Tuesday, July 26, 2011

おしゃれな建物たち Fashionable buildings







Hi there! yui from Tokyo again!

I visited Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture the other day.

What do you imagine to hear “art” in Kanazawa? That is a famous contemporary art museum of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. As you may know, the building of the museum itself designed by SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) is very stylish!




設計したのはCoelacanth K&H(工藤和美さん・堀場弘さん)だそうです。

A new library has been launched in the cultural city, Kanazawa, whose name is Kanazawa Umimirai Library. This library is as fashionable as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa! I’ve heard Coelacanth K&H (Kazumi Kudo and Hiroshi Horiba) designed this library.


Look at the photo of the library↓





The round-shape circles in the photo are windows, which are surprisingly as many as 6,000 windows! The inside of the library was very light with natural sunlight.



ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレ 建築展!


Fashionable buildings like the above-mentioned ones exist here and there across Japan. To introduce such stylish buildings, the homecoming exhibition of “12th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale” is being held.

ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレ 建築展 12回

「家の外の都市の中の家 Tokyo Metabolizing」


12th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale

“House inside City outside House - Tokyo Metabolizing”




General director of this exhibition is Kazuyo Sejima, a designer of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, the commissioner of Japan pavilion is Koh Kitayama, and works of Ryue Nishizawa of SANNA are being displayed.





Why not visiting our exhibition? I’m sure it’ll give a new discovery to both those who are already interested in architecture and who want to see something fashionable though you don’t know much about architecture♪

Friday, July 22, 2011

カイロよりアハラン ワ サハラン!

アハラン ワ サハラン!



Aharan wa Saharan! (Arabic greeting)

I am Aki,a new blog member from Cairo and I have been working at Japan culture center in Cairo since this April.

However,This is the third time for me to live in Cairo. So I feel at home here.




Speaking of Egypt, the revolution in January is still fresh in our minds.

You might worry about worsening security in Egypt.

So I would like to show you some pictures from Taharir Square, the center of revolution.


Is this a picture of summer festival?




It’s a demonstration in Taharir Sq ,lined with food stalls, Egyptian families come together and walking around to listen revolution songs and speeches and poet readings and so on.



Steep reduction of the number of tourists had a big impact on souvenir shops,

but now they are selling revolution goods in Taharir Sq.new landmark(?) in Cairo.



Now I am going to report you three topics from Japan culture center in Cairo.



We have held “Kids Japanese course” (8 lessons total) since 3rd of July.

This is special course for kids to learn Japanese and Japanese culture trough games and singing and dancing.

24 Egyptian kids from 6 to 12 years old have enjoyed Japanese lesson.




Some kids got nervous at beginning , but now they got used to study Japanese and enjoy games

such as shopping game and FUKUWARAI and singing and dancing.

We hope this course become wonderful memory in their long summer holiday.(more than three months)








The second topic is IGO.

Egyptian IGO club was formed on 19th of May.

The member are mainly participants of IGO course last year, studying and playing IGO on IGO Web site everyday

and come together in Japan culture center every Thursday to learn IGO with self learning program which they made

and enjoy playing IGO together.

Chess is very popular in Egypt. But I couldn’t expect they are so fascinated by IGO too!

The members are getting better day by day, so Egyptian IGO player would play in the world tournaments in the near future.





The last topic is interview from TV program.

We had interview from Channel1.They also did a shoot of Japanese language lesson.

It is going to be a special program for Ramadan to introduce Japan.






 Ramadan will start soon. How Egyptian Muslim will manage Ramadan in midsummer?

I am going to report it next time.

Maasaraama!(see you!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

こんにちは from the land downunder 地球の反対側からこんにちは

Name: I'm Amanda, AKA Disco Diva


Superpower: Can dance until the sun comes up!


Role at JPF, Sydney: Public Relations Coordinator


About me:

I’ve been at the Japan Foundation, Sydney for 2.5 years. I started as a Program Coordinator in the Language Department and then changed to Public Relations Coordinator in April last year. My day has completed changed as I now have to keep any eye on what is happening outside the office just as much as within! Lucky for me when I look out my window I can see Sydney harbour....not the bridge though



I work with a great bunch of people, always looking for new ways to showcase all things related to Japan for the Australian public.

Our motto is ‘Bringing Japan to You’ and that’s what we strive to do, so even if you can’t afford the ticket to Japan, you can still be a part of Japan through us!


Our office is located in a very corporate building which is a bit fancy but the best thing is that we have two great Japanese restaurants within 100 metres of us. You can also walk to the harbour, the Opera House, and botanical gardens with ease. In Summer, some of us laze in the park at lunchtime making it tough to go back to our desks!


