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NYAF: Japanese Language Lessons



Norwalk, CT, August 14, 2008: The New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, today announced a year-round partnership with Japan Society, a non-profit institution dedicated to fostering cross-cultural exchange between the peoples of America and Japan. Japan Society's first act in this partnership will be an appearance at the 2008 New York Anime Festival, taking place September 26th through the 28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. At NYAF, Japan Society will present a session on the history of the institution and preview KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games, an anime-centric exhibit it will host from March 13 through June 14, 2009 and conduct five introductory Japanese language lessons open to all New York Anime Festival attendees from 1:15 to 4 PM on Sunday, September 28 in NYAF's Workshop Room.

Japan Society's language lessons will be taught by a top instructor from its Toyota Language Center. Begun in 1972 with a single class, Japan Society's language education program has grown into one of the most respected in the nation. Today, the Toyota Language Center offers 12 comprehensive levels of Japanese, as well as a variety of specialized courses and workshops including shodo- (Japanese calligraphy) and a Japanese Language Teacher Training Program.

"We are deeply honored to partner with an organization as well-known and respected as Japan Society," NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "Japan Society is the first name in the world of Japanese language instruction and cultural education, and we couldn't image a better partner to bring the rich language and past of Japan to the New York Anime Festival."

Attendees serious about learning Japanese are encouraged to sign-up for full courses at Japan Society's Toyota Language Center following the introductory program offered at the New York Anime Festival. More information about Japan Society as well as membership details are available at japansociety.org. Tickets to NYAF are on sale now at newyorkanimefestival.com.


Japan Society is the premier producer of high-quality content on Japan for the United States, offering over one hundred events annually in the performing and visual arts, business and policy sector, and education fields, as well as publications and online forums. Over the course of more than a century, Japan Society has evolved into an internationally recognized non-profit, non-political organization that provides access to information on Japan, offers opportunities to experience Japanese culture, and fosters sustained and open dialogue on issues important to the US, Japan, and East Asia.

Japan Society was founded on May 19, 1907 by a group of prominent New York business people and philanthropists, many of whom shaped the policies of exchange and collaboration that guided it through the 1930s until the outbreak of World War II. After the war, activities slowly resumed, and the stewardship of John D. Rockefeller 3rd from 1952-78 led to a unified vision and a firm financial foundation with a revitalized mission "to bring the people of the United States and Japan closer together in appreciation and understanding of each other" (Rockefeller, 1952).

Built on land donated by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Japan Society's landmark building was designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura and opened in 1971 as the first building by a leading Japanese architect in New York City. Located near the United Nations at 333 East 47th between First and Second avenues, activities at Japan Society are set against a stunning backdrop of indoor gardens, a reflecting pool and a waterfall. Furnished with a superb collection of tables, chairs and benches designed by master woodworker George Nakashima, the facilities include a 262-seat theater, art gallery, language center, library, conference facilities and over three floors of administrative space.


The New York Anime Festival takes place September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. NYAF's partners include Anime News Network, Bandai Entertainment, BookExpo America, Del Rey Manga, DigitalLife, Free Arts NYC, Japan Society, Karaterice, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York Comic Con, Samurai Beat Radio, Subway Cinema, TheOtaku.com, TOKYOPOP, VIZ Pictures, and the World Cosplay Summit. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.


The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world's leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.

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