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French Confectionery With A Japanese Twist At EN VEDETTE Tokyo

first_imgFrom the earliest days in Japan there have been many confectionery shops selling cakes, but recently there has also been an increase in shops selling sweets that are famous in France.Today we’ll introduce you to one of those shops. At EN VEDETTE, Japanese sensibility and the infusion of Japanese ingredients have created new and unique versions of many traditional French confectioneries.Elegant Cakes in Tokyo’s Kiyosumi Shirakawa Area The shop’s interior is always bustling with the constant coming and going of the locals, all in search of cakes and other delectable sweets.The shop is also attracting visitors from Europe, the home of French confectionery, who are coming over to see what’s happening here, clearly showing that EN VEDETTE is gaining popularity.What Exactly Is Made-in-Japan French Confectionery? In contrast to other Japanese confectionery shops that have adopted a classic Paris-style atmosphere, Mr. Mori is particular about having a shop that expresses itself through a Japanese-accented, modern-looking interior.Suspended from the ceiling in the middle of the shop is a unique light fixture made from Mino washi Japanese paper, a traditional craft from Gifu prefecture. The tatami (woven straw mat) table mixes Japanese traditional aesthetics with modern elements. This warm interior with a simple and modern design also charms passersby who apparently often drop in to take a closer peek.In ClosingFor many people, Japan conjures up images of Japanese-style sweets, but nowadays there are many places specializing in authentic French sweets as well. Shops like EN VEDETTE that add a Japanese accent to their western-style sweets are also starting to appear. We highly recommend making a visit to EN VEDETTE where you can sample authentic French confectionery infused with a feeling of Japan. アンヴデット View InformationbakerystoreFor information on sightseeing spots in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa area, be sure to read the following: Enjoy The Unreadable Atmosphere in Kiyosumi Garden! and Fukagawa Edo Museum: Edo Fans Must Visit! Macaroons, cookies and other baked goods are also sold here and will make pleasing souvenirs. The smooth flavor of nougats features rich chocolate hidden below caramelized nuts, offering you a new taste experience. All the sweets carefully lined up in the shop’s showcase are handmade on the premises. We’ve been told that the shop owner tries very hard to introduce Japanese-specific ingredients into his recipes, in addition to being very particular about using Japanese wheat flour. The cakes made here also go on sale at many famous department stores throughout Japan, on a limited time basis.French Confectionery With A Japanese Flair Mr. Mori says, “Year after year Japanese patissiers receive high acclaim due to their careful, conscientious attitude, and a presentation style honed with a delicate, finely-tuned sense of balance. In addition, Japanese ingredients such as matcha (green tea), yuzu (citrus fruit) and goma (sesame seed) are recognized worldwide and have become established as commonly used mainstream items. The attractiveness of the Japanese aesthetic sense and Japanese ingredients are now respected, and I’d like those qualities to be reflected in my own creations.”RIN is the name of his specialty cake. It features smooth, melt-in-your-mouth matcha mousse, and a rich tasting matcha sponge cake, accented with a refreshing yuzu cream all of which work their magic on your taste buds! Then the white chocolate and crunchy chocolate both sitting atop this creation offer a change in texture, allowing you to enjoy this treat right up until the very last bite.center_img Kiyosumi Shirakawa, is an area where traditional-type shopping streets and working-class neighborhoods remain intact, evoking an old town kind of feeling in modern-day Tokyo. And not far away are places where you can feel the history of the area, such as the Fukagawa-Edo Museum and the Kiyosumi Gardens. Recently, with the arrival of Blue Bottle Coffee and other shops, Kiyosumi Shirakawa is attracting attention as an area with many new sophisticated cafes as well.EN VEDETTE, one of those shops located in Kiyosumi Shirakawa’s residential area, has a simple, yet eye-catching all-white exterior facade. EN VEDETTE is managed and run by Japanese patissier, Daisuke Mori. After undergoing training at a pastry shop and five-star hotel in Japan, Mr. Mori made the move to Paris, France where he learned first hand the skills required to become an authentic patissier. He has finished at the top of his class and received awards at famous European baking competitions, and, among other positions, he currently serves as an instructor for the Federation of Japanese Confectionery, all of which reflect his high-ranking reputation as a patissier. Baumkuchen, popular in Japan as a western-style cake, comes in a slightly unusual rectangular shape and is served up in an impressive looking, book-like box. The outside of the box is decorated with renge motifs, a flower found in Mr. Mori’s home prefecture of Gifu.A Shop Interior That Stays Current and In-Fashion In the shop’s showcase, a variety of cakes in all the colors of the rainbow are neatly lined up in rows. Rest assured, that in addition to traditional French sweets, Japan’s one and only strawberry shortcake is also featured on the menu!last_img read more

Learn How to Make the Perfect Cup of Japanese Tea at Asakusas

first_imgThere are various hard-to-come-by packages of tea that are quite popular.The instant Ryokucha (green tea) stick of popular Japanese tea “Oi Ocha” is also sold at the event. It is a kind of Ryokucha (green tea) but with matcha. Dissolve it in hot/cold water and you can make a great cup of tea in minutes. One package contains 50 instant tea sticks!Teabags and other tea-related goods are also on sale.Conveying the wonders of Japanese tea to the massesThe seminar started with the premise that many people could learn about Japanese tea. The event will be going on until mid-November this year (2015), so please drop by if you are in the Asakusa area. You’ll definitely come across a Japanese tea that’s your cup of tea.InformationAutumn Tea Making EventAddress: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, TokyoHours: 10:00–16:30Event schedule: 11:00- / 13:00- / 14:30-Takes place every Saturday (until November 14th)Credit Cards: It is not known whether credit cards are accepted at the venue.Language Support: Japanese, English, Chinese, and KoreanNearest Station(s): Asakusa StationAccess: 4-min walk from Asakusa StationPricing: ¥500–2,000Phone Number:+81(0)3-5371-7111(main line for Itoen)Official Website: ITO EN Do you know how to make the perfect cup of Japanese tea? If not, visit Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple on Saturday. The major Japanese tea company ITO EN will hold an event just to show you how.It’s a special seminar where you can learn the art of tea making. It’s called “oishii ocha no irekata seminar” in Japanese (means delicious tea making seminar) and it’s completely free to join. There is a special booth set up where you can buy tea. Free cups of tea are also handed out at the event.Tea specialists on hand to guide youAt the event, a tea specialist, known as a tea taster, will be on site to give you instructions on how to make the perfect brew. We will learn how to make a cup of reicha (cold tea). Firstly, put the tea leaves into the kyusu (teapot).Now add some ice, and after that add some cold water. It’s recommended that you use soft water as it is good for extracting the tea component.Close the lid and give the pot a little shake so as to mix together the contents inside. Leave the pot to stand for about 3 minutes.For those who are none the wiser, a special method is needed when making more than one cup of tea.Let’s imagine that you are going to pour tea into three cups each marked A, B, and C. If you pour tea into each cup (working your way in order from A to C), then there is a huge chance that each cup of tea will end up tasting completely different.The trick is to pour just a small amount of tea into each cup at a time, working your way from cup A to cup C, and then back again, adding small amounts as you go. Continue like this until there is no tea left in the pot. This method guarantees that each cup will be of the same consistency and great flavor.One pot of tea can be used up to 3 times.Ready-made tea is served to guests at the event as an example of how a well-made cup of tea should taste.See how velvety smooth the tea is when you give it a try. You will be amazed at how great it tastes, and this is achieved simply by adding cold water and ice.Pamphlets that include written information on how to make a great cup of tea are available in various languages at the venue. The tea tasters also speak both English and Chinese, so Japanese language skills are not necessary. If you have any questions, it’s probably best to ask after the tea-making demonstration.Drink tea for free, without participating in the seminarCups of free tea are also handed out to people who are not participating in the seminar.In past events, it’s believed that around 3,000 cups were handed out in just one day.Tea is on sale at the venue, so if you have a taste for the tea you are drinking, you can go right ahead and buy it.last_img read more

