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Friday, Aug. 8, 2003

OF NOTE

Japan's new cultural ambassadors

The Agency for Cultural Affairs has appointed 12 people as special advisors for cultural exchange for this fiscal year. They will be sent abroad to conduct lectures and demonstrations related to their field of expertise.

They include rakugo storyteller Shofukutei Kakusho, novelist Keiichiro Hirano, movie critic Chiseko Tanaka, cartoonist Baron Yoshimoto and pianist On Mitani.

Kakusho will visit Thailand to demonstrate his art of comic monologue using Thai instead of Japanese, and to teach the craft of paper-cutting.

Hirano will head to France to lecture on the history of Japanese literature and contemporary Japanese literature.

Tanaka will visit Hungary, Iceland and Jordan to give lectures on Japan's traditional performing arts and on Japanese culture as it is reflected in Japanese movies.

Yoshimoto will visit Sweden, Australia and the United States to give lectures comparing U.S. and European cartoons with cartoons in Japan.

Mitani will visit Croatia to play Japanese music with local musicians and give music lessons to Croatian children.



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