© Michael Helbig
Japan is known for its appreciation of the distinct changes in seasons, and many cultural traditions, including poetry, festivals and cuisine, are based on the turning of the season. September marks the beginning of autumn in Japan and momiji-gari, autumn leaves viewing, is amongst the many celebrated seasonal traditions featured on the Japanese calendar. As the weather cools around Japan, leaves begin to change colour providing a breathtaking landscape of red, brown, orange, yellow and green. Autumn colours are enjoyed at parks, gardens, temples, shrines and forests, but are particularly stunning in the mountains, where trees receive a lot of sunshine, and benefit from crisp, dry air. The dramatic colours often provide beautiful scenery, particularly against backdrops such as Mt Fuji. In Japan, autumn leaves are regarded as objects to be admired, like flowers.
Dating back to the Heian period, Momiji-gari is enjoyed throughout the country and sees large numbers of tourists visit famous viewing sites. Autumn colours begin in the north with dramatic autumn foliage appearing in Hokkaido during September, and gradually move south to Kyushu in early December. Cherry blossoms move in the opposite direction and only last for a week, whereas autumn foliage can be enjoyed over a couple of weeks. If you’re heading to Japan soon, you’ll be in for a treat!
Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY2014
On July 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced the recipients of the Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2014. In Western Australia, Ms Madeleine Rennie, Chairperson of the Belmont Sister City Association, recognised as an individual recipient, and the City of Perth, recognised as a group recipient, have respectively been awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for their exceptional and distinguished services for the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and Australia.
Ms Madeleine Rennie has been involved in the Belmont-Adachi sister city relationship for almost thirty years, hosting over 180 families in that time, some spanning three generations of the same family. She is affectionately known by many people in Adachi as their Aussie mum or grandma. The recognition of Ms Madeleine Rennie coincides with the 30th anniversary of Belmont-Adachi sister city relations. Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Perth, Mr Toshio Ida, was honoured to present the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Ms Madeleine Rennie at the City of Belmont’s Farwell Function held for the visiting Adachi delegation on August 6th.
Deputy Consul-General Mr Toshio Ida with Ms Madeleine Rennie and other guests
This year also marks a significant milestone for the City of Perth and Kagoshima as they celebrate 40 years of sister city relations. The strong bond encompasses cultural, economic, sports and student exchanges. The City of Perth is also actively engaged with the local Japanese community and earlier this year gave instrumental support to the community’s largest event, Japan Festival. Deputy Consul-General Ida was honoured to present the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to the City of Perth on August 12th at the City’s Civic Reception, held in honour of the Kagoshima delegation who were visiting.
Japanese Film Festival
Presented by the Japan Foundation, Sydney, the 18th Japanese Film Festival (JFF) will showcase a variety of Japanese cinematic delights from 29 October - 2 November at Hoyts Carousel and Hoyts Millenium. The full program is yet to be announced, but over 10 of the latest feature films will be screened. If you’re interested in volunteering, register your details here.
A mini Japanese Film Festival is also being held in Broome with an abridged program consisting of three films to be screened from 7-10 September at Sun Pictures and Sun Cinemas.
For updates and more information, please visit the JFF website.
JET Programme Information Sessions
The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations. Specifically, the Programme aims to enhance foreign language education in Japan, and to promote international exchange at the local level through fostering ties between Japanese and foreign youth. It offers university graduates the opportunity to work as Coordinators of International Relations (CIRs) in local government organisations or as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in elementary, junior high and senior high schools. Information sessions will be held this month at various university campuses with information about the program including details about the application process. Check out the information session schedule here and make sure you come along!
Japanese Language Proficiency Test
Registrations for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) close on Friday 12 September, 2014. The exam will be held on Sunday 7 December, 2014.
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is the largest-scale Japanese language test in the world. Since 1984, the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services have continued to offer the JLPT as a reliable means of evaluating the Japanese proficiency of non-native speakers. The JLPT is widely recognised across corporate and government sectors as a benchmark for proficiency measurement, and is also a strong motivator for students of Japanese language. For more information, click here.
The Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre, the JLPT host institution in WA, will be holding courses for both levels N4 and N2 for interested learners.
Dates: Wednesdays 17th September—8th October (4 weeks)
Times: 5:30pm—6:30pm N4, 6:45pm—7:45pm N2
Venue: Hyogo Cultural Centre
For more information on the courses please contact the Hyogo Cultural Centre.
Yobe Chibicon 2
On October 11 Yobe Chibicon 2, a Perth-based pop culture convention dedicated to promoting Asian popular culture, Japanese anime and manga, world-class cosplay and Asian pop dance, will be held at Ascot Racecourse. Japanese cosplay superstar Reika is the special guest. For more information, please click here.
Western Australia-Hyogo Banshu Fashion Textile Program Exhibition
The Banshu Fashion Textile Program is an ongoing project established in 2011 as part of the 30th anniversary of the Sister Sate relationship between Western Australia and Hyogo. The program is designed to assist the WA fashion design industry by providing access to Banshu textile industries in Hyogo and is now in its fourth year thanks to wonderful support from Ozawa Textile Co. Ltd, Naigai Orimono Co. Ltd, the Department of State Development WA and the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre. Three emerging young designers will show their collections created in collaboration with Japanese textile companies Ozawa Textile Co. Ltd, and Naigai Orimono Co. Ltd in October, be sure to check them out!
Dates: October 21-31
Location: Enex 100 (entry via Hay Street Mall)
The Bonsai Society of Western Australia is holding a Bonsai Show on November 15-16 from 10am-5pm at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre. There will be bonsai demonstrations and sales all weekend. For more information, please click here.
PHRASE OF THE MONTH
This month’s phrase, tekizai tekisho is a yojijukugo (four character phrase), which translates as ‘right lumber, right place.’ It is usually understood to mean ‘the right person for the right job’ and is used to describe situations at work in which a talented person in one field is placed in the most appropriate position according to their skills.
Listen to Konnichiwa, a Japanese and English radio program on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm on 107.3 FM.
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.
Fashion & Design: Bonsai (Apr 21)
Also available on Web Japan is a downloadable version of the popular niponica magazine about Japanese culture. Current issue: niponica No. 12 - Another Side of Japan: Snacks and Sweets.
CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE CLASSES
会WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practice 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. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so don’t worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.
For more information on the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for more 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 2-4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website.
AJS Tomodachi Lunch
On the first Thursday of every month, the Australia-Japan Society of WA holds a Tomodachi Lunch. The lunch is held at 12:00pm at Jun Restaurant, 568 Hay Street, Perth. See here for more details.
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’ tree. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events. For more information please click 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.
Perth Kimono Club
The Perth Kimono Club aims to bring together people living in or visiting Perth who wish to share the joy and beauty of wearing a Japanese kimono. You may have been wearing kimono all your life or you may have never worn one before, either way you are still welcome to join. Click here to find out more about the club and upcoming events.
Website of the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth
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