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Vol. 9 No. 11 - November 2014
The e-Japan Journal is the electronic webletter of the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago and the Japan Information Center (JIC). We hope it proves to be a useful, interesting, and exciting window for you into Japanese cultural activities happening throughout the Midwest. As always, your feedback, comments, and suggestions are encouraged and can be sent to our editor, Amy Klouse, at jic@cg.mofa.go.jp.

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In This Issue
This Month in Japan
Special Announcements
JIC Library
Fun Features
Editor's Note  
Cultural Events
Please click through to our Events Calendar for a full list of events, as well as information about events in the coming months!

Economic News
Political News
Tomodachi Abenomics

Government Northern

Takeshima JapanChina

Abduction Highlighting

This Month in Japan
Koyomi Shimotsuki, the old name for November, means “frost month.” In many parts of Japan and the world, November is the start of when much colder, winter-like weather appears. Frost is often visible in the mornings.

There are two national holidays in Japan this month. Culture Day (Bunka no hi) on 11/3 honors culture, the arts, and academic endeavor. On this day, the Emperor of Japan presents the Order of Culture to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of science or the arts.

The second national holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinro kansha no hi) on 11/23, was originally a harvest festival called Niinamesai. In present-day Japan, this holiday is celebrated as a time to be thankful for employment and prosperity.

Shichi-go-san (11/15) is not an observed national holiday but it is a popular celebration throughout Japan. 7 (shichi)-year-old girls, 5 (go)-year-old boys, and 3 (san)-year-old boys and girls dress up in traditional clothing and visit shrines to pray with their families.

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Special Announcements
JOI Coordinator Spotlight: Tadashi Nomura
Mr. Tadashi Nomura
Tadashi Nomura
The Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) was formed from a partnership between the Japan Foundation's Center for Global Partnership and the Laurasian Institution. JOI's goals are to promote American understanding of and interest in Japan and to cultivate leaders in grassroots exchange between Japan and the United States. This is carried out mainly with the help of the JOI Coordinators, Japanese citizens selected by the program to live in the US for two years. The presentations they give on Japanese language and culture open dialogue with people and communities that have limited exposure to Japan and Japanese people.

Say hello to Mr. Tadashi Nomura, who recently arrived in Omaha, Nebraska:

“I have lived and travelled to numerous countries over the past 15 years, including multiple trips to the United States. After spending 38 years in business in various locations throughout the world, I was strongly motivated to become involved in efforts to better educate others on Japan. Now, as a JOI Coordinator based at Creighton University's Asian World Center, I feel privileged and grateful to be here.

Contact me if you are interested in learning more about the following topics:
Japanese Traditional Cultures
Japanese History
Japanese Language
Business & Economy of Japan

In return, I am sure I will learn a lot from friends in the US that I can bring back home to Japan.”

Email: TadashiNomura@creighton.edu
Phone: (402) 280-2856

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Japan Foundation Grants
JFGrants The Japan Foundation in Los Angeles and New York will be offering the following grants this fall and winter. To ensure a smooth submission process, it is highly recommended that interested candidates start their applications early.

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JET Program Application [Deadline 11/14]
Jet Are you a U.S. citizen and a college graduate with a bachelor's degree in the upcoming year? Have you considered applying to the JET Program? We hope so!

The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program is a government sponsored program that promotes internationalization and language education at the grassroots level. It was established in 1987 and is one of the largest educational programs of its kind. Recent college graduates and young professionals from over 40 countries are invited annually to share their language and culture with Japanese youth.

JETs participate in the program in one of two ways: as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), who team-up with Japanese colleagues to teach English in primary or secondary schools or as Coordinators of International Relations (CIRs), who perform various international and inter-cultural related functions in local government offices. CIRs must be fully proficient in the Japanese language.

Please visit the JET Program website to take the first steps toward becoming a JET! The deadline is 5:00PM EST November 14, 2014. Please note that this application should be sent to the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. Consulates WILL NOT accept applications.

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JET Promotion in Nebraska [November 4-6]
Jetpromo Emily Toelcke, the Outreach Coordinator and Librarian at the Consulate, will be visiting universities in Iowa this month to inform communities on the JET Program. If you attend one of these schools or live nearby, stop by and learn all about the benefits of teaching English in Japan through the Japanese government!

