Hiroba Newsletter



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

September 2010 Edition

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

Tsukimi (moon-viewing)

According to the ancient Japanese calendar, the fifteenth night of August had the most beautiful moon of the year. People would celebrate the moon's beauty by throwing moon-viewing parties which involved eating dango dumplings and taro, drinking sake and generally welcoming the coming of autumn. 

According to the lunar calendar, the full moon actually appears on the fifteenth night of September, which is when tsukimi is celebrated nowadays. On this day, Japanese people make offerings of rice dumplings and place them in areas of the house from where the moon can be seen, such as near a window or on a verandah. Other offerings placed alongside the dumplings include plants representing autumn such as eulalia grass (susuki) and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The dumplings are made from pounded rice which is shaped into small spheres to look like the moon. 

The custom of celebrating the full moon originally came from China during the Heian period (794- 1185) and once introduced in Japan, it is thought that court aristocrats marked the occasion with poetry and music. 

There is no equivalent celebration of the full moon in Australia. However, there is a natural phenomenon which occurs in Broome in the North West of Australia which draws thousands of tourists and locals alike to admire the full moon. For three nights each month between March and October, as the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats during extremely low tide at Roebuck Bay, an optical illusion of a staircase leading to the moon is created. Many people are attracted to the spectacular image of the full moon reflecting off the mudflats and the Staircase Markets are held at Town Beach to coincide with this unique moon-viewing experience. 

susuki grass, cosmos flowers and rice dumplings are offered during the celebration of tsukimi

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Upcoming Events

Spring Exhibition of Bonsai & Ikebana

The Bonsai Society of Western Australia is holding its annual exhibition of bonsai and ikebana (Japanese-style miniature potted trees and flower arrangement respectively) in October 2010.

Please see details of the spring exhibition as follows:

Venue:    Fremantle Town Hall
Dates:   Sat 30th October (9am - 8pm) and Sun 31st October (9am - 4pm)
Don't miss out on this chance to see the traditional Japanese art forms of bonsai and ikebana blossoming here in Perth. For further information, please visit the website of the Bonsai Society of Western Australia below.


an example of bonsai

© Bonsai Society of Western Australia 



28th Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2010 for Secondary School Students in Australia

Applications are now open for the annual essay contest for Australian school students (from year 7 primary school to year 12 secondary school level), so don't miss out on entering this competition for your chance to win some great prizes!

Details of this year's essay contest are as follows:

Aim: To encourage and develop a better understanding of Japan, and Australia-Japan relations, amongst Australian students.

Entry Divisions & Essay Topics:

  • Junior A Division (years 7-8) - A group of Japanese junior high school students is visiting your school on a school excursion during the summer holidays. You are asked to explain one thing that makes Australians proud. In return, you ask the Japanese students to explain one thing that makes Japanese people proud. What does each group say?

  • Junior B Division (years 9-10) - Currently there are 14 World Heritage sites located in Japan. Of these, 11 are cultural properties and 3 are natural properties. If you were a representative of Japan, what would you nominate as the next World Heritage site and why?

  • Senior Division (years 11-12) - Japan is well known for its high population density, particularly in urban areas. What issues do you think Japanese people face because of this and what measures are being taken to overcome them? Australia is currently experiencing an increase in population. How can Australia learn from Japan's experiences with high population density?

Closing Date:  Friday 10 September 2010

Teachers are most welcome to use this contest as a class assignment, perhaps when exploring the topic of Japan in Society & Environment classes.

Western Australian entries should be sent to the Consulate-General of Japan at Perth by the above due date.

For further details of this essay contest, organised by the Embassy of Japan and Consulates-General of Japan in Australia, please go to www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/e_web/education/Essay.htm

Australia-Japan Foundation Grant Program

The Australian government is offering sponsorship to both individuals and organizations seeking to strengthen Australia’s relationship with Japan.  The Australia-Japan Foundation Grant Program welcomes applications for funding of up to $15,000 for projects relating to the bilateral trade relationship. The proposed activities must commence between 30 November 2010 and 30 June 2011, and should be completed by 30 September 2011.

You will find all relevant details of the Program such as eligibility and application guidelines, at the following link (website of the Australia-Japan Foundation):


Applications can be downloaded from the Australia-Japan Foundation website. Completed applications must be emailed to the Australia-Japan Foundation by 5pm Friday 17th September 2010.

Hiroshima City Scholarship

Hiroshima City Council and AFS Intercultural Programs Australia are offering a wonderful scholarship to one lucky student from Australia to participate in a one year cultural exchange programme on a partial scholarship to Hiroshima City in Japan from March 2011 until February 2012. 

Applicants must be enrolled in high school in Australia at the time of application and be aged between 15 and 18 at the time of participation in the programme. Applications should also be interested in living in Hiroshima and learning about peace. 

