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Today's Contents:

1. The first bits: Events, SARS update, Connection Speeds, Discovery "Option E", Travel destinations,
2. Course information
3. Student Interview: Aziza Zakhidova
4. In the News: "Young farmers and the lure of the land"
5. Things Japanese: A History of Japanese cuisine
6. About The Yamasa Institute for Japanese Studies
7. Subscription Information


1. The first bits.

SARS update: As with all of our previous updates, there have been zero cases of SARS in Japan. The number of new cases being reported in all countries except Canada has been falling significantly and Taiwan is the only other country that has reported (possible) new cases of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) since June 5th. It appears that the problem is under control in all of Asia, with the worst of it behind us. We are hoping that the Travel advisory for Taiwan will be lifted sometime between June 22th-27th. (More about this) For more details on our admissions policy related to SARS and regular updates on the situation, please take a look at Yamasa's own SARS updates page at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/sars.html. If you need any further information on the subject don't hesitate to contact admissions@yamasa.org.

OCJS access: If you are on campus, you might have noticed a small group of harried and yet somewhat elated geeks with screwdrivers running around. What gives? Expect to see a serious increase in the speed of the access for the OCJS (Online Center for Japanese Studies) from around June 12th onwards as we switch to a new connection..............

Conservative estimates are that the connection will be 30 times quicker than the existing one.

Discovery "Option E": Want to get a taste of the real Japan but don't have enough time to take a month or two off to study? Here is a solution. Due to popular demand and an increase capacity, we are now able to provide a new "Tour Only" option for Yamasa's "Japan Discovery Program". Online applications now enabled, accommodation includes futon rental, OCJS password and airport pickup also provided.

(a) Things to do:

Tokugawa Shogunate Exhibition: In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the start of Tokugawa Shogunate (1603 - 1868), the Okazaki Mindscape Museum of Arts is holding an exhibition of many items and belongings of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the first Shogun who was born and grew up in Okazaki. The exhibition runs until July 6th.

Folk dance festival: A folk dance festival will take place in Nagoya on August 30th and 31st. The "Nippon Domannaka Matsuri" will include a Yosakoi dance group from Okazaki. If you joining the dancing group from Rokusho Shirine near Higashi Okazaki train station then please contact Ms. Otake Itsuki on (0564) 51-2930 (in Japanese). Rehearsals are held from 7:00pm to 8:00pm every Friday.

Climb Mt Fuji: The annual pilgrimage to Japan's national icon has been pencilled in for the weekend of July 26th/27th. The Mt. Fuji climb will be open to everyone and really is an experience of a lifetime. More details in the next issue of the newsletter.

Summer Tour Schedule: Do you want to see a little bit more than Okazaki? Eager to get away for a day trip or weekend? Then some of the upcoming tours during May and June will be for you. These trips provide a great opportunity for you to visit locations much cheaper of the price that it would cost normally, with an experienced guide and door-to-door service:


June 13th-15th - 2 night trip - takes us to Kobe, visiting the foreign settlement and Chinatown, before heading on to the majestic white castle of Himeji. We sample the nightlife, shopping and entertainment of Osaka. Destinations include:
June 13th - to Kobe
June 14th - Kobe: Kitano-cho, Nankin-machi, Himeji: Himeji Castle - to Osaka
June 15th - Osaka: Dotomburi Arcade, Amerika Mura, Universal Studios Japan
(Cost: 23,100 Yen. Departure from Aoi Hall on June 13th at 1700, return on June 15th by 1930. Includes all transport, all admission fees, accommodation. Dinner/Breakfast. Does not include lunches.)
June 21st-22nd - 1 night trip - This is an overnight trip to Nara/Yoshino for those who were unable to visit in March (Indiana Jones, Part II). We visit (and enter) a Kofun period tomb, and historic sites in the isolated Yoshino region of Nara. Destinations include:
June 21st - Asuka: Asuka-dera, Ishibutai-kofun, Takamatsuzuka-kofun, Yoshino: Kimpusenji, Kimpu Jinja
June 22nd - Mount Koya
(Cost: 20,400 Yen. Departure from your accommodation on June 21st at 0630, return on June 22nd by 1930. Includes all transport, all admission fees, accommodation. Dinner/Breakfast. Does not include lunches.)
June 28th-29th - 1 night trip - An overnight trip into the southern alps in Nagano. We take the world's second longest cable car up into the alpine caldera at Komagane where despite it being late June we will encounter either snow or wildflowers peeking out in early Spring. We will hike up to the peak where depending on the weather, we should be able to see the tip of the cone of Mount Fuji, on the far side of the Minami Alps. Destinations include:
June 28th - Mars Whiskey Distillery, Komagane Ropeway, Hiking to Mount Komagane, Minami Shinshuu Brewery
June 29th - Boating through Tenryu Gorge, Tenryu Valley Drive, BBQ Lunch, Aichi Kohgen National Park
(Cost: 19,700 Yen. Departure from your accommodation on June 28th at 0700, return on June 29th by 1930. Includes all transport, all admission fees, accommodation. Dinner/Breakfast. Does not include lunches.)
July 5th-6th - 1 night trip - We start the summer tour program with a 1 night/2 day trip to Japan's former capital. Destinations include
July 5th - Sekigahara, Uji: Byoudoin, Ujigami-Jinja, Manpukuji, Kyoto: Yasaka-Jinja, Gion, Pontocho
July 6th - Kyoto: Saihoji/Kokedera, Daitokuji, Sanjusangendo, Ishiyama-dera
(Cost: To Be Confirmed. Departure from your accommodation on July 5th at 0700, return on July 6th by 2030. Includes all transport, all admission fees, accommodation. Dinner/Breakfast. Does not include lunches.)
July 19th-21st - 2 night trip - Its time to get out of Okazaki for the weekend. A 2 night/3 day trip to big beaches, big buddhas, and big cities. Destinations include
July 19th - Shiraito-no-taki, Ryuukouji, Enoshima, Shonan Beaches, Kamakura
July 20th - Kamakura Daibutsu, Engakuji, Tokyo: Ueno-koen, Shitamachi Museum, Ameyoko Arcade, Akihabara, Harajuku
July 21st - Tokyo: Shinjuku, Yokohama
(Cost: To Be Confirmed. Departure from your accommodation on July 19th at 0700, return on July 21st by 2030. Includes all transport, all admission fees, accommodation. Dinner/Breakfast. Does not include lunches.)
2003 Summer Tour schedule: (for questions/bookings contact International Office)

