The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter

October, 2017: Breeze Issue #120

Greeting From The Director


As we pass the autumn equinox, it is time to reap the harvest of the seeds we planted earlier this year in our temporary office. Our new 'mindfulness' series has been unfolding very well attracting a lot of people to our lectures and workshops that showcase the spiritual aspects of Japanese culture. A new series of documentary film screenings will put the spotlight on two topics that are usually avoided at the Japanese dinner table, death and elections. Please stay tuned as we have more seeds coming to fruition here at JFLA.

Autumn is also the season to plant seeds for the following year. The Foundation's Program Guidelines for the 2018/2019 grants are now available! Please take a look and contact us if you have any good project ideas or questions about our programs.

Last but not the least; I would like to call to attention our Speak Japan Blog and the classroom ideas featured for Japanese language teachers nationwide. If you want to organize a classroom activity focused on Japanese food this autumn, why not join the " Change the World with Onigiri" campaign, an annual initiative organized by the Japanese non-profit Table For Two. Joining is easy ­- just upload a picture of your students making or eating (or even posing as) onigiri (rice-ball) and the supporting corporations will donate five school meals to those in need. It will make a fun and educational class activity so please give it a try and let us know how it went!
Hideki Hara, Director

Meditation with Japanese Singing Lin Bowl
Wednesday, October 4 (JFLA Auditorium)
12:30pm & 1:00pm (20min sessions)
Free Admission

Mid-week fatigue is a familiar foe to many of us.  Why not maximize your relaxation and join us for a Sound Bath at Lunchtime!
The Singing Lin Bowl harmoniously combines the healing qualities of the Tibetan singing bowl and its Japanese counterpart, the Lin bowl. Relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing-Lin bowl lead you into a meditative state.

There is no charge and no reservation required. All are welcome to come, sit, listen, and refresh!

Read More

JFLA Lecture Series
Explore the Home of Japanese Mythology: Shimane
Thursday, October 5, 7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
Free Admission, RSVP required

Shimane, a prefecture located in the northwest of Honshu, is known as the "Province of the Gods" and is rich in Shinto-based Japanese mythology and folklore. In Shimane, there are many landmarks and sites from Japanese mythology and folklore such as the "the Underworld" (Yomotsu Hirasaka), the "Birthplace of Sake", and many others including Izumo Taisha where all deities in Japan gather once a year in Kami-ari-zuki.  In this lecture, Shinto priest Izumi Hasegawa will show us Shimane's charm and its relation to mythology and the Japanese traditions of Shinto.  She will also provide us with useful information for travel in Shimane.

Special Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art
Session 2: Buddhas
in Collaboration with LACMA
Tuesday, October 10, 7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
Free Admission, RSVP required

The second lecture will talk about Buddhas.  For many, saying the name "Buddha" evokes the image of a serene ascetic or of a portly, laughing soul. However, the Buddhist pantheon is occupied by many different figures associated with the title 'buddha'; the most prominent being Shakamuni, the historical Buddha; Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise; and Yakushi, the Medicine Buddha.

Japanese Cinema Screening
Best Animated Feature Award (2017 Fantasia Film Festival)
Napping Princess  (ひるね姫〜知らないワタシの物語〜)   
(110mins, 2017)
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama
Wednesday, October 11, 7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
Free Admission, No RSVP Required

From visionary director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East) comes a sci-fi fantasy that effortlessly weaves together the rapidly evolving technology of today's world with the fantastic imagination of the next generation. With an ambitious mix of multilayered action, whimsical characters and inventive machines, Napping Princess is a genre- and universe-blending film that shows that following your dreams is sometimes the best way to discover your past.

Dealing with Life and Death the Japanese Way
Mini Lecture & Documentary Film Screening
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
Free Admission,
RSVP Required

Part I: Lecture (30mins)
"Dealing with Life and Death the Japanese Way" by Duncan Ryuken Williams (USC)
Part II: Documentary Film Screening (90mins)
Death of a Japanese Salesman ( エンディングノート ) (90mins, 2011)
Directed by Mami Sunada
Produced by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Part III: Q&A Session with Director Mami Sunada (30mins)        
Director Sunada will answer your question (Televised live from Japan)

Bow, Even to An Electric Pole
Campaign (選挙)    (120mins, 2007)
Directed by Kazuhiro Soda
Wednesday, October 25 @7PM (JFLA Auditorium)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Free Admission, NO RSVP Required

A documentary that closely follows the Kawasaki city assembly by-election in 2005.
Yamauchi Kazuhiko, a local stamp and coin merchant, ends up standing in the city assembly election as the official candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP and the Democratic Party are in a head-to-head competition in Kawasaki City. The LDP will no longer be the ruling party of the city assembly should they lose this seat. The Party pumps in LDP congressmen who have been elected from the area as well as experienced election staff in the campaign to ensure Yamauchi is elected. Heavyweight politicians including the then Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro rush to the campaign to lend their support, and the campaign is quickly blown up to be a large-scale organizational battle. Yamauchi, in the meantime, launches a "Bow, even to an electric pole" campaign. He visits fetes at shrines, nursery's sports days, and even stations and bus stops to shake hands with the electorate. Yamauchi's struggle sheds light on the backstage of elections.
This is a directorial debut of Soda Kazuhiro, that has been entered into a number of film festivals, including the official invitation from the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007.

