Hiroba Newsletter



 *Hiroba is Japanese for an open space or public square 


September 2012 Edition

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



2012 Echigo Tsumari Art Trienniale




As the weather here in Perth takes a turn for the warmer, so the days in Japan are beginning to lose their furnace-like heat of high summer. The slightly cooler weather of September brings with it school sports carnivals and many other outdoor public events that take advantage of the low chances of precipitation and high chances of fine weather.

One of the largest outdoor events in Japan is the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennniale which was last held in 2009 and opened again this on July 27th and will close on September 17th. The festival is one of the largest art festivals in the world and does indeed very wide area in rural Niigata Prefecture. Based in a 760 square kilometer area of the prefecture’s south, about 2 hours train ride north of Tokyo, the festival takes in the countryside that has been suffering a decline due to population aging, natural disasters and the urbanisation of modern society.


The festival began in 2000, as a local initiative to reinvigorate the region. With the theme “human beings are a part of nature” the festival was from the start held in rural communities, rice fields, vacant houses, and closed-down schools in an attempt to bring a new cultural and economic vibrancy to the region through art and tourism. Popular with both Japanese and international artists the event’s success in 2000 was followed by similar success and popularity in 2003, 2006 and 2009. While many of the exhibits are temporary and last for the two months of that year’s festival, others are permanent fixtures and maybe visited or interacted with even during the winter months when much of the area is under a metre of snow.

Description: Triennale

But this northern Japanese art festival has an interesting Australian link. Below is a picture the present Australia House in Urada, Tokamachi City, one of the beautiful villages which are home to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. The first Australia House, a disused house was renovated and revived by the Australian government in 2000. The building then hosted regular Artist-in-Residence Programs that draw on the support of enthusiastic locals and supporters.


Sadly, in the aftermath of last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake, the venerable structure gave way during an aftershock on the 12th of May 2011. It has however been built anew to a distinctive triangular design by Sydney architect Andrew Burns. The new Australia House, the design of which encompasses both the concepts of environmental sustainability and protection from natural disasters, has been a focal point of attention during the current festival with many events and activities involving the enthusiastic local community.


Although this year’s festival is almost over and you may be unlikely to be in Niigata in the next few days, keep your eyes peeled for other art festivals in Japan when are planning a trip. Such festivals are always rewarding artistic and cultural experiences.



Above: Australia House by Andrew Burns, architect. Photo by Brett Boardman.



Consulate-General News

Breakfast by the Bay – Panel discussion on Japan’s role in WA’s economic success

On the 25th of July, the Consul-General, Mr. Ishikawa attended the University Club of Western Australia’s Breakfast by the Bay as a special guest. This event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee. The theme of the panel discussion at the meeting was the vital role of Japan in the progress of Western Australia’s economy. Leaders from both Japanese and Australian business discussed the past and future of bilateral trade in the last half century that has led to strong ongoing cultural, social and scientific links.

Left to right, Mr. Tim Lester, W/Prof Phil Dolan (Dean, UWA Business School), Mr. Keizo Sakurai, W/Prof Bill Louden (Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UWA), Sir Rod Eddington, Mr. Peter Coleman and Consul-General  Ishikawa.




Master Kyoshin Kayo Foreign Minister Award Presentation Ceremony


On Tuesday the11th of September a presentation ceremony was held during which the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Award for 2012 was presented to Master Kyoshin Kayo by Consul-General Ishikawa. Master Kayo, Chief Instructor at the Shobukan, a founder of the Western Australian Karate Federation, was awarded by Foreign Minister of Japan Koichiro Gemba for recognising his achievements in the dissemination of Karate in Australia. More details of this important event and Master Kayo’s achievements will be in a future issue of Hiroba.


Consul General Ishikawa presenting Master Kayo with the Japanese Foreign Minister's Award 2012



Upcoming Events


2012 Japanese Film Festival       26 - 28 September


This year’s Japanese film festival, organised by the Japan Foundation, The State Library of Western Australia and the Consulate-General of Japan will be over three nights and it is hoped it will be as popular as last year with fairer access for all. Please read the rules on making bookings as there will be no door sales this year.


Location: State Library Theatre

Perth Cultural Centre


(Entry via Francis Street)



Start time: 7.00pm

Doors open 30 minutes prior to screening


*Free Admission

See over for program details


*Tickets are free of charge, but by reservation only. Tickets will not be available on the night. Bookings will be accepted from Monday, September 10 by email only, at info@pt.mofa.go.jp Seating will not be allocated and will be available to those who bring printed confirmation of their booking on a first-come-first-served basis at the theatre from 6:30pm.



Wednesday 26 September

The Handsome Suit (@ 2008 “The Handsome Suit” Film Partners, 115 mins, 2008, Rating TBC, Comedy)

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa

Cast: Shosuke Tanihara, Muga Tsukaji, Keiko Kitagawa, Mayumi Sada


If all you had to do to become really handsome was put on a special suit, would you do it? Ohki Takuro is the ugliest guy around, but by merely putting on “the handsome suit‟, he undergoes a complete transformation, into the fabulously good-looking Hikariyama Annin. Awaiting him is the “handsome life‟ he has always dreamed of. Or maybe not. He has assumed that if only he were handsome, everything would go swimmingly, but is appearance everything? How much does what is inside count? And what are the most important things in life?



