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BATJ Seminar: Designing a Reading Activity based on the JF Standard
26/03/2014
 

On the 22nd March 2014, the Japan Foundation London, in conjunction with BATJ, held a seminar titled ‘Designing a reading activity based on the JF Standard.’ The instructor at the event was Ms Sono Habuto, a Japanese Language Educational Advisor at the Japanese Cultural Institute, Japan Foundation Cologne, and the seminar was attended by 19 Japanese language teachers. 


In the first session, Ms Habuto focused on the act of “reading” and what it comprises. She illustrated this with a discussion of ‘schema’, which states that comprehension of text involves pre-existing knowledge on the part of the reader regarding the context in which the written material is presented. Other strategies also used in reading comprehension were also covered. This was followed with some example tasks. In the second session, the participants used various authentic reading materials to create and present their own reading activities, based on the ideas presented in the first session. These activities were divided up into “pre-task activity”, “main- task activity”, “post-task activity” and “recap” sections.   


Comments from participants included:
「とてもよかったです。分かりやすく、授業に使えそうな情報が多かったです。」
("This was very good. It was easy to understand and there was plenty of information that I felt I could use in my lessons.")



「先生のお話を聞いたあとで、実際にグループでアクティビティーを考えることができ、大変役に立ちました。」
("It was really useful to be able to discuss our thoughts in groups after hearing the lecture.")



We would like to thank all attendees and Ms Habuto for coming!



The Ninth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students Finals Day
05/03/2014
 

The UK space industry, vampire folklore, and the arcades of Japan as a meritocracy were among the many fascinating topics presented at the Finals Day of the 9th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students, which was held on March 1st at SOAS, University of London.


Co-organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation London, the main purpose of this annual contest is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. It also aims to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland. There are approximately 60 universities in the UK and Ireland offering Japanese as either a degree or elective course, and all undergraduate students enrolled in a university Japanese course are eligible to take part. 


This year’s contest saw a total of 117 students from 18 different universities apply for the contest, meaning that the competition for the 15 places in the finals was exceptionally high.  Approximately 200 spectators attended the Finals Day, including representatives from companies sponsoring the contest. 


The contest began with the new Individual Presentation Category, in which post-beginner learners of Japanese speak about their topic with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation. The winner of this category was Gen Nen Ho, a 3rd year student of Medicine at King's College London, for his very animated and intriguing presentation on The Mythical Cambridge.  “Despite being a medical student, I spend much of my time learning Japanese,” said Gen Nen after the contest. “When the opportunity to take part in a speech contest came to me, I took it without hesitation. I believe it would be a great chance to test my proficiency in Japanese and of course, to meet people who share the same interest in Japanese.”


This was followed by the Speech Category, the most challenging category of the contest, in which finalists may not use PowerPoint. After much deliberation, the judges awarded the first prize to Giulia Surace, a 4th year student of Japanese and Politics at SOAS University of London, for demonstrating excellent Japanese language and presentation skills through her thought-provoking speech on Political Indifference in Japanese Youth. She won a return air ticket to Japan, a Japan Rail Pass and £700 for her outstanding performance. “Being able to take part in such a challenging competition was the greatest reward after studying Japanese for four years,” commented Giulia. “My Japanese teacher encouraged me to apply, as I had already taken part in the Group Presentation Category during my first year. I remember watching the Speech Category participants and thinking that it would be amazing to be able to do it someday.”


Elliot Harvey, a runner up in the Speech Category, also enjoyed the experience. "It was absolutely thrilling," he commented. "Meeting the other contestants was a really lovely opportunity and by the end of the day I felt as though I had made some new friends rather than entered the terrifying speech contest that I was expecting."


Special prizes were also given to four groups selected to perform in the Group Presentation Category, aimed at beginner level students of Japanese. Liisa Veerus, a finalist in the Group Presentation Category from Imperial College London who talked about her home country of Estonia, commented, “I really enjoyed talking in Japanese about Estonia. I was really glad to receive a lot of questions about Estonia afterwards.” Her team mate, Michael Florea, also commented, "At the finals, I could hear other people close to my age speak Japanese a lot better than I did, which really gave a very good understanding of the great level one can reach with work. This really become a strong motivator ever since, and unlike before, I am now certain I will pursue Japanese to a professional level."  


We would like to thank all participants, their teachers and supporters, the judges, audience members and BATJ for making the contest such a success. In addition, special thanks must go to the generous sponsors: Baker & McKenzie LLP,  Bloomberg L.P., Central Japan Railway Company, Gendai Travel Limited, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, Japan Centre, JP BOOKS, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., SOAS University of London, Ricoh UK Ltd,  and Toshiba of Europe Ltd.


The 10th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students will take place in February 2015, and will be open for applications from autumn this year. We hope even more university students will apply!


Don't forget that applications are still being accepted for the Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Students. The deadline to apply is March 31st - click here for more information and to apply!


You can download the full results of the contest below.

Download Attachment



Southfield Primary school in "恋するフォーチュンクッキー" dance
04/03/2014
 

On 20th January, Japan Foundation London visited the pupils of Year 3 from Southfield Primary School, to take part in the Japan Foundation's "恋するフォーチュンクッキー" (Fortune Cookie in Love) Dance Video. We chose this primary school because they have been working with Dr Seiji Fukushima, the Japan Foundation London's Cheif Language advisor, to try out the Japan Foundation London's Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2

This was part of an effort by the Japan Foundation to bring Japanese language learners from around the world to come together to have fun making a Japanese pop music video. The song chosen is by the popular Japanese girl band AKB48.  The music video for the song has had a massive impact online, similar to that achieved by the Korean music video “Gangnam Style”, with many people uploading their own versions of the dance craze onto sites such as Youtube. The Japan Foundation thought that making a dance video was a great way to introduce a bit of Japanese pop culture, learn a few words and phrases, and have fun. The pupils of Year 3, from Southfield Primary School, who are learning Japanese, represented the U.K. and enjoyed practising the dance moves, such as the onigiri dance – a dance that imitates the making of rice balls. In total, groups from around 20 countries took part, and the video is available to watch on the Japan Foundation's head quaters website here or in you tube here.  


When you watch the video, look out for Southfield Primary School at 0:46 and 2:40. If you would like to try to learn the dance, you can learn the moves by clicking here



Japan Foundation/JGap Japanese language teachers' seminar: Teaching contextualisation and personalisation of elementary grammar within GCSE Japanese
26/02/2014
 

On 22nd February 2014, the Japan Foundation London and the Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe invited Waseda University Professor Yoshikazu Kawaguchi to conduct a Japanese Teacher Training workshop titled ‘Teaching contextualisation and personalisation of elementary grammar within GCSE Japanese’. Around 40 participants attended the workshop.


The theories of ‘contextualisation’ and ‘personalisation’ were presented, along with examples from Professor Kawaguchi’s classroom experiences. Afterwards, using GCSE-level syntax such as ‘koto ga aru’, and ‘~ni~ga aru’, the participants were invited to make a presentation utilising the concepts of contextualisation and personalisation, and were later given feedback from Professor Kawaguchi. By discussing these ideas with each other at the workshop, the participants got a better understanding of these two theories.


You can watch a video of the first part of the workshop lecture via the web address below.


http://www.ustream.tv/channel/japan-foundation-london-language


Materials used at the workshop can also be downloaded below.


Download Attachment



Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Volunteer Training Day February 2014
26/02/2014
 

On February 21st 2014, twenty current and prospective volunteers attended a Training Day for the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme, in which native and fluent Japanese speakers conduct free Japanese taster sessions in UK schools.


After an overview for new volunteers about the Japan Foundation and the JTS programme itself, the participants heard reports by two volunteers who had held recent Japanese language tasters. The first presenter talked about her experience teaching with three other volunteers at Harwell Primary School in Oxfordshire, while the other presented her report on her taster at a languages club at Westminster Kingsway College, a further education college in London. It was a good opportunity to hear about two quite different JTS experiences.


This was followed by workshops by Hiroko Tanaka (Japanese Language Advisor and co-ordinator of JTS at the Japan Foundation), who introduced a number of enjoyable activities. These included teaching body parts through the song “Atama, kata, hiza, ashi” (Heads, shoulders,  knees and toes), introducing Japanese colours and directions using both paper-based games and games using an Interactive Whiteboard, and a wonderful way to teach animal-related vocabulary using a simple PowerPoint-based kamishibai (picture story) of Ookii Kabu (“The Enormous Turnip”), which is part of the JFL Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2.


All the volunteers enjoyed the training day and said that they found it useful. Takako Higgs, a new JTS volunteer, commented:


「いろいろなアイディアを見ることができて良かったです。」


(“It was good to see so many different ideas.”)


Kinue Snookes, another newcomer to the JTS Training Day, said:


「ボランティアによる訪問報告がすごくためになった。また、本当にこれから、自分も訪問するんだなと実感できた。」


(“The visit reports by JTS volunteers were extremely useful. Additionally, I really felt that visiting a school myself is something I can really do now.”)


We would like to thank all participants for coming, especially our two fantastic guest speakers!


Our next JTS Training Day is scheduled for June 2014, and bookings will be open in due course.


If you are interested in taking part in the JTS programme as a volunteer, please click here for more information.



‘Let’s visit the library this half term’ Campaign
26/02/2014
 

The Japan Foundation London Library had a ‘Let’s visit the Library this half term’ campaign to encourage school students who are interested in Japanese language and culture to visit the library during half term between 17th -21st February.


During this period, the library had 100 visitors including students from secondary schools and 6th form colleges, as well as their teachers and families. The students were very keen to try practice questions for GCSE/AS/A2/IB/JLPT exams and most of them got very high marks and received a Japan Foundation sticker as a reward (these can be downloaded here). Some of them tried Edo period style wigs for town girls and samurai.


Others even enjoyed the Japanese board games Go and Shogi.


Comments from participants included:


“It is really fun and a lovely place. The campaign is awesome, too”- a year 8 secondary student


 “The help with learning Japanese was excellent as I was given many worksheets to help me to improve. There were also many textbooks and study books.” - a year 7 secondary student


“The variety of resources was very convenient and helpful. The campaign should raise awareness so more students can benefit from the library. “- 6th form student.


It brought different students of Japanese together to share interests and encourage each other. “-  6th form student


“It was interesting and the staff was very kind and helpful. I think the campaign is great for students like myself and I would like to visit again.” -  6th form student


Very helpful and provided us with lots of information and allowed us to play ‘Go’ – very fun!” -  6th form student


We’d like to thank all participants for taking part in this campaign and teachers who kindly forwarded the invitation to their students. We really hope to see even more participants at our next ‘visit the library campaign’!


To learn more about the library, please click here.



Japanese Plus: See Japan through Video Game Characters with Tomohiro Sasaki
20/02/2014
 

Advanced Japanese language learners were given the opportunity to discover the secrets behind the success of some of Japan’s most popular computer game characters in a special two-day Japanese Plus course at the Japan Foundation on February 11th and 12th 2014.


The course was run by Tomohiro Sasaki, a theatre director and former video game planner / scenario writer, with particular expertise in character design. Conducting the course entirely in Japanese, Sasaki-sensei introduced the basics behind creating an appealing character, including their external appearance and personality, and the many different kinds of characters one may encounter in game scenarios. His lectures also gave lots of insight into traditional and modern Japanese culture, and key words in Japanese associated with character creation. Participants particularly enjoyed the chance to display their linguistic skills, artistic talents and creativity by creating their own characters and presenting them to the class!


It was very interesting,” commented Andrew Niewiarowski, a regular attendee of Japanese Plus. “The level of Japanese was pitched very well – not too easy, not too difficult.”


