e-japan journal
August 2021
Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago
a picture of various kokeshi wooden dolls

Japan-Related Events

Japanese cultural events happening online in the Midwest and around the country
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Grants & Scholarships

A list of currently open Grants and Scholarships related to Japan
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JIC Review

This month we review the Japanese movie "Sweet Bean"
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Important information and updates

CG between former WI governor and Kikkoman foods representative

Month in Review

Take a look back at some of the important news from last month
photo of Dr. Kazumi Hatasa in traditional clothing performing Rakugo

Featured Interview

Interview with Dr. Kazumi Hatasa, Japanese professor and Chair of East Asian Languages in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University
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This Month in Japan

Learn about the month of August in Japan
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 Consular Office Hours

The Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago currently offers the following operating times for Consular Services:

- Consular Service windows will be open from Monday - Friday 10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 1:15 to 3:00 pm.

- The Consular Section’s phones will be available to call between 9:15 am and 12:15 pm, and again from 1:15 to 5:00 pm.

We do ask that all visitors cooperate with following necessary precautions:

- If you are feeling ill, please wait to come in until you are feeling completely well again.
- Please only come in to the Consulate for essential activities. If it can wait, please consider doing so.
- In accordance with CDC guidelines, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in the waiting room. Be aware that you may need to wait outside the waiting room should more than 10 people be present.

JIC Re-Opening

We are happy to announce that the Japan Information Center will be re-opening very soon!  Please check our website and SNS pages regularly for updates.

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Intro to Chanoyu: The Japanese Tea Ceremony with the Japan America Society of Chicago

While Chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, has been alive and well for over 500 years, it remains a mystery for many both inside and outside of Japan. Please join JAS Chicago as Francis sensei tries to shed some light on Chanoyu’s origins, philosophies, and culture.

Thursday, August 12 at 6 - 7:00pm (CDT)
image of a various kokeshi wooden dolls

Join Japanese Kokeshi doll maker, Naomi Umeki, live from Japan, in a lively conversation about the art and craft of producing traditional wooden Kokeshi dolls. This will be a bi-lingual event, with the conversation conducted in Japanese and translated into English.
Thursday, August 5 at 7 - 8:00pm (EDT)
flyer for The Chicago International Film Festival Summer Screenings
Cinema/Chicago, together with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and our consular and cultural partners, presents Summer Screenings, a free weekly film series that celebrates sports and games from around the world.

A long summer afternoon at the ballpark, an intense game of chess, early morning practices at the pool—sports, games, and competition are defining elements of the human experience. Through struggle and perseverance, victory and defeat, we learn about the joys, pains, and triumphs of being alive together. Featuring everything from timeless soccer legends and hilariously obsessed sports fans to breathtaking breakdance competitions and the epic clash of sumo wrestlers, this collection of films explores the ways in which sports, games, and competition shape our lives.

Featuring "Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai" from Japan on Wednesday, August 4th at 6:30 pm (CDT) 
Wednesdays at 6:30 pm (CDT) from August 4 - September 29
Free, limited tickets are available 
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Sumi-e, the Japanese word for black ink painting, focuses on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush as it captures the essence of nature. Participants will use the beauty of the Gardens to inspire their art works as National Watercolor Society Signature Instructor, Stella Dobbins, demonstrates a new painting from nature each week. Subjects will include flowers, fish, birds and landscape plants. Ms. Dobbins will also demonstrate calligraphy and different water color techniques. Access to the Gardens prior to class is included in the class fee. Classes are held outdoors under the Anderson Japanese Gardens Pavilion.
Wednesdays until Septemeber 29
Youth Class: 2:00PM – 4:00 pm | Adult Class: 4:00PM – 6:00PM (CDT)
$20 per class; optional supply kit $25
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The Japanese Culture Center is excited to hold a 書道 – Shodo / Japanese Calligraphy program with Chicago’s own Shodo master, Hekiun Oda!

In the Shodo program you learn the art of Japanese calligraphy from Hekiun Oda-sensei, a calligraphy master from the Japanese Calligraphy Association in Japan, aka “Genshin-kai”. Thanks to Oda-sensei’s rank as “Shihan” in the association, students in this program will be able to send their work to the headquarters in Japan and potentially be awarded a rank. A very rare opportunity! The classes are focused on learning various writing techniques while working on assignments that are tailored to each student’s level and ability. Whether beginner or advanced, all levels and ages are welcomed!

