Saturday, September 1, 2012

Japan Foundation Los Angeles Open House

Thursday August 30th, the Japan Foundation of Los Angeles held it's first Open House at it's new Miracle Mile Location at 5700 Wilshire Blvd location across from the Screen Actors Guild & La Brea Tar Pits - Page Museum complex. For those not familiar with JFLA, they are a non-profit organization who is financed by endowment by the Japanese Government and private donations to help promote Japanese language and culture. We have attended many of their events before but this was the first time we attended an open house as the old Little Tokyo Location was not as convenient. Upon arrival on this hot August day, visitors were greeted by JFLA's director Misako Ito and the staff which welcomed scores of visitors and school children. Once inside, visitors were cooled to some nice air conditioning and treated to a small Shamisen concert & tea and a variety of Japanese snacks provided in their screening room where visitors could watch both documentaries and small features from Japan.

The interior featured beautiful kimono displays on loan from the Kimono Agency of North Hollywood. There were also wicker displays as well as Ikibana. In the back there was a class room where school children tried their hands and Japanese Calligraphy with ink & brush while a few feet over was a large gallery that featured photographs taken by American Students in Japan.  The Japan Foundation has a vast library of books, dvds, and learning materials to help foster the study of both Japanese language and cultural understanding. For anyone who is looking to learn about Japan or learn Japanese this is the best place in LA you can go to do that. The staff is very helpful and much like a public library, you can apply for a small $2.00 fee for a JFLA book card that will allow you to borrow books and instructional dvds you can take home to study with. JFLA offers special events everything from Shamisen shows like the recent Abeya concert, to Kabuki, Taiko, and lectures as well as conversation series where any person can meet and speak Japanese Language regardless of level.  Leaving the old Little Tokyo location, new location is very spacious and easy to get to.  You'll also find that the staff is both very helpful and friendly.
They do have a large children's section and children's events which makes a great place to teach a child Japanese or introduce Japanese culture. They do have a large Manga section and Animae DVD that can be screened there.
If you are looking to pursue JLPT studies or simply take the exam, this is the place to go. You can use their computers, research material, or simply utilize the library to enhance your studies. American Mishima highly recommends the JFLA and wishes them continued success!  

To find out more about  Japan Foundation  their website @
To find out more on Kimono Agency and their beautiful kimono rentals please visit:

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