GenkiJACS Owner Interviewed on LoveFM

Posted on October 24, 2006 | evankirby

LoveFM logo

LoveFM, Fukuoka's international radio station, was kind enough to offer our owner an interview today on the "The Link" section of their Around the Globe show, with Susan Annoura. Audio of the 10-minute interview is available here. We talked about the kind of courses and classes offered, what makes the school special, and a lot more. If you have 10 minutes to spare, give it a listen!

New NHK Japanese study TV show!

Posted on October 16, 2006 | evankirby

Erin

We were surprised to see a new Japanese language learning TV program from NHK starting a couple of weeks ago in the Friday 11-11:20am slot formerly occupied by 新日本語で暮らそう (ShinNihongo de Kurasou)!
The new show is 「エリンが挑戦!日本語できます」 ("Erin ga chousen! Nihongo dekimasu", or "Erin's Trying! You can learn Japanese"), and it follows the adventures of Erin, an ostensible exchange student studying at a Japanese high school. The first couple of episodes had her giving a short self-introduction to her classmates and taking a tour of the school.
While it may be early for first impressions, the show seems a little disappointing so far. 新日本語で暮らそう was cursed with the fastest-speaking human being outside of an auction hall, Rumi Sei, as a teacher, but it had really believable situations and roleplays, and made an effort to be all-inclusive by translating important points into five (5!) different languages on air. It also covered a good deal of material in a clear and concise way.
エリンが挑戦!, however, picks one or two simple phrases from a convoluted skit that doesn't apply to 90% of the potential viewing audience, and explains them badly and only in Japanese. It manages to stretch a little material over 20 minutes quite easily. And the actress playing the exchange student, Erin, was born and grew up in Japan, thus speaking perfect Japanese!
There is one redeeming factor we should mention: after the introduction of this week's phrase or grammar point, there is a montage of that phrase being used in a variety of real life situations. For example, the second episode included the phrase 「て下さい」 ("~te kudasai", or "please do x"). The montage after included people asking for a haircut, asking for a demonstration of toys in a toy store, and more. These little clips were done very realistically and naturally, and really help to show the way that a phrase is used in normal life. It's a very nice piece in an otherwise slightly disappointing series, that seems aimed at only a tiny part of the potential viewing audience.

The New York Times on Fukuoka

Posted on October 06, 2006 | evankirby

Nexus World, Fukuoka

We're a little late to the party, but it seems the New York Times published an article last week about architecture in Fukuoka! While we often bemoan the fact that there are few truly magnificent antique buildings in the city (apart from the 赤煉瓦文化会館 (Aka renga bunka kaikain, red brick culture hall)), it is true that Fukuoka has some very spectacular modern architecture.
Our own particular favorite is the ACROS Building in Tenjin, which is a kind of hanging gardens, totally covering one stepped side of the building.
ACROS building

There's also the Canal City shopping complex, which has some incredible if schizoprenic parts. (That last link is worth clicking just for the amazing photograph there.)

Finally, the article also mentions the Nexus World housing development in Momochi, which we hadn't heard of before, but which was designed in part by Rem Koolhaas, and does look quite amazing. Now we know where we want to live next...

The Japan Forum: Free trip to Japan!

Posted on October 05, 2006 | evankirby

An associate informs us that The Japan Forum is running a competition open to all high school students in the US, offering 8 students the chance to come to Japan for 9 days to make a photo essay of Japanese culture in conjunction with Japanese high school students. If studying with GenkiJACS is still a little out of your reach, this might be a great way to get to Japan easily! Unfortunately, Fukuoka isn't in the 4 locations students will be sent to...
The deadline for applications is the 1st of February, 2007, so you've got a while to apply yet. Applications can be found here:
http://www.tjf.or.jp/focusonjapan/en/form/index.html
Good luck!