The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
March, 2019: Breeze Issue #137


If you live outside of Los Angeles, it is time to hop on the next flight to LAX and enjoy the many events we are organizing here in sunny southern California this month!

Our biggest event will be 'Awa-Hop', a mash-up performance of Awa-Odori, a 400-year old traditional street dance from the Japanese island of Shikoku, and Hip-Hop dance, which will be happening at one of the oldest night clubs in LA. Takarabune, one of the groups that will be featured in our 'Awa-Hop' event, will also give a special performance at the Sakura Matsuri in Glendale, and a lecture at Japan House, Los Angeles, about their aspirations to 'change the world through dance.'

Hilty & Bosch, the second group that will be featured in our 'Awa-Hop' event, will also perform during Japan-Mexico bi-cultural week, along with other events such as a movie-screening and small art exhibition.

Two Japanese films that were nominated for this year's Academy, Mirai and Shoplifters, will also be shown as part of our regular film screenings.

So why wait? Start packing your bags and move here to break through the cultural wall together!

For Japanese language teachers out there, we have extended for the one final time the deadline for the world-wide survey on the state of Japanese Language Education. The results may have a great impact on how we could help you in the upcoming years. So send in your response as soon as possible if you have not done so.

Hideki Hara, Director


We are pleased to announce the start of our Fiscal Year 2019-20 grant programs that we organize annually to support Japanese-Language Education in the United States. 
These include the following:
  1. Japanese Language Learners Event Grant
    Deadlines:   3/1/2019,  9/1/2019
  2. Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant
    Deadlines:   3/15/2019,  9/15/2019
  3. Japanese Language Education Project Grant
    Deadline:  Two months prior to the project start date

Witness Two Forms of Street Dance, Urban & Earthy, Collide!
@El Rey Theatre
Monday, March 18 @7PM (Door Opens @6PM)
Admission: Free, Registration Required

Awa-Hop is a dance performance show double-featuring the twin street dance unit from Japan, Hilty & Bosch and the Awaodori Entertainment Troupe, TAKARABUNE. Hilty & Bosch's phenomenal dance performances have astonished not only Japanese dancers but also dancers around the world. On YouTube, their videos have had over 35 million views, further increasing their popularity internationally. TAKARABUNE pushes the limits of Awaodori, a 400 year-old traditional art form. TAKARABUNE's signature dance style is so aggressive and vigorous that it has been characterized as 'dance beyond awaodori'.

JFLA Lecture Series @Japan House, LA
TAKARABUNE: Dancing Mavericks Change the World
Saturday, March 16 @2PM
Free Admission, Registration Required

In this lecture, the members of Takarabune will share their life stories, their original inspiration behind becoming the first professional Awa-Odori dancers, how they maintain the delicate balance of keeping the tradition while breaking out of it, and most importantly, how they envision changing the world as 'Dancing Mavericks.' Toward the end of the lecture, the audience will be taught by the troupe how to move like mavericks and have crazy fun!

Art Exhibition: Through March 9, 2019

When Takuma Kamine first encountered the images of Buddhist guardian deities as a child, he was filled with awe and fear. As a working artist now, Kamine has crystallized those initial emotions into figures which borrow elements from Japanese animation and comics.  The exhibition will feature a selection of Kamine's sculptures including representations of the Five Great Wisdom Kings (J: Godai Myо̄о̄) and of his drawings which include the Five and add three more to round out the Eight Great Wisdom Kings (J: Hachidai Myо̄о̄) grouping.

Encore Screening
Mirai (98 mins, 2018) 
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
Saturday, March 2 @1PM
Free Admission, No Reservation Required

*Seating is on a first come first serve basis and subject to capacity. Please arrive early for best seating.

2019 Academy Award Nominee for Best Animated Film, and the epic capstone of director Mamoru Hosoda's career, Mirai is a sumptuous, magical, and emotionally soaring adventure about the ties that bring families together and make us who we are.

Watch Trailer

Workshop: Shabutsu - Transcribing Buddha
In Conjunction With the Current Exhibition "MYO-O IN THE SHELL"
Tuesday, March 5 @7PM
Admission Free

The Buddhist practice of Shabutsutranscribing Buddha is a means of spreading the Buddha Way among people through transcribing. It is also a way of praying for the fulfillment of one's greatest wish.  This workshop instructed by Rev. Shumyo Kojima from Zenshuji Soto Mission, Los Angeles doesn't require previous experience. All materials for Shabutsu includes the Myo-o drawings by artist Takuma Kamine from the current exhibition  "Myo-o in the Shell" .

