Hiroba Newsletter



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


April 2012 Edition

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



Spring Dance


A number of famous stage performances featuring geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) are held every April in the historical geisha districts of Kyoto. Dressed in brilliant kimono, these entertainers dance with paper fans in hand in front of various backdrops, including those of the cherry blossoms which mark the beginning of spring.

Miyako Odori, the largest and most famous of these performances, celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2012. The performance was first held in 1872, shortly after the Meiji Restoration which saw the capital of Japan relocated from Kyoto to Edo (now known as Tokyo). The governor of Kyoto and other administrators of the time hoped to counter any perceived loss of status that accompanied this move, and decided to showcase the beautiful art, culture and history of Kyoto through this and other performances.

The Miyako Odori is held every day throughout April at the Kobu Kaburenjo Theater in Gion - one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan. It features four shows daily, each of which is precluded by a tea ceremony conducted by geiko (the name preferred by the geisha of Gion) and maiko.




Upcoming Events

JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters

The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth is proud to announce that gJAPAN: Kingdom of Characters,h  a travelling exhibition presented by The Japan Foundation, is showing at Gallery Central, Central Institute of Technology, from Tuesday, April 17 to Thursday, May 3.

Exhibited in Melbourne and Sydney in 2011, gJAPAN: Kingdom of Charactersh showcases decade-by-decade the manga (comic) and anime (animation) characters that have been popular in Japan since the 1950s. It features life-sized figures of Ultraman, Hello Kitty, Mobile Suit Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Pokemon; small figurines; footage; information panels; and a re-created teenagerfs room. 

Characters have become an integral part of daily life for the Japanese people. Used unhesitatingly by both adults and children in private and public spaces, these characters have become part of the daily landscape and have permeated everyday life in Japan to a degree that would be unthinkable in most other countries.

What exactly is a character? Why are they so popular? What kind of society do these characters reflect and what kind of influence do they exert on that society? And finally, where is Japanese character culture headed? gJAPAN: Kingdom of Charactersh introduces the intimate relationship between characters and Japanese people and aims to provide a better understanding of the cultural and historical background behind the Japanese love of characters as well as the future of characters in Japan.

Venue: Gallery Central, Central Institute of Technology, 12 Aberdeen St, Northbridge

Dates: Tuesday, April 17 – Thursday, May 3

Times: Weekdays: 10am – 4.45pm, Saturdays: 2pm – 4.45pm, Closed Sundays and Anzac Day

Admission: Free

Images clockwise from top left: © Fujiko-Pro, Shogakukan, TV-Asahi, Shin-ei and ADK; © SATORU TSUDA; © SOTSU-SUNRISE; © Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan – Weekly Shonen Sunday; © LOTTE/BIKKURIMAN PROJECT


Images clockwise from top left: © 2010 SAN-X CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.; © SAKURA PRODUCTION/ NIPPON ANIMATION; © Toei Animation Co., LTD; © GAINAX,khara/Project Eva.



Chatterbox is a casual get-together of Australians and Japanese, held on Saturday afternoons at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre from 2 to 4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website http://www.hyogo.com.au/



JABCC Essay Competition

Commemorating 50 years since its foundation, the Japan-Australia Business Co-operation Committee's 50th Anniversary Essay Contest is now open for professionals or students with an interest in the Japan-Australia relationship. The Committee welcomes productive views and suggestions on future directions in Australia-Japan relations - including trade, economy, education, culture and diplomacy - under the theme of "Revitalising the Australia-Japan Partnership in a Changing World". Entries close on Thursday, May 31. For more information please see the following link from the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry website. http://www.tokyo-cci.or.jp/ec/index-e.html


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 Friday, June 8. Examinations will take place on Tuesday, June 19 (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


2012 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 gCreating the Future We Want,h 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, 2012, 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/1201.html


Video Matsuri Contest 2012 and Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2012

The Japan Foundation presents its Video Matsuri Contest 2012 and Art Speaks Japanese Comes Alive! Contest 2012. 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 28. 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

Twenty-Ninth Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2011

A ceremony was held at the Official Residence of the Consul-General on March 9 to congratulate students from Western Australia who won awards in the Twenty-Ninth Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2011.

Mr Matthew Hearn and Mr Bradley Smithies, both students at Kalamunda Senior High School, each received a certificate and plaque from Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa and Deputy of Mission Masahiro Takagi, before reading their award-winning speeches to those in attendance. Ms Jillien Loh, a graduate of Perth Modern School and now an undergraduate student at the University of Western Australia, also won an award but was unable to attend, and her essay was read out on her behalf.

