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Today's Contents:

1. The first bits: Ski-ing in Hakuba and Gifu Ken, New format Acceleration Program, Online Dictionary, Private programs, Cancellations, Jobs.
2. Course information.
3. Staff Interview: Tadashi Sugita (Instruction Coordinator - OCJS)
4. Japan Guide: Ginkakuji Temple (Kyoto)
5. Things Japanese: Seijin-no-hi "Coming of Age Day"
6. About The Yamasa Institute for Japanese Studies
7. Subscription Information


1. The first bits.

(a) New Years greetings:

Thank you to all those who made the Christmas and New Years parties go with a bang. Unfortunately I was not able to attend any of the festivities due to a previous engagement 10,000 miles away but I have been told that the "Christmas Karaoke Taikai" which was held in the distance learning theater on Friday 21st of December was one of the highlights.

Of course I'm absolutely gutted that I missed the rendition of the Village People's 'YMCA' (in Japanese of course) by Acceleration "A" class. I will make a point of attending the next Karaoke competition..............

(b) Ski-ing:

The first snow of the year fell in Okazaki on the 3rd of January, when many people living in Aichi Prefecture were left stranded after the heaviest snowfall in 40 years disrupted trains and flights into Nagoya airport. Thankfully the snow disappeared within 48 hours and it was back to normal at Yamasa.

January and February are the best times of year to go ski-ing in Nagano or Gifu prefectures and there are a number of trips coming up over the next few months which will let you take advantage of Japan's excellent ski resorts. A small group will be travelling to the resort of Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture. This mountain village has fantastic snow conditions and hosted the downhill events during the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. For those who need lessons - Saturday morning includes instruction from a world renowned (but long retired) downhill expert. For those who don't need lessons you are cordially invited to attempt the Super G course (one ski only, no stocks, helmet optional). Snowboarders are also welcome.

The cost of the trip is 20,000 Yen and this includes:

  • transport to and from Hakuba from your accommodation,
  • 1 day ski lift pass for Saturday,
  • 2 nights accommodation (Friday and Saturday) just 100 meters from nearest gelande - night skiing possible,
  • breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday evening.

    (Doesn't include: Ski equipment hire, meals on Friday evening or lunches or Sunday lift pass).
    The tour will be leaving on Friday 25th of January and returning on Sunday evening (27th).

    Other dates for ski trips to Hakuba this season are:

  • February 1st - 3rd.
  • February 15th - 17th.
  • March 15th - 17th.

    Please come to the International Office in Aoi Hall for more information on ski equipment hire prices and to make reservations/payments. Places are limited for all dates and are allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis, so make sure you book early!

    If you would prefer to take a day-trip to go ski-ing then the special offer that JR (Japan Railways) is running in conjuction with Ciao Ontake Snow Resort would be for you. For just 6,000 Yen you can get return travel from Nagoya station to the resort in Gifu Prefecture and a one day lift pass. You should be able to ski for about 6 or 7 hours. Check out http://www.ciao.co.jp for more information on prices and other deals available.

    (c) Korean language website:

    Yamasa's Korean language website has been updated with more detailed information on courses, accommodation and on-campus facilities. You will also be able to find a Korean version of this Newsletter!!

    (d) Online Kanji Dictionary now accessible:

    On Thursday 17th of January the programmers in the back office released the test version of Yamasa's OCJS Online Dictionary. This dictionary is published in English, Chinese (Traditional), Spanish, Korean, German and Czech and includes both a word dictionary and a Kanji dictionary in an online database. At the moment the only version you will be able to see is the test version, so the server will be very slow. It will give you a good idea of some of the resources that the OCJS project has been working on over the last 18 months, so if you have the time have a look at:

    http://www.yamasa.org/ocjs/kanjijiten/index.html

    (e) Changes to teaching of private/semi-private lessons:

