The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter

July, 2017: Breeze Issue #117 

Greeting From The Director

What is the most important aspect of teaching a foreign language? There could possibly be a thousand answers for this question. If I have to choose only one, however, I would say 'inspiration'. Anyone who has ever tried to learn a foreign language can attest to how mundane of a process it can be sometimes. Many of us have even given up on it all together (including me with French) because of endless pronunciation drills or memorizing tedious vocabulary lists.

Learning a language need not be, and should not be, ascetic practices, because its ultimate goal is to broaden your cognitive horizon and become a more flexible and creative person. Just like a baby acquiring a language, the process of language learning itself can be, and should be filled with enjoyment and inspiration. You will not master a foreign language and then become a creative person. Mastering a language in and of itself is a creative process.

That is why we will start ' Speak Japan Blog' this month. It will be filled with stories that inspire imagination, wonder, and creativity. These stories about Japanese language, society and culture will be engaging and not-fake, ready to be used as discussion points in class, support materials for your advocacy efforts on Japanese language education, or just as fun things to read. It is our sincere hope that through these blog posts, as well as all the other support we provide, you will feel inspired as a baby learning a new language.
Hideki Hara, Director

Lecture & Demonstration
Strong and Versatile: Japanese Handmade Paper and Paper Thread

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Craft and Folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Boulevard)
Free to attend RSVP Required (11:30am / 3:00pm)

Can paper be turned into wearable clothing? Absolutely. In Japan, thread made from handmade paper has been used for weaving cloth since at least the 17th century. The cloth is called shifu (shi means paper and fu means cloth in Japanese) and traditionally it has been employed in a variety of uses, from making kimono for the elite, to work clothes for farmers. Hiroko Karuno, an expert spinner, natural dyer and weaver presents a slide lecture on the process of making Japanese handmade paper. Afterwards, she will demonstrate the intricate method of producing paper thread from a sheet of handmade paper and how to prepare it for weaving.

Send Us Your Photos

Here at the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles, we love to create opportunities to bring people together, whether it's through our cultural events or one of our classes. The best part of what we do is getting the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you. We love to put a smile on your face; so much so that we would like to relive the memories and share them with others.
This year, we've decided to record these memories as they happen, and we need your help to do it. If you have any photos of yourself or your loved ones having a good time at a JFLA event, then please share the photos with us. We'll take the photos you send and compile them into a collage that we'll share with everyone at the end of the year. So please feel free to share your smiling faces with us and send in a photo or two by replying to this email.

2017 Japanese Language Grants Are Still Available!

The following Fiscal Year 2017-18 grant programs are still available to support Japanese-Language Education in the United States.
  1. Learners Event Grant previously known as "Speech Contest Grant" (Deadline: 9/1/2017)
  2. Teaching Material Purchase Grant (Deadlines: 9/15/2017)
  3. Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date)

Japanese Language Education Update #44: Call for Advocacy Stories

We are collecting Japanese education advocacy stories from you! These stories will be put up on our upcoming advocacy blog and newsletter alongside other useful resources in order to help inspire current and future Japanese language teachers.
Do you have a success story from your classroom or Japanese language program that you would like to share? What activity did you run that engaged your students and/or members of the community? How were you able to connect your students with what they were learning to greater society? How were you able to encourage Japanese learning in your school?
Through these stories and many more, you will be able to help many other teachers to find new inspiration and ideas. Your stories are important to further invigorate Japanese language education in the US, so please follow the link below to send yours to us! (Note: we will always be collecting these stories, so just keep them coming!)

You can view some examples of our stories on our website:
Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming SpeakJapan newsletter and blog! You can sign up for our newsletter now through our main website at, clicking the Signup for Our Mailing List button, and selecting "6. Japanese Advocacy Newsletter".
You can also go here to sign up:

We look forward to reading your stories!

New JFLA Website

While we are waiting for the completion of our office renovation, we went ahead and updated our website to reflect the physical changes in our office. This new design will help our visitors find information on our upcoming events and find us on all our social media platforms. We hope you like the new updated look and look forward to seeing you during our re-opening week at our newly renovated office.