ISSUE 142 • MAR 2012
RITES OF DEPARTURE
SUMO MEN COMETH
TOKYO MON AMOUR
DRINKING UP ST. PAT’S
WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO — LISTINGS • INFO • MAPS • THE BUZZ
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Death, Japanese style
E-fashion — En Vie
Single malt enlightenment
Spring sumo: Osaka is go!
Okinawa’s secret gem
Get away on a farm stay
The Doors of Misperception
Punk springs eternal
Discovering the spirit of St. Patrick
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mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Tourism for tomorrow Kansai’s own Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau (TCKTB) has been nominated for the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the Destination Stewardship category. The other three categories are Global Tourism Business, Conservation, and Community Benefit. This prestigious award is often referred to as the Academy Awards of Tourism. Three finalists for each category were chosen from over 140 entries from five continents. The TCKTB’s nomination is the first for any Japanese organization in the history of the awards. The winners will be announced on 17 April at this year’s WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16th to 19th, 2012. The thorough judging is a rigorous three-step process including an on-site evaluation, which took place in Tanabe at the beginning of February by a sustainable tourism expert. During an interview by local media, the evaluator commented on the vast local, regional, national and international network that the bureau works with to move closer to their goal of a high quality sustainable destination. She was also impressed with the vision and strategic grassroots projects such as innovation workshops for local stakeholders and the bilingual Kumano Travel Community Reservation System. The balanced approach that the TCKTB is taking between tourism development and cultural preservation is a solid model for other communities in Japan and around the world. Good luck!
Know your rights Advice on our rights as non-Japanese working in Japan can be frustratingly difficult to come by and labour and immigration laws combine to create a legal minefield. However, two organizations are reaching out to non-Japanese workers to offer help and advice. The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO) in cooperation with Rights of Immigrants Network in Kansai (RINK) has arranged a telephone counseling event for non-Japanese workers unsure about their rights. This counseling is conducted in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese and because it is conducted over the phone, it is anonymous allowing the caller to bring up serious issues. The counseling is focused on labour, legal, social insurance and immigration issues. However, the counselors are willing to discuss any issues, including life issues. For individuals who speak Japanese, support is available all year round. Foreign language counseling occurs once a year.
The dates this year are March 23rd through 25th. The number to call for counseling (specified dates only): 06-6949-0005 Further information (RINK): 06-6910-7103
Be seen in Kansai Scene
Food safety first Kobe has recently acquired a new shop selling organic food. The shop is a real community collaboration involving local NPO Peace and Nature, the prefecture of Hyogo, Marist Brothers International School, Community House & Information Centre (CHIC), professor Shigeru Yasuda, and local farmer Mr Higashimoto. Since the multiple reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant last March, Japan’s food industry has been hit by worries about the safety of its produce. According to Bahram and Shinobu Enanloo of Peace and Nature, there was worry among the non-Japanese community: “We heard a lot of concern about how they could find safe (and tasty) foods in Japan.” Bahram and Shinobu were aware that Hyogo-ken produced ‘Hyogo Safety Brands’ products. Peace and Nature grow food using only organic methods at their Kita-ku farm and, they tell us, “we figured we could work with them.” The shop sells only locally produced, organically grown produce. Aside from fresh food, you can also buy preserves, condiments and sauces such as soy sauce, again locally and organically made. “The main purpose is to produce and present more healthy and organic products to our members and friends! Not only our products but Hyogo Safety Brands,” they say. The shop is far more than just a shop and is part of a larger community and a centre for other activities: “It’s a meeting place for both Japanese and foreigners who are concerned about food and the environment. A place where we can get together to learn and discuss food safety and environmental issues.” The shop is located in Kobe’s Kitano area. For directions to the shop and for information about Peace and Nature’s activities, see their website: URL below.
Kansai Sceneは関西唯一の英文フリーマガジンです。読者層は、関西に住 Kansai Scene is Kansai’s only English-language print magazine. Advertise in both the print edition and online and んでいる外国人を始め、英語を学ぶ日本人、世界各国からの観光客など。配 benefit from the combined power of two media. To find out 布場所は、大型書店洋書コーナー、大学、空港、観光センター、PUBやレスト ランなど500カ所以上にも及びます。なお、広告の掲載は、雑誌面及びWeb more about advertising with us, go to www.kansaiscene. com and look for the link labelled Advertising on the menu サイトでも受け付けています。詳しくは、www.kansaiscene.com > bar below the KS logo or email to firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising をご覧下さい。＊日本語の案内もあります。広告に関するお問 い合わせ Email: email@example.com or call 070-5659-1356 or call 070-5659-1356.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Death, Japanese style Obon in August is Japan’s principal festival for remembering ancestors, but there are two more important occasions to console the departed, Ohigan in March and September. KS examines the long goodbye this country gives to its loved ones. Text & photos: Alan Wiren
apanese funerals are an assimilation of Shinto philosophy, Buddhist formalities, and modern culture. The combination may be disturbing, even shocking, to the uninitiated. If you are called to take part in a Japanese funeral, the more you know beforehand, the better able you will be able to support and comfort those who are going through it with you. At the same time, experiencing this unfortunate, but inevitable event is an opportunity for a deep insight into the Japanese culture and psyche. From time out of mind, Shinto tradition has had an answer to the perennial questions: ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘Where do we go when we die?’ Japan’s agrarian society held that Nature’s greatest spirit would dwell in the mountains in winter and move to the fields in summer. Human spirits as well would come out from the mountain spirit to be born and, at the end of their lives, return to it. That philosophy dovetailed reasonably well with a Buddhist idea that would arrive later: the purpose of a funeral is to ease a soul’s transition from one life to the next.
Buddhist funeral services were, at first, reserved for Buddhist priests, but between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries they began to be offered, first to the important patrons of temples, and then to common folk as the need for support grew among competing sects. Buddhist funeral rights and ancestor worship were all but taken for granted after 1638 when, in an effort to stamp out Christianity, all Japanese families were required to be registered with a Buddhist temple. The rites begin nearly at the instant of death. If at all possible, the body of the deceased will rest for one final night at the home where he or she lived. A futon is made up with new sheets in a common area of the home. Men of the family may be asked to help place the body onto it. The body is then be packed with ice, and covered with a sheet. The face is covered with a smaller, white cloth. Then a kind of informal wake begins. Members of the immediate family including children of all ages, relatives living close by, neighbors, anyone in the vicinity with a connection to the deceased will drop by to offer their
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
condolences and to visit with the body. It is not uncommon for visitors to sit with, touch, and talk to the body as if it were still living. A priest from the deceased’s temple will be called in to offer a session of sutra reading and prayer. The following morning the body will be moved to the place where formal services will be held. This may be a temple or a more secular facility. The body is usually carried in a hearse in a slow procession, demonstrating reluctance in bringing the body towards its end. At the destination the body is placed into a coffin and packed with dry ice. Once again, during this process the men of the family may be conscripted for lifting. The formal wake begins when the coffin — which may be elaborately decorated or a plain, wooden box, but usually has a window in the cover, for viewing the body’s face — is placed in front of an arrangement of sculpture and ornament, adorned and surrounded with flowers, and lamps, to suggest Paradise. A black-framed portrait of the deceased is set within the arrangement. Incense is lighted and must be kept burning as long as the coffin is present. Guests attending the wake will bring with them envelopes containing money and bound with black and white string. The envelopes are available in most stationary stores and the appropriate amount of money is determined by the closeness of their relation to the deceased. The priest begins chanting a sutra. While he does, first the immediate family, including the spouse, children and grandchildren, and their spouses, then the guests, will, one by one, approach an alter that has been set in front of the coffin. They will transfer some granular incense to a burner, pray to and then bow to the portrait. The guests will finally bow to the immediate family, before returning to their seats. When everyone has performed the ritual, the wake is finished. On the following day the funeral takes place. In form it is precisely the same as the wake, but the atmosphere is more formal. At the wake there may be warmth, smiles, and handshakes. At the funeral there is solemnity. The bows are more precise. Expressions are dour. As soon as the funeral ends the flowers are taken from their arrangements and given to the family members. The coffin is opened and the flowers placed inside, around the body. After that the cover will be closed again, and may be nailed in place. Next the coffin is brought to the crematorium. Although cremation has had a checkered history in Japan — it was legally banned in the nineteenth century when Buddhism suffered the same fate a Christianity in the seventeenth — it is now virtually universal. This is the last time that male strength may be conscripted. The coffin is placed into a furnace and the closest relative may have the responsibility of turning the fire on and off, although this is sometimes handled by the crematorium staff. While the fire burns, the family will adjourn for the funeral feast. When both the family and the flames have consumed their due, the family will assemble in a chamber where the
slab bearing the deceased’s bones, and still radiating heat, is brought. The crematorium staff will usually give a short guided tour of the skeleton. In particular showing the hyoid bone from the neck, which seems to have a figure of a seated Buddha within. Then family members from toddlers to the aged will take up chopsticks, one bamboo and one willow to signify the physical and the spiritual worlds, and transfer bones from the slab to an urn. Mothers may encourage their children to take bones from the head to foster their intelligence. Others may take up certain bones to combat illness or injury. All of this is just the beginning. Buddhism holds that the soul remains in the world of the living for seven days and can benefit from prayers and remembrance for even decades to follow. So Buddhism prescribes memorial services every day for the first seven days after the funeral, then once a week until the 49th day, one on the 100th day, and then one every year until the 50th year. In Japan this schedule is varied to accommodate travel costs and cultural traditions. The first seven services may be replaced by one, following the cremation, but those on the first and third anniversary are sure not to be missed. They comprise the same ritual of incense burning and prayer, conducted in the family’s home. The other annual memorials are commonly replaced with holiday observances. The Japanese calendar reflects the Buddhist idea that Paradise is in the west. The equinoxes, one this month, the other in September, when the sun sets directly in the west, are national holidays to allow families visit the graves of their ancestors. The period in mid August, called Obon, however, has become the occasion when most Japanese families gather to welcome the spirits of their ancestors for a few days.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Osaka is home to a forward-thinking fashion magazine that is trilingual, tree-free, and costs nothing to read. Text: Justine Lane Photos: Courtesy of Gerd Kramer
ashion and technology: two rather far-removed fields that do have one thing in common — they are both constantly changing. As technology progresses, it is influencing fashion — or at least, the reporting of fashion. Like many publications, fashion magazines too are experimenting with e-publishing; creating digital editions of their issues for download and perusal on tablet devices like the iPad or Kindle, or even smart phones. Most magazines continue to publish regular paper editions, while adding a digital option to keep up with the times, and the market. As yet, few magazines have cut their print editions, and even fewer have launched entirely as a digital publication right from the word go.
That’s what makes En Vie, Osaka’s very own monthly fashion magazine, remarkable. Launched from its Kitahorie office in September 2010, En Vie has always been all-digital. Editor Gerd Kramer, a German national who has lived in Kansai for the past 15 years, says that originally, he was planning to launch a print magazine. However, disappointed by how much a print magazine would limit his potential audience, he rethought things and decided to do the magazine as digital-only. “En Vie is supposed to be a voice for the people, to tell them about fashion worldwide,” he says. “So I decided to create a magazine that was the same quality of many of the big names, but digital and therefore available to everyone around the world instantly.” Because paper is heavy and
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
takes up storage space, “even girls who live for fashion sooner or later throw away tons of old magazines,” says Gerd. Digital magazines obviously don’t have this problem. Gerd adds another reason he opted for digital publishing – “we should leave the trees alone!” While the ecological impact of e-readers themselves needs a look, it can definitely be said that e-magazines are more eco-friendly than their print counterparts, purely in terms of the number of trees chopped down to make them: digital — zero; print — several forests. Like most other digital magazines, En Vie is pretty easy to get hold of. You can download a free app in the Apple store, through which you can then download and read any issue on your iPad or iPhone for free. Once you’ve downloaded it, the magazine should appear in your Newsstand app. You can also download En Vie onto your Kindle or other tablet reader, or even just your plain old PC, if you’re anything like this writer. The content is, of course, fashion. New style ideas from around the world, designer profiles, a bit of news, lots of photos, with text kept to a minimum. The magazine aims to promote both new and existing fashion designers. E-magazines have a higher potential for international readership than a local print publication, and with this in mind, En Vie is currently available in English, Japanese and Chinese, with the possibility of a Spanish edition in the future. En Vie was originally published as a bilingual magazine, with English and Japanese text on each page. However, as this cut down on available publishing space, two separate editions were created, with the Chinese edition being added later. One issue is roughly 50 pages, which translates to about 10MB of data. The resolution is 172dpi, which means you can zoom in without the images getting all blurred or pixellated. Due to the easily get-able and shareable nature of digital content, it’s hard to gauge the actual readership of e-publications. Gerd says that En Vie
gets 15,000 direct downloads a month, but that doesn’t take into account file shares, links or uploads onto personal websites, so it’s likely that the real figure is higher. Tablet reader technology is advancing pretty fast, and the shift from print to digital is a hot topic in the media world. So where does Gerd see e-publishing going? “We are only at the very beginning with the iPad and smart phones,” he says. “When En Vie was in its infancy, rumours were going around about the iPad, although at that time it did not even have a name.” Now, just a couple of years down the road, tablet readers like the iPad are essential to the magazine’s success. Gerd predicts that in the future, tablets and smart phones will take over more and more of the functions we currently use chunky ol’ desktop computers and laptops for. As tablet readers become smarter, lighter, and able to store more data, and as they become more affordable and popular, “it will be normal,” Gerd says, “for example, not to have magazines in a hair salon, but tablets which have a library full of anything you could possibly want to read.” Gerd believes that paper magazines will become less and less common, and interestingly, that as magazines go digital, the e-versions will become free. And if a survey of iPad users are anything to go by, free might be necessary if e-magazines want to attract readers. Only about 13 percent of users were willing to cough up for their favourite publications. En Vie, Gerd has made clear, will remain free. While free often means full of advertising, Gerd is only willing to allocate 10 pages to advertising space; any more than that and he worries the quality of the publication might deteriorate. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you think about it; a relatively ad-free, international fashion magazine, fully decent and downloadable from anywhere. There’s really no reason not to have a flip (or scroll) through the pages.
• According to several financial news reports, tablet readers were a popular gift this past Christmas, with the iPad (1 and 2) and Kindle (Kindle and Kindle Fire) sprinting ahead of other brands. At the time of going to print, it was estimated that for the quarter ending Dec 31st, Apple had sold about 14 million iPads, which would bring its total iPad sales since 2010, up to 52.5 million units. • Amazon’s Kindle, while cheaper than the iPad, is still catching up, with December sales very roughly estimated at between 1 and 5 million units.
What’s in En Vie? Photo shoots showing the latest trends; fashion stories from all over the globe — for example, an up-andcoming New Zealand brand, a French designer with South African roots; accessories; international fashion news bytes; horoscopes, and a bit of quirk thrown in for good measure — take an article on designer motorbike helmets, or the “fresh fashion fiction”, for example. En Vie has a variety of content which showcases not only new (and established) designers, but also up-and-coming writers, photographers, stylists and so on. And according to the ed, Gerd, they’re always looking for new talent, so feel free to drop them a line. www.en-vie-fashion.com
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Single malt enlightenment
Text & photos: Clint Anesbury
Most whisky drinkers know that Japanese whiskies are now held in high esteem around the world, but how do we get into the world of Japanese whisky? Your journey starts here.
hether you’re new to Kansai or have reached the stage of no return to a land that you once called home, presumably, at one stage or another in your adventures, you have come across the ongoing mass advertising of Japan’s whisky industry. Most notably that of Suntory’s Kakubin blended whisky and the whisky giants heavily promoted highball campaigns. Highballs; concoctions that consist usually of blended whisky infused with soda and a dash of lemon are one of Japan’s most popular alcoholic beverages today, thanks to Suntory’s ambassador Koyuki Kato. Her enchanting smile graced many a train carriage, billboard, magazine, and TV commercial and made Suntory’s Kakubin instantly recognizable. The celebrated actress, whose image was synonymous with this brand before being superseded by Miho Kanno, has been said
to have single-handedly sparked one of the biggest booms in Japan’s whiskydrinking culture, making what was once considered to be a drink of yesteryear all the rage. But there’s more to Japanese whisky than the izakaya highball saturation and the upsurge in canned brand varieties that have invaded the shelves of supermarkets and convenience stores. To put it into perspective, the Japanese whisky industry is one of the major players in the worldwide production of top quality single malt whiskies. In fact, Japan follows close on some of the world’s greatest products in terms of quality, production, and popularity. This is evident in Japanese whiskies that were once considered to be too bland for the international market; they have now become influential throughout the world and have gained serious recognition. The appreciation of Japanese whiskies began around the millennium with a flourish of awards at significant international competitions. This continued with a string of awards that were granted not only to the larger distilleries that dominate the market in terms of marketing and quantity, but also to smaller distilleries that
produced whisky of equal quality. These prestigious international awards changed the perception of Japanese whisky and paved the way for new beginnings. Japanese distilleries, which became serious contenders in the business, had the opportunity not only to engulf overseas demand for a larger market share but also to educate the globe that their whiskies are equally as good as any quality whisky in the world. From here, Japanese whisky, in particular single malts, rode into the limelight. At present there are eight genuine distilleries in Japan that are active and producing top quality single malt whiskies for both the domestic and international markets. Among these, four are owned by the industry giants Suntory (Yamazaki, Hakushu) and Nikka (Yoichi, Miyagikyo), while the remaining four distillers — of no lesser quality — include Kirin (Fuji-Gotemba), Venture Whisky (Chichibu) that manages the renowned malt range of Ichiro Akuto, Eigashima (White Oak), and the recently reopened Shinshu distillery owned by Hombo Shuzo who are currently maturing whisky for their whisky brand Mars. Other distilleries have also played an enormous part in
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Whiskies R Us
One whisky drinker’s road to enlightenment and what he did about it when he got there.
