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HEIJO-KYO AND TEMPLES / Great Buddha product of early technology

Taking up herewith Kansai Culture News by Yomiuri.
Recent Kansai Trend will be read via these News.
Regarding Heijo-kyo, this year is to be 1300 aniversary.
Interested in "HEIJO-KYO AND TEMPLES / Great Buddha product of early technology",  "KANSAI&WEST / Rakugo storyteller to perform at U.N., Carnegie Hall" and etc.
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HEIJO-KYO AND TEMPLES / Great Buddha product of early technology 
Jan 7, 2010 by Yomiuri
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/NaraTodaijiDaibutsu0212.jpg

Today, The Daily Yomiuri will begin a three-part series, titled "Heijo-kyo and Temples," on the Kansai & West page to introduce aspects of Tenpyo culture and the temples associated with it. The first installment focuses on Todaiji temple and the reasons for the construction of the Great Buddha.

NARA--"The Great Buddha should not be admired only for its giant size. I hope visitors to the temple will understand why the Great Buddha was constructed and imagine the livelihoods of the people and the belief that happiness could come through harmony with nature," said Kansho Tsutsui, the administration chief of Todaiji temple in Nara.

In the Nara period (710-784), which began with the relocation of the capital to Heijo-kyo, in present day Nara, Buddhist culture flowered, reaching a peak with the eye-popping consecration ceremony for the Great Buddha in April 752. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Canted roof to top Osaka Station 
Dec 24, 2009 by Yomiuri

OSAKA--A section of an unusual canted roof has recently been completed above a platform of JR Osaka Station in Kita Ward, Osaka, which is undergoing massive renovations.

The roof covering the platform stretches 105 meters north to south and 160 meters east to west.

According to West Japan Railway Co., the top of the inclined roof reaches up to the 12th floor of the 28-story Osaka Station New North Building, which is also under construction, from the usual height above the platform.

The new building north of the station accommodates JR Osaka Mitsukoshi Isetan department store and other stores, offices and restaurants. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Kabuki actors promote 'Chushingura' 
Dec 24, 2009 by Yomiuri

http://www.kabuki.ne.jp/cms/topics/20091102_0800000gy9H.jpg

KYOTO--Sakata Tojuro and two other kabuki actors visited Ichirikitei teahouse in the Gion entertainment district of Kyoto in Higashiyama Ward last week to promote a New Year's performance of "Kanadehon Chushingura," the story of 47 loyal retainers.

The teahouse is the setting of the play's seventh act, which features chief retainer Oboshi Yuranosuke, to be played by Sakata. In the play, Oboshi feigned a life of debauchery at the teahouse to deceive the enemy and proceed with preparations to avenge the death of his lord, who was ordered to commit suicide.

The publicity campaign by the three kabuki actors was held on Dec. 14, the day the 47 retainers finally carried out their revenge in 1702. The incident became dramatized in "Chushingura."  ...

KANSAI&WEST / Giving working women their due 
Dec 24, 2009 by Yomiuri

OSAKA--For half a century, Emiko Takenaka, 80, has led the charge to improve the working environment of Japanese women through lectures and publications.

Although her ultimate goal of achieving equality of the sexes by departing from conventional gender role models is still a work in progress, her insightful theories have helped female labor union leaders win better pay, institutionalize childcare leave and achieve equal opportunity.

Although she retired from teaching in 2002 and is now a professor emeritus of Osaka City University, the soft spoken but energetic Takenaka is still in demand as a theoretician.

Takenaka also served as director of the Osaka Prefectural Center for Youth and Gender Equality, better known as Dawn Center, from 2001 to 2007. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Rakugo storyteller to perform at U.N., Carnegie Hall 
Dec 17, 2009 by Yomiuri
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/photos/entertainments/entertainers/091202/tnr0912022119011-p1.jpg

OSAKA--Rakugo storyteller Katsura Koharudanji will perform the comic storytelling form at the U.N. headquarters and at Carnegie Hall in New York in February.

The year 2010 is shaping up to be a turning point for the 51-year-old Osakan, who has performed traditional performing arts overseas for the past 10 years.

Koharudanji said it probably would be the first rakugo performance held at U.N. headquarters.

Beginning with Britain in 2000, Koharudanji has visited 12 countries, including France, Germany and Turkey, to perform rakugo.

He said he felt the U.N. headquarters would be the best place to convey the message of peace through laughter and spent two years negotiating the project. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Healthy ice cream puts freeze on sugar, fat 
Dec 17, 2009 by Yomiuri

OSAKA--The unfortunate truth about ice cream is that the tastiest kinds tend to have the most sugar and milk fat. However, Ezaki Glico Co. makes a low-calorie variety that has gained popularity over the last few years.

Since its debut in 2003, Calorie Control Ice Cream has increasingly become the ice cream of choice for people with diet restrictions, such as those recovering from illnesses, as well as health-conscious consumers. The brand, initially sold at only 100 shops, is now available in 18,000.

In April 2001, Ezaki Glico ice cream researcher Takao Okuno, 39, was asked by Atsuko Fukumoto, a registered dietitian at Tokyo Medical University's Hachioji Medical Center, to develop a low-calorie ice cream for diabetics. ...

KANSAI&WEST / Italian to serve as part-time shrine maiden 
Dec 17, 2009 by Yomiuri

KYOTO--A 24-year-old Italian student will serve as a part-time shrine maiden at Shimogamo Shrine in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, during the year-end and New Year's season.

Wearing a white robe and red hakama divided skirt, Giulia Martino, who is studying Japanese at Doshisha University, attended a seminar on the etiquette and language required for the maidens at the shrine, part of a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with about 50 other identically clad women.

Martino will be the first non-Asian student to serve as a shrine maiden. This year, five other foreign students, including Chinese and South Korean students, will join her.

Participants of the seminar held on Dec. 7 worshipped at the shrine's main hall and then practiced such phrases as "Yokoso Omairi Kudasai-mashita" (We welcome you to the shrine).
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By T.S. on Jan 14, 2010
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