The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
Director Greeting
Lately “Busy” has become my customary reply whenever someone asks how I am doing, but for the month of November, I could be too ‘busy’ to even reply to people! So many events are lined up this month, often times back to back with such variety from traditional Kabuki or Samurai to contemporary Butoh or Onigiri-action. People sometimes ask how we can ‘afford’ doing so many events. Well, we are certainly not a ‘rich’ organization and in fact if there is any sizable amount of money, we would rather give it to schools to expand their language and cultural programs. We organize a lot of events that make the best use of what little resources we have, mobilizing all of our creativity and connectivity. Indeed, we are very fortunate to have many individual and institutional partners near and far and it is always through our inspirational discussions with them that we come up with ideas for new projects.

Come to think of it, one big reason why we support foreign language education is to enable learners to engage in that kind of inspirational discussion with their friends near and far so that they can solve whatever problems they face with creativity and connectivity. Only then can being busy be justified. C’mon and join us for wonderful cross-cultural experiences and make my (busy) day!

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

We have received more than 30 excellent videos from a wide range of people since the start of this campaign.

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:

November 5 - 27, 2019
Mon-Fri: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Sat: Noon-5:00PM
Closed on Sundays
Six well-known Japanese Butoh dancers brought to life the ghosts rising out of the legendary essay “Yameru Maihime (Ailing Dancer)”, written by Tatsumi Hijikata in Akita, where the story developed during the years 1935-1938.The photo book was published in Japan last year in order to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Hijikata's birth and to pay tribute to his unprecedented work. The photos were taken by Masahiko Taniguchi who has worked closely with many Butoh dancers in Japan. This exhibition will feature a selection from Taniguchi’s photo book, which has never been shown in the U.S. before as well as some of archival images of Hijikata.

The opening night of the exhibition (Tuesday, November 5 @7:00pm) will include Butoh performances by local dancers and an special talk: "Remembering Hijikata" by guest speakers.

Friday, November 1 @7:00PM
Free Admission, RSVP Required
By playing a role, using gestures and facial expressions, acting is a fun way to learn natural Japanese!

In this workshop, Japanese actor, Naoyuki Ikeda, will teach you how to react like Japanese people in natural settings, and how to speak spontaneously using basic Japanese phrases as well as quoting actual phrases from popular Japanese movies.. This workshop is designed for beginning Japanese learners and we welcome those who have no experience at all!

Monday, November 4 @9:00PM
(Door Open @8:00PM)
Free Admission, RSVP Appreciated
Japanese “shakuhachi” flute master and subject of a new documentary, John Kaizan Neptune will be performing in Los Angeles. He will be performing his greatest hits that span decades and transcend any one genre of music.

Wednesday, November 6
12:30PM & 1:00PM (20 Min Sessions)
Free Admission
Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs on Wednesday at lunchtime!

November 6 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.

JF Nihongo Japanese Language Class Winter 2020
Online registration starts on November 8th!
Saturday, November 9 @2:00-4:00PM
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is proud to support TABLE FOR TWO 2019 Onigiri Action campaign. This year, we are teaming up with Sylvia Gunde (Instagrammer/food blogger) to show you pro-tips on how to take yummy and Instagram worthy food photos with your smart phone. Afterwards, you will be able to create unique and delicious onigiri (rice balls) with healthy ingredients and also participate in #OnigiriAction, which is a campaign that will donate school meals all around the world to children in need. View the Onigiri Action press release here!

Tuesday, November 12 @7:00PM
Free Admission, RSVP Required
Ogasawara Kiyomoto will discuss the 850-year history of the Ogasawara school of Archery, Horse Archery and Etiquette. He will show the beautiful equipment and clothing used in ceremonial demonstrations in Japan, and he will explain about the practices of his school and how they pertain to daily life in the modern era.

Wednesday, November 13 @7:00PM
Free Admission, RSVP Required
Born in 1997, Yoko Yamanaka's debut film was achieved through her own efforts at the end of her teen years. Assembling the cast and staff through social media, the witty story of a complicated girl's romantic escapade created a stir. Invited to the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, the film has also played at festivals all over the world.

Monday, November 18 @7:00PM
Free Admission, RSVP Required
Shinto is a religion indigenous to Japan, which has been kept as a part of Japanese life for more than a few thousand years. Shinto priests from Meiji Jingu will come to Los Angeles and give an introductory talk about Shinto. They will also perform Gagaku –traditional music- with three musical instruments. You will have a great chance to try playing the instruments yourself with their guidance.

Wednesday, November 20
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.

Mushimaru Fujieda's Butoh Workshop 
Monday, November 25 @6:00PM
All Levels, Free to Participate
(RSVP REQUIRED - Coming Soon!)

(28MINS, 2019)
Wednesday, November 27 @7:00PM

(89MINS, 2018)
Wednesday, November 27 @7:30PM
Free Admission, No Registration Required
(GON, THE LITTLE FOX) This stop-motion animated short film is one of the contenders for 2019 Academy Award. Original story from Nankichi Niimi’s masterpiece children’s story.

(Orphans' Blues) Winner of Pia Film Festival’s 2018 Grand Prize, director Riho Kudo’s debut is an arthouse drama marked by beautifully expressive cinematography and daring narrative experimentation.