Another participant commented, “Even though I know nothing about games/anime, it was interesting to learn about that part of Japanese culture. It was fun to design our own characters.”


Sasaki-sensei’s book about character design, 『ゲームシナリオの書き方』, is available to loan from the Japan Foundation London Library.


We’d like to thank all participants for taking part in Japanese Plus, and Sasaki-sensei for his fascinating and highly entertaining lectures. We really hope to see even more participants at our next Japanese Plus course!


To learn more about Japanese Plus, please click here.



3rd Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-graduate Workshop
17/02/2014

Thursday 6th February saw the return of our annual Post-Graduate Workshop, organised in collaboration with the British Association of Japanese Studies (BAJS).  Despite the Tube strike and poor weather, over 40 post-graduate students from across the country attended.


This year’s workshop kicked off with parallel presentation sessions in which 6 PhD students presented their research and received feedback from fellow post-graduate students and senior colleagues. The presenters were: Fabiana Marinaro (University of Manchester), Hui-Ying Kerr (Royal College of Art and Design/The Victoria and Albert Museum), Lynley Aldridge (University of Leeds), Forum Mithani (SOAS), Sylvia Simpson (SOAS), and Jane Wallace (University of Leeds).


The afternoon featured practical workshop sessions on ‘Conducting Research in Japan’, given by Dr Irena Hayter (University of Leeds) and Dr Jamie Coates (University of Sheffield), and ‘Navigating Open-Access and Getting your Research Published’, given by Professor Caroline Rose (University of Leeds).


The workshop finished with a session on ‘Funding your Research’ with presentations from Rory Steele (Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation), Mitsuko Ando (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), Susan Meehan (Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Hal Parker (Japan Foundation).


We would like to thank all participants for coming along and making the day such a great success.  We hope to see you all again next year! 



Lecture Series with Hiroshi Kainuma 20-23 January, 2014
17/02/2014
 

The Japan Foundation recently invited the sociologist and rising star of Japanese academia Hiroshi Kainuma (University of Tokyo/Fukushima University) to the UK to give a mini lecture series on his latest research.   


Lecture 1: ‘Voices from Fukushima - sketching a future beyond the pro/anti-nuclear debate’ (Held at the Japan Foundation, London, and the University of Sheffield on 20th and 22nd January respectively)


In his first lecture, Fukushima-native Kainuma explored the historical background and development of the nuclear power industry in Fukushima, before moving on to discuss the experiences and opinions of those whose lives have been directly affected by the ongoing nuclear crisis.  He ended his talk by offering new directions for future debates that move beyond a simple pro/anti-nuclear dichotomy.   Following Kainuma’s presentation, Dr Peter Wynn Kirby (University of Oxford) introduced his research into radioactive citizenship in Fukushima and Japan more broadly, before joining Kainuma in discussion.


 


Lecture 2: ‘On the Margins in Japan - Voices from the Underclass, Sex Industry, Far-right and New Left’   (Held at The University of Edinburgh, and the Japan Foundation, London on 21st and 23rd January respectively)


In his second lecture, Kainuma revealed another side to modern Japan through a series of case studies examining those people/groups living on the fringes of Japanese society.  Kainuma’s talk was followed by an incisive commentary from discussant Dr Tuukka Toivonen (Goldsmiths, University of London/Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford) and a lively Q&A session with questions directed at both speakers.


We would like to thank Mr Kainuma for making the long trip to the UK to give such a fascinating and thought-provoking series of lectures, and we very much hope to see him in the UK again soon.  We would also like to express our gratitude to the University of Edinburgh and University of Sheffield for kindly agreeing to co-host the regional seminars.


**If you would like to receive Mr Kainuma’s PowerPoint presentations, please contact Hal Parker at the following address:  hal.parker@jpf.org.uk



Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Volunteer Training Day at Newcastle University
27/01/2014
 

On January 21st 2014, the Japan Foundation London held a training day for current and prospective volunteers of the Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme at Newcastle University for the first time. JTS volunteers are fluent Japanese speakers who deliver Japanese language taster sessions at UK primary and secondary schools, in order to inspire pupils to learn more about Japanese language and culture, and to encourage schools to start Japanese classes.


A total of 29 people attended the training day, which began with an overview of the Japan Foundation and the JTS Programme. This was followed by a workshop by Hiroko Tanaka (Japanese Language Advisor and co-ordinator of JTS at the Japan Foundation), who introduced a variety of games and enjoyable activities to teach Japanese in an effective and engaging manner. These included songs to teach Japanese greetings, gestures for learning the numbers 1-10 in Japanese, and “Samurai Rock, Paper, Scissors” which involves making and wearing origami samurai helmets!


The workshop was very well received by all participants. One participant, Kimie Tanaka, commented:「短期間のセッションなのに内容も充実していて面白かったです」


(“Although it was a short session, it was fun and managed to pack everything in.”)


Another participant, Sophie Kerr, said, “Activity suggestions were really interesting and useful. Demonstrations of songs and games were also useful. And fun!


The Japan Foundation would like to thank all attendees for coming, as well as Kumi Casey and all the other staff at the School of Modern Languages for supporting this event.


Our next JTS Training Day will take place in London on February 21stclick here for more information and to book your place.


If you would like to find out more about the JTS Programme and how to become a member, please click here.



Japanese from Scratch –Let’s eat Ramen!
18/12/2013
 

The latest Japanese from Scratch event took place on the 5th of December 2013. The theme for this event was ramen, a Japanese dish in which noodles are served in broth, which has recently experienced a surge of popularity in the UK. 47 people came to the Japan Foundation London to learn about these noodles, to learn about their history and how to get the most out of their ramen-eating experience.


The event started with a talk from Dr Barak Kushner, the author of “Slurp! A Social and Culinary History of Ramen - Japan's Favorite Noodle Soup,” who gave a really interesting introduction to the history of ramen in Japan and its special place in Japanese culture. This was followed by a session about ramen culture and an introduction to the types of ramen available in London by the Japan Foundation’s unofficial ramen enthusiast, Josephine Audigier. Next the Japan Foundation’s Chief Japanese language Advisor, Dr Seiji Fukushima, led an interactive Japanese language session focussing on the vocabulary and expressions relating to ramen.


All this talk (and photos) of ramen made most people hungry by the end of the event, but luckily we had already planned to take some participants to try authentic ramen at nearby restaurants in central London. Eight participants visited the nearby Seto restaurant in Camden, while another 14 participants walked over to the new CoCoRo ramen restaurant behind the British Museum. They all had a chance to use their newly-learnt Japanese to order ramen, and taste it for themselves.  If you would like to explore some of the various ramen options available in London, please download the ramen map below.


One participant mentioned that “It was very fun – made me hungry. It was my first time attending something like this so I was nervous, but everyone was really friendly. Thank you!”


 Another attendee told us the following:
“The first part was very interesting, providing knowledge about the history and culture of Japan in just an hour. Very good speaker. I found the info on the places to eat ramen very useful. Also, the language teacher was very good at interpreting the words and I liked the fact that it was an interactive speech.”


We would like to thank all participants for coming – arigatou gozaimashita.


If you have never studied Japanese before and are interested in learning, or have only just begun to study Japanese, please click here to sign up to our monthly e-bulletin to receive notifications of this and other Japan Foundation events. Click here to read more about Japanese from Scratch and view reports of previous workshops.

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Franco-Japanese language and culture programme
11/12/2013
 

The Institut Français, Japan Foundation and Network for Languages formally signed a partnership agreement in October 2013 to come together to support high-level language learning in the UK. 


They have come together for the purpose of supporting students that study French at AS and A level in order to improve their oral communication in French and to widen students’ language skills to include basic Japanese. The support will include the development of specific resources and training for French and Japanese along with school partnerships between the three countries. The programme will include intensive day(s) dedicated to languages within the students’ curriculum. Our aim is to inspire students to keep on studying languages at university.


We are now looking for schools that teach A-level French that might be interested in taking part in the programme. Their students will have the chance to improve their French, by using their French language skills as a tool to learn basic Japanese. Students will also be given the chance to explore both French and Japanese culture. Teachers do not need any proficiency in Japanese to take part in this project.


Roles of each partner



  • The Institut Français du Royaume-Uni will provide French resources for teachers during the year and native speakers, as far as possible, for the intensive day(s). It will also help to create partnerships with French schools.

  • The Japan Foundation will provide resources for Japanese taster sessions and native level speakers of Japanese, as far as possible, for the intensive day(s). It will also help to create partnerships with Japanese schools.

  • Network for Languages help to create partnerships with schools which teach French for A-level and which do not currently teach Japanese. It will also be in charge of the teachers training. 


Please see the attached press relase for contact details of each organisation. 



Download Attachment



Japanese identified as one of the “most vital” languages to the UK
28/11/2013
 

Japanese has been identified as one of the “most vital” languages to the UK over the next 20 years in the British Council’s Languages for the Future report, published on November 20th 2013.


The list of 10 languages featured in the report were chosen based on economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors including the needs of UK businesses, the UK’s overseas trade targets, diplomatic and security priorities, and prevalence on the internet.


One of the reasons for the importance of Japanese to the UK given in the report is that Japan is the world’s third largest economy and a significant contributor to UK prosperity. The UK is by far the biggest destination for Japanese investment in Europe, with 1,400 Japanese companies located here. Japan’s roles in science, technology and development assistance were also highlighted in the report.


Despite this, currently only 1% of the UK's adult population report that they speak Japanese well enough to hold a conversation. There is therefore a clear need continue developing Japanese language provisions in the UK at all levels, including schools, universities and colleges.


There are many ways in which you can help to support Japanese language education in the UK:



  • If you wish to learn Japanese yourself, take a look at our information for potential learners here, as well as the range of courses we have on offer. We also have a wealth of free online resources for independent learners,  as well as around 10,000 books and other materials in our library. Lists of primary schools, secondary schools and universities that teach Japanese can be found here.




  • If you are a school or other educational institution looking to start Japanese classes, take a look at our information here. Our many support services for schools starting Japanese include funding, resources, training and Japanese taster sessions.  Institutions looking to start Japanese are encouraged to get in direct contact with the Japan Foundation as soon as possible for full details on how we can help you.



  • Anyone interested in supporting Japanese at primary level can register with our Primary Japanese Campaign – click here for more details.



Seminar - Japanese for Primary Schools
26/11/2013
 

On the 21st of November, during the British Council’s International Education Week, 20 teachers of Japanese and primary class teachers came to the Japan Foundation, London for a chance to learn about support and resources for Japanese language classes in primary schools. This event was part of the Japan Foundation, London’s series of workshops and events for our Primary Japanese Campaign 2014, to help prepare primary teachers who would like to teach Japanese from September 2014.


The seminar started with an overview of the wide range of support (including resources and funding) for primary schools in the UK, with plenty of time for questions. Teachers then had a chance to explore the Japan Foundation library and have a look at possible teaching materials for Key Stage 2. Lastly, Dr Seiji Fukushima, the Chief Language Advisor for the Japan Foundation London, introduced some resources in detail, and explained how he is currently using them in a West London primary school. He showed how he is adapting our Key Stage 2 scheme of work, and using it along with Ready Steady NihonGo, Eirin’s challenge and videos of Japan from JNTO.


Most attendees mentioned that the information about resources was very helpful Thierry Maillard mentioned that it was “Great for videos and ideas, even for MFL in general.” Another teacher commented that is was good to “see resources and websites in action.” Quite a few participants mentioned that they were interested in a longer version of the seminar that could include some basic Japanese language training. We will try to provide another basic Japanese course for teachers in the future, so please sign up to our e-bulletin or Primary Japanese Campaign to ensure you receive the latest information.


