Monday, August 3, 2020

Sensei! Why Japanese? Video Project

It has already become the month of August and we only have 4 more months until the year is over! I have trouble believing it as it feels relatively fast but slow at the same time.

But during this time, we interviewed various Japanese language teachers all across the U.S. to know what motivated them to learn Japanese and decide to consider Japanese teaching as their career. There were so many great stories and it's nice to see that everyone loved Japan and the language. Their love and dedication is such a positive influence to students and the students are sure blessed to have great teachers! The link to the videos and the descriptions are on our website so please take a look!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Summer has Arrived

Today is officially the first day of June! Time has flown by and most students are now out of school or almost finishing up their school year. I want to congratulate all students and teachers for doing their best despite this difficult time.

Not only has the Coronavirus has changed the lives of many in terms of job and living situation but also, many issues are being visible and confronted on a daily basis.

Being an advocacy coordinator, I often think about what can I do? What are ways our organization can further help? But I realize that advocating languages and promoting the value of learning a language is already a step into changing things for the better.

As a person who learned Japanese not only through my home environment but through college, jobs, and studying on my own, it made me absorb different cultural values and perspectives I wouldn't have if I didn't expose myself in learning languages. Being respectful of different cultural values have greatly helped me understand and connect to those who are culturally different and value their opinions and ideas in a respectful manner.

We recently had a month long project on our Instagram page called #みんなでがんばりマスク. On our page, we received various submissions from photographs, drawing, messages, and videos from Japanese language learners. We were unable to share all of the received submissions but we really appreciate what we all received! This project reminded me that Japanese learning community can come together and support each other. That we are not alone. So I hope those submissions encourage teachers and students that they have a large community that share the same passion and love for the language and culture.

I hope everyone continues to be safe and have a great summer!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Every Day is Japanese Day!

Happy Friday! Congratulations for surviving another week in this difficult time but we are getting through with it together!

I realized that the longer and longer stay at home order is being in place, it makes me realize on the importance of having a schedule for yourself!

Studying Japanese or setting yourself time to focus on a task is a great way to uplift your mood and improving your knowledge.

I know a lot of teachers are struggling as well in this sudden transition and I'm sure students are as well. It's new for all of us. But what we do know is that, it's okay to not be perfect! Just do what you can and focus on what you can do now.

We may stress ourselves about the unknown, how long this will last, am I doing okay?

You are doing more than okay! You are doing great :). We have so many resources we will continue to share to ensure you, you are doing great and we're here for you if you need any help in resources!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ways to improve Japanese on your own!

I hope everyone has been doing well and healthy during this difficult time and we hope that things go back to normal and be able to see our lovely folks who comes to participate in our events and Japanese courses! We also miss having face-to-face interactions on a daily basis but with technologies being implemented through Zoom and other digital learning tools for students and educators alike, we are still somewhat connected face-to-face! That is the greatest thing about technology, we are connected and reminded that we are all in this together and that is the same as language learning!

Being at home has been a challenge but a great time to reflect on strengths, ability, catch up on reading material, and focus on skills/languages more than ever before!

Some of the ways we could improve Japanese is:

-Read news articles through 優しい日本語ニュース:
Once you feel like you're up for the challenge, you could switch to trying to learn from regular NHK articles.

What's important is to read articles daily and familiarize yourself with subjects. It's a great way to see cultural differences and what Japanese people value in terms of information!

-Practice writing through worksheets and apps! Worksheets from websites such as プリントキッズ: and apps that Japan Foundation created called Hiragana/Katakana Memory Hint: are also a great way to brush up your writing skills in Japanese!

We have more resources on our website:

There are many ways to learn Japanese but we all have the same goal to understand the language and become more culturally aware. So we hope these resources will continue to help and keep practicing! Feel free to let us know of your progress by tagging us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Japan Foundation E-Learning Website: Minato

These past few weeks have been very challenging for educators and students alike with the rapid changing situation all around the world. As our daily lives have been altered to staying at home and learning/working through remote methods, we want to help by sharing JF resources that everyone can use for free!

We have an Japanese e-learning website called Minato ( . You can register for free, take different courses and brush up on your Japanese skills! We hope that we are able to help students improve on their Japanese and expand their knowledge as much as possible!

There so many other resources and helpful resources on our website: so please feel free to take a look!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) Season!