Thinking back, my awareness of Japanese whisky began domestically, which I guess was the same for many aficionados. Arriving in Kansai just shy of a decade ago, I had little idea that Japan was acclaimed for some of the world’s most notable single malt and blended whiskies. In fact I distinctly recall not liking whisky terrible much at all around this time regardless of where it was from. On many occasions I remember declining friendly offerings of Japanese whisky and politely confessing that I was comfortable with my nation’s drink of choice: the humble beer. This all changed years later when I was transformed, like many whisky coverts, with the nectar and aroma of an Islay whisky. This was an exciting time; my enthusiasm, interest, and knowledge of whisky began to grow. Japanese whisky was strong globally and I was in the company of another who also shared the enthusiasm, and the Kobe-Osaka Whisky Club was born.
the history of Japanese whisky making, but due to an economic decline of sales in the past and company takeovers, a handful are now sadly defunct. In addition to the aforementioned active whisky distilleries, many of Japan’s prominent sake and shochu makers often flirt with the idea of making whisky also. Yet, whisky distilling is not their forte and the majority of their end products, despite at times being tasty, never fully prevail. However, good or bad, these companies become affiliates of the whisky industry and are recognized as producers of ‘ji-whisky’. The ‘ji’ basically means ‘craft’ as in craft distillers. Much of this artisan whisky unfortunately never leaves the shores of Japan. The small proportion that does will hit the shelves of international retailers with an accordingly hefty price tag that consumers have no choice but to pay. This is quite interesting given the fact that not so long ago when critics claimed Japanese whisky to be second-class, the market for Japanese whisky was almost purely domestic. Kansai is a Mecca for Japanese whisky. Enthusiasts are certainly spoiled for choice. Japanese whiskies can be enjoyed by experienced whisky fans, those new to the drink and the merely curious and opportunities to try the spirit are abundant. The liquor chain Cave de Yamaya (see URL below) provides a good starting point for people to enter the world of Japanese whisky. For fans in search of rarity, try either one of the dedicated retailers such as Korosue in Sannomiya or Sake Shop Sato in Osaka (URLs below).
• Kobe-Osaka Whisky Club. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Yamaya: www.yamaya.jp (Japanese only) • Korosue: http://korosue.com (Japanese only) • Sake Shop Sato: www.sakeshop-sato.com (Japanese only)
From there, Japanese whisky took control of my preference and palate and the love of the locally distilled spirit escalated. It became a passion. I not only wanted to experience these flavours myself but share with others throughout a continuing journey. In January 2011, Whiskies R Us, a not-for-profit English language blog dedicated to Japanese whisky was created. The content of the blog focuses on Japanese whisky reviews, Kansai bar reviews and whisky retailers, experiences, and general enlightenment into the world of Japanese whisky. Initially the blog, which statistically has the most amounts of readers from Japan, was aimed directly at foreign residents and visitors of Kansai. But as the popularity of the blog developed Whiskies R Us also gained a large reader base from the US, Europe, and Australia. Perhaps one of the many interesting things about the blog, besides the dedication to Japanese whisky, is the fact that being based in Kansai while writing about Kansai provides readers with information as it happens. Every whisky review, Kansai bar and whisky retailer introduction is written by personally being out in the field. This has proved to be successful and is evident in tributes the blog receives both by locals and international readers. On one particular occasion a reader from Switzerland based his holiday around posts on Whiskies R Us by traveling from one whisky retailer to another throughout Kansai. Whiskies R Us: http://whiskiesrus.blogspot.com
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Spring sumo: Osaka is go! It looks like the annual Osaka sumo tournament will be going ahead this month after two years of unprecedented disruption, but will have a very different complexion to the last tourney here.
Text & photos: Chris Gould
fter two years of bitter disappointments, Osaka’s sumo followers are surely destined for something better this time around. Two years ago saw the shock retirement of sumo’s lead crowd-puller, feisty Mongolian Grand Champion Asashoryu, just weeks before the tournament, while last year — incredibly— the Osaka meet was cancelled altogether due to the sport’s biggest ever match fixing scandal. (Whether it would have been cancelled anyway due to the Great Tohoku Earthquake is another interesting question). But just because things will be calmer this time round doesn’t mean they’ll be any less exciting. For those who actually remember the last time Osaka saw sumo action, it was marked with an unexpectedly high score from the giant Estonian Baruto, who racked up 14 wins and earned promotion to sumo’s second highest rank of ozeki. He lost the championship to sumo’s only existing grand champion Hakuho on that occasion, but went one better in the most recent meet of January 2012, garnering 14 more victories and establishing himself as the lead contender to join Hakuho at the top. The sumo faithful will be fervently with him, as a Baruto-Hakuho duopoly is a far more exciting prospect than the Hakuho monopoly, which has, unwittingly, sucked a lot of suspense out of the sport since early 2010. How the top of the rankings chart has changed since the last Osaka meet! Gone is the creaking veteran frame of ozeki Kaio, who retired in July last year with the highest number of sumo career wins under his giant blue belt. Gone also is the fiercely determined figure of fellow ozeki Kotomitsuki, dismissed over gambling irregularities in May 2010. For a while last year, there were no Japanese wrestlers at all in the top two ranks, but the departed veterans have recently been replaced by younger faces in the form of Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku. The former has
been hovering around the top ranks for years now and is gunning to become the first Japanese man to collect the top division championship since January 2006 (the longest the host nation has ever gone without winning by a country mile!) Kotoshogiku, meanwhile, really impressed in the middle of last year but has found the going tough of late and will be desperate to return to form with his jumpingfrog ‘gaburi-yori’ belt attack. These two will be joined by the longer-serving ozeki from abroad, towering Bulgarian Kotooshu and slender muscleman Harumafuji. The latter collected his second tournament championship in July last year and may well spring a surprise or two — he did, after all, defeat Hakuho in January. Kotooshu, meanwhile, suffered from injuries in 2011 and desperately needs a lift to reignite his faint hopes of pipping Baruto to the very top. Keep an eye out, too, for athletic Mongolian Kakuryu on the third rank of sekiwake, who could be promoted to ozeki with 12 wins this time. Having beaten Hakuho in the last outing, and having previously been the nemesis of Baruto, this man has an uncanny way of defying the odds. Possibly more interesting are the unfamiliar faces alongside him. Veteran Aminishiki returns to sekiwake for the first time in over three years, while the two junior champions below him, dogged Miyogiryu and surprisingly handsome Tochinowaka have never previously held such high positions. Local boy Goeido, an immensely skilful Japanese fighter capable of spectacularly throwing the big boys, will provide as much cheer as he can, while special attention must also be paid to the eternally popular Takamisakari, known as Robocop for his violent mechanical movements prior to a match. Taka is nearing 36 now, and has rapidly slid into the middle reaches of the second division. A poor score in Osaka, and a hugely popular wrestler may never grace the sumo ring again.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Okinawa’s secret gem Just an hour’s boat ride away from Naha is the island of Zamami. Unspoilt, pristine beaches and countless coral reefs make this one of the best spots for diving in Okinawa. Text: Tom Fay • Photos: Anna Ishii
tepping off the ferry for the first time at the port just outside Zamami village, visitors will be struck at just how small and relaxed the place is. The hustle and bustle of Naha feels a world away, and the already laid-back Okinawan pace of life feels somehow even more relaxed. The Kerama Islands are located just 32 kilometres from the main island of Okinawa, and are generally regarded as having some of the best diving around thanks to the bountiful coral reefs, and around Zamami-shima in particular, stunningly crystal-clear waters. There are a number of tiny hamlets on the island, but the main village of Zamami is where most visitors base themselves, thanks to an abundance of cheap and cheerful places to stay. The village itself is a charming little place, only a stone’s throw away from the ferry port, with narrow streets leading off in all directions, and despite its diminutive size, contains almost every amenity you could wish for. After an hour or so wandering around the village, where the most strenuous activities are likely to include hunting for the cheapest rent-a-bike shop and getting acquainted with the local cats, most people tend to head to one of the nearby beaches to sample the island’s marine delights. Furuzamami is the most popular beach on Zamami, and only a short walk up a (slightly steep) hill from the village, or ¥200 on the bus. It’s worth it though, as the sand is as soft and white as the water is warm and blue. This is as close as you’ll get to a resort on Zamami, with parasols on the beach, and a couple of small restaurants and shacks with snorkelling gear for rent. Even if you’re not
much of a diver, it’s worth popping on a pair of goggles, as the coral reef here is alive with creatures big and small, including clown fish and even sea turtles (although to see them it’s perhaps best to visit one of the smaller, less popular beaches). Even on the gloomiest of days, the waters around Zamami offer visibility of around 30 or 40m, which is right up there with the best locations in the world. Other beaches are all reachable from the main village, especially by bicycle or scooter, and all offer fantastic diving and snorkelling. Ama beach is home to the only campsite on Zamami, and commands amazing views of the nearby uninhabited islands. There are a number of places in the village offering scuba diving lessons and equipment, for the experienced pros and beginners alike. Rates vary but expect to pay around ¥6,000 for one dive, depending on the season. The instructors tend to have decent English, and can help you with everything you need. If scuba diving is not your boat there is a whole bunch of other activities. Kayaks can be rented from a number of kayak centres in the Kerama Islands, and are a great
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com way to island-hop (with a guide, of course) and explore the archipelago. From mid-December to March, Zamami is a good place to go whale watching, as hundreds of humpback whales migrate down from Alaska to mate and give birth in the warm Kerama waters. During this season whale watching boats depart twice daily, and there is always a great chance to see these creatures up close and personal, as the sea is so shallow and clear. Zamami is only a small island but it has a rather hilly terrain, and for those with strong calves, the cycle up to one of the many hill-top viewing stations is worth all the breathlessness and aching legs. Indeed, it’s possible to spot the pods of whales from these observatories, which also offer magnificent views of the entire archipelago, and on a clear day the main island of Okinawa and the city of Naha are visible in the distance. But you’ll still feel a world away from all of that. It’s in the hills of Zamami that you’ll notice a number of memorials from World War II. The US forces targeting Okinawa first landed in the Kerama Islands. It’s almost impossible to imagine now, but many of the locals fled to the mountains to escape the attacks, hiding in caves and later committing mass civilian suicide, rather than be captured. After the war was over, life returned to normal on Zamami and the neighbouring islands, and even though events were somewhat brushed under the carpet by the powers that be, the people of Zamami have not forgotten the sacrifices made in those difficult war years. Zamami is now a popular day trip from Naha, but to get a true taste of island life, a stay of one or two nights is a good idea. There is a surprisingly large number of guesthouses in the main village, many of which have internet and staff who speak a little English. Prices vary from ¥3,000 to ¥12,000 per night, and it’s always worth booking in advance, because the last ferry of the day leaves at around 5pm, so you’ll have no other option but to sleep on the beach after that if everywhere is full. Evenings can be spent in one of the many bars or restaurants, some of which can be difficult to distinguish under the dim street lights, so it’s usually best to follow the hum of cheery voices. A particular favourite is a place called Shisa (シーサー) offering all-you-can-drink Okinawan sake for ¥1,000. After sampling some of the local fare such as mozuku (seaweed) salad and goya chanpuru, there is nothing better than strolling down to the harbour, listening to the sea lapping at the shore and watching the sun as it sets in the distance. Tomorrow promises to be another lazy day on Zamami, one of the most beautiful and relaxed corners of Japan.
Ways & means
• Regular direct flights leave from Kansai, Itami and Kobe airports to Naha. Ferries leave from Tomari port in western Naha. • Two ferries go to Zamami, the speedy Queen Zamami 3 (50 mins, ¥6,000 return) and the cheaper but slower Ferry Zamami (2 hours, ¥4,000 return). It’s best to book in advance (098-868-4567), and be aware that all ferries may be cancelled in bad weather. • For scuba diving, check out Heartland (www5.ocn.ne.jp/ ~zamami) and Joy Joy (http://keramajoyjoy.com)
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
PHOTO: Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
16 GETAWAY FEATURE
Get away on a farm stay You may have tried a homestay — but how about a farm stay, deep in historic and beautiful Kumano? Text: Sally McLaren • Photos: Albie Sharpe
or thousands of years, pilgrims have travelled great distances to the Kumano Kodo in Wakayama Prefecture, a network of ancient pilgrimage routes, which traverses some of the most spectacular scenery in Kansai. In January, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau organized the ‘Experience Kumano’ tour to introduce Kumano Kodo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and kick start their farm stay program for international visitors. In the spirit of the region, which has always been open to outsiders, 20 visitors from Sweden, Canada, Indonesia, China, Belgium, Australia, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States were enthusiastically welcomed into local farmers’ homes. For some of the farmers it was the first time to meet a foreigner, let alone bring them into their homes. The Kumano area, in southern Wakayama Prefecture is a major producer of quality mikan (mandarin oranges) and ume (Japanese plums). However, it is one of the most rapidly ageing and depopulating rural areas in Japan. Farmers are struggling with challenging economic conditions and the damage wrought by Typhoon Talas in September, 2011. Unlike other UNESCO sites in the Kansai region, which have experienced decades of international tourism, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau only began focusing on the Kumano Kodo as an international destination in 2006.
GETAWAY FEATURE 17
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
The Farm Stay program is another way that Kumano, with its rich agricultural and spiritual heritage, can be experienced. According to Brad Towle, the International Tourism Promotion and Development Director for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, “a farm stay is an excellent opportunity to get close to the local culture and we really want to give more people access to this unique, immersive experience”. The Bureau was overwhelmed with applications for participants in the first international Farm Stay tour in January. The applicants were a mix of longterm foreign residents of Kansai and new arrivals. However, all were keen to experience ‘real Japan’, a side of Japan that is usually difficult for both residents and tourists to get a glimpse of. None of the participants had previously experienced a farm stay in Japan. Neelu, from Australia, said that she was worried that her hosts would be trying to “teach foreigners about Japanese culture, like how to use chopsticks or take a bath properly. But actually, they were pleasantly ‘normal’ towards my roommate and I, and treated us like we were part of the family.” Mimi, from China, said that before she went she didn’t really know what a farm stay was, but after spending a morning on a mountainside picking mikan, she was ready to do more. Experiencing rural home life was a major highlight for many of the participants. Kitt, from the United States said his host family were warm and inviting. “The experience of staying with them was a treat. We had a good time eating great food, being well entertained, and learning about growing mikan.“ Kitt says that the family also seemed genuinely interested in “learning about us and other parts of the world; it seemed like an opportunity for them to expand horizons as well.” Leah, also from the US, says that the kindness and generosity of her hosts was way beyond what she expected. “They revealed that they were very nervous prior to our arrival. It was delightful to listen to their sighs of relief.” Language issues, often cited as a major barrier in Japan to accepting international tourism, were another memorable part of the farm stay experience. Meshkati, from Iran, who
has only been in Japan for a short period was initially disheartened to find that communication with his hosts was going to be difficult, “we didn’t have any language in common, just a few simple words in English.” However, he said “I learned that people around the world should not worry about speaking in English, Persian, or Japanese, they should communicate with their heart.” The farm work part of the experience ranged from picking and selling mikan to clearing ume orchards. Kitt says he went high up in the hills to pick mikan that were ready for harvest. “We got to see the whole process, helped package the produce and then went to the local store to sell them.” Mimi got to drive a small bulldozer up a mountainside to a mikan orchard. “We used a ladder to pick the oranges in high places. Of course it was my job because I was the youngest!” The farm stay experience in Kumano has left lasting impressions on the participants. Meshkati says that it has motivated him to take more risks, whilst Leah said she learnt that “perhaps there is no such word as ‘stranger’. We are all one big family and I wish the world would realize this.” Neelu said she felt that Japanese families are just like any other. “Looks can be deceiving. Our family was very international with a Korean son-in-law. They spoke fluent English, which you wouldn’t have thought from looking at this fairly normal Japanese family.” Kitt said that as an urbanite, the farm stay gave him an authentic understanding of rural Japan, and he enjoyed “being able to connect with people who have wonderfully different life experiences.” The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau is still in the process of developing and expanding the farm stay program for international visitors, but Towle says he hopes there will be more host families involved by the end of this year. “It has so much potential for visitors to get closer to the local culture,” he says, “ and it gives our community a chance to interact with people from around the world, enriching their lives and increasing civic pride.”
Mirai Noen Farm Stay The Takagaki family in Akitsuno have mikan and ume orchards, as well as a fishing boat. They also run an umeboshi (pickled sour plum) business, and have been hosting visitors since 2007. Immediately after arriving, we were whisked off on their boat to catch the sunset off the coast of Tanabe. Later, we were treated to a multi-course dinner of local produce, including umeshu and umeboshi, and a great conversation about Japanese media and politics. After a hearty breakfast, we set off to work in an ume orchard severely damaged by typhoon Talas. A metre of sand was dumped on the orchard by flooding, leading the Takagaki’s son to quip “welcome to Shirahama”. While we cleared dead branches we chatted with the Takagakis about everything from marriage to mikan. It was a fun and informative experience with great food and friendly people.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
The Doors of Misperception — a parable Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a recent interview with Kyodo News that he learned shortly after the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that around 30 million people in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures may have to be evacuated in a worstcase scenario. — Mainichi Daily News, Sep 19th, 2011
Text: HL Stone Illustration: Michael Napolitano
“We can’t relocate because our wives won’t let us. Osaka doesn’t have nearly the same shopping opportunities as Tokyo.’’ — Comment from a Tokyo-based manager to Osaka city officials visiting Tokyo in June 2011 in order to persuade foreign and Japanese firms of moving out of the capital for safety and economic reasons.
