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Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005

LIFELINES

Funding, adoption and cigars


There was no column last week due to the monthly press holiday falling on a Monday.

Funding for studies

SB is an Indian student applying to American universities for an MA/PhD for fall 2006 with excellent academic credentials and bilingual skills.

He is currently working at a top Japanese firm and is planning to specialize in East Asian Studies at grad school. "I would like to know of organizations that would be likely to sponsor me (provide aid/scholarship/fellowship etc.) for my education."

One good source for information about likely sources of educational funding is The Japan Foundation, 20F ARK Mori Building, 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6021 (phone 03-5562 3527; fax 03-5562 3499.

The foundation's Web site at www.jpf.go.jp/ is in Japanese and English, and a mine of useful information on many aspects of Japan: education, culture, forthcoming events.

SB, go to the Information & Resource Centre and begin by checking out Awards & Prizes. Then go to Japan Foundation Library.

Best of all, call in person and ask for help on the spot. But if you are in a hurry, get there fast, because the library will close on Dec. 1 for renovation and restructuring and will not open again until March 31 next year.

In general the facility is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It's closed Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays, New Year holidays, the last Friday of every month, and other days designated by the Japan Foundation.

Adopting stepson

"I am a U.K. resident married to a Japanese woman with a 17-year old son from her previous marriage to a Japanese," writes X. "I would like to know how I can go about adopting him, as he'll be 18 soon, often the cut-off point for getting another nationality. Shinjuku city office had no idea."

The Foreign Advisory Centre in Shinjuku's Tokyo Metropolitan Building (0305321-7744) suggests X call the Japan International Social Services (JISS) on (03) 3760 3471.

Though years ago now, friend Y never went through a formal adoption procedure with his own Japanese stepdaughter. "We just had her name changed in the family register at the town hall. "Just," Y's wife recalls, also involved doing some fiddly paperwork at a Justice Ministry facility -- possibly a family court; she doesn't recall exactly what.

Cigar club

A reader working in in Kansai asks where he can find decent cigars. "I've initiated Japanese colleagues and we want to start a small cigar club -- like a wine club, for sampling?"

The online site -- www.cigarone.com -- is what you need for Cuban cigars.

Funny story: me asking for a Cuban cigar (as a present) at a kiosk in New York in 1977 and getting near lynched. Fortunately some things have light(en)ed up since then.

Unicorn Centre open

From mid-October, Rosalyn Hagiware will be offering art therapy, creativity, and Reiki workshops at the Unicorn Center (Ogikubo 3-46-17, Suginami-ku, 167-0051).

You can reach them at (090) 4962-3640 or unicorntokyo@yahoo.co.jp and their home page is at www.unicorncenter.com

Computer help

Patrick asks if we would direct him to where he can obtain second hand computers in good working state computers with English as the working language and preferably Pentium 3 or 4 with windows XP.

Patrick should check out the computers for sale columns in listing magazines like Metropolis. Good bargains can be found, though, as with any secondhand purchase, you take a risk.

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


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