The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
Director's Farewell Greeting

By the time you read this message, I will have already left Los Angeles after completing five wonderful years of my assignment. My deepest apologies for bidding you farewell ‘after the fact’ — I had to get on the first fight still available to Tokyo, before flights were cancelled, to assume a new position at the Japan Study department at the Foundation’s headquarters. There was a perfect plan — an announcement of leadership change, farewell message, and even a reception with both me and the incoming director to greet our friends. Everything went up in smoke as we have been scrambling to assure the safety of our clients and staff members. After arrival in Tokyo, I will be quarantined at home for two weeks and the new director will not be in place for another month (Deputy Director, Mr. Ishii will be in charge) as all of us at JFLA continue to work from home just like many of you.

My five years in LA have been such a great learning period for me in terms of having to be creative, inspiring, and engaging on every project we organize. Every time I felt like I had no more creativity left, there was always somebody on our doorstep with great ideas. I have been so blessed with such an eccentric (I mean, wonderful) group of people who never cease to amaze me. I also feel very fortunate to have had opportunities to work with kids and teachers who love to think and act beyond national boundaries and are never afraid of pushing the envelope to serve to the greater humanity rather than their own narrow interests. Whatever accomplishments I might have made during my five years, I owe them to those people’s courage and inspiration.

We are living in a crazy world right now. But that should not be a reason to limit yourself to what you already know. When we finally get out of this quarantined life, I hope we will have more honed sensibilities to the world outside. I just cannot wait for an opportunity to come back to LA in the future to see your smiles enjoying the projects organized by JFLA.

Thank you LA and I will never forget you!

Hideki Hara
“This is My Japan” Video Project
What is your Japan?

We have received over 90 videos from a wide range of people since the start of this campaign and we look forward to receiving more videos from all corners of the United States! This month, we will be featuring videos from the individuals below.

Shared Videos (New)

Please help us out by sharing a video of Your Japan with us, following the guidelines below:

How to share Your Japan
• Take a one minute video with your phone/video camera.
• Show something that is a symbol of your Japan, or of your memory related to your story.
• Within one minute, tell your story in English.
• Conclude the video saying “This is My Japan”.
• Send your video to us!
• Take a video with your friends and say “This is My Japan!” all together at the end.
• See the example, below.

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles will post your video on our Facebook and Instagram.

We look forward to seeing Your Japan!

Contact us:

Wednesday, April 1 & 15
12:30PM (15 Minute Session)
We would like to help during these trying times. Bilingual Yoga will be offered via JFLA Facebook LIVE!

No need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair at home and receive an instruction from our instructor in bilingual (English and Japanese). Easy and relaxed!

There will be one session starting at 12:30pm. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page ( ). Refresh and recharge yourself with us at home!

20% Off Tuition!
April 18 - June 20
Register Now!
Study Japanese this spring! In light of the new guidelines from authorities, we have decided to move our spring term to ONLINE. It is still interactive, informative and fun! In this special term, the tuition is discounted 20% off our regular tuition. However, seats are limited to 10 people per class. Don't miss out and enjoy learning Japanese from your home!

Wednesday, April 8 & 22
12:30PM (15 Min Session)
We would like to help during these trying times. Meditation with Japanese Singing Bowl will be offered via JFLA Facebook LIVE!

The singing bowl used for this program harmoniously combines the healing qualities of the Tibetan singing bowl and its Japanese traditional singing bowl. Relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing bowl lead you into a meditative state.

There will be one session starting at 12:30pm. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page ( ). Stretch and refresh yourself with us at home!

We are accepting applications for the following grant programs to support Japanese-Language Education in the United States.

Note: We understand that many schools are currently closed due to COVID-19, so we are accepting digital signatures in lieu of wet-ink signatures on application forms for the time being.
Please submit your application materials via email since our office is also temporarily closed. Thank you!

Grants for Nationwide/Statewide/Regional-level Events and Projects

Deadlines:  March 1 & September 1, 2020

Deadline:  Two months prior to the project start date

Grants for Individual Japanese Language Programs

Deadline:  April 10, 2020

Deadlines:  March 15 & September 15, 2020

Japanese Language Education Update 77
How is everyone handling the current state of events occurring around the world? We have come into unprecedented times and as an advocacy coordinator, I am trying to see what I can do to continue sharing with everyone in terms of Japanese resources and information. American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) has been very active in sharing resources as well as information about online lectures. There was recently a successful zoom lecture done by Ayako Anderson-sensei, which coordinated by AATJ and Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese (NECTJ). There were about 500 participants, which shows how much of a demand there is to understanding the successful transition from direct teaching to online teaching. With teachers from different organizations coming together to ensure successful Japanese learning experiences for students, we hope that we can all get through this difficult time together. In these changing times, we are also having a change within JFLA. Director Hara returned to Japan and, I wanted to say a few words as well. Director Hara helped me grow in so many ways, not only as an advocacy coordinator but as an individual learning how to navigate various cultures. I was given challenges but also proper guidance to further understand the importance of advocacy. With the knowledge I have gained, I would like to continuously extend my support for Japanese language education. Not only is Director Hara knowledgeable in his various fields of expertise, we were able to have a lot of fun memories and experiences! Thank you so much Director Hara for everything that you’ve done in these 5 years and you have been a great guidance to all of us! Never lose your Kansai humor!