Click below for the full presentation about support and resources. 

Download Attachment

Download Attachment



Sensei-tional – Japanese Teacher wins teacher of the year award
28/10/2013
 

The Japan Foundation is delighted to confirm that Crispin Chambers, who teaches Japanese at Tavistock College in Devon, has won the award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School at the Pearson National Teaching awards ceremony held in London. His large group of supporters cheered loudly and even shouted “konnichiwa sensei” in unison as he collected his award.


Crispin learnt to speak Japanese when he took part in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, teaching English on Awaji Island for 2 years and then became JET programme co-ordinator for a year for the Japanese government at in Tokyo. After returning to the UK, Crispin gained an MA in Japanese at Sheffield University followed by a PGCE at Nottingham University. He has been teaching Japanese and French at Tavistock since 1996, and has trained several other teachers of Japanese. His lessons are inspiring and fun, and were described by the Teaching Awards judges as "a joy to watch".


As he collected his award, Crispin was asked why he thought his students do so well learning Japanese. He responded with several reasons:



  • Japanese has a strong visual impact, so those students that like art are good at Japanese

  • It is one of the most simple languages to study from a grammatical point of view, so students that like maths and science are normally good at Japanese

  • It is good to see pupils with various learning disabilities succeed in Japanese, and his dyslexic pupils have done well


Crispin finished by saying that Japanese was his passion and that he is just happy to be able to share it with the thousands of pupils that he has taught.


You can see Crispin receive his award on Britain’s Classroom Heroes here. The programme will be available on the BBC iplayer until the 3rd of November 2013.  You can learn more about Crispin’s fantastic Japanese lessons in our case study about the school click here or here  to read it.



Japan Foundation at the 2013 Language Show Live
27/10/2013
 

A big thank you to everyone who visited the Japan Foundation’s stand at the Language Show Live on the 18th, 19th and 20th October at Olympia.


Held once a year, the Language Show is the UK's biggest event for language learners, teachers, linguists and anyone with a passion for languages.  The Japan Foundation’s stand gave visitors a chance to experience Japanese language and culture, including writing their name in Japanese and taking a purikura-style photo using Japan Foundation’s Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese website (you can find the purikura game here).


On Friday morning, for the first time, the Japan Foundation held a seminar on Non-European languages in Primary and Secondary education: A case study of Japanese. Using Japanese as an example, the seminar aimed to give ideas to teachers of less well taught languages about how to go about introducing them into schools, and what support is available.


On Sunday morning, we held a Japanese Language Taster session led by the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Language Advisor, Hiroko Tanaka. It was attended by enthusiastic language learners of all ages, who learned basic Japanese greetings and the writing system.


At the close of the show on Sunday afternoon, Japan Foundation were delighted to welcome back Tamashii Daiko for a performance Japanese taiko drumming and a taiko workshop. Tamashii’s exhilarating drumming drew an enormous crowd, and many audience members were delighted to get the change to try taiko themselves.


Additionally, we held a Japan Quiz, which approximately 700 people entered.  Out of those who answered the quiz correctly, we picked five at random to send our Japan Foundation Goody Bag. Congratulations to Maysoun Cesarato-Adel from London, Caroline Moses from London, Jeanette Shipp from Surrey, Kristin Barrett from Essex and John Parry from Shropshire, who have all been sent Goody Bags!


The answers to the quiz were as follows:


1. Japan is often known as “The Land of the Rising...”a) Sun b) Moon c) Ninjas
Answer: a) Sun. The Japanese word for Japan, Nihon (日本), means “sun’s origin.”


2. Japan’s tallest mountain was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. But what is this mountain’s name? a) Mount Kilimanjaro b) Mount Everest c) Mount Fuji
Answer:  c) Mount Fuji. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, and Everest is in the Himalayas.


3. Which of these kanji (Japanese characters) means “tree”? (Hint – look at the shape!) a) b) c) 
Answer: c) (ki). 日(hi) means “sun” or “day,” while  山 (yama) means “mountain.”


4. Which of the following is a traditional Japanese performing art? a) Belly Dance b) Kabuki c) Peking Opera
Answer: b) Kabuki. Belly dance is from the Middle East, and Peking Opera is from China.


We would like to thank Tamashii Daiko and all our Japanese Taster for Schools volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise for the show.  Domo arigato gozaimashita!


If you missed us, you will also have the opportunity to see the Japan Foundation exhibit and present seminars at Experience Japan Exhibition 2013 on November 16th.


Japan Foundation will also be attending the Language Show in 2014, on October 17th, 18th and 19th  at the Olympia, London. We hope to see you there!



Japan Foundation at the Japan Matsuri 2013
24/10/2013
 

The Japan Matsuri returned to Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday 5th October 2013. This popular annual festival brings members of the Japanese community and Londoners together to enjoy the many aspects of Japan with Japanese food, music, dance and other activities.

The Japan Foundation ran a stall at the festival providing information about studying Japanese in the UK, useful handouts about our support for schools and details about all of our upcoming events.  In addition, we held a Japan Quiz, which 600 people entered. 

The answers to the quiz were as follows:


1. Japan is often known as “The Land of the Rising...”a) Sun b) Moon c) Ninjas
Answer: a) Sun. The Japanese word for Japan, Nihon (日本), means “sun’s origin.”


2. Japan’s tallest mountain was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. But what is this mountain’s name? a) Mount Kilimanjaro b) Mount Everest c) Mount Fuji
Answer:  c) Mount Fuji. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, and Everest is in the Himalayas.


3. Which of these kanji (Japanese characters) means “tree”? (Hint – look at the shape!) a)  b) c) 
Answer: c) (ki). 日(hi) means “sun” or “day,” while  山 (yama) means “mountain.”


4. Which of the following is a traditional Japanese performing art? a) Belly Dance b) Kabuki c) Peking Opera
Answer: b) Kabuki. Belly dance is from the Middle East, and Peking Opera is from China.


Out of those who answered the quiz correctly, we picked five at random to send our Japan Foundation Goody Bag. Congratulations to the five winners Karen Mason from London, Cathy Stroemer from Orpington, Guendalina De Luigi from London, Daniel Tilbey from Essex and Kiki Chiv from London, all of whom have been sent goody bags!


The Japan Foundation will also be at the Experience Japan Exhibition 2013 on November 16th. We hope to see you there!



Farewell Takahashi-san, Welcome Yanagisawa-san
30/09/2013

There has been a change in personnel here at the Japan Foundation, London Office with Tsuyoshi Takahashi returning to Tokyo and Kenichi Yanagisawa assuming the role of Director-General.  Please click here to read a farewell message from Takahashi-san and a welcome message from Yanagisawa-san.



1000 Words Campaign
26/09/2013
 

Speak to the Future has just launched a campaign calling for everyone to learn 1,000 words of a foreign language - a level that will allow them to hold simple conversations in another tongue. The project is funded by the British Academy and Routes into Languages, and is backed by a broad coalition of organisations including the British Council and the Japan Foundation, London. We hope that lots of people will try to learn their first 1000 words in Japanese!


How to get started for individuals:
A good way to get started is to have a look at the fantastic resources on the Japan Foundation’s portal website Nihongo iina (including various Japanese language application’s for Android or iOS.) or you can try the new Language and culture course website, Marugoto Plus.


We will continue to hold Japanese from Scratch events, that allow people to dip their toes into Japanese language learning, as well as our Language and Culture Course for Beginners. We will be giving out hiragana and katakana charts along with plenty of useful Japanese language learning advice at the upcoming Japan Matsuri and Language Show Live, so come and visit us at these events. Please subscribe to our ebulletin or check out our What's On page to see what other events are coming up.


How to get started for teachers:
Teachers that would like to take their first steps in learning Japanese can attend our free Basic Japanese Language and Culture Course for teachers during the upcoming autumn half term. We also have a free Japanese for primary schools event in November to demonstrate how to introduce Japanese language classes into primary schools (and have a go at learning Japanese yourself!) For teachers that already know basic Japanese, we have the J-Basic Online course that would like to build up their language skills, to get you closer to your first 1000 words.


How to get started for schools:
If your school would like to introduce Japanese, we have a huge range of support to help you get started. We have a network of volunteers who can visit your school to give a free Japanese language taster. We have a funding programme, a large selection of free online resources and a fantastic library (including a loan-by-post service) with approximately 10,000 items to help you teach Japanese language and culture.


日本語のことば1000語に挑戦!
Let’s get learning at least 1000 words in Japanese!



Fellowship Programme FY 2014
24/09/2013

The application forms for the Japanese Studies Fellowship Programme 2014 have now been released. 


To receive an application form or to learn more about the programme contact Hal Parker or visit the programme list on our Tokyo site.


Application deadline: 2nd December, 2013.


Please discuss your eligibility with the Japan Foundation before applying.  



2013 Japanese Refresher Course for Teachers
02/09/2013
 

From the 19th to the 23rd of August, 22 intermediate and 15 advanced speakers of Japanese joined the Japan Foundation’s language advisors to refresh their Japanese before the start of the new school year. This year’s attendees were non-native Japanese language teachers from a wide range of teaching backgrounds, from primary schools to university-level.


This year’s theme was 「話すことを教える」- Teaching Spoken Japanese. The aim of the course was for teachers to study Japanese teaching methods while at the same time brush-up their own Japanese ability by trying out teaching activities. Lead by Seiji Fukushima and Hiroko Tanaka, the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Language Advisors, the course gave participants the opportunity to explore how to teach Japanese conversation, including pronunciation, looking at both pedagogy and practical teaching ideas.


Participants looked at the JF Standard for language education and had time to practice speaking in Japanese by creating role plays. They also learnt about spoken Japanese in terms of timing, rhythm and intonation and tips to improve pronunciation, such as shadowing. On the final day of each course, the participants gave speeches or self-introductions in Japanese. These were excellent and demonstrated the exceptional talent and passion that Japanese language teachers in the UK possess. Catherine Stead commented that she “liked the balance of activities that challenged us to use Japanese and that concerned discussion of teaching Japanese.”


All participants enjoyed not only exploring teaching methods, but also the opportunity to network and practice their Japanese with fellow Japanese teachers. One participant, Beth Smith summed this up by saying, “I really enjoyed the challenge – and I would recommend to anyone teaching Japanese or running a Japanese club. I learned so much that I thought I had forgotten.”


We would like to thank all participants for coming to the Refresher Course, and really hope to see them again at future events. お疲れ様でした!


You can download the data from the Refresher Course below.

Download Attachment



New Library Regulations - now even easier to join!
28/08/2013
 

We are delighted to announce that from 1 September 2013, the library regulations will be changed to make it even easier for a greater number of people to benefit from our Japanese language education collection.


Please click here to view the details of these changes (in Japanese and English) and click here to view our updated library leaflet.

Download Attachment



Japan Foundation to release official coursebooks in September!
27/08/2013
 

We are delighted to announce that Marugoto Starter (A1), a brand new coursebook created by the Japan Foundation using  the JF Standard for Japanese Language Education, are available in the UK from September.


Marugoto Starter (A1) is designed in such a way that Japanese language and culture can be studied together. It aims to increase communicative skill and responds to the needs of learners who desire to become able to speak in Japanese in as short a time as possible. Through useful topics, audio learning materials and full-colour photographs and illustrations that let you get a glimpse of Japanese life and culture, it’s possible to rapidly deepen learners’ interest in Japan and Japanese language. This book allows learners around the world to feel the joy of using Japanese and steadily increasing what they can do in the language.


Some of the features of Marugoto include:



  • Levels:  Based on the JF Standard (JFS) which is derived from the CEFR. CEFR is an abbreviation of the 'Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment' which provides a shared framework in the field of language education and learning in Europe.

