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Today's Contents:

1. The first bits: Xmas and New Year greetings, News, Things to do, Winter 2003/4 Tour Schedule.
2. Japanese Customs, Superstitions and Famous People: How to eat, Morita Akio, Things that are unlucky
3. Course and accommodation information: April 2004 Applications
4. Student Interview: Lars Johansen
5. About The Yamasa Institute for Japanese Studies


(1) The first bits:

"Meri- kurisumasu & akemasite omedetou gozaimasu!!!"

This is the final Newsletter of 2003 and the last one you'll be able to read until January 16th due to the New Year break. (I almost see all the disappointed people who'll have to go for a month without their beloved Newsletter). I'll be off to sunnier (colder) climes for a week's holiday over Christmas leaving everyone in the capable hands of Declan who I don't think has managed to take a holiday since 1998........

2003 has been a year of ups and downs for language institutes throughout Japan. We've had the threat of SARS in April and May keeping many people away, and we've had immigration imposing every more stringent checks on student visa applicants making the application process more difficult for many people. On the plus side, Yamasa has seen the Ofuro bar re-open with a steady stream of regulars already enjoying the delights of Declan's Australian humor and beer pouring skills. We've also seen an overhaul of the homepage which included a new "Refresher" course, an updated location directory and also continuing updates to the OCJS. More recently Yamasa's own Bulletin Board: has been created to enable people to communicate about anything they wish - whether you're a student past or present, planning on coming to study at Yamasa, or just curious about what it's like to live and study in Japan.

(a) OCJS price change:

From January 1st 2004 the price for all levels of access to the Online Center for Japanese Studies will change. Price for basic will go up to 12,000 Yen for a year, standard to 24,000 Yen and professional 36,000 Yen. So if you're thinking of signing up, or haven't taken a look at the OCJS before, do it now and save yourself thousands of Yen!

(b) Things to do:

Culture classes with the Okazaki International Association (OIA): The OIA is holding a series of classes over the next few months designed to introduce various facets of Japanese culture to foreign residents living in Okazaki.

Making rice cakes: Join the CCC (Cross Culture Circle) in this New Year tradition of making rice cakes the old-fashioned way. From 11:00am - 3:00pm on January 17th 2004 at the Cooking Theater next to Yamasa's own FM Okazaki radio station. Participation costs 500 Yen and you can register by contacting any of the following people:
Tomoko Kamiya (phone) 090-3252-8339 or email to257fr@ybb.ne.jp
Katsue Watanabe (phone) 090-3550-7319 or email kate5@m2.catvmics.ne.jp
Hideko Mochizuki (phone) 090-1278-7936 or email higurasi66@xug.biglobe.ne.jp

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.

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


2003/4 Winter Tour schedule:

DEC/20-21 - NAGANO / Overnight trip
Skiing and Snowboarding. Southern Nagano (near Lake Shirakaba). There are 8 ski-fields within a 10 minute drive of the accommodation, you will be able to choose different fields for each day - those renting equipment or beginners may prefer to stay on the same resort for both days. The lake is a few minutes walk from the accommodation - if the ice is thick enough there may be the opportunity to do some ice fishing.
(Cost: 17,300 yen including tax. Departure from your accommodation on DEC/20 at 0730, return by 2030 on DEC/21. Includes dinner on the 20th, overnight accommodation, breakfast on the 21st and transport back to Okazaki. Also includes transport from accommodation to fields and return. Does not include ski/board/clothing rental (if required). Does not include lift passes or lunch.)
DEC/23 - MATSUSAKA / Day trip
Destinations : The wedded rocks of Futamigaura / The Grand Shrines of Ise / Okage Yokocho. Departure from your accommodation on DEC/23 at 0730, return by 2030 on DEC/20. Cost: 7,900 yen including tax. Cost of tour includes all transport & admissions fees, but does NOT include lunch.
For questions/bookings contact the International Office. The Autumn Tour schedule is also online at http://www.yamasa.org/ace/english/index.html

(c) Job Listings

  • Job Title: Office Coordinator, International Office

    Job description:
    The Yamasa Institute is seeking an experienced professional to join the International Office in a senior management role assisting the Director of the International Office. The Coordinator will be responsible for:

    1) Supervising the operations of the International Office and the Admissions section.
    2) Building quality assurance into the Admissions Selection Process.
    3) Providing a key advisory role in the management and policy formulation of both the ACJS and OCJS.
    4) Supervising the development of yamasa.org content in line with the language neutrality policy.
    5) Ensuring customer focus is maintained.

    This is a full time position commencing from March 1st, 2004. Applications are requested by email to careers@yamasa.org or by postal mail/courier. Please address correspondence to

    The President
    The Yamasa Institute
    1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi
    Okazaki-shi, Aichi-ken
    JAPAN 444-0832

    Questions regarding the position may be directed to careers@yamasa.org or by fax to 81-564-55-8113. Please quote the REFERENCE NUMBER when applying for the position or asking for information about this position. Applications should include a full resume detailing education and experience. The resume should be in English and Japanese.

    More information about the position can be found at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/careers/acjs_int_in.html


    (d) 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/

    Return to top of page


    2. Japanese Customs, Supersitions and Famous People:

    Have you ever wanted to know how you should take a bath in Japan, why you shouldn't cut your nails at night and what you should do if you see a funeral car? Have you always wondered about that singing group of pre-pubescent girls called 'Morning something or other' that you always see on TV, or why Japanese people seem to be very keen to know your blood type? Well wonder no longer, because this section will answer all those questions and more..........

    In this issue we look at:

    Japanese customs: How to eat
    Superstitions: Things that are unlucky
    Famous People: Morita Akio

    You can find the full article at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/other_16.html

    Return to top of page


    3. Course Information

    Accommodation

    If you are coming to Okazaki during the next few months, please visit the housing availability site, which has 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: Applications for the April 2004 are coming to a close - the deadline has been extended until January 10th! 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 April 2004 start please contact Admissions.

    Short-term courses:

    Tour destinations: The January 9th Discovery Tour visits a variety of destinations including Okutono Jinya, Toyota Kaikan, Asuke, Nagano: Zenkouji, Jigokudani - Yudanaka Snow Monkeys, WWII Tunnels, Matsumoto Castle, Night Skiing - Tsugaike Kohgen, Skiing/Snowboarding: Hakuba Happo One, Kyoto: Sanjusangendo, Kinkakuji, Nanzenji and many other destinations. See http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/english/programs/discovery_20040109a.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 December 11th but accommodation is very limited. The next available start date for AIJP, AJSP and Acceleration Format 1 is January 6th 2004.

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    4. STUDENT INTERVIEW: Lars Johansen - SILAC

    Lars Johansen
    Lars Johansen

    Today I interviewed Lars Johansen from Denmark who's been studying on SILAC for the last 5 weeks.

    Jon: How's everything going so far?
    Lars: Good, really like the school. I started at rock bottom and I can feel I'm progressing very well. The teaching here is the best I've experienced, compared with Denmark and a school in Los Angeles I attended. Even my teacher said I've been doing better recently as well.

    J: I know your not staying in Yamasa accommodation, so where are you staying at the moment?
    L: In Toyohashi with my girlfriend.
    J: Where did you meet her?
    L: We both studied at an international school in L.A.

    J: How much Japanese did you know before you started here?
    L: Nothing at all! I learnt some vocab from my girlfriend, some terrible words as well, but no formal study.

    J: So why are you studying Japanese?
    L: Mainly because.................

    Continued at http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/student_int_57.html

    Return to top of page


    5. 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

    C O M M U N I T Y    M E M B E R S
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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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