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Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Imperial Hotel brings Swiss wines to Osaka: The Imperial Hotel Osaka is holding a Swiss wine fair through Feb. 29 at its Kita Ward building.

Despite its high quality, Swiss wine is not well known in Japan due to the limited production volume. The fair will offer visitors the opportunity to try a range of wines at the hotel's restaurants, including The Flying Tomato Cafe on the second floor.

Two white wines, Vinzel Le Poissonnier and Nyon, and two reds, Pinot Noir de Morges and Gamay de Romandie, will be available. A glass will cost from 900 yen, while a bottle will begin at 5,000 yen.

For details, call the hotel at (06) 6881-1111.

French photo show to focus on modern Japan: The Flanders Center, a liaison office for the government of the Belgian region of Flanders, is hosting an exhibition by French photographer Bastien Pons between Friday and March 17 at its building in Tennoji Ward, Osaka.

The display will include pictures taken in Japan by this emerging photographer, including images that he believes represent the modern-day Japan. One photograph captures a young couple with dyed hair riding a "jinrikisha," or traditional hand-pulled sightseeing buggy.

The exhibition will be open between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, but the venue will be closed from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The venue is located on the third floor of the International House, Osaka (Osaka Kokusai Koryu Center), which is an eight-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station on the subway Tanimachi line, or from Uehonmachi Station on the Kintetsu Line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8850.

Iranian to give cultural seminar at foundation: The Osaka International House Foundation is inviting people to a cultural seminar by an Iranian businessman from 3 p.m. on March 7 at its building in the city's Tennoji Ward.

Guest speaker Darvishsefat Farsad is a businessman from Iran and the father of Darvish Yu, a Japanese high school pitcher whose team will compete this March for the high school baseball championship at Koshien stadium.

Farsad was himself a promising soccer player and spent his younger days in the United States, but his life changed with the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. Since arriving in Japan in 1982, Farsad has worked as a trader and been involved in teaching English, while busying himself with cultural exchanges and teaching baseball to children. The lecture will focus on his experiences in Iran, the U.S. and Japan, as well as on being a father of an ace pitcher.

The lecture will be in Japanese and participation is free.

Anyone wishing to attend must send a postcard stating their name, address and phone number to Kikaku Jigyo-ka of the Osaka Kokusai Koryu Center at 8-2-6, Uehonmachi, Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi, 543-0001. Applications will also be accepted by fax at (06) 6773-8421 or e-mail: kikaku@ih-osaka.or.jp

The deadline for applications is March 1. For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8182.

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