Kaldi Coffee Farm Shimokitazawa Treasure Hunt For Japanese Souvenirs

first_imgPicture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmMild Kaldi is the brand’s signature coffee blend. The mild type is aromatic and flavorful and can be enjoyed by anyone. A package contains 10 drip coffee packs and costs 448 yen.2. Original Instant Matcha Latte Some of the coffee blends are created with a special event in mind, such as Mother’s Day or Christmas, or are inspired by Japan’s seasons. Needless to say, they are great for personal use or as special gifts.The brand name itself comes from the legendary Ethiopian sheepherder named Kaldi, or Khalid, who is said to have been the first to discover coffee.A World Trip through Flavors! Original Goods Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmThe Sakura Azuki Chocolate balls combine the flavors of cherry blossoms, chocolate, and sweet red beans, the latter of which is a Japanese staple dessert. They have a relatively long shelf life so they make a nice souvenir, too. A 43 g pack costs 143 yen.3. Original Sakura Cake Another category of products that enjoys great popularity is their line-up of original products inspired by foodstuffs from various countries. In order for everyone to be able to taste flavors from around the world, they have also developed retort foods. The best part is that these goods are available at affordable prices.Original Kaldi Coffee Farm Goods and Selected Japanese Foodstuffs Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmThe coffee offered at the entrance is “Mild Kaldi”, softened with milk and sugar. It is a drink that can be enjoyed by anyone, even by those who don’t drink coffee on a regular basis. Shimokitazawa Complete Guide – Top 15 Spots In Tokyo’s Trendy Subculture Haven Snuggle Up In A Warm Kotatsu At Cafe Stay Happy, Shimokitazawa Kaldi Coffee Farm stores have a distinctive layout, with intricate alleys between the shelves that give customers the feeling they are on a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll discover when you turn around but you can be sure it will be something completely new! A flavor you might feel inspired to try for the first time, a type of snack that you’ve never heard of before, or a treat that might brighten up a friend’s day – the Kaldi Coffee Farm stores are loved by their customers for their truly unique items and stimulating atmosphere.Over 30 Coffee Varieties Roasted coffee is the product that Kaldi Coffee Farm takes most pride in. At least 30 types of coffee and coffee blends are available at their stores all around the year. Shimokitazawa Complete Guide – Top 15 Spots In Tokyo’s Trendy Subculture Haven Read also Moheji items: snacks, rice crackers, furikake (rice toppings), and miso soup.Since 2006, Kaldi Coffee Farm has an original brand dedicated to selecting and creating quality Japanese products. This brand is called “Moheji” and the products featured under this name are ideal if you’re looking for items made in Japan.Moheji focuses on Japanese ingredients and foodstuffs gathered from all the regions of the country. The products are being selected based on their quality and taste. Regional foods or flavors made through traditional methods are particularly favored. Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmThis cherry blossom-flavored soft cake is also a great treat that’s only available in early spring. A six-piece package costs 388 yen.Enjoy Your Souvenir Treasure Hunt at Kaldi Coffee Farm!If you go to Shimokitazawa, do stop by the Kaldi Coffee Farm store located close to the east exit of the station. One of the first Kaldi Coffee Farm stores in Japan, it is now part of the distinctive culture of this town.On the other hand, Kaldi Coffee Farm stores are available now in several locations in Tokyo and all over Japan. Drop by to get a glimpse of the inspiration that these stores bring into the lives of the locals. KALDI COFFEE FARM Shimokitazawa Kitaguchi View InformationstoreIn cooperation with Kaldi Coffee Farm Shimokitazawa Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmIce cream flavored with cherry tree leaves is wrapped in a thin layer of soft rice cake (mochi), resulting in a heavenly taste! This is a treat that everyone in Japan looks forward to in spring. A piece is available for just 162 yen.Although it might not be appropriate as a souvenir, it’s definitely worth trying while you’re in Japan.2. Original Sakura Azuki Chocolate Read also Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee Farm”Okoge” means scorched rice and is a flavor loved by the Japanese because it brings up memories of homemade traditional meals. This flavor has been reproduced in the Okoge Senbei crackers available under the Moheji brand. A 100 g pack costs 226 yen.Seasonal Items, too! 3 Products Inspired by Cherry Blossoms Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmSenbei are Japanese rice crackers that are widely loved for their crispiness. However, the soft curry senbei available at Kaldi Coffee Farm are very popular for their soft texture. The curry flavor is rather rare for senbei. With just the right level of spiciness, these crackers are a great snack. A 100 g pack is available for 213 yen.5. Moheji Okoge Senbei One of the most popular stores in Shimokitazawa is Kaldi Coffee Farm, which has been in business here, growing at the same pace as the town itself, since 1992.Established in 1992, Kaldi Coffee Farm Shimokitazawa was the second store opened by Camel Coffee, the company operating the Kaldi Coffee Farm brand. With its stylish interior and colorful shelves, the store fitted in perfectly to the vibrant, ever-changing atmosphere of Shimokitazawa.Kaldi Coffee Farm soon won the hearts of the Shimokitazawa locals due to its warm hospitality. The practice of welcoming customers with a cup of coffee, now employed at most of the Kaldi Coffee Farm stores, goes back to the early days of this location. The Secrets of Kaldi Coffee Farm’s PopularityThe core concept of Kaldi Coffee Farm is to deliver quality coffee and foodstuffs from all around the world at affordable prices.Fun, Maze-like Store Layouts For example, you can find miso soup types that are specific to various regions of Japan such as Kyushu, Hokkaido or Shinshu (Nagano). Salad sauces made with flat lemon from Okinawa or kabosu from Oita, snacks made with kinako (roasted soybean powder), and pudding from Hokkaido, and many other items are available under the Moheji brand.The Moheji item series is ideal for those looking for souvenirs from Japan. If you want to let your friends and family taste Japanese food, how about bringing home a package of Moheji instant miso soup? A package contains 16 small packs of miso paste and ingredients. It is light to carry and lasts for several months. Besides, few other foodstuffs better embody Japan’s basic flavors than miso soup.Great as Souvenirs! 5 Popular Kaldi Coffee Farm Items Available Year-RoundMany items that can be found throughout the year at Kaldi Coffee Farm stores are ideal as souvenirs from Japan. Let us introduce a few that have a relatively long shelf life and are also representative Japanese flavors.1. Café Kaldi Drip Coffee – Mild Kaldi Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmKinako nejiri are twisted soft candies made with roasted soybean powder. Originally from Hokkaido, this snack is loved by people of all ages. The Kinako nejiri available at Kaldi Coffee Farm have a mild sweetness as they are made with soft brown sugar. They’re an excellent Japanese snack, so do try them! A 150 g pack costs 236 yen.4. Original Soft Curry Senbei Crackers Picture courtesy of Kaldi Coffee FarmMatcha (green tea powder) enjoys great popularity as one of Japan’s distinctive flavors. The original Matcha Latte from Kaldi Coffee Farm has just the right balance of matcha and milk. Adjust the richness of the drink to your preference and enjoy! A 150 g pack costs 378 yen.3. Moheji from Hokkaido – Soft Brown Sugar and Kinako Nejiri Snacks Kaldi Coffee Farm, One of Shimokitazawa’s Most Popular Stores Shimokitazawa, located in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward, just five minutes away by train from Shibuya, is known as the city’s youth culture district. Its narrow streets lined with charming shops, cozy cafes, bars, galleries, and live music venues are bustling at every hour with young people in search of the latest trends and entertainment. Shrines And Temples!? A Shibuya Tour Filled With Local Discoveries In addition to their regular items that are available all throughout the year, Kaldi Coffee Farm also offers season-limited products that are inspired by major seasonal events (*1). We visited in early spring, so we found their cherry blossom-themed line-up.If you’re looking for special souvenirs or gifts from your trip to Japan, this type of seasonal items might also be a nice choice. Let us introduce to you three popular spring items.*1… These products are available for a limited period of time and in limited quantities.1. Original Sakura Mochi Ice Creamlast_img read more

