“Ohayo-san” at my spot

チャクマジアン・ポーリンさん

CHAKMAJJIAN, Paullin

A Japanese friend of mine from Tokyo works in one of the Government Ministries at the Kasumigaseki. He visited me in Kyoto this April, and we walked around this beautiful City together. I was born in California, live in London, and visit Kyoto 2-3 months every year, usually during the spring and autumn and usually living in the Marutamachi area.

When we passed by the Gosho one evening and I told my friend that I love to take my early morning walks within the Gosho, my friend made the comment that the inside of the Gosho is considered sacred by the Japanese outside of Kyoto and that only Kyotoite may consider the gardens within the Gosho as a park. So, as a Kyotoite (even if only for a part of each year), my favorite Kyoto beauty spot within the Gosho is near the information sign about the Demizu Stream.

To me there is something special about this particular space. I can sit and relax on the wooden bench with the table next to where this "Demizu Stream" sign is for hours.

It offers the perfect picturesque combination of trees, sky, sun, water, and flowers  according to the season, and many gentle butterflies start to dance around this  space in May.

Maybe one day you can see me there to say "Ohayo-san".

- CHAKMAJJIAN, Paulline

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Employment guidance for overseas students

Employment guidance for overseas students (1)

Employment guidance for overseas students (1)

An Employment Guidance & Job fair for international students will be held at Kyoto International Community House on Dec.12 (Fri.). At the Fair, you can learn about job hunting in Japan, including the talents and skills that Japanese companies require. Also, you can hear the experiences of overseas students who currently have jobs with Japanese companies. In addition, there will be seminars from companies which hire overseas students and meetings where you can communicate freely with people in charge of hiring. This is a precious opportunity for overseas students to get information about working in Japan. This event is part of the job hunting process, so you should wear a business suit and try to be on time. I would recommend taking “ job hunting notes” and asking questions.

Employment guidance for overseas students(2)

Employment guidance for overseas students(2)

Therefore, it’s important to do research beforehand using newspapers, college career centers, Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners (http://osaka-rodo.go.jp/hw/gaisen/) and self-analysis at Job Cafe (http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/jobpark/job foreign.html) where you can receive counseling. Job hunting is very hard for everyone, but this is a valuable process for self-reflection.

I experienced job hunting last year. I think all students gear up for it with expectations and anxiety, just like you. So please don’t feel alone. You can use this event as an opportunity. You might get a big chance, so please join actively!

- TANIGUCHI, Emi

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Just try! Save Mt. Ogura!

The next clean-up hike

The next clean-up hike

At Mt. Ogura there used to be a villa where Teika Fujiwara selected the one hundred poems known as Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. For many poets, Mt. Ogura is still a special place. There are some stone monuments with poems from Hyakunin Isshu carved on them, which leave a deep impression on viewers.

Stephen Gill studied Japanese Literature at London University. One day, he was walking over Mt. Ogura, composing poetry, when he found lots of garbage. “Mt. Ogura is facing a serious crisis,” he said. Trash in bulk is destroying the mountain’s environment and spoiling the scenery. We glimpsed the toy-train going through to Arashiyama. However, passengers on the train below could not see the motorbike, the cans of paint, the foam sofa, etc. - things that should not be there. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t want to believe it!

The following is a poem Stephen composed when he found this mess:

Heat of the day –
A pine-clad cliff
Down which a washing machine
Has tumbled.

“Mt. Ogura is a very precious mountain, so I want to help preserve its beauty.” Stephen co-founded a NPO, ‘People Together for Mt. Ogura (PTO)’, and they have put in a lot of effort organising cleaning campaigns, which are now supported by Kyoto City Hall and a student volunteer group. A “knight” with “samurai spirit” came from Britain to fight to save a mountain in Japan. “Just doing what you can may be good enough to change something,” said Gill. On that summer day, I learned that.

If you are interested in PTO’s campaign, why don’t you join? The next clean-up hike is on Sat., October 11th. Meet at the exit at JR Saga-Arashiyama Station at 10.00AM. Bring water and food. Go ahead in rain.

