Your Japan #62 - June

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

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 20th Annual All-USA High School Japanese Speech Contest. We heard some fascinating topics ranging from their own experiences in Japan to media, city planning and gender. Thank you to the Aurora Foundation for organizing this event and all the hard-working volunteers who helped put everything together.

We also had two in person events last month including Japanese conversation cafe, Teatime, at Santa Monico College as well as our collaboration with LA Galaxy in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Thank you all for coming out and supporting our events.

For June, we are excited to announce our online Japan Film Festival that will run for most of the month. This is a world-wide event with 21 feature films and 2 drama series that you can watch from home. Make sure to visit our website to view the list of films and also create an account so you can login to watch the movies.

Finally, we will be at Tarfest this month so make sure to visit our booth to experience Japanese culture in Los Angeles!

June 4 at 11PM - July 2 at 11PM (EDT)

Hello and welcome to our third Japanese Film Festival Online, where you can enjoy watching Japanese movies from the comfort of your own home!

We invite you to explore the various facets of Japanese culture through different genres of movies ranging from documentaries, fiction, animation, and films inspired by novels.

This year we are excited to present 21 intriguing feature films as well as 2 popular TV drama series.

The Festival will be held from June 04 11:00pm - July 2 11:00pm, 2024 (EDT). Please stay tuned for updates regarding film-related programming here on this page.

After creating your free account from this JFF ONLINE 2024 website, just select the film and TV drama you’d like to watch from the list below and enjoy your FREE movie!

Learn More >

Saturday, June 15th 2-8PM
@Pan Pacific Park

We are excited to announce our participation in Tarfest once again this year! Join us at our booth for a variety of family-friendly cultural activities. Experience the art of Japanese calligraphy with temporary tattoos of your name or favorite phrases. Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo with our life-sized samurai armor display and grab some of our unique giveaways.

Be sure to drop by our booth, see you at Tarfest!

Read More >

2024 FALL TERM Schedule Coming Soon!

We are not just a class. WE ARE COMMUNITY!

Read More >


Japanese Art


To the Japanese, yokai are mysterious phenomena and weird creatures that have inhabited the country’s landscape, homes, folklore and imagination for many centuries. They can be evil or benign spirits, ranging from shape-shifting animals like foxes and badgers, who adopt human form to trick, bewitch or reward humans, to the vengeful ghosts of warriors killed in battle or women wronged by their husbands.


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. CLICK HERE! 


Japan’s dolls are famous throughout the world as elegant works of art that are more for display than play. Hina dolls, in particular, wear kimono and elaborate hairstyles, and for several centuries have been central in Hina Matsuri, a traditional festival celebrating girls. Others, such as turned-wood Kokeshi, finely sculpted Saga dolls, papier mache Hariko dolls, and folded paper Chiyogami dolls have been crafted and treasured in different regions of Japan for many generations.


The term “yakishime” refers to the firing of unglazed clay vessels at a high temperature so that the clay vitrifies, creating water-proof and durable stoneware ceramics. With no colorful glaze or painted designs, this ceramic type may seem simple or “primitive,” but Japan’s yakishime wares are some of the country’s most admired and valuable ceramics. CLICK HERE!


For lovers of Japan’s various artistic traditions, there are many different museums all over Japan. Some are public institutions, while others house the collections of private collectors. Many are works of art in their own right, built by some of the world’s foremost architects.

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:

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 125

The Aurora Foundation held their All-USA High School Japanese Speech Contest on May 26th here at JFLA and we were honored to have everyone here. The ten contestants came all the way from Alaska to Texas and their topics were fascinating, ranging from their own experiences in Japan to media, city planning and gender. Special guest, actress Ms. Safiya Quinley, shared thoughts on her career and everyday life in Japan. It was a very successful event, and we want to congratulate everyone on a job well done!

This is also the last month of school for most school in the country and we hope you all had a strong end to the school year. We wish the teachers a well-deserved summer break and to be ready to start it all again in about two months.

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