The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter

August, 2017: Breeze Issue #118

Greeting From The Director

Here we are­­ -again! JFLA will be moving back to our original location on the ground floor this month after two months of renovation work. To celebrate our reopening, we will pack the entire last week of August with lots of fun and inspirational events. Enjoy Japanese film, travel tips, language lessons, art, music, fashion and food to your heart's content in our upgraded theater and newly added foyer space. We will end the week on a high note with 'Dance Dance L'Asia', our first-ever hip-hop dance event to highlight the Asian cultural diversity (and unity!) of Los Angeles. This event is co-hosted by renowned Japanese dance group, Hilty&Bosch, and will feature a group of talented Asian-American dancers in LA. Let's step in cultural diversity through dance!

Although there were no physical modifications to our classroom, JFLA's signature Nihongo courses will also have a fresh start this fall as they will be geared more towards entry-level learners who want to get a knack of the language in casual and interactive approaches. Please register now to qualify for the early-bird discount!

For those of you who are out of town, we will reach out to you online! Our Speak Japan Blog is now in full swing providing you with the latest stories about Japanese culture. These stories will serve not only as good discussion points for the classrooms, but also as food for thought for your self-development or even team-building in the workplace.

Thank you again for staying connected with us while we were undergoing our transformation. Please buckle your seat belts as we blast off on our fun cultural ride!
Hideki Hara, Director

Japan Week on the Miracle Mile & Beyond
August 28 >> September 2
Location Varies by Event

As our office renovation nears completion, we are gearing up to reopen our office on the Miracle Mile with a week full of events. Make sure to mark your calendars for our week-long celebration of Japanese language and culture at our new office. Below is a list of events by date!

JF Nihongo Tea Time
Let's Chat in Japanese!

August 28 [Mon] 7-9pm (JFLA Auditorium)

Our casual conversation café, Tea Time is back!
At this popular event, you'll enjoy conversation with native Japanese speakers while having Japanese tea & snacks! All levels are welcome!  Bring your friends with you!  Japanese language experience is not necessary-this event is open to everyone, ages 18 and up!  If you are interested in our JF Nihongo language courses, this is a good opportunity to see our classroom and to meet our staff. Admission is free, but RSVP is required.

Japanese for Travel
August 29 [Tue] 7-9pm (JFLA Auditorium)

Do you have plans to go to Japan in the near future?  If so, prepare for your trip with us!
You will learn helpful travel tips from a tourism specialist from JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization), and essential Japanese phrases from our JF Nihongo instructors. 
We will demonstrate Japanese mannerisms too, so you won't be just a "stranger" in Japan.  This workshop is suitable for beginners and those who have no experience at all. Admission is free, but RSVP is required.

Studio Ghibli's Touching Animated Ode to the Cycle of Life
The Red Turtle (80mins, 2016)
Directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit
August 30 [Wed] 7-9pm (JFLA Auditorium)
*No dialogue (English version)

For Studio Ghibli's first international co-production, they invited Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit to create his first feature-length film. The result, after eight years of work, is a breathtaking, original fable about a shipwrecked man's struggle to escape a deserted island, and the unexpected course his life takes when he's prevented from leaving by the titular sea creature.
The film dispenses with spoken dialogue, instead allowing Dudok de Wit's vivid, meticulously rendered visuals to guide us through a lush natural landscape that contains both unimaginable hardships and simple, potent truths about family, aging and life.
(Mike Dougherty)

"Matsuri" The Festival
August 31 [Thu] 5-9pm (JFLA Auditorium)

Join us for an evening of celebration at our newly renovated office with live music, food & drinks, Kimono cosplay and photo booth. We will be inviting guitarist Toshi Yanagi of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for a special guest performance. Make sure to mark your calendar for this special event on the Miracle Mile.

Passage to the Future
Art from a New Generation in Japan

August 11 >> September 2
[August 11 > opening reception 6pm]
Artist talk with Miyuki Yokomizo: Sep 1 [Fri] 7pm
Arena 1 Gallery (3026 Airport Ave)

This exhibition introduces a sampling of Japanese art from the 2000s by younger artists who are recently receiving attention for their work. With a focus on elaborate attempts to create art, the exhibition features paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video works by eleven artists including Atsushi Fukui, Satoshi Hirose and Maywa Denki.

Step in Cultural Diversity Through Dance
September 2 [Sat] 4-6pm (Musicians Institute, Hollywood)

We will be inviting dancers from all over Asia to share their cultures through dance at this special event. Dancers include Hilty & Bosch, Ray Basa, Wizstars, Kabamodern, Culture Shock L.A., and Texas. This event will wrap up Japan Week to celebrate the reopening of JFLA.

JF Nihongo Fall 2017
Sep. 9 - Nov. 9
Register Now!

Put your roots down in Nihongo and grow! Beginning this fall, JFLA will pour its energy into providing entry-level Japanese classes that will help learners develop a strong foundation in the language. People interested in learning Japanese at JFLA will have three Japanese-language courses. In each class, students will learn concepts and communication skills which are essential to having a well-rounded understanding of everyday Japanese! Register by August 25 and get a 10% early bird discount!

Read More

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)

Performing Arts Japan 2018-2019
Call for Applications
Deadline: October 31, 2017

The Japan Foundation is now accepting project proposals for Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) touring and collaboratrion grants for the 2018 - 2019 fiscal year. Application deadline is  5:00 p.m. EST, October 31, 2017.

Japanese Language Education Update #44:
Summer Seminar for Language Educators Report
By Derek Chin, Japanese Language Program / Advocacy Coordinator

The 28th Annual Summer Seminar for Language Educators at the University of California, Santa Barbara, co-sponsored by CLTA and CWLP, was recently held in late July, and boy was it exciting!
Running from July 14th to the 19th, participants from around California joined strands such as "STARTALK: Leadership Development Institute" and "Using Core Practices to Build Global Competence in Japanese" in order to improve their teaching and engagement skills. These passionate language educators shared ideas and supported each other for improving world language education.
One of the major themes that was highlighted through this program was the development of global competency as delineated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Asia Society. Global competency is the ability to understand and act on issues of global significance. Individuals who are globally competent have the ability to look at multiple perspectives and work through differences as well as practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills ( World Savvy). The California International Studies Project adopts four "domains" in which globally competent students operate: 1. Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, 2. Recognize perspectives, others' and their own, 3. Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, and 4. Take action to improve conditions. Essentially, global competency is about being engaged and connected with the world around us and its complexities. Be sure to check the links provided here for further information and more resources on helping your student become more globally competent!
The Japanese strand was led by Yoshiko Saito-Abbott-sensei and Yo Azama-sensei, where they helped develop and strengthen teachers' core practices in building global competence. Teachers developed lessons that encouraged critical thinking and empathy among their students, then presented them to each other to get feedback to improve their teaching and resources.
A huge job well done to all participants and organizers of the seminar! We look forward to seeing you again next time!