Hiroba Newsletter

CONSULATE-GENERAL OF JAPAN
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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@*Hiroba is the Japanese word meaning an open space or public square 

February 2010 Edition

Website of the Consulate-General of Japan, Perth WA : http://www.perth.au.emb-japan.go.jp/

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Kamakura Snow Festival, Yokote 
On the 15th & 16th February each year, the Kamakura Snow Festival takes place in Yokote City, Akita Prefecture. The feature of this festival is the building of about 100 kamakura, or snow huts (more commonly known as igloos among Westerners). Approximately 3000 mini kamakura (50cm in height) are also built as part of this festival.

A kamakura is made by building a large mound of snow and then hollowing out the centre to create a room inside, which is then lit by candles to produce a beautiful night scene. Once built, an altar is set up inside to honour the water gods and to pray for an abundance of rainfall in summer.

In Yokote, local children enjoy refreshments while sitting inside the cozy kamakura. Typical refreshments include roasted mochi rice cakes, sweets and ama-zake (a sweet non-alcoholic drink made from fermented rice). Children also pray at the altar for a good harvest, the safety of their family members and for academic success.

Kamakuras are a highlight of winter in Japan and have traditionally been made since the Edo period  (1603-1868) in areas which receive abundant snowfall, such as Akita Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture.

 

Upcoming Events

Public Bonsai Demonstration

The Bonsai Society of Western Australia presents a special bonsai demonstration by internationally renowned Bonsai artist, Mr Lindsay Bebb (pictured below). This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the traditional Japanese art of miniature potted trees (bonsai). Details of this demonstration are as follows:

Event: Leading Australian Bonsai artist Mr Lindsay Bebb will talk about his experience in Bonsai and give a   demonstration of his work on a large stock tree. 

Date: Sunday 28th February, 1:30-4:30pm

Venue: Belmont Sport & Recreation Centre, Abernethy Rd (Cnr Keane St) Cloverdale

Admission: $15 (non members of the Bonsai Society of Western Australia)

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First Semester Ikebana Classes

If you missed out on joining last year's ikebana course, here's your chance again this year. Ikebana is the art of traditional Japanese flower arrangement and you can learn this beautiful art right here in Perth, Western Australia. As always, the ikebana course will be conducted by experienced ikebana instructor Mrs Akiko Chester and her assistant Mrs Michelle Keen. Classes take place here at the Consulate-General of Japan (21st Floor, Forrest Centre, 221 St George's Terrace, Perth), details as follows:

2010: 1st Semester Ikebana Course of the Australia-Japan Society of WA

Free Demonstration: Wednesday 17th March, 10:30- 11:30am

1st Semester Classes: Every Wednesday for 15 weeks from 31st March - 14th July 

                                         (except for 5th May)

                                        Beginners Class: 10:30am- 12noon

                                        Intermediate/ Advanced Class: 12:30- 2:00pm

For information on first semester ikebana classes, please contact Mr Emmanuel Savundra of the Australia-Japan Society of WA on: (08) 9384 8048@

                                             

 

Traditional Japanese "Sit-down" Comedy Show (Rakugo)

A traditional Japanese esit-downf comedy performance in English will be held at the State Library of Western Australia. Known as rakugo in Japanese, this performance of traditional comic storytelling is part of the Japan Foundation's travelling cultural performance series. The performance will take place on two evenings in March, details as follows:

Venue: State Library Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge (entry via Francis Street)

Dates: 22 & 23 March 2010

Commencement Time: 6:30pm (doors open 30 minutes prior to commencement)

Admission: Free (first-come-first-served basis - limit of 1 ticket per person will be distributed from 6:00pm at the entrance to the theatre on the night of the performance)

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Consulate-General News@

SISTER CITIES FOR 25 YEARS: Belmont – Adachi  

Last year was the 25th anniversary of the sister city agreement between the City of Belmont in Perth and Adachi-ku in Tokyo. As part of the sister city celebrations, a Belmont delegation visited Adachi last November, and a delegation from Adachi visited Belmont in January this year. Here is an article submitted by Ms Madeleine Rennie, Chairwoman of the Belmont Sister City Association about their recent visit from the Adachi delegation.

