Your Japan #60 - April

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An Online Newsletter Showcasing Our Programs for the Month of April, 2024!

The new 2024 Fiscal Year starts off with the continuation of our art exhibition Tatsu: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art, which will run through Wednesday, April 27th. We have organized a few events relating to the exhibit and the last one will be Meditation With Art later this month.

There will also be the online event this month Hakko: The Wonders of Japanese Fermented Foods in three weeks followed by the in person lecture and workshop at Japan House, Los Angeles, covering The World of Benshi on Thursday, April 18th.

For Japanese language education, we will be starting spring term of our Japanese language classes this month and the last of our salary assistant grant is due this month as well. If you haven't subscribed to our Libby digital library system, make sure you do so and check out Japan related books!

These are our events in the first month of the new year, so we hope you will join us to experience Japanese culture from Los Angeles!

TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art
Through April 27, 2024
Mon-Sat 12:00pm-6:00pm
Closed on Sundays

The year 2024 is the Year of the Dragon in the East Asian zodiac. Japan Foundation Los Angeles will celebrate this year with the exhibition TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art. Featuring art works from three local collections and curated by Meher McArthur, the exhibition celebrates the dragon as a beloved motif in a wide range of Japanese art, from paintings and prints to ceramics, metalwork, and textiles.

Learn More >


Act today as only a few seats left.

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-This Event Is Full!

Our popular program is coming back! Join us in voicing your favorite anime in Japanese! Natsu Shinomiya, a professional voice actor from Japan, will be challenging us to voice popular Japanese anime such as "My Neighbor Totoro".

We'll learn how professional voice actors in Japan train and learn about the process of becoming one with stories from Natsu's personal journey. She'll also introduce her common vocal warmups, as well as tips and tricks used in the industry before we tackle the ultimate challenge: voicing short scenes together!

Learn in a fun and casual setting with Bill-sensei, from the Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA), who will be moderating. This workshop is designed for beginners of Japanese, but all experience levels (including none) are welcome. This virtual event is open to everyone 18 years and older, on a first-come, first-serve basis, until we reach capacity.

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TUESDAY, April 16
7:00-7:25PM, 7:30-7:55PM (PT)
-Admission Free, RSVP REQUIRED

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 TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art, relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing bowl lead you into a meditative state.  

There is no admission fee, but a reservation is required. We will provide a chair and small cushion for you to sit on, but you are welcome to bring your own cushion or yoga mat.

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-Admission Free, RSVP REQUIRED

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles presents a lecture & demonstration on “The World of the Benshi,” co-presented with Yanai Initiative in conjunction with The Art of the Benshi world tour.

We invite three scholars, Dr. Kotaro Shibata, Dr. Makiko Kamiya, and Dr. Fumito Shirai to talk about world of benshi – or “movie orators” – and the history & charm of Japanese silent films. Also, a leading benshi from the world tour, Mr. Ichiro Kataoka will give us short demonstration and answer your questions about art of the benshi. This is a rare opportunity to experience the mesmerizing artistry of Japan’s celebrated benshi and learns about history and world of the benshi.

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-Admission Free, RSVP REQUIRED

Have you heard of the term "Hakko"? It means fermentation in Japanese. Japan boasts a rich variety of fermented foods, including natto, miso, sake, vinegar, and soy sauce. These traditional foods and ingredients are deeply rooted in Japanese people’s life and culture. Today, fermented foods are increasingly receiving attention, and the word “hakko” is spreading around the world.

In this online lecture, “Hakko designer” Hiraku Ogura will delve into Japanese fermented foods, discussing their history, benefits, and global trends. He will also showcase his work activities such as publications, hakko animations and songs, as well as a travel program called “fermentourism”. We intive you to explore the world of fermented foods and be amazed by its depth and possibilities!

Read More >


There are a variety of settings in which Japanese language for children with Japanese backgrounds (Japanese Heritage Learners) is taught and learned in the United States. These children may live in areas with little access to Japanese-language classes, much less ones with curricula tailored to their unique experiences and skillsets.

To help serve their needs, JFLA has launched, an online platform for parents and teachers of Japanese heritage language learners. 

Keisho Nihongo pools from the knowledge of The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and the Keisho Nihongo Special Advisory Committee, consisting of three experts in the field of Japanese heritage language education. The site includes a nationwide map of heritage language programs, in addition to a curated list of educational materials and resources for teachers and guardians. There is also a community forum and a page highlighting exemplary heritage language programs.

Keisho Nihongo is available in both English and Japanese, so please visit today! 

General Invitation to Join JF USA Digital Library

We recently renewed and added many new books in coordination with our New York and Toronto offices for our patrons in the US and Canada. There have also been an uptick in the number of applicants as well, which shows that this is a very popular service.

We have also updated the application survey and the confirmation emails are still going out 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.

Click Here to Complete the Signup Survey

2023-2024 Japanese Language Grants Now Available!

Grant for Nationwide/Statewide/Region-wide Events for Learners
Japanese Language Learners Event Grant
(Examples: Speech Contest, Quiz Contest, Japan-themed Festival for Learners, etc.)
Deadlines: September 1, 2024
More info:

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:

Grants for Individual Japanese Language Programs
Salary Assistance Grant for Japanese-Language Courses
Deadline: April 10, 2024
More info:

Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant
Deadlines: September 15, 2024
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 123

We had a great time last month attending the CLTA conference in Monterey last month and meeting all the Japanese teacher who visited our booth to pickup our buttons and other giveaways. Thank you to all the teachers who attended as well as the many teachers who presented at the conference.

This month, we also want to welcome back one of our participants in our Short-Term Japanese Language Program for Specialists in a Cultural Field in Kansai, Yixue Yang from the University of California San Diego. You can read about her experiences here. Applications for the 2024/25 program closed back in December and the next round of applications will start in October.

We want to also remind those who are organizing Japanese speech contests that we have a special goody bag you can request to give away as awards. The advocacy goods form has a new section for this, and we ask that you submit a separate application if you are hosting a regional speech contest. You can still order give away goods including posters from the following link.

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