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Rebuilt venue will seek younger audience

Robot set to walk on moon by 2015
Asahi - Apr 30

HIGASHI-OSAKA, Osaka Prefecture--The rising sun will leave its mark on the moon, if all goes according to plan.

An innovative Osaka group of small factories has announced its intention to put a bipedal humanoid robot on the lunar surface by 2015.

The Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association (SOHLA) said it will utilize its experience of developing and putting the Maido-1 satellite into orbit last year. ...
photo
(A rendering of the humanoid robot drawing a Hinomaru rising-sun flag on the lunar surface)
(SPACE ORIENTED HIGASHIOSAKA LEADING ASSOCIATION)

Tough rescue robot developed
Asahi - Apr 30
photo
(Rescue robot "Quince" (THE ASAHI SHIMBUN))

NARASHINO, Chiba Prefecture--A multiple-track rescue robot inspired by the difficulties encountered by rescuers in the havoc wreaked by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake was unveiled Wednesday.

The robot, called "Quince," is capable of navigating hazardous, rubble-strewn environments and, unlike many existing robots, is unaffected by dusty and watery conditions. It is also simple enough to be easily cleaned after working in contaminated environments. ...

ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK
Asahi - Apr 30

A column presenting verse by international poets

Shades of green;
wood nymph
glimpses
--Junko Yamada (Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture)

* * *
Fresh verdure
Madonna muses
in the shade
--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture)
* * *
Summer shower
a green leaf among the leaves
tree-frog
--Mario Zontini (Italy)
* * *
Tahiti
papayas Gauguin's
always there
--Michael Corr (Nagoya)
* * *
Chewing khat
their plans get bigger--
leafing green
--Heike Gewi (Yemen) ...

Nerima Ward opens anime website
Asahi - Apr 28

Tokyo's Nerima Ward has launched a website in Japanese and English to enhance its profile as the "birthplace of anime" by providing updates on the animation industry and showcasing films made by local anime artists to global fans.

Nerima Animation Site (www.animation-nerima.jp) will carry news on the industry, anime fairs around the world and projects under way in the ward in northwest Tokyo, where the largest concentration of anime production companies in Japan is situated. ...

Kabukiza evoked atmosphere of Edo Period
Asahi - Apr 28

photo
(Kabukiza in Tokyo's Ginza district (THE ASAHI SHIMBUN))

The curtain comes down Wednesday on the famed Kabukiza theater, a Tokyo landmark one way or another since 1889.

Wednesday marks the final performance of the age-old art form at this venerable venue before work begins on tearing down the structure for a new complex scheduled for completion in three years.

The final performance also winds up a series of "sayonara" farewell programs that has lasted for 16 months.
A special ceremony marking the theater's closure will be held Friday. ...

Passing on memories, art form to next generations
Asahi - Apr 28

When the "new-look" Kabukiza reopens in the spring of 2013, it will embody architect Kengo Kuma's intention of passing on a tradition to future generations.

"The Kabukiza is not simply a theater, but a festive space that is open to an urban area," Kuma said. "The large clay tile roofing gives one the feeling of slipping back in time within a metropolis where boxed buildings line the streets. We have to pass on the symbolic nature of that roof. I will try not to change the atmosphere of the present structure, including the white exterior walls."

Along with the theater, Shochiku Co. plans to construct a 29-story commercial building. ...

Rebuilt venue will seek younger audience
Asahi - Apr 28

The owners of the Kabukiza hope to reach out to a new audience of younger people and foreigners with their rebuilt theater, while improving standards of comfort for their established older fan base.

The new venue will be equipped with escalators and elevators to get the seniors to their seats, as well as improved seating in the main auditorium.

But, in the underground plaza connecting the Kabukiza to the Higashi-Ginza subway station, the owners hope to attract visitors unfamiliar with the traditional drama form with exhibits introducing the culture of the Edo Period (1603-1867) from which Kabuki flowered.

By T.S. on May 9, 2010
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