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
nce upon a time, there was a far away kingdom of several islands. Though each contained enchanting towns and villages, one above all stood dominant. Located on the eastern part of the main island in former swamplands, the city of Inlet Door rose over the centuries to become the most powerful in the land — the center of politics, business, and culture for the entire country. The good folk of Inlet Door understood, because they told each other it was so, that as theirs was the largest city in the kingdom, they were, ipso facto, its greatest people. They felt a mixture of sorrow and disdain for poor souls condemned to live outside their city walls, in places so uncivilized you couldn’t even find three-star Michelin restaurants or a five-star hotel. Secure in their knowledge that striking a pose was a sign of maturity and sophistication, and that following the advice of television commentators and magazine editors was evidence of intellectual depth and moral strength, the good people of Inlet Door divined the natural order of the universe dictated that they lead and all others follow. With nearly a quarter of the kingdom living in Inlet Door or the surrounding areas, it was clear such a conclusion was sound. If a local village 1,000 kilometers away wished to move a stop sign or widen a road, the natural and proper thing to do was to first secure permission from the wise mandarins in Inlet Door. After all, who on earth could trust anybody who lived, by choice, outside of Inlet Door to make wise decisions about anything? When it came to powering Inlet Door’s swank restaurants, luxury hotels, boutiques, vending machines, karaoke bars, sex shops and pachinko parlors, it was also plain to anyone with common sense that nuclear power plants were needed and that they should be located far away from Inlet Door. “Let’s build the plants in some backwater so we don’t upset the sensibilities of the fine people of Inlet Door,’’ the mandarins said. And so, it came to pass. Nuclear power plants were built at an outpost to the north-east called Lucky Island. All went swimmingly for many years. The lords and ladies of Inlet Door had an ample supply of electricity for life’s most basic needs: making sure Prada and Chanel stores stayed open late and Lawson’s stores ran 24 hours a day; ensuring businesses had enough power for their neon signs and electric toilet seats. In return, the lucky villagers of Lucky Island were provided with cash incentives to lessen their burden of living beside a nuclear power plant. In the grand halls of Inlet Door and the community hall of Lucky Island (as grand as the halls of Inlet Door, thanks to those cash incentives) few voices were raised in protest. The one or two (hundred thousand) who warned of building a nuclear power plant in an earthquake-prone country were rightfully ignored. But one fateful day, the ground shook and the sea rushed in. Radiation at Lucky Island began leaking, in defiance of a proclamation by the wisest of the Inlet Door elders that this was forbidden. Yet the people were mostly calm. They knew that, because they were living in Inlet Door, they were immune to the laws of physics, and that their fair town would never be seriously affected by clouds of radiation
FEATURE SPECIAL 19
or further earthquakes. True, many of foreign blood, and some natives, panicked, and fled across the drawbridge, taking their chances in the wild and barbaric lands to the west of Inlet Door or leaving the kingdom altogether. Shockingly, these heretics believed the people of Inlet Door were deluded fools to remain behind, numb to the possibilities of danger from radiation, quakes, and aftershocks. Let the cowards run! What use have we, the brave citizens of Inlet Door, for ye of little faith who claim that radiation knows no borders? Or that constant aftershocks could bring our city crashing down? Or create post-traumatic stress syndrome? Rubbish. What need is there to leave this earthly paradise? Where else in these islands, nay, the world, could life possibly be as perfect as Inlet Door? This is not to say the quake, tsunami, and reactor explosion didn’t cause suffering. Who will ever forget those dark days, when trains stopped running every 90 seconds, where people walked hundreds of meters to find a convenience store selling Haagan-Dazs? Where they had to take the stairs in train stations instead of the escalators? Truly, the hardships the people of Inlet Door endured shall be told in song and story for generations to come. Today, Inlet Door stands proud. Life is back to normal, thanks to the efforts of everybody to save themselves (what about the people of Lucky Island? Pity, but they chose to live there). So, no need to think about leaving Inlet Door for elsewhere. Yes, some who temporarily fled these Elysian Fields for the Triple Alliance in the west (those three towns forming the second most important region in the island kingdom), are still agitating to depart for what they, falsely, see as a New Jerusalem. But, really, who in their right mind would want to live in the Triple Alliance, where it’s 15 to 20 percent cheaper than Inlet Door, and where there’s more greenery, less stress, more traditional culture, more social variety, and fewer earthquakes? Certainly not the fair maidens of Inlet Door — where else could they possibly find the same standard of beauty salons, European dressmakers, northern Italian restaurants, French cafés, American music concerts and girlfriends as fashionable, neurotic and vacuous as they are? And where else could the gentlemen of Inlet Door possibly find the same variety of sports teams, electronic stores, maid cafes, or boon, group-thinking, group-drinking companions? Today, nearly one year after the Great Disruption, peace has returned. The people of Inlet Door have convinced themselves, and the world, that all is just peachy keen (thanks-for-asking). Questions whispered during the Dark Time like whether the island kingdom as a whole wouldn’t be better off if it were more decentralized, if Inlet Door had less power, and if businesses and other functions in Inlet Door relocated elsewhere, perhaps to the Triple Alliance, are now, thankfully, no longer to be heard except from malcontents and troublemakers. So, don’t worry, be happy. Doubters of Inlet Door’s innate wisdom have been purged from public discussion, thus ensuring all in the kingdom live happily ever after. THE END
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012 Until Mar 25
Anatomia Metamorphosis: Lubos Piny & Anna Zemankova: Works from the abcd Collection
ル ボシュ・プルニー《無題》2008年 abcdコレクション
Hyogo Prefectural Museum
*Please note that last admission for all museums is 30 min prior to closing, if not listed
Osaka Graphic West 4: Okumura Akio and His Work ddd Gallery Until Mar 8 Graphic design • Open: 11am–7pm (–6pm on Sat), closed Mon, Sun, hols • Admission: free • Subway Yostsubashi line Namba stn • Tel: 06-6110-4635 Yoshihiko Kitano Gallery Yamaguchi Mar 10–31 Installation • Open: 11am–6pm (–6pm on Sat), closed Sun, Mon, hols • Admission: free • Subway Osaka-ko stn • Tel: 06-6577-0998 Tadaomi Shimizu SoHo Art Gallery Mar 13-18 Painting • Open: 12pm–7pm, (–5pm on Sun), closed Mon • Admission: free • Subway Tanimachi 9–chome stn, exit 3 • Tel: 06-4394-7456 Shiawase no Toki Nadar Mar 13–18 Photography • Open: 11am–7pm, (–5pm on Sat), closed Mon • Admission:
The term ‘art brut’ (sometimes ‘outsider art’) refers to art made by those who have had no formal art training or contact with the art establishment. This exhibition marks one of the largest shows on the subject in Japan, featuring over 100 works by two Czech artists, Anna Zemankova (19081986) and Lubos Piny (b. 1961), on loan from the abcd Collection. Zemankova was a homemaker and used art to fill the deep void she felt after her children left home. Her work is full of imaginary flower-like structures and patterns. Piny, an electro-mechanic, is drawn to graphic art and anatomy, and his drawings evoke X-ray photographs or anatomical sketches. In addition to the exhibition, the documentary, Rouge Ciel: An Essay on Art Brut will be screened for the first time in Japan.
• Open: 10am–6pm, closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,300 • Hanshin Iwaya stn • Tel: 078-262-0901 • www.artm.pref.hyogo.jp/eng/home.htm
free • Subway Midosuji line Shinsaibashi stn • Tel: 06–06-6251-8108
Kotaro Maetani CAS Mar 17–Apr 14 Video • Open: 1pm–7pm, closed Mon– Wed • Admission: free • JR Namba stn • Tel: 06-6647-5088 Yuko Kanamori: Memoriae Gallery Hosokawa Until Mar 17 Video • Open: 11:30am–6pm (–8pm on Fri), closed Sun, hols • Admission: free • Subway Namba stn, exit 30 • Tel: 06-6633-0116 Kotatsu Iwata: What a Cool! Tezukayama Gallery Mar 23–Apr 14 Painting • Open: 11am–7pm, closed Mon • Admission: free • Subway Yotsubashi, exit 6 • Tel: 06-6534-3993 Yayoi Kusama: Eternity of Eternal Eternity The National Museum of Art, Osaka Until Apr 8 Painting • Open: 10am–5pm (–7pm on Fri), closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,400 • Keihan Watanabebashi stn • Tel: 06-6447-4680 Simon Everington: Essence Kaede Gallery
Mar 27–Apr 8
Contemporary art • Open: 12pm–7pm, closed Mon • Admission: free • Subway Tanimachi 6-chome stn • Tel: 06-6761-0388
Kyoto Noriyuki Nakayama Imura Art Gallery Mar 2–27 Painting • Open: 11am–7pm, closed Sun, Mon • Admission: free • Keihan Jingu-Marutamachi stn • Tel: 075-761-7372 Inka Essenhigh: The Natural and the Man-Made Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto Mar 2–Apr 7 Painting • Open: 11am–7pm, closed Sun and Mon • Admission: free • Subway Gojo stn • Tel: 075-353-9992 Magnitude Zero Kyoto International Manga Museum Mar 3–May 6 Illustrations • 10am–6pm (every day until Aug 31) • Admission: free with general admission • Subway Karasuma Oike stn, north exit 2 • Tel: 075-254-7414 Reika Nakayama: Sleeping Diary — to Paradise Mori Yu Gallery Kyoto Until Mar 10
Painting • Open: 12pm–7pm, closed Sun, Mon • Admission: free • Subway Higashiyama stn • Tel: 075-950-5230
Gaetan Kubo: Madness, Civilisation and I Kodama Gallery Until Mar 24 Installation • Open: 11am–7pm, closed Sun & Mon • Admission: free • Subway Jujo stn • Tel: 075-693-4075 From the Collections: All about Patterns Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Until Mar 25 Nihonga painting • Open: 9am–5pm, closed Mon • Admission: ¥500 • 5 or 100 bus from JR Kyoto, Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan–mae stop • Tel: 075-771-4107 Hokusai: Masterpieces from the Honolulu Academy of Arts The Museum of Kyoto Until Mar 25 Ukiyoe • Open: 10am–6pm (–7:30pm on Fri), closed on Mon • Admission: ¥1,000 • Subway Karasuma Oike stn, exit 5 • Tel: 075-222-0888 Japanese Beauty: the Shape of Prayer Hosomi Museum Until Apr 1 Buddhist art • Open: 10am–6pm, closed Mon
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Daiki Yamamoto: Dai • Daiki Soho Art Gallery, Osaka After the 2011 March 11th earthquake, there has been reflection in the art community on the role of art in a post-3/11 society. Why should we make art when there are so many other pressing issues? Daiki Yamamoto may provide a hint. His story is not one of someone who reached great fame, but simply that from a young age he wanted to be an artist. And he achieved that, working in a variety of media including oil painting and mixed media. While participating in various group shows, he became ill. Yet he worked when he could to make a body of work for a solo exhibition. Late last year, his condition took a turn for the worse. Daiki Yamamoto died this year on January 13th at the age of 21. This exhibition marks his first solo exhibition. Art indeed can be a dream, a reason for living.
• Open: 12pm–7pm, closed Mon • Admission: free • Subway Tanimachi line Tanimachi 9-chome stn • Tel: 06-4394-7456 • http://sohoartgallery.blogspot.com/
Title: Osaka Kita Yard Art Festival Pierrot Harbour, Nakatsu Art Village, Osaka The Osaka Kita Yard Art Festival is held every spring and fall and features stage performances, art exhibitions, and events as a way to generate activity in the Kita Yard area. Entrance is free, so it’s a fun way for the family to enjoy the long weekend. Past exhibitions include works of illustration, 3D photographs, paper cuts and workshops. Stage performances range from jazz to rakugo and various forms of dance. They welcome all kinds of artists and performers, so contact them if you’re interested in participating.
• Open: Mar 17–20, 11:30am–11pm • Admission: free • Hankyu Naktsu stn, north exit • Tel: 06-6451-7780 • www2.odn.ne.jp/sugar-town
• Admission: ¥1,000 • Subway Higashiyama stn • Tel: 075-752-5555
• Open: 10am–7pm, closed Mon • Admission: ¥200 • JR Aino stn • Tel: 079-597-396
Feel and Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion Kobe Fashion Museum Until Apr 1 Fashion • Open: 10am–6pm, closed Wed • Admission: ¥500 • Rokko liner Island Center stn • Tel: 078-858-0050
Anatomia Metamorphosis: Lubos Piny and Anna Zemankova Hyogo Prefectural Museum Until Mar 25 Art brut • Open: 10am–6pm, closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,300 • Hanshin Iwaya stn • 078-262-0901 Soetsu Yanagi and Old Tamba Pottery The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo Mar 10–May 27 Ceramics
Taira no Kiyomori Kobe City Museum Until Apr 8 Various genres • Open: 9:30am–5pm (–7pm on Fri, Sat), closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,200 • JR Sannomiya stn • Tel: 078-391-0035
Koiso Ryohei V — Oil painting Kobe City Koiso Memorial Museum of Art Until Apr 8 Painting • Open: 10am–5pm (–6pm on Fri), closed Mon • Admission: ¥800 • Rokko liner Island Kitaguchi stn • 078-857-5880
Silk Road Sagawa Art Museum Until April 1 Painting • Open: 9:30am–5pm, closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,000 • JR Katada stn • Tel: 077-585-7800
Treasures of Todaiji’s Omizutori Ritual Nara National Museum Until Mar 18 Historical Artefacts • Open: 9:30am–6pm (–7pm on Fri), closed Mon • Admission: ¥1,000 • Kintetsu Nara stn • Tel: 050-5542-8600
Avant-garde Japan The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga Until Apr 1 Various genres • Open: 9:30am–5pm, closed Mon, July 20 • Admission: ¥950 • JR Seta stn • Tel: 077-543-2111
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
TOSAMACHINAMI, TAKATORI-CHO, NARA Takatori-cho used to be a thriving castle town, and there are still many famous historical spots remaining. Wooden houses with black-tiled roofs line the high street leading up to the castle ruins. In this event, about 100 of these houses will be showcasing their hina-ningyo dolls – a set of dolls created for Girl’s Day. Visitors can walk into some of these houses and ask the family questions about their dolls. There will be also exhibitions of handmade hina-ningyo dolls at some of the venues. Nara’s popular mascot Sento-kun will appear on March 3rd, and tea ceremonies will take place on March 11th and 25th. Many other attractions have also been planned. Festival maps will be provided at the station.
• Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Access: Kintetsu railway Tsubosaka stn • Tel: 0744-41-6140/52-11 50 Mar 9–18
Osaka Asian Film Festival ABC Hall & six OTHER VENUES This popular festival is for films which are made in Asia, and are about Asia. This is the festival’s seventh run, and as usual it will screen high quality works, and hold various events including a ‘Nakanoshima Cruise with Asian Filmmakers’ and Q&A sessions with directors. Most of the films are presented with either English language dubbing or subtitles. Screenings will be held at ABC Hall, Umeda Burg7, Umeda Garden Cinema, Cine Nouveau, HEP Hall, Osaka Museum of History, Osaka City Central Public Hall and Planet Studyo Plus One. Visit the festival website for further information.
• Tel: 06-6373-1211 • Email: email@example.com • www.oaff.jp/english
Umedukushi-Ten exhibition, Shiga Until Mar 18 Japanese flower arranging artworks by Mishogoryu artists will be on display in the Buddist temple, Ishiyamadera. During the event 400 different kinds of plum blossoms will be in full bloom. • Time: 9am–4pm • Admission: ¥500 • Where: Ishiyamadera Temple • Access: Keihan railway Ishiyamadera stn, 10min walk • Tel: 077-537-1105 Senba no Hanyome-jitaku exhibition, Osaka Until Mar 31 A hanyome-jitaku — a bridal array — is an impressive display of things for a new wife to use, which parents prepare for their daughter.
They are usually exhibited in public at the wedding ceremony. In this exhibition, sumptuous kimono, jewellery, chests and dressers are among a few hundred bridal array items on show. These lavish things were prepared for the daughter of a wealthy family in Senba in Osaka when she got married in 1939. • Time: 10am–4:30pm (closed Mondays) • Admission: ¥300 adults, concessions • Where: Kawanishi City Kyodo-kan • Access: Nose railway Yamashita stn, 15min walk • Tel: 072-794-3354
Camellia-Ten exhibition, Kyoto Until Apr 15 This old Buddhist temple set in idyllic surroundings will exhibit its
renowned camellias. A priest’s friendly wife will guide visitors around the large garden where 230 different types of camellias are at their best. • Time: 9am–5pm • Admission: free • Where: Shizuyasutera Temple • Access: Kintetsu railway Okubo stn, bus to Sayama/Keihan railway Yodo stn, bus to Sayama • Tel: 0774-41-6036
Antique Hina-Ningyo exhibition, Nara Mar 1–18 About 100 dolls including dolls for Girls’ Day, gosho-ningyo— a doll modelled on plump naked infant — and wind-up dolls will be showcased at this historic Buddhist convent. • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: ¥500 adults, concessions
• Where: Hokkeji Temple • Access: Kintetsu railway Yamato-Saidaiji stn, bus to Hokkeji-mae • Tel: 0742-33-2261
Otera de Yoga, Kyoto Mar 7 A Yoga class is held in this Buddhist temple once a month. Let’s do Yoga in the great tatami room! • Time: 7pm–8:15pm • Admission: ¥1,500 • Where: Jokoenmanji Temple • Access: JR Kyoto line/ Hankyu railway Suita stn, 5min walk • Tel: 080-5713-3724 • www.naturalpeople.jp Outdoor Festival 2012, Osaka Mar 10 & 11 A two-day event showcasing outdoor goods. A wide variety of items will be on sale, ranging from
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Ireland Festival in Osaka Shika Senbei Tobashi NAKANOSHIMA PARK, OSAKA
MOUNT WAKAKUSA, NARA
On March 17, people all over the world join Ireland in celebrating its national day, St Patrick’s Day. This tradition is sustained in Japan. Since the first parade took place in Tokyo in 1993, annual celebrations have spread among many cities in the country. People wearing green will parade around Nakanoshima Park at the heart of Osaka again this year. The parade will be followed by live entertainment on stage. Shopping for Irish goods and tasting opportunities for Irish food will be available in the marquee in front of the red brick hall. Let’s dance, drink and enjoy the festivities under the old Irish saying that “On this day, everybody is Irish.”
This is one of the wackiest competitions in Kansai. Picture a thousand people perching on a hillside of the huge, steep and smooth Mt Wakakusa. As ridiculous as it may sound, a shika senbei — a kind of round, thin cracker for deer — will be hurled into the air by each person. If your senbei can reach 30 metres, you win a prize, and the person who can throw their senbei the furthest becomes the champion. The best record of all time is 74.55 metres. While many people expect to set a new personal record, lots of deer are waiting below for their favourite snack to fly to them! There will be jolly live music and a performance during the break time. The first 1,000 people to arrive will be accepted to enter the competition.
• Time: 11am • Admission: free • Access: Subway Midosuji line Yodoyabashi stn, 5min walk/Keihan railway Naniwabashi stn • Tel: 050-5534-8695 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org luxurious caravans to camping gear. There will also be many activities for children. • Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: ¥1,000 adults (¥1,200 on the door), concessions • Where: Intex Osaka • Access: Nanko Port Town line (New Tram) Nakahuto stn, 5min walk • Tel: 06-6947-1912
Higashiyama Hanatoro 2012, Kyoto Mar 10–20 Kyoto presents an exotic evening event. Many streets in the Higashiyama area will be illuminated with calm and pale light. Also many temples and shrines are aglow with lights and open during these evenings. Live performances by students will be held on stage at Maruyama Park.
