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Today's Contents:

1. The first bits: Diets, JLPT Test application deadline, Social Tennis Club
Photos from 2001 Spring Quarter Graduation Ceremony, AIJP Student Videos

2. Mount Fuji trip confirmed!!!
3. Course information.
4. Staff Interview: Mai Sakamoto (AIJP)   
5. Things Japanese: Sumo
6. About The Yamasa Institute for Japanese Studies
7. Subscription Information

1. The first bits.

(a) Diets:

After the shocking revelations in the last newsletter about a member of the International Office being caught speeding, we have another scoop. "I'm on a diet" said the long haired bearded man when quizzed on why he was not accepting the customary offer of a Big Mac with large fries. Yes I can now reveal that not only one, but two members of staff are currently 'on a diet'. Apparently working 100 hour weeks in front of a computer isn't good for you.

Nothing strange about dieting of course, in fact it is not uncommon to hear stick-thin Japanese women saying that they are currently overweight and must diet to loose the extra pounds they (wrongly) feel they are carrying. And like most countries there is a wide range of diet products, health clubs etc competing for the attention of the health conscious. The fascination in Japan with diets has clearly rubbed off on these two members of staff (both males from the same Southern Hemisphere country coincidentally). Naturally news like this wouldn't normally make the newsletter, except for the fact that one of the so called dieters can be seen carrying large bags bearing the symbol of a set of golden arches on a regular basis.

With the results of the recent medical check showing that my cholesterol level is currently heading into orbit, I might be going the same way as my colleagues...............

(b) Japanese Language Proficiency Test application: The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is held in December every year in Japan and applications are now being taken for students enrolling in a course at Yamasa, who will not be in Japan to complete an application in person. If you are going to be studying through December this year and would like Yamasa to apply on your behalf to take the test please contact admissions@yamasa.org stating which level of the test you would to apply for (1,2,3 or 4).

(d) 2001 Spring Quarter Graduation Ceremony: On Thursday June 28th the Graduation Ceremony for the Academic Programs Spring Quarter was held in the Distance Learning Theater in Aoi Hall. 19 students graduated and a lot of laughs were had by all. For photos please visit the link below. Of course if you were at the ceremony and managed to take better photos than those here (I saw some amazing camera hardware in the audience) please share them with us by email to newsletter@yamasa.org

http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/student _photos/spring2001_graduation.html

(e) AIJP Spring Quarter Video Class: During the Spring Quarter, one of the elective courses available as part of the AIJP and AJSP was an introductory course in video production. The course was only for 2 hours per week and covered basic skills, but it was designed to give the students the chance to shoot and then edit the video files in a Japanese language environment. To watch the videos, have a look at...


(f) Jobs:

Recruitment ongoing for the following positions:

see http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/careers.html for details and other vacancies, and contact careers@yamasa.org if you are interested in applying. Most are connected with web publishing and translation. Study Japanese for free in exchange for part-time work in the International Office. These are ongoing positions - we need people all year round, so please contact us if you are interested in positions later in the year as well.

(g) Other bits:

Admissions Coordinator
The Yamasa Institute Aichi Center for Japanese Studies
1-2-1 Hanehigashimachi Okazaki
Aichi Japan 444-0832

Tel: +81 (0) 564 55 8111
Fax:  +81 (0) 564 55 8174 (admissions)
Fax: +81 (0) 564 55 8113 (student affairs)
Email: Admissions
URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/
URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/

2. Mount Fuji trip is now officially confirmed!

Climb Mount Fuji!
Click to enlarge
Its official - the Mt Fuji trip is on! For those of you who read the 2001/06/01 edition of the newsletter, you would already know that due to recent seismic activity under Mt Fuji we had some concerns about whether we would be allowed to climb the mountain this year as planned. The trip is now officially on.