  • Tasks: Learning goals for each chapter are designed with reference to JFS's "Can-do" statements. The emphasis is on communicative tasks.

  • Intercultural Understanding: In order to deepen their understanding, learners can find out about Japanese life and culture and consider similarities and differences with their own.

  • Portfolio: Learners use a portfolio to keep records of their Japanese language learning and cultural experiences. This makes the learning process and achievements gained more visible.


More information about Marugoto and supplementary materials can be found at the following websites:



If you are interested in learning Japanese through Marugoto, you may be interested in the Japan Foundation & SOAS Language and Culture Course which uses this textbook – click here for more information.


If you are a teacher of Japanese and are interested in teaching with Marugoto, we are planning to hold seminars on teaching with this resource. Please click here to subscribe to our monthly e-bulletin, JF News, to receive news on upcoming Marugoto events.



Looking for a partner school to develop primary Scheme of Work and supplementary resources
01/08/2013


Japanese language in primary education:
The National Curriculum reforms mean that from September 2014, it will be compulsory for primary schools maintained in England to teach a foreign language of their choosing. In response to this, the Japan Foundation are developing a Japanese language education Scheme of Work and supporting materials for primary schools. We are now looking for a London-based primary school that would like to participate in the development of these resources, by working in partnership with us to test our draft Scheme of Work with a class of Year 3 pupils.


The selected partner school will be supplied an expert Japanese language teacher from the Japan Foundation London, who will plan and deliver an entire course of Japanese lessons completely free of charge. Should your school wish to receive further advice and support in continuing the Japanese lessons after the trial period has ended, the Japan Foundation will be more than happy to assist.


This is a very exciting and unique opportunity for the partner school to take an active role in creating a Scheme of Work and supporting resources that will be available to schools nationwide, as well as to develop their own Japanese language programme for their school and to give their pupils the rare chance to learn Japanese language.


Scheme of Work development project: Japanese language education for primary education
Aim: To develop a Scheme of Work (SoW) and supporting materials for KS2 (Year 3) by September 2014. Additionally, to develop teaching methods for Japanese classes incorporating Japanese culture such as anime (Japanese cartoons).


Target Class: We would like to test the draft curriculum with the following two types of model classes:


1. General Japanese Class (Year 3)



  • Target: Year 3 pupils

  • Period: September 2013 – July 2014 (We can discuss the duration at the end of each school term)

  • Time: 45 minutes once a week, for a total of 36 sessions (provisional schedule)

  • Content: Japanese class based on the new curriculum

  • Instructor: Dr Seiji Fukushima (Chief Japanese Language Advisor at the Japan Foundation London)


2. Short-Term Japanese/Anime Course



  • Target: Year 3 pupils

  • Period: Approximately one month (as appropriate) between September 2013 – July 2014

  • Time: 45 minutes once a week, for a total of 4 sessions

  • Content: Japanese language and culture class using anime (Japanese cartoons).

  • Instructor: Dr Seiji Fukushima (Chief Japanese Language Advisor at the Japan Foundation London)


The partner primary schools should:



  • Be interested in holding a Japanese class and a Japanese club for Year 3 pupils (Preferably held on different days)

  • Be willing to permit the Japan Foundation to use its facilities and equipment to be used for the purpose of running a Japanese class and club, including class room, PC, projector etc.

  • Be willing to provide an advisor for the instructor. The Japanese class will be run by a Japanese language advisor from the Japan Foundation London, but we would also like a class teacher from the partner school to attend the classes and provide appropriate advice from the point of view of a primary level educator.


Other points:



  • Both schools that are currently teaching Japanese, and those not currently teaching Japanese, are welcome to apply

  • The Japan Foundation will cover all expenses, including personnel expenses, travel expenses etc. incurred by the Japanese language advisor.

  • Priority will be given to schools with particular enthusiasm for introducing language education.

  • Priority will be given to maintained primary schools 


If you are interested in getting involved in the project, please contact Josephine Audigier josephine.audigier@jpf.org.uk or 020 7436 6698.




Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan 2013
31/07/2013
 

A big thank you to the 2,000+ visitors who came to the Japan Foundation’s stand at the Hyper Japan on the 26th, 27th and 28th July 2013.


HYPER JAPAN is the UK's biggest celebration of Japanese culture, Japanese cuisine, and Japanese cool. The Japan Foundation London’s stand gave visitors a chance to find out more about Japanese arts and culture, and studying Japanese language.


One of the highlights of our stand was our Japan Quiz, which around 1,300 people entered.
The answers to the quiz were as follows:


1. Japan is often known as “The Land of the Rising...”a) Sun b) Moon c) Ninjas
Answer: a) Sun. The Japanese word for Japan, Nihon (日本), means “sun’s origin.”


2. Japan’s tallest mountain was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. But what is this mountain’s name? a) Mount Kilimanjaro b) Mount Everest c) Mount Fuji
Answer:  c) Mount Fuji. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, and Everest is in the Himalayas.


3. Which lovable Japanese animal character made its first appearance in 1974 before taking the world by storm? a) Hello Kitty  b)  Kermit the Frog  c) Pikachu
Answer: a) Hello Kitty.  Pikachu is Japanese, but made his first appearance in 1996. Jim Henson (American) created Kermit the Frog in 1955.


4. Which of these kanji (Japanese characters) means “tree”? (Hint – look at the shape!) a) 日 b) 山c)
Answer: c) (ki). 日(hi) means “sun” or “day,” while  山 (yama) means “mountain.”


5. Which of the following is a traditional Japanese performing art? a) Belly Dance b) Kabuki c) Peking Opera
Answer: b) Kabuki. Belly dance is from the Middle East, and Peking Opera is from China.


Out of those who answered the quiz correctly, only five people could win the Japan Foundation goody bag. The lucky five were Jayson Arago from Surrey, Alan Lok from Hertfordshire, Jen Kenny from Northampton, Daniel Pina from London and Antonio Ruiz from Essex. Well done to them!


We are scheduled to be at Hyper Japan again in 25th – 27th July 2014, and hope to see even more Japan fans there!



Newstead Wood School pupils visit the Japan Foundation Library
29/07/2013
 

On July 4th 2013, the Japan Foundation London Library was delighted to welcome ten pupils and two teachers from Newstead Wood School. The pupils were all in Year 9 and studying Japanese language.


The Library and Resources Officer, Miho Takamura, told the pupils all about the library, using simple Japanese words such as hon (book) and shinbun (newspaper). Pupils were then invited to explore the library themselves. The manga section proved particularly popular! Pupils also enjoyed making their own purikura mini photos, using the purikura activity on Japan Foundation’s Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese website.


The library is open to all members of the public who wish to use its resources for Japanese language study. For further details on how to join and the types of membership available, please click here. The library will be open as usual throughout the school summer holidays, so please come and visit!


Finally, we’d like to thank the teachers and pupils of Newstead Wood School for visiting us – arigatou gozaimashita!


If you are interested in organising a library tour for your pupils, please contact the Japan Foundation Library at library@jpf.org.uk for more information.



Japanese for ALTs - Beginners’ Japanese class for JET participants
23/07/2013
 

For the very first time, the Japan Foundation London has held an exclusive beginners’ Japanese class for participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, in which graduates from English-speaking countries go to Japan to teach English and promote cultural exchange.


The course took place over July 20th and 21st, and twenty JET participants in total took part. Led by the Japan Foundation’s Chief Japanese Language Advisor, Dr Seiji Fukushima, the course was based on Japan Foundation’s brand new coursebook Marugoto: Japanese language and culture, in addition to material from the accompanying MARUGOTO+ website and Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese. The Marugoto coursebook, which is based on JF Standard for Japanese Language Education  and emphasises learning Japanese for practical communication and cultural understanding, was very appropriate to the JET participants, who will soon find themselves in situations where they will need Japanese in order to accomplish basic tasks such as ordering food, meeting new people, and teaching Japanese school pupils. To keep the course effective and enjoyable, Fukushima-sensei incorporated many different activities into the lessons, including role-play, games and videos of Japanese life.


We were also very fortunate to be joined by fluent Japanese-speaking volunteers, who gave participants the opportunity to practice their newly-acquired Japanese and ask questions about Japanese language and culture.


 Some of the feedback from participants included:


 “Situation learning’ meant the Japanese study felt a more natural way to learn and my interest was held. The event was enjoyable!”


 “Really liked the course handbook & textbook. The sensei was excellent – very enthusiastic which helped keep me focussed. The additional help from the volunteers was very helpful.”


“I liked the contrast between group discussion and teaching and it was nice to get to know other JETs from the U.K. before going whilst learning some useful phrases.”


The participants will all be travelling out to Japan in August, and we wish them all the best of luck – ganbatte kudasai!


A big thank you to all the participants for coming, and an especially big thank you to the Japanese-speaking volunteers  - ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!



Book Launch & Talk - Aesthetic Strategies of the Floating World, by Alfred Haft
22/07/2013


The Japan Foundation was delighted to present this book launch and talk on the highly-regarded new publication, Aesthetic Strategies of the Floating World.  We were joined by the book’s author, Afred Haft (British Museum), who examined how the Floating World responded to the authority of Japan’s classical tradition, and made ukiyo-e (popular woodblock prints) an agent in the social and cultural politics of their time.  Following Haft’s talk, Tim Clark (British Museum) and Dr Christine Guth (Royal College of Art) gave incisive and thought-provoking commentaries on the book, before the panel took questions from the audience in what was a lively and interesting Q&A session. 


We had a full house for this event and the Japan Foundation would like to thank all those that came along and helped to make this such a successful evening. 


Image: Fûryû yatsushi Genji: Matsuzake Chôbunsai Eishi circa 1790, collection of the British Museum



New Japanese language learning website launched by Japan Foundation: MARUGOTO+
19/07/2013
 

The Japan Foundation are delighted to announce the launch of a new website especially for beginners of Japanese language, called MARUGOTO+.


Free and very easy to use, MARUGOTO+ (MARUGOTO Plus) enables users to learn about Japanese language and culture through nine separate topics. The emphasis on the website is to learn Japanese for practical communicative tasks, as well as deepen understanding of Japanese culture. There are a large number of videos of life in Japan for listening and speaking practice, which also help deepen your understanding of actual everyday situations. The website also features basic training in Japanese grammar, writing and pronunciation, including animations for writing kanji.


The website is designed to be used alongside the contents of Marugoto: Japanese language and culture, a coursebook developed by the Japan Foundation which uses the JF Standard for Japanese Language Education as a basis. This coursebook will be published later in the year.


To start using MARUGOTO+ straight away (no registration is required), please go to http://marugotoweb.jp.


We hope beginners of Japanese will enjoy using this fun website to enhance their studies!



The New Draft National Curriculum – Fantastic news for Japanese!
09/07/2013
 

The Japan Foundation delighted to report that the UK government published a new draft national curriculum on 8th of July 2013 that includes several amendments that are beneficial to teachers and students of Japanese as it gives schools a free choice of which language to teach. The national curriculum applies to all state maintained schools in England, but does not have to apply to academies, free schools or independent schools. There will be one last consultation on this draft, which is due to be introduced in schools from September 2014.


We would like to thank all of the teachers, pupils, businesses, organisations and individuals who responded to the various government consultations over the last year. The latest report from the Department for Education specifically mentions that a large number of respondents mentioned Japanese, and argued against the prescriptive list of seven languages. We have outlined a brief overview of how the changes affect Japanese language education below. You can see the full report here and the new framework document here.


