The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
Director Greeting
At JFLA we are gearing up for the summer! The current ‘Manga Hokusai Manga’ exhibition has been going strong and we will have two workshops this month related to the exhibition that picks up on Hokusai’s funny faces (Face Yoga) and his Manga Sketchbooks (Bookbinding). Our workshops are notoriously fast-selling, so please hurry and sign up for them.

‘This is My Japan’ campaign has also been going strong and we have added more videos to the campaign page. It has been a great learning experience for us understanding how deep and wide Japan has permeated throughout the lives of our American friends. The tentative goal is to collect testimonies from 100 people. I will personally thank the 100 th person with a kind gift from me. So please send us your videos and let us know more about ‘Your Japan’!

I also like to thank all the Japanese language teachers and administrators who kindly took time to respond to our 2018 Japanese Language Survey. The results of the survey will be announced on our web site by the end of the summer, more specifically referring to the summer calendar, not the year-long summer we have here in LA ;).
Hideki Hara
“This is My Japan” Video Project
What is your Japan?

We have received some excellent videos from students who have visited our office during the past month and want to share them with you below. If you would like to share your Japan with us, please follow the directions 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.

Shared Videos (New)

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles will post your video on our Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Contact us:

Manga Hokusai Manga:
Approaching the Master's Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics
May 2 - August 3, 2019
Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm
Sat: Noon - 5pm
Sundays & Holidays (July 4-6): Closed

*Special Grant for School Visits to JFLA Available!
This exhibition approaches the Hokusai Manga from the perspective of contemporary Japanese comics, focusing on genre, pictorial storytelling and participatory culture rather than the integration of word and image or the role of popular characters. And instead of aiming at a historiographic verification of influences, the exhibition invites viewers to ponder their own notions about manga by comparing works from different periods while exploring the diversity therein .

7/5 @7:30PM   "A LETTER TO MOMO"
7/12 @7:30PM   "MIRAI"
7/19 @7:30PM   "POP IN Q"
7/26 @7:30PM   "GODZILLA"(1954)
Free Admission, No RSVP Required
Outdoor Movie Night at The Source presents Japanese Cinema Month! Every Friday in July, we will be showcasing popular Japanese films, anime and Kaiju films. Movies will start at 8PM and will be screened at the 1st floor Step Plaza at The Source

Wednesday, July 17
12:30PM & 1:00PM (20 Min Sessions)
Free Admission
Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs on Wednesday at lunchtime!

July 17 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.

Thursday, July 18
Free Admission, RSVP Required
We will be offering a nighttime version of one of our popular lunchtime programs, “Meditation with Japanese Singing Bowl”! Experience a sound bath in the quiet space of our ongoing “Manga, Hokusai Manga” exhibition after viewing hours. Relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing bowl lead you into a meditative state.

Tuesday, July 23 7PM
Free Admission, Registration Required
Limited to 25 Seats!
There are plenty of funny faces on display for you to see right now at our  Manga Hokusai Manga exhibition, but how about learning to do them for real at our upcoming Face Yoga workshop? Los Angeles-based Face Yoga (yes, it’s a real thing) Instructor Koko Hayashi will teach you how to stretch and tone up your face muscles for a more healthy and youthful look while having fun along the way. Don’t miss this one-night-only fun exercise event!

Saturday, July 27 1:30PM - 3:30PM
Fee: $20 payment required upon reservation, cancellations after 7/24 will not be refundable
Registration Required, Limited to 20 Seats!
We are happy to once again offer this popular fun crafty workshop co-presented with Hiromi Paper Inc.!

In this workshop held in conjunction with our  Manga Hokusai Manga  exhibition, you will learn classic Japanese bookbinding technique using fine quality washi (Japanese paper) and linen thread from a book artist Rachel Curry. She will teach a basic technique called Yotsume-toji or four-hole binding and how to create simple yet beautiful one-of-a-kind notebook that you will be able to take home after the workshop. All materials and tools will be provided. Please note participants will use sharp tools so it is suitable for those ages 18 and up.

Tuesday, July 30th 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Free Admission
You asked, and we listened! Due to popular demand, we have decided to hold it once again at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf! Let's get together and enjoy coffee 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. Details are coming soon !
Wednesday, July 31
12:30PM, 1:00PM (20 Min 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 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 is no charge and no reservation required. All are welcome to come, sit, listen, and refresh!

September 7 ~
Registration Coming Soon!
Study Japanese this fall! Our JF Nihongo Fall 2019 term will start on September 7.

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. The online registration will start on August 1. Don't miss the early bird discount!

Deadline: October 31, 2019
Hakuho Foundation is now accepting applications for the 15th Hakuho Japanese Research Fellowship.

The Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language education, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.

In providing residential research opportunities, the Fellowship aims to further strengthen the base of international research into Japan and to deepen the understanding of Japan.