We leave Yamasa at 8.40, and the Student Village at 8:50. We plan to have lunch at the picnic ground at Lake Shoujiko (the prettiest of the Fuji 5 lakes and the one that provides the scenery on the 5000 yen note), and then visit the ice cave. The ice cave is a lava tube cave complex created by one of Mt Fuji's many volcanic eruptions. (Don't worry, there hasn't been an eruption since 1707...) We then start climbing. Mount Fuji is 3776 meters high (about 12420 feet for the North Americans). The idea is to climb as close to the top as possible before darkness falls, get some sleep in one of the mountain huts, and then make a dash for the summit before dawn. If we time it perfectly, then we should reach the top just before sunrise.

Cost: 11000 yen (includes transport to and from Okazaki, Lake Shoujiko, Ice Cave, departure point, accommodation) If you are joining us from Tokyo or elsewhere and meet us at the picnic ground at Lake Shoujiko, then its only 7000 yen.

The free bit: Declan promises to carry at least 2 bottles of sake to the summit (er.. part of the cultural side of the trip perhaps?) but asks you to bring your own cup.
What to bring (essentials): Warm clothing (its cold up there), sunhat, sunscreen, water bottle, good walking shoes or boots, camera, sunglasses, a torch (for the pre-dawn climb).

What to bring (optional): Food for lunch, dinner and breakfast (cheaper than convenience stores for lunch and breakfast and a lot cheaper than the dinner available in the hut), walkman/music (so that you don't have to listen to Declan's CD's in the bus!) wet weather gear (or plastic raincoats can be purchased at local convenience stores near Mt Fuji)

Cloud Halo on Mount Fuji!
Click to enlarge
How do I reserve a place on the trip?

1) Click here and complete the form


2) Visit Hikosaka-san in gakuseika (the student services office on the ground floor of the Yamasa II building)


3) email to events@yamasa.org

What if I'm not a Yamasa student? No problem. Use the same form or email address and meet us either in Okazaki
or at the picnic ground at Lake Shoujiko around 12:30 on Saturday 7th.

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3. Course Information


From July Yamasa accommodation is close to capacity. Villas 1, 2, 3 and 4 are full. Residence U and K are also both full as is the Student Village. From the second week in August there are a limited number of vacancies in the student village and studio apartments. There are usually some last-minute changes, so check with Admissions for information or see the availability file for details.

Accommodation in apartments in the annexe of the Rec World Hotel (near Daijuji temple) will be used whenever Yamasa accommodation becomes full. The prices for the "1K-Single" and "2K-Shared" room options have been discounted and are now the same price as per the Student Village. For more information on the apartments in the Rec World Hotel annexe, please see the following pages:

http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/hotel.html (for accommodation description)

http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/tankisei.html (for price list of accommodation)

Message from Housing Office: Please also note that it is extremely important that you rank your accommodation preferences clearly. Upgrades are possible in the event of cancellations - so if your first preference is a single room in the village, select "Village single" as first choice, the "Hotel single" as your second choice and so on.

Long-term Courses:

Student Visa: Applications for October 2001: The deadline for General Applications was June 20th. Applications for the October student visa have now closed and no more applications will be accepted (though existing student applications currently being processed will have until July 20th). If you are not sure about the deadlines, please check the deadlines for the student visa listed in each course in the program catalog. If you want to apply for the next start-date of April 2002 please complete an application form online (see program catalog for details: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/apply.html) or contact Admissions for more information. The deadline for the April 2002 student visa start is December 20th 2001

Short-term courses:

Discovery tour starting on July 27th - itinerary at: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_tour20010727.html Contact admissions@yamasa.org for details. There are still a few places available - join a very small private tour of all the best parts of Japan. Includes Nara, Kyoto, Ago Bay, Goza Beach, Kunizakari Sake Brewery, Atsuta Jingu, Arimatsu, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Handa, Tokoname, Uji, Byoudou-in Temple, Futamigaura, and many other locations.