Key Stage 2 (pupils aged 7 – 11)
The Department for Education has removed the proposed list of languages from the key stage 2 programme of study for foreign languages to give schools a free choice over which modern or ancient language pupils should study over the four years of key stage 2. This is fantastic news for primary schools that already teach Japanese, and for schools that would like to introduce Japanese in the future.


The Japan Foundation London is keen to support primary schools that would like to start Japanese. We have funding, resources and a whole range of courses and events for teachers; we hope many more primary schools will use our support to introduce Japanese classes at this level.


Key Stage 3 (pupils aged 11 – 14)
There is also good news for the many secondary schools where pupils begin to study Japanese at key stage 3. “Teaching may be of any modern foreign language and should build on the foundations of language learning laid at key stage 2, whether pupils continue with the same language or take up a new one.” This means that even if feeder primary schools are unable to teach Japanese, it should not affect the ability of secondary schools to maintain their current Japanese classes.


As some primary schools do already teach Japanese, the Japan Foundation London is keen to work with schools to bridge the gap between key stages 2 and 3 to ensure pupils will be able to progress smoothly into secondary school and continue to study Japanese at higher levels.


Key Stage 4 (GSCE level 14 – 16)
Modern foreign languages are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14, but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study them. This means that schools must provide access to at least one language course at key stage 4 level, which leads to a formal qualification.


The government is also running a consultation about GCSE accreditation. You can read the subject content and assessment objectives here, and can respond to this consultation here



Nihongo Cup 2013
04/07/2013
 

The Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for secondary school students was held at the Embassy of Japan in London on June  29th 2013.


The 18 finalists, who had been selected from 203 applicants from 22 different schools across the UK, all demonstrated great creativity, thoughtfulness and outstanding ability in Japanese in performing their speeches – not to mention extraordinary courage to present their ideas in a foreign language to an audience of 130 people!


Between each of the three categories of speeches, the audience was entertained by Japanese children’s stories told to the musical accompaniment of Motoki Hirai, and an interactive performance of the traditional “tankobushi” Japanese coal miner’s dance by two members of the Japanese Language Committee.


Due to the extremely high level of Japanese and the thought-provoking content of the speeches delivered by all finalists, the judges had extremely difficult decisions to make when choosing the final winners of the 2013 Nihongo Cup. In the end, Ji-Han Choi (Key Stage 4and 5 Post-GCSE), Lusha Zharova (Key Stage 4 and 5 Pre-GCSE) and Anna Whitehead (Key Stage 3) were awarded first prize in each of their categories.


There were many young Japanese language learners in the audience studying Japanese, and we asked them to share their experiences with us. Christina Vivian, a student at Greenford High School, said: “I chose to study Japanese because I’m really interested in the culture and language so pursued to learn it... It has made my school life a lot more interesting!


Anna Whitehead, winner of the Key Stage 3 category, said, “Japanese is a fun and interesting language to learn. Japanese culture is exciting and unique, and the food is delicious! I recommend Japanese, it is very special and you won’t regret it!”


Many congratulations and a big thank-you to everyone who came together to make the day such a success. The full results of the contest are as follows:


Key Stage 4 and 5 Post-GCSE Category
Winner: Ji-Han Choi (Hampton School) 
Speech title: “Meeting with Code Geass”
2nd Prize: Bozena Odobasic (Gresham’s)
Speech title: “School Uniform”
3rd Prize: Rachel Lawson (Wolfreton School and Sixth Form College)
Speech title: “My Writing”


Other finalists:
Clifford Chung (Hockerill Anglo-European College)
Yu Yeen Fung (St. Helen’s School)
Alvin Lei (Wycliffe College)


Key Stage 4 and 5 Pre-GCSE Category
Winner: Lusha Zharova (Sevenoaks School)
Speech title: “Anjin”
2nd Prize: Benny Dörnyei (The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form)
Speech title: “Japan and Hungary”
3rd Prize: Mia Sutton (Aldercar Community Language College & Post Sixteen Centre)
Speech title: “Visiting Japan”


Other finalists:
Maisey Hodges (Campion School Language College)
Ruth Ladani (Greenford High School)
Anna Spivack  (Hockerill Anglo-European College)


Key Stage 3 Category (Speech theme: “My favourite thing”)
Winner: Anna Whitehead (Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls)
2nd Prize: Chris Grimwood (Aylesbury Grammar School) 
3rd Prize: Setareh Rafahtalab (Queen Mary’s High School)


Other finalists: 
Elan Gadit (Whitgift School)
Taranpreet Kalra (Greenford High School)
Kai Dunlop  (Campion School Language College)


The event was organised by the Japanese Language Committee of the Association for Language Learning, in association with the Japan Foundation London and Embassy of Japan in the UK. We are very grateful to Toshiba of Europe Ltd, JSA (the Japanese Speech Awards), Ricoh UK Ltd, JP-Books (JPT Europe Ltd), Japan Centre and Lingualift for sponsoring the event and donating prizes, and also to Sumisho Computer Systems for their generous sponsorship and to Soho Japan for contributing to the evening reception.



Public Seminar - The Japan Mint & the Royal Mint: A History of Exchange
24/06/2013


The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with the Royal Mint Museum, was delighted to present this special public seminar (held on 13th June) exploring the rich history of exchange between Japan and the UK in the area of mint.  Yoshiake Shinhara, President of the Japan Mint, gave a detailed and informative talk focussing on the UK's contribution to the establishment of the Japan Mint and the close ties that developed between Japan and the UK in the area of mint in the late 19th century.  Shinhara was joined by Graham Dyer OBE FSA of the Royal Mint Museum who provided a British perspective on these ties, and Dr Helen Wang (Curator of East Asian Coins, British Museum) who wrapped things up with an engaging presentation in which she introduced some of the coins that were in circulation in Japan and the UK around the time of the Japan Mint's inception.



Ishinomaki Kodomo Shinbun English version is now live!
18/06/2013
 

Ishinomaki is a city in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, and is one of the areas that suffered severe damage due to the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Exactly one year later, the children of Ishinomaki published Ishinomaki Hibi Kodomo Shinbun; a newspaper created by the children that reports the current activities in their city.


On the 10th of March 2013, over 40 intermediate to advanced speakers of Japanese, and Japanese people living in the UK, gathered at the Japan Foundation London to speak directly to the people of Ishinomaki over the internet. Attendees learnt more about how Ishinomaki was affected by the March 11 disaster, its current effort towards recovery, and the activities of the young journalists. After speaking to Ishinomaki’s children, attendees worked together in groups to translate selected articles into English. You can read a little more about the event here.


Now, the children are ready to tell Ishinomaki’s story to people all over the world. All the translated articles are available on the Ishinomaki Kodomo Shinbun website (click here to read more in English, or here for the Japanese website.) They also have a twitter feed, which you can follow here. We hope you will enjoy their articles in English. The Japanese versions of these article are not published online, however if you are interested in reading the latest copy of the Ishinomaki Hibi Kodomo Shinbun, there are some copies available at the Japan Foundation London, just outside the library.



Japan Conference for Schools 2013
15/03/2013
 

On 8th March 2013, 65 participants joined the Japan Conference for Schools, held at the Embassy of Japan in London. Co-organised by the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Foundation and the Japan Society, the event was an excellent opportunity for attendees to hear about how the new National Curriculum might affect Japanese language education in the UK, as well as network and share practical ideas about projects for introducing Japanese into their schools or to enhance their existing Japan-related activities.


Participants were welcomed to the Embassy by the cultural attaché, Eiji Watanabe. This was followed by very useful talk by the Director of Languages First at the University of Cambridge, Bernardette Holmes, who spoke about the changes to the new National Curriculum, and how this might affect Japanese language education in the UK. Bernadette spoke of several ideas for how teachers of Japanese might want to respond to the upcoming Department for Education consultation about the new national curriculum. You can find more about the consultation here.


This fantastic key note speech was followed by a panel discussion, where Martin Clayton from Netherthong primary school and Dan Thompson from Tile Hill Wood School joined Bernardette Holmes to speak about continuity between primary and secondary schools, as well as how this might change with the introduction of the new curriculum. One of the attendees, Darren Jones, mentioned that “The keynote speech was highly informative and thought-provoking. The panel discussion served to answer many questions and offered many ideas for Japanese provision in schools.”


After lunch, Heidi Potter, Chief Executive of the Japan Society, gave a short presentation about the Tohoku area two years after the Earthquake and Tsunami. This was followed by two sessions of small panel discussions, where attendees could join groups and learn more on the topic they were most interested in. This year the topics were things such as cross curricular Japanese for Primary schools, how to run an effective exchange without visiting Japan, practical teaching ideas as well as information about support and resources available. Joseph Bull said that “the group discussions were very useful – great to see practical teaching ideas and resources. I’ll be back in school full of ideas!” while Dan Thorn said he had found “excellent information sharing all round, thank you!”


The event was closed with a few words from the Director General of the Japan Foundation London, Tsuyoshi Takahashi. This year the conference had a good mix of both primary and secondary schools, and was also a mix of schools that teach Japanese already, schools that are hoping to start as well as schools that run Japan related activities as clubs or as cross-curricular activities.


Thank you to all the participants, speakers and the other organisers for making the conference such a success. We hope to see you again next year!



The Eighth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students Finals Day
14/03/2013
 

On March 2nd 2013, the Finals Day of the Eighth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students was held at Regent’s College London, showcasing ten individual speeches, along with five group presentations, by UK university students.


The day began with the Category 2 finalists, all of whom are studying Japanese as an elective or optional course. The speeches were all of a very high standard and it was very difficult for the judges to decide the winner. However, the first prize eventually went to Junehwan Sung, a second year student from the University College London, for his fascinating speech on “The Hidden Treasure – Dialects.” In second place was Scarlett Wong, a 2nd year at Imperial College London, for her thought-provoking speech entitled “Even adults should watch anime.”


Category 2 was followed by speeches by  the Category 1 finalists, who are studying Japanese as their main degree subject. All five finalists demonstrated not only exceptional Japanese ability, but also a great degree of insight and knowledge of their chosen subjects. After much deliberation, first prize was awarded to Tim Joris Laméris, a 4th year student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, for his enlightening speech on “Japan: Dancing Prohibited.” The second prize was awarded to Paulina Wilczynska, in her 4th year at SOAS, for her insightful speech on the theme of “The apology culture of Japan.


This year’s Group Category gave beginner-level students the chance to give presentations on a topic of their choice. The four outstanding groups that made it through to Saturday’s finals were chosen from an initial 19 applications, and represented Imperial College London, King's College London, University of Warwick and University of Wolverhampton. They gave talks on “Vietnam,” “Introduction to the Mythological Creatures of Great Britain,” “Chinese Food Culture”, “Stratford-Upon-Avon “ and “Stereotypes of British people.” These groups were not placed individually, but instead received special prizes based on their chosen topics.


The full results and details of other entrants can be downloaded below.


We would like to thank all participants, their teachers and supporters, the judges, audience members and BATJ for making the contest such a success. In addition, special thanks must go to the generous sponsors: Baker & McKenzie LLP, Bloomberg L.P., Central Japan Railway Company, Eikoku News Digest, Gendai Travel Limited, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, Japan Centre, JP-Books (JPT Europe Ltd.), Mitsubishi Electric Europe, European Business School (Regent’s College London), Ricoh UK Ltd and Toshiba of Europe Ltd


We would like to encourage as many undergraduate students of Japanese language as possible to apply for next year’s contest.


If you are a secondary school teacher or student, you may be interested in the 2013 Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools.


Download Attachment



Lingu@netWork
14/02/2013
 

The Japan Foundation welcomed people from all over Europe on 6th-8th February 2013 as we hosted a meeting for a new European Commission Funded project called Lingu@netWork. 


