The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
January, 2018: Breeze Issue #123
Greeting From The Director

Happy new year to you all!

As we officially welcome the year of Dog, there is a Japanese proverb that goes like " 犬も歩けば棒に当たる(Even a dog, when it walks, will bump into a pole)" which has almost the same meaning with the English one, "The dog that trots about finds a bone." I like this proverb. In fact, this is exactly the way I work; always trying out new things until I come up with some great ideas. In the world of Google and Amazon, we have long forgotten how we used to wander around museums or bookstores to come across something completely new to us. Today we use 'browsers' to find stuff on the web, but what we actually do is narrowing down, not necessarily browsing. In order to really browse for something new, we need to walk---walk like dogs and take chances on meeting with someone or something that is way outside of our frame of reference.
In 2018 JFLA will continue to provide plenty of poles and bones for those of you cultural wanderers to bump into. You have my word on it.

Hideki Hara, Director

Migrating Dreamscapes: Nobuo Anzai
January 11 - February 6, 2018
Opening Reception: Meet the Artist (Thursday, January 11 @5PM)

Nobuo Anzai's paintings are heartfelt memories of countries he calls homes- Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Japan. They are unseparated in his mind and heart through his life's passages as a migrant worker, farmer, chef and artist.

Kanji & Calligraphy Workshop
Saturday, January 13 @10AM

This workshop is suitable for Kanji starter!  You will learn types of Kanji formation, the ways of being read, and the concept of radicals.  You will also learn how to write Kanji with Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) with right posture, right way to bring an ink blush, and right stroke orders.  At the end of the workshop, let's write your favorite Kanji with calligraphy on a washi paper!  The registration will close when it becomes full.

Family Fun Sunday
Sunday, January 21 @11AM/1PM/3PM
The Shoseian Tea House and Friendship Garden
All Programs are FREE and NO Reservation Necessary.

Come and experience easy Japanese craft-making and watch a demonstration of Japanese Noh-performance by a renowned master from Kyoto. Immerse your kids and yourself in Japanese culture for the whole day on Sunday.
  • 11AM  Palm Leaf Craft (all ages)
  • 1PM  Kite-making (all ages)
  • 3PM  Noh Demonstration

Finding Redemption in Friendship.  Winner of Best Animation of the Year in the 26th Japan Movie Critics Awards
A Silent Voice 聲の形   (129mins, 2016)
Wednesday, January 10 @7PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED

A deaf elementary school girl, Shoko Nishimiya, upon transferring, meets a boy named Shoya Ishida in her new class. Shoya, who is not deaf, leads the class in bullying Shoko, because she is deaf. As the bullying continues, the class starts to bully Shoya for bullying Shoko...

Lecture Series: Deities in Japanese Art 5 "Celestial Beings"
In Collaboration with LACMA
Tuesday, January 16 @7PM
Free Admission, RSVP From Our Website

The final class of deities - known collectively as the celestial beings (Ten in Japanese) - primarily serve as guardians and protectors of the Buddhist cosmos. The most prominent are the Four Celestial Guardian Kings who oversee the cardinal directions, the chief of whom came to be worshiped alone as a Buddhist deity; other examples include the Temple Guardians and Twelve Celestial Generals.  In this lecture, we will be introduced to the many kinds of Celestial Beings and their various roles, as well as how they are portrayed artistically.

This will be the fifth and final lecture in this series and will begin with a quick review of what was covered in previous lectures to give first-time attendees context as to where Celestial Beings fit into the hierarchy of deities in Buddhism.  No prior knowledge is necessary to enjoy this fun and fascinating talk!

Bilingual Yoga at Lunchtime
Wednesday, January 17
12:30/1:00PM (2 sessions, 20min/ session)
Just Show Up! 

Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at lunchtime!
October 18 is Yoga day!  In this program, no need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair receiving relaxing instruction from a bilingual (English and Japanese) instructor. Learn simple Japanese phrases during the instruction and stretch your mind as well as your body.
There will be two free sessions beginning at 12:30pm and 1:00pm. No reservation necessary, all are welcome.

Lecture & Demonstration
Noh Dance, Noh Life
Lecturer/Performer: Michikazu Taneda
Monday, January 22 @7PM
Free Admission, RSVP REQUIRED

Noh is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed for more than 650 years. Its subjects are based on history or classical literature, and it is structured around song and dance. The most obvious characteristic of Noh is that the main actor performs while wearing a mask of exceptional beauty. It is a highly stylized and refined performing art that takes place on a very simple stage.

A lecture and demonstration of Noh will be given by Master Michikazu Taneda, who has been designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage in Japan. He will perform a short dance and chant to showcase the distinctive features of Noh body movements. The lecture will also cover the history of Noh and its continued status as live performing art.

Selected as the Japanese Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards
Her Love Boils Bathwater  湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛   (125mins, 2016)
Wednesday, January 24 @7PM
Free Admission, NO RSVP REQUIRED

Director Nakano made a theatrical feature debut with a family drama about a single mother Futaba (Rie Miyazawa), whose husband suddenly left a year ago leaving her with their shy daughter, Azumi (Hana Sugisaki).

Read More  

Still Life Coffee Painting Workshop
Tuesday, January 30, 7-9PM
Free to Attend, RSVP REQUIRED

Have a sip of coffee and let your creativity flow!  Join an artist Nobuo Anzai and learn how to paint with a cup of joe.
All materials will be provided. You are welcome to bring your choice of flower, fruit or vegetable to draw, and a few objects will also be provided for your covenience.
Limited seating, RSVP is necessary.
This program is in conjunction with the "MIGRATING DREAMSCAPES: NOBUO ANZAI" exhibition. 

Meditation With Japanese Singing Lin Bowl
Relax With Sound During Lunch
Wednesday, January 31
12:30/1:00PM (2 Sessions, 20 Min/ Session)
Just Show Up! 

Mid-week fatigue is a familiar foe to many of us.  Why not maximize your relaxation and join us for a Sound Bath at Lunch Time!

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 will be two 20-minute sessions from 12:30pm and 1:00pm. There is no charge and no reservation required. All are welcome to come, sit, listen, and refresh.

2018 JF Nihongo Classes - Winter Term
January 20 - March 24
Register Now!

Start your new year with Japanese!  The registration period for our JF Nihongo Winter term will start soon!

People interested in learning Japanese at JFLA will have three beginner-level 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 January 5 and get a 10% early bird discount!

2018-2020 J-LEAP: 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 #50:
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! I wish to thank you all for your support on making 2017 a truly pleasant year as I transitioned into this new position. Thanks to many teachers, administrators, and staff, I was able to learn so much about current trends in the field of language education, and understand just how critical its role is as we prepare our students for living in the 21st century. And at ACTFL, it was truly a pleasure to be able to see so many educators and administrators face-to-face!
As we enter 2018, the Japan Foundation Los Angeles is preparing a lot of very important projects!
One of our largest projects will be our survey of Japanese language education in the US. Every three years we conduct this survey in order to understand trends in Japanese language education. You can see the last 2015 survey through this link ( We publish the results after a year of preparation and execution, and these results are then in turn used by not only JFLA, but also researchers, teachers, and administrators to help guide Japanese language education to be better and stronger; in other words, the more data we can collect, the more it will help us all in the long run. To this end, the cooperation of teachers and schools is of the utmost importance.
We will keep you up-to-date on our progress and more details as we work on this large project. In the meantime, don't be a stranger and make sure we have your school's latest contact information; please notify us of any changes throughout the year, especially as the 2018-19 school year closes in. And of course, if there is someone who may not know about the Japan Foundation, please connect us!

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.