Hiroba Newsletter



@*Hiroba is Japanese for an open space or public square 

June 2011 Edition

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


Koromogae and Cool Biz


As it gets colder here in Perth and people start to take means to keep themselves warm, the people of Japan are starting to prepare for the upcoming summer heat. There is a custom in Japan called koromogae, a word used to describe a seasonal change of clothing. What began as a custom in the imperial court during the Heian Period has changed throughout the years due to several factors, most notably the policy of the government at the time.


The custom was first called koui when it was adopted from China by the imperial court of the Heian Period (794 – 1185), with April 1 and October 1 declared the days to change into summer clothes and winter clothes respectively. Women of the court also changed the folding fans they held, using fans made of bamboo in the summer and hinoki cypress in the winter. The practice of changing clothes was later renamed koromogae by regular folk as koui was also the title of the women who helped the Emperor change clothes. During the Kamakura Period (1185 – 1333) the custom extended to changing furniture and other interior design to match the season.


Throughout the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), the number of kimono worn increased, and the government introduced a system for the samurai class of changing their kimono four times a year. Soon enough, regular folk followed this practice too. In the Meiji Period however (1868 – 1912), when Japan began embarking on a rapid process of Westernisation, the government decreed that Western clothing was to be used in uniforms for government officials, the military and police, and declared that the dates for changing between summer and winter clothing were June 1 and October 1. In time this practice filtered into schools and the general populace.


Nowadays, koromogae is still observed in many schools, government offices and the police force, and the change in uniform or clothing brings about a sense of the change in season. School students change into short-sleeved uniforms on June 1 or within some set period, and change back into winter uniforms in early October. In recent years, male public servants and businessmen have been encouraged to wear short-sleeve shirts without jackets or neckties as part of a campaign called eCool Bizf, advocated by the Ministry of the Environment beginning in 2005.  What began as an effort to reduce power consumption by setting the air-conditioning in government offices to a minimum temperature of 28 degrees, eCool Bizf has found popularity in the private sector as well.


       Upcoming Events

Kagoshima Asian Youth Arts Festival


The Kagoshima Asian Youth Arts Festival is an opportunity for young people in Perth to participate in a youth arts event. The City of Perth and Kagoshima City (located in southern Japan) have been sister cities for some 37 years now. The festival, held since 2006, is a music-centred arts event where young people from various countries throughout Asia can gather together and foster internationalism, nurturing their passion and pride for their hometown, while strengthening international awareness amongst the citizens.


In 2010, 156 young people from six countries around Asia, together with the local youths from Kagoshima City, gave wonderful performances consisting of brass bands, choirs and traditional dances. This year the festival will be held on October 15 and 16.


Eligibility: Groups comprised of elementary school students, middle school students, high school students, university students or young people (in their 20s).

Performance categories: choir, wind instruments, orchestra, traditional dance, etc. (music and dance as a focus). The groups from Kagoshima have won national prizes before, so please select a representative group from your city with a similarly high level.

Group sizes: maximum of 20 people per group (including escorts, leaders, guardians, etc.) For those with groups of more than 20 people, the accommodation and meal costs will become the responsibility of the dispatching country.

 Costs: Kagoshima City will cover accommodation costs in Kagoshima from arrival to departure, meals and transport costs. Groups will cover transport costs from their home country to Kagoshima Airport or JR Kagoshima Chuo Station. Kagoshima City will only cover all expenses for a maximum of 20 people in each group.


For video footage of last yearfs festival please see the following website: http://www.seaon.jp/asian/


People with enquiries should contact Chris Hughes, International Relations Coordinator, City of Perth on (08) 9461 3105 or at chris.hughes@cityofperth.wa.gov.au. If you would like to participate your interest will need to be registered by the end of June 2011.