So that’s enough form me for now. I’ll be back next time with some latest event information from Sydney….think it will be about the up coming anime and manga convention. Stay tuned!

Here is a photo of a photo strip from our anime and manga event last :)



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Konnichiwa from Sydney! シドニーからこんにちは!

★From Sydney

Name: Susie aka Karaoke Queen

Super power: the ability to sing karaoke sober and not be embarrassed


JPF Role: Program Coordinator, Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange Department


About me: Hi everyone, my name is Susie and I work in the Japanese Studies department in the Sydney office. We often organise free lectures for the public about Japanese society and culture, our most recent lecture series was on anime and manga – yep you can get a PhD in comics!



I first went to Japan on a school trip when I was in high school, we did a homestay, attended Japanese high school and visited interesting places like Tokyo and Kyoto. After this trip I was hooked and I went on to study Japanese at uni and work as an English teacher in Japan after graduation. I still go to Japan for holidays every 2 or 3 years and I get very excited planning all of the yummy food I’m going to eat when I get there!


Luckily for us in the Sydney office, we often get visitors from Japan who bring us omiyage (souvenirs), the most popular item by far are sembei (rice crackers) – they don’t last very long so you have to be quick to get your share!


Here’s a photo of our omiyage counter looking very lonely and waiting for some more sembei:



We have some exciting new events planned for the rest of the year so I’m looking forward to bringing you lots of news from both JPF and Australia. Yoroshiku!


Hello From Sydney! シドニーからHello!

Name: Evon aka ‘funky fashionista’


Superpower: my spontaneous squirts of laughter gun – be warned!

特技:突然の大爆笑 気をつけてね!

Role at JPF: Program Coordinator, Arts & Culture Dept.


About me: I like art & design, especially DIY craft items with a feminine touch. I’m a bit of a facebook junkie and spend way too much time on it than I really should.


What first captured my attention to Japan was the food, or more specifically, the delicious range of yummy snacks you have to offer. Trying to work out which flavours are what had me learning hiragana and katakana in no time. You can imagine the satisfying feeling when you can finally identify that this flavour is... Muscat... mmmm...うれしい!


And the love gradually snowballed into an appreciation for other things like the country, the culture, the fashion and art... there’s still so much more to learn and discover!


Leaving you now with this postcard I currently have on my wall - stylish kid eh?!



Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hello everyone!


This is Jaa from Bangkok, Thailand. We’re in the middle of the rainy season right now, which means that it rains almost every day. And when it doesn’t rain, it’s usually very hot :P


But no matter what the weather outside is like, the air-conditioning in our building is quite cold, so I like to keep warm with a cup of coffee in the morning. :P



Our office is on the 10th floor of Sermmit Building in Asoke area of Bangkok, just off Sukhumvit road and in the middle of one of the city’s business districts (the other business district of Bangkok is centered around Silom Road). Have a look at this photo of Asoke road from the Asoke Sky train station. That’s our district.

私たちのオフィスは、バンコクのアソクエリアにあるスクンビットロードから少し外れたサミットビル10階に入っていて、市内のビジネスエリアのど真ん中に位置しています。ちなみに、もうひとつのビジネスエリアはシーロムロード周辺です。アソク スカイトレイン駅から見たアソクエリアの写真をご覧あれ!私たちが働いているエリアはこんな感じです↓


I’ve been working in the Arts and Culture Department of JFBKK for around four years, and I’m the junior. In our department there are three Thai staff, Pi Duangchai (in Thai we use the word ‘Pi’ to call someone who is older) who has worked with JFBKK for around 30 years!, and Pi Am who has worked here for around 10 years. Later on we will take turns in giving you stories from Bangkok. We hope you will enjoy them. :)

私はバンコク日本文化センターの文化事業グループで働き始めて約4年で、まだまだ若手です。文化事業グループには3人のタイ人職員がいて、バンコク日本文化センターでの勤務歴が約30年になるPi Duangchai(タイでは目上の人を呼ぶときに「Pi」という言葉を使います)と、勤務暦が約10年のPi Amと私です。これから交代でバンコクからいろんなお話をお届けするので、楽しみにしていてくださいね!

At the moment it is the time of the year when we prepare for the high-season of activities around the end of the year (the rain has stopped by then and the weather is much cooler too!). Normally the latter part of the year will be full of cultural exchange activities as well - this year in Bangkok we will have a Ukiyo-e demonstration, Android-Human Theatre, The Dolls of Japan exhibition, a Film Festival and much more. Sounds exciting!