• Time: 6pm–9:30pm • Where: around Higashiyama area • Access: Subway Tozai line Higashiyama stn/JR Kyoto stn bus to Chionin-mae • Tel: 075-212-8173 • Email: email@example.com
March Grand Sumo Tournament, Osaka Mar 11–25 Sumo is a special spring attraction in Osaka. It is a good chance to watch the matches of lower division wrestlers. The ring entering ceremony by top division wrestlers starts 3:30pm. • Time: around 9am (venue opens at 8am) • Admission: arena seats D ¥3,000 (please see this website for tickets: sumo.goo.ne.jp/eng) • Where: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium • Access: Subway
• Time: 10am • Admission: ¥300 (to enter the competition) • Access: JR/ Kintestu railway Nara stn bus to Daibutsuden Kasugataisha-mae • Tel: 0742-22-3626
Midosuji line Namba stn, 5min walk • Tel: 06-6631-0120
St Patrick’s Day, Osaka Mar 16 Why not join in the celebrations for this international event, including live Irish music and dance? Get into the spirit and wear your best green outfit. Pay just ¥500 for each dish, and enjoy the free flow of Guinness, Irish whiskey and soft drinks. • Time: 7pm–9:30pm (6:30pm opening reception) • Admission: ¥4,000 (includes a chicken pot pie) • Where: Ramada Hotel Osaka • Access: Subway Midosuji line Nakatsu stn, exit 3 • Tel: 06-6375-4998 • www.ramada-osaka.com/ event/patrick2012
Almond Festival, Hyogo Mar 17–18 Toyo Nut Company will host a two-day outdoor almond blossom viewing event. There will be many attractions for a perfect family day out. Luscious food cooked with almonds will be available to purchase, such as almond croquettes, almond paste, almond rice cakes and more. • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Toyo Nut Co. Ltd • Access: Hanshin railway Fukae stn, free shuttle bus to the venue • Tel: 078-452-7217 The 6th Aruku GogatsuNingyo event, Osaka Mar 18 A group of samurai in their suits of armour will take to the streets.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Magoichi Matsuri HONGANJI TEMPLE SAGINOMORI BETSUIN & SURROUNDINGS, WAKAYAMA This is a spectacular one-day event celebrating a historic hero called Magoichi Saika. He was renowned as the leader of troops armed with matchlock guns in the 16th century. The troops, called Saika-shu, had a fearsome reputation as formidable warriors. In this event, there will be a parade of samurai in their suits of armour and demonstrations of matchlock guns. A lecture on Saika-shu will be held. You will see impressive stage combat, rock music and other performances in a pageant of the Magoichi story. Children’s activities, the sport of chanbara, costume play and many other exciting events have been planned.
• Time: 11am–4pm • Admission: free • Access: Nankai railway Wakayamashi stn; 5min walk/JR Wakayama stn bus to Uji • Tel: 073-423-3136 • http://magoichi.fc2web.com Mar 25
Zao Gongen Open to the Public
Mar 31–Jun 7
KINPUSENJI ZAODO TEMPLE, NARA
Three Buddhist statues of the god Zao Gongen, which are hidden away usually, will be on exhibition. This temple has decided to do this to collect contributions towards the upkeep of the Nio-mon gate, which is a national treasure. These statues are about seven meters high and thought to have been erected in the late 16th century. The figures have an enraged appearance, with blackish blue skin and their hair standing on end. The colossal statues have their right legs raised, and are forming the sword mudra in their left hands. Visitors are sure to feel the statues have a spiritual presence over them. This is a great chance to see impressive old Japanese art and enjoy cherry blossoms.
• Time: 8:30am–4:30pm • Admission: ¥1,000, concessions • Access: Kintetsu railway Yoshino stn, Yoshino Ropeway to Yoshinoyama stn, 10min walk • Tel: 0746-32-8371 They will parade through the toyshop district of Matsuya-machi. You can experience wearing Japanese armour at the Osaka Shoko Shinyo Kinko Bank from 4pm to 5pm. Many shops in this area will display their armour and helmets on this day. • Time: 2pm–5pm (start at Minami Oe Park) • Admission: free • Where: Matsuyamachi • Access: Subway Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi line Matsuyamachi stn, exit 1 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenken Katsuo Matsuri, Wakayama Mar 18 This festival promotes the bonito fishing industry in this region. Events will include a filleting fish competition, taiko drumming performances and a market selling local products. Visitors can briefly ride on one of the special bonito fishing boats.
• Time: 10am–3:30pm • Admission: free • Where: Susami Gyoko Fishing Port • Access: JR Kinokuni line Susami stn, 15min walk • Tel: 0739-55-2004 • Fax: 0739-55-4810
Nipponbashi Street Festa, Osaka Mar 20 Den Den town is a shopping district of electrical items, but it’s also famous as a place for Japanese comic subculture. The street will be vehicle-free on this day as cosplayers take to the streets. A colourful parade, performances of robots, live music, demonstrations of computer graphic-art and a lot more will take place. • Time: 1pm–4pm • Admission: free. Cosplayers can use a changing room for a small fee • Where: Den Den Town • Access: Subway Sakaisuji line, Ebisucho stn/Nipponbashi stn, 5min walk
• Tel: 06-6208-8936/06-6644-0260
The Former Building of Kyoto Prefectural Head Office, Kyoto Mar 20–Apr 1 This Renaissance-style building will be open to the public. Cherry blossoms and the building’s architecture make a beautiful combi -nation of viewing on these days. Live performances and art exhibitions are also planned. • Time: 10am • Admission; free • Where: Kyotofucho Kyu Nihonkan • Access: Subway Karasuma line Marutamachi stn, 10min walk • Tel: 075-414-5435 Haniwa de Go!, Osaka Mar 25 The historical institution Imashiro Daio no Mori is a reconstruction of an ancient burial mound, where visitors can view 200 earthenware figures of the emperor’s attendants called haniwa. It’s the institution’s
first anniversary, so there will be special celebrations on this day. • Time: 10am–3pm • Admission: free • Where: Imashiro Daio no Mori • Access: JR Kyoto line Settsu-Tonda stn, bus to Imashirozukakofun • Tel: 072-674-7411
Kyoto Antique Fair, Kyoto Mar 30–Apr 1 An extensive range of antiques will be on exhibit and sale by 350 dealers. With European items, beautiful Oriental giftware and unusual Japanese handicrafts for sale, even if you have no intention of buying antiques, it will be interesting to just look around. • Time: 10am–5pm (10am–4pm on April 1) • Admission: free • Where: Kyoto Pulseplaza • Access: Subway Karasuma line Takeda stn/Keihan railway Chushojima stn, bus to Pulseplaza-mae • Tel: 077-522-2307
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Nagashibina SHIMOGAMO-JINJA, KYOTO
Mar 3 Hina Matsuri — Girl’s Day festival — is the day that families pray for the happiness of their young daughters. Families display hina-ningyo — a set of traditional dolls, at their homes across Japan. This tradition is traceable back to the Heian period when people believed that a small human figure could take away evil spirits. After receiving the evil spirits, the figure was floated down the river in the ceremony. At this shrine, Shimogamo-jinja, the original way of the ceremony is still performed. On this day various attractions will also be held for Girl’s Day, including a demonstration of dressing in junihitoe — women’s ceremonial kimono, street performances and taking souvenir photographs with the dolls.
• Time: 10am–noon • Admission: free • Access: Keihan Railway Demachiyanagi stn, 10min walk/Subway Karasuma line Kitaoji stn bus to Shimogamo-jinja mae • Tel: 075-761-3460 Mar 17
Einen Sai Festival URASHIMA-JINJA, KYOTO Off the beaten path is the Einen Sai festival, an annual historic ceremony held at the shrine of Urashima-jinja, located in the beautiful coast town of Ine-cho. The national legend of Urashima Taro is thought to originate in this region. The family who is said to be closely related to the legend manage the entire festival every year. One of highlights is Sanbanso, a classical performing art similar to Noh. Three men wearing masks and beautiful attire perform along with the traditional Japanese music. The performers are local people who train for this event for more than a year.
• Time: 10am • Admission: free • Access: Kitakinki Tango Railway Amanohashidate stn, 80min bus to Urashima-jinja mae • Tel: 0772-32-0277
FESTIVAL 25 Omizutori, Nara Mar 1–14 There is a saying that “The winter cold does not last after Omizutori,” in Nara. This ritual has taken place without fail since the year 752. Monks carry out various Buddhist events in this ritual. Otaimatsu is the most popular of these, where you can see the breathtaking spectacle of monks carrying blazing torches across the balcony of the temple hall. • Time: 7pm on March 1st–11th and 13th, 7:30pm on 12th, 6:30pm on 14th • Admission: free • Where: Nigatsudo hall of Todaiji temple • Access: JR/Kintetsu Railway Nara stn bus to Daibutsuden Kasugataisha-mae; 10min walk • Tel: 0742-22-5511 Hiina Matsuri, Kyoto Mar 3 Ichihime houses the guardian deity for women. The Girls’ Day ritual is held annually at this shrine. A demonstration of dressing junihitoe – a ceremonial kimono – and special games enjoyed in the samurai period will be held. Also a court dance and music will be performed. The event’s name ‘Hiina’ instead of the usual ‘Hina’ is an older, traditional Kyoto spelling which originates from Kyoto’s nobleman history. • Time: 1pm • Admission: ¥1,000 (including green tea and a sweet) • Where: Ichihime-jinja • Access: Keihan Railway Gojo stn, 5min walk • Tel: 075-361-2775 Hina Nagashi, Wakayama Mar 3 A large number of women visit this festival to say a farewell to their Girl’s Day dolls, which carry special memories of their childhood. Thousands of origami cranes are scattered into the sea, and then boats carrying the dolls follow on. • Time: noon • Admission: free • Where: Awashima-jinja • Access: Nankai Railway Kata stn, 15min walk • Tel: 073-459-0043 Kasuga Matsuri, Nara Mar 13 This solemn ceremony takes place annually in accordance with ancient traditions. The emperor’s emissaries offer special food to the god of this shrine. The procession of the emissaries is a beautiful historic pageant. • Time: 9am • Admission: free • Where: Kasuga-taisha • Access: JR/Kintetsu Railway Nara stn, bus to Kasugataisha Omotesando • Tel: 0742-22-7788 Hanezu Dance, Kyoto Mar 25 There will be a dedication of Hanezu dance performed by young girls dressed in pale pink. The temple is well known for its association with Ono no Komachi who was a great beauty in Japanese ancient history. The dance depicts her love story. • Time: 11am • Admission: ¥1,000 (entry to the plum garden included) • Where: Zuishinin, Kyoto • Access: Subway Tozai line Ono stn • Tel: 075-571-0025 Bushinsai, Hyogo Mar 31 According to the legend passed down in this shrine, five ogres fought off the enemies from overseas a long, long time ago. Bushinsai is held annually to commemorate the legend. An interesting ogre dance will be performed. • Time: 11:30am • Admission: free • Where: Usuki Hachiman-jinja, Hyogo • Access: JR Kobe line Aboshi stn, 20min walk • Tel: 079-272-0664
26 FLEA MARKET
Art & Craft Market Mar 10 (Sat) & 11 (Sun) • Time: 11am–6pm • Admission: free • Where: Crysta Nagahori Takino Hiroba, Osaka • Access: Midosuji Line Shinsaibashi stn, Sakaisuji Line Nagahoribashi stn • Tel: 06-6341-8866 • http://newacm.exblog.jp Osaka Art & Tezukuri Bazaar vol. 9 Mar 10 (Sat) & 11 (Sun) • Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: ¥600 ( advance ¥500) • Where: Nanko ATC, Osaka • Access: Chuo Line Cosmosquare stn/Yotsubashi Line Suminoekoen stn take tram to Tradecentermae stn 2min walk • Tel: 06-6947-1912 Fululu Market Mar 11 (Sun) • Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: ¥500 (Garden Entry) • Where: Fululu Garden, Hanano Bunkaen, Osaka • Access: Nankai Koya Line/ Kintetsu Nagano Line Kawachinagano stn, bus 7 to Kamitako 15min walk • Tel: 0721-63-8739 • http://calmfululu.exblog.jp Domyouji Tezukurino Ichi Mar 18 (Sun) • Time: 10am–2pm • Admission: free • Where: Domyoyuji Fujiidera, Osaka • Access: Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line Domyoji stn 3min walk • http://tedukurinoichi.com Aozora Marche Mar 18 (Sun) • Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: free • Where: Riku Seacle, Osaka • Access: JR Kansaikuko Line Rinku Town stn • Tel: 06-6692-2340 Happy Earth Day Osaka 2011 Mar 24 (Sat) & 25 (Sun) • Time: 11am–5pm (–6:30pm candle night on 24th), 10am–4pm
(on 25th) • Admission: free • Where: Kyuhoji Rokuchi ,Yao, Osaka • Access: JR Kansai Honsen (Yamtoji Line) Kyuhoji stn, Kintetsu Osaka Line Kyuhojiguchi stn • www.happy-earthdayosaka.jp/
Kitayama Craft Garden Mar 10 (Sat) • Time: 10am–5pm • Admission: free • Where: Tobanmeiganoniwa (Garden of Fine Arts), Kyoto • Access: Subway Karasuma Line Kitayama stn • Tel:075-864-6513 • http://toban-meiga.seesaa.net Morino Tezukuri Ichi Mar 10 (Sat) & 11 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Shimogamo jinjya, Kyoto • Access: JR Kyoto stn, bus 4/205 to Shimogamo jinjya, Keihan Demachiyanagi stn 10min walk • http://monocro.info Hyakumanben Tezukuri Ichi Mar 15 (Thu) Hand made crafts • Time: 8am–sunset time • Admission: free • Where: Hyakumanben Chion ji (temple), Kyoto • Access: JR Kyoto stn bus 206 or 17, Shijyo Kawaramachi bus 201, 31, 17, 3 to Hyakumanben • Tel: 075-771-1631 Kyotanabe Kaguyahime Craft Mar17 (Sat) & 18 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Doshisha Unv. Kyotanabe, Kyoto • Access: Kintetsu Kyoto Line/JR Katamachi Line Miyamaki stn, there is a shuttle bus • http://ameblo.jp/ kyotanabe-craft Kyoto Art Flea Market Mar 23 (Fri)–25 (Sun) • Time: 11am–5:30pm (5pm on Sun) • Admission: free • Where:
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012 Kyoto Bunka Hakubutsukan, NTT West Japan, Nakagyo Post Office • Access: Subway Karasumaoike stn 3min walk, Hankyu Karasuma sation 7min walk • Tel: 075-222-0835
Tadasu Ichi Apr 1 (Sun) • Time: 9am–3pm • Admission: free • Where: Shimogamo jinjya, Kyoto • Access: JR Kyoto stn Bus 4/205 to Shimogamo jinjya, Keihan Demachiyanagi stn 10min walk • Tel: 075-781-0010
10min walk • Tel: 078-303-1543
Nanko-san no Tezukuriichi Apr 1 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Minatogawa jinjya (shrine), Kobe • Access: JR Kobe Line, Kobe stn 3min walk, Hankyu/Hanshin Kosoku Kobe stn • Tel: 078-303-1543 • www.geocities.jp/ nankoutezukuriiti
Pocket Marche Mar 4 (Sun) • Time: 9:30am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Keihanna Kinen Park, Nara • Access: Kintetsu Kyoto Line Shinhosono stn 8min by bus, Kintetsu Gakken Nara Tomigaoka stn 15min by bus • Tel: 080-5364-2345
Mayasan Rucksack Market Mar 17 (Sat) Anybody can join, bring your art works with knapsack • Time: 11am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Mayasan Kikuseidai, Hyogo • Access: Hankyu Rokko staion/ JR Rokkodo stn, bus to Maya cable Shita, take Maya Cable Railway to Maya View Line Hoshinoeki stn • Tel: 078-333-3330
Organic Market Mar 25 (Sun) • Time: 9am–2pm • Admission: free • Where: JR Nara stn, Nara • Access: JR Nara stn, Kintetsu Line Nara stn, 15min walk • Tel: 075-5501-2536
Kobe Arts & Craft Market in Suma Mar 2 (Fri)–4 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Suma Patio, Kobe • Access: Kobe Subway Seishin Line/Yamate Line Myodani stn 1min walk • Tel:078-597-6930
Arima Jinjya Tezukuri Ichi Mar 24 (Sat) & 25 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Arima Shrine, Kobe • Access: Kobe Dentetsu Arima Line (To Sanda) Gosha stn 5min walk • Tel:078-597-6930 Ojizo-san no Tezukuri Ichi Mar 25 (Sun) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Rokkenmichi shotengai, Kobe • Access: JR Shinnagata/Subway Seishin Yamate Line Shinnagata stn
Monzen Art Market Mar 17 (Sat) • Time: 10am–3pm • Admission: free • Where: Tomonin Moriyamadera , Shiga • Access: JR Biwako Line Moriyama stn • Tel: 077-582-3123 • http://m-kannon.com
Tezukutri Market Mar17 (Sat) • Time: 10am–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Keyaki Street, Wakayama • Access: JR Wakayama • Tel: 073-433-4890
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
The final word D Text: Wes Lang • Image: KS
eath. It’s a topic none of us feel very comfortable talking about. Writing this article is no easy task and I truly hope during your time in this country that you’ll never have to use the following phrases: If someone around you has lost a loved one, the most appropriate phrase to say is go shuushou sama desu (I offer my sincere condolences.) In written Japanese, you may find it more appropriate to use kokoro yori okuyami moushiagemasu. If a close friend of yours loses someone special, then you could opt for the slightly less formal expression oki no doku ni (I’m sorry to hear about your loss). Should you find yourself attending a wake (tsuya) or funeral (soushiki), proper attire is imperative. For the wake,
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
dark clothing is acceptable, but for the latter, you should wear a formal black suit or dress. After the ceremony, you should use the phrase otsukare ga demasen you ni (don’t become ill due to exhaustion) to the family members of the deceased. When talking about a loss, the word shinu (die), is hardly ever used. Instead, the softer nakunaru (pass away) is preferred. Whatever you do, do not foul up the kanji on this one, because inu ga nakunatta (my dog passed away), is a world away from shanpu ga nakunatta (I ran out of shampoo). ご愁傷様です。
go shuushou sama desu.
I offer my sincere condolences. (spoken)
kokoro yori okuyami moushiagemasu.
I offer my sincere condolences. (written)
oki no doku ni.
I’m sorry to hear about your loss.
inu ga nakunatta.
My dog passed away.
shanpu ga nakunatta.
