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Abstract emotion runs deep in Kyoto dance

COOL JAPANESE SCENE / Kansai & Kyoto (65) / Kansai & Kyoto (67)

Taking up herewith Japanese Culture News by Yomiuri Shinbun.
Mainly Kansai Culture Trend will be read via these News.
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Who took the sting out of summer? / The surprising history of the humble but indispensable mosquito incense coil 
Aug 13, 2009 by Yomiuri Shinbun

ARIDA, Wakayama--Mosquito repellent incense coils are an indispensable summer companion in Japan and many other nations, but their invention by a firm here more than 100 years ago would not have occurred if not for the inspired intervention of the wife of the firm's founder.
At the base of a mountain range in Arida, Wakayama Prefecture, stands the Kishu factory of Dainihon Jochugiku Co., a mosquito incense coil manufacturer headquartered in Osaka. One can smell the incense of pyrethrum, known as jochugiku in Japanese, all around the factory--a scent that somehow evokes memories of childhood summers.
Inside, workers packed coils as they came off a conveyer belt. Due to mechanization, the factory can produce 1.2 million coils per day. ...

Noh event celebrates Mt. Yoshino 
Aug 13, 2009 by Yomiuri Shinbun

OSAKA--This year's Osaka Castle Takigi Noh features pieces associated with Mt. Yoshino in Nara, where the prefectural government and other bodies have promoted the protection of defoliated cherry trees.
The annual summer event starts at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27 with "Yoshino Shizuka," the story of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, a military commander in the Heian period (794-1192), and his mistress Shizuka Gozen.
Yoshitsune is pursued by his brother and flees to Mt. Yoshino. Meanwhile, Shizuka performs a beautiful dance in front of Yoshitsune's enemies to give him time to escape. ...

Abstract emotion runs deep in Kyoto dance
Aug 13, 2009 by Yomiuri Shinbun

KYOTO--Whereas many dancers strive to be as expressive as possible and ensure the audience understands their intended meaning, Inoue Yachiyo V, head of the Inoue school of Kyoto-style classical Japanese dance, believes emotional themes are best communicated abstractly.
This emphasis on nonliteral expression, which is the defining characteristic of the school and is also essential to Japanese noh, was at the center of discussion at a recent symposium at Kyoto University of Art and Design in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto.
Inoue, 52, was present at the event to give an example performance. Also acting as one of the panelists, she spoke about the similarities between her style of dance and the Western ballet, such as using hand movements and dramatized breathing as communicative techniques. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Dance group keeping A-bomb memories alive
Aug 6, 2009 by Yomiuri Shinbun

HIROSHIMA--As the number of atomic bomb survivors decreases each year, a local dance group in Hiroshima is trying to keep memories of the experience alive through an annual stage performance depicting how people in the bombed city survived and overcome the damage.
The show, "I Pray," was produced and staged by Yoko Kihara, a local choreographer, as a part of commemorative events to mark the atomic bomb anniversary in 1996.
Since then, she has annually recruited new members from the public and stages the performance every summer. This year on Aug. 2, about 50 performers ranging in age from 4 to over 50 expressed what happened in Hiroshima on that morning 64 years ago through song and dance at Aster Plaza in the city's Naka Ward. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Dreaming of a nuclear arms-free world
Aug 6, 2009 by Yomiuri Shinbun

HIROSHIMA/OSAKA--Today, Hiroshima commemorates the 64th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing. Many victims of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been encouraged by U.S. President Barack Obama's initiatives toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, but they know that attaining the goal will not be easy.
"I was so impressed that [Obama] seemed to sincerely advocate a world without nuclear weapons," said Sunao Tsuboi, Cochairman of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, recalling when he first read a transcript of the president's speech during the U.S. presidential primaries last year. ...
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By T.S. on Aug 20, 2009
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