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Language Education for Social Future: Language, Community, and Identity new
Giving Choice And Connecting People: Expanding Ideas For Japanese Language Study With Minato
An Ode to Toru Takemitsu
NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017
Anisong - The Musical World of Anime
Japan Foundation / BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2017: Make an Impact new
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (A1 Beginner Stage 2 Level) | TERM 2
Here and Now

Language Education for Social Future: Language, Community, and Identity   org

Historically, the role of foreign or second language education was simply to serve the needs of a nation or community. But can language education bring about change within the community itself?

Shinji Sato, Director of the Japanese Language Programme at Princeton University, views the goal of language education as not merely to introduce a country’s standard language and culture, but also to encourage active participation as a full member of the community using the target language. Active participation involves critically examining cultural and societal rules, making an effort to succeed within these rules or even change the rules if necessary while negotiating with others, and taking responsibility as a member of the community. Critical thinking is an indispensable component of this process because it enables individuals to question existing frameworks and change them as needed, allowing us to create our own futures for ourselves and our communities.

In this talk, Sato will demonstrate examples of how to realise this vision by incorporating project-based activities such as the Social Issue Project and the Community Involvement Project into the existing curriculum, or creating a new curriculum such as Life and Careers. He will examine how foreign or second language education can influence the sociocultural and historical context in which it is located by analysing actual student works, students’ final reports, and survey about the projects. 

Participation fee: Free.   Language: English 英語

CLICK HERE to book your place!

About the speaker: SHINJI SATO
Director of the Japanese Language Programme, Princeton University.

Sato completed his Ph.D. in anthropology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. His works critically examine self-evident notions in Japanese language education including learning, culture, communication, competence, and creativity. He also proposes alternative classroom practices. Sato is the co-author of several publications, including Rethinking Language and Culture in Japanese Education (2014), Syakaisanka o mezasu nihongo kyoiku [Japanese Language Education for the Global Citizens] (2012), and Mirai o tsukuru kotoba no kyoiku o mezashite [Language Education for Social Future: Critical Content-Based Instruction] (CCBI, 2015).

Date: 2 February 2017 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Language Resources Centre, King's College London

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Giving Choice And Connecting People: Expanding Ideas For Japanese Language Study With Minato   org

「日本語を学びたいけど、近くに教室がない。」「仕事や家事で忙しくて、決まった時間がとれない。」「興味はあるけど、気軽に学べないかな?」国際交流基金関西国際センター(KC)は、地理的、時間的制約によって、日本語の教室に通うことができない学習者や、これから学習を始めたいという世界中の人々に日本語を学ぶ機会を提供するため、日本語学習プラットフォーム「JFにほんごeラーニング みなと」(以下、「みなと」)を2016年7月に公開しました。

“I want to study Japanese but there are no classes near me.”
“I am really busy with work and home life so I don’t have time to take a class.”
“I’m interested in Japanese, but I just want to study it casually.”

In July 2016, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai launched the Japanese language learning platform JF Japanese e-Learning Minato for learners who cannot attend Japanese classes due to geographical or time constraints to give people from all over the world the chance to study Japanese language and culture.

本セミナーでは、「みなと」が「学びが選べる」「人とつながる」というコンセプトをどのように実現しているか、「日本語コース」「コミュニティ」「JF日本語学習ウェブサイト&アプリ」といった機能の紹介を通してお話しします。「JF日本語学習ウェブサイト&アプリ」の紹介では、2016年に公開されたウェブサイト「ひろがる もっといろんな日本と日本語」「みんなで聞こう 日本の歌」、文字が楽しく学べるアプリ「Hiragana Memory Hint」「Katakana Memory Hint」「Kanji Memory Hint」を中心にご紹介します。また、これらのサイトの活用法や教師としての関わり方について、参加者の皆さんと考えます。

In this seminar, we will look at how Minato enables learners to choose their learning method and bring people together through its Japanese Course, Community and Japan Foundation Website & Apps features. The websites and apps that we will focus on will include Hirogaru, get more of Japan and Japanese, "Listen Together : The Songs of Japan" 「みんなで聞こう 日本の歌」 and the Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji Memory Hint apps. We will also consider how these sites can be put to use from a teacher’s perspective.

