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Showing posts from April, 2010

Opera in Tokyo? 2010 Listings

Tokyo is said to have 62 halls and theatres where opera may be performed, according to Opera Japonica.



YouTube video: Renate Tibaldi, performing in Ueno, Tokyo in 1973.

So, if you wanted to listen to opera in this city in 2010, what would you do?

You should probably ask some of the more up-to-date wesbsites, such as

That operajapnica website was last upated sometime way back in 2006. Curious. At some point, someone gathered the following information, about opera and classical music in Japan:


Japan

Listed by area: all sites are in Japanese only, unless otherwise indicated.
English pages, when they do exist, may not offer any substantial information!

Tokyo

Classica Japan www.classicajapan.com/
Popular site for classical music news and links
Daily Classical Music Critique by Takamoto Hideyuki www2k.biglobe.ne.jp/~critique/
Geidankyo/Japan Council of Performers' Organizations (English/Japanese) www.geidankyo.or.jp/
HMV Japan (English) www.hmv.co.jp/help/Main…

Kyoto Vegan/Vegetarian Festival May 2 (Sunday)

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To find out more about how the Kyoto Vegan Earth Day was brought to life, Kyoto resident Jennifer Teeter interviewed Iwasa Akiko (a.k.a. Chiko), who has been organizing the Vegetarian Festival since 2003.

From 10,000 Things:

Can you tell us a little bit about the Vegetarian and Vegan scene in Kyoto?

9 years ago, when the first Vegetarian Festival was first held, people had only heard of the word vegetarian and many thought "vegetarian" simply meant vegetable. Also, many people thought it was strange for people to chose to lead a lifestyle where they didn't eat animals for religious purposes. However, as the years have passed, judging by the people who come to the VegFest, questionnaires, the number of vegetarian restaurants and the media attention vegetarianism has garnered, we can see that the image of vegetarians has changed. Perhaps Kyoto and Tokyo can be considered the easiest places for vegetarians to live in all of Japan. Kyoto is well-known for the vegetarian cookin…

Newsy Video Featuring The Protests Against U.S. Military Bases In Okinawa

Interesting short video from Newsy, a website media that attempts to show different sides of a story by quoting different sources. In this case, they quoted something I wrote here on Kurashi, which was picked up by Global Post, as well as stories from CNN and Eric Johnston at The Japan Times.

The video provides a quick look at the difficult issues surrounding the military bases in Okinawa, and mentions the advertisement published in Washington Post on April 28, "Would You Want 30 Military Bases In Your Backyard?"

NHK: Democracy On The Line In Japan, Okinawa Protest In Tokyo

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Sit-in for removing Futenma base staged

Political leaders from Okinawa staged a sit-in near the Diet building in Tokyo on Tuesday, calling for the removal of a US military base.

About 70 people, including the mayors of Ginowan and Nago cities, and prefectural assembly lawmakers were fresh from a large anti-base rally in Okinawa on Sunday. The rally participants demanded the transfer of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station outside Okinawa, or Japan.

They sat down on the sidewalk in front of the Diet building and raised a banner to express their opposition to the relocation of the base within the prefecture.

Yoichi Iha, the mayor of Ginowan, which hosts the Futenma base said it will destroy the lives of residents in the neighborhood. He added that his city opposes the relocation of the base within Okinawa.

Iha complained that the media has been reporting that the base will eventually be moved to the Henoko area of Nago City in Okinawa but says such plan cannot be accepted.

The protestors a…

Sit-in By Okinawa Mayors Today In Tokyo: "Remove the U.S. Marine Base From Ginowan"

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Okinawa mayors are holding a demonstration outside the Japanese Parliament building today Tuesday. The sit-in calls for a "removal" of the U.S. marine air base from Futenma, Okinawa in the city of Ginowan. Of course, the more than 90,000 people who attended the massive rally on Sunday, April 25 have made it clear that Tokyo and Washington must re-think the obsolete security treaty from the 1960s. The Cold War is so over.

How important are these recent events for Japan? There has not been a more interesting change in this part of the world for a very long time. As American power is being reduced, with less economic might to back up its usual posturing, that country tries to fight back against China's rise in the Far East, as this would mean Japan, China (and Korea) will increasingly form policies on their own. But, holding on to its military bases in Okinawa, the U.S. appears to have no real plan for the region except asserting that "new" threats or "the inc…

Great photos and report of Kyoto's Solidarity Rally for Okinawa at Deep Kyoto

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Deep Kyoto has posted some great photos and good report of the Kyoto Tea Party in support of Okinawan democracy.