Other Discovery Tours all have vacancies - contact Admissions for further information. Tour dates for this year are June 29th, July 27th, August 24th, September 7th, October 19th and December 14th.

All SILAC programs have space but accommodation is limited. Contact Admissions as soon as possible for information.

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Sakamoto Mai
Sakamoto Sensei

Due to the critical acclaim of his last interview Brett was dispatched to the AIJP teacher's room to interview his former teacher. (The truth is we thought he could use some Japanese practice).

Brett: (in English) Sakamoto Sensei, can I interview you for the Yamasa Newsletter?
(the reply was in Japanese)
Sakamoto Sensei: What? I don't understand?
B: (in English) Why won't you speak to me in English?
S: (giggles and laughs at Brett)
B: (in Japanese) Can I interview you for the Yamasa Newsletter?

(rest is translated from Japanese...)
S: I'm embarrassed and isn't that Jon's job anyway?
B: I thought it was but he's away on business again.... Anyway, let's start. Where were you born?
S: In Gamagori, that's just to the south east of Okazaki near the ocean, I still live there.
B: You went to Gifu University didn't you?
S: Yes, I majored in Japanese, the same as you in a way. You studied Japanese too right?
B: Er yes, but for me Aichi Womens' University might have been better......... So why did you want to become a teacher?
S: I first learnt about being a Japanese teacher when I was a junior high school student. I was reading a book and thought "that's it!". From that time on it was always on my mind. I didn't know why but now I understand, I get to meet many different people and talk with them, I enjoy the variety.
B: When did you start working at Yamasa?
S: July last year. I started in the SILAC teaching team.
B: And what were you doing before you started working here?

Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/staff_int_12.html

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5. Things Japanese: Sumo

Long before I had even set foot on Japanese soil I had heard of 'Sumo'. One of the first things that comes into people's minds when you mention Japan, such is its historical and cultural significance, it has become part of the pre-formed image of Japan for many.
History and origins: According to Japanese legend the very origin of the Japanese race depended on the outcome of a sumo match. Debatable as it sounds, the supremacy of the Japanese people on the islands of Japan was supposedly established when the god, Take-mikazuchi, won a sumo bout with the leader of a rival tribe. This is of course just a legend and the exact origins are believed to be based on religion.
The first sumo matches are believed to have been a form of ritual dedicated to the gods and were performed together with dancing and dramas within the grounds of certain shrines. From the 8th century (The Nara Period) a wrestling festival was held annually in which an early form of todays sumo was played out in front of the Imperial Court. There were less rules regulating the matches than there are today and the bouts combined elements of boxing and wrestling. However, over the years rules were formulated and techniques developed so that it gradually came to resemble the sumo of today.
After Japan was united under the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603 professional sumo groups were organized to entertain the rapidly expanding working class and sumo became the national sport of Japan. The present Japan Sumo Association has its origins in these groups first formed in the Edo Period. The sumo association from Tokyoc ombined with the association from Osaka in 1927 to form the modern Sumo 'Kyokai' (the official association or administration). The Nihon Sumo Kyokai administers the sport under the Ministry of Education in Japan.
The sumo ring:This is called the.......

Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/things_japanese_15.html

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The Yamasa Institute is committed to providing high-quality education in the Japanese language. We are a non-profit organization, a part of the Hattori Group. We are accredited by Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education - APJLE, accreditation number B302 - and "the only Institute in the Mikawa region with the appropriate programs, systems, curriculum and facilities required for quality Japanese language education" according to the Ministry of Justice. Further, in recognition of the excellent quality of our programs, we are in the top tier of 'Appropriately Authorized Japanese Language Education Institutes' - in fact, the only school in the Mikawa area with this prestigious recommendation. For full details see the accreditation section on the homepage at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/accreditation.html

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C O M M U N I T Y   M E M B E R S

Hattori Foundation (est.1919) - The Yamasa Institute
1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8111 Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8113 Email: Inquiries

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