KitKat Ruby Chocolate 4 Ways To Enjoy The Newest Chocolate Type

first_imgPicture courtesy of KitKat JapanNestle, who owns KitKat, created a strong bond with the creators of ruby chocolate as the first brand to introduce ruby chocolate to the public. As of March 2019, you can enjoy its unique flavor though KitKat in four different ways.1. KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby – The Original Japanese Kit Kat Chocolate – A Popular Souvenir And Good Luck Charm?! From The KitKat Chocolatory Ginza – Handmade Chocolate And SweetsThe KitKat Ruby Hot Chocolate (1000 yen) is only available at the KitKat Chocolatory Cafe in Ginza, Tokyo. It is served alongside a KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby.It is a thick and scrumptious treat perfect on a cold day. While the chocolate itself does not contain any berries or berry flavors, the hot chocolate is mixed with raspberry puree. This gives it even a deeper “red flavor”. Kit Kat Chocolatory and Café View InformationstoreThe New Rubylicious Way to Experience KitKatKitKat Japan is known for its incredible variety. In fact, they offered over 350 varieties since launching in Japan. Because of this reason, KitKat’s are one of the most popular souvenirs in from Japan.Be sure to try out this new kind of chocolate in the form of the popular snack and don’t forget to bring some for your friends and family as well!In cooperation with KitKat JapanFor more information on ruby chocolate visit rubychocolate.com The KitKat Chocolatory Ginza – Handmade Chocolate And Sweets Picture courtesy of KitKat JapanKitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry Mini(87g 600yen) was newly introduced in March 2019. It is supposed to give the consumer the chance to enjoy this new type of chocolate whenever they want without having to go to a KitKat Chocolatory.Almonds and dried cranberries have been carefully chosen as a topping to enhance the fruity flavor of the ruby chocolate. It gives the special chocolate a new flavor experience and texture.Each bags contains a large number of mini KitKats. KitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry Mini is a great way to try out the new kind of chocolate with friends and also as a souvenir.3. KitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry – The Snack Type Picture courtesy of KitKat JapanThe snack type of KitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry (31g 158 yen) is a bag filled with round little one-bite KitKats. They have the same ingredients as the KitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry Mini but the topping is mixed into the chocolate instead of just on top.They are not individually packed and perfect for a quick snack to carry with you wherever you go. Both varieties contain 55% of ruby chocolate so you don’t miss out on the rich flavor with either of them.Chocolatory Ruby Hot Chocolate – Only in Ginza, Tokyo KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby, exclusive to the Japanese KitKat Chocolatory, was the first ruby chocolate product ever available to consumers anywhere in the world back in 2018. Since then ruby chocolate has spread all over the world in the form of many, mostly limited edition sweets and KitKat Japan has expanded their range as well.Ruby chocolate might look and taste a bit like berry flavored chocolate at first. However, it is actually a completely new kind of chocolate, also known as the fourth type of chocolate after dark, milk, and white.Let us tell you what is this new chocolate all about and how you can enjoy it!What is Ruby Chocolate?center_img Read also Picture courtesy of KitKat JapanKitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby (432 yen) is only available at the KitKat Chocolatory. Originally introducing the new kind of chocolate to the world, it still holds a special place in the heart of many ruby chocolate lovers.KitKat Chocolatory Sublime is a special, high-quality version of the beloved wafer snack made with high-quality ingredients. The wafers of the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby are covered and filled with the precious ruby chocolate so you can fully enjoy its unique flavor.2. KitKat Ruby Chocolate Everyday Nuts and Cranberry – The Mini Version KitKat Ruby Chocolate Nuts and Cranberry – Treat Yourself Everyday Picture courtesy of Ruby ChocolateRuby chocolate is the fourth type of chocolate ever introduced to the world and the first new kind since the introduction of white chocolate 80 years ago. The color of the chocolate is a bright pink and the taste is creamy, smooth, tart and fruity.Although the taste is reminiscent of berries, no berries, berry flavor or color have been added. This special new flavor is derived from the ruby cocoa bean in a special process to enhance the unique flavor and look.This new kind of chocolate was first discovered and created by the Belgian chocolate maker Barry Callebaut and first introduced to the public in 2017. However, it was not available to the public until KitKat introduced their KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby in 2018.Experience Ruby Chocolate Through KitKat Sake-Flavored Chocolate? Try The Japanese Sake KitKat!last_img read more

Enter The Oldest School In Japan Ashikaga Gakkō In Tochigi

first_imgIf you look up, you can see the original wooden beams. As you can see from the picture above, these beams were made from logs, which give the space a rugged and simple impression. The building in the picture above called is called the ‘Hojo’, and is used for rituals and events. This building also burned down, but was rebuilt in 1990 in its mid Edo era style. The second gate is Gakko-mon. Although there are thousands of schools of all kinds across Japan now, Ashikaga Gakko was the very first, so this gate, with the characters for ‘Gakko’ (“school”) on it, is very special. There are three gates to pass through when entering Ashikaga Gakko, each with their own different meanings.The first gate is called Nyutoku-mon. ‘Toku’ means ‘good, virtue’ in Japanese, and it is said to make you feel more proper when you pass this gate. After passing through Kyodan-mon, you will see a Confucian temple where a statue of Confucius has been placed. The statue of Confucius you see here is sitting down, which is very unusual to find – he is usually depicted standing up in teacher-like poses.Buildings Reconstructed in the Edo Glory The garden seen from the inside of this building was also recreated exactly as it was in the past. It might be fun to imagine that you are a student studying here as you walk about and look at this replicas of the past. The third gate is called Kyodan-mon. The ‘kyo’ part is written with the character for apricots, while ‘dan’ means platforms or podium. Although it may sound obscure, when Confucius was teaching his lessons, many apricot trees were grown and this formed the relationship between the time and the lessons. This gate was built during the Edo period, but burnt down and was rebuilt in 1900.center_img A building, called ‘Kuri” is connected to the ‘Hojo’, and has a traditional Japanese kitchen and doma floor, which provided the necessary facilities for students to live at the school. The philosophical movement known as Confucianism was born in China and brought to Japan more than a thousand years ago. The teachings of Confucius (*1) had a great deal of influence on Japan, as well as on many other Asian countries.Ashikaga Gakko, or Ashikaga School, as “gakko” means “school” in Japanese, in Tochigi prefecture, is the oldest school in Japan and one in which students studied Confucianism. It is a recognized national historic site and has now been opened to the public.Today let’s learn more about the origins of education in Japan through a trip to Ashikaga Gakko.*1 Confucius: a Chinese philosopher from the 5th-6th century BCE.Pass Through Three Gates and See a Statue of Confucius Right by the entrance to the Kuri, you will find a Yuza-no-ki or a water balance. If you put the right amount of water into the empty bucket water balance, the bucket will sit level. But, if you put too much water into the bucket, it will flip over and spill the water all over.This balance is based on one of the teachings of Confucius, who intended it as a lesson to not be too proud and to remember your humility. By all means, please give it a try when you visit Ashikaga Gakko.Lessons Still Taught Today There is a large pine tree standing in front of the Kyodan-mon, which is known as the Kanafuri matsu. In the past, students would write the words they couldn’t read or didn’t understand on a slip of paper and tie them to the tree. The next morning an answer would have been written on the same paper by one of the teachers.Now there is a box placed by the Kanafuri matsu in which anyone can leave a question they want answered. Doesn’t this sound like a really helpful studying system?Enter the Oldest School in Japan Ashikaga Gakko, the oldest school in Japan, is opened to the public as a national heritage site and has many displays and buildings dedicated to explaining its impact as the root of the education system in Japan to visitors.When you purchase your admission ticket you will receive a paper that looks like this, a Japanese school enrollment paper. Why not get it stamped and keep it as a souvenir of your time at Japan’s oldest school?If you are interested in the history of education in Japan, Confucianism or just love historical architecture, then a trip to Ashikaga Gakko is our recommendation for you.Information Ashikaga Gakkō (Ashikaga School)Address: Tochigi Prefecture, Ashikaga, Shoheicho 2338Hours: April-Sept 9:00-16:30, Oct-March 9:00-16:00Closed: The third Monday every monthWi-Fi: -Credit cards: -Languages: Basic EnglishMenu in other languages: English, Simplified Chinese, Korean, FrenchNearest Station: Ashikagashi Station, Tobu Isesaki Line; Ashikaga Station JR Ryōmō LineAccess: 16 minutes walk from Ashikagashi Station, 12 minutes walk from Ashikaga StationAdmission: Adults 420 yen, High school 210 yen, junior high and under freePhone: +81-284-41-2655Website: Ashikaga Gakkō (Japanese)last_img read more

