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Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Soprano, Mongolian fiddler to perform

A concert by a Japanese soprano and a Mongolian folk fiddler will be held at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Pifure Hall in Nagata Ward, Kobe.

The concert will feature Emi Hishiki, a coloratura soprano who studied in Austria and Germany and has worked with such renowned conductors as Seiji Ozawa and Yutaka Sado.

Also performing will be Hu Tu Ranga, a music student from Mongol, on the "morin khuur" or Mongolian horse-head fiddle.

This is the latest of a biennial cultural event organized by Host Families for Foreign Students Communication Center, a nonprofit organization in Kobe, which brings together a Japanese musician who studied abroad and a non-Japanese who is studying or has studied in Japan.

Hishiki will perform from her repertoire of opera classics and Japanese folk songs, while Hu Tu Ranga will play "Suho's White Horse" and other popular numbers.

Tickets are 1,000 yen for non-Japanese students, 1,500 yen for Japanese students and 2,000 yen for others.

For tickets and more information, call the organizer at (078) 646-7100.

Celebrity charity auction to aid NGO

Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development will hold a charity auction of items donated by renowned artists and celebrities from Feb. 16 to 19 on the 10th floor of Isetan department store in JR Kyoto Station in Shimogyo Ward.

Nicco is a Kyoto-based nongovernmental organization involved in international cooperation activities including emergency assistance, environment conservation and job training. The NGO's 17th auction is aimed at raising funds to support such activities as rural development in Malawi to promote self-reliance and olive growing in Palestine as part of environment conservation.

The auction will feature about 260 pieces of painting, craft work and calligraphy by 170 artists and cultural figures from all over the country, along side autographed items from such sports stars as Hanshin Tigers infielder Makoto Imaoka and moguls skier Aiko Uemura.

The auction will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day except Feb. 19, when it will close at 6 p.m.

Entrance is free.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 241-0674 or visit the event's Web site at www.kyoto-nicco.org/auction_e.htm

Foreign women to discuss grieving

Osaka Gender Equality Foundation is inviting English-speaking non-Japanese women to its monthly discussion meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at Dawn Center in Chuo Ward.

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 living with grief and loss. The death of loved ones is always painful, but when you live in a foreign country, far from your family, friends and other mourners, loneliness and isolation can complicate the grieving process.

The discussion group will offer support and information about the grief recovery process to those who have recently lost a loved one, or are trying to comfort someone who is grieving. Due to the sensitive nature of the discussion, participants are limited to those struggling with the grief process.

The discussion will be facilitated by psychotherapist Joanna Sato.

Participation is free. Reservations are not 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.

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