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Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Kyoto seminar on Turkish carpets: The Japan-Turkey Culture Society is organizing a seminar on high-class Turkish silk carpets by a Japanese specialist.

The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 5 at Kyodai Kaikan in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto.

Carpet weaving has a long tradition in Turkey and today these hand-woven, elaborately patterned fabrics are a favorite souvenir for tourists. Silk carpets produced in Hereke, a town near Istanbul, are ranked the highest in quality.

At the seminar, Yukihiko Henmi, who is a specialist in fabrics and runs a carpet shop, will speak on the history of Hereke carpets and offer some shopping tips for tourists, such as how to pick out good carpets and buy them cheap.

The seminar will be conducted in Japanese. Turkish wine and snacks will be offered.

The fee is 1,500 yen for students and 2,000 yen for others.

Reservations must be made by Tuesday.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (075) 255-7530 on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Major antique fair at Kobe Fashion Mart: A large-scale antique fair will be held Friday through Sunday at Kobe Fashion Mart on Rokko Island in Higashi-Nada Ward.

About 150 dealers from all over the country will sell a wide variety of Japanese and European antiques. Items will include ceramics, furniture, cameras, kimono and accessories.

Entrance is free. The fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on the final day).

The venue is located near Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner.

For more information, call the organizer at (077) 522-2307.

Osaka Univ. scholar to lecture on 'karoshi': The International Research Center for Japanese Studies will host a monthly lecture for the general public; the first is on "karoshi" (death from overwork), at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 at Urbanex Oike Building in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

Scott North, an associate professor at Osaka University's graduate school of human sciences, will speak on the theme "Death of a Salesman. Service Overtime, the Gulf War and Karoshi," discussing the relationship between Japanese workers' ascetic work ethics and the globalizing economy. Scott will take the karoshi of an Osaka stockbroker in 1991 as an example and analyze the incident in the context of the Gulf War and resultant collapse of the bubble economy.

The lecture will be conducted in Japanese.

Attendance is free, but applications must be made. Applications will be accepted from Wednesday.

For applications, call the organizer at (075) 335-2078. More information is available the research center's Web site at www.nichibun.ac.jp

Guided excursion to Kishiwada festival: A guided excursion to the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri Festival is being offered Sept. 15 for English-speaking foreigners.

The Danjiri Matsuri in Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, is considered one of the wildest and roughest festivals in Japan. It features a procession of 34 wooden floats known as "danjiri" pulled through the streets with two ropes by 500 to 1,000 people. At intersections, each float, weighing 4 tons, is turned in one swift movement that requires tremendous strength and perfect timing.

Participants will meet guide Paul Satoh either 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. in the lobby of Hotel Granvia Osaka in JR Osaka Station.

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

The excursion is reserved for non-Japanese only.

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

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