Deep Kyoto says:

The Japanese have a reputation for being rather apathetic about politics, so it’s good to see people making a racket on the streets about issues they care about. Now it’s up to Prime Minister Hatoyama to make good on his election promises and listen to what the Okinawan people are saying.

NHK's report: Governor Nakaima calls for removal of US military base out of Okinawa

From NHK's English website "Anti-US base rally held in Okinawa:"Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has called on the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to move the US Futenma air station out of Okinawa.

Nakaima spoke at a massive rally in the village of Yomitan on Sunday. The participants called on the Japanese and US governments to move the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa or overseas.

Nakaima said it is very unfair that US bases have remained in the prefecture long after the end of World War Two.

He said the issue does not only concern Okinawa, and he believes the enthusiasm shown at the rally will prompt both the Japanese and US governments to come up with an acceptable solution.

The 2 countries agreed in 2006 to move the Futenma air station from the crowded city of Ginowan to a coastal area near the US Camp Schwab in Nago, also in Okinawa.

The participants adopted a resolution demanding that the 2 governments give up relocating the base within Ok…

90,000 Okinawans Attend Massive April 25 Rally Demanding Closure of the Futenma U.S. Marine Base & Opposing A "Replacement" Base In Henoko

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Massive rally in Okinawa on April 25. 90,000 people attended. Many more intended to join the rally, but were stuck in traffic en route. Okinawa Governor Nakaima addressed the crowd, promising to listen to the protests.

基地を撤去 (Kichi wo tekkyo) means "Remove the bases"



Update: Later on April 25, 0ver 1,200 attended a candle vigil in Tokyo (photos below).

At the solidarity event in Tokyo's Meiji Park on Sunday evening, candles were lit and 1,200 people formed the letters NO BASE OKINAWA.

Let's be honest - there is no military threat in the Far East that really requires tens of thousand U.S. soldiers or marines to be based here. The only recent event when the Okinawa marines were useful was when "papa Bush" as he is called in Japan decided to send them to Kuwait in 1991, almost 20 years ago.

And Japan's tax payers are reluctantly footing a huge part of the bill, as part of deals made in the 1970s by the corrupt Liberal Democratic Party law maker and shadow &q…

AFP: Japan PM rules out environmentally destructive 2006 deal on US base on eve of rally

AFP reports that Prime Minister Hatoyama has ruled out the 2006 Bush-Koizumi agreement to build a U.S. military base in an environmentally sensitive area of Okinawa. Their proposal called for the destruction of the habitat of the federally protected Okinawan dugong, a critically endangered species. Japan's premier ruled out a plan for a new US airbase on Okinawa island Saturday, on the eve of a mass rally against the planned facility, in a row that has soured ties with Washington for months.

The centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama last year launched a review of a 2006 pact to move an unpopular US base from a crowded city area of the southern island to a quieter coastal area, where locals also oppose it.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Tokyo had agreed to broadly stick with the original plan, in an online report published a day before 100,000 people on Okinawa were expected to protest against the US military presence.

Hatoyama, whose approval ratings have dived into t…

Noise Pollution In Okinawa

Do watch this 8 minutes long video to get a brief feeling of what residents of Ginowan City, Okinawa, Japan go through each day (and night). This is the plight that must end. Prime Minister Hatoyama may not be sure how to go about it, but he has the right idea. Main stream media in Washington is mocking him for trying. President Obama, come here and listen to the voices of ordinary citizens (just as U.S. presidents have visited Iraq and other American battle fields).



U.S. Marines have overstayed their welcome after years of abuse. With all due respect to individual men and women who serve in the U.S. military, it is time to leave Japan and the Far East. People here want peace, not more noise, threats, and the usual (oh, so boring) military posturing. It is time to end the cold war in the Far East, and close these U.S. bases. The massive protests on Sunday. April 25, cannot be ignored.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ginowancityokinawa#p/a/u/1/VxBl9aahPZ0

LIVE VIDEO of OKINAWAN RALLY - 3 p.m. Japan time (2 a.m. D.C. time) until the end of the rally

You can see the Okinawan Rally at the Ryukyu Shimpo website. Coverage starts on Sunday, April 25 at 3 p.m. Japan time (2 a.m. Washington D.C. time) and lasts until the end of the rally.

Gavan McCormack: Okinawan rally on April 25th--unprecedented event for democracy in Japanese & World History

From Satoko Norimatsu's Peace Philosophy Centre Blog: "The 25th becomes an unprecedented event in modern Japanese history, if not the world history," Gavan McCormack, Professor of Australian National University, shared his thoughts on the upcoming mass rally in Okinawa.

