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Sunday, July 31, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Street performers on Osaka waterfront:
Street performers are showing off their skills at Tempozan Harbor Village, a waterfront amusement and commercial district in Minato Ward, Osaka, until Tuesday.

The 15th annual Tempozan World Performance Festival features 29 groups, including jugglers, pantomime artists, magicians and other performers from Japan, Peru, Britain, the United States and Australia.

Performances will take place at various sites in the village, including Event Square located between the Kaiyukan aquarium and Tempozan Market Place shopping building, and in the open-air space in front of Suntory Museum.

Performances start at 11:30 a.m. and run until 6:30 p.m. except Tuesday, when general performances will be given from 11:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and the final staging by all of the groups will begin at 4 p.m. at Sunset Square on the western side of Kaiyukan.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6576-5581.

Movies under the stars at Osaka Castle garden:
Movies will be shown under the night sky Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. at the Nishinomaru Garden of Osaka Castle in Chuo Ward.

Two movies shot in Osaka -- one Japanese and the other American -- will be shown using a 400-inch LED display. The first movie is "Ote," a 1991 film directed by Junji Sakamoto illustrating the world of "shinkenshi," or underground players of Japanese chess, and the second is "Black Rain," a 1989 Hollywood action film about New York police and Japanese mafia directed by Ridley Scott.

The first showing will start at 5 p.m., followed by a brief talk on movies set in Osaka by essayist Yoshinobu Takebe. The second screening will run from 7:45 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. There will be no English subtitles for the Japanese movie.

Admission is 500 yen including a beverage. No reservation is required.

The venue is just inside the castle's Otemon gate, a 10-minute walk east from Tanimachi 4-chome Station on the subway Tanimachi line.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6615-0677 or check the event's Web site (in Japanese) at yaplog.jp/nightculture/

Candlelight tours during Nara festival:
Candlelight night tours of Nara are being led by English-speaking guide Harry Horii every day from Saturday to Aug. 15.

Scenic spots such as Nara Park and Todaiji and Kofukuji temples will be illuminated by a total of 15,000 candles for the annual Nara Toka-e Festival.

Anyone wishing to take part in the tours can meet Horii at 6:30 p.m. at the fountain square of Nara Station on the Kintetsu Line.

The fee is 2,000 yen. Reservations are required.

For reservations and more information, call Horii at (0742) 46-3273 or 090-3841-4784.

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