Mr Mathew Hearnfs essay gThe Differences of Culturesh was ranked Outstanding (second highest rank) in the Junior B Division, and addressed the question: gImagine you are in Japan helping to prepare a Japanese student for an exchange trip to Australia. How would you describe some of the key differences between the two cultures regarding manners?h

Mr Smithiesf essay gHal-5h was ranked Highly Commended in the Junior A Division, and addressed the question: gDescribe a Japanese invention that has had or you think will have a positive impact on life in Australia.h

Ms Jillien Lohfs essay gTrade, Culture and Social Interdependence – What Australia Means to Japanh was ranked Highly Commended in the Senior Division, and addressed the question: gJapan and Australia share a very close friendship. Give examples of how our two nations have helped and supported each other throughout history up until the present, and how such mutual assistance has shaped and strengthened the Australia-Japan relationship.h

The Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest is conducted annually by the Embassy of Japan and Consulates-General of Japan in Australia for students between Years 7 and 12. Students are to answer an essay question on Japan or Japan-Australia relations, and first prize winners receive a round trip ticket to Japan or other prizes. More details can be found at the Embassy of Japan website: http://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/e-web/education_essay.html

Kalamunda Senior High students Bradley Smithies and Matthew Hearn

with Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa


Memorial Ceremony and First Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

A ceremony was held at the Official Residence of the Consul General on March 15 to commemorate the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. About 350 guests gathered at the Official Residence and the ceremony began with the national anthems of both Australia and Japan, which were then followed by a minutefs silence. Speeches were made by Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa; The Honourable Kim Hames, MLA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Health, Tourism, and representing the Premier of Western Australia; and finally by the Honourable Michelle Roberts, MLA, Shadow Minister for Police, Road Safety, Crime Prevention, Tourism, and representing the Leader of the Opposition.

Students from the Japanese School in Perth performed a dance called the Nanchu Soran - an adaptation of the Soran Bushi which depicts the actions of fisherman dragging nets, pulling ropes, and carrying heavy loads on their shoulders – with the performance symbolizing hope and the energy for the reconstruction and the future of Japan. Cello quartet, I Cellisti, then performed and included songs from the Tohoku Region.


From left to right: Deputy of Mission, Mr Masahiro Takagi, Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa, and Ashwin, Verna, Kiralee and Dennis Cresswell. The Cresswell family had just returned from their visit to Japan where Ashwin met with his new friend Toshihito, who lost his family in the tsunami which inflicted great damage on March 11, 2011.


JET Community Networking BBQ

The annual Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Community Networking BBQ was held in Kings Park on March 18. About 50 participants enjoyed a sausage sizzle and okonomiyaki – a fried savoury pancake popular in Japan -  as well as cricket and suikawari – a game played in Japan in summer in which people try to split open a watermelon with a stick while blindfolded, assisted by the calls of those standing nearby. The BBQ was a good opportunity for the Western Australia-Japan community to socialise and to further raise awareness of the JET Programme.


JETAAWA President Nick John shows off his skills with the spatula and his delicious okonomiyaki


JETAA WA - JAPSSOC Charity Quiz Night

The JET Alumni Association of Western Australia (JETAA WA), in association with the Japanese Studies Society of the University of Western Australia (JAPSSOC), held a quiz night on March 22 at the University of Western Australia tavern, where about 80 Australian and Japanese participants gathered and answered questions relating to Australia and Japan. The eventfs sponsors provided the eveningfs prizes, as well as goods that were raffled off throughout the evening, with all money raised to be donated to the Tohoku region in northern Japan.


Japanese Anime Film Festival

The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, in collaboration with the State Library of Western Australia, held a three-night anime film festival in the evenings of March 26, 27 and 28. gSummer Warsh was shown on the first night, followed by gPom Pokoh on the second night and gMy Neighbor Totoroh on the third and final night. A number of young ladies dressed up in costumes (cos play) each night, making the lobby outside the State Library Theatre a fun and interesting entrance for guests. Feedback from surveys filled out after the films indicated people enjoyed the festival, and will be used as a reference for the annual Japanese Film Festival to be held later this year.



eCos playersf pose for a photo outside the State Library Theatre



Watch Japan Now 

Shedding light on interesting people, figures and trends, gWatch Japan Nowh brings you compact and accessible updates.


(Summery) International Journalists Symposium 2012: The Great East Japan Earthquake and the Role of the Media (April 12, 2012)


One year after the Quake, Voices from the disaster-hit areas(March 9, 2012)



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 will be closed on Wednesday, April 25 (Anzac Day).


Opening Hours

Monday to Friday

General Enquiries: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm

Consular and Visa Enquiries: 9am to 12.30pm, 2pm to 4pm



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