"Never before in Japanese history has an entire region stood up and said 'No' to the central state authorities. And it is so much the more remarkable because they are actually saying 'No' not just to Tokyo but to Washington.

"And, not only that, they now almost certainly are going to win: they are going to impose their will upon the two most powerful governments in the world. For citizens to assert, successfully, their moral authority and their right to dictate to government(s) is really something to celebrate!

"This may be a new phase in democracy. "

Don't Force Bases onto Okinawa! - Open Air Tea Party (3pm) • Rally (5pm) • Demo (6pm) in Kyoto-- Sunday, April 25th!

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Give the U.S. and Japanese governments a YELLOW CARD!

Yellow-garbed, peace-loving people will gather together on Sunday, April 25th in Honolulu, Washington D.C., and Tokyo in solidarity with the 100,000 person strong rally that will be held in Okinawa opposing the continued presence of military bases.

On the same day, Kyoto Action against bases in Henoko and Futenma is also organizing a simultaneous action along the Kamo River in Kyoto City. For more information about the activities of Kyoto Action, click here to see a Ten Thousand Things previous post.

In the spirit of ensuring that all voices and opinions are heard with respect and compassion, there will be a river-side Open Air Tea Party where participants can exchange their thoughts on the military build up in Okinawa and the world. Participants will also have the chance to create origami of the endangered dugong, one of the beautiful cousins of the sea cow whose habitat will be destroyed should the U.S. military succeed in inundatin…

U.S. Military Bases In Japan, South Korea (and more)

How many American military bases are there in the Far East? Close The Base has the details.Do join the Tokyo anti-base events on April 25.

Meiji ParkLocationKasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku Ward; Sendagaya 1-chome, Shibuya Ward
Time: From 6 pm
Place of contactYoyogi Park Administration Office
Tel: 03-3469-6081
Address: Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho 2-1, Shibuya-ku
Transport3-minute walk from Sendagaya (JR line).
2-minute walk from Kokuritsu-Kyogijo (Oedo line).
List of current U.S. Military facilities

The U.S. military installations in Japan and their managing branches are: Air Force:• Camp Chitose, Chitose, Hokkaido
• Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Prefecture
• Kadena Ammunition Storage Area, Okinawa Prefecture
• Misawa Air Base, Aomori Prefecture
• Yokota Air Base, Fussa, Tokyo
• Fuchu Communications Station, Fuchu, Tokyo
• Tama Service Annex, Inagi, Tokyo
• Yugi Communication Site, Hachioji, Tokyo
• Camp Asaka AFN Transmitter Site, Saitama Prefecture
• Tokorozawa Transmitter Site, Saitama Prefecture
• Owada Communication…

Historic United Okinawa Prefectural Rally April 25: "Move Futenma Outside of Okinawa out of the prefecture, out of the country!"

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From Satoko Norimatsu's Peace Philosophy Centre Blog:100,000 Okinawans are expected to show up at the Okinawa Prefecture Rally on April 25, at Yomitan Sports Park. Above is the flyer, which reads:

"Move Futenma Outside of Okinawa out of the prefecture, out of the country! Express our determination to Japanese and U.S. Governments!"

April 25 Prefecture Citizens' Rally

• To call for immediate closure and return of Futenma Air Station

• To Oppose inter-prefectural relocation

• To call for out-of-country or out-of-prefecture relocation

Location: Yomitan Sports Park

Let's All Go There!

3:00 PM, April 25 (Sunday)
Rain or Shine

Mayors of 37 out of 41 municipalities of all the Okinawa islands will attend the rally. The four remaining mayors, of the islands of Kumejima, Ishigaki, Ginoza, and Tokashiki, will send their representative, if not attend themselves.

Governor Nakaima, after vacillating, finally decided to attend. According to NHK News at noon on April 23, Nakaima was repor…

OKINAWAN SOLIDARITY: Gov. Nakaima officially decides to attend & will make a speech at mass rally in Okinawa!

Another up-to-the-second report from Satoko Norimatsu of Peace Philosophy Centre:You may not believe me any more, but Governor Nakaima officially decided to attend and will give a speech at the prefectural rally on April 25th.

No matter how indecisive, any governor is better than no governor. His presence will make a difference, and clearly communicate that the whole Okinawa is on a united front.

Gov. Nakaima waffling about attendance at rally; will he be the only person at home watching TV in Okinawa on Sunday?