Noh Theater Stories About Staying Human In Times Of War

first_imgNoh “Lady Aoi” © Yoshihiro MaejimaNoh theater can be recognized by its specific Noh masks. Masks have been used in various traditional Japanese performing arts, most of them related to Shinto shrine rituals, where the performers impersonate deities and divine creatures. Kagura, the traditional shrine dances which can still be seen at festivals, are a predecessor of Noh. Noh Sumidagawa (“Sumida River”) © Yoshihiro MaejimaNoh theater boasts the longest tradition among Japan’s classical performing arts, having reached an accomplished form around 650 years ago. Noh performances are being held regularly everywhere in Japan and the art has many fans nowadays.In this article, we introduce some of the features that make Noh one of Japan’s treasured traditions. It’s our hope that you enjoy a Noh performance when visiting Japan! Read also Visit the Theater Museum in Waseda to See Japan’s Stage Arts All in One Place How To Enjoy Noh Theater – 3 Practical Tips Noh “Hagoromo” © Yoshihiro MaejimaA FLOWER is a unique project dedicated to introducing Noh theater to international visitors to Japan. The members of the audience will be able to follow the performance with the help of Noh Support, an application that offers the synopsis of the play in English, French and Chinese.The program begins at 19:00 and consists of two plays: the Noh Hagoromo (“The Celestial Feather Robe”) and the Kyogen play Bo-shibari (“Tied to a Stick”), which are both very famous plays from the classical repertory. For further details on this performance, please refer to our article: A FLOWER – Enjoy A Noh Theater In Tokyo! English Synopsis AvailableEnjoy a short preview of A FLOWER by watching this video:If you would like to watch this performance, reserve your tickets using one of the following links and receive an exclusive MATCHA reader discount!English: http://confetti-web.com/aflower5-matcha_enJapanese: http://confetti-web.com/aflower5-matchaArrive at the venue a little earlier and you can take photos of and together with the performers (17:45 – 18:30). Moreover, you can enjoy local drinks and snacks, and even purchase Noh-related souvenirs.All the members of the audience will receive commemorative photos of the Noh performance as a gift.We hope you will enjoy Noh theater and would love to hear your impressions of it! Yarai Noh Theater View InformationIn cooperation with The Global Nohgaku Company Encounter The World Of Noh At Yokohama’s Noh Theater! A FLOWER – Enjoy Noh Theater In Tokyo! English Synopsis Available A FLOWER – Enjoy Noh Theater In Tokyo! English Synopsis Available Each role requires a different type of mask. The performer may need to play the role of a deity, of a woman, of a hero, of a demon or another fantastical creature.Noh is itself a performing art centered on dance. The actor in the leading role (called shite) performs a formalized dance consisting of a sequence of movements that have been handed down through practice from master to disciple for generations.center_img Noh Aoi no Ue (“Lady Aoi”) © Yoshihiro MaejimaAt the origin of Noh theater stand folk performances that were related to shrine and temple festivals in the 12th – 13th century Japan. In the 14th century, the large temples and shrines around Kyoto and Nara used to call professional actor troupes to perform at their festivals.One of these troupes, Kanze, started to receive the support of the shogun of the time, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358 – 1408), who enjoyed the art of its lead actors. This was the beginning of the patronage relationship between the warrior class and Noh actors, which was to last until the rule of the warrior class ended at the end of the Edo period (1603 – 1868).It was toward the end of the 14th century when the leader of the Kanze school, Zeami (1363 – 1443), began his activity as an actor, playwright and theorist of Noh theater. Zeami created a great number of Noh plays (most of which still are in the Noh repertory at present). He also left several treatises on the art of Noh, written as guidebooks for his successors. Zeami’s work was decisive for what Noh was to become in the following centuries.2. Noh in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868)After a century and a half of internal conflicts, the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) brought in a time of peace, after the Tokugawa shogunate united the country under its rule. For Noh, this was a time of flourishing. In addition to the professional Noh actors, amateur performers from the warrior class were also active. Hundreds of new Noh plays were created and it was during this time that the performance style was formalized and brought close to the form we can still see today.3. Noh in Modern TimesAt the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), the warrior class was abolished and Japan began to modernize. For Noh, this was a period of crisis, as it had lost its patrons. Although some professional actors were still active, a great part of the repertory and of the tradition was lost.Noh had a revival only after WWII when Zeami’s treatises were discovered. His theories on the art of Noh were found to be so consistent and inspiring that they brought a breath of fresh air in the practice of Noh. At present, Noh has many fans both in and outside of Japan, being practiced by thousands of professional actors and amateurs.Noh Performances at Present Noh Theater – A Stage Art with a 600-year History Noh “Katsuragi” © Yoshihiro MaejimaThe repertory of Noh theater consists at present of approximately 250 plays. There used to be many more in the Edo Period (1603 – 1968), but only the very popular ones have made into modern times.Noh plays are usually based on legends and stories that were common knowledge at the time when this art was born, namely the Muromachi Period (1336 – 1573). At that time in Japanese history, the warrior class held the highest authority and Noh could develop because it received the support of the ruling class.In other words, Noh theater reflects the ideals and dreams of the warrior class. Human values such as valiance, integrity, faithfulness, dignity or elegant beauty which were treasured by the warriors stand at the core of Noh.Not by chance, the time when the most Noh plays were created coincides with the so-called “Warring States Period” (Sengoku jidai) which started in 1467 and lasted for about one century and a half.It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that, during those times of constant military conflict, Noh and other highly aesthetic arts such as tea ceremony or ikebana (flower arrangement) were practiced as a way for the warriors to keep their humanity, in an attempt to compensate for the social and political chaos they were living in.A Brief History of Noh Theater1. The Beginnings of Noh as a Stage art Read also Hiroshima Kagura – A Traditional Art With Ties To Japanese Mythology Read also The Features of Noh Theater The Noh stage has specific structural features. The facilities housing such stages are called nohgakudo (Noh theaters). In the large cities of Japan, there are several Noh theaters and even the small towns have at least one.In Tokyo, one can watch Noh performances at the National Noh Theater located in Sendagaya, at the Kanze Noh Theater in Ginza, the Hosho Noh Theater in Suidobashi, and several other locations. However, with the exception of the National Noh Theater which offers English subtitles for some of the performances, it will be difficult to find Noh performances with programs and explanations in English.It is for this reason that we would like to recommend A FLOWER, a Noh performance provided with multilingual translation that will be held on March 29, 2019, at the Yarai Noh Theater in Kagurazaka, Tokyo.Watch a Noh Play with Explanations in English!last_img read more

Enjoy Japans Four Seasons In The City Tokyos Todoroki Valley

first_img At about the halfway point through Todoroki Ravine Park you will find the sweet shop Setsugekka, (or Snow, Moon and Flowers). Their most popular treat is kuzu mochi, a sweet springy rice cake that almost has the texture of a gummy.Enjoy the Faces of the Four Seasons When visiting in the summer you will be surrounded by green and in the autumn the brilliant varied colours of the leaves here are simply stunning. The faces of all four seasons are elegantly expressed here in Todoroki Ravine Park, no matter what season you visit in.After Your Walk, Visit Todoroki Fudoson Just after entering the park, you will see the brilliant red bridge, called the Golf Bridge, right before your eyes. At the time, this bridge lead to a golf course, and the name just stuck. The striking contrast of the red bridge against the green surroundings is very impressive.Scenery You Wouldn’t Imagine in Tokyo When you find yourself almost swallowed up by the greenery around you, it’s incredible to think that you are a mere 20 minutes away from the crowds of Shibuya. Even on the hottest days of summer the sounds of the brook and gentle breezes in the valley make it easy to cool off naturally. Along the main route through the valley you will find a path leading down to the stream itself where you can touch the water. The source of this brook is a natural spring; in the waters you might see crabs, pond skaters and other aquatic life, while ducks and other birds rest their wings along the banks and in the water. It’s a wonderful spot to see Japanese wildlife. Swallowed up by the greenery around you will make you appreciate even more the subtle beauty of sunlight as it gently streams through the leaves overhead. This is a brilliant place to take a walk.Italian Restaurant Otto Continue along through Todoroki Ravine Park and you will come across another sign, this one reading ‘Otto’. If you walk up the stairs next to this sign, you will reach an Italian restaurant overlooking the park. Enjoying a delicious meal while surrounded by nature sounds like a fabulous way to spend the afternoon. If you start on your walk in the morning you should stop here for lunch – you won’t regret it.Sweet Shop ‘Setsugekka’ (Snow, Moon and Flowers) From Golf Bridge onward it takes roughly 20 minutes to reach Todoroki Fudoson shrine. Here you will find Shikinohana, a rest spot where you can take a break and enjoy the lovely scenery around you. This area is best known for its delicious coffee and soft serve ice cream. And after walking through the valley, it would be a great idea to pay a visit to Todoroki Fudoson, where you can experience part of Japan’s traditional culture.If You Visit in Fall, See the Gingko Trees To reach Todoroki Ravine Park, you will first need to take the Tokyu Toyoko line train from Shibuya Station. Then, after about a -5 minute ride, get off at Jiyugaoka Station and switch to the Tokyu Oimachi line, which will take you to Todoroki Station. A 5-10 minute walk from the station, you should be able to see the signboard for the Todoroki Ravine Park entrance right away. Once you pass under the signboard and walk down the stairs, you will find yourself at the start of your nature walk.The Completely Red Golf Bridge Within the premises of Todoroki Fudoson are some incredible gingko trees, and if you visit in the autumn, you can experience walking over a carpet of golden fallen leaves. Along the route from Todoroki Ravine Park all the way through to Todoroki Fudoson, you can enjoy the sights and sensations of summer and the fall to the fullest. Todoroki Ravine Park is a natural green oasis far from the rush of Shibuya Station; a unique haven that many would not expect to find in Tokyo. If you would like to see an unusual facet of this metropolis, by all means please make your way to Todoroki Ravine Park.InformationTodoroki Ravine Valley Address: Tokyo, Setagaya, Todoroki 3-15-1 (Todoroki Fudoson) Nearest Station: Todoroki Station (等々力), Oimachi LineAccess: Take the Toyoko line from Shibuya to Jiyugaoka Station then the Oimachi line to Todoroki Station, it’s a 5-10 minute walk from Todoroki StationPhone Number: 03-3705-1622Website: Todoroki Fudoson (Japanese) Todoroki Ravine Park is a natural valley found within Tokyo. An oasis of green amid the concrete jungle, it is a popular spot for those looking to get away from it all, go for a walk and relieve their stress.Nature Only 20 Minutes from Shibuyalast_img read more

