Shinzo Abe addresseｄ the Australian Parliament at Parliament House, Canberra, on July 8, 2014. He was the first Japanese prime minister to address both house of parliament. He gave a joint news conference with Australian Prime MInister Tony Abbott following the address.
Colorful Japanese entertainer Kyary Pyamu Pyamu will play one show in Australia later this month as part of her Nanda Collection World Tour 2014.
Demand to see the performer probably best known for her flamboyant 2011 viral video “Pon Pon Pon” has been enormous and her only Australian show on March 23 was shifted from Sydney’s Metro Theater to the considerably larger UNSW Roundhouse.
The often infantile 21-year-old whose full stage name is Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (her real name is Kiriko Takemura) is currently among the best-selling contemporary performers and is easily Japan’s best-known singer among 20-somethings outside of her homeland.
Although Kyary Pyamu Pyamu has a reputation outside of Japan as being something of a non-conformist, most of her innovation comes from a marketing team playing on the image she cultivates cleverly. Nonetheless, there’ll be no shortage of color or noise at her show. Kyary Pyamu Pyamu’s Nanda Collection World Tour 2014 comprises shows in 15 cities in 10 countries over a five-month span from February to June this year.
Pon Pon Pon
Tickets for Kyary Pyamu Pyamu’s sole Australian show are available through Ticketek
A scene from “Kaura no Hancho Kaigi” with Japanese POWs wearing the crimson uniforms they wore at the Cowra Prison Camp.
Kaura no Hancho Kaigi (Honchos’ Meeting in Cowra) superbly dramatizes events surrounding a definitive incident in Australia-Japan relations.
The play being performed by the Rinkogun theater group daily until March 24 (with two shows on March 19 and 21) centers on the Cowra Breakout, an attempted escape by about 550 Japanese prisoners of war being held in an Australian POW camp in August 1944.
Interwoven with the action surrounding the decision to rebel and attempt to escape or die trying by a group of men whose own homeland had effectively killed them by bureaucracy and cultural manipulation is a tale of a group of women making a film about the incident, but also containing a sub-plot of documenting the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Overall, the result is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Australia-Japan relations, though it may not be exclusively pleasing and could raise discomforting issues that can sometimes be shoved under the carpet, prime of which is the fact that Australia and Japan were once at war and bitter, racially opposed enemies: a matter not commonly known in Japan. The play is also an unabashedly left-wing account of events, but this is also Kaura no Hancho Kaigi’s greatest strength as it humanizes the characters, notably the Imperial Japanese Army soldiers whose wartime culture depended on their dehumanization.
Playwright Yoji Sakate‘s script admirably addresses many serious issues, but perhaps too many, and sacrifices clarity at times in an apparent effort to ensure all sides have their views presented, but this foible is only a minor one.
Made for a Japanese audience, Kaura no Hancho Kaigi is essentially a Japanese-language play, but has large swathes of English (sometimes for mysterious reasons), much of which is delivered with deplorable Australian accents by American actors John Oglevee and Benjamin Beadsley, who redeemed themselves by breaking the fourth wall to apologize for their Strine deficiency.)
Nontheless, the somewhat surreal play had a bit of everything from action, humor, tragedy and drama, and is certainly worth seeing.
カウラの班長会議Kaura no Hancho Kaigi (Honchos’ Meeting in Cowra) All seats reserved (prices range from 1,500 to 4,000 yen)
Showing until Sunday, March 24 at Shomokitazawa Za Suzunari
For inquiries or ticket sales, contact Rinkogun
(All inquiries should be made by a Japanese speaker)
A memorial to Japanese military members on Christmas Island.
Dec. 25, the original date of this post, is Christmas Day, but Christmas also gives its name to an island with a little-known — and bizarre — role in Australia-Japan relations.
An Australian territory, Christmas Island was with Nauru and parts of New Guinea parts of Australian-governed lands the Japanese occupied during World War II. クリスマス島は、第二次世界大戦中ナウル、ニューギニアの一部に次ぐ大日本帝国海軍に占領されたオーストラリア領土だった。
A Japanese nameplate dating to the World War II occupation found on Christmas Island.
There’s an interesting tale behind Japan’s wartime occupation of Christmas Island, though.
It was long thought the island would be targeted because of its rich phosphate deposits.
Indeed, the Imperial Japanese Navy headed to the island in March 1942. The Allied troops defending Christmas Island realized they were outnumbered by an overpowering force, dismantled the island’s defenses and raised a white flag of surrender. The Japanese, however, sailed away. Once again, the Allies raised the Union Jack.