From Satoko Norimatsu at Peace Philosophy Centre

The latest from the Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo: Governor Nakaima changed his mind again and went back to the "undecided" position about the April 25 Rally.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano admitted that he spoke to Nakaima over the phone on April 20, just before Nakaima expressed his reservation again.

Nakaima denied the phone call. It is easy to guess that Hirano pressured Nakaima not to attend.

He is calculating the political gains and losses of attending or not attending, and of delaying the decision til the last minute or not.

"All we know about Nakaima is that he is not looking to the Okinawan citizens," a member of the rally committee says. Nakaima is just looking to Tokyo.

His indecision is hurting his image, and is possibly affecting the turnout at the Rally. Or maybe more people will attend because of that, to show solidarity of ordinary residents.

Nakaima could be the only one in Okinawa watching TV at home …

Practicing Archery In Osaka...

Zen's Sekai, a blog I like, is in Osaka for some serious archery practice. He is amazingly honest about his experiences and if you like good writing, do have a look. His wife takes great photos too.
Afterward more practice, and another time in front of Dai-Sensei, I was helped with my standing form and orientation to the shooting line, which I was blowing, yet Dai-Sensei was patient and had someone help me. I felt better on my next to last shot when I got a dead center bulls eye and heard a couple of exclamations from behind me… yeah baby, Yatta!
Kyudo is closely related to Zen. Both may require long, hard practice. By being able to observe yourself, in a self-referal way, and then letting go, you start making progress. Having a great teacher is of course helpful. I like how the narrative of the Nihon Chronicles 2010 takes the reader deep into Nippon mindfulness country, a place where old people do Tai Chi at 6:00 AM in some Osaka park, and where a "foreigner" is no longer…

Kurashi 5 Years!

Kurashi News From Japan started five years ago, thanks all of you who who have tuned in to the "eco blog" and especially to everyone who felt that special urge to make a comment. Five years is a long time. It all begun when I was in Seoul, Korea in 2005, and since then, I made a lot of speeches and appearances at different conferences and meetings. My food safety ranking book was published last year in May, 2009, and it continues to sell in bookstores and at amazon. Who could ask for more?

Blogging has since evolved. I like using Youtube videos here, hoping you are able to enjoy the kind of music I like. However, I rarely get comments on such posts. Does it mean that most of you cannot access Youtube videos posted here on Kurashi?

Others use Facebook and Twitter. New tools. I'm not so sure that we should try every new gadget. If you like blogs, please stay with Kurashi. I'm hoping we can keep the momentum going. Any ideas how to suit your needs as you access my humble …

Governor Nakaima will attend the April 25 rally in Okinawa!

The latest--many thanks to Satoko Norimatsu's outstanding bilingual reporting:Ryukyu Shimpo'sreport just came in.

Governor Nakaima of Okinawa has decided to attend the April 25th Rally.

Good news.Analysts say his attendance is crucial in the movement opposing any further U.S. military base construction in Okinawa.

Lingering Snow In Tokyo

We had early morning snow in Tokyo just a couple of days ago, very strange weather. Not for 40 years or so has it been like this. On the other hand, what is normal these days.

Iruka's real name is Kanbe Toshie. She wrote and performed a number of well known and popular Japanese folk songs, the most popular of which is probably "Nagori Yuki" (Lingering Snow). Enjoy...

Kisha o matsu kimi no yoko de boku wa
Tokei o ki ni shite 'ru
Kisetsu hazure no yuki ga futte 'ru
Tokyo de miru yuki wa kore ga saigo ne to
Samishisou ni kimi wa tsubuyaku
Nagori yuki mo furu toki o shiri
Fuzake sugita kisetsu no ato de
Ima haru ga kite kimi wa kirei ni natta
Kyonen yori zutto kirei ni natta

Ugoki hajimete kisha no mado ni
Kao o tsukete
Kimi wa nani ka iou toshite 'ru
Kimi no kuchibiru ga sayounara to ugoku koto ga
Kowakute shita o muite 'ta
Toki ga yukeba osanai kimi mo
Otona ni naru to kizukanai mama
Ima haru ga kite kimi wa kirei ni natta
Kyonen yori zutto kirei ni natta

NO BASE! OKINAWA Candle Action Event in Meiji-Koen, Tokyo

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A mass rally will be held in Okinawa on April 25, with people gathering from all over the prefecture and Japan.

They are demanding that no more bases be forced on Okinawa!

In solidarity, people from throughout Japan will gather together to spell out with candles the message "NO BASE! OKINAWA" and send their support to the Okinawan people.