Free Japanese Classes! Okazaki International Association holds free Japanese lessons taught by volunteers to non-Japanese living in Okazaki. Every Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at Tatsumigaoka-kaikan (3rd Floor), a 10 minute walk from Higashi Okazaki Station to Higashi Myodaiji cho. And also every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursday and Sunday of the month in Aoi Hall at Yamasa from 10:00am - 12:00am. Call 0564-45-5778 for more details, or email yoshiaki_yamamoto@hotmail.com

Free Origami and Kimono Classes! On the first Friday of the month the Okazaki International Association also holds free paper folding classes in Aoi Hall at Yamasa frmo 3:30pm. On the third Friday of every month they hold a kimono class at 2:00pm in Aoi Hall where you can try on a Yukata.

(b) 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

If you are coming to Okazaki during the next few months, please visit the housing availability site, which has just been upgraded.

Message from Yukiko Iijima (Housing Officer): 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: The next student visa start date is October 2003, which we are still accepting applications for. Please note that we will take into account a number of factors when considering a student visa application including age, academic background, nationality and so on - automatic acceptance of a student visa application is not guaranteed. If you need more information about 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 2003 start please contact Admissions for more information.

Short-term courses:

Tour destinations: The July 11th Discovery Tour visits a variety of destinations including Magome, Hiking the Nakasendo, Tsumago, Toson Memorial, Kyoto, Sekigahara, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Tokugawa Art Museum, Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, Asahi Beer Brewery Tour, Atsuta Jingu and many others. See http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery__20030711a.html for more information.

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

All extension programs have space from June 26th and academic programs have space from July.

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3. Student Interview: Aziza Zakhidova - Acceleration

Aziza Zakhidova
Aziza Zakhidova

Aziza Zakhidova, a student from Uzbekistan, kindly agreed to do the interview for this week's newsletter.

Patty: Thanks for agreeing to do the interview.
Aziza: Oh sure, no problem. Is the interview going to be in Japanese or English?
P: Which do you prefer?
A: Let's do it in Japanese because I want to practice what I know.
P: Sure, why not.

P: I'll go straight into the questions. How did you find out about Yamasa?
A: Basically through the homepage. Well, I got into Princeton's Kanazawa Program, but I didn't go there due to bad timing. So I was looking for various schools and then I found Yamasa because it has the most flexible programs you can find.

P: What program are you in right now?
A: I'm in Acceleration Format 2 for eight weeks. It's good because it starts every two weeks, so it's very convenient for me.

P: How are the classes?
A: Well, I studied some Japanese back in university, so the grammar part was alright. But since I don't know enough vocabulary, I still need to work on my conversation skills.
P: What are your teachers and classmates like?
A: Our class is very international, with students from lots of different countries. My teachers and classmates are very nice and friendly.
P: That's good to hear. How do you normally study?
A: Basically, I try to..................................

Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/student_int_47.html

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4. In the News: New articles

In this edition we have another article to help you practice, "Young farmers and the lure of the land" ganbatte!

About "In the News": This section aims to help you improve your understanding of articles in contemporary Japanese print and web media. Articles are from a wide range of sources including business, fashion, music, lifestyle, entertainment, crime, politics, international relations and so on. All articles are printable, and are accompanied by streaming audio files of the article being read at normal speed by male and female native speakers. Furthermore there are questions from the OCJS faculty that will help you confirm your reading or listening comprehension skills. (If you are an advanced learner, you may wish to attempt the questions after first listening to the audio link only, and then read the article to test your listening comprehension skills).

In addition, by using the link generator of the OCJS online dictionary with its definitions and kanji animations, you can easily check the meaning of new words, and also the stroke order of any Kanji that are new for you. The titles of the links ARE NOT translations of the headline accompanying the article (we don't want to give beginner level students too many hints to the answers), but are indicative of the subject field.

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5. Things Japanese: A History of Japanese cuisine

Japanese cuisine has developed over the past 2,000 years with strong influences from both China and Korea. But it is only in the last 300-400 years that all the influences have come together to form what nowadays can be described as Japanese cuisine.

One of the major influences was the introduction of rice from Korea around 400 B.C. and within a hundred years it had become the staple food of Japan. Korea's rice growing techniques were passed on to the Japanese during the Yayoi period, as migrating tribes settled in Japan. Rice later came to be used not only for eating, but also to make paper, wine, fuel, building materials and so on. Soy beans and wheat were introduced from China soon after rice and these two ingredients are now an integral part of Japanese cooking. During Japan's development tea, chopsticks and a number of other important food related items were also introduced from China.

Religion has also played a major part in Japan's culinary development. During the 6th century, Buddhism became the official religion of the country and the eating of meat and fish were...........................

Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/things_japanese_29.html

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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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