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Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010

KANSAI: Who & What

New Year celebrations for kids held in Osaka

The Kids Plaza Osaka, a children's museum in Kita Ward, invites kids to experience various New Year celebrations, including toy making and games, from Jan. 3 to 11.

On Jan. 3 and 4, folklore entertainment group Ensemble Wakakoma will run through its repertoire, including the "shishimai" lion dance, "nankin tama sudare," a kind of street performance that uses bamboo screens, and "taiko" drums, twice a day from 11:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. Some 110 people will be accepted in the Kids Plaza Hall venue on the fifth floor.

From Jan. 5 to 9, visitors can try out traditional Japanese New Year games, including "koma" spinning tops and "hagoita," a game that resembles Ping-Pong. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the venue is in front of the Kids Plaza Hall.

On Jan. 11, there will be two workshops to make "surume ika dako," a kite in the shape of a dried calamari. The workshops, which cost ¥500, will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. After the workshops, participants will get to try out their kites in Ogimachi Park next to the Kids Plaza Osaka.

Kids Plaza Osaka is near exit 2 of Ogimachi Station on the Sakaisuji subway line. Opening hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, Jan. 3 and 4, and 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. The museum is closed Monday. Admission is ¥300 for children aged three and above, ¥600 for elementary and junior high school students and ¥1,200 for adults.

For more information, including details of other programs, go towww.kidsplaza.or.jp/ (in Japanese) or contact the museum at (06) 6311-6601.

Kobe museum hosts doll dance performance

The Kobe Fashion Museum in Higashi Nada Ward is organizing a "ningyo mai" doll dance performance from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 11.

The performance features renowned doll maker and costume creator Hiroshi Hori, who mainly creates Japanese dolls dressed in kimono. In 1981, he staged a one-man "bunraku" puppet show, in which he manipulated 170-cm-tall marionettes. Since then, he has performed both in Japan and overseas. The Jan. 11 show in Kobe features Japanese-style dolls and music.

Tickets are ¥5,000 in advance (available at ticket agency Pia: P-code 397-834), and ¥5,500 at the door. The venue is the hall on the fifth floor of the Kobe Fashion Museum, which is near the Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner.

For details, contact the museum at (078) 858-0050, or access www.fashionmuseum.or.jp/

Osaka features talk by missionary in Croatia

The Bridges Program of the Osaka YWCA Senri Center will host a short talk on Croatia from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Jan. 12.

Joyce Pogacic, who lives in Croatia and carries out missionary work, will talk about Croatia and her life as a missionary. The talk will be followed by a potluck lunch.

The venue is YWCA Senri Center in the city of Suita, which is about a 10-minute walk from Kita Senri Station on the Hankyu Senri Line. Participation is ¥500 and participants are urged to bring food to share.

Advance applications are required via e-mail by Jan. 5.

For more information and advance applications, send an e-mail to Bridges Monthly Events Coordinator Kuniko Kanzaki at usagi9999@yahoo.co.jp

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