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Sunday, July 5, 2009

KANSAI: Who & What

Osaka offers foreigners tickets to Tenjin Matsuri The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau is offering foreign residents a chance to win tickets for special viewing seats at the Tenjin Matsuri Festival on July 25.

The festival, begun in 951, is held every summer in Osaka. The celebrations last from the end of June until the main event on July 25, which features the Rikutogyo procession in the late afternoon and the Funatogyo boat procession at night. More information is available at www.osaka-info.jp/tenjin_matsuri/ (in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese).

To provide an opportunity for foreign visitors and residents to enjoy this time-honored festival, 80 seats will be set aside at the Rikutogyo viewing area in front of Osaka City Central Public Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and 180 seats in the Funatogyo viewing area at Okawa Kasenjiki Park on the south side of Tenmabashi Bridge from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Volunteers from the Osaka Systematized Goodwill Guide Club will serve as English-speaking guides.

Those hoping to win tickets should apply by postcard. Groups of up to five people can apply per postcard. The cards must state the name of the viewing area desired, the names, ages, and nationalities of all people in your group, and the address and telephone number of the applicant serving as group leader, to Tenjin Matsuri Kanran-seki Kakari of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, Resona Semba Building, 5F, 4-4-21 Minami Semba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, 542-0081. The postcard must arrive by July 10.

Winners will receive the tickets by July 18.

For more information and an access map to the event, go to www.city.osaka.lg.jp/hodoshiryo/yutoritomidori/0000042557.html (in Japanese), or contact the organizer at (06) 6282-5910.

SIETAR to screen film, host talk with filmmaker

The Kansai Chapter of Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research is organizing a film screening and talk by a Japanese Canadian filmmaker from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 12.

"Obaachan's Garden," a film about the life of Asayo Imamoto Murakami, who was born in Hiroshima and sent to Canada in 1923 as a picture bride, will be shown with Japanese subtitles. The film's director, Linda Ohama, a third-generation Japanese Canadian and the granddaughter of the film's heroine, will share some behind-the-scenes experiences.

The venue is Building 2 at Osaka Gakuin University, which is about a five-minute walk from Kishibe Station on the JR Kyoto Line or Shojyaku Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line.

Participation is ¥500 for SIETAR members and students, and ¥1,000 for nonmembers. No advance reservation is required.

For an access map, visit www.osaka-gu.ac.jp/english/ or, for more information, send an e-mail message to the organizer at kansai@sietar-japan.org

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