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Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Make space, shock value and J-culture

Family line

Karen writes in response to Linda Croissant's question in Lifelines (June 10) about how to get rid of stuff she doesn't want.

She suggests Ken Kovach from Family Supply Line. The Internet address is www.kovach-services.com/FSL

Ken will accept most household goods, including used futon and blankets and large-sized women and men's clothing. He'll even pick it up from your house if you need.

Unwanted goods go to the homeless in Japan and people in need abroad. The NPO is based at 4-2-29 Tomuro, Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 243-0031. Phone (046) 225-3327 or mobile (070) 5566-0451. E-mail: kovach7@guitar.ocn.ne.jp

Shocking quotation

Dan wants a 200/220 Volt line in his house and was told that he needs to have another 100 Volt line brought from the street to the house.

Tokyo Electric recommended a company and they said it would cost 80,000 yen to get the line from the pole to the house and 20,000 yen to do the work in the house. Dan's looking for some competitive bids and essentially cheaper prices.

We suggest he calls the Foreign Residents Advisory Service, located on the 3rd floor of the No.1 building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government complex in Shinjuku.

This great service is open from 9.30 a.m.-12 p.m.; then 1-4 p.m. There are English speakers available daily, also Chinese (Tuesday & Friday), Korean (Wednesday), French and Spanish (Thursday).

A spokeswoman said the office is ready and willing to tackle any problem facing residents living in the city. As to this particular query, she noted that Tokyo Electric has a monopoly, and that only approved companies are licensed to do the work.

Why not go back to Tokyo Electric and ask to be supplied with a list of companies so that you can make your own comparisons. If this proves difficult, FRAS should be able to help.

Culture vulture

Simone wants us to recommend a quality magazine covering Japanese culture in English. She is about to return to Paris and, being interested in Japan's arts, wants to keep in touch.

Her inquiry could not have come at a more opportune moment, as the 2003 inaugural copy of Kateigaho International Edition, described as Japan's Art and Culture Magazine, just landed on my desk.

It has stunning photographs of arts and crafts ancient and modern, gardens, food, fashion design, interviews, reviews and previews; expert text and beautifully laid out.

Printed quarterly, this large glossy coffee-table extravaganza will go public with its Fall issue on Oct. 1st.

Available from local bookstores in Japan at 1,050 yen, it can also be purchased abroad in any one of 15 or so countries.

Simone may buy a copy from Culture Japon S.A.S. Paris, Librarie Bunkado Opera, and Libraire Junko, also in Paris. Alternatively she can order by subscription.

For full details, check out Sekai Bunka Publishing Company's Web site: www.kateigaho.com/int/buy/

Enquiries to Sekai Bunka Publishing Inc. "Reader Center" -- toll-free number: 0120-354-007 (9.30 a.m.-7.30 p.m. weekdays only, and excluding national holidays in Japan). E-mail: support@seikaibunka.com

Note that anyone who subscribes before Sept. 1st for delivery outside Japan, receives a free Japanese stationery set from the specialist stationery store Suzando Hashimoto in Kyoto.

RBR Update

Kristin Newton's Right Brain Research art studio in Azabu-juban, central Tokyo, is in the process of creating a new Web site and e-list group to make it easier for readers to know about its classes and events.

The Web site can be found at www.rbr-art.com/index.html

To be put onto RBR's e-mailing list, go to www.rbr-art.com/cgi-bin/mojo.cgi

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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