I’m out of shampoo.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
A Game of Shadows Mar 10
Admit it. We’d all like to be a detective. Watching a movie, we try and guess who the bad guy is, or what the end might be. And if we’re right, it’s downright satisfying. “I knew it! I guessed it when he refused that beer!” we like to scoff, as our friends nod in agreement. Perhaps that’s why someone like Sherlock Holmes continues to fire our imaginations. He’s a detective, but not a runof-the mill one. And we’d all secretly like to be as brilliant
Hugo Mar 1 All aboard for a masterpiece in movie storytelling! Hugo Cabret is an orphan, living in a train station in 1930s Paris. But his life is far from humdrum, as an automaton his late father left him is the ticket to a world of adventure. It needs a heart-shaped key to make it work — the same key that’s being worn by the cranky station master’s god-daughter Isabelle. A world of wonder awaits this pair of wide-eyed adventurers, with movie stalwarts Ben Kingsley and Christopher Lee as faithful backup. • Adventure, Drama, Family/USA/ English/126mins • Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee • Director: Martin Scorsese • Paramount Pictures Japan
War Horse Mar 2 They may say a dog is man’s best friend, but what do they know? For British teenager Albert, it’s all about the horses after his dad buys a thoroughbred, Joey, for the family farm. Albert trains Joey, and the two become best buds, until the first world war forces Albert’s dad to sell Joey to the cavalry. So Albert enlists too, in a bid to find his fourlegged friend again. Will his hopes be dashed by war? A big budget tear-jerker for sure, and it’s no surprise to see Spielberg at the helm. • Drama, History, War/USA/ English, German/146mins • Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis • Director: Steven Spielberg • Walt Disney Studios
and unpredictable as him. Holmes was born in 1887 in the novel A Study in Scarlet. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who went on to write three more novels and 56 short stories about Holmes, based him on a former medical boss, Dr Joseph Bell. Dr Bell was a man with unusual methods, as he would draw big conclusions from the smallest of details. This is one of the key Holmes traits, along with a nicotine addiction, wildly anti-social tendencies and a surprising musical ability. Of course, every clever crazy man needs a sidekick, and Holmes has Dr Watson, a medical professional who brings common sense and practicality to their adventures. One more key player to look out for is Holmes’ arch-enemy, professor Moriarty, a criminal mastermind with no qualms about violence. While hundreds of TV and movie adaptations have been made about Sherlock Holmes, British director Guy Ritchie brought him back with a bang in his 2009 movie. Robert Downey Jr made a perfect enigmatic, egomaniac of a Sherlock, and Jude Law a likeable Dr Watson. The pair’s obvious on-screen blokey chemistry added fuel to a kaleidoscopic, showy plot, and audiences were left fired up for another installment. Here it comes. In Game of Shadows, the sinister Moriarty comes out to play. Watson gets married. Holmes dresses in drag. An unmissable action mystery? It’s elementary, my dear reader.
• Action, Adventure, Crime/USA/English/129mins • Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris • Director: Guy Ritchie • Warner Bros
Shame Mar 10 Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream did a lot to expose the harrowing details of drug addicts’ lives — now here’s one about sex addicts. On the surface, Brandon has it all — he’s a good-looking, wealthy, successful New Yorker. But once the office suit is off, he gets it on, with web porn, prostitutes and anything else he can get to feed his overwhelming sex addiction. The unexpected arrival of his sister in the house forces Brandon to examine his shameful lifestyle at last. Explicit, yes, but grim and gritty too. • Drama/UK/English/101mins • Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale • Director: Steve McQueen • GAGA
The Iron Lady Mar 16 England’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, came to power in 1979. From her signature pearls and blue suits to her unyielding comments: “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman,” she was a marked difference from the grey suits that came to Downing Street before or after. This biopic only scratches the surface of her controversial politics, and focuses more on the private life of a woman in power — what motivated her, the people she cared about, and her declining health. • Drama, Biography/UK, France/ English/105mins • Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant • Director: Phyllida Lloyd • GAGA
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Ouran High School Host Club Mar 17
When you’re a pampered schoolgirl with thousands of yen and hours to while away, what better way to fritter them than at the school host club? A host club, for the uninitiated, is an expensive bar where highly styled men will amuse you with their charming banter. But time is literally money, and if you’re buying them drinks, they only ever drink champagne. The Great
Puss in Boots Mar 17 Whatever the franchise, spin-off movies are in two clear categories: the great idea, and the straight to DVD release. Puss in Boots, one of the devilishly clever fairytale characters that popped up in Shrek, gets to shine in his own backstory here. Luckily for Dreamworks, this release is a winner, with its witty jokes, clever animation and playful approach to re-imagining fairytales. Puss, silkily voiced by Antonio Banderas, is plotting with Humpty Dumpty to steal Jack and the Beanstalk’s magic beans. A great fall and the rise of a feline hero beckons. • Animation, Adventure, Comedy/ USA/English/90mins • Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis • Director: Chris Miller • Paramount Pictures Japan
Bokura ga ita Mar 17 Yano is the most popular boy at high school — but his pretty face hides a sad past, as his last girlfriend died in an accident while out with another guy. Understandably, he’s got some trust issues, but new girl in town Nanami is convinced she can help him work through them. As she works out the secrets of his past, Nanami falls for Yano, and becomes close to his best friend Take, who begins to fall for her. This emotionally tangled two-part manga adaptation is definitely one for the girls. • Drama/Japan/Japanese • Starring: Toma Ikuta, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Sosuke Takaoka • Director: Takahiro Miki • Asmik Ace Entertainment
Happiness Space is a fascinating documentary on the subject, and set in an Osaka club, no less. This fictional host club, however, is a little tamer — champagne is replaced with fancy tea and cakes, and it’s held in an abandoned music room at the prestigious Ouran High School. The host boys all parody popular girl’s manga stereotypes. The number one host is Tamaki, the cute-butdim prince. Dealing with the financial side is cool-headed business whizz Kyoya. Twins Hikaru and Kaoru dance on the side of forbidden brotherly love. Mori is the strong, athletic type that never smiles, and he’s always looking out for Honey, the boy with a sweet tooth who acts younger than his real age. Scholarship student Haruhi stumbles into their club by accident, and after she breaks an antique vase worth millions of yen, she agrees to pose as a man for the host club and pay it off. The budding relationship between her and Tamaki is at the core of the story, which plays as a quirky love comedy with comic sound effects and visual gags. This movie is the follow up to a TV series that aired last year. At the end of the series, Tamaki and Haruhi were just acknowledging their feelings for each other. But now, they’re taking to the seas for a special event, and a new girl is making a play for Tamaki, throwing a spanner into the happy host club dynamic. Sweet comic romance for women of all ages.
• Comedy/Japan/Japanese • Starring: Shunsuke Daito, Yusuke Yamamoto, Haruna Kawaguchi • Director: Satoshi Kan • Sony Pictures Entertainment
My Week with Marilyn Mar 24 Yes, it’s one of those film within a film concepts, but a relatively easy one to follow. Just watch the blonde actress and you can’t go wrong. Marilyn Monroe, possibly the most famous blonde actress of all time, remains an enigma to most. When she made The Prince and The Showgirl in 1957, one of the film crew kept a diary about his encounter, and his story fuels this movie. Michelle Williams has been praised for her portrayal of Marilyn, never quite answering all our questions, but intriguing us to look beyond the pout. • Biography, Drama/UK, USA/ English/99mins • Starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh • Director: Simon Curtis • Kadokawa Pictures
Ultraman saga Mar 24 Ultraman, a solar-powered giant metal man that zaps monsters into oblivion first landed on earth in 1966. When his TV show was a massive success with Japanese kids, his powers of selling action figures and comics were employed — and these powers are still strong today. Combining Ultraman’s superhero powers with the pulling powers of Daigo and AKB48, this movie is a merchandiser’s dream. Watch out for the light on Ultraman’s chest during battles — it’s his battery indicator, and when it blinks red, he’s in danger of extinction. Sci-fi fun for all. • Action/Japan/Japanese • Starring: Taiyo Sugiura, Takeshi Tsuruno, Daigo • Director: Hideki Oka • Shochiku Company
DVD RELEASE LISTINGS Scream 4 Mar 2 Watch out Sidney! After a ten-year break, Ghostface is back in town for you. The Company Men Mar 2 Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones have to step down on the corporate ladder. The Tempest Mar 2 Shakespeare’s play re-imagined with Prospero as a feisty woman. The Tree of Life Mar 7 Love it or don’t get it, this is one visually stunning tale of childhood memories. Limitless Mar 7 A writer becomes a target for assassination after he takes a drug that makes him use 100 per cent of his mind. Countdown to Zero Mar 9 Hard-hitting documentary focusing on the ongoing nuclear arms race. Moneyball Mar 21 The true story of how a baseball manager used maths to put a winning team together. 30 Minutes or Less Mar 21 Criminal wannabes rope in a pizza delivery guy to be the main player in their first heist. Straw Dogs Mar 21 An LA screenwriter and his wife face tension in their marriage and their neighbourhood. Source Code Mar 21 A soldier wakes up in someone else’s body, and has to unravel a plot to bomb a train. Cowboys & Aliens Mar 23 Cowboys and native Americans team up to fight the alien newcomers. NOTE: KS has verified all film and DVD release dates and they are correct at the time of going to press. However, film and DVD distributors may change release dates without notice.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
OSAKA TOHO CINEMAS UMEDA • Tel: 06-6316-1312 • www. tohotheater.jp • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st & 14th of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: Underworld: Awakening, Young Adult • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 3: Doraemon, Cave of Forgotten Dreams • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady • From Mar 17: Bokuragaita Part 1 • From Mar 24: Troll Hunter UMEDA BURG7 • Tel: 06-4795-7602 • http://burg7. com • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: The Double, Pina, Coriolanus • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 10: Okaeri Hayabusa, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D • From Mar 17: Puss in Boots • From Mar 31: Drive, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island UMEDA GARDEN CINEMA • Tel: 06-6440-5977 • www. kadokawa-gardencinema.jp/ umeda/ • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st of the month • Now showing: Muybridge’s String • From Mar 3: Les Harbes Folles • From Mar 10: Osaka Asian Film Festival 2012 • From Mar 17: Manuale d’amore 3 CINE LIBRE UMEDA • Tel: 06-6440-5930 • www.ttcg. jp/cinelibre_umeda/ • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st & 15th March • From Mar 3: Late Bloomers, The Tournament • From Mar 10: Shame, Ramo Trip • From Mar 17: Tanemakutabibito • From Mar 24: Set Up THEATRE UMEDA • Tel: 06-6359-1080 • www.ttcg. jp/theatre_umeda • ¥1,000: Wed for women, Tue for men, 1st of the month • Now showing: Utahime, Seiji Riku no Sakana
• From Mar 3: Poetry • From Mar 10: Chantrapas • From Mar 17: Pina • From Mar 24: Ghost Writer Hotel • From Mar 31: Arirang, Dwarf Anime Festival
OSAKA STATIONCITY CINEMA • Tel: 06-6346-3215 • www. osakastationcitycinema.com • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st of the month • Now showing: The Twillight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 3: Liar Game, Doraemon, Carnage • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady • From Mar 17: Puss in Boots • From Mar 24: My Week with Marilyn • From Mar 30: The Ides of March TOHO CINEMAS NAMBA • Tel: 06-6633-1040 • www. tohotheater.jp • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st & 14th of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: Underworld: Awakening, Young Adult • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 3: Doraemon, Cave of Forgotten Dreams • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady • From Mar 17: Puss in Boots, Bokuragaita Part 1 • From Mar 24: Troll Hunter, My Week with Marilyn
NAMBA PARKS CINEMA • Tel: 06-6643-3215 • www. parkscinema.com • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: The Twillight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady • From Mar 17: Kabuki Koyahijiri, Puss in Boots, • From Mar 24: Ultraman Saga • From Mar 31: The Ides of March
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com CINEM@RT • Tel: 06-6282-0815 • www. cinemart.co.jp/theater/shinsaibashi/ • ¥1,000: Wed for women, Mon for men, 1st of the month • Now showing: The Double, Good Fortune • From Mar 3: Water for Elephants • From Mar 10: Fly!, Zombie Ass • From Mar 17: Chonoryokusha, The People VS Geroge Lucas • From Mar 31: Drive
KYOTO MOVIX KYOTO • Tel: 075-254-3215 • www. movix.co.jp • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st & 20th of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: Underworld: Awakening, The Twillight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Shame • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady • From Mar 17: Puss in Boots • From Mar 17 to 23: Elnani-Verdi • From Mar 24: My Week with Marilyn • From Mar 31: The Ides of March KYOTO CINEMA • Tel: 075-353-4723 • www. kyotocinema.jp/ • ¥1,000: 1st of the month • ¥1,300: Wed • Now showing: Shiawase no Pan, Seiji-Riku no Sakana, Beginners, El Bulli Cooking in Progress • From Mar 3: Cut • From Mar 10: Incendies • From Mar 17: Chernobyl Heart • From Mar 24: Loudes, Good • From Mar 31: Les Herbes Folles TOHO CINEMAS NIJO • Tel: 075-813-2410 • www. tohotheater.jp • ¥1,000: Wed for women, 1st & 14th of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: Underworld: Awakening, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 3: Doraemon, Cave of Forgotten Dreams • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D, The Iron Lady
• From Mar 17: Puss in Boots • From Mar 24: Troll Hunter, Ultraman Saga
KOBE OS CINEMA MINT KOBE • Tel: 078-291-5330 • www.jollios. net • ¥1,000: Tue for women, 1st & 16th of month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: Underworld: Awakening,Young Adult • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 3: Doraemon, Liar Game • From Mar 10: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows • From Mar 16: The Iron Lady, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D • From Mar 17: Bokuragaita: part1, Puss in Boots • From Mar 31: Melancholia KOBE KOKUSAI SHOCHIKU • Tel: 078-230-3580 • www. shochiku-eigakan.com • ¥1,000: Tue for women, 1st of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • Now showing: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 • From Mar 2: War Horse • From Mar 10: Okaeri Hayabusa • From Mar 17: Puss in Boots • From Mar 24: My Week with Marilyn, Ultraman Saga • From Mar 31: The Ides of March CINE MOSAIC HARBORLAND MOSAIC 3F • Tel: 078-360-0700 • www. harborland.co.jp/cinema.html • ¥1,000: Tue for women, 1st & 16th of the month • ¥1,200: after 8pm • From Mar 1: Hugo • From Mar 3: Liar Game, Doraemon • From Mar 17: Bokuragaita: part1 CINE LIBRE KOBE • Tel: 078-334-2126 • www.ttcg. jp/cinelibre_kobe/ • ¥1,000: Tue for women, 1st & 15th of the month • Now showing: Ikiteiru- monowainainoka • From Mar 3: Late Bloomers, Carnage • From Mar 3 to 16: Pain • From Mar 10 to 23: Animal Kingdom • From Mar 17: Shame, Chantrapas, Flamenco Flamenco • From Mar 24: Blue Salt • From Mar 31: Poetry, The Help Note: for show times and ticket information, call cinemas.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
The Street Dogs & The Cherry Cokes
US Melodic Punk and Japanese Irish Folk-Punk With The Street Dogs and The Cherry Cokes on the same bill, you know you’re in for a lively gig! In the vein of Green Day (though a little more punk), US melodic punker rockers The Street Dogs take the main spot whilst Pogues-on-speed-esque The Cherry Cokes kick off the proceedings. The Street Dogs, formed in Boston in 2002 by ex-Dropkick Murphys vocalist Mike McColgan found their first taste of commercial success with the 2004 release Back to the World. Of what punk music means to McColgan, he states in an interview: “I think I found myself back in ’92 a very angry man ... I was on a mission to destroy myself. I think punk rock saved me, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude towards it.” The Cherry Cokes can really only be described as a band that likes to drink, play fast punked-up Irish folk and generally have a good time on stage. Enough said.
• Pangea, Osaka • Folk punk • 7pm • ¥5,500 • Tel: 06-6535-5569 Mar 13
Cyndi Lauper New Wave Pop Queen sings the Blues Having been exposed to Cyndi Lauper in her eighties heyday when the commercial hit singles ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and ‘True Colours’ were riding high in the charts, I believed her to be retired from the full time artistic industry. The last time I saw her was a short five-minute slot in Sesame Street’s Elmocise as one of the twister sisters! Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 59-year-old Lauper has continued to release albums, tour, appear in movies and TV shows and become an active rights campaigner (mainly for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social movement). To compound the fact that she is still a force on the music scene, her 2010 album Memphis Blues earned a Grammy nomination and was backed by a tour taking in nearly 150 performances. Lauper plays six dates in Japan pushing her new live DVD To Memphis with Love; if you are a fan of traditional blues you will love this.
• Grand Cube, Osaka • Pop • 7pm • ¥9,500/¥11,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
Kat-Tun Kyocera Dome, Osaka Mar 2-4 • J-Pop • 2nd, 6:30pm/3rd, 5pm/4th, 3pm • ¥6,800 • Tel: 06-7732-8888 Konishiki & Taupou Zepp, Osaka Mar 3 • Hawaiian • 6:30pm • ¥6,800 • Tel: 06-6341-3525 Secret Zepp, Osaka Mar 5 • K-pop • 7pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-7732-8888 Il Divo Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka Mar 7 • Male vocal • 7pm • ¥10,000/¥12,000
• Tel: 06-6341-4506
Crystal Kay Akaso, Osaka Mar 8 • Pop • 7pm • ¥5,250 • Tel: 06-7897-2450 Forever the Sickest Kids and Melody Fall Live House, Soma Mar 9 • Pop-punk • 6:30pm • ¥4,900/ ¥5,400 • Tel: 06-6212-2253 The Street Dogs and The Cherry Cokes Pangea, Osaka Mar 9 • Folk-punk • 7pm • ¥5,500 • Tel: 06-6535-5569 Foo Fighters Zepp, Osaka Mar 11
• Rock • 7pm • ¥8,500 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
• Rock • 7pm • ¥5,800 • Tel: 06-7897-2450
XYZ→A Shangri-La, Osaka Mar 11 • Rock • 5:30pm • ¥4,500/¥5,000 • Tel: 06-6341-3525
Underoath Akaso, Osaka Mar 16 • Metal • 7pm • ¥5,800 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
Marilyn Manson Namba Hatch, Osaka Mar 12 • Alternative rock • 7pm • ¥8,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
Bang of Sun Bar Iznt, Kobe Mar 17 • Rock • 8pm • Free • Tel: 078-334-3040
Cyndi Lauper Grand Cube, Osaka Mar 13 • Pop • pm • ¥9,500/¥11,500 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
Bang of Sun Bar Trinity, Kobe Mar 18 • Rock • 8:30pm • ¥TBA • Tel: 078-3331286
Jacks Mannequin Akaso, Osaka Mar 14
Flow Namba Hatch, Osaka Mar 18
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
My Morning Jacket
Underoath US Hardcore Christian Metal The mention of a Christian metal band tends not to inspire many fans of rock, who consider them to be heavy on religion but lite on metal. However, when it comes to Underoath, if it weren’t for the band making it clear to their audience before they let rip that they are on stage to praise the word of Jesus Christ you could be forgiven for thinking that you’d turned up at a regular death/dark metal gig. With lyrics growled out by vocalist Spencer Chamberlain and scorching guitars racing to keep up with the hyper-pounding double bass drums, the fact that Underoath label themselves as Christian and not simply metal is lost by the wayside. Formed in 1997, the double Grammy nominated band released their latest album disambiguation in 2010 and come to Japan on the back of a successful visit to Australia.
