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Institut francais

Last updated date:2024/1/25

L’Institut français du Japon - Yokohama

The Institut franco-japonais à Yokohama has a long history that dates back more than 50 years. There exist a few such institutes across Japan, but I will introduce the Yokohama chapter.

The Institut franco-japonais à Yokohama (which became the Institut français - Yokohama in 2012) originally started in 1990 with the support of the City of Yokohama as a branch for the Institut franco-japonais in Tokyo. It has always strived for local implantation, better conditions and a larger public. In its transition to what is now Institut français - Yokohama in 2012, although it gained administrative independence, it still seeks to offer complementary activities and services to those of Tokyo.

The Institute is an official French institution under the authority of the French Embassy in Japan and has 2 main missions. The first one is teaching the French language(外部サイト). It is basically its “raison d’être”. The Institute, with over 20 certified teachers, offers more than 80 different classes to its 3500 inscriptions every year. Not only does it offer French language classes, it also provides other classes ranging from literature to art history and civilization. The Yokohama Institute also publishes a French language magazine called Ah! Bon!? written and edited by students and one of the Institute’s teachers. Teachers are constantly thinking of new ways to improve the program.

French class

The second mission is disseminating French culture(外部サイト). This is achieved through various events, activities, seminars and special classes one of which I would like to introduce here. The “Spectacle vivant” (Living Performance) movement known as The Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama (TPAM in Yokohama) is an international summit dedicated to “living” performance art such as theater, dance and music taking place at the Kanagawa Arts Theater as well as in different other venues throughout the city. It showcases shows but also debates and discussions. Much can be expected for the 2012 edition of this ever growing summit. As a matter of fact, the Institute does not merely spread French culture. When setting up programs, there is a real will to meet with partners and build projects with them: rather than merely seeking financial aid or venues, in order to create comprehensive ventures!

Various activities

Furthermore, one simply cannot overlook the Month of France. It is the only festival in Japan dedicated to French culture and creation in all of its variations: cinema, art, music, dance. Started in 2005, the project is run by the Institute, giving a French touch to the whole city every summer.

Month of France 2011

Through its mediatheque(外部サイト), the Institute also lends books, DVDs and CDs in French language. More than 2000 items can easily be borrowed or used on-site and the whole library can be browsed using the site which puts the number to 15,000. Should you need a book stored at the Tokyo or Ebisu locations, it can be ordered. Finding this collection has actually brought out my desire to read again!

Among the popular activities is the Cineclub. The Institute presents movies from the French world that would otherwise not have a chance to be shown in Yokohama. It goes without saying that most movies have Japanese subtitles as the aim is to introduce them to the Japanese public. The viewings take place at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music near Bashamichi station of the Minato Mirai line on Saturdays. The theater room offers a great environment with ideal conditions. Furthermore, for the last few films, the Institute has started to rely less on subtitles available at festivals and more on creating their own.

To keep track of everything, there is a Newsletter, which counts some 25,000 subscribers, where you can find information on all upcoming activities. There is also a paper based magazine written and edited by teachers and students from the Institute in Yokohama.

The Institut français - Yokohama shows genuine evidence that it is trying to set a precedent, and the driving force they already represent is bound to become an indispensable asset for Yokohama.

(Cette page en français)

Institut Français - Yokohama Official Site(外部サイト) (French)

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