August 8, 15, 23, & 30 at 1 - 2:30 pm (CDT)
Flyer for JASC Fresh Market with pictures of food found at the market
What is the JASC Fresh Market?  Enter our small indoor market from the main Clark Street entrance, 4427 N. Clark Street, for the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables and prepared foods from the following and more:
Hinata Farms – Asian produce with a focus on Japanese varieties.
M Square – pre-order sushi boxes in advance from M Square
Mom’s Chicago – Katsu Sando and more
Onigiri Kororin – authentic Japanese style grilled onigiri
2nd and 4th Thursdays until October 29 at 4-6:00 pm (CDT)
JASC Warehouse, 4427 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
flyer for Origami in the Garden with big horse statue in origami style
Created by Santa Fe artists, Jennifer and Kevin Box, these sculptures tell the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.  

Making its St. Louis debut the exhibition includes stunning large-scale metal sculptures created through collaboration with world-renowned origami artists such as Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Michael G. La Fosse, and Beth Johnson.  
Tuesdays through Sundays until October 10 from 9am-5:00 pm (CDT)
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110
Origami in the Garden is included with admission
General Admission for Garden: $14   Free for children under 12
cartoon image of a three identical girls making different expressions with Japanese onomatopoeia above their heads
Did you know Japanese has more onomatopoeia than almost any other language in the world, next only to Korean? Virtually everything you experience—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste–-can all be vividly expressed with onomatopoeia. In this workshop for adult learners (age 16 and above), students learn different groups of onomatopoeia such as giongo and gitaigo, covering many topics including animal sounds, weather, health, action, and of course, food! Students will act out a scene from manga, explore fun sound effects, and feel the power of descriptive writing using onomatopoeia. 
Friday, August 20 from 6:30-8:30 pm (EDT)
General Admission: $37   Members: $30
three taiko drummers in traditional clothing posing near taiko drum kendama posed together to form a circle girl with blue apron eating dango
Obon is an annual summer festival to commemorate our ancestors. While we had to cancel our usual Obon Festival in Como Park, we are instead inviting you to join a festive online event, scheduled for the third week of August. This festival is throwback of our Spring Festival, Shinshunkai, which we celebrated in March. We greatly appreciate the artists and performers who have agreed to join this event as well. From Sunday, August 15th until Saturday, August 21st you can enjoy videos of performances at any time you want. If you have seen these great performance back in March, please let your friends and family know how great they are!  Now it is their chance to see them!
From Sunday, August 15th until Saturday, August 21st 
General Admission: $8  Members: Free
WLC and JAS combined logo
Olympic champion and medalist, Mirai Nagasu, knows the importance of resiliency during times of challenge and the value of mentorship on that journey.  As the first American woman to land a triple-axel at the Olympics, Mirai has experienced many highs – but it is her inner strength to overcome the lows with an attitude of always looking forward that continue to propel her.  Gain insights from Mirai’s experiences, learn how to overcome challenges, and the central role of mentorship on that journey.
Thursday, August 19 from 5-5:50pm (PDT)/Friday, August 20 from 9-9:45am (JST) 
General Admission: $10  JASSC Members: Free
flyer for Confident Conversing for Beginners
You’ve got the textbooks and flashcards. You know hiragana and katakana by heart. You practice kanji religiously. But how comfortable are you with speaking Japanese?

Language is a way to communicate with others. Very often, however, beginners are so worried about mistakes and embarrassment that they forgo actually using their newly acquired language skills. This would hinder progress at any level, so let’s talk! We are now accepting students for a 12-week workshop on beginner conversations. Under the steady guidance of Sakamoto-sensei, 6 students will have the opportunity to flex their Japanese capabilities over Zoom for 1.5 hours at a time. In this intimate group setting, Sakamoto-sensei will be able to gauge the needs of each student and adjust subject matter to these needs. This is a great way to grow comfortable using Japanese in unscripted and genuine conversations, and make new friends!
12 sessions on Tuesdays starting on August 24 from 6:30-8:00pm (PDT)
$275 - Membership is required for booking 
Image of flags from multiple countries swaying in the wind
Instead of the usual Ethnic Enrichment Festival, there will be a scaled-down version in 2021 called the Ethnic Entertainment Review at the Swope Park location. This year will contain only dance and music performance. There will be no food or drink for sale. Each night will highlight six different cultural groups so make sure to attend them all! Bring chairs or a blanket for a picnic with your family. Keep an eye on this page for updates on this event.