WA Government Japanese Studies Scholarships

The Department of Education Services offers The Western Australian Japanese Studies Scholarship and The Western Australian/Hyogo Prefecture Japanese Studies Scholarship each year to university students or graduates who have a proficiency in the Japanese language sufficient to study at a university in Japan. Scholarship recipients are expected to build knowledge in Japanese of their specified field or discipline and be able to contribute to strengthening professional ties between Japan and Western Australia on their return. Applications close on Wednesday, July 13, and applicants must be available to attend the oral Japanese language test on Friday, July 29. For more information please refer to the following link at the Department of Education Services website. http://www.des.wa.gov.au/pages/higher_ed_scholarships.php


Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarships

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (Monbukagakusho) offers a number of scholarships to Australian citizens who wish to study at Japanese universities. The Undergraduate Category and Research Category scholarships are now open for applications ito be sent to the Embassy of Japan in Canberraj, and close on Tuesday, June 14. Examinations will take place on Tuesday, June 21 (at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth for those sitting the exam in Perth) and successful applicants will depart for Japan in April or October next year. Further details including application guidelines and past examination papers are available at the Embassy of Japan in Australia website. http://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/e-web/education_monbukagakusho.html


2011 International Essay Contest for Young People

This annual contest, organised by the Goi Peace Foundation based in Tokyo and UNESCO, is designed to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of youth from around the world to promote a culture of peace and sustainable development.  People up to 25 years old are to write a short essay themed gMy Story of Inspirationh, and share their story of inspiration that has affected their life and led them to make a change in the world.  Entries must be received by June 30, 2011, and first prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony in Tokyo in November.  For more details please check the following link. http://www.goipeace.or.jp/english/activities/programs/1101.html


JLPP International Translation Competition

The Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP) has launched its inaugural International Translation Competition with a view to discovering translators who can help spread modern Japanese literature throughout the world. Applicants are to translate two works – one novel and one critique/essay. The application period runs from September 1 to November 30, and more details can be found at the following link. http://www.jlpp.go.jp/en/competition/index.html


Video Matsuri Contest 2011 and the Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2011

The Japan Foundation presents its Video Matsuri Contest 2011 and Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2011. In the video contest, students are to produce a short film of up to three minutes. There are no restrictions on theme or style but all videos must include some Japanese language. In the art contest, students become familiar with a resource kit called Art Speaks Japanese, and create their own artwork based on that, again including some Japanese language.

Entries for both contests close on September 30. More information on the video contest can be found at http://www.video-matsuri.jpf-sydney.net/ and information on the art contest (including past winners and photo galleries) at http://artalive.jpf-sydney.net/index.html.


Consulate-General News

Japanese Design Today 100

Sponsored by the Japan Foundation and jointly organised by Gallery Central and the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, the Japan Foundationfs Overseas Travelling Exhibition eJapanese Design Today 100f was held at Gallery Central in Northbridge from May 17 to May 31. Hundreds of people came to see the items on display, which included Japanese inventions of the 1950s and 1960s that have heavily influenced the modern devices we use today. The exhibition boasted a number of these mainstream items as well as many novel and stimulating designs one cannot normally see in everyday life. The Consulate-General would like to express its gratitude to all involved in making the event possible and to all who came to see the designs.

A view of the exhibition from a corner in Gallery Central


A selection of digital musical instruments from Yamaha Corporation. Closest is a digital version of the koto


School Visit to Mazenod College

Several staff from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth visited Mazenod College on May 19 to provide an information session on the history and art of Japanese calligraphy. The Year Eleven history students and their teacher watched on intently as Consulate-General staff explained the different scripts in Japanese and demonstrated kanji writing skills using a brush (fude) and black ink (sumi). The students then practiced writing several characters on test paper before writing on some fine paper. The Consulate-General hopes that the session was informative and fun and thanks the students for their exemplary behaviour and interest in things Japanese.

Students practice writing calligraphy with the aid of samples

Third Annual Autumn Welcome Party

The Australia-Japan Society of Western Australia held their third Autumn Welcome Party in Perth on May 26. The annual event provides an opportunity for newly arrived executives from Japan to meet Australian and Japanese businessmen and women in Perth. This year, the Honourable Dr Kim Hames, MLA, Deputy Premier of Western Australia, and Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa from the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, were the guest speakers and they addressed the crowd, after which everyone mingled together over drinks. The night was a success with many people making new connections and forming new friendships.      

The Honourable Dr Kim Hames, MLA, Deputy Premier of Western Australia

Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa, Consul-General of Japan


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.

Special Japan Brief: Overview of and Recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake (Part 9): (May 20, 2011)

Special Japan Brief: Overview of and Recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake (Part 8): (May 12, 2011)

Special Japan Brief: Overview of and Recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake (Part 7): (April 28, 2011) 


Web Japan

Web Japan provides Japanophiles with a world of engrossing information on Japan in all fields, from traditional culture to the latest fashions. http://web-japan.org/



Office Information 

The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth will be closed on the following day in June:

Monday, June 6 (Foundation 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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