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Sunday, April 27, 2003

KANSAI: Who & What

Photos, poems reveal children's school days: An exhibition of photos and poems depicting the school lives of children in Asia and countries bordering the Mediterranean will be held between April 30 and May 4 at the Kyoto City International Center in the city's Sakyo Ward.

The exhibition will display a total of 44 photographs by Naoya Inoue, director of Beyond Children's Eyes, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization devoted to supporting children's education, cultural activities and international exchanges. Inoue visited 35 countries on 20 journeys between 1996 and 2002, taking photos of children at elementary schools and junior high schools in Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Mongolia and other countries. Poems -- written by Inoue's father when he was the same age as the children in the photos -- will be attached to each of the photos.

The exhibition will be open between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. every day, except for May 4, when it will close at 5 p.m.

Entrance to the exhibition is free. The venue is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (03) 3344-0606.

Tours take in pageant, Kyoto mounted archery: The Guide Volunteer Club is organizing one-day tours for English-speaking foreigners on May 3 and May 15.

The May 3 outing is a visit to Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto's Sakyo Ward to observe a performance of "yabusame," the traditional art of archery on horseback. It will be performed as a part of the Aoi Matsuri, or Hollyhock Festival, one of the three major annual festivals in Kyoto. As part of the ritual, about 20 mounted archers dressed as samurai will gallop along a 360 meter-long course, firing their arrows at wooden targets.

The cost of the trip will be around 1,600 yen, including bus fare and lunch. Another 1,000 yen is requested to support the club's activities.

On May 15, participants will travel to Kyoto's Kamigyo Ward to observe the highlight of the Aoi Matsuri, a pageant of people dressed in ancient court costumes from the Heian Period. Participants will watch the parade from an observation point on Maruta-machi Street, near the Old Imperial Palace. After the procession, participants will visit Heian Shrine, Nijo Castle or a handicraft center.

The cost of the excursion will be around 1,600 yen, including train fare and lunch. A donation of 1,000 yen will also be requested.

For both excursions, participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office, located on the second floor of the JR Kyoto Station building.

For reservations and more information, fax Satoh at (072) 831-2797.

Foundation to host international festival: Kyoto City International Foundation is hosting a two-day festival featuring international food, music and dance to promote mutual friendship between Japanese and foreign residents on May 4 and 5 outside the foundation's Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan facility in the city's Sakyo Ward.

Attractions will include international games for children, stalls selling food and drinks and performances of dance and music.

Used bicycles will also be given away to foreign and Japanese students. Any student with identification will have an opportunity to win one of the 20 bikes in the draws. The draws will be held at 5 p.m. on May 4 and at 3 p.m. on May 5.

The festival will be held between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on May 4 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 5. Entrance is free.

The venue is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

For more details, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511.

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