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Friday, Oct. 19, 2007

Ikebana comes together with music in Kyoto

Visit Kyoto by train and the first thing you will encounter will be Kyoto Station, an immense structure that was criticized by many of the city's inhabitants when it was completed as the antipathy of what the Japan's cultural capital stands for.

But from Oct. 24 to 26, Kyotoites and visitors to the city will have plenty of reasons to not immediately run out of the station to seek refuge in the nearest temple. During these three days, flower arrangements created by the Saga Goryu School of ikebana will be positioned throughout the building to bring color and glamour to its gray walls.

The Saga Goryu School is said to date back to the beginning of the Heian Period (794-1185). One flower-arrangement style that the school employs is to represent sceneries that are typically found in nature. The three-day event will be a great opportunity to see displays from the school's chapters around the country. A flower workshop will also be conducted.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the entire event will be the simultaneous — and coordinated — live classical/traditional musical performances and ikebana demonstration. These concert- demonstrations will take place at the spacious Muromachi Koji Square, which is located at the foot of 171 steps that form one of the central thoroughfares in the station. Entry is free.

The schedule is: Violin performances by Japan Philharmonic Orchestra member Keiichiro Ishii, Oct. 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Chinese lute performance by ting ting, Oct. 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; ocarina (flute-like wind instrument) performance by Sojiro, Oct. 25, 7-7:45 p.m.; discussion between writer and Japan Times nature columnist C.W. Nicol and executives of the Kyoto Modelforest Association on "The World's Environment," Oct. 26, 1-2:30 p.m.; percussion performance by Kazuya Nagaya, Oct. 26, 3-3:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.sagagoryu.gr.jp.

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