This project aims to build on the fantastic work of the Lingu@net World Wide website, which is a multilingual portal website for language learning, that links to over 4,900 quality assured resources in 32 different languages. Teachers and language learners can access the current website in 32 different languages including Japanese. There are currently over 160 resources aimed for Japanese which teachers and learners of Japanese have used since its launch in 2011. Lingu@net World Wide was developed by 34 organisations from 25 European countries including the Japan Foundation London.


The new Ling@netWork project will be a new interactive resource, building on and linked to the existing website. The interface will be accessible through 10 different languages, and will give users a chance to interact with each other and rate their favorite resources. Please keep a look out for this fantastic website in the next year!


The Japan Foundation will continue to add new Japanese language resources to the Lingu@net World Wide website, so if you know of a high quality resources you think we should include, please click here (in English) or click here (in Japanese) to reccoment online resources.



2nd Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-Graduate Workshop
21/01/2013


Thursday 10th January saw the return of our annual Post-Graduate Workshop, organised in collaboration with the British Association of Japanese Studies (BAJS).  Responding to feedback received following last year’s event, this year’s workshop gave participants the opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from fellow PhD students and senior colleagues.  In all, six current PhD students presented their research -  Alice Freeman (University of Oxford), Anna Seabourne (University of Manchester), Mark Donoghue (University of the Arts, London), Nicolas Garvizu (University of Sheffield), Robert Horn (University of Sheffield), and Takahiro Yamamoto (London School of Economics).  Following these presentations, Prof Chris Hughes, President of BAJS, gave a training session on ‘looking for work, job applications and interviews’.  The day finished with a session on ‘funding your research’ which featured presentations by Susan Meehan (Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), Stephen McEnally (Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation), Junichi Kumagai (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) and Prof Ian Neary (Japan Foundation Endowment Committee).  We would like to thank all participants for coming along and making the day a great success.  We hope to see you all again next year! 



Article publication: Videogames--A Shared Culture Thriving in Japan and the United Kingdom, Prof Akira Baba, The University of Tokyo
19/11/2012


Prof Akira Baba delivering his lecture on the Japanese video game industry




Programme Officer Vacancy at the Japan Foundation London
12/09/2012

The Japan Foundation London is seeking to appoint a Programme Officer to carry out the general administration and programming of its work in the area of Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.


This is a full-time, permanent position, based at our office in central London. Applicants must already be eligible to work in the UK.


Working for the Deputy Director, the post holder will manage all grants applications within this field from initial screening through to grant project completion, and will be responsible for organising and promoting public lecture events.  They will also maintain the public relations portfolio including overseeing the office e-bulletin and website.  Other duties will include proof reading documents in English, liaising as appropriate with other UK based organisations, and acting as a resource for fellow Japanese staff on all matters relating to the UK, including assisting with all general office maintenance arrangements.


The successful appointee will be qualified to at least first-degree level. Practical knowledge of the UK higher education system would be an advantage as well as broad general knowledge of UK policy and practice of international cultural and intellectual exchange. Proven administrative and organisational skills, the ability to work effectively as a team player and excellent IT skills are all essential requirements. IT skills should include proficiency in all MS Office programmes, and intermediate ability in Photoshop as well as experience and understanding of CMS and HTML would be desirable. The appointee must have excellent written and spoken communication skills in English (native speaker level or equivalent). Japanese Language ability to at least N3 (former Level 4) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) would be advantageous.


The post is tenable from early November 2012.


Salary will be £23k to £25k depending on experience and qualifications


The deadline for applications is Tuesday 2nd October 2012 and interviews are likely to take place during the week starting from 8th October.


Please send your CV and covering letter by post to Noboru Futako, Deputy Director at the address below, outlining the reason for your application and your experience and suitability for the role. Applications will only be accepted by post. Should you be unable to apply by post, please contact us before applying.


Enquiries: Please contact Neil Cantwell on 020 7436 6695 or e-mail neil.cantwell@jpf.org.uk


To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to:


Mr Noboru Futako, Deputy Director, Japan Foundation London,


Russell Square House, 10 – 12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EH, UK



Report from Creative Industries in East and Southeast Asia Conference & Symposium
06/08/2012
 

Please see the document below for a detailed report of our recent events looking at Creative Industries in East and Southeast Asia - an academic conference here at the Japan Foundation on Friday 29th June and a public symposium at Richmix Cinema on Saturday 30th June.

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Publication of Climate Change Mitigation, edited by Professor Mitsutsune Yamaguchi
31/07/2012
The panel at our 'COP 17 and Beyond' Event last November, with Prof Yamaguchi far right The panel at our 'COP 17 and Beyond' Event last November, with Prof Yamaguchi far right
 

Following his key participation in our event on Climate Change ahead of the Durban COP 17 last November, we are pleased to be able to announce the publication of Climate Change Mitigation, edited by Professor Mitsutsune Yamaguchi. This volume provides perspectives on the Energy Outlook for Japan following the Nuclear Accident at Fukushima as well as considering the future of International Frameworks on Climate Change. Please click here for more information.



Koki Tanaka to represent Japan at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale
07/06/2012

The Japan Foundation is proud to announce that the artist Koki Tanaka will represent Japan for the Japan Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Based in Los Angeles, Tanaka’s diverse art practices spans many media, revealing the multiple contexts latent in the most simple of everyday acts, and his work has been widely shown both in and outside Japan. The curator representing Japan will be Mika Kuraya, Chief Curator of the Department of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo.



Literature and Disaster in Japan: Reflections from History and the Present Day
20/03/2012
 

We were very pleased to host this event considering the relationship between literature and disaster in Japanese history. Dr Stephen Dodd began the event with an overview of the experience of last year's earthquake and tsunami whilst considering the effects of the modern media in multiplying the experience around the world. He went on to discuss the historical example of the Great Kanto Earthquake and how it affected various writers at the time both in terms of the effect on the city they were living in and what was made possible for new types of literature by this event. Prof Izumi Ohmoto gave further insight into last year's events through recounting her experience and the stories of her students at Sendai University, before also commenting on the Great Kanto Earthquake, in particular examining the work of Ryunosuke Akutagawa. The event concluded with Karan Kurose giving an account of tanka written in the wake of last year's events, including detailed contextualisation of each poem as well as commenting upon the reception of each piece of work.



Vacant Post at the Japan Foundation London
02/03/2012

There is a vacancy for the post of Assistant Programme and Administration Officer at the Japan Foundation London office.


The Assistant Programme and Administration Officer will assist the Director-General and his staff with administration. He or she is mainly expected to work closely with and under supervision of our Senior Arts Programme Officer by providing assistance towards the operation of the Foundation’s activities such as grant programmes and in-house projects such as talks and conferences, which normally take place in the evening, and other events organised by the Foundation. Duties will also include general administration work such as updating our website, maintaining our mailing database and general reception work.


The deadline for applications is Monday 19th March 2012.


Interviews will take place the week commencing 26th March 2012.


The post is tenable from mid April 2012.


 Salary will be approximately £18-20k depending on experience and qualifications. 


 The appointment will be on a fixed term contract for one year in the first instance although there may be the opportunity to renew. Applicants must already be eligible to work in the UK.


Please download the attachment below for further information about the position and how to apply.

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Japan Foundation / Links Japan Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series V <br> What is the difference between social enterprise, social impact business and socially responsibly business?
02/03/2012
 

Wednesday 29th February saw the fifth and final seminar in our Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series. Our first speaker was John Pepin, Founding Director of Aperio Group (Europe) Ltd, who gave a broad and entertaining introduction to the concept of social enterprise. He was followed by Karl Richter from the Euclid Network, and Founder of the JenLi Foundation, who expanded on John's introduction by exploring the terms social investment and social business. 

You can download John's presentation below, and you can find Karl's presentation online by clicking this link

Download Attachment



Charity Event Listings
17/02/2012

Please see below for details of upcoming charity events raising money to help the recovery effort in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th.
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Name of Event: Exhibition of the series 'Haiku Prelude - Haiku Kami'


Organisation: Haringey Arts CIC


Date and time:
Sunday 11th March 2012 at 2:46pm - 6pm: Exhibition Opening and the book launch

Tuesday 13th March 2012 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm: Closing Party 


Venue: 12 St. Alban's Grove, London, W8 5PM


Description: 'Haiku Prelude - Haiku Kami' series features twenty-seven paintings, inspired by traditional and contemporary Japanese and western haiku. The project aims to portray each haiku poem and embody its visual energy through the abstract painting. The project was conceived around the time of the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan in March 2011. In the light of these events Carolina Khouri dedicated the series to all victims there. During the 'Haiku Prelude - Haiku Kami' project's exhibition, on the day of the first anniversary of The Great East Tohoku Earthquake, a book will be launched. All proceeds from the book will be donated to Momo - Kaki Orphans Fund, which provides aid and encouragement for the children orphaned on this tragic day. The publication will also serve as an evolving memorial to those that suffered as a result of last March's tragedies in Japan.


Website: http://www.carolinakhouri.com

All funds to be donated to: Momo - Kaki Orphan Fund


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Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-Graduate Workshop
17/01/2012
 

Thursday 12th January saw us hosting a Post-Graduate Workshop in collaboration with the British Association of Japanese Studies. Prof Akihiro Kitada of the University of Tokyo, currently visiting the University of Leipzig, gave a keynote presentation on the topic of 'Globalisation and the Galapagos Effect of Knowledge?'. This was then followed by more practical training sessions by Prof Chris Hughes, President of BAJS, on the topic of journal publishing, and then Dr Thomas McAuley and Ms Luli Ishikawa-van der Does from the University of Sheffield gave an interactive presentation on how to present papers in Japanese. The day finished with presentations by Dr Brigitte Steger, representing the European Association of Japanese Studies, Jason James, Director-General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, and Ryoko Kaga and Polly Watson from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. We are very grateful to all of our speakers as well as the Post-Graduate students who came from across the country to make the day a great success.



'Light Up Nippon' project documentary film to be broadcast this Friday 16th December
13/12/2011
 

The Japan Foundation has produced a documentary film about the ‘Light Up Nippon’ project – a series of firework displays that were held on August 11th this year by young Japanese volunteers as a requiem prayer for those who lost their lives in the devastated Tohoku region due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Featuring music by Ryuichi Sakomoto, the film follows the process of the project and sends a message about Japanese people’s strong wish to recover from the disaster. For more information about the film please visit http://lightupnippon.jp/en.


The film will be broadcast in approximately 120 countries around the world via cable TV stations and satellite broadcasting networks, and will also be broadcast on the Internet. For viewers here in the UK, the film will be shown at the following times on Friday 16th December


00:30am, 04:30am, 08:30am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm and 8:30pm

It will be possible to watch the film in two ways:


- online via the following link to the live streaming page of the Japan International Broadcasting Inc website.

http://jibtv.com/program/?page=0


- on channels 507 or 518 for those with a BSkyB satellite service.  

We have DVDs of the film available to hire free of charge for anyone who may be interested in organising a screening of the film - please contact info@jpf.org.uk for further information. 



Leaving message from Director-General Takashi Ishida
18/10/2011

The Director-General of the Japan Foundation London office, Takashi Ishida, will shortly be leaving to take up a new position as Executive Director of our Toronto office. Please open the attachment below to read a farewell message from Ishida-san. The Japan Foundation welcomes his successor, Mr Tsuyoshi Takahashi.