    Although the Institute has expanded and will be adding 2 additional dedicated classrooms in April, our policy of keeping average class sizes low is creating a continuing shortage of classrooms and teachers. From February 1st, the AM timetable will be extended from 09:00 to 15:30 in the afternoon (currently 13:30), and the PM schedule will change to 15:40 to 21:00 (currently 13:40 to 21:00). If you are currently enrolled in a full time ACJS program, then it is possible to receive up to 2 private lessons per week at a flat rate of 2400 yen (previously 2100 yen), subject to availability of faculty. Please note that if you are one of the students who registered and are on the waiting list for private lessons as of January 19th then you will not be affected by the tuition fee increase and may continue to study at the 2100 yen rate until June 30th. Full details are online at:

    http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/private.html

    (f) New format Acceleration Program:

    From April 2002 the Acceleration Program will change from the existing format and be split into two new formats:

  • Format 1 will have 28 classes per week, 20 classes of grammar based Japanese lessons concentrating on reading and writing skills, with 4 elective classes targetting weaknesses, and 4 CALL seminar classes concentrating on Kanji recognition and listening skills.

  • Format 2 will have the same of classes per week as Format 1 (28), but there will be 23 classes of grammar based Japanese lessons concentrating on conversation skills and 5 CALL seminar classes concentrating on Kanji recognition and listening skills.

    (g) Radio Show:

    Radio Show

    Joseph Huang and teachers in FM Okazaki studio
    FM Okazaki

    On Monday 21st of January Joseph Huang (AIJP) is expected to draw a record number of listeners when the writer/editor of this newsletter appears on his show for the first time. (Allegations regarding appearance fees and the exchanging of large amounts of cash have so far proved unfounded). Joseph's show is scheduled to continue until the end of March, so if you would like to appear on it let the FM Okazaki staff know as soon as possible. You can listen to our station live on the internet - The URL for the show is http://www.yamasa.org/fm/english/live.html (please note that the links will only work when the studio in Aoi Hall is broadcasting live - I have included a clock to assist you)

    If you would like to request a song, make a dedication or send Joseph a message to be read out during his show please come to the International Office or fax Joseph directly on 0564 55-8764 (make sure you include his name and your own name on the fax).

    (h) Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) lessons:

    Nowadays most Japanese people use pencils, pens and often computers to write letters and documents. But the art of shodo (calligraphy), where an ink-dipped brush is used to create Chinese kanji and Japanese kana characters, remains a traditional part of Japan's culture. If you would like to learn more about shodo then come to the Student Village every Monday night at 7.00pm - 8.00pm where Kato Erina sensei will be taking a shodo lesson. There is no fee (if you would like to buy a shodo writing set then this can be purchased for 1,500 Yen) and anybody is welcome to join. Please come to the International Office before Thursday if you wish to register to take part.

    (i) Course cancellation:

    The Acceleration 2 month modular program F (from February 1st 2002) has been cancelled due to a lack of available accommodation for new students enrolling on these dates, though there are spaces in the SILAC program from January 10th. Please contact Admissions for more information.

    (j) Jobs:

    A local company is interested in hiring a Japanese speaking foreigner with marketing experience to work as product manager handling a major project. The product range is from a major european manufacturer. The successful applicant should be degree qualified, fluent in English, have Japanese proficiency of upper intermediate or higher (equivalent of Level 2 minimum) and be committed to work for minimum of 2-3 years. For details contact Admission Coordinator at the International Office.

    Recruitment ongoing for the following positions at Yamasa:

    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.

    (k) Other bits:

    Admissions Coordinator, International Office
    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
    Email: newsletter@yamasa.org
    URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/
    URL: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/

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    2. Course Information

    Accommodation

    From January through to March Villa Studio Apartments 3 and 4 are full, Residence U and K are also full until April and Residence L is full until July 2002. There are a limited number of rooms available in the Student Village. Students applying for courses from January through to March and wishing to stay in accommodation which is currently unavailable will be placed on a waiting list. There are usually some last-minute changes, so check with Admissions for information or see the availability file for details. Please note that accommodation is not reserved until we have recieved the tuition fees for your chosen course in full.

    Accommodation in apartments in the annexe of the Rec World Hotel (near Daijuji Temple) will be used whenever Yamasa's accommodation becomes full. The prices for the "1K-Single" and "2K-Shared" room options have been discounted and are now the same price as 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, "Residence U" as your second choice and so on.