Participation fee: Free.   Language: Japanese 日本語

CLICK HERE to book your place!


About the Lecturer, Yosuke Kasai | Language Education Specialist, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai

中国、ミャンマー、ネパール、ベナン(西アフリカ)の日本語学校で日本語教育に従事。2015年より現職。日本語学習プラットフォーム「JFにほんごeラーニング みなと」上の日本語オンラインコース開発、新規ウェブサイト・アプリ開発に携わる。

Has worked in Japanese language education at schools in China, Myanmar, Nepal, and Benin (West Africa) and assumed current position in 2015. Involved in the development of the online Japanese course within the e-learning platform JF Japanese e-Learning Minato and other new websites and apps.

Date: 20 February 2017 from 5.00pm to 7.00pm

York St John University Fountains Learning Centre (Room 216).
Click here for access to York St John University (Campus Map)

Co-organised by the Japan Foundation London and York St John University. 

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An Ode to Toru Takemitsu   org


Maestro Oliver Knussen has been taken ill and is unfortunately no longer able to participate in Sunday’s event on Toru Takemitsu.

The talk will still go ahead and we are pleased to confirm that composer Dai Fujikura has kindly agreed to take part at short notice.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the King’s Place box office.

We wish Oliver a swift and full recovery. 

In honour of this talented composer The Japan Foundation are proud to present a special talk as a prelude to NHK Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings in March. Oliver Knussen CBE, a close friend of Takemitsu who has presided over many of Takemitsu’s works himself and Maki Takemitsu, Takemitsu’s daughter and music producer, will examine the significance of Takemitsu’s work and share their unique experiences reflecting on his life and legacy. They will be joined in conversation by Gillian Moore, Director of Music at Southbank Centre.Toru Takemitsu is among the most important composers in the history of Japanese music. Almost entirely self-taught, Takemitsu went on to compose several hundred independent works and score over ninety films. The first composer to be fully recognised in the West, Takemitsu achieved international renown for his distinctive style. Combining elements of the Occident and the Orient, Takemitsu created music that was sensuous yet accessible.

This event will focus not only on the music of Toru Takemitsu but also on the life that influenced such vast and intricate musicscapes

Date: 22 January 2017 from 2.30pm

King’s Place, Hall Two, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG


Tickets for this event are priced at £3 (with free entry for students and minors). To purchase tickets please visit:

If you are a student, free places for this event can be booked by contacting

This event is coproduced by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo

NHK Symphony Orchestra perform Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings alongside Mahler’s Symphony No.6, ‘Tragic’ at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Monday 6 March 2017, 7:30pm, as part of the International Orchestra Series. For further details, please click here.

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NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK   org

We are delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language. There are three categories: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4&5 Pre-GCSE, and Key Stage 4&5 Post GCSE. Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Closing date for entries: Fri 24th March 2017
Finals Day: Sat 24th June 2017

Download the Application Pack below for more information, application forms and a poster that you can use to promote the contest within your school.

Date: 15 December 2016 - 24 March 2017
Download Nihongo Cup 2017- Application Pack

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London.

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The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017   org

Odd Obsessions - Desires, Hopes and Impulses in Japanese Cinema
Experience Japan through Cinema 

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns this year with 14 fantastic Japanese films, offering an all-encompassing introduction to Japanese cinema through the prism of "desires, hopes and impulses".

Presenting films by established and up-and-coming directors, animation, documentary and classics, this year’s programme promises to not only entertain but also provide a vivid insight into what drives human action.

For full details of the lineup and participating venues, please visit the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme website.

Date: 3 February 2017 - 29 March 2017


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Anisong - The Musical World of Anime   org

From the onset of anime in Japan, the accompanying music has always been fine-tuned to the content of the anime as well as its audience. While the music style of each song varies and differs depending on the period, the songs used and created for anime are often passionate, melodic and almost always undeniably infectious. Recently the songs have evolved from mere accompaniments or frills to the anime to become more independent and acknowledged in their own right as a genre known as anisong (“Anime songs”).