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Japan Foundation / Links Japan Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series II: Shining the Light on Corporate Behaviour - codifying and measuring Business Ethics
03/10/2011
Simon Webley and Arisa Kishigami Simon Webley and Arisa Kishigami
 

Thursday 29th September saw the second event in our Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series, with the title 'Shining the Light on Corporate Behaviour - codifying and measuring Business Ethics'. Our first speaker was Simon Webley, Research Director at the Institute of Business Ethics, who gave a broad introduction to the application of ethical values to business behaviour. He was followed by Arisa Kishigami, Executive in Responsible Investment at FTSE, who talked about the various indexes she is involved with which try to provide a basis for measuring the ethical behaviour of companies.

You can download Simon Webley's Powerpoint Presentation below, and please click the following links for more information about the FTSE4Good Index Series and the FTSE4Good ESG Ratings.

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Launch of Japan Foundation / Links Japan Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series
27/07/2011
Ian Blythe and Takeshi Shimotaya Ian Blythe and Takeshi Shimotaya
 

On Tuesday 19th July we were delighted to launch our new Corporate Social Responsibility Seminar Series organised in partnership with Phillida Purvis of Links Japan. This first event took the topic of From Philanthropy to Essential Business Investment - the evolution of CSR in the UK. Following Phillida's introduction, our first speaker, Takeshi Shimotaya, Managing Director of SustainaVision Ltd, gave a broad outline of the concept of CSR including the differences between approaches in the UK and Japan. Then our second speaker, Ian Blythe, Head of CSR for Boots UK, built upon this background by giving an account of the development of CSR within the historical story of the Boots company before looking at how these priorities are put into practice today. These lectures were followed by an engaging Q&A session and then a drinks reception throughout which these discussions continued.


You can download the Powerpoint Presentations of the two speakers via the links to the attachments below.

This series is also supported by the Embassy of Japan, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in the UK, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO, London and the Japan Europe Entrepreneurs Forum. Further details will be available soon about the next event in the series at the end of September.

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Japan-UK student science workshops at Cambridge University for pupils from Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki
22/07/2011

The Japan Foundation is pleased to support the participation of 21 students and teachers from 6 senior high schools from amongst the prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki affected by the recent Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster. From 24th July, they will participate in joint Japan-UK group workshops on various scientific subjects taught by Cambridge University Professors, as well as visiting the Royal Society, the Royal Institution and University College in London.  Dr Eric Albone of the Clifton Scientific Trust, who is organizing the weeklong event, says

“We are delighted to welcome to Cambridge students and teachers from schools in Japan which have suffered so much from the effects of the March 11th tsunami and earthquake to attend the 2011 UK-Japan Young Scientist Workshop at the University of Cambridge this summer. As a result of the generosity of many organisations, we are able to cover all of the schools' costs in Cambridge and also their airfares from Japan. We and all the British students and teachers look forward very much to welcoming them to England as our special guests. We are sure that, by living and working together in small teams with Cambridge scientists and engineers, not only will their understanding of science deepen but also they will see their futures in a global context and form international friendships which will last for many years ”

Please download the attachment below for a press release in Japanese. 

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Opening Event of the SOAS-Ritsumeikan Global Partnership
20/05/2011

There will be a special event on Monday 23rd May to celebrate the launch of a global partnership between SOAS and Ritsumeikan University. Please click here for more information. 



Play for Japan
07/04/2011
 

The Japan Foundation London office is pleased to support Play for Japan - an initiative set up in response to the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th. Play for Japan is working to help raise the profile of events created by groups or individuals in order to raise funds in support of the relief effort in Japan, as well as raising awareness of the challenges being faced by people in Japan whilst creating links between communities in the affected regions and the UK.

Please visit their website www.playforjapan.com to find out more information.



Yakult Lectureship for Japanese Language Studies at University of East Anglia
06/04/2011

We are delighted to pass on news of the announcement of the Yakult Lectureship for Japanese Language Studies at the University of East Anglia. The School of Language and Communication Studies at UEA is now inviting applications for this position, so please click here or view the attachment below to find out more information about this exciting development and opportunity.

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Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation special grant programme for projects related to the earthquake and tsunami aftermath
22/03/2011

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation has set up a special grant programme under which it will consider applications for small grants for projects (including seed money to get a fund-raising event going) related to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. See their website for details.http://www.gbsf.org.uk/


"The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation has set up a special grant programme under which it will consider applications for small grants for projects (including seed money to get a fund-raising event going) related to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. See their website for details.

http://www.gbsf.org.uk/ 



International Committee of the Red Cross Family Links Website
18/03/2011

For those who may be without news of their relatives as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11th, the International Committee of the Red Cross has set up a Family Links web-page to help restore contact between family members. Please click here to visit this web site.



Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
15/03/2011

As you will be aware, following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March, many people are now struggling to cope with the aftermath.

The Japan Foundation would like to thank all those who have sent messages of condolence and sympathy for the people of Japan.

Please click here to read a statement from the Japan Foundation Head Office in Tokyo.

If you would like to make a contribution to help the recovery effort in Japan, several charities are now fundraising on behalf of this cause, including the following;


The Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund
www.japansociety.org.uk/earthquake


Embassy of Japan in the UK
www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/en/visa/Donations_earthquake160311.html


The British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal
www.redcross.org.uk


Japanese Red Cross Society
http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/index.html



The Japan Foundation, London



'At home in Japan - beyond the minimal house' exhibition by Dr Inge Daniels at the Geffrye Museum
20/01/2011

Following her recent lecture at the Japan Foundation, Dr Inge Daniels has curated an exhibition 'At Home in Japan - beyond the minimal house' for the Geffrye Museum, which will be on display from 22nd March until 29th August 2011. Please click here for more information.



Report from Wilton Park Conference 'Japan: increasing its global role?'
20/01/2011

Please follow this link to read a report from the conference 'Japan: increasing its global role?', which was held at Wilton Park last November and supported by a Japan Foundation Intellectual Exchange Conference Grant. 



Call for Proposals for Intellectual Exchange Conferences
05/10/2010

The Japan Foundation is pleased to announce a call for proposals for Intellectual Exchange Conferences on topics related to the state of regional integration and collective identity in Europe and Asia. Examples of specific conference themes, from a comparative perspective between Europe and Asia, could include (but are not limited to):


- International migration and regional identity
- Regional integration, economic nationalism, and cultural identity
- Regional identity and peace and security
- The roles of sub- and supra-state institutions and their impacts on identity politics


This special grant program provides grants to partially cover expenses for implementing international intellectual collaborative projects that involve Japanese participation. The program is designed to deepen mutual understanding and establish closer relations between Japan and other countries while promoting global intellectual exchange.



Projects should be implemented and completed between December 1st 2010 and March 31st 2011. There will be between 5-10 grants available. The deadline for applications is the 4th November.

For other specific terms and conditions of grants, please refer to the attached application form. Please feel free to contact Neil Cantwell with any further enquiries.

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Japanese Studies Student Survey Preliminary Report
05/10/2010

The Japan Foundation London office is currently updating our 2007 Survey of Japanese Studies at Higher Education Institutions in the UK. We have also taken this opportunity to seek out the opinions of Japanese Studies students, which you can read in this preliminary report. Please feel free to share with us any comments you may have by e-mail to Neil Cantwell.

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Report from Japan Foundation Cultural Invitation Programme by Prof John Holden
26/08/2010
 

Professor John Holden has provided us with a very enjoyable report from his recent visit to Japan as part of the Japan Foundation Cultural Individual Invitation Programme. Please click on the attachment below in order to read it.


Prof Holden will be launching a new publication for Counterpoint,  the think-tank of the British Council, entitled Class and Culture at an event on the 7th September. Please click here to find out more information about this event and the publication.


To read a report from Prof Holden's lecture in Tokyo, please follow this link.


John Holden - Values Without Borders:'Cultural Diplomacy' Starts At Home

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Japanese Study Seminar - Meiji II: Call for participation
18/06/2010

Centre Europeen d'Etudes Japonsaises d'Alsace (CEEJA) and the Japan FOundation (JF) are inviting applications to participate in the Japanese Study Seminar - Meiji II, scheduled to take place on 24 and 25 September 2010 at CEEJA in Kinetzheim, France.


This Japanese Study Seminar aims to encourage networking among young researchers on Japan in Europe and deepen further promotion of Japanese Studies in Europe.


Participants will join a two-day intensive workshop in the cosy and intimate atmosphere of CEEJS's facility in Kientzheim and present and discuss their current research projects amongst each other, as well as with a guest Mentor from Japan.


Following last year, the subject of this year's seminar will be "Meiji" We are calling for young researchers in Europe who specialise in politics, history, society, literature, arts, language, thoughts, economy, city and architecture, religions etc. of this unique juncture of Japanese modern history.


Please download the attachment below for further information.

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Japan Foundation Cultural Individual Invitation Programme: Lecture by London Office invitee John Holden in Tokyo
24/05/2010

Under our Cultural Individual Invitation Programme, last year The Japan Foundation London Office invited Prof John Holden, former Head of Culture at the independent think-tank Demos, on a two-week visit to Japan. As part of his activites in Japan, he delivered a lecture in Tokyo on the topic "Values Without Borders: 'Cultural Diplomacy' Starts At Home". You can read a report and view a video of this lecture by following this link below.


John Holden - Values Without Borders:'Cultural Diplomacy' Starts At Home



Annual Grant Programme Results Announced
30/04/2010

Arts & Culture


Film Festivals Abroad Support Programme 2010-11


Cinemagic International Children’s Film Festival
Applicant: Cinemagic


Scotland Loves Animation
Applicant: Scotland Loves Animation


Onedotzero – adventures in motion 2010
Applicant: Onedotzero 


Encounters International Short Film Festival
Applicant: Encounters Festival Ltd.


 Zipangu Fest
Applicant: Midnight Eye Screening


Exhibition Abroad Support Program 2010-2011


Grants will be awarded towards the following exhibitions:


New work by Rinko Kawauuchi for the Brighton Biennial 2010
Applicant: Photoworks


Unearthed: figure-making and figure-breaking in ancient Japan and the Balkans
Applicant: Sainsbury Institute for Visual Arts


Tatsumi Orimoto
Applicant: A Foundation


Tabaimo
Applicant: Parasol Unit for Contemporary Art


Portraits of the Hibakusha
Applicant: Kingston University


Performing Arts for Europe 2010-11


Shun-kin
Applicant: Theatre de complicite


Japanese Studies


Fellowship Programme 2010-11


Long-Term Scholars and Researchers


Dr Mara Patessio, University of Manchester    - Topic of Research: Hasegawa Shigure and Japanese Women’s Modern History


Dr Andrea Germer, University of Newcastle – Topic of Research: Visual Propaganda in Wartime Japan and Germany: Culture, Race and Gender in Comparative Perspective


Short-Term Scholars and Researchers


Dr Roman Matousek, London Metropolitan University – Topic of Research: Banks Efficiency and Monetary Policy Stance in Japan: Lessons for Europe


Prof Fran Lloyd, Kingston University – Topic of Research: Dumb Type: An Art of Intervention


Ms Alice Maude-Roxby, Kingston University – Topic of Research: Bigakko – investigating the impact of radical Japanese artist-teachers since 1969


Intellectual Exchange Conferences 2010-11


Wilton Park – a grant towards the conference: Japan: Increasing its International Role?


