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Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007

KANSAI: Who & What

Wagokoro festival set to take center stage

The Wagokoro Matsuri festival will take place Jan. 20 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the city of Suita, Osaka Prefecture.

Wagokoro is a volunteer group based in Suita that promotes Japanese traditions and culture. The coming event will be their first big-scale festival. There will be an "awa" dance put on from the city of Tokushima and shakuhachi performance on stage. One session will allow participants to join in a Dojo Sukui dance, in which the dancers pretend to be trying to catch a loach. Participants can also partake in origami and calligraphy practice.

"Zenzai" (sweet red bean soup) will be sold. There will also be sessions on making traditional Japanese toys, for a fee.

The festival is free and no advance application is required. The venue is Senri Shimin Center, a one-minute walk east of Minami Senri Station on the Hankyu Senri Line.

For information, e-mail the organizer at wagokoro@live.jp

Kepco giving away tickets to 'Tosca' opera

Kansai Electric Power Co. is giving away tickets for an opera that will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and 29 at Festival Hall in Kita Ward, Osaka.

The company will give away 800 pairs of tickets for each performance of Puccini's "Tosca."

Accompanied by the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the three-act opera will be conducted by Shigeo Genda and will feature, from the Kansai Nikikai opera troupe, soprano Mika Saiga as Tosca, tenor Tetsuo Komochiya as Cavaradossi and baritone Tadashi Ito as Scarpia.

Anyone interested in entering the drawing for tickets should send a postcard with name, address, age, phone number and preferred attendance date to: Kansai Denryoku "Opera e no Sasoi" Kakari at Shishobako (Post Office Box) 111 at Osaka Nishi Yubinkyoku, 550-8691.

Applications can also be made via Kepco's Web site at www.kepco.co.jp/home/community/event/opera/ 2008index.html

Applications must arrive by Jan. 25.

For information, contact the organizer at (06) 7501-0317.

International House disaster survival class

Osaka International House Foundation will host a disaster survival lesson for foreign residents on Jan. 27 from 2:15 p.m. in Abeno Ward, Osaka.

Lectures on how to evacuate in case of an earthquake and how to extinguish a fire will be given. Participants will experience a simulated earthquake with an intensity level of 7.

The lesson will be assisted by volunteer interpreters in English, Chinese and Korean, and 10 participants will be accepted for each language on a first-come, first-served basis. An advance application is required by phone or via e-mail.

The venue is Osaka City Abeno Life Safety Learning Center on the third floor of Abeno Forsa at 3-13-23 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, which is approximately 600 meters south of exit 12 of Tennoji Station on the Midosuji subway line. Details can be found at the organizer's Web site www.ih-osaka.or.jp/i.house/

For applications and more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6773-8989, or e-mail johokikaku@ih-osaka.or.jp

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