Halloween Tea Time
Let's chat in Japanese in your costume!
Monday, October 30 @7PM
FREE ADMISSION - Register Now!

Zombies, witches, and Sadakos of night! Put your Halloween costume on and join our Halloween themed conversation café, Tea Time! You will enjoy Japanese snacks and tea while you chat with native Japanese speakers. All levels welcome! Japanese language experience is not necessary-this event is open to everyone, ages 18 and up!

Day 1: Tuesday, October 31 @7pm
Yakuza de Halloween Movie Screening
"Battles Without Honor and Humanity" (99mins, 1973)
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Free Admission, No RSVP Required

Presenting real world of classic Yakuza. Please come with your Gang or Mafia costume.

Day 2: Wednesday, November 1 @7pm
JFLA Lecture Series
"Yakuza, Organized Crime Syndicates: Myth and Reality"
Lecturer: Silke Higgins (San Jose State University)
Free Admission, RSVP Required


Day 3: Thursday, November 2 @7pm
Present Yakuza Movie Screening
"Outrage" (109mins, 2010)
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Free Admission, No RSVP Required

Showing cruel & masculine aspects of Yakuza in present.

FY2018-19 Program Guidelines Available NOW!
Deadlines: Multiple for Arts and Culture / December 1st for Japanese Language

For information on Arts and Culture Programs, please visit our website with additional information on the JF world-wide website!

For information on Japanese Language Programs, please visit:
There are multiple programs including long-term, short-term, training program on a specific theme, project-based training program and graduate program (Master's Course) for teachers and 2-month and 6-month courses for the specialist program. Your application must ARRIVE at JFLA on or before December 1, 2017 for Japanese Language Programs. Please also notify us of your intent to apply in advance.

Read More

AP Japanese Language and Culture
Professional Development Workshop Stipend
Deadline: Friday, October 6, 2017

The College Board's Advanced Placement Program is offering financial assistance to participate
in a full day workshop for AP Japanese Language and Culture held in conjunction with the
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention in
Nashville, TN. This financial assistance is possible through a generous grant from the Japan
Foundation, Los Angeles. The AP Japanese workshop is a pre-conference workshop to be held on Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Financial assistance of an amount up
to $410.00 will be awarded to cover fees for (1) the AP Japanese workshop ($165) and (2)
registration for the ACTFL convention November 17 - 19, 2017, at the Advance Member rate
($245). To attend the workshop, participants must register for and attend the convention.

Download Application

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.

2018-2020 J-LEAP: Now Accepting Applications
Deadline: January 10, 2018

Are you interested in inviting a Japanese Assistant Teacher (AT) to your K-12 classroom for up to two consecutive school years? Do you want to give your students an opportunity to learn and hear Japanese from a native speaker or an additional native speakers for some variation? If so, make sure you apply for J-LEAP, which was started in 2011 with the help of the Laurasian Institute (TLI).

Japanese Language Education Update #47:
AATJ/JFLA Leadership Training Workshop in San Antonio
By Derek Chin, Japanese Language Program / Advocacy Coordinator

On September 8-10, together with AATJ, JFLA held our leadership training workshop in San Antonio, Texas. This workshop brought in teachers from different areas such as Texas, Michigan, and Florida. Our aim was to support them as we all continue to promote Japanese language and culture education by providing information about current advocacy initiatives and core practices to maximize students' performance.
On the first day of the workshop on Friday, September 8, we invited Yoshihisa Nagatani, President of Toyota Motor manufacturing, Texas, Inc. to give a presentation on language education and global competence: "Global Competence: Business and Japanese Language Education." In this insightful talk, he emphasized that more than mere Japanese language acquisition, it is the greater context of learning the culture through that language that really develops one's abilities. That is, through learning Japanese, for example, one learns about "Japan," and through that, one learns to navigate between cultures.   In effect, language education is holistic. And going further, one can learn to develop one's soft skills and qualities highly valued in Japanese companies - the drive to pursue challenges, teamwork, the attitude of trying one's best, etc. Ultimately, one of the hopes of Japanese language education is that students can take aspects of both Japanese and American culture to build a bridge to those respective countries' future.
In our sessions on Saturday, we shared more resources among participants of the workshop. Among these sessions, Erin Whelchel from ACTFL presented about the Lead with Languages initiative, a nationwide campaign that combines advocacy with awareness in order to promote language learning in the US. This campaign is very important in that it engages people in the community. Be sure to check them out at this link and see how you, too, can advocate for Japanese and world language education in the US!
Finally, our workshop ended with leadership training participants sharing their long term and short term plans regarding how they will continue to build up and strengthen their Japanese programs in their respective areas. From this we all received excellent ideas to promote different programs in the US.
We would like to thank all participants and speakers for their time and thoughtful participation to make this workshop a success!

2017-2018 J-LEAP Reports  

For the 2017-2018 school year, we invited eight native assistant teachers (AT) to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the seventh year of this program where schools around the country are given the opportunity to host an AT for up to two years with the goal of strengthening their Japanese language program. This month, we will feature the reports from the following ATs detailing their experiences at American schools.