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Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006

Kansai: Who & What

Foreign women discuss holidays, homesickness

The Osaka Gender Equality Foundation is inviting English-speaking non-Japanese women to its monthly discussion meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at Osaka Prefectural Women's Center, or Dawn Center, in Chuo Ward, Osaka.

The discussion group will focus on common problems facing foreign women, including those pertaining to cultural differences, employment and child care. Participants will be encouraged to exchange information and experiences.

This month's topic is how to cope with "holiday shock" and homesickness. Almost every religion and culture has important family-oriented celebrations in this season. Whether you are at home or in Japan, the holidays can be a particularly stressful time. Participants will discuss strategies to maintain inner calmness and a jolly holiday spirit despite the stress.

The discussion will be facilitated by psychotherapist Joanna Sato.

Participation is free. No reservation is required.

To get to the venue, walk 350 meters east from Tenmabashi Station on the Keihan or Tanimachi subway lines.

For more information, call the organizer at (06) 6910-8588.

U.S. academic to talk on Yasukuni Shrine

The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office is hosting a seminar on Yasukuni Shrine at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Otani University in Kita Ward, Kyoto.

The speaker is John Nelson, an associate professor of East Asian religions at the University of San Francisco and one the foundation's research fellows for 2006.

The seminar will begin with a showing of "Spirits of the State," a 26-minute documentary by Nelson that introduces Yasukuni and the current controversy surrounding politicians' visits. Nelson will then speak on the theme "Packaging Yasukuni Shrine for International Political and Religious Consumers" to propose a more nuanced reading of nationalism and social memory, taking into account the varied audiences that consume the information. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The lecture will be in English.

Participation is free. No reservation is required.

The venue is the Multi-Media Training Room on the third floor of the Koru-kan building at the university, which is near Exit No. 3 or No. 6 of Kitaoji Station on the Karasuma subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 211-1312, or fax (075) 255-1273.

Student guides holding a competition in Kyoto

A student guide competition will be held at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Kyoto International Community House in Sakyo Ward.

The event is an opportunity for students to convey what is special and fascinating about Japan's culture, especially to the non-Japanese members of the audience. Representatives from four student guide clubs at universities in the Kansai region will give presentations on the theme in English.

The first-place winner will be decided by a vote of the audience.

There will be live performances of Japanese traditional dance, shamisen three-stringed instruments and taiko drums along side the presentations.

Participation is free. No reservation is required.

The venue is a six-minute walk from Keage Station on the Tozai subway line.

In addition, there will be a party the day after the event, and a guided tour offered by the guide clubs the following day.

For details, call the competition's executive committee at 090-3481-7286 or visit the event's Web site at wa-s.hp.infoseek.co.jp/Top.html

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