Lots of garbage

Lots of garbage

Enquiries: Stephen Gill (English) 075-865-2773. Okiharu Maeda (Japanese) 090-3289-4399.

- YATAGAWA, Tatsuya

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Tsukimi

Tsukimi, a traditional custom in tranquil mid-autumn, is to just enjoy viewing the full moon. People who have decorated Dango (dumplings) and a few of Susuki (silver grasses) or prepared nothing special look at the sky in a quiet in serene mood. Yes, this is a simple and modest event indeed, but why has it been done for almost 1000 years?

The reason, I think, is that the sensitive melody of bell crickets, vivid red leaves and the calm mood of autumn sometimes make us feel inexplainably delicate. History says, Japanese poets in the past longed for their lovers, missed home and their footprints, or hoped their past or hoped for brilliant futures under the moonlight. Finally, they composed poems.

I have seen many moons: in my birthplace, in other countries, and in Kyoto. Even now I am reminded of the scenes and feel as if I were still there viewing the perfect luminous moon in the dark sky. Tsukimi is, for me, the easiest way to time travel.

- FURUTA, Yuuki

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Why don't you live in Machiya?
NPO Saving Kyomachiya, "Creators Japan" or "Kyoto Machizukuri Kenkyusho"

京都の町家

京都の町家

According to the data of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there are about 7,000,000 vacant houses in Japan and the rate of them exceed 12% in national average. Due to so many vacant houses, the appearance and security of the city gets worse and worse leading to the regional decline. First of all, we feel it's too good to waste, “Mottainai”. Probably, anybody had hold the same feeling. Although people asking for new apartments and urban contemporary living space are increasing, people recognizing the value of good-old culture, regional tradition, and humanity are increasing. The fact should be given notice.

In spring of 2007, young people of Kyoto took action with their fellows who held the same feelings. They established NPO "Creators Japan" or "Kyoto Machizukuri Kenkyusho". They offer the information to people about vacant houses making much of the good-old culture and offer advice for the owner of the vacant house. They hope to promote reusing the vacant house effectively. They have the magnificent purpose. They say, “We will get rid of the vacant Machiya from Kyoto, so the completed reform the area will prosper. Someday, we will create the area called as "Machizukuri Kenkyusho Street" next to Karasuma street.”

They carry out various activities to fulfill their purpose. For example, looking for Machiya, cleaning up Machiya, reform, seeking for people who want to live in Machiya and offering proposals for the various way to use. In addition, they plan events which anybody can participate in and enjoy.

Planning Events: Experiencing life of Machiya: Haircut service near by a famous temple: Reforming Machiya (as volunteer) etc.

They accept the volunteers without concerning in your age, gender, and nationality. I recommend you participate in their event and volunteer's activity if you're interested in Kyomachiya and want to live there.

NPO ”Creators Japan”
32 Koyamanakamizocho, Kita-ku, Kyoto city, 603-8156, Japan
Tel: 075-441-4104
E-mail: info@creatorsjapan.jp
URL: http://creatorsjapan.jp

- ITO, Hidetoshi
- Translated by MIKODA, Masahiro

 

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Notice Board

Oct 22nd, Wed * Jidai Matsuri Parade
Free Special Seating for Foreign Residence in Kyoto

Jidai Matsuri Parade

Jidai Matsuri Parade

 

Jidai Matsuri is one of the 3 big festivals of Kyoto. You can apply for the free seating from the form below. Please make additional comments, opinions or suggestions for Life in Kyoto to the note on the application form.

http://www.formzu.net/fgen.ex?ID=P9130398

Nov. 3rd, Mon/Holiday *
Kyoto International Community House OPEN DAY 2008

Kyoto International Community House OPEN DAY Kyoto International Community House OPEN DAY

Kyoto International Community House OPEN DAY

OPEN DAY is a festival which is held once a year. There are many exciting events such as the world food stalls, singing & dancing performances, flea market, Nihongo Café etc…

Please check

http://www.kcif.or.jp/ 

for more informations!

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