Sankyo Yanagiya, a rakugo performer, has been active in performing rakugo, which is one of the traditional performing arts of Japan, and teaching kobanashi (short comic story), as part of Japanese language education for many years. In recognition of his contributions to the spread of Japanese culture, both in Japan and overseas and the development of Japanese language education, he was awarded the 2014 Japan Foundation Awards. This was the first time that the Award had been presented to a rakugo performer. We present a part of a lecture given by Sankyo Yanagiya commemorating the receipt of the award, "Rakugo and Japanese Language Education."
The Japan Foundation held the "Evangelion and Japanese Swords Exhibition" in Paris from April through June, 2014 in Madrid in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Japan-Spain exchanges from July 5 through September 28, 2014. What impressions did the exhibition give the participants in Paris and Madrid? In this article, Mr. David Jiménez Román, co-founder of the Spanish language otaku-culture blog Ramen for Two, investigates.
Every year since 1996, the Japan Foundation and the International House of Japan jointly set up the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP). The ALFP seeks to create a close, personal and professional network of public intellectuals in Asia, deeply rooted in and committed to civil society beyond their own cultural, disciplinary and geopolitical backgrounds. One of the seven ALFP 2014 fellows, Mr. Wonjae Lee (Korea) talks about his two months of ALFP in Japan, such as his views on Japan or the Japanese through ALFP, interactions with other fellows and his expectations towards this program and the younger generation.