Takeshita Street Where Harajuku Fashion Began

first_imgWith over a dozen cafes and sweet shops packed into this space, foodies will find plenty to enjoy in Takeshita and Harajuku too. There’s the famous Marion Crepes, the Calbee + potato chip & snack shop, Garrett Popcorn Shops (the famous Chicago brand) and so much more!Food, fun and fashion – what more could you want?InformationTakeshita StreetAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingūmae, 150-0001Nearest station: Harajuku station (原宿駅), Takeshita ExitWebsite: Takeshita Street This is it: Takeshita Street is the face of youth fashion in Japan. Always bustling, always changing, Takeshita is where you will find everything from vivid orange contact lenses and body piercings to Hello Kitty rain boots, secondhand luxury brand bags and beyond.Located directly across from JR Harajuku Station, via the Takeshita Exit, Takeshita Street is the main street of Harajuku where shops of various sizes and styles are lined up, stacked on top of and behind one another.Walking in the Takeshita street teaches you all about Harajuku?Taking a glance down the street gives you a pretty good idea of what Harajuku fashion is all about: being an individual. With shops selling fashion, miscellaneous goods, cultural items, and restaurants, cafes and bars, Takeshita Street is almost a world of its own.Running a total length of about 400 meters (440 yards), Takeshita Street is constantly updating – buildings in the photos here have already changed and many others are being remodeled and revamped as you read this article. But no matter when you visit, you are sure to find something you want to see along this road.Sweet & Snack Lover’s Heavenlast_img read more

A Capsule Hotel Fit for Samurai in Tokyos Asakusa

first_imgLike the rest of the hotel, the lounge is decorated in a polished, modern Japanese style. Every cushion and table goes hand in hand with the other interior accessories to create a refined atmosphere.The lounge serves as both a spot to mingle with fellow travelers as well as to use the internet, as it has internet-ready computers available for guests to borrow.FacilitiesEach floor is equipped with toilets, individual shower booths, and sinks.ToiletAll Western-style toilets are equipped with washlets.Men’s ToiletsShower BoothWashroomThe shelving above the sinks are wide enough for guests to place their makeup pouches. This attention to smaller details demonstrates how much consideration was put into designing the hotel’s facilities.LaundryThe roof, located on the 6th floor, doubles as the laundry facility and smoking space.Enjoy Asakusa, a Place where the Past and Present Come Together, at Khaosan Tokyo Samurai CapsuleAsakusa is a place where Japan’s past and present converge. Therefore, perhaps Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule, which puts a unique twist on the traditional Japanese capsule hotel, might be a new type of lodging most befitting of this neighborhood.If you want to experience the unique ways that Asakusa and Japan brings tradition and modern innovation together, consider staying at the Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule.InformationKhaosan Tokyo Capsule HotelAddress: Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule, 3-16-10, Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, TokyoHours: (Reception) 08:00-21:00Check-in: 15:00-21:00Check-out: by 11:00Free luggage storage: 08:00-21:00*If checking in after 21:00, notify the hotel beforehand*Housekeeping services are conducted from 11:00-14:00Wi-fi: YesCredit cards: YesLanguages: Japanese, EnglishNearest stations: Tsukuba Express Asakusa StationTokyo Metro Tawaramachi StationToei Subway  Asakusa StationAccess: 1-minute walk from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station7-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Tawaramachi Station12-minute walk from Toei Subway Asakusa StationPrice: Starts at 3,600 yen/night *varies depending on dates and unit typePhone: 03-3844-0011URL: Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule Past the door, guests are greeted by an elegant modern Japanese interior. The green-colored noren* curtains mark the entrance to a one-person capsule (rate per night begins at 3,600 yen).*Noren are cloth partitions typically used in Japan to indicate the entrance to a store or room.Each floor has its own dedicated color. This floor is dedicated in a rich green, reminiscent of matcha green tea.Pulling the curtain aside, guests will find a compact, but warm and inviting space. Each capsule is over 2 meters deep, so even overseas guests who are taller than the average Japanese have enough space to be comfortable.Capsules are equipped with USB outlets to charge electronic devices as well as mirrors. You can see that this hotel really took into considerations its guests’ needs.Each guest is also assigned a locker to store their valuables. Each locker has an electrical outlet inside, so guests can charge devices like laptops or mobile phones. Also Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel.These capsules all use black as their base color, creating a sleek impression. Each floor gives off a completely different vibe.This unit is decorated in gold, invoking the image of a golden tearoom.Suitcase Locks Khaosan Tokyo, which seeks to increase fans of Japan through their uniquely designed guesthouses, recently opened up a new addition to their lineup this summer.This new hotel, called Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule, is Khaosan Tokyo’s first ever capsule hotel.Capsule hotels are a simplified type of hotel in Japan, where guests stay in a compact, box-like space. Visitors from abroad often imagine capsule hotels as unusual and unique, but also cramped and difficult to relax in.However, Khaosan Tokyo’s Samurai Capsule flips this image on its head with its stylishly polished and comfortable facilities.1-Minute Walk from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station – Perfect Location for Asakusa VisitorsKhaosan Tokyo Samurai Capsule is located in Asakusa, one of the most popular destinations in Tokyo amongst visitors from all over the world. Situated on the western side of the world-famous Sensoji Temple, the hotel is just a brisk 1-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express, Asakusa Station.If you can read kanji, you can find the hotel by looking for its sign, which has the character “samurai” written on it.Hotel reception is located on the first floor. Contrary to its appearance from the outside, the facilities are quite spacious, stretching into the back.Japanese Tearoom-Inspired CapsulesSleeping areas are divided into a women’s only area on the 1st floor, as well as 20 capsule units on the  2nd-4th floors.After taking the elevator to their designated floor, guests should remove their shoes at the auto-lock door that serves as the entrance to the sleeping area. This door can be unlocked only with a unique PIN code that guests receive at check-in.center_img On each floor, there are cords with locks like the one pictured above. Guests can use these to store and secure any luggage that does not fit into their capsule.Traditional Japanese Lounge SpaceA lounge open to all guests is located on the fifth floor. This common area is also equipped with a refrigerator and kitchenette, so guests can store food or cook simple dishes.last_img read more

