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Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Robot exhibition scheduled for Osaka: The Abeno Robot Exposition will be held Jan. 2 to 5 at the event space on the seventh floor of Kintetsu Abeno department store in Abeno Ward, Osaka.

The event, aimed at promoting RoboCup 2005, an annual robot soccer World Cup to be held in July in Osaka, will offer visitors the opportunity to see the latest in Japanese robotics through a variety of displays, demonstrations and performances.

Robots on display will include ASIMO, the 120-cm-tall humanoid developed by Honda Co.; Banryu, a four-legged robot watchdog from Sanyo Electric Co.; Rovobie-R, a communications robot developed by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International that can hug small children; and VisiON, a 38-cm-tall, autonomous bipedal robot from Team Osaka, a group of academic and industrial participants, which won the best humanoid award at this year's RoboCup in Lisbon.

The venue is a one-minute walk from Abenobashi Station on the Kintetsu Line, or a two-minute walk from Tennoji Station on the JR or subway line.

Entrance is free. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except the final day, when it closes at 5 p.m.

For more information, call the department store at (06) 6624-1111.

Kyoto ikebana group planning lunch, demo: The Kyoto chapter of Ikebana International is hosting a New Year's luncheon meeting with a demonstration by a flower arrangement master at 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at Brighton Hotel Kyoto in Kamigyo Ward.

The demonstration will be performed by Toho Noda, a veteran ikebana artist and senior professor at Ikenobo Society of Floral Art, who has participated in demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions both in Japan and overseas.

The event costs 10,000 yen for members and 12,000 yen for nonmembers, including the luncheon. Non-Japanese students can attend the demonstration at no charge.

Reservations must be made by Jan. 7.

For reservations and details, call the organizer at (075) 723-5256.

Osaka YWCA offering New Year's treats: The Osaka YWCA's Bridges program is planning an event for non-Japanese residents to try out some Japanese New Year's dishes and learn the customs around this time of the year at 1 p.m. Jan. 16 in Suita, Osaka Prefecture.

Participants will be invited to a residence of one of the program's members, where they will be offered varieties of "osechi ryori," an assortment of Japanese dishes prepared for New Year's, and "zoni" soup containing rice cake. While sampling these foods, participants will learn the meaning of each of the dishes, such as good health and happiness.

Participation is 1,000 yen. Reservations must be made by Jan. 9.

For reservations and more information, call the program's coordinator Kuniko Kanzaki at (090) 9253-7150 or e-mail usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

Lecture on Japan's postwar period: The International Research Center for Japanese Studies will hold a public forum to discuss Japan's postwar period from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at Urbanex Oike Building in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

Roy Anthony Starrs, senior lecturer at the University of Otago, New Zealand, will speak on the theme "Mishima Yukio as Nationalist: the Postwar Starting Point."

The lecture will be in Japanese.

Attendance is free, but applications are required.

For applications and more information, call the organizer at (075) 335-2078. More information is available at www.nichibun.ac.jp

Non-Japanese can get disaster-prep lessons: The Kyoto City International Foundation is organizing a one-day orientation session for foreign residents to learn how to respond in an earthquake or other kinds of disasters from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 16.

Participants will visit a disaster control center in Minami Ward and attend a lecture on how to protect yourself, get information and evacuate, and then take part in an emergency drill.

The lecture will be given in Japanese, with interpretations in English.

Participation is free, but applications are required. Fifty applicants will be accepted.

For applications and more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511.

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