• Akaso, Osaka • Metal • 7pm • ¥5,800 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
US Southern Rock My Morning Jacket is without a doubt one of the best rock acts on the circuit right now. They formed in Kentucky, US in 1998 and released their debut album The Tennessee Fire a year later. Full of energy when playing live and overflowing with mastery of their instruments, the band has a definite southern country rock influence in their music. Interestingly, there were once plans for My Morning Jacket to tour as The Electric Mayhem, the fictional band from The Muppet Show. The idea was for the band to perform live backstage, while the puppet characters appeared on stage. Sadly the Walt Disney Company, which owns the rights to the series, pulled out. Now that would have been one hell of a gig! Who wouldn’t want to see Animal live? Last year saw the release of the album Circuital to positive reviews. It sold 55,000 copies in its first week and was rated as the 11th best album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine.
• Big Cat, Osaka • Rock • 7:30pm • ¥6,500 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
• Pop • 24th, 5:30pm/25th, 4pm • ¥6,800 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
• Power-pop • 7pm • ¥6,000 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
• Rock • 7pm • ¥4,000 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
The Sherberts Taku Taku, Kyoto Mar 26 • Rock • 7pm • ¥4,725 • Tel: 075351-1321
Plastic Tree Big Cat, Osaka Mar 27-28 • Rock • 7pm • ¥4,800 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
My Morning Jacket Big Cat, Osaka Mar 26 • Rock • 7:30pm • ¥6,500 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
Lecca Zepp, Osaka Mar 28 • Reggae pop • 7pm • ¥5,000 • Tel: 06-6341-3525
Bang of Sun (CD Debut Party) Chicken George, Kobe Mar 30 • Rock • 9pm • ¥TBA • Tel: 078-332-0146
Mai Kuraki Grand Cube, Osaka Mar 20 • Rnb vocal • 6pm • ¥6,500 • Tel: 06-6357-4400
Michael Schenker Namba Hatch, Osaka Mar 27 • Metal guitar • 7pm • ¥8,000/ ¥9,000 • Tel: 06-6341-3525
Dark Tranquility Live House, Soma Mar 28 • Metal • 7pm • ¥6,000 • Tel: 06-6535-5569
Every Little Thing Grand Cube, Osaka
Fountains of Wayne Akaso, Osaka
Boom Boom Satellites Namba Hatch, Osaka
• Rock • 5pm • ¥4,300/¥5,300 • Tel: 06-6341-3525
Kinoco Hotel Taku Taku, Kyoto Mar 18-19 • Rock • 6:30pm • ¥2,500/¥4,500 • Tel: 075-351-1321 Funky Monkey Babies Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka Mar 19-20 • Hip-hop • 19th, 7pm/20th, 5pm • ¥5,800/¥6,300 • Tel: 06-7732-8888
Springroove Osaka ft. Big Bang/2NE1/LMFAO Kobe World, Kobe Mar 31 • K-pop/electro • 4pm • ¥8,000 • Tel: 06-7732-8888 The Sonics Zepp, Osaka Apr 1 • Garage rock • 7pm • ¥3,800 • Tel: 06-6357-4400
FEATURE LIVE +
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Punk springs eternal ALL TIME LOW
Ahead of this year’s Punkspring Festival in Kobe, KS speaks to bands headlining it: The Offspring and All Time Low. Text: Helen Marvell • Photos: courtesy of Creativeman
unkspring, one of Japan’s largest rock music festivals, hits Kobe World Memorial Hall this year on Sunday April 1st. Founded in 2006, the festival is held in the Kansai and Kanto areas each year during spring, making it the first festival of the season. The festival stays true to its focus on punk rock artists, a genre that many festivals don’t cater for. Legends such as Bad Religion, Zebrahead, NOFX, Rancid and Less than Jake have graced the stages over the years, and this year doesn’t disappoint with highlights coming from the likes of The Offspring, Sum 41, New Found Glory, One OK Rock and All Time Low. Punkspring was sadly cancelled last year because of the Tohoku earthquake, but now it is back and bigger than ever. KS spoke to some of the bands playing this year to find out what’s in store and how to make the most of your music festival experience. American punk rock veterans, The Offspring, have been making hits since 1984. They have an impressive back catalogue with albums such as Smash, Americana and my personal favourite Ixnay on the Hombre, worldwide mainstream chart topping singles such as ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ and ‘Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)’ and they have toured the world too many times to count on all of your fingers and toes. They have lots of fond memories from previous tours in Japan, from supporting other bands to headlining, from playing small venues to big festivals, but this will actually be their first time playing at Punkspring. It’s also their first show of the year and lead guitarist Noodles (so called because of his constant ‘noodling’ on the guitar) assures us they will be playing all of their big hits at this year’s Punkspring Festival. Noodles says that they are “fortunate to keep coming back [to Japan]. It’s a beautiful country with very warm and generous people.” They also appreciate tours in Japan because they “love the Japanese food, insane technology and watching the beautiful countryside go by from the train” when travelling to their next show.
39 FEATURE LIVE +
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
He says that to make the most of your festival experience the key is to get there early to find out who is playing on which stage and when, because you don’t want to miss the bands you have gone there to see. He also highlights how it’s a great chance to discover bands you are not familiar with and a great opportunity to be “pleasantly surprised by the bands and artists you might not normally check out.” “The best thing about the festivals is the variety of music. I love watching different bands play different kinds of music, especially in a party-like atmosphere,” Noodles says about festivals. Noodles himself is looking forward to checking out his all-time favourite band, The Descendants (Tokyo date only), and Sum 41 who are friends they have toured with many times. He is also happy to hang out again with Total Fat who The Offspring have also toured with before and whose shows apparently “totally kick ass”. After Punkspring, The Offspring plan to complete their next record and then start a vigorous tour schedule that will take the band to further festivals in Europe, such as Rock AM Ring and Rock in the Park. This will be followed up with touring the new record, hopefully across the entire world. Fingers crossed for a Japan Tour towards the end of the year or early 2013. Pop punkers All Time Low from Maryland, USA were firmly placed on the music map after the release of their second studio album, So Wrong, It’s Right, on Hopeless Records which was released in late 2007. The band have toured Japan before and also played some Japanese music festivals — including Summer Sonic in 2010 where they shared a stage with rap legend Jay-Z and they say it is one of their best memories from playing here, describing it as “incredible”. However, this is the first time they will be playing at Punkspring and they say that they “can’t wait!”. All Time Low told us that “the fans in Japan are always some of the best. We don’t get around to Japan as much as some of the other countries we play, so when we do come the kids are always very excited and energetic at the shows.“ They also love the “great sushi, busy cities and amazing culture” that Japan has to offer. Because Japan is so different from the USA, they also enjoy just walking around and taking in the differences of buildings, styles and everyday living. They said about playing festivals all over the world; “Festivals are amazing. The shows are some of the biggest crowds we get to play for and kids who go to festivals are always very welcoming to new music.” The band agree with Noodles that festivals are great places to check out new bands, not just for music lovers but also for the bands themselves that are playing. They love having the chance to play with bands they wouldn’t typically get to play with, and to make new friends. They explained that a lot of their tours come from meeting other bands at festivals, making friends and then deciding to play together on a tour. Being a big fan of The Offspring when growing up, All Time Low are looking forward to playing with them again. They have also never played with New Found Glory, despite being named after a lyric from the New Found Glory song ‘Head on Collision’ so they are excited to be sharing a stage with them at Punkspring this year and watching them play.
All Time Low hope to come back to Japan to tour before the year is out and play in some more intimate settings by themselves or opening for another band, so keep your ears out for touring news! Japanese music festivals can be a little different from music festivals overseas. Overall I find them somewhat calmer and relatively crime free, yet still with plenty of atmosphere. There is a real love for the music and a mutual respect for other music lovers. It’s also a great place to hear some Japanese bands that probably haven’t made it big in your home country. See you in the pit!
PUNKSPRING • April 1st • Time: doors open 1pm; 2pm start • Admission: ¥7,800 • Where: Kobe World Memorial Hall • Access: Port Liner, Shimin Hiroba stn • www.punkspring.com Line ups may vary between venues so please check before buying tickets. Band websites: www.alltimelowband.com www.offspring.com
ONE OK ROCK
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
The Star Festival Tour 2012 — Damizan Lazarus vs DJ Nobu Club Joule, Osaka On March 18th, The Star Festival welcomes the British minimal techno producer/DJ Damian Lazarus. He started his career as a music journalist, and was Assistant Editor/ Music Editor of London based Dazed & Confused magazine for a couple of years. Working for the cutting edge magazine, he founded his own label Crosstown Rebels, which became the home of underground electronic music. As he describe his DJ style as “Trippy, deep, weird but full of energy and special moments,” you can expect a unique musical experience. If you want a sneak preview, try his regular podcast — http://lazpod.com. This is another Sunday afternoon party, so be sure to come early.
• Damizan Lazarus vs DJ Nobu (Techno/House) • Guest DJs: Damian Lazarus, DJ Nobu • DJs: Kunimitsu, Fumi, Ryo Yoshida • Open: 5pm • Admission: ¥3,000 (ADV: ¥2,500) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-1223 • www.club-joule.jp 2 (FRI) GRAND CAFE Full Out (Hip-hop/R&B) • DJs: Imai, Kazunari, A-z • Open: 8pm– 1am • Admission: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com STORK. emotion (Techno/House) • DJs: Atsuo Morita, Soery, Satoshi, Dai, Landscape, Masashiro Hasegawa • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,500/ 1D • Where: Okamoto, Kobe • Tel: 078-452-1357 • stork-kobe.com 3 (SAT) GRAND CAFE Sata Kura (All mix) • DJs: Groovy workshop • Open: 8pm–1am • Admission: Men: ¥2,000/1D, Women: ¥free • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com 4 (SUN) GRAND CAFE Base Goes On (Drum & Bass/
Dubstep) • Guest DJs: Tokimonsta, Dbridge & MC SP • DJs: Toyo, Monk, Masashi, Light-One, MC Aoi • Open: 6pm–1am • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06 - 6213-0031 • grandcafeosaka.com
Disco Baby in Osaka (House/Disco) • DJs: Patrick, Mizuta, Sakana • Open: 5pm • Admission: ¥2,000/ 1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06 -6251-2242 • www.club-union.jp
7 (WED) METRO Patchware on Demand Japan Tour in Kyoto (Electronica/Experimental) • Live: SND, NHK, Intext, Plan + e, PsysEx • DJs: Tsukasa, Tatsuya • Open: 7pm • Admission: ¥2,500 (ADV: ¥2,000) • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-752-2787 • metro.ne.jp 9 (FRI) JOULE Make The People (Drum & Bass) • DJs: Danny Wheeler, Toyo, Kenz1,
Kom aka Big Chef, Masashi, Namix, MC Leo • Open: 6pm–1am • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (WF: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-1223 • club-joule.jp
Connep : Live Exhibition (Electronica/Experimental/visual installation) • Guest Live: Mark Fell, Kouhei Matsunaga • Live: AsymMedley, Nuearz, Yuki Aoe, Hypnotic inc • Where: Homnachi • Tel: 06-6125-5474 • www.officials.tank.jp/concep
10 (SAT) GRAND CAFE Daishi Dance presents Midnight (House) • DJs: Daishi Dance • Open: 8pm–1am • Admission: ¥3,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com STORK. Hush! (Techno/House) • DJs: Yashima, Nao Nomura, senda, Yabu, Yusuke, Landscape • Open: 9pm • Admission:
¥2,000/1D • Where: Okamoto, Kobe • Tel: 078-452-1357 • http://stork-kobe.com
Extended Mix (House) • DJs: Masanori Ikeda, peechboy, DNT, Daisuke Ito, Yusuke, HamMock • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,500 /1D (WF: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 • www.club-union.jp
11 (SUN) GRAND CAFE Tetralogistics (Techno) • Guest Live: Egbert • DJs: Kunimitsu, Yasuhisa, Fumi • Open: 7pm–1am • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com ROCKETS Tribal Garden (Techno/House) • DJ: Watalu Kanehisa • Open: 4pm • Admission: ¥1,500/1D (WF: ¥3,000/1D) • Where: Namba • Tel: 06-6649-3919 • www.namba-rockets.com
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com 16 (FRI) GRAND CAFE Idio J’a Dore (Electro) • DJs: Idiot Deux, Shun-Ta, Dead Shop, Dan, Kimy • Open: 8pm–1am • Admission: ¥3,000 (ADV: ¥2,000) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06 -6213-0031 • grandcafeosaka.com 17 (SAT) GRAND CAFE Music Saturday (All mix) • DJs: Ban-chan, Ko-Taro, O-tan, Junpei, Country Maan • Open: 8pm • Admission: Men: ¥2,000/1D, Women: ¥FREE • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com METRO Black Terror Kyoto (Techno/House) • Live: Melt-Down, ALTZ.P, bonanzas feat. Teruyuki Oshima • DJs: Nobu, Kurusu, Twin Peaks, A.I • Open: 5:30pm • Admission: ¥3,000 (ADV: ¥2,500) • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-752-2787 • www.metro.ne.jp TROOPCAFE Diatonik (House/Techno) • Guest DJ: Ogawa • DJs: 2Nyan, Tatsuo.y, Fukumura, Kenji Adachi • Open: TBA • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (WF: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Sannomiya • Tel: 078-321-3130 • http://troopcafe.tumblr.com UNION Gulp! (House) • DJs: Osakaman aka Yagyu, Koji Fujimoto, Mottsu • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,000/ 1D(WF: ¥1,500/1D) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6251-2242 • www.club-union.jp 23 (FRI) GRAND CAFE Osaka Safari (Hip-hop/R&B) • DJs: George, Shimotaku, Malu, B-Ball, Bullset, 551 • Open: 8pm
• Admission: ¥2,000/1D • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6213-0031 • www.grandcafeosaka.com
NWC presents Kitsune Club Night (Electro/Techno) • DJs: Gildas, Taku-Hero, Ko-Matsushima, YPY, Eyez + more • Open: 8pm - 1am • Admission: ¥2,500 (ADV: ¥2,000, Foreigners: ¥1,500) • Where: Shinsaibashi • Tel: 06-6214-1223 • http://club-joule.jp
Bush - 6th Anniversary (House/ Techno) • Guest DJ: Efdemin • DJs: Kiuchi, Fatto, Mio, Soichi, Gan • Open: TBA • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (WF: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Sannomiya • Tel: 078-321-3130 • http://troopcafe.tumblr.com
30 (FRI) TROOPCAFE Takkyu Ishino vs Kihira Naoki (Techno) • DJs: Takkyu Ishino, Kihira Naoki, Hiloc, Jal • Open: TBA • Admission: ¥2,800/1D (WF: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Sannomiya • Tel: 078-321-3130 • http:// troopcafe.tumblr.com 31 (SAT) METRO I Want You x Post or Dry (Electronica/Experimental) • Live: Radiq, Eater, Aoki Takamasa, iToy aka PsysEx • DJs: Kohei • Open: 5pm • Admission: ¥3,000/1D (ADV: ¥2,500/1D) • Where: Kyoto • Tel: 075-752-2787 • www.metro.ne.jp STORK. Rewind (Electro) • DJs: Freak Menu, Juse • Open: 9pm • Admission: ¥2,500/1D (ADV: ¥2,000/1D) • Where: Okamoto, Kobe • Tel: 078-452-1357 • http://stork-kobe.com
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Classical musings I’m often asked what a good entry point would be into the world of classical music, and I would suggest either Baroque instrumental music (the music of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and many others who were active in the years 1600-1750), which bubbles along in its cheerful complexity, or early 20th century French chamber music, whose reliance on instrumental timbre to carry musical meaning makes it the most sensual music ever written. Both, unfortunately, are rather rare in the Kansai concert halls, which overwhelmingly focus on music of the 19th century, but this month, there is an extraordinary concert of French chamber music on March 22 at Izumi Hall being performed by members of the Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka. The concert features Debussy’s mysterious Cello Sonata, Fauré’s ecstatic first Violin Sonata, Ravel’s magnificent Piano Trio, and more, as well as a lecture on the music (in Japanese) by composer Akira Nishimura. Tickets cost ¥500. No, there’s not a zero missing from that number. It really is ¥500! It’ll cost more to get to the hall than it will to walk into it! You can spend the money you saved on a room at the New Otani Hotel after this concert puts you and your date in the mood. There is a bit of Bach being performed this month. For the low price of ¥4,000, you can hear the Kansaibased Telemann Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nobuhara Takeharu in a concert of small-scale orchestral and concertante works by Bach and Mozart at Hyogo Performing Arts Center on March 23. Soloist Takada Taiji will be busy that day, performing Bach’s Italian
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra The Symphony Hall Mar 10 • Time: 2pm • Admission: ¥8,000–¥12,000 • Access: JR loop line Fukushima Station or Oyodo-minami-1-chome bus stop • 06-6453-6000 • http://asahi.co.jp/symphony/ event (Japanese)
Bach/Lorenzo Ghielmi Izumi Hall Mar 15 • Time: 7pm • Admission: ¥4,000 (concessions) • Access: Keihan Kyobashi Station, JR loop line Osakajo-Koen station, subway Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokichi line Osaka Business Park station exit 1 • 06-6944-1188 • www.izumihall.co.jp/schedule (Japanese)
Concerto on cembalo, the solo part in Bach’s Cembalo Concerto No. 4 BWV 1055, and the fortepiano in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 K. 449, while Asai Sakino and Mitani Ayaka take the solo violin parts in Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043. Izumi Hall presents the 10th installment in its Bach Orgel-Werke Zyklus series on March 15 with a concert of Bach organ works performed by the highly-regarded and wonderfully named Lorenzo Ghielmi. This concert also features a talk (again in Japanese — sigh) by Tadashi Isoyama. The ticket price is ¥4,000. If you’re interested, Ghielmi gives a masterclass on Bach’s Leipzig Chorale along with organist Tsuguo Hirono on March 14, which you can attend for ¥1,000, and the same evening, Bach scholar Christoff Wolff gives a talk (in German with Japanese translation) on “Critical Stages in Bach’s musical life,” with Ghielmi providing musical examples. Admission is free. Finally, the big concert of the month takes place at The Symphony Hall in Osaka on March 10, where the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of their chief conductor and music director Cornelius Meister perform a concert of two mighty Beethoven works: the Eroica 3rd Symphony and Emperor 5th Piano Concerto, with Austrian pianist Stefan Vladar performing the solo part. Tickets range from ¥8,000 to ¥12,000; not bad, really, considering the entire ensemble traveled a good distance of the globe to be here, and besides, you just got your withheld tax money back, right? See you there!