Through December 8, 2019
Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art  celebrates one of the most distinctive and compelling aspects of Japanese art: the depiction of animals. Underpinned by Japan's unique spiritual heritage of Shintō and Buddhism, the Japanese reverence for nature—and the place of animals within that realm—is expressed in sculpture, painting, lacquer-work, ceramics, metalwork, cloisonné, and woodblock prints.
This exhibition is co-organized by the Japan Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington with special cooperation from the Tokyo National Museum. This exhibition is part of Japan 2019, a series of events highlighting Japanese arts and culture in the U.S. throughout 2019.
For more information, please visit the  LACMA’s website .
2020 CGP Regular Grant Program
CGP is pleased to announce that the grant guidelines for the CGP Grant Program are now available. There are two categories under this grant program: the " Intellectual Exchange: Policy-Related Projects" and the " Grassroots Program: Education and Network-Strengthening".

Please download the guidelines for complete details on objectives, requirements and priorities for each category.

Grant support will be capped at $50,000/year for a maximum of two years. Proposals must be received by 6:00 p.m. (EST), Monday December 2, 2019.
FY2020-21 Program Guidelines Available NOW!
Arts and Culture Deadline: Multiple
Japanese Language Deadline: Monday, December 2nd, 2019
For information on  Arts and Culture Programs, please visit our website with additional information on the  JF world-wide website!

New for this year is the  Fellowship for Research on Japanese Art  implemented by the Japan Foundation with the generous funding from the Ishibashi Foundation. This program aims to support the development of professionals specializing in the study of Japanese art by providing an opportunity for curators and researchers to conduct research in Japan, and promote the study of the field and the introduction of Japanese art outside of Japan.

For information on  Japanese Language Programs, please visit:

There are multiple Teacher Training Programs including Basic (long-term), Japanese Language, Japanese Teaching Methods (short-term), and training program on a Specific Theme.

For Specialists, there is a 2-month and 5-month program.

Your application must ARRIVE at JFLA on or before December 2, 2019 for Japanese Language Programs. Please also notify us of your intent to apply in advance.

Our grant support has helped create and expand Japanese language courses in several school districts and colleges/universities all across the country.

  1. Findlay High School in Ohio accepted a grant check to establish a Japanese-language program at their school. Here is the news report from WTOL11 (top left)!
  2. Consul General Takashi Teraoka presented our grant check to Kelly Middle School in Oregon (top right)!
  3. Consul General Hiroyuki Kobayashi presented our grant check to Austin Peay State University and Clarksville-Montgomery County School System in Tennessee to support their innovative Japanese language partnership (bottom left)!
  4. Consul General Hiroyuki Kobayashi presented our grant check to Gray Middle School in Kentucky for their newly started Japanese-language program (botton right)!

For the current fiscal year, we have the Japanese Language Education Project Grant available with an application deadline of two months prior to the project start date. Grants for the next school year will be available in January, 2020 so please check back then for more information.
2019/2020 Japanese-Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP)
Our Japan Foundation Headquarters’ website has just launched a new J-LEAP Movie Page!
Click around and see previous and current participants talk openly about their day-to-day experiences in this exciting program.

Is this program right for your school?

The initial Lead Teacher (LT)/Host Organization application period for the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP) has ended, and now the Laurasian Institution and the Japan Foundation will now select the best candidates from those who applied to move forward.

In the meantime, JF Headquarters has begun its Assistant Teacher (AT) application period which will end on Thursday, January 16th, 2020.

There will be a J-LEAP information session at our Tokyo Headquarters office on Saturday, November 30th, so please share this information with any Japanese language teachers in Japan that you think might be interested (perhaps a young teacher you know through your Japanese sister school, for instance)!

This month, we would like to welcome Tsubasa Sato who is currently at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, MN, and Miharu Hadano who is currently at Shaler Area School District in Pittsburgh, PA !
Japanese Language Education Update 72: AATJ/JFLA Collaborative Workshop in Philadelphia
I had a great opportunity to attend the yearly AATJ (The American Association of Teachers of Japanese)/JFLA (The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles) collaborative Leadership Workshop at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania from October 18th - 20th 2019. It was a fabulous workshop that connected potential leaders in Japanese language education, and provided opportunities to meet other Japanese language teachers who have dedicated their time and energy to further improve their experiences within the classroom and spread the importance of why foreign language education is necessary more than ever in a world where hard skills can be replaced by robots within this century. Foreign language education teaches soft skills such as interpersonal and intercultural communication, flexibility, being able to interpret the atmosphere, and other forms of skills that are not replaceable by AI. This workshop had wonderful presentations from not only our director Hideki Hara, but also AATJ’s President and Immediate Past President (Ms. Suwako Watanabe and Ms. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott), as well as Erin Whelchel from ACTFL. They discussed the importance of advocacy starting from within the classroom and how teachers themselves can advocate outside of the classroom towards administrators, parents, and students to promote the importance of taking Japanese.

Growing up in New Mexico as a young child with no Japanese classes or environment to learn and then moving to Los Angeles in middle school where Japanese was readily available, I’ve experienced and seen how difficult it is to find communities in areas, especially certain states and cities where the Japanese and Japanese American population may be relatively small. So to have a workshop that brings teachers and allows them to connect with each other physically, and also via Zoom and other forms of technology, helps the teachers from not feeling isolated. There were also vibrant teachers who took Japanese in school and decided to become a Japanese teacher through those experiences. These success stories show that it is very important to invest and continue investing in foreign languages to grow the next generation of teachers. Next month is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference in Washington DC and I hope to report what I’ve learned there as well for the next Your Japan issue!