The Japan Foundation E-mail Magazine Vol. 300

■■ Motivation to Study Japanese, Learning Methods, and the Appeal of the Japanese Language [Part 2] ■■

Dear readers,

February 14 is St. Valentine's Day.
In Japan, as you might already know, it is the day women send chocolates to their loved ones. According to the Chocolate & Cocoa Association of Japan, we started to celebrate St. Valentine's Day in this way in 1950s. However, this unique tradition is changing during the last 60 years. We now buy chocolates not only for loved ones but also for our bosses, colleagues, friends, and ourselves. There are several terms related this, which include "honmei choco" (chocolate for someone special), "giri choco" (obligatory chocolate for bosses and colleagues), "tomo choco" (chocolate for friends), and "jibun choco" (chocolate for oneself). This year, a new term "ore choco" has joined the list. "Ore" is a first person pronoun used by male. It is a male version of "jibun choco."
At this time of the year, annual chocolate shows are held in several cities and many department stores have temporary chocolate shops, which sell special products made by world famous chocolatiers just for St. Valentine's Day. So, this season in Japan must be a paradise for chocolate lovers!

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◇Open Lecture by Dr. Farish A. Noor: Across Borders in Southeast Asia Today
This talk, organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and Waseda University, will draw from anecdotal experiences during fieldwork across the region, and considers other ways we can understand Southeast Asia, as it is seen and experienced by ordinary people who inhabit border zones, overlapping territories and maritime spaces.

Date: February 28, 2017
Venue: The Japan Foundation Headquarters Main Building, Hall "SAKURA"

More details:


▼△▼△Wochi Kochi Magazine▼△▼△

◇Motivation to Study Japanese, Learning Methods, and the Appeal of the Japanese Language: Tips from Foreigners Who Apply Their Japanese Language Proficiency in Their Careers
[Part 2]
How did Marty Friedman (musician), Carolin Eckhardt (manga artist), and Jenya (voice actress) acquire Japanese language? Read their recommended learning methods.

◇International exhibitions: Massimiliano Gioni
Massimiliano Gioni, the general director of the 55th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, tells us about his encounters with Japan, what he expects of exhibition visitors, and the future of international exhibitions.


▼△▼△Library Information ▼△▼△

◇List of new books

-The Japan Foundation Library
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa
-The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai


▼△▼△ Worth Sharing ▼△▼△
Worth Sharing―A Selection of Japanese Books Recommended for Translation is the list of recommendable good books for translation that we compiled annually.

◇Shitamachi Roketto [Downtown Rocket] Author: Jun Ikeido

Working out of a small factory in an unfashionable part of Tokyo, a tiny family firm called Tsukuda Manufacturing succeeds in developing a rocket engine valve based on one of its main products. But at the same time, the company faces an unprecedented crisis, having lost its major client and facing a massive lawsuit for patent irregularities from one of the industry's biggest players. The rival plans to push Tsukuda Manufacturing into bankruptcy and swallow it up for next to nothing.
With the help of a specialized attorney the company manages to overcome the crisis. But no sooner has the company weathered one storm than another arises: Teikoku Heavy Industries, Japan's largest aerospace manufacturer, makes an offer to buy the patent. Company president Kohei Tsukuda is determined that the firm should manufacture the components itself rather than selling its rights for short-term profits. But the unprecedented size of the offer provokes a conflict of opinion. Once negotiations start, however, Teikoku's arrogance sparks the employees' sense of pride. Banding together to work on product development, they eventually contribute to the successful launch of a domestically built rocket.
The fast-paced storyline makes the book hard to put down. The story is intricately plotted, and Ikeido breathes life into all his characters. The scenario of a small company tyrannized by big business is reminiscent of the good-against-evil theme of popular historical novels. This tale of the weak overcoming the strong through superhuman efforts appeals to Japanese readers' sympathy for the underdog.

For more details:

About Worth Sharing


▼△▼△Japanese Film Screenings Overseas in February 2017▼△▼△

Japanese Film Festival (India)
Japan Film festival (Micronesia)
Japanese Film Festival (Canada)
Japanese Contemporary Cinema in Caracas 2017 (Venezuela)
EIGA-SAI 2017 (Czech Republic)
Odd obsessions: Desires, Hopes and Impulse in Japanese Cinema (U.K.)
Japanese Film Series 2017 (Germany)
Japan Film Festival (Greece)
Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Retrospective of Japanese director Yoshishige Yoshida (Russia)
Japanese Film Festival (Latvia)
Japanese Film Month (Saudi Arabia)
The 14th Japanese Film Festival in Ankara (Turkey)
13th Japanese Film Festival (Turkey)
Japanese Film week 2016 (Egypt)
Kampala Japanese Film Festival (Uganda)


◇Our next issue will be delivered on February 28, 2017.
JF E-mail Magazine would like to hear your comments and suggestions.

Vol.300 2/14/2017
The Japan Foundation Official Website



Wochi Kochi Magazine

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