Belle Epoque of French Music Izumi Hall Mar 22 • Time: 7pm • Admission:¥500 • Access: Keihan Kyobashi Station, JR loop line Osakajo-Koen station, subway Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokichi line Osaka Business Park station exit 1 • 06-6944-1188 • www.izumihall.co.jp/schedule (Japanese)
Telemann Chamber Orchestra Hyogo Performing Arts Center Mar 23 • Time: 2pm • Admission: ¥3,000–¥4,000 • Access: JR Hyogo Station • 0798-68-0255 • www1.gcenter-hyogo.jp/sysfile/ center/top.html (Japanese)
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
The bar “ that is Bar IZNT, Sannomiya, Kobe Text & photos: Ian D Robinson
IZNT • M:2nd Bldg 4F, 1-1-8 Shimoyamate-Dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe • Open: Mon–Thu, 5pm–1am; Fri & Sat, 5pm til late; Sun, 5pm til midnight • Access: see URL below for map, or KS Sannomiya map C3 • Tel: 078-334-3040 • Email: email@example.com • http://iznt.net
Good people, good fun” is the motto of IZNT bar in Kobe’s Sannomiya, located in Higashimon Street just around the corner from Ikuta-jinja. High ceilings, open space in the dining area with plush leather seating and curtains that can be drawn around your table, a more intimate bar area all decorated with works by young Japanese artists give IZNT its warm yet un-cramped feel, the music is a nostalgic mix of the 80s, 90s and today. All the staff become friends after one drink; Christian and Greg man the bar, along with Tim the manager, mixing fruity homemade sangria and frozen mojitos, while Sounu the chef turns out damn fine lasagne, Louisiana slow-cooked pulled pork panini sandwiches, tapas and spicy chicken from the kitchen. Perhaps IZNT’s most-surprising-in-Japan feature is that the main areas are smoke free. Smokers aren’t banished however, at one end is a smoking room with a vibe all of its own, bar stools by the windows look out over the street below and a screen shows animation by local artists. On a Friday night the bar is lively, but not so much that you can’t enjoy a conversation — for the meantime anyway. IZNT is and isn’t a reincarnation of Bar, Isn’t It?, a chain of bars that will be remembered by anyone who was in Japan in the 1980s or 90s. The original bars successfully combined art space with drinking place and were an antidote to the club culture that dominated at that time. The first branch was in Kobe, in the very building that is home to IZNT and after opening additional branches in Kansai, the chain went national and then international. Eventually, mission accomplished, the movers behind Bar, Isn’t It? discontinued the project and applied themselves to others, including the Solviva chain. The current IZNT brings back David Cole, who was deeply involved with the original bars. IZNT is perhaps better described as a re-imagining of the original concept. It is definitely a place to drink (and eat) and the art remains as murals, panels and objects, created by local artists. New are the airy, open spaces, clean lines, and the completely re-thought menu. “By opening IZNT we just want to bring back the idea of a funky arty place to be, to give people a reason to go out at night and meet other interesting people,” says David. “We’ve had so many people come in and say ‘wow, what a great space, can we do an exhibition here or can we perform here?’ That’s the kind of people and energy we are attracting! IZNT is a bar where like-minded people can meet, share ideas and where interesting, fertile and creative things can happen.” And there is plenty of room to perform or exhibit with a large stage in the main room which can be closed off to keep the bar on its own, and with views of Ikuta-jinja and the mountains behind Kobe, the atmosphere is set. David explains that IZNT maintains an international mission: “The bar staff are using English as our base language as there are a lot of Japanese who have been abroad to study or travel, or are interested in foreign culture. We realized that they can be disappointed when they order in their best English and are replied to in Japanese, so we make an extra effort to let them use their English, that’s why we have ego shaberi ba? – why not speak English? – on the sign outside. why not speak English?” Nihongo is, of course, OK. You can get a good chance to feel the vibe at IZNT on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, when the bar will host a music and art festival. In addition to the green beer, four live acts will perform to the backdrop of a photo exhibition by digital artist Christian Townsend.
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
Discovering the spirit of St. Patrick This year enjoy a different kind of ST. Patrick’s Day with the KS guide to making the most of the festival. Text: Matthew Coslett • Images: KS
s most people know, explaining western festivals to Japanese people can be difficult. You know there must be some reason why a quasi-religious cult has arisen around Santa and why a cute bunny is the symbol of Jesus getting tortured by the Romans, but whenever Japanese people ask about it, it is best to quickly change the subject. To help fill that gap in the conversation, Kansai Scene presents its guide to this month’s St. Patrick’s Day festival and how to explain it after a few pints. The first question that inevitably gets asked is about all the green things associated with the event. Luckily there is a simple explanation. According to an old legend told about St. Patrick, the holy man was stumped trying to explain the holy trinity to the Irish pagans. Reaching down, he picked up a shamrock and realized that its three leaves could help to explain this tricky concept. Since then, the plant and its green color have become linked to his festival. In Osaka, this tradition will be kept alive as many places are intending to celebrate the festival by painting the town, ahem, green. Sam and Dave will be serving green beer. In a similar spirit, bar Zerro are going to turn their entire venue green, literally. From 7pm to 11:30pm, the nightspot is offering “green lighting, green drinks, green visuals, green lasers, green dancers and green DJs.” Not to be outdone, FuBar will be spreading the green theme to its customers and offering a free shot to anyone who is wearing the color. Of course, after you have explained the green, you will have to explain all the indulgence. In Ireland, many Christians would have a fast that lasted until mid-March and would often use St. Patrick’s as an excuse to have banquets that often lasted for many days. It is this part of his story that the Blarney Stone intends to celebrate with six days of wild celebrations. Starting on the 12th, highlights include a chance of have an Irish-style roast dinner on the 14th, an Irish folk band on the 16th and Irish dancing on the 17th. In the old days, the original parades walked to St Patrick’s grave to remember the devout man. While walking to the
holy tomb would be impossible in Japan, the parades will be observed on a grand scale in Osaka and Kyoto. On Saturday the 17th there will be an Irish festival in Nakanoshima park. Last year the festival was a blast, full of Irish dancing and live music. This year, it is also notable for the original Irish goods and food, which will include authentic Irish sausages cooked by the staff of the Dublin Garden Pub before they hold another party that evening. A similar event will be held in Kyoto starting on the 11th. Every day there will be bands recording original versions of Irish classics, culminating in a parade and dancing in the street on the 17th. Averey’s Irish bar will fly the green flag in Kobe, with green beer, discounted drinks and Irish music. And back in Osaka, Dublin Bay is arranging a special party — check with them for details. No roundup of events would be complete without mention of Japan’s first Irish pub, Murphy’s, which will be rocked by the chart-topping Irish band The Field and an Irish DJ on the Saturday. In addition, the pub will offer discounts on Irish whiskey, fish and chips and a special shooter to make the weekend a great one. It’s worth remembering that the day isn’t just about beer, but about celebrating Ireland, one culture that has an international reach.
• Nakanoshima park can be accessed from Sakaisuji line Kitahama or Midosuji line Yodoyabashi stations. • For up-to-date St. Patrick`s Day Festival in Kyoto information: http://st-patricksdayinkyoto.jimdo.com
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012
TOKYO SCENE A quick roundup of what’s happening in that other place this month. The Bee until Mar 11 Originally a story written by celebrated science fiction writer Tsutsui Yasutaka, The Bee focuses on an ordinary salaryman turned ragefilled when his family is taken hostage. Playwright Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan turned Yasutaka’s tale into a stage production that has been critically praised and received various honors, including the Asahi Performing Arts Award Grand Prix. The play boasts a cast of four, including Noda himself. After being toured around the world, The Bee will land in Tokyo starting in late February and run until March 11. English subtitles will be provided. • Time: Tue, Wed and Fri, 7pm; Thu and Sat, 2pm and 7pm, Sun, 2pm • Admission: ¥5,000 for adults, ¥2,500 for under 25s • Where: Suitengu Pit • Access: Hanzomon line Suitengumae Stn • Tel: 03-6661-6901 • www.nodamap.com/ productions/thebee St Patrick’s Day Parade Mar 18 Hosted by Irish Network Japan, Tokyo’s St Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest event of its kind in Asia. Hundreds of green-clad revelers will start marching from the Omotesando avenue near Harajuku Station at 2pm. Joining them will be all sorts of entertainers, including the Tokyo Pipe Band, an
Irish dance troupe and the SouthTokyo Irish Setter Club — as in the dog breed. This year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of the parade, so expect an especially boisterous atmosphere … and a handful of great after-parties at pubs across the city. • Time: 2–4pm • Admission: free • Where: Omotesando • Access: JR Harajuku stn • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.irish-network-japan.com/en
Star Fes. Mar 25 Summer music festival season starts early this year — like, four months early— with Star Fes., an outdoor-dance fest featuring big names from overseas and Japan. Foreign acts include James Lavelle’s UNKLE Sounds project, an audio/ visual spectacle featuring tracks from the group’s back catalog and remixes of various other artists. Also taking the stage will be French producer Agoria and British dance duo System 7. The domestic highlights include Soil & “Pimp” Sessions and DJ Baku, among a handful of others. • Time: 11am • Admission: ¥3,500 advance/¥4,500 at the gate • Where: VenusFort • Access: Rinkai line Tokyo Teleport stn • Tel: 03-3599-0700 • www.star-fes.net The Pogues Mar 28
If St Patrick’s Day didn’t quite quench your thirst for Irish culture, swing by Studio Coast on March 28 to see the finest Celtic punk band of the last 20 years hit the stage. The Pogues have been kicking around since 1982 and over two decades have released several critically celebrated albums and a plethora of great drinking songs. This Tokyo gig might also be one of your last chances to see the group live — The Pogues have claimed over the last few years they plan to retire soon. So far, that hasn’t been true, but better safe than sorry. • Time: 7pm • Admission: ¥7,000 • Where: Shinkiba Studio Coast • Access: Shinkiba stn • Tel: 03-5534-2525 • www.smash-jpn.com/ band/2012/03_pogues
Seattle Mariners Vs. Oakland Athletics MLB Game Mar 28 & 29 The 2012 Major League Baseball season starts in Japan this year, as the Seattle Mariners will take on the Oakland Athletics in a twogame series at Tokyo Dome. This marks the fourth time in MLB’s history the season starts on the other side of the world, but the first since 2008. This year’s series looks to be especially popular due to the presence of Mariner’s outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, one of the best Japanese players in the history
of the game and the most popular MLB player in the country today. • Time: 28th, 7pm; 29th, 6pm • Admission: Starting at ¥1,500 for standing tickets • Where: Tokyo Dome • Access: JR Chuo-Sobu line/Toei Mita line Suidobashi stn • Tel: 03-5800-9999 • http://event.yomiuri.co.jp/mlb
Art Fair Tokyo Mar 30, 31 & Apr 1 Art Fair Tokyo aims to share a wide variety of art from Japan and all over the world, with over 160 galleries showcased over this three-day event. Everything from Japanese antique art to contemporary works from around the world will be on display at the event. This year, Art Fair Tokyo launches the ‘Discover Asia’ exhibition, featuring art galleries from several Asian cities including Seoul, Beijing and Taipei. There will also be the ‘Creative Tokyo’ program, where other creative fields like food and fashion will collaborate with the art world. • Time: Mar 30, 11am to 9pm; March 31, 11am to 8pm; Apr 1, 10:30am to 5pm • Admission: ¥2,000 for a one-day ticket • Where: Tokyo International Forum • Access: JR Tokyo stn or JR Yurakucho stn • Tel: 03-5771-4520 • Email: email@example.com • www.artfairtokyo.com/en
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com to one year contract. Experienced instructors only. Valid visa required. www.seibo.ed.jp/kyoto-es/ E: SEED.firstname.lastname@example.org
Employment Education TEACHERS WANTED School in Ashiya/Okamoto is looking for FT/ PT English and French teachers ASAP. University diploma is pref. Must be native speaker w/ valid visa. Pay: ¥2,700-3000/hr. & transpo. Contact us by email. Email: ashiyaplus@ gmail.com W5SS: PT ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR PT English Instructor position at the private after-school day-care center in Neyagawa & Kyoto cities. 2days in a week, 4-6pm. Pls send your email address & job number only. Job#3222PT. www.w5ss.com Email: email@example.com WE WANT A COOL KIDS TEACHER We want a young genki kids teacher for Fri at our conversation school on the Hankyu Kobe line. Applicants should be native English speakers, have lots of experience w/ kids & want to help build the curriculum. Email your resume & a recent pic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ENG SPEAKING MUSIC SCHOOL KIMA Music Academy has openings for following part-time teaching & admin positions: Piano, Violin, Guitar, rhythmic class assistant, receptionist. Previous teaching exp desirable, as well as fluency in Eng & basic Jap. Pls send resume & pic to: email@example.com P/T SATURDAY SCHOOL IN KYOTO native Instructor at a private elementary school in Kyoto Fushimi-ku. ¥22,000/day, 30 Sat/year. Seeking team players who enjoy working with kids. Must be willing to commit
BUSINESS ENGLISH INSTRUCTORS 3 yrs. teach exp. needed. CELTA, TESOL, or M.A. (TEFL / App. Ling) a plus! Sales duties (counseling, trial lessons) important for this job. Send resume, photo & availability to firstname.lastname@example.org. JAPANESE ENGLISH TEACHER English School near Nishinomiya looking for a Jap Eng teacher to teach grammar (in Jap)as a pre-TOEIC/ TOEFL course to adults & English grammar to Junior & Senior High School students. Email: email@example.com NATIVE ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR WANTED Afternoon, evening classes/6 yr olds to adults/working days negotiable/B.A. & valid visa req Loc: in front of Hankyu Mikage stn Please send resume w/ pic attached via email to AIE English Language Institute. www.aie-campus.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org KIDS ENGLISH TEACHER NEEDED Looking for a cheerful P/T Native English Teacher for kids. Must be comfortable w/ handling an ipad. Hankyu Ibaraki-shi & Takatsuki-shi, Osaka. 4-7 Mon. (Takatsuki) 4:30-7 Thurs (Takatsuki), & 10-2:30 Sat. (Ibaraki) Send your resume to: email@example.com NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER SALA Eikaiwa is looking for motivated & enthusiastic teachers (weekdays & weekends) for growing schools. Man to Man & group. Loc in Umeda, Honmachi, Namba. Career opportunities available. Pls e-mail C.V & pic. A great place to start out! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PART-TIME TEACHER WANTED We are looking for friendly teachers. Only a part-tme (once or twice a week). Native Eng Speaker & Teaching experience preferred. School is loc in Kourien on Keihanline. For more info, contact us at 0728317711. Email: email@example.com ASLFTC VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! After School Lessons For Tohoku Children. Starting this spring we will be matching volunteer English instructors w/ junior high & high school students from the Tohoku
region. The lessons will be done online using Skype & will be free of charge. www.aslftc.com/?page_id=3
ALT TEAHCERS NEEDED IN NARA Native English Teachers needed in Nara; University graduates w/Jap speaking ability needed for ALT work at BOE, starting in April. Mon-Fri 8:30 to 16:30. Pls send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org www.nara-nichibei.jp PT NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER Loc: Mie Prefecture We are looking for an Eng Native parttime teacher. Working Days: 4 days/week. Working Hours: 6 hrs/day Class size: 5-6 students Position start date: ASAP Step Inc Pls send resume w/availability to stepwanpon216@sky. sannet.ne.jp http://ameblo.jp/wanwan100er7pri CORPORATE CLASS INSTRUCTORS CES is seeking experienced, professional Native English teachers for p/t,f/t & short-term intensives from March/April in Kobe & Osaka. Materials & Support prov. ¥3,500-4K hourly. CELTA certificate holder preferred. Forward resume w/ availability to email@example.com EIKAIWA FLYER STAFF Reliable flyer person wanted for mornings on the JR Kyoto line. ¥1000/hour + transpo. If interested, send a recent pic along w/ your nearest stn. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SPANISH TEACHER FOR YOU My native language is Spanish, & I also speak Eng & Jap. I’m doing PhD in Osaka. If you are interested in learning Spanish, not only grammar, but also interesting daily things, pls contact me. ¥3,000/hr. I can meet you around Osaka central first at anytime. Email: goodwillgoodway@ hotmail.com NEED JPN ENG PRIVATE TEACHER Jap private teacher wanted in Osaka/ Sakai to teach me advanced English grammar. I’d like to understand the structure of English sentences used in Time, Newsweek in order to translate them into Jap. Jpn teacher pref, as I’ll need English grammar explanations in Jap. Email: kaku.puro@ yahoo.com P/T UNI CLASS (M&T;) Seeking P/T teachers for April. Uni shifts are Mon & Thurs (9:20-10:50 am). Experience & qualifications pref (must be native
English speakers w/a strong command of Eng). Pls state visa status in the covering letter. Only successful applicants will be contacted. Email: email@example.com
NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER WANTED Parttime Native English Teacher Wanted in Joto word Osaka. Children & adults for Tue, Fri & more. ¥3K/lesson (first 2 mo ¥2500). Long term. Love children, kind, & Genki Sensei. Pls send e-mail your resume w/ a pic to Email: s-techfield@nyc. odn.ne.jp PART TIME PRE-KINDER TEACHER REQ For Mon & Thurs 9:30-14:00 starting in April/May. Small group of 2/3 yr olds. Experience/qualifications pref, salary negotiable dep on experience. School loc in Suita, JR/Hankyu Kyoto line Senrioka stn. Pls contact for more info. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ENGLISH TEACHER We are looking for a part time native, & friendly teacher to teach in our school asap, prefer someone who lives nearby. We are located in Nishinomiya.Pls email us your resume w/ phic. Email: email@example.com A PLACE FOR YOUR JUKU LESSONS A place to teach your own “Juku” students or private lessons! Complete, fully-furnished office/classrooms provided. 5 big classrooms newly-built & ready. Monthly rent or rent by the room, incl reception, common areas. Pls contact Mr. Iguchi Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SEEKING NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER For children~adults. Loc 3min walk from Nakamozu Stn on the Midosuji line & the Nankai Kouya, Semboku line. (20min from Namba) We look for someone who is energetic & friendly. Send CV & a recent pic to Saka. 090-2114-5335 Teddy Bear school www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/teddy Email: email@example.com COMPANY CLASSES Instructor to teach 3 company classes twice a month urgently needed. Other offers available too. Must have proper visa and teaching experience preferred. ¥2,200-2,500/h based on experience + trans. Email CV w/pic to NANNO & Co. Only successful applicants will be contacted. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
