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Sunday, July 6, 2003

KANSAI: Who & What

Performers to promote peace at Osaka event: Taihen, a performance troupe organized by physically challenged people, is organizing a two-day antiwar event from 1 p.m. on July 12 and 13 at Metamoru Hall in Osaka's Higashi-Yodogawa Ward.

Participants will include local musicians and performers, who will emphasize the importance of nonviolence through a variety of performances including a demonstration, a Javanese gamelan music concert and performances by Taihen members. A lecture on neoconservatism will also be held in Japanese.

Admission is free and reservations are not required.

The venue is a two-minute walk from the east exit of JR Higashi-Yodogawa Station.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6320-0344.

Group plans to discuss disabilities, volunteering: Talk-no-kai, a Nara-based citizens' group, will host two English discussion meetings on July 12 at the Nara International Foundation Commemorating the Silk Road Exposition in Nara.

The first session, to be held between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., will be led by Gabrielle Bruce, an Australian who works for Osaka Sister City Network, a semigovernmental body of the Osaka City Office. She will talk on the theme "Living in Japan as a foreigner with a disability."

The second meeting, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will be a discussion for young people studying English. This month's topic is volunteer activities.

Participation for the first session is free for students and anyone under 20, and 1,000 yen for others. The second discussion is free of charge, but participants must pay for the cost of materials.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (0745) 31-1262.

International House to hold summer festival: Foreign and Japanese residents are being invited to a summer festival featuring traditional Japanese amusements between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on July 13 at International House, Osaka, in the city's Tennoji Ward.

The festival will feature games such as quoits and "yo-yo" water balloon picking, as well as food stalls selling fried noodles, octopus dumplings, cotton candy and shaved ice. There will also be international music and dance performances, a flea market and other attractions.

Admission is free and reservations are not required.

The venue is a six-minute walk from Uehonmachi Station on the Kintetsu Line or a 10-minute walk from the subway Tanimachi 9-chome Station.

For more information, call the information section of the Osaka International House Foundation at (06) 6773-8989.

Guide to take in Gion festival, Shinto shrine: The Guide Interpreter Volunteer Club is organizing two excursions for English-speaking foreigners on July 17 and 20.

On July 17, participants will attend the Gion Festival, one of the three major festivals in Kyoto. July 17 is the highlight of the festival, when about 30 decorative floats proceed through the streets of Kyoto. After the parade, participants will be able to visit Nijo Castle, Heian Shrine, Nanzenji Temple and other famous sites in the city.

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

The July 20 outing is a visit to Matsunoo Grand Shrine in Kyoto's Nishikyo Ward to observe a Shinto ceremony.

The cost will be 2,200 yen for bus fare, admission to the shrine's garden and lunch. The 1,000 yen donation is also requested.

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

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

Culture society to teach the Turkish language: The Japan-Turkey Culture Society is seeking participants for its one-month, beginner-level course in Turkish, which will be held between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. every weekday from July 31 to Aug. 29 at the society's office in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

The intensive course is aimed at providing students with basic skills in the language. The teacher is Kamil Toplamaoglu, a lecturer at Osaka University of Foreign Studies.

The cost of the course is 54,000 yen. Another 4,000 yen is requested to join the society.

For more details and applications, call the organizer at (075) 255-7530.

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