Three Trails Taiko will be representing Japan at 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, August 22 to close the Festival.  Please don't miss their performance!
Japan performance on Sunday, August 22 at 7:20pm (CDT)  Visit the link above for the full schedule of performances
flyer for Curating Art Japan 2021-1921 event
The speaker will introduce participants to Art Japan 2021-1921, an exhibition of Japanese art from the Warehouse MKE collection. The collectors, Jan Serr and John Shannon, have been collecting art from across the globe for over 50 years. Since opening Guardian Fine Art and the Warehouse, their mission has been to share their collection with the public. In addition to learning about select artists in the collection, such as Toko Shinoda (1913-2021), Jiro Yonezawa (b. 1956) and Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927), visitors will see views of the gallery and learn the curator’s thoughts behind the installation. A question and answer period will follow.

Attendees of this event will be shown a powerpoint presentation of images from the exhibition Art Japan 2021-1921 along with additional works of the art by those Japanese artists in the Jan Serr and John Shannon collection
Thursday, August 26 from 6-7:00 pm (CDT)
flyer for Japanese Cooking Class with cartoon pictures of katsu and other ingredients
Join us for miso katsu! Miso katsu is fried pork cutlet covered with a delicious miso sauce. Typically served with shredded cabbage and white rice, we’ll round out this famous Nagoya dish with homemade sunomono (cucumber pickles)!
Friday, August 6 from 6-8:00 pm (EDT)
Non-Member: $20  JASWDC Members: $10 
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Consul-General Okada standing between Mr. Tommy Thompson and Mr. Milton Neshek in a restaurant

Consul-General Okada meets with former Wisconsin Governor and  Kikkoman Foods representative

On 7/22, CG Okada met with Chair of Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, former Governor of Wisconsin and President of WU system, Mr. Tommy Thompson in Madison and Mr. Milton Neshek from Kikkoman Foods, Inc. We deeply appreciate your tremendous support to develop Japan-US friendship!

Consul-General Okada with Al and Sharon Durtka, Gallery staff and Consul at art gallery in Wisconsin

Consul-General Okada visits "Art Japan 2021-1921" in Milwaukee, WI

On 7/22, CG Okada also visited "Art Japan 2021-1921" in Milwaukee, WI and met with John Shannon, Managing Director of "The Warehouse". Thank you for sharing the beauty of Japanese art with us and your communities. We appreciate Al & Sharon Durtka for their continuous support!

Consul-General Okada makes toast at JASI's Annual Gala

On 6/22, CG Okada made a toast at Japan-America Society of Indiana’s Annual Gala, held virtually this year. The Gala had greetings from Ambassador Koji Tomita and Governor Eric Holcomb, as well as a pre-event featuring the executive leaders of Honda, Subaru, and Toyota.

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Japan Foundation Grants

Grants to teachers, institutions, and students engaged in Japanese language, as well as arts and cultural programs. 

Japanese Language Education Project Grant
Performing Arts Japan Grants
Exhibitions Abroad Support Program
JFNY Grant for Online Japanese Studies

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photo of Dr. Kazumi Hatasa in traditional clothing performing Rakugo

Interview with Dr. Kazumi Hatasa, Japanese professor at Purdue University

This month we interview Dr. Kazumi Hatasa, Japanese professor and Chair of East Asian Languages in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University.  Read about how he integrates Rakugo, a form of Japanese comedy, in his language teaching, and about his new textbook that teaches Japanese and Japanese cooking!
JIC Monthly Review
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 Sweet Bean

This month we are reviewing the Japanese movie, "Sweet Bean".  Three different generations find each other through a small dorayaki stand and together learn what is most important in life.  

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Hazuki is the shortened form of Haochizuki, or "month of falling leaves" and is the traditional Japanese way to say August. When Japan followed a lunar-based calendar system, Hazuki was the first month of autumn.

Obon is an event honoring the spirits of deceased ancestors that has been practiced in Japan for more than 500 years. While this is still very much the intention, over time this occasion has evolved into a time of year for family reunions.
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Dear Subscribers,

     We still have more fun summer events both in-person and virtual this month!  We are also planning the re-opening of the JIC so we hope to see some of you in-person soon!
     This month's JIC Review is on "Sweet Bean", a beautiful movie about unlikely friendships and the simple joys of life.  Our interview this month is with Dr. Kazumi Hatasa, Japanese professor and Chair of East Asian Languages in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University.  Read about his use of the Japanese comedy-style Rakugo to teach his intensive Japanese course and his new textbook that integrates cooking with language learning.
     As always, please stay healthy and safe this month!

Itsumo arigatou gozaimasu,
Japan Information Center
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