50 CLASSIFIEDS EXPERIENCED PT TEACHER NEEDED We’re looking for an experienced Part Time Teacher for our Akashi school on Sat & some weekday evenings. Pls forward your CV www.oec.to E: email@example.com MODERN ENGLISH FRANCHISES Buy an established school or Start from scratch. See our website or call us now. www.modernenglish.net Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ECC KINDERGARTENS MON-FRI 10-18 Wakayama from April. National holidays + a generous holiday package. Social insurance, Visa sponsorship, training. Help provided finding an apartment. www.ecc.co.jp/htm/english Email: email@example.com P/T NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER PLC Language Center seeks a P/T native English instructor to work Thur. Five kids classes from 2:30-8. Must have valid visa. Pls send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org SMALL PRIVATE SCHOOL IN NEYAGAWA Needs a friendly Native Eng teacher to work the following hours: Tue: 6pm-10pm Wed: 6pm9pm, 10pm. Possibly Fri: 6pm-10pm ¥1800/hr. ¥500 transpo. Pls send a cover letter & CV/Resume w/pic Email: email@example.com ENG TEACHER FOR KIDS & ADULTS Loc: Makino, Hirakata (Keihan line) Time; Wed 4:30~8:30, Fri 4:30~8:30 Trans fee covered up to ¥1,000/d Native Eng speaker wanted. Pls send me resume w/ your pic. firstname.lastname@example.org HIRING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS Senshin Gakuen Kindergarten seeks F/T teachers. Must: currently reside in Japan (near Sakai, Osaka) be a native English speaker w/a 4 yr degree. LOVE kids! Have a valid working visa Send cover letter & resume to: Fax 072-291-6410 Email: email@example.com NATIVE ENG TEACHER WANTED We are looking for a P/T native English teacher for Kindergarden/ Elementary classes in Kyoto, Osaka, Nishinomiya. Experience in dance or music is a plus. Starting at ¥2000/ hr excl. trans. based on teahcing exp. Vailid visa is req. Pls email your resume w/pic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org KYOTO NURSERY SCHOOL TEACHER Kyoto P/T 20 hr/w NATIVE English
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012 teacher for nursery school. M-F. 0-2 yr/o. ASAP. Mar 31. Contract renew for 2012 academic yr. 193K/mo. + benefits. Need experience w/young children & some Jap req. MUST HAVE SUITABLE VISA. Send resume/ cover/pic to email@example.com
ENGLISH TEACHER WANTED Some part time positions are opening up in Kansai. Mostly kindy age in Kyoto. Experience a plus. Starting from ¥2000/hr. Transportation incl. Must Commit for 1 school year, Apr 2012 - Mar 2013. Contact Chuck Kayser, My English School E: firstname.lastname@example.org ‘EXTRA MONEY. EASY JOB.’ TEACH ENGLISH 1-4pm, 6-10pm @ ¥5,250. Adult conversation classes. Flexible schedule. Immediate start ! CASH PAID DAILY. Send resume to: email@example.com EIKAIWA COACH WANTED Well-renumerated position coaching English w/adult eikaiwa group. Applicant must be easy-going yet punctual. Experience & ability in Jap language helpful. Send simple self-intro mentioning home stn & nationality, w/ detailed CV attached. E: firstname.lastname@example.org ALT TEACHERS IN WAKAYAMA WANTED Howdy Inc. is looking for full-time ALT teachers in Wakayama prefecture to teach in public schools from April. We’ll provide accommodation, good pay & bonus for successful candidates. Experience & visa req. Current ALTs are welcomed! Apply now by e-mail or dial free 0120-895-988. www.e-howdy.net Email: email@example.com
Administrative TRANSLATORS WANTED Part time translation jobs available in Kyoto for Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean langs. Flexible timing & duration. Bilingual native speakers of Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean preferred. Students are welcome. www.weareonejapan.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org JAPANESE PART TIME OFFICE ASST We are an English school looking for a part time office helper. Talking w/ students, light sales & office skills are needed. Tues, Wed, Thurs: 5:308:30pm. Two Sat/mo 12:30-4pm. Salary ¥900/hr. Motomachi/
Sannomiya area. www.kobe9950eikaiwa.com Email: email@example.com
FULLTIME BILINGUAL STAFF WANTED Trade Assistant wanted at Consulate of Pakistan, Osaka. Vacancy: 1 Req. Lang: Jap/Eng Basic Computer Skills: (Word, Excel, etc.) Working Hour: 9-17:00 (Mon-Fri) Loc: Suminoe-ku, Osaka. Pls send your resume in English by email. Contact: 06-6569-3106 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SATURDAY INSTRUCTOR NEEDED Native English teacher for full-day Sat program. Experience teaching langskills to large groups. Computer skills needed. Ability to teach other subjects beneficial. Loc: Uji city, Kyoto. ¥20,000/day. Trans. & attendance bonus. Starting date: April 14th, 2012. Email: applicant@ mail.ritskids.org SEEKING P/T NATIVE ENG TEACHER Seeking experienced native Eng teacher for kids & adults; Thur&Fri. We are a small friendly school in the centre of KYOTO. Applicant must plan, manage & create interesting educational lessons Pls email your CV & pic to email@example.com www.tarostay.com
Hospitality PART TIME CHEFS WANTED We Are One Japan is looking for a team of part time chefs to prepare good food & drinks at our many social events (mostly in Kyoto). If you are int’lyminded, sociable, like to meet new people & enjoy amusing others w/ your cooking, join us now. www.weareonejapan.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org RESTAURANT STAFF WANTED Restaurants (Italian/Jap) in Umeda, Kyoto is looking for staff (Bartender, Kitchen staff, Waiter/Waitress) Jap/ Non-Jap both OK! Japspeaking pref. For experience? For money? For making friends? Enjoy working w/ us. Contacts: 090-9048-8178 http://cosmicdiner.com/ Email: makoto-sadamatsu@ cosmicdiner.com
Other FLYER PERSON Cash on the Day. Flyer distribution. Central Osaka
area. ¥2,500 cash for 2 hours. Email email@example.com or call 0801514-0488 & leave a message w/ your name, contact info & nearest stn.
FLYER STAFF Flyer staff Hirakata, Tezukayama & Sembayashi. ¥2,500 for 2 hours - cash!!! www.modernenglish.net Email: firstname.lastname@example.org HELP WANTED AT FOOD SUPERSTORE Zest-Foods., an Organic & Natural food superstore is looking to fill up various positions. Interested candidates can call us at 8032770188 or mail us. Part time options also open. www.zest-foods.com Email: heeraUSA@aol.com URGENT RECRUIT !! An Overseas sales post vacant at a tea company in Uji Kyoto. Req: Native Jap & Business English. Over 3yrs working exp. (Sales or importing/exporting experience pref) Pref age btw 25 -35 Email: email@example.com VIDEO INTERPRETATION OPERATOR Looking for Jap/English bilinguals for our cutting edge video interpretation app. As long as you have good language skills, prior exp. is not a major concern. Min 2 days a week. Loc: Kobe. ¥1200/hr w/ transpo costs provided. Email us for info. http://teltell.jp/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org GROUP INTERVIEW (RESEARCH) We are looking for people from Russia who can take part in a group interview in Kobe in midst Mar. Compensation of ¥7,000 is paid for 2h. If you are interested, I would appreciate if you could get back to me by Fri, Mar 2nd. Email: robert. email@example.com AA WEDDING CEREMONY PAID HELP $$ We need 10 people to sit in Osaka Castle Park on 6th Apr 2012. You will reserve a spot for our wedding ceremony & arrive early in the morning. Ceremony is at 12pm – we will pay ¥6,000/person. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FLYERWORK !! We need foreigners to hand out flyers for our English conversation schools loc on the HANKYU Kobe line. We work 7-9am weekday mornings paid at ¥2,000 + ¥500 travel allowance. Motivated flyer staff will be offered an extra ¥5,000 per new student joining our school. E: email@example.com
mar 2012 | kansaiscene.com
Will be able to send you a list & pics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OSAKA SALE!!! I am clearing out a few items to make space. Items inc bookselves, multi purpose rack, clothes rack, electric fry pan etc... Prices on the web link below. https://picasaweb.google. com/102951421614401091707/Sale02 Email: email@example.com SAYANARA SALE Two bikes, bedding, books, clothes, non-perishable foods & spices, fake Xmas tree, hanami blanket/tarp, baskets & organizers, suitcase, & more. Reasonable prices, most items free. Pick up from Tezukayama. Email: stephanie. firstname.lastname@example.org
¥500 OR LESS Household bits & pieces ranging from glassware to a PS2, wireless router & a BB-gun. Pics & prices at this URL. http://lewkssale.blogspot.com/2012/02/picturesof-stuff.html E: email@example.com SAYONARA SALE IN KYOTO Leaving Kyoto in Mar so we are selling our stuff. Please click on the link to check details of ref, washing mac, microwave w/ oven & twin stove w/ grill. Free kitchen & household items are also avail. Pls inquire if interested. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/61758574 Email: keitai@TillHeinrich.de STEREO DENON Mini stereo system. MD, CD & 3 AUX plugs for connecting to an ipod or PC. Remote control. Very good quality. ¥3000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SMALL CABIN/ COTTAGE FOR SALE 1hr from Osaka/Kobe. 3 Sml bedrooms in mountains overlooking temple. Older building half log cabin style great for getting out of city, bbqs. Closest (not walkable) Stn: JR ShinSanda/Aino. ¥3.9 Million (No interest Financing possible w/ ¥500K down-payment) Email 4pics/ info. Email: email@example.com SALE Juicer Tescom TJ210 ¥3500, bicycle ¥5000, water filter Super High Grade Cleansui ¥2000. Almost new, in perfect cond. Negotiable. Books, manga in Jap for free. E: firstname.lastname@example.org AKB48 TRADING CARDS FOR SALE I have AKB48 trading cards for SALE. Just released in Dec 2011. Pls contact me if interested. Email: email@example.com SAYONARA SALE - KOBE For sale37-inch Panasonic TV. DVD player, Sanyo Portable Heater, Iro, Hair Dryer, Rice Cooker, Flask, 2 small Humidifiers, Small Jap lamp. Items available in April/May ‘12. Package sale all in for ¥40,000. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ENGLISH TEXTBOOK FOR SALE Kids textbooks/ Oxford & Longman textbook/workbook for sale. T/B ¥600 &W/B ¥500 all are new books.
Announcements VOLUNTEERS WANTED We, at the Osaka YMCA Lan Center are having charity lessons benefitting victims of the Tohoku earthquake &Tsunami. We are looking for volunteers to teach their lang or culture. If interested, please contact us @ email@example.com http://www.oylc.org/ AVANT-GARDE SHORT FILM This is a public service announcement to share a cool Avant-garde short film on Youtube. It is titled “The Electronic Preludes” and can be found at: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=YaF7sMcwbVE FRIDAY NIGHT FUTSAL We play futsal every Fri night in South Osaka & we need more players. All abilities welcome. If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org WANNA SING AT BARS & CLUBS? Osaka/Kobe popular cover band is looking for female vocals. If you are able to sing in Eng, join us Lots of fun & paid gigs guaranteed. Covered artists: Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Beyonce, Rihanna & many more soul/R&B;/pop artists. Text us for audition. http://www.myspace.com/ soulkissjapan Email: email@example.com MUSICIANS NEEDED Drummer, Bassist & Guitarist needed in Osaka for metal band. Rehearse 1-3 times a week in Osaka. Experienced Metal musicians pref. Looking to record & play live gigs in the near future. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
52 CLASSIFIEDS FRIENDSHIP PARTY IN UMEDA ! We’ve a Friendship Potluck (Mochi Komi) Party every Sat at 7PM near Hep Five,in Umeda. It is ¥500 for the food, or ¥200 if you bring your own food. The purpose of our party is to make new friends & have a good time together. Pls contact us for the loc. Email: email@example.com WELSH CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2012 An admission-free event to introduce Wales & its unique culture to the general public. Sun. 18th Mar 11-17:00 Senri Bunka Centre “Corabo” at Senri-Chuo, Osaka. Pls come to the Kansai page of the website of St David’ Society, Japan http://cdsjapan.jimdo.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendship JM SEEKING FOREIGN GIRLS I’m a 24 yo JM in Osaka who’s looking for nice foreign girls to meet! I’m a nice good guy who is sometimes mean in a playful way, likes joking around & having a laugh. I’ve been to UK, America, Holland & Spain. Let’s hang out at a pub/bar/club E: email@example.com EUROPEAN MAN SEEKS GIRLFRIEND 45, well-educated, attractive, fit, healthy, kind, fun. Seeking girlfriend in Kansai for food, culture, love. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org STUDY GROUP Studying for a test or just for fun? Want to study / others at a cafe on the weekends? Now its just me studying for the JLPT. Anyone is welcome & any study material is fine (Lang, Math etc) Just looking for people to enjoy studying together. Somewhere in Chuo-ku area pref. Email: osaka.study. email@example.com US PHOTOGRAPHER FOR JF ASSISANT US man, photographer needs Jap female friend for help w/ book on Kansai. I am friendly w/ artistic sense, need help understanding culture. Usually photograph on Sun & some evenings. Pls email, will send examples of work. Am polite, honest & hope you are too. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org HI FROM KYOTO ! I am a middle aged Jap man looking for one woman to meet over some alcohol for friendship & possibly more! Pls contact
kansaiscene.com | mar 2012 freely whose nationalities are not much concerned! Email: email@example.com
started playing, so I might need a bit of help. Email: theasis.city.blues@ gmail.com
SMART NICE HUMOR WF IS SOUGHT Nice, sweet, easygoing, smart, funny sci-minded bilingual JM seeks a sweet non-Jap woman for friend & more to enjoy life, good times. The more she be smart, openminded, smart, the better for us to get along well; for harmonious relationship & longer; commitment. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org EATING TOUR I JUSO Shall we go to juso to have yammy food? chinese, korea, gyoza, thai, okinawa, tacoyaki ¥100 bar, sushi, sashi & more. Very cheap & tasty. Pls contact me anytime you would like to join. E: email@example.com LOOKING FOR SOULMATE TO WED Im a handsome S-American man, 35 yrs/o. Im doing my PhD in Osaka, but not many chance to meet a right woman. Im looking for a mature woman who likes to get together w/ me, & even for settling down if we match. E: firstname.lastname@example.org OSAKA-CHAN Seeking Female to hangout talk drink in osaka area Im new, sure will find interested here. I like music I like to have serious relationship E: email@example.com SEEKING NEW EXPERIENCE 27yo Jap female seeking western female for friendship& more. If interested pls contact. E: firstname.lastname@example.org LOOKING FOR FRIEND IN OSAKA I live also in osaka since a fews yrs if you are a time during your day off we can spend time around osaka drink coffee I do also photography Im french guy 39 y/o good looking & educated speak english & jap. Email: email@example.com SOMEONE NICE,HONEST & FUN Are there any Females reading this that are sincere, & looking for a Good friend to relax w/, etc.If you’d like to get to know, an attractive professional who is well traveled & Educated, fun & interesting please mail me. E: firstname.lastname@example.org ANY GIRLS PLAY GUITAR? 26m in osaka looking for someone to practice playing guitar w/, pref a J/F. I’m free nights & weekends. I just
FRIENDS IN OSAKA I’m a Jap guy living in Osaka. I’m looking for a native English speaker to hang out w/ in order to increase my English skills. I can also help you Jap, if you’re interested. Email: email@example.com ONLY ONE I understand it’s difficult to find a real partner on Net like this. but I have really no chance to new people. Where are you? I’m not interested in only email friend, I’m calm, sincere, lonley JF. I want to see you 37~47 WM who can send me pic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lang. Exchange ENGLISH & JAPANESE I am a Jap female & university student, looking for LE partners to improve my English in Kyoto. Only women pls. E: email@example.com LANGUAGE EXCHANGE British English from a friendly kind guy who is looking for a similar Jap lady & long term friendship. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org LANGUAGE & ROMANCE Foreign girl looking for a JP boy to practice jap & romance. I’m interested in Art, music, culture, ecchi. Email: email@example.com 10YO JP GIRL N’ 9YO JP BOY Are looking for playmates. Kids would like to use their English, so playmates should speak English fluently. They like both indoor & outdoor activities. E: firstname.lastname@example.org LANG. EXCHANGE I am a foreign student studying in Kyoto. I can teach Jap citizens: English, Russian & Georgian Langs. Highly expertised. Interested candidates pls contact via: mamuka.gag@gmail. com Any questions are welcomed. JAPANESE & FRENCH OR KOREAN I’d like to study French or Korean seriously! But now I know nothing about them. Will you teach me French or Korean? I’d love to teach you Jap or share the Jap culture w/ you in return. I’m 33 yo JF. Gender
doesn’t matter. Email: email@example.com
ENGLISH-JAPANESE ! Friendly English teacher is looking for Jap friends for lang exchange at least once a week in Umeda or Sannomiya area. Lets speak in Jap & English over a cup of tea or coffee. E: firstname.lastname@example.org LANGUAGE EXCHANGE I am looking for lang exchange partners or teacher in Osaka. Im living Toyonaka. Pls help me learn French. Il teach you jap. Email: email@example.com JAP-ENGLISH LAN EXCHANGE I am looking for lang partners in Japan to learn Jap. I am also happy to help you to learn English. If you are interested in my profile visit: www.languageforexchange.com LANGUAGE EXCHANGE Im 21 jap boy. lm living hirakata. Im looking 4 a exchange partner. Im studing english now. Pls give me a emall. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org LANGUAGE EXCHANGE IN KOBE I teach Jap, JLPT, Jap compositions for comfortable Nihongo conversation. You teach Eng, English idioms. If you are interested, pls contact me. E: email@example.com LANGUAGE EXCHANGE IN OSAKA On Mon night! We can introduce a person who is interested in your language. We also have Jap class at the same room & volunteers help your study. We can accept any level. ¥400/J.class, ¥200/L.exchange. Join us! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org LANGUAGE EXCHANGE IN KYOTO JM (married) is looking for native English speaker for lang exchange & friendship. Pls feel free to contact me. email@example.com LANGUAGE EXCHANGE IN OSAKA I’m a Jap guy living in Osaka. I’ve had a hard time learning English. If you have felt that of Jap, we should get together & help each other out. Native English speaker pref but not necessary. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org More KS classifieds online! Because of space, we are unable to print all classified ads. Visit www. kansaiscene.com for more ads and to place your own.