Hiroba Newsletter



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

December 2011 Edition

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


Christmas in Japan

The celebration of Christmas began to appear in Japanese society in the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912) through the efforts of the commercial sector, and over time has mostly been regarded as a time for couples. Christmas Day is not a public holiday and many couples spend a romantic evening together on Christmas Eve. Parents of course spend time with their children, but the gathering of wider family takes place just a few days later when most of the country shuts down over the New Year and observes a number of days off, in what is a much longer tradition.

Fried chicken has become a popular meal for Christmas, with advertising campaigns increasing in the weeks before and people making reservations to pick it up. Another popular item for Christmas is a sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries, which serves as Christmas Cake.

Elaborate displays of Christmas lights attract millions of people to brave the winter cold and walk beneath them in November and December. The lights are truly a sight to behold and many displays use LED lighting which significantly reduces power consumption. Events such as gHiroshima Dreaminationh where the below photos were taken also make use of solar panels.



Upcoming Events

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships

The biggest international sailing event of 2011 will see some 1,200 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators gather in Fremantle in the first half of December. The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships is the key qualification sailing event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, where three quarters of the nations participating in London will be decided. Among those competing is the Japan National Team, who will be putting up a booth in the Worlds Village at Esplanade Park in Fremantle, as will the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth. Please feel free to come and take a look at both booths (located near each other) during the competition period (December 3 -18) and of course to see the sailing action itself.

The following link is from the official site of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and is an article on the Japanese athletes who were the first international sailors to arrive for the event.



Alternating Currents: Japanese Art After March 2011

Hosted by the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and presented by the Japan Foundation, gAlternating Currents: Japanese Art After March 2011h is an exhibition of multi and interdisciplinary approaches to art which reflect on the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck Japan in March this year. Leigh Robb, curator at PICA, Azusa Hashimoto, curator at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, and Jaime Pacena II, an independent curator based in Manila, are curating gAlternating Currentsh which encompasses performance, film, installation, sound art and music, and will run until December 31. Leigh Robb and Jaime Pacena II spent a month in Japan last year participating in a Japan - East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) program called The Invitation Program for Creators.

For more information on the exhibition please view the following from the PICA website.




Consulate-General News

Japan Careers Seminar

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of Western Australia (JETAA WA) held their annual Japan Careers Seminar on November 8 for university students, past JET participants and others interested in working in Japanese companies or in Japanese-related industries here in Australia and abroad. Deputy of Mission at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, Mr Masahiro Takagi, addressed the audience and was followed by various speakers including those working at Japanese resource companies with offices in Perth, or involved in translating, interpreting and teaching Japanese. The evening was an excellent opportunity to learn of careers which make use of the Japanese language or skills and knowledge acquired by living in Japan.


Opening of Alternating Currents: Japanese Art After March 2011

Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa opened the contemporary Japanese art exhibition gAlternating Currents: Japanese Art After March 2011h on November 11, which is being held at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts until December 31. Mr Ishikawa spoke about the importance of artistic exchange between Australia and Japan, and expressed his appreciation to the artists and curators for putting the exhibition together, to all involved at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, and to the Australian public for their ongoing support and encouragement.


World of Food Festival

The Consular Corps Association of Western Australia held their inaugural World of Food Festival on November 13 in the grounds of Government House. Consulates and Consulates-General from 15 countries participated in the festival, including the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, which served up sushi and yakisoba.

Consulate-General of Japan staff serve up yakisoba at the World of Food Festival


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster: Donations and Fundraiser

The Busselton Geographe Bay Rotary Club and the Shire of Busselton Sister City Association (SOBSCA) held a joint fund-raiser on November 16 for the Town of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture. Busseltonfs sister city in Japan is the Town of Sugito in Saitama Prefecture, and SOBSCA committee members offered their assistance following the Great East Japan Earthquake. While the Town of Sugito was not seriously affected by the earthquake, their sister city within Japan – Tomioka – was, and remains evacuated due to its proximity to a damaged nuclear plant. Officials in Sugito requested if any assistance could be directed to the people of Tomioka instead, who are displaced and living in temporary accommodation.

Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa attended the fundraiser and expressed his appreciation to everyone for their support. He spoke about the importance of sister city relationships and pledged on behalf of the Consulate-General to support further development of the Busselton-Sugito sister city relationship.   

Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa speaking at the Busselton fundraiser


Hanami Party in Hyde Park

JETAA WA held a hanami (flower viewing) party under the jacaranda trees in Hyde Park on November 20 to welcome back JET participants who had returned from Japan this year. About 50 Australians and Japanese attended the gathering and enjoyed Aussie snaggers  and sushi rolls while chatting under the purple petals. A number of women wore light kimono known as yukata and some men wore jimbei - traditional light attire worn by many men in Japan to beat the summer heat. Participants also attempted their hand at haiku – a short form of Japanese poetry known as consisting of 17 syllables in three lines of 5, 7, 5.  

JETAA WA committee members getting into the spirit of hanami and wearing yukata


JS Shirase docks in Fremantle on its way to the Antarctic

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Icebreaker gJS Shiraseh berthed in Fremantle from November 25 to 30 as part of its annual journey from Tokyo to Antarctica and back. The current JS Shirase was commissioned in 2009 and its mission is to transport members and cargo of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) Team, provide support to their research and observation activities, and assist in maintaining facilities in Antarctica.

A reception was held on board the vessel on November 26, at which Captain Takuo Nakato, Commanding Officer of JS Shirase, Dr Hisao Yamagishi, Leader of the 53rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition Team, Mr Yuichi Inoue, from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan, Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa, Consul-General at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, and Mr Ian Britza MLA, Member for Morley and representing Premier Colin Barnett, gave speeches in front of the some 200 guests abroad. Along with Captain Brett Sampson, RAN (Commander Submarines), they then took in a traditional Japanese ceremony called kagami biraki, in which they broke open a lid of a sake barrel, in doing so hoping for good health and fortune.

The original JS Shirase was constructed in 1981, operated for 25 years as an Antarctic Observation Ship and was decommissioned in July 2008. It was named after Lieutenant Nobu Shirase (1861-1946), a Japanese army officer who was responsible for the first Japanese expedition to Antarctica in 1910-1912. The current JS Shirase is slightly larger than its predecessor, has state-of-the-art ice-breaking capabilities and is Japan's fourth icebreaker. 

For more information on the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), please view the following link. http://www.nipr.ac.jp/english/antarctic-expedition.html

(From left to right) Mr Yuichi Inoue, Captain Brett Sampson, Mr Ian Britza, Captain Takuo Nakato, Mr Tatsuo Ishikawa and Dr Hisao Yamagishi take part in kagami biraki and break open the sake barrel.                               To the left is a display of samurai armor

Well-wishers bid farewell to the crew of JS Shirase as it leaves Fremantle


Genki Japan

Presented by the Japanese Association of WA and the Japanese School in Perth and endorsed by the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, a charity festival called gGenki Japanh was held on November 27 to raise funds for donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society, who will distribute them to survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake to help in their relief and give them energy (genki).

Numerous individuals and organisations took part in the festival at the Japanese School in Perth by performing or setting up stalls. Local Japanese artists sang and played various instruments, including the koto, a 13-stringed musical instrument, and many stalls sold gyoza, okonomoyaki, takoyaki, sushi and other Japanese food.

Also in attendance were crew from JS Shirase and members of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition Team, who spoke about their activities and the earthquake relief operation by the Japanese Self Defense Force.

JETAA WA committee members get ready to serve up their healthy and delicious gyoza 


       Watch Japan Now

Shedding light on interesting people, figures and trends, "Watch Japan Now" brings you compact and accessible updates.


Japanfs Local Government Plays Matchmaker (November 24, 2011)  


Japan Strengthens Preparedness for Disaster after 3/11 (November 14, 2011)  


Latest Efforts to Spread Natural Energy: From more technological development to local production for local consumption (November 8, 2011)  


Bring smiles and income to Tohoku women!: The EAST LOOP project connects the disaster-hit area and the world with small hand-crafted accessories (November 1, 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 days in December:

Monday, December 26 (Public holiday for Christmas Day)

Tuesday, December 27 (Public holiday for Boxing Day)

Thursday, December 29 (Year End Holiday)

Friday, December 30 (Year End Holiday)



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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