I visited Sydney twice and I really love the city (I remember well the lovely Darling Harbour ^^), so I’m looking forward to hearing from Amanda-san, Evon-san and Susie-san in Sydney.

私はシドニーを2度訪れたことがあり、大好きです(ダーリング ハーバーのすてきな景色が忘れられません^^)。シドニーのAmandaさん、 Evonさん、Susieさんのお話が聞けるのを楽しみにしています!




Tuesday, July 12, 2011






Hello, everyone! It's Any again and it's going to be my second year as a blog member! YOROSHIKU! This year, we are going to bring you news together with Nina, my co-worker, so it's going to be twice as much information and twice as hard looking for it.. But still, it's going to be really fun, so again, YOROSHIKU!




It's always a bit quiet here in Moscow office at summer for not only the number of events is much less comparing to other seasons, but also our different courses go off to summer vacation too. That's right. On the 25th of June, we held the big graduation party for all the students of our courses.




There are about 150 students attending our courses every year, learning how to make Ikebana, hold the traditional Tea ceremony and many other things. At the graduation party all the students showed their teachers and each other what they had learned during the year. And when looking at their serious faces you could tell, that not only they mastered the technical part but also the Japanese culture had become a necessary part of their life.







Changing the subject I'd like to tell you that it's REALLY HOT here in Moscow. And in Moscow we don't have the magical Japanese ice-desert called "Kakigori". But we have our own Russian meal called "Okroshka". Okroshka is a cold soup, made of cut vegetables (such as radish, cucumber, green onion and boiled potate), boiked eggs and ham (or pork), served with Kvass (fermented beverage made from black or regular rye bread. thank you, Wikipedia!) and sourcream. The Russians just LOVE it, especially when it's hot.


Oh, it's almost lunch time, so I'm gone to eat my okroshka at the office kitchen, passing the torch to the next blogger - Jaa-san from Bangkok!

Friday, July 1, 2011



Hi, everyone! I am Nina, a new member from Russia. I’ve joined JF blog team for 2011. I’ve been working at Japan Foundation Moscow Office for only 10 months.

I hope we will make a nice ‘blogger-reader’ team.


Russian saying goes: “When the work is done, go have your fun.” Since I 100% agree with these words I cannot have fun until I’m done with my work.

(I wish I could though)

So that’s why this time I’ll also begin with the work topic.




It wouldn’t be too much to say that nowadays there is a “Japan boom” in Russia.

Though I should notice that it is more of a Japanese pop-culture boom rather than a traditional Japanese culture boom.

A lot of young people wear Harajuku style clothes, join Cosplay fashion.

The part of the Japanese culture - which you can easily understand and which you can fall in love with from the first sight - is extremely popular here, in Moscow.

At JF Moscow Office my work is to attract people’s attention to a more profound side of the Japanese culture. We show and try to make understandable the side of the Japanese culture which probably needs time to be realized and accepted, the side that may be even shocking, the side you are going to adore with every single cell of your body.

We welcome culture workers from Japan and try to do our best to hold the meeting of the Russian auditorium with the amazing Japanese culture smoothly.

It was a very brief explanation of my activities. I will present you other sides of my work while meeting you here during this year.



A workshop on the Japanese tea ceremony (School Omotesenke), which was held in May gathered surprisingly many - about 65 - people.




Well, and now I guess we can move to another topic.

‘Walk’ ‘Run’ ‘Dream’.

Some of you probably have already thought: “How shall I understand such a strange combination of these 3 words?”







I start walking, faster and faster and then run.

“And what about ‘Dream’?” you may ask and start giving me your guesses such as: “Do you walk and run in your nightmares?” But no, my friends, ‘Dream’ doesn’t mean that I see myself walking and running in my nightmares. By “DREAM” here I mean “imagining something that is difficult to achieve”.

I love dreaming. So dreaming I put on sneakers and go out for a walk. Dreaming I begin running, dreaming I speed up and imagine, that I’m no longer running, but floating in the air. Finally I fly away into open space…full of dreams

なので、どこかで「あれっ?ロシアではそんなことがあり得るのか。」と疑問に思うことがあれば、ニュースの筆者は幻想の世界で迷子になってしまったNinaなのではないかご確認下さい。 (→ジョークです。うその話はしないので、ご安心ください。

(うその話はしないが、夢の話は... (^-^))

Welcome to my world of Dreams. I am not totally in dreams, though. Anyways, to make the long story short, I am just like you, every one of you: working, studying, dealing with everyday problems, going out with friends, dreaming, going through difficult times and through happy times and dreaming again. And I am eager to share my world with you! So let’s keep in touch from now on! NINA.


And greet the next blogger -Any!