The following grants are still available:

Deadlines:  9/1/2019

Deadlines:  9/15/2019

Deadline:  Two months prior to the project start date

2019 GEN-J Invitational Tour for Kentucky High School Students
From March 28th through April 6th, 20 students from Kentucky participated in the GEN-J Invitational Tour for High School Students including two first place contestants from the 2019 Kentucky Japanese Speech Contest. The schools included Atherton High School, Scott County High School, and Lafayette High School and they visited the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Himeji, Kyoto, Shimamoto, and Nara during their 10 day tour of Japan. Below are their reflections of the trip:

16th Annual Aurora Foundation National Japanese Language Speech Contest
Last month, our Grants Specialist Mike Penny participated as a judge in the 16 th Annual Aurora Foundation National Japanese Language High School Speech Contest held at the University of California, Irvine.

Competing in the contest were 14 high school students from all over the country who had previously placed within the top three in preliminary regional contests. The stakes were high as the Grand Prize winner of this contest would be invited (all expenses paid) to Japan to compete in the international Japanese Speech Award held in Japan later this summer, and in addition receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Students were allowed to choose any topic when preparing their speeches, and each speech had to be five minutes or less in length. After each contestant completed their speech, a panel of judges asked them follow-up questions in order to better determine the Japanese language ability.
While each and every contestant did an excellent job both preparing and giving their speech, the Grand Prize went to Canyon Crest Academy student Zane Marcus Adlam whose speech was titled 「おばあちゃんとの約束」 / "My Promise with Grandma".

JFLA supports the Aurora Foundation National Japanese Language High School Speech Contest through its Language Learners Event Grant because it provides young learners of Japanese with an opportunity to display the fruits of their hard work and inspire more students to further their understanding of the Japanese language and culture. 
Japanese Language Education Update 68: 
Your Japan - Japanese and Peace Part 2: Global Competence, Youth Empowerment, and My Japan 
This article is part 2 of 2 in which I discuss affecting peace and change, and how it can be done through Japanese language education.

As a child growing up in the 90’s, there were two reasons for me to learn Japanese. One was the (lack of) representation of Asian/Asian-Americans in the media when I was growing up and their often stereotyped portrayals, which prompted me to seek out more diverse and more humanizing alternatives to the dominant, single-story cultural narrative at the time. New languages opened up new worlds. The second reason to learn Japanese was, as a Chinese-American, a personal desire to reach across borders to understand and find common ground with others. For it was through the cross-cultural lens that brought to light common issues such as the experiences of immigration, socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, the struggles faced by minorities, and growing up different. Learning about these topics helped me gain perspective on my own experiences, just as it sparked in me empathy for those who had similar experiences elsewhere. Ultimately, my reasons for learning Japanese were to understand and connect with people, as people.

As such, “My Japan” has always been a gateway into seeing these very pertinent topics through multiple angles. It was a way to further global competence. Japanese – and more broadly, connecting with other cultures - was a way to explore shared issues further. Moreover, learning the language allows one to go beyond the filter and hear authentic voices, and to see, as ACTFL Teacher of the Year Yo Azama states, how “Language connects us and as a result it binds us the global family that we are.”

Making deep, meaningful connections was key to me, and has been, I believe, the key to inspiring greater peace. But that’s not all. What lessons I had learned as I struggled to make sense of the various human insecurities among our different societies were in turn applied to help educate others. Thus, learning Japanese has undoubtedly allowed me to Lead with Japanese. For example:

Living in Japan, I started a personal project and created three events to bridge the local and foreign communities closer together through meaningful exchanges: an opinion exchange between Japanese and non-Japanese students, a workshop for Japanese high school students, and finally, a talk event with students, where I had Japanese university students with prior international experience give advice and act as mentors for their kouhai in high school. The idea was to challenge the traditional, one-sided type of internationalization, and instead give students agency so that they take ownership of their education, and fully engage with the society around them on their own terms. Naturally this was all done in Japanese, and it was through this common language that we could form meaningful connections.

Providing the tools and giving agency to youths to make positive change in the world is one of the greatest rewards of education. What I have learned - humanizing peoples, reaching across borders, and connecting on a meaningful level - have informed my vision and direction in my career.

With this update, I will be leaving my post at the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, as I am happy to announce being selected as a Rotary Peace Fellow, to study and conduct research in Tokyo. Yet despite my departure, JFLA is an organization that I am proud to have been a part of. I encourage you all to please continue to support the JFLA and its larger goal of bringing diverse peoples together. Thank you all for your support and friendship. Let’s continue working together to foster positive peace in the world.
This month, we are losing a staff member and gaining someone new at the same time. Derek Chin, who has been supporting Japanese language education left at the end of June to pursue research in Japan on scholarship. He has been supporting Japanese language teachers in the US and also writing the Japanese language updates for our monthly e-newsletter. We wish him the best in his future studies.

At the same time, we are welcoming Lena Kelly, who will be taking over Derek's duties as well as other tasks within our Japanese language group. Lena previously worked as a Japanese language educator and we welcome her to our team here at JFLA.