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Sunday, June 1, 2003

KANSAI: Who & What

Japan films screened free every Wednesday: The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office is inviting foreign residents to its free weekly showings of Japanese films, starting at 2 p.m. each Wednesday this month at its facility in Kyoto's Nakagyo Ward.

This month's films feature entertainers and performing artists. The films are: "Women Are Born Twice," directed by Yuzo Kawashima, on Wednesday; "Epitome," directed by Kaneto Shindo, on June 11; "Akiko: Portrait of a Dancer," directed by Sumiko Haneda, on June 18; and "The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum," directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, on June 25.

All the films will have English subtitles. Admission is free and reservations are not required.

The venue is on the eighth floor of the Sompo Japan Universe Building, a five-minute walk from Karasuma station on the Hankyu Line or from Shijo station on the Karasuma subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 211-1312 or fax (075) 255-1273.

Take a bath and admire works of art at 'sento': An exhibition of contemporary art will be held from Thursday to June 18 at Nikko Onsen, a "sento," or Japanese-style public bath house, in Tsurumi Ward, Osaka.

Works by 13 Japanese artists, mostly based in Kansai, will be displayed in the bathing areas of the 50-year-old sento.

The sento is open between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Admission is 360 yen for a bath and to view the works. Bathing areas are segregated by gender.

Those wishing to see the exhibition without taking a bath should visit between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. on June 11, or from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the last day, when the sento will be closed. The entrance fee is 500 yen.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Hanaten station on the JR Line.

For more information, call the curator at (070) 5027-8168.

Labor union taking calls from foreign residents: The Hyogo International Association Labor Union is accepting consultation calls from foreign workers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 7.

Specialists will give advice on a wide range of issues often faced by non-Japanese working in Japan, including those pertaining to layoffs, nonpayment and severe working conditions. Counseling will be given in strict confidence in Chinese, English, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The phone number is (06) 6489-6854.

For more information, call the organizer at (078) 382-2052.

Guide to take foreigners to temple, ninja park: The Guide Interpreter Volunteer Club is organizing two excursions for English-speaking foreigners, on June 8 and 15.

The first outing will be to Koka, Shiga Prefecture, a town famous as one of the two birthplaces of ninja samurai warriors. Participants will visit a ninja theme park and a ninja house, where there are a variety of attractions and displays related to the warriors of feudal Japan.

The cost will be around 4,500 yen for train fare, admissions and lunch. Another 1,000 yen is requested to support the club's activities.

The second trip will be to Chishaku-in Temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward to observe a series of rituals celebrating the birthday of Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism in the Heian Period. There will be a burning of amulet planks, a procession of Buddhist monks, ceremonial archery and other events.

The cost will be about 2,600 yen for bus fare, admissions and lunch. The 1,000 yen donation will also be requested.

For both trips, participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of 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.

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