University of Oxford – a grant towards the conference: The 20th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference


Other Support for Conferences:


British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS)
A grant towards: BAJS Conference 2010 


Organisations in Japanese Studies 2010-11


              Staff Expansion – University of Edinburgh, SOAS (ongoing)


Language Centre


Short-Term Training Programme for Foreign Teachers of the Japanese Language (Summer Course) 2010-11


Roberta Ignirri
Sophie Lane


Japanese-Language Programme for Specialists (Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields) 2010-11


Paul O'Shea
Amy Walker


SAKURA Core Project 2010-11


The British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ)



Japan Foundation Prize to fund new Stockwin Scholarship in Modern Japanese Studies
23/04/2010

We are delighted to report that through the generous donation of his recent Japan Foundation Prize, Professor Arthur Stockwin has made possible the creation of  a new Scholarship for MPhil students in Modern Japanese Studies at St Antony's College, Oxford University. Please download the attachment below for further details.

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Request for Proposals for Intellectual Exchange Conferences
07/10/2009

The Japan Foundation is happy to announce a request for proposals for intellectual exchange conferences on topics related to social values in the post-globalization world. Globalisation has brought not only many benefits but also tremendous challenges to the world. These challenges are so powerful and longstanding that they will potentially be reshaping our social values. The Japan Foundation welcomes your project ideas for international conferences that will look into the negative aspects of globalization and their impact on our social values, using Japan either as a case or as a point of reference.
This special grant program provides grants to partially cover expenses for implementing international intellectual collaborative projects that involve Japanese participation. The program is designed to deepen mutual understanding and establish closer relations between Japan and other countries while promoting global intellectual exchange.
Projects should be implemented and completed between December 1st 2009 and March 31st 2010. There will be between 5-10 grants available.
The deadline for applications is the 6th November, and results will be announced by the end of November.
For other specific terms and conditions of grants, please refer to the attached application form. Please feel free to contact Neil Cantwell with any further enquiries.

Download Attachment



2010-11 Annual Grant Programme Guidelines and Application Forms Available
06/10/2009

The new programme guidelines and application forms for grants to be made in the financial year 2010-11 have recently been added to our Head Office website here.

Please don't hesitate to contact this office with any enquiries you may have about your eligibility for our grant programmes.



Professor Arthur Stockwin to receive Japan Foundation Award for Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange
10/08/2009
Professor Arthur Stockwin Professor Arthur Stockwin
 

The Japan Foundation London is delighted to announce that Professor Arthur Stockwin will be awarded the Japan Foundation Award for Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange for the year 2009. The award ceremony will take place on the 6th of October in Tokyo, Japan. For other awards to be made this year, please see here As the founding Director of the Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies and Fellow of St Antony’s College at Oxford University, Professor Stockwin has made a great contribution to the field of Japanese Studies in this country, through his writing on modern Japanese politics and promotion of intellectual exchange between the UK and Japan. Professor Stockwin comments: “In accepting this award, I do so as a representative of those who have been involved in Japanese Studies at Oxford and indeed at other universities in the United Kingdom. Over the past two or three decades we have worked to promote the study of Japan in the UK. Interest in Japan, Japanese people, language, history, culture and institutions (formal and informal) remains strong, despite fluctuations that occur from time to time. For me it has been a fascinating experience to take part in the efforts to keep Japan lodged firmly within the consciousness of people in my country.” Professor Stockwin, this year awarded an OBE, has also previously been the recipient of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbons from the Japanese Government.



2009 Japan Foundation Group Study Tour to Japan for Secondary School Teachers and Administrators Inviting Applications
12/06/2009

The Japan Foundation is now inviting applications for the 2009 Japan Foundation Group Study Tour to Japan for Secondary Teachers in June. This is a fully-funded two-week tour of Japan offering an introduction to Japans society, culture and education system. The Study Tour is for full-time secondary school teachers who teach about Japan and Administrators involved in curriculum development. For more information, please click here.



2009/10 Annual Grant Programme Results announced
14/05/2009

The results of our Annual Grant Programmes for 2009-10 have now been announced. Please follow the links below to view the respective programmes within each department.

Arts and Culture

Films Festivals Abroad Support Programme

Performing Arts Japan Programme for Europe

Exhibitions Abroad Support Programme

Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange

Japanese Studies Fellowship Programme

Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conferences

Support for Japanese Studies Organisations



Launch of JF news UK e-bulletin
08/05/2007

The Japan Foundation launched its first e-bulletin this month. The e-bulletin brings together the three main areas of our work: Arts & Culture, Language and Japanese Studies & Intellectual Exchange. By receiving the e-bulletin you will be able to keep up-to-date with news and information from the Japan Foundation and also hear about Japan-related events happening around the UK. We hope you enjoy reading the bulletin and please feel free to email any comments that you have to jfnews@jpf.org.uk.
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News Archive

JF Library Half Term Campaign
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day November 2013
Japanese Plus: Business Japanese & Japanese Etiquette
Book Launch: Let's Read Japanese ブルックス文庫
Give it a go! NihonGo! – Workshop for primary –level teachers of Japanese
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day September 2013
Primary Japanese Campaign 2014 – Take part!
Japanese Plus: Happy Family Plan - Learn spoken Japanese through film
BATJ Seminar: Kanji and Kanji Vocabulary Learning based on JF Standards Can-do Statements
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day May 2013
The Hakuho Japan Experience Program for Overseas Children
Japanese from Scratch: Shodo - An Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy
The Ishinomaki Childrens Newspaper Translation Project
Japanese Plus: An Introduction to Professional Japanese Interpreting
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day February 2013
Japanese Plus One-Evening Special: Add Colour to your Japanese
Mediation, Interculturality & Citizenship Education: The significance and potential of Japanese Language Education
Curriculum reform April 2013
ABC Awards Networking event
Enjoy Manga and Anime in Japanese!
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day November 2012
Japanese Plus: An Introduction to Professional Japanese Translation
Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan 2012
Japanese Language Education - Department of Education Consultation
Japan Foundation Japanese language teachers' seminar - Grammar for Good Writing: Ways of Thinking and Teaching (Applied to GCSE)
Japan Foundation at the 2012 Language Show Live
Japanese in Anime & Manga: Workshop for Japanese Language Learners and Teachers
Japan Foundation at the Japan Matsuri 2012
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day September 2012
Japanese from Scratch: Travel in Japan
Motto Yomu Chikara: Bridging the Gap from GCSE to AS Level Japanese
Japanese Plus: Japanese Dialects
Seminar - Intercultural Competence through Language Education
The Nihongo Cup 2012
Online Seminar about Teaching Japanese
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day May 2012
Japanese from Scratch: Lets Eat Japanese Food
Japanese Plus: Read and Write Japanese Newspapers
Japan Webpage Contest for Schools Winners Announced
Can-do and Classroom Activities; Using Marugoto: Japanese language and culture, a teaching resource based on JF Standard for Japanese-language Education
The Seventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students Finals Day
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day February 2012
Talking Contemporary Japan Special: Japanese discussion with Director Katsumi Sakaguchi
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Training Day November 2011
Talking Contemporary Japan: Cross Cultural Communication
Japan Foundation at the 2011 Language Show Live
Seminar - Language Education Policies and the National Curriculum
Lingu@net Worldwide to include Japanese resources
Japan Conference for Schools, 2011
JLPT Information Sessions
Atsuko Tanaka Retrospective at Ikon Gallery and Curator Talks
New Name for StepOutNet Programme revealed at Training Day: Japanese Taster for Schools
Library New Leaflet
2011 Japanese Refresher Course for Teachers
StepOutNet Training Day June 2011
Talking Contemporary Japan: Happy Family Plan
Nihongo Cup 2011
Reports from CEFR-JF Standard for Japanese Language Education Seminar from the Japan Cultural Institute in Paris
Tabaimo to represent Japan at the Japan Pavillion as part of the 54th International Art Exhbition la Biennale di Venezia.
14th Nihongo Summit 2012 "Peace - Kizuna for One World"
Head Start 2011
Hakuho Foundation - Training Programme for Teachers
Japanese GCSE Course to begin at William Morris Sixth Form
Akiko Fukai Online Interview
StepOutNet Visit to Sandgate Primary School
StepOutNet Volunteer Training Day April 2011
Debating Time at Talking Contemporary Japan Foundation
Staff Changes at JF Language Centre
The Sixth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Getting a 'Taste of Japan' at Japan Foundation
Nihongo Dekimasu logo
Talking Contemporary Japan: Kokugo Learn Japanese that Japanese learn
CHIKARA October-November Workshop
Best-selling authors attract a crowd at the Japan Foundation London
Japanese Language Refresher Courses 2010
UK Japanese learners top in Europe!
Japanese Language Proficiency Test Now Available in Five Levels
Talking Contemporary Japan: 'Question Time at The Foundation. What do the Japanese really think.'
Nihongo Cup 2010
Performing Arts Network - New Articles Added
CHIKARA Update Workshop Part 4
Webpage Contest Winners Celebrate at the Embassy of Japan
Japan Webpage Contest Winners Announced
Talking Contemporary Japan: 'Getting Down to Business! - Language and Etiquette in Japanese Society'
Head Start 2010
New Japanese Language Websites Launched
The Fifth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
CHIKARA Update Workshop Part 3
Talking Contemporary Japan: "Squabbling Spouses - Dramatic Comedy"
CHIKARA Update Workshop 2
Japan Conference for Schools October 2009
Applications invited for the Performing Arts Japan Programme for Europe (PAJ)
Japanese Language Refresher Courses
Japan's Past Meets the Present
Nihongo Cup 2009
Japanese language taster at Roding Valley High School
CHIKARA Update Workshop Part 1
Asset Languages Day for Teachers of Japanese
Japan Foundation Grant Programme Recipients
Hosei University Foreign Scholars Fellowship
Talking Contemporary Japan - Investigating Japanese Mysteries
Japanese taster at Staines Prep School
The Fourth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Head Start 2009
Wren Academy Head Start Case Study
Japan Conference for Schools
Talking Contemporary Japan - Comedy
2009-10 Annual Grant Application Forms Available
Yokohama Triennale Opens
11th International Architecture Exhibition "Out There. Architecture Beyond Building" opens next month
Japanese Language Refresher Course 2008
Japanese Takes Off at Priory School in East Sussex
Nihongo Cup 2008
Talking Contemporary Japan - Exploring Japan through Short Stories
Training Day for StepOutNet Members
2007 Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Survey website now live
StepOutNet Tasters at Primary School International Week
Movers and Shapers: Japan - UK Relations Seminar Series Starts
Continuing Professional Development Course for Japanese Language Teachers
Changes to Local Project Support Programme for 2008-9 for Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange
Japan Foundation Group Study Tour to Japan for Secondary School Teachers and Administrators Inviting Applications
The Third Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Yokohama Triennale - New Information Available
Architect Junya Ishigami Selected to Exhibit at 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2008
'A Love for Languages' - East Sussex Primary Languages Conference
Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2006
2007 Japan Foundation Group Study Tour to Japan for Secondary School Teachers (STST)
Tokyo Performing Arts Market Registration Opens
The Japan Foundation Sends UK Based Specialists to the Middle East
Talking Contemporary Japan (Short Stories)
Japanese Tasters at European Day of Languages
UK Students Visit Japanese Sister School
Performing Arts Network Updated
Japan Foundation World Heritage Picture Panels On Offer!!
Update on the Mazarin Chest Conservation Project
"Traditional Music Today: Performing Arts in Japan" has now been published!
2007 Annual Programme participants report back
New Resources in the Japan Foundation Library
Nihongo Cup 2007
East Leeds Oriental Culture and Language Conference "Kimono"
Roding Valley High School: Japan Cultural Event
Second StepOutNet Training Session
Happy Birthday JFLLC
Head Start 2007 "Japanese from Scratch"
Turning Japanese at the Lammas School
Why should you enter Nihongo Cup? Read about previous winner Harriet Russell's experience
High Flyers in Japanese;
Results of the Second Speech Contest for University Students
Lost in Translation? Student Tom Barrett proved that he certainly isn't

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