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Sunday, Sept. 7, 2003

KANSAI: Who & What

Pupils, parents get advice on study, career choices: An education and career guidance seminar for junior high school students from multicultural backgrounds will be held Sunday in Osaka's Abeno Ward and again on Sept. 20 in the city's Minato Ward.

The two sessions, which will be held between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., are designed to provide students and their parents with information on children's academic and career options after graduation. Individual consultations with local high school teachers will also be available.

Interpreters will be on hand for speakers of Chinese, English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Tagalog.

Sunday's session will be held at Abeno Junior High School, while the Sept. 20 session will take place at Ichioka Junior High School.

Reservations are required for the Sept. 20 session. Participation is free on both days.

For reservations and more information, call the Center for Multicultural Information and Assistance at (06) 4395-1377 in Japanese from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. between Tuesday and Saturday, or (06) 4395-2424 in other languages from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Faxes can also be sent to (06) 4395-1378, or e-mail: osaka@tabunka.jp

Night tour to take in Nara's Uneme Festival: A night tour to take in the Uneme Festival in Nara is being led by English-speaking guide Harry Horii on Sept. 11.

The festival, held around Sarusawa Pond in Nara Park, will feature "gagaku" ancient court music and decorative boats accompanied by women dressed as "uneme" court ladies and other people in historical costumes.

The tour covers other scenic places, such as the Ukimido floating hall and the south gate of Todaiji Temple, where a pair of huge wooden guardians are illuminated.

Anyone wishing to participate should make a reservation by phone. Participants will meet Horii at 6:30 p.m. at the fountain square in front of Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line. The fee is 2,000 yen.

For more information, call Horii at (0742) 46-3273 or (090) 3841-4784.

Advice available for Kyoto foreign residents: Kyoto City International Community House is organizing free consultation sessions for non-Japanese residents between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 at its facility in the city's Sakyo Ward.

Lawyers and other specialists will offer advice on such issues as law, tax, immigration, social insurance and employment. Interpreters speaking Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Thai will be present. Interpreters will be arranged for other languages, if required.

The venue, Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

Consultations are free, but reservations must be made in advance.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511, fax (075) 752-3510 or e-mail: office@kcif.or.jp

Visit scheduled to shrine for cosmologist in Kyoto: The Guide Interpreter Volunteer Club is organizing a tour for English-speaking foreigners to a Kyoto shrine on Sept. 23.

Participants will visit Seimei Shrine in Kamigyo Ward. The shrine is dedicated to Abe no Seimei, a master of "onmyo-do," or ancient Chinese cosmology based on the doctrine of yin and yang. Seimei is the most famous onmyo-do specialist of the Heian Period and still appears as a person with superhuman abilities in novels, cartoons and movies.

On the day of the tour, there will be a procession of "mikoshi" portable shrines, decorated horses and a band of drumming boys on the streets around the shrine.

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.

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

The tour is reserved for non-Japanese only. Twelve applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

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