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Sunday, April 24, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

A chance to view old-style fireworks:
The Osaka YWCA Senri Center is organizing an excursion for English-speaking foreigners to observe the May 4 fireworks display at Shinoda Shrine in Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture.

The event is part of a Shinto ritual to pray for a plentiful harvest, and while usual the kinds of fireworks will be shot into the sky, the display also features a huge set of fireworks attached to a 12-meter by 20-meter frame to form various shapes and designs. This is a rare opportunity to see fireworks using old-style Japanese pyrotechnics from the Edo Period, and the distinctive pale purple of the fire attracts many people every year.

Participants will meet at 7 p.m. at the ticket gate of JR Omihachiman Station.

Participation is 300 yen for members of YWCA's Bridges program and 800 yen for nonmembers. Transportation is not included. Reservations must be made by Wednesday.

For reservations and more information, call the coordinator, Kuniko Kanzaki, at 090-9253-7150, call or fax (0749) 26-4774, or e-mail usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

Youth exchanges up for discussion:
A symposium to discuss the importance of youth exchanges between Japan and the European Union will be held 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 14 at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The event has been organized by the Osaka International House Foundation and six Kansai-based cultural exchange centers representing the national or regional governments of several EU countries with the goal of discussing the social impact of youth exchange programs and exchanging opinions on how to further these efforts.

At the Youth 2 Youth symposium, five panelists involved in youth exchange programs representing Japan, Germany, France and Spain will speak.

The discussion will be in English and Japanese, with simultaneous interpretations.

Participation is free.

Applications will be accepted at the Spanish cultural exchange center in Osaka. Those wishing to attend should send a postcard stating their name, address, age, phone number, fax number and e-mail address to Centro de Intercambio Hispano-Japones Extension at Chisan Mansion 2-ban Kan 403, 3-1-8 Bakuro-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, 541-0059. The application must be postmarked before April 30.

Applications can also be made at the center via phone, fax, e-mail or its Web site by April 30.

For applications and more information, call the center at (06) 6251-2686, fax (06) 6251-2063, e-mail exosaka@osb.att.ne.jp or visit the Web site at home.att.ne.jp/sun/exosaka

Japan-South Korea relations subject of talk:
The International Research Center for Japanese Studies is hosting a public forum to discuss the recent relationship between South Korea and Japan from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 10 at Campus Plaza Kyoto in Shimogyo Ward.

Chi Myong Kwan, a visiting research scholar at the center, will speak on "Issues in the Contemporary History of Korea and Japan -- 1973 to 1988."

The lecture will be in Japanese.

Participation is free, but advance reservations are required. Seats are available for 150 people.

For reservations and more information, call the center at (075) 335-2078.

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