Applications close on 1st October 2010. If you are interested in applying, please contact Project Coordinator at AFS Intercultural Programs Australia as follows:

Ms Natasha Nicholas

Phone: (02) 9215 0052

Email:  natasha.nicholas@afs.org

For further details about AFS' international exchange activities, please see their website as follows:


The NEW Japanese-Language Proficiency Test in 2010

The annual worldwide Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has now been revised to incorporate many improvements including an increase in the number of examination levels, meaning examinees can choose a more appropriate level (levels 1- 5) to suit their individual competency in Japanese. 

The 2010 JLPT will be held in Perth as follows:

Date:   Sunday 5th December, 2010

Venue: Curtin University of Technology, Kent Street, Bentley WA 6102

Applications open: 2nd August, 2010

Contact details:

Ms Samantha Hornby
Ph: (08) 9266 7792
Fax: (08) 9266 3166

This examination, which evaluates and certifies Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers, is administered outside of Japan by The Japan Foundation. For further details of the examination, please see:

The official worldwide JLPT website:


The Japan Foundation, Sydney website:


And to sit the exam in Perth, visit the Curtin University website: 


2011 JET Programme Applications

The application period for the 2011 round of the JET Programme opens in late September 2010. From October 2010, application packages will be available here at our Consulate-General, or they can be downloaded from the Embassy of Japan in Canberra website, with the application period closing in December 2010. Successful applicants for the 2011 Programme depart for Japan in both April and July 2011.

Further details of the Programme can be obtained from the Embassy of Japan in Australia (Canberra) website, below:



Consulate-General News 

Japanese Doll Exhibition Visits Perth

creative Kokeshi dolls on display at Council House in August

A collection of seventy Japanese dolls were exhibited in Perth last month as part of the Japan Foundation's overseas travelling exhibition series. Sponsored by the Japan Foundation and supported by the City of Perth and the Consulate-General of Japan at Perth, The Dolls of Japan: Shapes of Prayer, Embodiments of Love exhibition was held at Council House from Wednesday 11th until Tuesday 24th August, 2010. 

The dolls exhibited ranged from dolls displayed on both girls' and boys' festival days to dolls representing the traditional performing arts such as Noh, Bunraku and Kabuki.  

The exhibition was officially opened with an opening reception on the evening of 11th August, 2010. The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor Ms Lisa Scaffidi of the City of Perth as well as the Consul-General Mr Torao Sato gave speeches to welcome some eighty guests, who enjoyed mingling and admiring the intricate and stunning dolls on display. 


Consul Ms Matsuyama, Mrs Sato, The Lord Mayor and Consul-General Mr Sato at the opening reception at Council House

2nd Semester Ikebana Demonstration & Classes

On Wednesday 18th August 2010, a demonstration was held for the 2nd semester ikebana course at the Consulate-General of Japan at Perth.

Experienced Japanese ikebana teacher, Mrs Akiko Chester created several different arrangements with the assistance of Mrs Denise Shelbourn before approximately 30 people, who were able to see how various techniques are used to make beautiful flower arrangements.  

Second semester ikebana classes commence on Wednesday 25th August and run for 15 weeks until 8th December. The ikebana course is conducted by the Australia-Japan Society of WA. 

Mrs Akiko Chester (right) and Mrs Denise Shelbourn (left) create an ikebana arrangement

One of Mrs Chester's beautiful creations during the ikebana demonstration

Please Note:

2010: 2nd Semester Ikebana Course

2nd Semester Classes: Every Wednesday for 15 weeks from 25th August - 8th December 

                                                                     (holiday on 3rd November)

                                        Beginners Class: 10:30am - 12:00noon (cost = $210)

                                        Intermediate/ Advanced Class: 12:00noon - 1:30pm (cost = $230)

For further information about 2nd Semester classes, please contact Mr Emmanuel Savundra of the Australia-Japan Society of WA on: (08) 9384 8048 

Japanese Language Speech Festival 2010

The annual Japanese Language Speech Festival for Western Australian school students was held recently at the State Library Theatre on Thursday 19th August, 2010. Organized by the Japanese Language Teachers Association of Western Australia (JLTAWA), this speech contest provided a fantastic opportunity for students studying Japanese as a second language or heritage language to put their language skills to good use.

There were four entry divisions in the contest, with years K-6, 7-8 and 9-10 all Powerpoint-assisted divisions. The final division, which celebrated its 41st anniversary, was the High School Senior Division for year 11-12 students- the winner of which has progressed to the National Final in Sydney. 

Some 70 students from 21 schools around Western Australia delivered speeches before the head judge Ms Iyoko Scanlan, Japanese Language Lecturer at Central Institute of Technology, provided comments in Japanese regarding the speeches. The President of the Japanese Language Teachers Association of Western Australia and MC for the Festival, Mr Chris Graham, then interpreted Ms Scanlan's comments into English. Finally, Consul-General Mr Torao Sato made a congratulatory speech before presenting the top three placed students from each category and other winners with a variety of prizes.

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.

Japan's Economic Growth Decelerates to Annualized 0.4% in April-June Quarter

UN Secretary-General, US Ambassador to Japan Attend Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony for First Time

Office Information  

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

Monday September 20: Respect-for-the-Aged Day (Japanese national holiday)

Monday September 27: Queen's  Birthday


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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