023-2024 Japanese Language Grants Now Available!

Grant for Nationwide/Statewide/Region-wide Projects for Teachers
Japanese-Language Education Project Grant
(Examples: Conferences/Seminars/Workshops for Teachers, Teaching Material Development, Research Projects, etc.)
Deadline: 2 months before the project start date
More info:

Advocacy Support Letter

If your Japanese language program is in danger of being cut due to COVID-19, we will send a support letter to stakeholders (Superintendent, Principal, Dean, etc.).

Please contact us for details.

Japanese Language Education Update 120

This past month we had a great time visiting Chicago and seeing all the Japanese language as well as foreign language teachers from all over the country visit our booth. We had many give away goods and worked with our partners AATJ and the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago to support Japanese language education.

Many Japanese language learners will be taking the JLPT this weekend and we wish them all the best of luck in their journey to mastering Japanese. We will be hosting the test at the Los Angeles test site and look forward to seeing all the test takers!

Speech contest season is coming up and we will have a special goody bag you can request if you are hosting a contest in your region. The website will be updated soon so you can order this new item. You can still order give away goods including posters so if you haven't ordered any from us in the past year, you can do so at the following link. Posters do not count towards your limit so if you are interested in just receiving posters, you can do that as well.

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