JFNY & CGP NEWSLETTER | January 8, 2020
This new grant program aims to support online outreach activities related to Japanese culture through the hiring of dedicated staff, who will promote a deeper understanding of Japan in the applicant’s local community. Japanese Studies and Japanese language departments at U.S. universities, Japan-America Societies, Japanese gardens and organizations that promote grassroots cultural exchange are all welcome to apply. Grants will be awarded up to $32,000.
Call for Entries
Prizes for Winners!
Deadline: January 22, 6pm EST
Calling all creative amateur artists, kids to adults, to design an original design for a face mask, a staple of everyday life in Japan. These masks will be good for everyone’s health and wellbeing, environmentally friendly, and pleasing to the eye. MASK UP 2020 winning designs will be announced in an online event; winners will receive prizes and their designs will actually be produced!

The Japan Foundation, New York have launched JFNY Literary Series. For this new talk series, we will invite notable writers in Japanese literature and their translators to discuss their work, speak on the art of translation, and touch upon the current literary scene in Japan. 

As for the kick-off session, we had a conversation with the collective known as Strong Women, Soft Power, formed by renowned translators: Allison Markin Powell, Ginny Tapley Takemori, and Lucy North. They have kindly agreed to participate in this series as curators, and they talked about various writers, including Yu Miri, Sayaka Murata, and Kanako Nishi, among others. Watch “JFNY Literary Series: Authors X Translators” here.

The inaugural session will feature Yu Miri and her translator Morgan Giles. Yu’s novel Tokyo Ueno Station, which was translated by Giles, won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. We invite questions for the guests to be submitted via the online form by Friday, January 15, 5pm EST.
Pop Culture
Since its first release in 1992, Sailor Moon has become one of the most iconic manga and anime franchises globally. It also has been many people’s first introduction to Japanese pop culture in other parts of the world. Join our panel discussion with Kumiko Saito, Mari Morimoto, Samantha Close, and Kathryn Hemmann as they explore the history and legacy of Sailor Moon, as well as the fandom and fan culture it helped create in the U.S.

We also conduct a character popularity poll! Please vote for your favorite character when you register on Eventbrite. If you have any questions about Sailor Moon, please submit them when registering. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

January 20 - March 5
Americas Society (New York, NY)
Americas Society presents Joaquín Orellana: The Spine of Music, the first exhibition of the Guatemalan composer’s útiles sonoros (sound tools) in the United States alongside the work of contemporary artists. The exhibition connects the musician’s avant-garde sensibility with that of artists including Carlos Amorales, María Adela Díaz, Akira Ikezoe, and Alberto Rodríguez Collía, each of whom has spent time with the composer and created work related to his practice. This exhibition is supported through the JFNY Grant for Arts and Culture.

Dallas Contemporary’s career survey of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara will bring together a large selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from 2006 to the present, many of which are being exhibited for the first time. The survey will explore how Nara’s art conjures a realm rich in feeling while referencing the artist’s autobiography as well as broader cultural issues. This exhibition is supported through the Exhibitions Abroad Support Program.

The World Kamishibai Forum celebrates the diversity of kamishibai (a Japanese storytelling form using illustrated boards) performance styles, venues, and applications around the world today. Two new videos will premiere in January featuring performances from kamishibai artists and educators from Puerto Rico. In the January 23 webinar, kamishibai performers Pepe Cabana Kojachi and Tere Marichal Lugo will answer audience questions about how to incorporate kamishibai into the classroom. To sign up, or watch previous webinars, click here. This project is supported by CGP.
21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) at Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies will host a talk by Prof. Hilary Holbrow (Indiana University) on Japan’s guest worker system. Prof. Holbrow will examine the history, evolution, and social effects of Japan’s “trainee” visa program. The talk will be followed by a Q&A discussion moderated by Prof. Adam Liff (Indiana University). This event is supported by CGP.

Past Event Report
Dr. Kathleen Pike (Columbia University) discussed mental health during COVID-19, with particular focus on women and mental stress, in an online seminar on December 11. Her remarks and discussion with Sasae Nobuko (Nobuko Forum Japan) are now available online. This seminar was co-organized by CGP and AJC Asia Pacific Institute.
For inquiries, please contact: info@jfny.org
Image credit:

(Left) Joaquín Orellana, Imbaluna. Photo by Francisco Soto. Courtesy of Joaquín Orellana. (Right) Akira Ikezoe, Future Primitive III, Akira Ikezoe Studio, New York.

Yoshitomo Nara, NO WAR, 2019. Acrylic on wood. 117 x 103.5 x 7 cm. Courtesy of the artist. 

Photo courtesy of World Kamishibai Forum.