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Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005

KANSAI: Who & What

Children's reading program starts in Osaka:
The Osaka International House Foundation is starting a book-reading program for foreign and Japanese children. The first meeting will be 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the conference room of International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The goal of the program is to introduce young children to different languages and cultures, and to provide parents coming from various backgrounds with the opportunity to interact with each other on such issues as child care and family life.

Volunteers will read children's books written in English, Japanese and other languages, interspersing the reading with hand games and songs for the young audience.

Sessions will be held on the second Tuesday, third Thursday and fourth Saturday of each month, starting at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The doors will be open one hour prior to the reading so parents can pick up books and read them to their children by themselves.

In addition to English and Japanese, Chinese books will be read on the second Tuesday of each month and on the fourth Saturday of odd-numbered months, while Korean books will be read on the third Thursday of each month and on the fourth Saturday of even-numbered months. Books in Spanish and Portuguese will also be available.

Participation is free, and reservations are not required.

The venue is a five-minute walk from Uehonmachi Station on the Kintetsu Line, or a 10-minute walk from Tanimachi 9-chome on the Tanimachi or Sennichimae subway lines.

For details, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989, fax (06) 6773-8420 or visit its Web site at www.ih-osaka.or.jp

Large ikebana exhibit this month in Kyoto:
Ikebana International's Kyoto chapter is hosting an exhibition on flower arranging Nov. 19 and 20 at Kyoto International Community House in Sakyo Ward.

The exhibition will be held using three large rooms, one in Western-style and two with tatami, where ikebana works by 50 members of the organization will be on display.

Non-Japanese students will have the opportunity to try their hand at arranging flowers at 10 a.m. Nov. 19. Participation is free. Those who wish to participate should make a reservation in advance.

Also, there will be a seminar for the general public on how to make herbal tea at 2 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20. No reservation or fee is required.

The exhibition will run 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 20.

The venue, also called Kyoto-shi Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

For reservations for the hands-on ikebana seminar and more information, call or fax the organizer at (075) 701-9922.

English-language tour to take in castle town:
The Osaka YWCA Senri Center is organizing a one-day trip for English-speaking foreigners to Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, on Nov. 26.

Participants will visit the old castle town to stroll through several antique shops selling old Imari ware, kimono and other treasures, and then move on to Hikone Castle's Japanese-style garden to view autumn leaves, which are illuminated after dark around this time of year.

Participants will meet at 2 p.m. at the ticket gate of JR Hikone Station.

Participation is 1,000 yen. Transportation is not included.

Reservations must be made by Nov. 19.

For reservations and more information, call the event's coordinator at 090-9253-7150 or e-mail usagi9999@yahoo.cp.jp

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