It's quickly already the beginning of March! I hope everyone has been having a wonderful school year and in Japan, the school year ends in March and begins in April. Generally, this is the timing where cherry blossoms bloom and many Japanese people have festivities and activities to enjoy the cherry blossom season! According to Japan Guide (, cherry blossoms are going to bloom around end of March (3/22-3/30) for Tokyo. Hokkaido generally blooms later in April as it's much colder and up north. As sakura trees blossom and fall out so quickly, it's beautified in various forms of entertainment and in food. There are so many songs, even children songs about sakura trees blossoming and shedding their pedals. It's shows how beauty is ever so temporary and we continue to long for it every year. Here is the video for a traditional Japanese children's song. It's called Sakura Sakura.

A lot of Japanese songs are closely related to seasons and a great way to introduce Japanese learners to understand how all four seasons are a big part of Japanese culture.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New Year!

新年あけましておめでとうございます。Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone had a nice time off to enjoy with their family and friends. New Years in Japan has many traditions that are different from traditions here in the states. New Years is longer and more of a family event in Japan. There's traditional New Years food such as おせち料理 (osechi ryori) and traditional Japanese games that family and friends play! Some games that get played are like karuta. Karuta is a card game where one reads the card and others have to grab the matching proverb/picture. There is another older form of karuta called 百人一首 (hyakunin isshu, one hundred poets, one poem each). It is a more challenging kind of card game and Japanese people grow up learning how to play. It's a great way to learn how to read Japanese and know how it sounds like.

If you'd like to read about 百人一首, click Here !

Let's have another wonderful 2020!

Friday, December 20, 2019

End of the Year!

Photo from: Toshikoshi Soba Recipe

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful wrap up to 2019! It's been a great honor to be a part of JFLA family for half a year so far and I am looking forward to 2020 and being able to participate/improve advocacy ideas for Japanese teachers and students.

Whenever the end of the year comes for me, I think of toshikoshi soba. Toshikoshi is passing the year/year-crossing in Japanese and written as 年越し. Soba is そば and it's buckwheat noodles. It's usually eaten end of the year as the noodles symbolizes longevity and breaking free from the past. It's a nice way to start the new year and this time around, the year will be 2020! Looking forward for more ways to connect to Japan and hopefully, finding more and more wonderful things to showcase on this blog to share to everyone :). 来年もよろしくお願いします!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2019 Kanji of the Year!

I hope everyone is having a great wrap up for this year! 2019 is hastily coming to an end and before we know it, it'll be 2020 and start of a new decade! It's exciting to be in a time where technology and accessibility is readily available to study and be exposed to Japan and the Japanese language anytime and anywhere! I hope The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles continues to connect teachers and students to Japan and we hope to continue to do so for 2020.

Yesterday, there was news that mentioned the kanji 'Rei' from Reiwa, was chosen as 2019 kanji of the year! We were able to witness the change in era this year and see the excitement towards the new era. The video and more details of previous kanji of the year is listed on the link below!

Thinking of a kanji for yourself to sum up your year is a fun and great activity to look back at what you accomplished for the year and see what kanji you have learned so far!

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a great remainder of 2019 :).

Friday, November 15, 2019

The 33rd Colorado/Wyoming Japanese Speech Contest

The 33rd Colorado/Wyoming Japanese Speech Contest took place last week! Congratulations to all of the participants who were in the Speech Contest!

There are many Speech Contest that takes place all over the United States to demonstrate and show the students' Japanese levels to not only their teachers but to others who are observing. Many students have their own individual topics and ideas they would like to share and speech contest is one of the ways to share!

More information/photos:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Austin, Texas is having an awesome akimatsuri this upcoming Sunday, November 17th from 1PM to 5PM at Zilker Botanical Garden. There will be many displays of Japanese culture/performances so it'll be a wonderful event to attend. It's free admission with regular garden admission.

More details:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Japan in November!

Happy November and I hope everyone had a nice Halloween/October season. Although there was the typhoon in Kanto region and forest fires in Los Angeles, the weather is relatively nice/calm for November. JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) has a wonderful page that showcases weather changes and places to visit! It's a great resource for teachers to speak with their students on where they would like to visit in Japan, what's considered an important aspect of fall, and how to prepare for changing weather.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Flood Recovery Manual After Typhoon Hagibis

Recently in mid-October, Kanto-area was hit with one of the most devastating typhoon since 60 years ago in the 1950s. As Japan is becoming more and more globalized, articles such as Japan Times have pointed out how there is a necessity in having a free guide in providing recommended steps for recovery. The article is posted below but we will also provide the link to the free manual below. I think these resources are great for teachers to discuss among students and to understand how these disasters are really close to us more than ever.