The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai carries out Japanese-Language Training Programs for Foreign-Service Officers & Public Officials. Mr. Steve Aklesso Bodjona, who currently serves as Chargés d'affaires ad interim of the Embassy of the Republic of Togo and participated in the program in 2009, told us of his joy and difficulty about learning Japanese, his memories of teachers and other participants he met at the Institute, and his efforts for setting up the Embassy.
The Japan Foundation dispatched a group of Japanese artists and cultural specialists in the field of performing arts to the 5th Nanluoguxiang Performing Arts Festival held in Beijing, China, from May 23 through July 31, 2014. The Nanluoguxiang Performing Arts Festival is the largest international festival of performing arts, which has been held in Beijing every year since 2010.
As I mentioned at the end of my previous installment, in this article I will explain another aspect of my work, that of film distribution. Once artists create their works and start participating in international festivals with their works, they will encounter various short animations and short films: from comical to serious, from experimental to highly artistic, and everything in between. Ordinary life in Japan, however, offers almost no opportunities to come in touch with such works.
Kristin Surak, the former Japan Foundation Fellow for Japanese Studies, gave a presentation on the historical rise of the iemoto (grand masters of tea ceremony) and their transformation, a topic she has been researching for more than 10 years.