    Long-term Courses:

    Student Visa: Applications for April 2002 and October 2002: Applications for the student visa beginning in April 2002 have now closed. Applications are now being taken for the next student visa start date of October, the application deadline for which is June 20th. If you need more information about these dates, please check the deadlines for the student visa listed in each course in the program catalogue. If you wish to apply for the October 2002 start please complete an application form online (see http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/apply.html for details) or contact Admissions for more information.

    Short-term courses:

    Discovery Tour starting on March 22nd - itinerary at: http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_20020322.html Contact Admissions for details. There are still a few places available - join a very small private tour: There are still a number of places available - join a very small private tour: Includes Skiing at Shin Hotaka, Mount Fuji, Shiraito-no-taki waterfalls. Takayama Jinya, Sekigahara battlefield, Lake Biwa, Asuke, Hakone, the temples and shirines of Kyoto, Toyota Motor Factory and kaikan, Lake shoujiko, Narusawa Ice Cave and Takayama. There is also a tour of the Tokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya Towers, and the Asahi Brewery as well as many other locations.

    Other Discovery Tours all have vacancies - contact Admissions for further information. Tour dates for next year are available at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_dates.html

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

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    3. Staff Interview: Tadashi Sugita (OJCS Program Coordinator)

    Tadashi Sugita
    Tadashi Sugita

    Sugita sensei was working with Kato Erina sensei in the OCJS office when I approached him about doing this weeks interview.

    Sugita sensei: Ah! Jon san da!
    Jon: Sugita sensei, I was wondering if you would like to feature in this week's newsletter?.
    S: Yabai!!
    J: Great! I knew you wouldn't say no.
    S: Eh!?
    J: It won't take more than a few minutes......
    S: Un!?
    J: Now then; I'll go straight into the questions. You started working at Yamasa fairly recently?
    S: Yes, October last year.
    J: And you've settled in okay?
    S: Fine, no problems at all. Everyone has been very friendly and helpful.

    J: You are working on the Online School for Japanese Studies (OCJS) with Kato Erina at the moment?
    S: That's right, we are both working full-time on OCJS but I'm also taking a few private lessons per week as well.

    J: Are you from the Okazaki area, or did you move from further away to work here?
    S: I live in Toyota at the moment, but..........

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/staff_int_18.html

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    4. Japan Guide: Ginkakuji Temple (Kyoto)

    Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) is the more common name for Jisho-ji, a temple belonging to the Shokoku School of the Rinzai Zen sect of Buddhism. This popular tourist site was (along with 16 other sites in Kyoto) listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1994. Ginkaku-ji was not originally a temple. Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-1490), the 8th Ashikaga Shogun and grandson of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (constructor of Kinkaku-ji, the temple of the golden pavilion) began construction in 1460 but was prevented from immediately completing his retirement villa due to the Onin Wars (1467-1477).

    The Onin wars were a series of senseless conflicts in which most of Kyoto was destroyed (Kyoto was the actual battlefield) caused in part by...

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/japan/english/destinations/kyoto/ginkakuji.html


    5. Things Japanese: Seijin-no-hi "Coming of Age Day":

    On Sunday 14th of January, Japan celebrated a public holiday called "Seiji-no-hi" (Coming of Age Day). Although young adults reach the legal age on their 20th birthday and from there on are entitled to vote, allowed to smoke tobacco, purchase alcohol etc, and have all of the rights and responsibilities of adulthood, local governments hold special ceremonies on "Seijin-no-hi" to mark the rite of passage. The age of 20 is a big turning point for Japanese people. The ceremonies are supposed to encourage those who have newly entered adulthood to become self-reliant members of society. (The holiday used to be on January 15, but in 2000 it was moved to the second Monday of the month.)

    Most 20 year olds attend the ceremonies, which usually include speeches etc, however in recent years the generation gap has been creating some disturbances. These have included....

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/things_japanese_24.html


    6. ABOUT THE YAMASA INSTITUTE'S AICHI CENTER FOR JAPANESE STUDIES

    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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    7. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

    You are being sent this newsletter because at some time you contacted the Yamasa Institute's Aichi Center for Japanese Studies through email, or you contacted an internet-based Japanese language information service which forwarded your email to us. If you do not want to receive further issues of this newsletter, please send a message to unsubscribe@yamasa.org with the word "unsubscribe" in the title. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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    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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