6 Leisure Pools in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area

first_imgJapan’s summers are not only hot, but also humid. If you’re feeling down and drained after several days of such weather, how about grabbing a bathing suit and going to a pool? Whether you can swim or not, soaking in the cool water is bound to have you feeling relaxed and refreshed.We found six pools in the eastern Japan that kids and adults can both enjoy.1. Tokyo Summer Land Picture: Kawagoe Suijo ParkNear the stern of the sailing boat called Hatsukarimaru there is a diving pool found in the center of the flowing water pool. Kawagoe Suijo Park’s most appealing point is probably its affordability. Adults get in for 720 yen (Elementary/Junior high school students – 210 yen). It’s amazing that for this price one can enjoy an authentic leisure pool!5. Pool WAI (Inagi city, Tokyo) Picture:Tokyo Summer LandLocated in Akiruno, western Tokyo, Tokyo Summer Land is about a hour and a half train ride from Shinjuku.There is a summer season only (7/1 – 9/30) indoor “Adventure Dome”, where you can have fun no matter how the weather is outside. The outdoor area is called the “Adventure Lagoon”. Combined, they have the largest number of pools in the metropolitan area. The Adventure Dome has a wave pool with waves that go as high as 70 cm, a hot water pool created to look like an underground lake, a spectacular waterfall, and more. Picture: Pool WAIAccording to the Yomiuri Land staff, there is a cool synchronized show, a water stage show, and other fun events that are held daily. For more details check their homepage.6. Toshimaen Park Image courtesy of ToshimaenThe most popular attraction here is the water streaming machine, Hydropolis. Hydropolis has a wide variety of water slides, such as the one that you slide on a flotation device, a 22 meter high drop down water slide, and others that are great fun.In the summer, how about going to a leisure pool facility that both adults and kids can enjoy and have fun?Recommended articles:Stave Off The Summer Heat At Five Tokyo Beer Gardens!Summer Staple: 5 Best Places For Shaved Ice In Tokyo5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa!5 Souvenirs From Tōkyū Hands You’ll Want To Show Off To Your Friends Picture: Pool WAIPool WAI is inside the Yomiuri Land theme park and is about 35 minutes away from Shinjuku. There are five pools and three different water slides. Besides having a flowing water pool, wave pool, diving pool and such, there are many events held there too. Picture: Kawagoe Suijo ParkLocated in Saitama prefecture’s Kawagoe city, Kawagoe Suijo Park has a flowing water pool, boasts Saitama prefecture’s largest water slide, and other unique pools. It’s an hour and a hald train ride from Shinjuku. During the season when the pools are open, the facility has a direct bus running from Kawagoe Station and Honkawagoe station. Picture: Hakone Kowaiken UnessanA little different from usual pools, Hakone Kowakien Unessan is an all-weather type hot springs theme park that you can enjoy in a bathing suit. Located in Hakone, an area famous for its hot springs, you’ll be able to get there in about two hours.Read also: 3 Easy Ways to Get From Shinjuku to Hakone

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Picture courtesy of Rainbow PoolRainbow Pool has water slides, a wave pool, a flowing water pool, a monument pool, and others types, making it a total of nine pools. It’s an authentic leisure pool that both adults and kids can enjoy.4. Kawagoe Suijo Park (Saitama prefecture) Picture courtesy of Rainbow PoolBoasting the widest pools in the metropolitan area, the Rainbow Pool is located in the Showa Memorial Park, right between the cities of Tachikawa and Akishima in Tokyo. Even if you leave the pool area, you can re-enter for free on the same day, which makes it perfect if you wish to enjoy other activities also. You can have fun cycling, taking boat rides on the lake, and doing other activities within the park. Image courtesy of ToshimaenToshimaen Pool is located in Tokyo prefecture’s Nerima district in Toshima Park. About 30 minutes away from Shinjuku, it’s a place easy to visit. This leisure pool has a wave pool, flowing water pool, kids pool, and several water slides. 3. Rainbow Pool (Akishima city, Tokyo) Picture courtesy of Hakone Kowaiken Unessan

There are some unique baths in the indoor area. There’s a wine bath where you can enjoy the rich scents, a low temperature coffee hot spring, a doctor fish foot bath, and more. The outdoors offer a hot spring water slider and an athletic waterfall area geared towards kids. You can even enjoy Hakone’s scenery from here.Read together:Hakone Tozan Line – Climb The Mountain By Train And Enjoy The SceneryA Day Trip From Tokyo: Places To See In Hakone-YumotoHakone Open-Air Museum – Explore The Arts Surrounded by NatureHakone: Five Spots to Enjoy the Autumn Leaves Picture: Tokyo Summer LandThe outdoor “Adventure Lagoon” has Japan’s largest rotating pool at a full length of 650 meters, an athletic pool where you can get a feel for your balance, and five different kinds of water slides. You can enjoy your entire day here. You can’t miss the DEKASALA, a giant 131 meters high water attraction that was opened in 2014.2. Hakone Kowakien Unessan (Hakone)last_img read more

Study suggests grizzlyhuman conflict rising in southwestern Alberta

first_imgEDMONTON – Newly published research suggests conflict between humans and grizzlies in the mountains and foothills of southwestern Alberta has been growing for more than a decade.“We started to see substantial increase in the incidents starting in about 2006,” said Andrea Morehouse, a scientist at the University of Alberta.“Not only are we seeing these incidents increase in number and frequency, we’re also seeing them occur on increasingly eastern areas of the landscape.”Morehouse and her colleagues went through more than 6,300 provincial government documents that recorded human contact with grizzlies, black bears, wolves and cougars from 1999 to 2014. That contact ranged from a distant sighting to a dangerous or destructive encounter.They found little change in the contact with black bears, wolves and cougars.But grizzlies recorded a dramatic increase. The number of contacts went from fewer than 50 to about 200 — a fourfold increase.Yet land use in the area has been consistent and the human population is stable or decreasing.“We eliminate human population increase and changes in demographics as the main reasons behind increasing carnivore conflicts,” the report says.One reason for the growth could be the elimination of the spring grizzly hunt in 2006. After that date, farmers and ranchers could no longer simply kill a grizzly they believed was harming their operations.Producers may now be calling in about bears they would have previously dealt with on their own, suggested Morehouse. As well, people who aren’t used to seeing bears may also be more likely to report them.“We might expect those people are going to call more frequently as opposed to people who are used to living with bears.”Or there may simply be more bears. Morehouse has previously published research that suggested grizzly populations in the area were increasing at about three per cent a year.The latest study found grain bins — full of tasty carbohydrates — are a major site for bear-human encounters.“Bears can peel off the doors on those grain bins,” Morehouse said. “It’s like they’re opening a sardine can.”Some farmers have installed electric fencing around their bins or put bear-proof doors on them. Bear-proof bins are also available for dead animals that might otherwise attract predators.Producers can also get reimbursed for the cost of a visit from a rendering truck to deal with carcasses.Morehouse found that one government program definitely didn’t work. The province used to airlift roadkill carcasses to bear dens in the spring hoping that would keep the hungry bruins in the high country.Morehouse concluded there was no evidence it did so.However, most people in the region are keen to keep living with large predators, said Morehouse.“One of the really exciting things about southwest Alberta is that there is an extremely proactive group of people down here that are working on these issues.”They may already be making a difference. Early data from 2015-16 suggests grizzly-human encounters in the area may be down for the first time this century.“Maybe we’re starting to have a bit of an impact.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