Responding to this musical phenomenon, the Japan Foundation present a special event delving deep into the topic of anime music, which is today considered one of the main driving forces in the Japanese music industry. Featuring a talk by Dr Rayna Denison, lecturer at the University of East Anglia, the event will trace anime music’s brief historical journey while examining the impact it has had upon the anime industry and its viewers.

Following on from the talk, there will be a special performance by Aya Ikeda, the songstress behind the themes of the very famous anime series Pretty Cure (aka PreCure) a “magical girl” anime, as well as the opportunity to sing along too!

Come and immerse yourself in the musical world of anime and kick-off 2017 in style!

Date: 18 January 2017 from 6.45pm

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place via Eventbrite, please visit:

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Japan Foundation / BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2017: Make an Impact   org

We are delighted to announce that the annual Japan Foundation and British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Postgraduate Workshop will be held in 2017 at the University of Sheffield.

This workshop aims to assist the development of the next generation of Japan specialists in the UK. It is a great opportunity to receive practical advice on your research from senior colleagues, and to get to know fellow postgraduate students and others in the Japanese Studies community.

This year’s interactive workshop will explore how emerging Japanese Studies researchers can increase the impact of their research on wider academia and society in the UK and Japan.

It will combine a series of presentations from senior colleagues on their own experience of conceiving, generating and recording the impact of their research with hands-on workshop sessions designed to allow participants to produce a skeleton statement of the potential impact and audience for their research, which can then be developed into a more formal impact statement for funding applications. In addition, there will be an opportunity to hear presentations from various agencies on potential sources of funding for current and future research.

Eligibility: This workshop is open to postgraduate students in Japanese Studies and those undertaking Japan related research in other disciplines. Priority registration will be given to PhD candidates. From 6th February 2017 registration will also be extended to Japanese Studies Masters students who are thinking about doing a PhD.

All participants will need to bring a wifi-enabled laptop or tablet with them to participate in the afternoon workshop sessions. Wifi access will be provided via eduroam.

Date: 24 February 2017 from 11.00am to 6.30pm

University of Sheffield 

Booking: E-mail Julie Anne Robb at  to register your interest in attending or if you have any enquiries. The last event was very popular so please get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to come along.

*The Japan Foundation will be able to offer partial travel grants to student participants. Please get in touch for more details.*

Image (left): donatas1205/

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Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (A1 Beginner Stage 2 Level) | TERM 2   org

Term 2 of the Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (A1 Stage 2 Level) is now open for enrolment!  

This course is based on communicative approaches to learning, rather than traditional methods of language education that focus purely on grammar and sentence structure. It uses the Marugoto Coursebooks for Activities textbook series published by the Japan Foundation.

This course is suitable for those who may wish to learn basic Japanese conversation, such as those going to Japan on holiday or for business purposes, or those who want to learn it just for fun! You can view the course syllabus here.

The aim of this course is to use Japanese language skills to get to know people, order in Japanese restaurants and gain knowledge about Japanese customs. During the course, participants will be able to perform specific, practical tasks in Japanese. The course will not focus on language alone: learning about Japanese culture will also be an important element. More details of the course can be found here.

This course is perfect for beginners of Japanese who would like to use their new language skills in practical situations, and to really connect with Japanese society.

Term 2 Dates: 17 Jan 2017 - 21 Mar 2017 (every Tuesday), 19:00 - 21:00

 Course Fee: £330 per ten-week term, including course textbook and materials

HOW TO ENROL: Email to arrange assessments

Date: 17 January 2017 - 21 March 2017 from 7.00pm to 9.00pm

SOAS Language Centre, 22 Russell Square, London. WC1H 0XG

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Here and Now   JPsupported

Here & Now is the first major curated exhibition of contemporary tapestry in England for over 20 years, showcasing international talent and innovative approaches to the medium. Alongside work of British tapestry weavers, the exhibition features over 20 international artists including a selection from Japan: Ayako Matsumura, Misao Watanabe, Yasuko Fujino, Saori Sakai and Ai Ito. Placing the works by Japanese artists in an international context, the exhibition will show the vigor and new aesthetic sensibility of contemporary tapestry in Japan.

Date: 1 October 2016 - 15 January 2017

The National Centre for Craft & Design
Navigation Wharf, Carre St, Sleaford NG34 7TW

For more information, please click here.

Image by Yasuko Fujino

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