Thursday 27 September

Hoshi Mamoru Inu ~ Star-Watching Dog (© 2011 TOHO CO., LTD., 128 mins, 2011, Rated PG, Drama)

Director: Tomoyuki Takimoto

Cast: Toshiyuki Nishida, Tetsuji Tamayama, Kawashima Umika


The body of an unidentified man is found in the bush in Hokkaido; by his side lays the body of a dog, which seems to have died much later. Touched by the bond between dog and master, caseworker Kyosuke sets out on a journey to discover the man’s identity. Both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, this road movie follows Kyosuke as he traces their final footsteps along the coast of eastern Japan, coming to terms with his own past along the way. The film is based on a best-selling manga story which echoes the legend of the faithful dog Hachiko.



Friday 28 September

Hanamizuki ~ Flowering Dogwood (© 2010 “HANAMIZUKI” Production Committee, 120 mins, 2010, Rated PG, Romance/Drama)

Director: Nobuhiro Doi

Cast: Yui Aragaki, Toma Ikuta


Growing up under the shade of a dogwood tree, Sae is determined to succeed in life. She falls in love with Kohei, a local boy who becomes a fisherman. Deeply in love, yet physically apart, their long distant relationship is under strain. Meanwhile, Sae encounters Kitami, a senior at her college who shares the same professional dreams.



Gyotaku Workshop

Gyotaku is a relatively unknown art form but many may have seen the resulting art work. Literally fish rubbing, gyotaku uses pigments applied to moistened cloth or paper covering a fish or other marine creature (or almost any object for that matter) in a similar way to rubbings taken from carved stone work or etchings. Those interested in learning the basic techniques of this beautiful art form can attend either of two workshops, held at and sponsored by the Discovery Centre, Department of Fisheries, Hillary’s Boat Harbour. They will be under the instruction of Gyotaku Master Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto, who will come to Perth from Japan specifically for these two workshops. For more information about this unique opportunity, view the flyer here.


Bonsai Spring Show 2012

For those who want to see masterpieces of living nature nurtured with dedication, this year’s Bonsai Spring Show at the Fremantle Town Hall is the place to be. To be held on the weekend of the 20th to 21st of October the Show includes Bonsai demonstrations on both Saturday and Sunday as well as displays of bonsai and suiseki (rock arrangement). Please click here to see details of the show on the WA Bonsai Society’s home page.



Cultural and Language Classes



WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Program Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practise your Japanese, make Japanese friends and learn more about teaching English in Japan on the JET Programme.

kaiWA is held at 43 Below on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street in Perth, and will be held on August 9 and 23. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so there is no need to worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.

For more information on the JET Program Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for information on the JET Programme please check the following site.



Chatterbox is another 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.



Meetings of the Bonsai Society of WA and Bonsai Workshop Inc.

Meetings of the Bonsai Society of WA are held on the last Monday of each month and include demonstrations, lectures, films, advice and a display of members' trees. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events; for more information please click on the above link.

Meetings of the Bonsai Workshop Inc. are held on the last Saturday of each month. Members can bring their trees to work on, receive advice and watch others at work. For more information please click on the above link.




The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth is not affiliated with any event unless otherwise stated - for further details please contact the event organisers directly. The Consulate-General is not responsible for the content of linked websites.


If you know of any upcoming Japan-related events and would like to have them publicised in Hiroba, please e-mail details to info@pt.mofa.go.jp The decision to publicise will be at the discretion of the Consulate-General.



2012 Japanese Language Proficiency Test

This year’s Japanese Language Proficiency Test is drawing into view and will be held at Curtin University on the 2nd of December. With applications now open and closing at 4.30pm on September 21st now is the time to think about your study plan. More details can be found on the Curtin University School of Social Sciences and Asian Languages here. Good luck!


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 here and information on the art contest (including past winners and photo galleries) here.


COLOURS OF THE EAST – A selection of photographs of Japan and other parts of Asia

For all those interested in Japan, photography or especially those who enjoy both, an upcoming exhibition at Little Creatures Gallery in Fremantle will be of interest. Former JET Programme participant Simone Addison will exhibit some of her fine collection of images which will no doubt remind many who have visited Japan of its natural and cultural beauty.


Opening Night: Wednesday 26th September at 7pm

Exhibition runs from 26th September till 31st October

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-late, Sat-Sun 9am-late

Little Creatures Brewery Upstairs Gallery (Restaurant)

40 Mews Road Fremantle

More information: info@simoneaddisonphotography.com.au

Phrase of the Month


(nanakorobi yaoki)


Nanakorobi yaoki is another positive phrase and follows on well from last month’s isshokenmei. Like isshokenmei it is a phrase composed of four characters or 四字熟語(よ じ じゅ くご) (yojijukugo). Literally it can be translated as “seven falls, eight get up” or “to fall over seven times and get up eight times”. Naturally, this great phrase is not only applicable to the horribly accident prone but to anyone who faces the ups and downs of everyday life. It can be used to express ones’ triumph over such adversity too. A popular alternative reading of these same characters is 七転八起(しちてんはっき) (Shichitenhakki) which has exactly the same meaning and some people may only know this reading.


Watch Japan Now


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

Save pets in Fukushima! American woman reaches out to cats and dogs left in evacuation zone (August 24, 2012)


Consumption tax hike approved—a small but significant step toward fiscal rehabilitation


Japan’s Strong Desire for Peace Sent out to the World Peace Ceremonies held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 67th anniversaries of Atom Bombing (August 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/

NORYO – Enjoy summer in a “cool” way (August 2012)

YUKATA – Traditional Garment for Summer (August 2012)


 Also new to Web Japan is a downloadable version of the popular "niponica" magazine about Japanese culture.


Current issue: "Japan Eco-friendly Country"


Office Information 


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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