If you would like to learn more about the JET Program, please visit our JET Program website. If you have any questions for Emily, feel free to email emily.toelcke@cg.mofa.go.jp.

Say "Konnichiwa" to Emily in Nebraska
11/4 (Tue) - Metropolitan Community College, South Campus
6:00 - 7:00 PM: Presentation, Mahoney Building Room 100
11/5 (Wed) - Creighton University
9:00-9:45 AM: Presentation in Eppley Building 111 for Professor Emiko Unno’s Japanese Class
10:15-10:45 AM: Presentation in Hixson Lied Building 246 for Professor Marong Jiang’s Political Science Class
11:00 AM -2:00 PM: Information Table in Skutt Student Center

University of Nebraska-Kearney
6:45-7:45 PM: Presentation, Ockinga Conference Room
8:00-8:15 PM: Presentation, Copeland Hall Room 253
11/6 (Thurs) - University of Nebraska-Kearney
10:00-11:00 AM: Presentation, Ockinga Conference Room
11:00 AM-12:00 PM: Question and Answer Session, Ockinga Conference Room

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Holidays the Consulate is Closed
The Consulate General of Japan will be closed on the following days:
  • November 11 (Veteran's Day)
  • November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)
  • November 28 (Day After Thanksgiving)
  • December 23 (Emperor's Birthday)
  • December 25 (Christmas Day)
  • December 29 - January 3 (End of Year/New Year Holiday)
  • January 20 (Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday)
Thank you for your understanding. Happy Holidays!

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November 1: Walter Mondale Dinner with the Japan America Society of MN
Dr. Matthew Welch
Courtesy of the Japan America
Society of Minnesota
This year, the Japan America Society of Minnesota will celebrate its 17th Annual Mondale Award and Scholarship Dinner Gala! The event celebrates and strengthens the ties between Minnesota and Japan, as embodied by Walter Mondale, the former Minnesota Senator, United States Vice-President, and Ambassador to Japan. The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Matthew Welch, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Directors Office and Asian Art department. His specializations are in Japanese and Korean art, with a particular interest in Edo period and Zen painting.

The Mondale Award for Japan – Minnesota Partnership honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the building of understanding between Minnesota and Japan. Moreover, the Mondale Scholarship recognizes three undergraduate students who attend Minnesota universities and demonstrate a commitment to studying Japan.

Proceeds from this fundraising event will enable JASM to continue to offer fascinating social and educational programs that promote cultural exchange between Minnesota and Japan, including the merit-based Mondale Scholarship. All payments and registration are required before the event and can be accessed from the below website.

Dates Location Information
November 1, 2014 (Sat)
5:30 - 9:00 PM
Oak Ridge Country Club
700 Oak Ridge Road
Hopkins, MN 55305

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November 5: International Organizations Career Guidance for Japanese Nationals
This Career Guidance event is intended for people with Japanese nationality and will be fully conducted in Japanese. A staff member from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Tokyo will visit to explain several options for future employment in international organizations such as the United Nations. Please read the PDF below to find out more information.

Admission is free, but an RSVP is required by 11/3 (Mon) to jinji-center@mofa.go.jp.

Date Location Information
November 5, 2014 (Wed)
Registration begins at 4:45 PM
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Japan Information Center
737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
Career Guidance for
Japanese Nationals Flyer

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November 8: JETAA Chicago Career Development Workshop
JETAAlogo JETAA Chicago has lined up an amazing speaker, Mr. Mohammed Faheem of Illinois WorkNet to talk on the subject, “How the Job Search Paradigm has Changed." Attendees will have a chance to network with other attendees, both job-seekers and professionals alike! A networking reception will follow the speaker.

Mohammed Faheem is a popular speaker known for delivering hard-hitting messages that move people emotionally and inspire them to make long-term, substantive changes in their personal and professional lives. Mohammed is currently the Director of Business Employer Solutions and Corporate Relations at the Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights, where he has developed nationally recognized programs for workforce development. Mohammed’s Contributions to public service have been lauded by President Clinton, President Bush, the U.S. Congress and a host of Community Organizations.

This is a FREE event, but registration is required through Guestlist. If you are interested, please click on the link below!

