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."
To commemorate the publication of the Thai edition of Akutagawa Prize-winning writer Kazushige Abe's representative works IP (Individual Projection)/NN (Nipponia Nippon), ｔhe Japan Foundation, Bangkok invited Abe to Thailand in March 2014 and held a talk session between Abe and Thai writer Uthit Hemamoon as well as a reading session, as one of the official events at the 12th Bangkok International Book Fair 2014. During his stay in Thailand, Abe was interviewed by a Writer, a Thai monthly literary magazine with a circulation of 3,000 copies a month, in which he openly talked about his path to becoming a writer, the Thai translation of his book, what he felt as an Asian writer and other topics. In this article, we present an excerpt of the interview to our readers.
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.