4月25日に沖縄で「島ぐるみ」の県民大会が行われます。
これ以上沖縄に基地を押しつけないでほしい!
その思いをキャンドルに託して、人文字をつくります。
〝NO BASE! OKINAWA〟
この日、日本全国が沖縄に呼応します。
この日、沖縄に行けない方、明治公園に集まって下さい。

☆集会名:「沖縄に基地はいらない」全国同時アクション
NO BASE! OKINAWA ~キャンドルで人文字をつくろう!

☆日 時:4月25日(日)18時~
APRIL 25th, from 6 pm

☆場 所:明治公園 新宿霞岳町、渋谷区千駄ヶ谷一丁目

☆アクセス:JR「千駄ヶ谷」下車 徒歩5分
地下鉄大江戸線「国立競技場」(E25)下車 徒歩2分
地下鉄銀座線「外苑前」下車徒歩15分

☆内 容:歌、スピーチ、キャンドルによる人文字
※当日、キャンドル代(orペンライト代)として500円程度のカンパにご協力ください!

☆主催:「沖縄に基地はいらない」全国同時アクションTokyo
☆協賛:沖縄一坪反戦地主会関東ブロック/WORLD PEACE  NOW

☆連絡先:no_base-owner@yahoogroups.jp

☆ Event:
Simultaneous actions for a base-free Okinawa
Candle event spelling out "NO BASE! OKINAWA"

☆ Date: April 25, 2010 (Sunday)

☆ Time: From 6 pm

☆ Place: M…

People of Tokunoshima in island-wide protest -- "Absolute Opposition to Bases!"

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Photos: Jiji News Agency

As usual, Satoko Norimatsu has the latest and best coverage on all things Okinawa (and Tokunoshima) at her Peace Philosophy Centre Blog--"Hantai!" - Tokunoshima's Record-Breaking Addition to Ryukyuans' Democratic Voices:On April 18, a rally was held in Tokunoshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture to oppose the relocation of Futenma Air Station in Okinawa to the Island. The participation of 15,000 people, 60% of the population of about 26,000, is a record-breaking size of gathering on the island.

Signs read:

"Tokunoshima does not need military bases."
"Absolute Opposition to Bases! "
"Tokunoshima - an Isalnd of Long Life and Children"
"Protect the Island of "Yui"(mutual support)"
"The treasures of the Island are Nature, Children, and Kindness"
"We Oppose US Military Bases!"

The most frequently-seen word in this photo is hantai (反対), meaning "opposition."

According to Okinawa Ti…

US Rejects Tokunoshima & White Beach; still wants military expansion at Henoko, home to critically endangered dugong

According to an April 17 Japan Timesarticle, the US military rejects Tokunoshima and White Beach; still wants military expansion at Henoko, an ecologically sensitive area in central Okinawa and home to critically endangered dugong.

Spring Love Harukaze 2010: Music festival-goers feel the love; explore issues of peace and sustainability

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For the second year in a row during the first weekend of April, amidst cherry blossoms at their peak and near-perfect (if slightly chilly) weather, the Spring Love Harukaze festival transformed Tokyo's Yoyogi Park into a space of positive energy and peaceful vibes.

The event featured some of Japan’s top musical talent, as well as a series of talk sessions related to various peace and environmental issues. In addition, the festival included a flea market with natural and eco-related goods, food stalls with organic and various world cuisines, tents with information from peace and environmental NPOs/NGOs, a DJ tent where young dancers enjoyed chilled-out grooves, and jam sessions/performances spontaneously organized by festival-goers that cropped up all over the venue throughout the weekend.

The festival was the result of a collaboration between Harukaze organizers, who put on rave parties of the same name in Yoyogi Park during the 1990s, together with the volunteer collective Peace No…

US for Okinawa - Revelatory journal & photos from Naha, Ginowan City, Henoko, & Takae

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From our friends at US for Okinawa, revealing findings and photos from Naha, Ginowan City, Henoko and Takae, Okinawa: DAY 1: Up at 03:30 AM and off to Okinawa to experience what is really happening with our own eyes. There has been a lot of news recently dealing with the Futenma Air Base issue and what should/will be done in Okinawa regarding its relocation or closure. We are here to learn as much as possible while visiting the island, through interviewing locals and talking with those on the front lines, in order to make our own opinions on the subject.

Immediately upon arrival we noticed that Naha wasn't your typical airport. Self-defense and U.S. military planes line the runway while fighter jets screamed overhead and men with military backpacks wait in the airport for their flights. We tried to keep a tally of the number of military aircrafts that we heard; 6 helicopters and 4 jets in the first hour that we were there...we lost count half-way into the third hour. Emilie noticed…