Date Location Information
November 8, 2014 (Sat)
2:30 - 5:30 PM
Japan Information Center
737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611

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November 11-15: KAKEHASHI Project Participants to Visit Chicago
Kakehashi The Kakehashi Project is a Japanese government-sponsored student exchange program that is administered by the Japan Foundation and the Laurasian Institution. Under the Kakehashi umbrella, there are several type-specific exchange programs. Chicago hosts two programs in the mid-November.

A total of 75 students from three high schools in Okinawa (Okinawa Shogaku Senior High School, Naha High School, & Naha Kokusai Senior High School) will visit Chicago from November 10-15. Six Chicago-land high schools will host these students for during their stay in Chicago and the students will give presentations on Japan and everyday life in Okinawa. The Okinawa students then depart to California for a home stay experience.

Another group of 150 university students will visit Chicago between November 12-14. Students from Tohoku University, Ochanomizu University, Hosei University, Toyo University, Otsuma Women’s University, and Tokyo University of the Arts will visit several Chicago area universities and organizations before returning to Japan. They will also give presentations on their life as college students in Japan and on different cultural interests. Let's give them a warm Chicago welcome!

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November 13: Annual Dinner with the Japan America Society of St. Louis
Dinner Join the Japan America Society of St. Louis at their Annual Dinner! The following are included in the schedule of events for the evening:
  • Reports by students
  • Video Presentation on student trip to Ishinomaki
  • Reflection on devastation to the area caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Tickets are $70 a person and $80 for non-members. The cost of a sponsor table for eight is $550 per table. The favor of your RSVP is requested by November 6, 2014. Please write a check payable to Japan America Society of St. Louis and mail to: Japan America Society of St. Louis, C/O International Studies and Programs, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 266 SSB, One University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121-4400.

Date Location
November 13, 2014 (Thurs)
6:00 PM cocktail reception cash bar
7:00 PM dinner
Wasabi Sushi Bar
9983 Manchester Road
Glendale, MO 63122

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November 17: Child and Parent Reading Group at the JIC (日本語のみ)
A group of Japanese parents and children are hosting an event at the JIC to promote reading Japanese books together! The focus is mostly on elementary picture books and it is requested that all who wish to participate bring one of their favorite (or their child's favorite!) books with them to the meeting. You may also bring in light snacks and drinks for children to enjoy. More information regarding details like parking is outlined when accessing the PDF link below.

Date Location Information
November 17, 2014 (Mon)
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Japan Information Center
737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60611
Reading Group Flyer

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November 19-20: "Dwarf Comes to America" Anime Event with the Creators of Domo in Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI
We are excited to announce that the creators of the lovable and world famous cultural icon, Domo, are visiting Chicago! The animator and producer of Dwarf Inc. will be giving a screening, demonstration, and lecture on stop motion animation and on their new iconic character Komaneko. If you'd like to see a Komaneko movie trailer please click here.

Have you heard of "stop motion" or "frame-by-frame" before? It's a technique for making animation one frame at a time by moving an object slightly, shooting a frame, and then repeating this over and over. This was and continues to be one of the oldest methods for creating movies.

Dates Locations Information
November 19, 2014 (Chicago)
3:30 - 6:00 PM

November 20, 2014 (Milwaukee)
4:00 - 6:00 PM
DePaul University Chicago
CDM Theater
East Jackson Boulevard, Lower Level, Room 105
Chicago, IL 60604

Univ. of WI-Milwaukee
School of Architecture and Urban Planning Building
2131 East Hartford Avenue, Room 170
Milwaukee, WI 53211

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Critical Language Scholarship [Deadline 11/12]
CLS A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical foreign languages (including Japanese). The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils and The Ohio State University.

Program costs – airfare, tuition, room and board, cultural program expenses, overseas health benefits, and applicable visa fees – are fully covered for all participants. Participants receive a small stipend to cover incidental expenses and meals not provided by the program. The CLS Program provides undergraduate academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Upon completion of the program, participants also receive a certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score.

Visit the CLS website to get started on your application!

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JIC Library
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact our librarian directly at emily.toelcke@cg.mofa.go.jp.