More than half of the 19 documentaries receiving funding will be produced

first_img Facebook Advertisement Montréal – Telefilm Canada, in partnership with the Rogers Group of Funds, is pleased to announce the 19 English- and French-language feature-length documentaries that are receiving funding through the Theatrical Documentary Program, for a total investment of nearly $2.3 million.“This year again the selected projects show great promise, and we are delighted to see women playing prominent roles,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “Indeed, the women on the teams for these films include 12 directors, 12 writers and 13 producers, which augurs very well for our gender parity goal. Furthermore, the quality of the projects is a good indication of the success stories to come.”Robin Mirsky, Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds, added: “As always, we were incredibly impressed with the quality of projects received. It’s a testament to the talent that exists among our documentary filmmaking community in Canada. Rogers is proud to be a significant financial support for this vital industry.”  Increased investment in support of diversityIn May 2017, Telefilm Canada more than doubled its investment in the program. This new money targeted projects directed, written, and/or produced by women, as part of Telefilm’s objective to achieve a balanced production portfolio by 2020.English-language projects:Assholes: A TheoryWriter/Director: John WalkerProduction: John Walker ProductionsDistribution: National Film Board of CanadaBillyDirectors: Aisling Chin-Yee and Lindsey DrydenWriter: Lindsey DrydenProduction: Parabola FilmsDistribution: Les Films du 3 MarsThe Corporate Coup d’État Writer/Director: Fred PeabodyProduction and distribution: White Pine PicturesGordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My MindDirector: Joan TosoniWriter: Martha KehoeProduction: Insight Production CompanyGrand PrairieWriter/Director: Evan ProsofskyProduction: Grand Prairie FilmDistribution: Raven BannerHispaniolaWriter/Director: Michele StephensonProduction: Hispaniola ProductionsDistribution: National Film Board of CanadaIllusions of ControlWriter/Director: Shannon WalshProduction: What Escapes ProductionDistribution: Cinema PoliticaPropaganda: The Art of Selling LiesDirector: Larry WeinsteinWriter: David MortinProduction: Hawkeye PicturesDistribution: D FilmsSmitten By Giraffes: The Anne Innis Dagg AdventureWriter/Director: Alison ReidProduction: Pursuing Giraffes AdventuresDistribution: KinosmithThis is Not a MovieWriter/Director: Yung ChangProduction: TINAMDistribution: Blue Ice DocsFrench-language projects:ArchipelWriter/Director: Félix Dufour-LaperrièreProduction: L’Embuscade FilmsDistribution: La Distributrice de filmsEn attendant RaïfWriter/Director: Patricio HenriquezProduction: Macumba Média IIDistribution: National Film Board of CanadaBoat People : Le retourDirector: Marie-Hélène PanissetWriter: Thi Be NguyenProduction: Les Films de l’HydreDistribution: UniActions FilmsLes damnésDirector: Mathieu RoyWriter: Suzie BouchardProduction: E2F Film 1Distribution: Funfilm Misogynie 2.0Director: Guylaine MaroistWriter: Léa Clermont-DionProduction: Productions de la RuelleDistribution: Distribution de la RuelleMon cri saura parlerWriter/Director: Santiago BertolinoProduction: Studio Via le MondeDistribution: Les Films du 3 Mars Le petit TomWriter/Director: André-Line BeauparlantProduction: COOP Vidéo de MontrealDistribution: Atelier Distribution Prisons sans barreauxWriter/Directors: Nicole Giguère and Isabelle HayeurProduction: Productions TriangleDistribution: Spira Ziva PostecWriter/Director: Catherine HébertProduction: Camera OscuraDistribution: Les Films du 3 MarsAbout Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.About the Rogers Group of FundsIn 1980, Rogers launched its first fund to support Canada’s independent producers. Since then, more than $530 million has been committed to over 2000 television and feature film projects through four different funding programs, all designed to meet the needs of Canada’s independent production community. Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Theyre going to try and stall it Indian school plaintiff worried about

first_imgRay Mason of Manitoba was one of the first Indigenous people to campaign for recognition and compensation for residential and day school survivors. (Facebook)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA plaintiff in the Indian day school class-action lawsuit is worried survivors are dying off while a consortium challenges the settlement agreement proposed by Gowling WLG of Ottawa.“They’re going to try and stall it,” Ray Mason said of the consortium comprised of lawyers and Indigenous organizations.“Meanwhile, there’s hundreds of survivors passing on each day.The consortium is comprised of Indigenous organizations and independent lawyers like Joan Jack, an associate lawyer with Alghoul & Associates of Winnipeg.Jack first represented Mason and lead plaintiff Garry Mclean in their original $15-million class-action against Canada before being replaced by Gowling.Mason said he and McLean, who died in February, credit Jack for getting the ball rolling on the class-action in 2009.She travelled the country collecting names of former students for a database to form the proposed class.“I don’t think we’d be sitting here talking about it today if it wasn’t for her and I,” Mason said.But then things turned sour.“Her and Louay Alghoul were not doing any work on it for three and a half years or more,” Mason said. “We wanted to move on.”McLean suggested the same thing in an affidavit he swore on May 2018 that was filed in Federal Court.He said the class-action “lay dormant for six years. Out of frustration with the delay despite repeated requests for movement on the case, we met with and subsequently retained Gowling in May 2016.”Garry McLean was lead plaintiff in the Indian  day school settlement agreement. He died in February 2019 at the age of 67. (Submitted) But Mason said the pair refused to turn over the database with more than 5,000 names, prompting Gowling to remind them they were no longer representing the class and “bound by the Code of Professional Conduct” as previous counsel.“Ms. Jack and Mr. Alghoul are actively withholding evidence from Mr. McLean and Mr. Mason,” Gowling partner Robert Winogron said in a letter to the pair obtained by APTN News, “evidence that was gathered in the course of this litigation.“Previous counsel may not keep evidence garnered in the context of Mr. Mason and Mr. McLean’s litigation from their present solicitors of record.”There was no response from Jack and Alghoul to the letter or affidavit.Mason said he and McLean also lodged a complaint against Jack and Alghoul with the Law Society of Manitoba.A complaint the Society confirmed remains “under investigation.”Mason, a member of Peguis First Nation, said the database was eventually returned – “but not without a lot of unfriendly words.”“I’m an Elder and I honour what she did. But now I question her actions,” he said.The consortium wants changes to the agreement-in-principle announced by Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett on December 5.One of the changes they want is adjudicated hearings similar to the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.They say many survivors benefitted from disclosing their experiences in the private hearings used to determine the level of sexual and physical abuse and subsequent compensation.But Mason, who spent two years in a day school before being ordered into a residential school, and other plaintiffs strongly disagree.“Some people can’t handle that,” he said. “To re-live all the trauma that we went through.“This IAP, it takes too long, it’s not user-friendly.  And you’re on edge right from Day 1 until they make you an offer and you make that decision whether you want it or not.” Lawyer Joan Jack filed the first Indian day school class-action lawsuit in 2009. (APTN file)Still, Jack supports changes to the agreement.“There’s lots of problems with the agreement, and so we want to improve (it) for people,” she said, noting the judge can order Gowling and Canada to meet with the intervenors and reach a new agreement within 30 days.“It wouldn’t delay anything – it would just make it better.”She said several Indigenous organizations are on board.“Matthew Coon Come, (Grand Chief of) the Grand Council of the Crees, sought intervenor status, Bobby Cameron (chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations) sought intervenor status, the Inuit sought intervenor status,” she told APTN in a telephone interview.“There are eight individuals and/or organizations are seeking intervenor status because they want to tell the court information they believe the court needs to hear.”The multi-million agreement includes funds for legal fees, a legacy fund, and individual compensation of between $10,000 and $200,000.The agreement still has to be certified by a judge, with a hearing scheduled in Winnipeg Federal Court next month.See the registration form here.In his May 2018 affidavit, McLean said the settlement was endorsed by “several prominent First Nation organizations,” and he’d been working since 2006 to get recognition for day school survivors not included or compensated in the Indian Residential Schools settlement.Approximately 200,000 Indigenous students were legally forced to attend more than 700 government-funded day schools legislated by the Indian Act, beginning in the 1920s.Gowling estimates there are 150,000 remaining day school survivors dying at a rate of about 2,000 per year.kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more

ICC authorizes probe into postelection violence in Côte dIvoire

3 October 2011The International Criminal Court (ICC) today authorized its prosecutor to probe alleged abuses committed during the recent post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire – the seventh investigation in Africa and the first in a State that is not party to the treaty that set up the Court. The International Criminal Court (ICC) today authorized its prosecutor to probe alleged abuses committed during the recent post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire – the seventh investigation in Africa and the first in a State that is not party to the treaty that set up the Court. The pre-trial chamber granted the prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed following the November 2010 presidential run-off elections, “as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation,” stated a news release from the court. It also requested the prosecutor to provide, within one month, any additional information on “potentially relevant crimes” committed in the West African nation between 2002 and 2010. In June, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested authorization from the Court to open an investigation after a preliminary examination led him to conclude that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction were committed in the country since 28 November 2010. The violence erupted when former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after he lost the United Nations-certified election to Alassane Ouattara, who was eventually sworn in after Mr. Gbagbo surrendered in April. According to the sources quoted by the prosecution in its application, at least 3,000 persons were killed, 72 persons disappeared and 520 persons were subject to arbitrary arrest and detentions during the post-election violence. There are also over 100 reported cases of rape, while the number of unreported incidents is believed to be considerably higher. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo welcomed today’s decision, adding that the ICC investigation should be part of national and international efforts to prevent future crimes in Côte d’Ivoire. The recently-established Truth, Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission would be a central piece of such efforts, and national authorities could define other activities to help the victims, ensure peaceful coexistence and prevent future violence. “Promoting justice and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire must be our common endeavour,” he said in a statement.This will be the first time the ICC, which is based in The Hague, opens a case in a State that is not party to the Rome Statute, which set up the court. Côte d’Ivoire has, however, accepted the jurisdiction of the Court – a decision taken in April 2003 and reconfirmed by the presidency as recently as May this year. Côte d’Ivoire is now the seventh investigation in Africa for the ICC, in addition to the Central African Republic (CAR), the Darfur region of western Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda, Kenya and Libya.Cote read more