Meditation With Japanese Singing Lin Bowl
Wednesday, March 6
12:30PM & 1:00PM (20 Min Sessions)
Free Admission

Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs 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

Liz And The Blue Bird (90mins, 2018)
Directed by Naoko Yamada
Wednesday, March 6 @7PM
Free Admission, No Reservation Required

*Seating is on a first come first serve basis and subject to capacity. Please arrive early for best seating.

Students and best friends Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki prepare to play a complex musical duet, "Liz and the Blue Bird," for oboe and flute. Though they play beautifully together and have been friends since childhood, Mizore and Nozomi find that with graduation looming and the duet proving difficult, their friendship begins to buckle under the pressure.

Watch Trailer

Various Locations
Free Admission, Registration Required for Each Event

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, The Consulates General of Mexico & Japan in Los Angeles cerebrate a week of Japan-Mexico cultural exchange events: On March 13, as an opening night, The Art of Shinzaburo Takeda (Documentary Screening & Lecture); on March 14, film screening of "Homie Kei"; on March 15, urban dance performance show featuring Hilty & Bosch and DJ Tianguis; and on March 18, as an closing night, Japan-Mexico Business Seminar.

Bilingual Yoga At Lunchtime
Wednesday, March 20
12:30PM & 1:00PM (20 Min Sessions)
Free Admission

Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs on Wednesday at lunchtime!
March 20 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.

Read More

Sakura Matsuri 2019
(Cherry Blossom Festival)
Brand Park, Glendale
Sunday, March 17 11AM-4PM
Free Admission

March is Cherry Blossom Time in Japan and Los Angeles. The word "Matsuri" means joyful festival. Please join us, in conjunction with Friends of Shoseian, to enjoy a full day of many exciting activities, including: Taiko drums, tea ceremony, Awa Odori dance, music of Koto & Shamisen and Japanese food trucks!

Learn Natural Japanese Through Acting!
Tuesday, March 26 7-9PM

Shoplifters (121mins, 2018)
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Wednesday, March 27 @7PM
Free Admission, No Registration Required

*Seating is on a first come first serve basis and subject to capacity. Please arrive early for best seating.

Drama interweaving emotional ties that transcend family, directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu. Won the Palme d'Or in competition at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

Watch Trailer


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States of America (USA).  With over 108,000 students learning Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin,  Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and American Sign Language in 351 schools. Together with  the Consulate General of Japan, in Chicago, we are looking to expand our Japanese Language Program.

Spring Term: Registration Starting Soon

Spring term will start in mid-April, stay tuned for registration information!

Japanese Language Education Update 64: 
Survey of Japanese Language Education Progress Report

Our Survey of Japanese Language Education is finishing soon, and with it, we will know the latest trends in Japanese language education at both the national and state levels.  This survey, conducted every three years, provides invaluable information to those in the field of language education, and we therefore have been working very hard reaching out to schools to learn more about each applicable institution across the country as much as we can, whether through emails, telephone, or in person.  Given that our list of schools with Japanese programs numbers over 1,400, this is certainly quite a task, but the opportunity to talk one-on-one with teachers and administrators is something we are grateful for!
We would like to thank all who have participated in the survey thus far.  When we conduct this survey, we reach out to teachers and administrators on an individualized basis and take heed to any concerns that are voiced.  We truly value all the voices in the language learning community.
We believe in building strong, long-lasting relationships with teachers, students, community members, and more, so even after the survey period has finished, please do not be a stranger!  We will also be publishing a report on our findings, so please be sure to check back for updates.
Has your school done the survey?  We have reached out to all schools with their respective login information, so if you have not done the survey yet, please contact us at  Thank you again, and we look forward to continuing working with you all!

2018-2020 J-LEAP: Participant Voices

Although the application period for 2019-2021 J-LEAP ended, we have a few more articles from participants that we will be highlighting in the next few issues of Breeze. 

This month, we would like to welcome Eri Saimyo who is currently team teaching with Nathan Bynum sensei at The Obama Academy of International Studies in Pittsburgh, PA. Follow the link below to read about her experiences!