Highlighted Resources
This month's Highlighted Resources was written by JIC librarian Emily Toelcke that features notable library materials we offer per month.
Furoshiki Because I love things that are creative, unique, and versatile, I am completely enamored with Japanese furoshiki. With just a few strategically placed knots, these beautiful square pieces of cloth can be used as an elegant wrapping or handbag for practically anything! The history of furoshiki can be traced back over 1300 years to the Nara period, when people first used a large cloth to valuables for safe-keeping. In later periods, cloths were used to wrap discarded clothing while taking a bath (furo) and it was during this time, the name “furoshiki” was coined. Recently, they have been gaining popularity as both an environment-conscious alternative and a one-of-a-kind fashion statement. In the newly-translated book Wrapping with Fabric: Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki (Call Number 14003), furoshiki expert and textile artist Etsuko Yamada offers a great introduction to the history and uses of this multi-purpose cloth.

Wrapping with Fabric begins by showing the versatility of the furoshiki. One piece of fabric can undergo endless transformations just by the way it is wrapped. The secret is in two knots – >ma-musubi (which ties two ends together) and the hitotsu-musubi (which is tied in a single corner). When tied properly, the finished product is both elegant and sturdy. The middle section of the book combines the two knots into 40 different creations – from backpack to book cover to violin case to picnic basket – the transformation is amazing! And when a different color or style furoshiki is used, a completely different mood can be expressed by the user. The final section of the book concludes with the history and culture of the furoshiki. Additionally, there are brilliant photographs of the many different designs, patterns, and materials commonly used as well as a guide to appropriate color choices for particular events. There is also a chart of the ten most common furoshiki sizes which, interestingly enough, are not exact squares

All in all, Wrapping with Fabric is wonderful guide to understanding and perfecting the Japanese art of furoshiki. You will be amazed at the versatility of a simple piece of cloth. For additional designs and wrapping ideas, be sure to visit Yamada-san’s Japanese website at www.kyoto-musubi.com. Until next time, it’s a wrap! o New Additions

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New Additions
New Additions showcases the latest materials we have received in the JIC collection.
Title Author Language Call Number

Hachiro Yuasa: The Hopes and Challenges of a Christian Educator in Japan

Kiyoko Takeda Cho English 310048
Film Title Audio Subtitles Format Call Number

I Wish

日本語 English, Español DVD 812119

Thermae Romae: The Movie

日本語 中国, English, Bahasa Malaysia DVD 812120

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Fun Features
Last Month in Japan
Here are some questions about current events in Japan. Email your answers to Amy Klouse at jic@cg.mofa.go.jp for a chance to win a small prize!
  1. Japan’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of women’s rights in the workplace this month. What was the ruling? (hint: it has to do with pregnancy and this was the first time this issue was heard in Japanese court)
  2. For the first time since 2005, which Japanese baseball team advanced to the Japan Series?
  3. What is the name of the popular millennium old fire festival held annually in October in Kyoto? (The festival is said to have originated in 940!)

Congratulations to Evgeny Kolev, our winner from the October issue! Here are last month's answers:

• Which Japanese company has shown interest in acquiring DreamWorks?

• Which Japanese University ranks 2nd after Harvard in iPS research?
Kyoto University

• Which volcano in Japan recently erupted? Where is it located?
Mount Ontake

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Website Highlight
WebHighKanji Alive

I bet a lot of our readers are preparing for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test coming up in December. To do well on the exam, you must have a firm grasp on reading kanji. Kanji Alive and other free kanji study tools are indispensable if your goal is to attain high proficiency levels in reading. The University of Chicago created Kanji Alive to help students at all language levels be able to read and write Japanese characters. You can easily search for 1235 kanji in Japanese, romaji, or English, by meaning, pronunciation, stroke number or radical. You can also search for kanji by lesson in popular textbooks like Genki, by grade level, or by study list. Kanji animations are provided to help learners write kanji correctly and can be paused or reviewed at any time. You can also see and hear how kanji are used in context in up to twelve carefully selected example words.

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Editor's Note
Happy November! It’s been a busy fall at the Consulate. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and religious holidays in December, the autumn-winter change always seems to go by much quicker than the winter-spring transition.

Have you ever been in Japan for Shichi-go-san? This celebration dates to the Heian period (794-1185) but was set to occur annually on November 15 during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). After children visit the shrine, their parents often buy red chitose-ame (thousand years candy). The color red represents vitality, good health, and the length of chitose-ame is also emblematic for long life. Illustrations of cranes and turtles, two animals that traditionally symbolize longevity in Japan, decorate bags the candy comes in.

Amy Klouse (Editor, Technology and Information Coordinator) 

Shichi-go-san image courtesy
of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)'s
Japan Photo Library

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