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Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Art exhibition to mark 1995 Kobe earthquake: An exhibition to mark the ninth anniversary of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake will be held between Jan. 17 and 20 at IO Hall in Kobe's Higashinada Ward.

The annual 1.17 Earth exhibition started in 2000 with the aim of expressing support for the people of Kobe through art. About 230 paintings and other works by such popular, Kobe-related artists as Ryohei Koiso, Kokuta Suda and Yumeji Takehisa will be on show, as well as cartoons by the late Osamu Tezuka and a large figure of Astro Boy, one of his most popular characters.

The exhibition will also include a video focusing on the problems the city and its people have experienced since the quake devastated the area.

The exhibition will be open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., but will open at 11 a.m. on the first day and will close at 1 p.m. on the final day. Admission is free.

The venue is on the ninth floor of Kobe Fashion Mart, near Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6311-1400 or fax (06) 6361-3283.

Toys, games on display at Osaka's hobby fair: A large exhibition of new toys and games will be held on Jan. 18 at the Osaka Dome, in the city's Nishi Ward.

The 19th New Generation World Hobby Fair is one of the largest exhibitions of toys, video games and children's comics in Japan. Leading toy companies, such as Nintendo Co., Sony Corp., Sega Corp., Tomy Co., Capcom Co. and Tamiya Inc., will be taking part.

On display will be the latest games, including Pokemon for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube and PlayStation2, as well as a variety of card games, radio-controlled cars, figures and other toys. Visitors will be able to play some of the new games and take part in tournaments for popular games.

Booths will also provide the latest information on the upcoming movies of Doraemon and Meitantei Conan, both Japanese popular cartoon series.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entrance is free.

The venue is a three-minute walk from Osaka Dome-mae Chiyozaki Station on the Nagahori Tsurumi Ryokuchi subway line, or a seven-minute walk from Taisho Station on the JR Loop Line.

For more information, call the organizer at (03) 5389-8101.

Foreigners invited to try traditional rice cakes: The Osaka International House Foundation is organizing a rice cake making event for non-Japanese residents between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the International House, Osaka, in the city's Tennoji Ward.

Steamed rice will be pounded in a large mortar with a wooden mallet and then formed into small, round cakes. Participants will have the chance to pound the rice and then finish the cakes with a variety of seasonings. Rice cakes are a traditional dish for the New Year period in Japan.

Anyone wishing to participate should send a postcard stating their name, address, age and nationality to the organizer at 8-2-6, Uehonmachi, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, 543-0001. The deadline for applications is Jan. 23.

Applications can also be made by phone, fax or e-mail. Call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989, fax (06) 6773-8420, or e-mail: info-staff@ih-osaka.or.jp

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