UN approves grants totalling some 78 million to assist torture victims

The announcement came out of Geneva, where UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson approved the allocation from the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture on behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Grants were provided to some 200 organizations working in more than 60 countries worldwide and assisting about 80,000 victims of torture along with members of their families. The disbursements were based on priorities set by the Fund’s Board of Trustees, which also recommended maintaining a set amount for emergency assistance to individual victims or programmes already backed by the Fund that could encounter financial difficulties.Despite its far reach, the UN Fund did not meet all requests, and all indications are that needs will also outpace resources in the future. This year, grants amounting to more than $12 million were sought – up by about $1 million over 2001. While expressing gratitude to the dozens of governments that regularly contribute to the Fund, the Board has expressed concern over the implications of the continuing rise in requests for financial assistance. New applications for 2003 are expected to top $13 million, underscoring the need for fresh voluntary contributions, according to the UN. Established by the General Assembly in 1981, the Fund is mandated to give priority to organizations providing direct medical, psychological, social, economic, legal, humanitarian or other forms of assistance to torture victims and members of their family. The Board serves as an advisory body to the Secretary-General. read more

Over 100000 Afghans have repatriated from Iran UN refugee agency reports

Just over three months after the start of a United Nations-backed programme to help Afghans return from Iran, the number of those repatriating has topped 100,000, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today. Overall, more than 1.3 million Afghan refugees have voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries since the beginning of March, including over a million from Pakistan alone, spokesman Kris Janowski told reporters in Geneva. The agency is working to prevent any possible abuse of repatriation assistance packages by interviewing all refugees prior to their return. “Since the facilitated repatriation initiative began in March, UNHCR workers in Pakistan have rejected more than 50,000 heads of households who did not appear willing to go back for good,” Mr. Janowski reported. “Those rejected seemed interested in collecting UNHCR’s travel assistance grants and family kits along with UN World Food Programme (WFP) food rations.” To help ensure permanent repatriation, UNHCR staff inside Afghanistan also scrutinize returnees before granting aid. Efforts to screen out false claimants have saved UNHCR some $5 million in travel assistance, along with the cost of more than 50,000 family kits – which contain plastic sheets, blankets, buckets, hygienic gear and soap – plus some 6,000 tons of WFP food aid, according to the spokesman. Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, continued his weeklong mission to the country today with a visit to Central Afghanistan. At the Shomali Plains, he witnessed first-hand the destruction caused by the conflict and the rehabilitation work taking place in response. He also visited schools for girls and boys as well as an orphanage in Kabul. Mr. Otunnu was also in the capital yesterday, when he reviewed a project for street children and met with government officials as well as representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN staff stationed in Afghanistan. read more

India keeps eye on protests in Sri Lanka against US base plan

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled the Lanka leg of his Asia trip following growing protest over the proposed military pact.The Lankan government had come under fire from the country’s opposition over the Status of Forces (SOFA) Agreement, which would give the US forces unrestricted access to Sri Lankan facilities as well as diplomatic immunity. “We have not signed a new agreement, but we have been discussing a draft. We will not sign anything to harm our independence and sovereignty,” Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Wednesday, in response to an opposition query. President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, also said over the weekend that he would not allow signing of any agreement which would not be in Sri Lanka’s interests. “Delhi will respect Colombo’s decision on the matter. We are keeping a close watch as this pertains to our neighbourhood that has strategic significance for India,” an informed source who did not wish to be named told ET. India is keeping a close watch as protests grow in Sri Lanka over a proposed pact with the US, which could enable the setting up of an American military base in New Delhi’s southern neighbourhood, the Economic Times in India reported.The Indian establishment is of the view that as a close neighbour, it would respect Colombo’s decision, as the Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Wednesday announced that his country would not sign any pact that violated sovereignty. He said the Lankan ports would not be allowed to be used by any foreign force. “There was an exchange of letters between the then President JR Jayewardene and former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi. It was stated that Trincomalee or any other ports in Sri Lanka will not be available for military use by any country,” he said. read more

Women fail to appear for medical tests to prove allegations on Dr

However the Health Ministry said that so far not a single woman has visited either of the two hospitals to conduct the test. He was later investigated over allegations he performed illegal sterilizations on women preventing them from getting pregnant.Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige informed court last week that a three-month detention order against Dr. Shafi was withdrawn after the Ministry of Defence was informed that the evidence against Dr. Shafi was inadequate to prove that he had received funds from a terrorist organisation to promote their activities. Women have failed to appear for medical tests to prove allegations against Kurunegala Teaching Hospital employee Dr. Mohamed Shafi.The Health Ministry said that facilities had been made available at the Castle Street Hospital and De Soysa Maternity Hospital to conduct the tests on women who claimed illegal sterilization had been carried out on them by Dr. Shafi. Dr. Mohamed Shafi was arrested and remanded over suspicions raised on the manner he had accumulated assets. However, Dr. Mohamed Shafi was further remanded until 25 July by the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court due to the seriousness of the charges against him, and on the basis that releasing him would result in a public uproar. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Oil and gas industry has low impact on health in northeastern BC

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – Health risks associated with oil-and-gas activity in northeastern British Columbia are low, according to a newly released report from the provincial Health Ministry.Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday the report concludes that existing regulations protect public health. But it also makes 14 recommendations, including improvements to emergency planning zones, groundwater testing and air quality objectives.“Protecting the health and safety of British Columbians is one of our government’s top priorities, and that’s why we undertook this comprehensive study,” Lake told reporters on a conference call.“After careful review and analysis, the study found that the risk to human health from the emissions from oil-and-gas activities in the northeast remains low.”Intrinsik Environmental Sciences Inc. conducted the research, which represents the final phase of an evaluation of human-health risks related to the oil-and-gas industry.The first phase released in 2012 detailed the concerns of residents who believed their health problems — including asthma, bronchitis, sinus issues and cancer — were linked to industry activities like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.The report released Thursday was meant to assess whether these concerns were scientifically valid. It covered air emissions from gas-processing plants and production facilities, as well as related industries, transportation, and community sources.But West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson called the report “embarrassing,” saying the investigation was too narrow and designed to support industry expansion.“They did a report so that they could stand up and say, ‘Everything’s good in northeastern B.C., there are no health issues,’” he said. “People have to look at that report and ask the questions of, ‘What didn’t they look at?’”Willson said his band members still have significant concerns about high rates of cancer in the community, and the nation is considering commissioning an independent third-party review.The ministry has come under fire for delaying the report’s release. It was complete in November, but Lake said various government departments needed to review it first.Independent member of the legislature Vicki Huntington said the government refused her requests in recent months to see the report or its raw data, telling her the information could harm the province’s “financial interests.”“Data is data. There should be absolutely no fear in releasing it so that independent individuals and scientists can take a look at it,” she said in an interview shortly before the report’s release.Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director at Sierra Club B.C., said evidence exists showing fracking has “serious health impacts,” from chemicals pumped underground and air-quality effects from gas flaring.“I don’t see how it’s possible to reconcile the government’s proposed plans to massively increase this industry, while maintaining the health of British Columbians,” she said.Among the report’s 14 recommendations are baseline, pre-drilling groundwater testing requirements, and updated tools to calculate emergency planning zones. Another recommendation is to review and update the province’s ambient air quality objectives.Lake said the recommendations have been shared with the appropriate ministries or organizations and will be acted upon.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter. Oil and gas industry has low impact on health in northeastern B.C.: report by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 26, 2015 4:39 pm MDT read more

Slave Island salon manager killed five arrested and remanded

The manager of a salon in Slave Island was clubbed to death and five suspects have been arrested and remanded over the incident.The Police said that the manager of the salon was murdered after five young men had made remarks at a woman he was with. The youth, aged between 17-24, had fled the scene but were arrested by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel. They were produced before a Magistrate by the Police and remanded until the 19th of August. The manager had got into an argument with the young men for passing remarks at the woman after which the men had clubbed him to death. read more