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Sunday, July 4, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Seminar on fighting Bangladesh flooding: Kobe Asian Plaza, a semigovernmental organization in Kobe City Hall, will host a seminar by a Bengali student on his country's fight against flooding from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at its facility in Nagata Ward, Kobe.

Ashan Nazmul Khan, a student in Kobe University's graduate school of science and technology, will speak on Bangladesh's continuing efforts to control floods. Bangladesh is characterized by frequent flooding caused by its monsoonal climate and tropical cyclones. Khan says the flooding is a great hindrance to the country's development because it causes enormous loss of life, severe damage to property and industry, and many other social problems.

The seminar will be conducted in Japanese.

Participation is 840 yen, and 20 people will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who wish to attend should call the organization to make a reservation and send money by Thursday.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (078) 646-7100.

Introduction to bunraku puppetry: Foreigners are invited to a performance of bunraku, the traditional Japanese puppet theater, at 6:30 p.m. July 29 at the Osaka International Convention Center in Kita Ward.

The event, hosted by the Kansai Economic Federation and other entities, is aimed at introducing to beginners this performing art that originated in Osaka.

Puppet master Kanjuro Kiritake and others will perform excerpts from the popular repertory "Yoshitsune Senbon-zakura." Kiritake will also give a lecture about the puppets used for bunraku.

English subtitles will be provided for the performance, and interpretations in English, Chinese and Korean will be available for the lecture and other explanations.

Admission is free.

Those who wish to attend should send a postcard stating your name, address, phone number and the names of your companions to "Event Kakari" at FM Cocolo with the postal code 559-8522 (no address required). Applications can also be sent by sending e-mail to the organizer at present@cocolo.co.jp or fax to (06) 6615-7651. The deadline for applications is July 12.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6441-0130.

Guided tour to Mount Koya: A guided excursion to Wakayama Prefecture for English-speaking foreigners is being offered July 25.

Participants will visit Mount Koya, a Buddhist sacred mountain newly designated as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. The group will ride a cable car and bus to the mountain top, where a number of historical buildings and Buddhist treasures are located.

Participants will meet the guide, Paul Satoh, at 9 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office on the second floor of the JR Kyoto Station building, or at 10 a.m. at the lobby of Hotel Granvia in the JR Osaka Station building.

Participants will be required to pay the actual cost of the tour, and another 2,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

The tour is reserved for non-Japanese only.

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

Open rehearsal to German dance troupe: Kyoto Dance Academy, a nonprofit organization, is hosting an open rehearsal by Henrietta Horn and Folkwang Tanzstudio, a modern dance company from Germany, at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Kyoto Prefectural Center for Arts and Culture in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto.

Horn is a Berlin-born dancer/choreographer and has been directing the Essen-based dance company since 1999, together with another well-known choreographer, Pina Bausch. The world-touring company is coming to Japan for the first time and will perform at the Kyoto hall on Aug. 28 and 29 as a prelude to the "Deutschland in Japan 2005/2006" campaign. Kyoto is the only place that the company will perform in Japan.

Admission to the rehearsal is free for those who have tickets for the Aug. 28 or 29 performances, and 2,000 yen for others.

For more information on the rehearsal and performances, call the dance academy at (075) 211-7140, send e-mail to info@kyotodanceacademy.com or visit its Web page at www.kyotodanceacademy.com.

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