The Belmont Sister City Association recently welcomed a delegation of citizens from Adachi City in Japan to commemorate 25 years of friendship between the Cities of Belmont and Adachi.

The delegation, consisting of 20 Adachi citizens, a tour leader and five staff from the Tourist and Exchange Section of the Adachi Ward Office were treated to four full days of sightseeing which showcased the best of Perth and its surrounds.

Scarborough Beach , Kings Park , Fremantle, the Perth Mint and Swan Valley were popular amongst the delegation, along with the unveiling of artwork at Adachi Park in Belmont (pictured) to symbolise the milestone year achieved by the sister cities.

Arranged jointly by the City of Belmont and the City of Adachi , the sculpture is based on the logo for Adachi and includes flora designs identified in each region. The artwork is on display for visitors of the park to reflect on the importance of the relationship between the two nations.

Cultural exchanges such as this one build many friendships and make lives richer. It is clear that the delegates were genuinely touched by their visit to Perth and that everyone involved in the delegation could see how the Sister City relationship encourages world peace.

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Japanese Photo Exhibition

A photo exhibition showcasing contemporary Japanese photography, entitled Gazing at the Contemporary World: Japanese Photography from the 1970s to the Present, was recently held at Gallery Central (formerly Central TAFE Art Gallery) from 21-30 January, 2010. Photographs included in this exhibition showed the transformations of Japanese society between the period of rapid economic growth of the late 80s, the economic stagnation of the 90s, to the development of a consumer culture, the information revolution, the growth of cities and the loss of traditional communities, in the early 21st century. The exhibition was sponsored by the Japan Foundation and has travelled to all major cities around  Australia. 

The opening reception, given by the Consul-General Mr Sato, was held on the evening of 21st January and was attended by the Minister for Planning; Culture and the Arts, the Hon John Day MLA, those involved in culture and education, and the local Japanese community. Prior to the official opening, Mr Chris Huzzard, who is a professional photographer with more than 30 years experience in fashion photography in Perth and around the world, gave a lecture on photography including an in-depth introduction to the exhibition. Chris has worked for well-known magazines such as Vogue Australia and companies including Chanel. 

Photographer, Mr Chris Huzzard delivering his lecture at the opening reception

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Notices

Japanese Government Scholarships for 2010

Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho) offers scholarships to Australian citizens who wish to study at Japanese universities under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program. The application period for the following two categories is now open:
  1. Teacher Training category: for Australian citizens who have graduated from university or teacher training college and have at least 5 years experience as a teacher or staff member of a teacher training institution (tenable for 18 months from October 2010 to March 2012).
  2. Japanese Studies category: for Australian citizens who are enrolled as an undergraduate student in faculties which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture, at an Australian university (tenable for one year from October 2010).

Applications for the above two categories close on Tuesday 16th March 2010

Further details and application forms are available on The Embassy of Japan in Australia website:

http://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/e_web/education/Monbukagakusho.htm

Or, email:    cultural@japan.org.au

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Nippon Magazine

Please be informed that the publication of the very popular Nipponia magazine has now been discontinued. The new magazine which replaces Nipponia is called "Nippon", which means "Japan" in Japanese.

The first issue of Nippon was published in August 2009 and continues the tradition of its predecessor, in conveying stories of Japanese culture and Japan to people all over the world. The English website of the Nippon magazine is as follows:

http://www.heibonsha.co.jp/nippon/nippon-e.html#read_kanko

If you would like to read back issues of Nipponia, please see the website below:

http://web-japan.org/nipponia/archives/en/index.html

Japan Brief

NB - Japan Brief is an original production of the Foreign Press Center, Japan ,and does not represent the views of the Government of Japan or that of any other body.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Japan-US Security Treaty and Deepening of the Japan-US Alliance

Prime Minister Hatoyama's Visit to India and the Japan-India Bilateral Summit

Japanese Government Aims for 3% Annual Growth up to FY 2020

New Year's Day Editorials Discuss Prospects for 2010

Office Information  

Please note the Consulate-General will be closed on the following day:

Monday March 1: Labour Day

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
General Enquiries: 9:00am - 1:00pm
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Visa Enquiries: 9:00am - 12:30pm
2:00pm - 4:00pm

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