The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
Director Greeting
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is now getting fully resolved to make another great year in 2020! JFLA will start the new decade with the screening of Cinema Kabuki in Little Tokyo (Can you think of anything more new-yearly than this?)! The year 2020 is very important for Japan as we will host the Olympic Games. JFLA will invite an official artist of the Tokyo Olympics (yes, there is such a person) to do a performance in LA in April. Please stay tuned for additional updates from us. For those of you whose new-year resolution is to start learning Japanese, the registration for our JF Nihongo classes is open for Winter Term. If you are a tad short of making a big commitment yet, why don’t you start with something you would love, such as our Samurai Japanese workshop? A professional sword-fighting group will teach you how to speak properly as a Samurai even while you are getting slain by your opponents!

My new-year resolution has always been the same ever since I came to LA; to bring about as much excitement and inspiration through cultural exchanges. I hope I have been living up to that resolution and will continue to wow the crowd here in LA and beyond!
Hideki Hara
“This is My Japan” Video Project
What is your Japan?

We have received 72 videos from a wide range of people since the start of this campaign including six groups of students from San Marino High School submitted by Yano-sensei as well as John Kaizan Neptune, an American player and builder of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). This month's videos also feature new JFLA original music so make sure to watch and listen to the new tunes. We look forward to receiving more videos from all corners of the United States!

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:

Saturday, January 11 @2:00PM / 4:00PM
Free Admission, Registration Required
Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today’s greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in theatres around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and six-channel sound .

JF Nihongo Winter 2020
January 25 - March 26
LAST CHANCE-10% Discount Deal Ends This Friday, January 10th!
Study Japanese this winter! Our JF Nihongo Winter 2020 term will start on January 25.

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. Don't miss the early bird discount

Wednesday, January 8 @7:00PM
Free Admission
Experience the gorgeous new restoration of what many believe to be Satoshi Kon’s (Perfect Blue, Paprika) greatest work. Boasting countless awards, including the Grand Prize in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival, which it shared with Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away .

Wednesday, January 15 @7:00 - 9:00PM
Be creative and become familiar with Kanji and Japanese calligraphy! This workshop is for all who are interested in writing Kanji and learning about Japanese calligraphy! You will learn various types of Kanji formations and the concept of radicals. You will also learn how to write Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) with correct posture, proper way of holding an ink brush, and right stroke orders. Let's write your own Kanji in calligraphy form on washi paper .

Wednesday, January 15
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!

Wednesday, January 22 @7:00PM
Free Admission
A romantic film based on the true story of activist, Yoshihiko Kumashino, who raises awareness of the sexuality of disabled people through lecturing and event activities. The film is written and directed by Jumpei Matsumoto .

Tuesday, January 28 @7:00 - 9:00PM
Event Is Full
Challenge yourself in a sword fight performance that you’ve seen in Samurai movies and on stage! Japanese actor group “Burai” will teach you basic samurai movements, how to use the sword, and speech manners. All participants will perform sword fighting while exchanging dramatic lines in Japanese! No language or acting experience is necessary .

Wednesday, Januray 29
12:30PM & 1:00PM (20 Min Sessions)
Free Admission
Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs on Wednesday at lunchtime!

Janurary 29 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 .

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 late 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.

This month, we would like to welcome Miyuki Nakamura who is currently at Kamehameha School, Maui Campus, in Pukalani, HI, and Akiho Negishi who is currently at Palmer High School in Palmer, AK !
JTAM Workshop Report
The workshop of JTAM (Japanese Teachers Association of Michigan), "Exploring the Multifaceted Dimensions of Japanese Poetry as a Pedagogical Tool" was held on November 3rd with wonderful guest speakers Prof. Jeffrey Angeles (Western Michigan University), and Prof. Catherine Ryu (Michigan State University) with Prof. Motoko Tabuse (Eastern Michigan University) moderating the event!

JFLA has been encouraging projects that can bridge Japan Studies (Literature, etc.) and Japanese language education.

Thanks to Sakakibara-sensei (JTAM President) for sharing the successful collaboration between Japanese language teachers and Literature Scholars!

Japanese Language Education Update 74
Happy New Years and it’s a start of a new decade! I hope everyone had a great 2019 and I hope 2020 will bring health and happiness to all of our Your Japan readers. Having had the great opportunity to be a part of The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) from June, I realized that within these six months, I learned tremendously on the conditions of Japanese language education all over the United States and also connected and met with wonderful Japanese language instructors that are continuously doing their best to provide the best Japanese language experience for their students. Not only do the teachers make me laugh with their sense of humor but also I have tremendous respect and appreciation in dedicating years and years of their time and energy to come together to improve Japanese language education as a whole.

We are intending to have the data of 2018 Japan Foundation Survey on Japanese Language Institutions on our website during spring of this year. We hope that having this information accessible for everyone will help show the state of Japanese language all over the United States. It also helps us see what states have a strong growth of Japanese learners and it also helps students and teachers see how many learners are there in their own state! What’s continuously wonderful about Japan is that there is still so many people eager to learn the language, be connected to Japan on a personal level, and develop their own sense of what Japan may be.

JFLA always has their doors open for people who want to know more and have questions about Japan, events related to Japanese culture, Japanese language courses, and many more. You’re more than welcome to stop by and say hi! We look forward to meeting you for 2020!

(The picture above is from LA Moriage-Kai, which takes place at our office in JFLA! It’s a free gathering that welcomes all types of Japanese language instructors) 
Azama Sensei Video Series
Let’s start off the New Year with series of 15 minute short-videos that were created by AATJ (American Associations of Teachers of Japanese)! These informative videos stars Japanese language teachers such as Yoshiko Saito-Abbott sensei, full Professor and Chair of the School of World Languages and Cultures at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and Yo Azama-sensei, World Language Method Instructor at CSUMB. What’s wonderful about this series is that you are able to observe 6 Core Practices being enacted by teachers who teach various levels. Azama-sensei works with the teachers and reflects and discusses what could be improved and what went well. Not only are these videos helpful for different types of language education teachers but for those who would like to approach teaching certain topics in a different method. We hope that everyone can take tips and implement within their classroom! 

Video 1: Focusing on Comprehensive Input

Video 2: Designing and Conducting Oral Interpersonal Pair Task

Video 3: Designing and Conducting Oral Interpersonal Group Task

Video 4: Designing and Conducting Interpersonal Communication Tasks