Days later, though, members of the British Indian force mutinied, overpowered and killed their British officers and interred the remaining Europeans on Christmas Island. The Indian mutineers then invited the Imperial Japanese forces to take over the island, which they did under the command of Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura.
Imperial Japanese Navy Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura
Sabotage by workers ensured Japan gained little phosphate and it soon withdrew all but a token force from Christmas Island, which was handed to Australia to govern following Japan’s defeat in World War II. Australia continues governing Christmas Island through to today.
しかし、労働者のサボタージュなどによる、結局リン酸塩取得量がほとんどなく数人の兵士を除き、すぐクリスマス島から去った。日本の敗戦後クリスマス島がオーストラリア領土となり、今でもその状態が継続している。 More About Christmas Island
Aisha the Geisha in Koo Wee Rup with her favorite sheep, Baaabara.
Becoming a geisha, a practitioner of Japan’s arts in a rigidly controlled, hierarchical society with customs dating back centuries, takes a rare kind of inner strength, and doubly so as a foreigner in a world insular even for the generally inward-looking Japanese.
Aisha adds some Japanese refinement to the ancient Australian tradition of smoko.
A Koo Wee Rup cutie displayed such power after being mercilessly dumped by her Nar Nar Goon goon as she wrenched herself away from the attractions of asparagus farming, booted the Blundstones, rammed the shears and shoved aside all the old cows’ bullshit to create the legend of Aisha the Geisha.
Aisha dedicated herself to embodying Japan’s tradition-seeped, delicate, refined arts where every move is executed with a deft touch, grace of movement and smidgen of coquettishness.
Aisha the Geisha about the silence the lambs….
Yet, learning the ancient arts of seduction didn’t necessarily require Aisha to forget about her roots, or cast down her hoe. Indeed, while trying to woo back her errant asparaguser, Aisha remained ever-adept at cow-patting and spark plugging while using her new-found charms to bring elegance to a typical smoko and display her social conscience by campaigning for geisha cyclists’ rights.
しかし、そうでありながら、牛飼いや車修理などルーツも忘れずにがんばってきた。とともに、新たに身に付けた才能にによって豪州工事現場に「茶の湯」などの習慣も導入して、国際交流に大きく貢献した。 Memoirs of an Aisha tells the compelling tale of an Aussie farm girl’s troubles in Tokyo, providing a light-hearted look at a lass from Down Under’s jolly jaunt in Japan, a land where comedy is taken with earnest seriousness.
Memoirs of an Aisha
267 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
DATES: 26-30 Sept and 1 Oct
TIME: 7.00pm, Sun 8.30pm, Mon 6.30pm (50min)
TO BOOK visit melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9666
firstname.lastname@example.org Melbourne Fringe Festival
Memoirs of an Aisha
Sept. 26 to Oct. 14, 2012 Memoirs of an Aisha Media Release Melbourne Fringe Festival ’12
Tets-J (center) plays with Jibucon in Minami Machida on July 29, 2012
Tets-J is one of the great unsung heroes promoting Australian culture in Japan, and he’s even more remarkable for advancing indigenous Aussie culture.
Tets-J learned about the didgeridoo while staying in Melbourne, taught himself how to play, then returned to Australia’s Arnhem Land and studied under Djalu Gurruwiwi, a master didgeridoo player and member of the Yolngu people.
He has devoted his life to spreading indigenous Australian culture throughout Japan, which he does through his performances, his store, Dinkum Japan, classes, lectures, workshops and live performances he gives across the country, as he is currently doing on weekends in Tokyo.
Aboriginal Cultural Week Vol. 2, the collection of lectures, workshops and live performances, has two final sessions remaining on Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 at the mont-bell Grandberry Mall store in Machida, on the outskirts of Tokyo.
The workshops, which aim to give participants an opportunity to experience first-hand indigenous Australian culture and include the Aboriginal-influenced Tjangala Cafe in Ibaraki Prefecture among their supporters, include a gallery of photos and Aboriginal art, workshops on dot or bark paintings, boomerang or mini-didgeridoo decoration, a seminar on mainly Yolngu lifestyle, culture and customs and end with a night-time performance.
Items related to indigenous Australia are also on sale at the event. Performing at the concert on Aug. 4 with be didgeridoo players OMI and Tets-J, while the week will wrap up the following day with a show by Wago.jp (和豪.JP), a duo featuring tsugaru shamisen and didgeridoo.
As the week is directed toward a Japanese audience, events are conducted in Japanese. A small materials charge applies for some of the workshops, and advance reservations need to be made, while performers busk in their shows.
Tets-J is shown in the clip below, playing with Jibucon, in Minami Machida on July 29, 2012.