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Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Guided excursion to Shinto festival in Nara

A volunteer guide interpreter is organizing an excursion for English-speaking foreigners to see a Shinto festival in Nara on Dec. 17.

Participants will observe a procession of people dressed in historical costumes representing the periods between Heian (794-1185) and Edo (1603-1867), which is part of an annual festival at Kasuga Wakamiya Shrine, an auxiliary of the grand Kasuga Shrine.

Participants will meet guide Paul Satoh at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Kyoto City Tourist Information Office on the second floor of the JR Kyoto Station building.

Reservations must be made in advance. The tour is reserved for non-Japanese only. The actual cost of the tour will be around 2,200 yen, including transportation and lunch. Plus, another 1,000 yen will be accepted as a gratuity.

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

Japanese conversation courses in Osaka

Osaka International House Foundation is seeking students for three-month-long Japanese courses starting in January at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

The objective is to provide non-Japanese with conversation skills useful in everyday life.

Four courses, held weekly, are available based on participants' skills. Each consists of 12 sessions. Level 1 and 2 classes are for those who wish to learn how to introduce themselves and talk about simple activities, while Level 3 and 4 will teach how to make sentences using various verbal phrases and how to explain their own thoughts and experiences.

Level 2 and 3 classes will be held every Tuesday starting Jan. 9, and Level 1 and 4 every Wednesday starting Jan. 10. All classes will start at 7 p.m. and run for 90 minutes.

The fee is 5,000 yen, including the cost of the textbook. Ten people will be accepted for each course on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applicants will have to take an interview to assess their language skills. The interview will be held 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 13. Reservations for the interview must be made in advance. For more details, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8989.

1996 Japanese film with English subtitles

Osaka International House Foundation is holding a monthly showing of a Japanese movie for English-speaking foreigners on Dec. 8 at International House, Osaka, in Tennoji Ward.

On the bill this month is "Kishiwada Shonen Gurentai" ("Kishiwada Hooligans"), a 1996 film directed by Kazuyuki Izutsu. The nostalgic comedy is set in the city of Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, in the mid-1970s and centers around a gang of boys who are always getting into fights. The award-winning film offers a lively portrayal of the people of Kishiwada and the soundtrack features a number of hits from the 1970s. The showing will start at 6:30 p.m. English subtitles will be provided.

Tickets are 500 yen. They are available at the venue's information center or can be purchased by sending an application with your name, phone number and the number of tickets via fax at (06) 6773-8421 or e-mail at johokikaku@ih-osaka.or.jp

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

For inquiries, call the organizer at (06) 6773-8182.

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