Japan 2 New Zealand 1

Japan beat New Zealand in women’s World Cup opener in Germany. Yiki Nagasato opened the scoring after 6 minutes but almost immediately New Zealand equalised with Hearn. A free-kick from Miyama in the second half gave Japan a desserved win.

Il Giappone ha battuto la Nuova Zelanda per 2 a 1 nel primo incontro del Modiale femminile che si disputa in Germania. Le reti sono state segnate da Nagasato dopo 6 minuti per il Giappone e da Hearn subito dopo per il momentaneo pareggio della Nuova Zelanda. Il gol della vittoria e’ stato segnato da Miyama su calcio di punizione nel secondo tempo.

Thai Fruit Festival


May – July 2011

Throughout Thailand, a vast selection of fresh fruits are available all year round. However for a taste of the very best of Thai fruits, the height of the summer in May and June is the peak season. During this time of the year, a delightful assortment of exotic Thai fruits come into season.

Crispy and crunchy raw mango or ripe mangos juicy and full of flavour; sweet and fragrant bananas and custard apples; succulent fragrant longkong and zalacca; tangy thirst-quenching langsat and mangosteens; sweet rambutans, longans and jackfruit with thick, fleshy pulp; and rich, creamy durians. Refreshing and nutritious choices abound.

As succulent fruits ripen on the trees and are ready for harvest, fruit orchards in many of the eastern provinces of Thailand such as Chanthaburi, Rayong and Trat are open to visitors, presenting wonderful opportunities for private tours of the orchards and plantations, and agrotourism. Several offer fresh fruit buffets and ‘all-you can eat and pick’ at irresistible prices.

With a ready supply of freshly-picked fruits from the nearby orchards throughout the summer months from May to July, the annual ‘Fruit Festivals’ feature a vast array of quality local produce considered to be the provinces’ “best” and are the perfect place to savour the very best of a great variety of fresh Thai fruits, as well as locally processed fruit.

The annual fruit festival is extremely popular and attracts visitors from miles around because it provides a welcome opportunity to shop for products of exceptional quality, at truly bargain prices.

Colourful entertainment presents an added plus. In addition to contests such as the Fruit Festival Parade featuring a procession of floats decorated with fruit, the “Best Float”, creatively decorated with fruit, fruit contests including quality product contests such as “Best Fruits” (durian, rambutan, mangosteen and longkong), “Best Processed Fruits”. Other highlights include demonstrations of food-processing, fruit-eating contests, and the ever-popular beauty contest.

As the various types of fruits come into season at different intervals throughout the year, many other fruit fairs are held around the kingdom.

In addition to the sales of freshly-picked fruit, fruit contests, displays of agricultural and horticultural produce and sales of local handicrafts and products from each of the villages promoted under the OTOP – One Tambon One Product theme, the procession of colourful floats decorated with fruit and flowers paraded through the streets, beauty pageants, cultural performances and folk entertainment add to the festive ambience of the events.

For more information click here.

Japanese women

According to this survey Japanese men consider the following behaviours/traits very important factors in a girlfriend…

1. She links arms with you
2. She makes you bento (lunch box)
3. She does her best to help out in your daily life
4. She asks “Do you love me?”
5. She always spends the weekend with you
6. She asks “What were you doing?” if you don’t see her for a day
7. She wants to accompany you everywhere
8. She cleans your room for you
9. She does her best to match her hobbies to yours
10. She’s jealous of your last girlfriend

Personally, I find all 10 behaviours/traits very annoying and I would not last very long with a girl that matches most of them. Do you agree with me or with Japanese men?

Taste Japan! Charity for Tohoku!

Taste Japan! Charity for Tohoku!

17 June 2011 from 6.00pm

As Japan struggles to fight against the consequences of the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, which has been designated as the most devastating disaster since World War II, this event aims to raise funds and awareness while enjoying quality Japanese food, sweets and sake (rice wine).

Event contents:
-Tasting Japanese Sake, Food and Sweets
-Short story about Japanese Sake and Food  (Rie Yoshitake, Sake Samurai Association UK representative)
-Screening of a movie made by people in Tohoku
-Japanese traditional music (Japanese drums and shamisen).

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

Booking: Not essential, but early bird offer requires booking.
Entrance Fee :£10 (early bird), booking required from here.
£15 (on the door)

All proceeds go to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

Free for under 15s

For more information, please click here.

Midwife and Manga Heroine: Oine Siebold, Nagasaki and the Birth of Modern Japan

Midwife and Manga Heroine: Oine Siebold, Nagasaki and the Birth of Modern Japan
Ulrich Heinze, Sasakawa Lecturer in Japanese Visual Media

Sainsbury Institute and Centre for Japanese Studies, University of East Anglia

20 June 2011, London

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Khalili Lecture Theatre, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

This lecture unravels the historical meaning of the city of Nagasaki for the cultural exchange between Japan and the West in the first half of the nineteenth century. To pursue this inquiry, Heinze will refer to three key source materials: David Mitchell’s new novel The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, depicting the Phaeton-incident of 1808; Hendrik Doeff’s (1764-1837) Recollections of Japan, which is now available in English; and Masaki Maki’s manga Oine Siebold, on the career of the first female physician and obstetrician in Japan.
Dr Ulrich Heinze is Sasakawa Lecturer in Contemporary Japanese Visual Media. His position is jointly shared with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. A sociologist, he received his Ph.D. at Free University Berlin and was an EU-Postdoctorate Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo where he also later held the position of Associate Professor. In 2004, he was awarded the venia legendi (habilitatio) in Sociology from the University of Freiburg. Specialising in Japanese media studies, intercultural communication and visual arts, Heinze’s research interests include Japanese popular culture, manga, television and film. His third book entitled Media Theory Update: Technical Acceleration and Communicative Action is forthcoming in 2012. Heinze has also worked as a journalist and broadcasting editor for North German Radio (NDR) in Hamburg.

Admission Free but Booking recommended. To book your place, please contact the Japan Society office on tel: 020 7828 6330 or email events@japansociety.org.uk.

Flags’ Race round 1

Welcome to the first round of this fantastic flags’ race.

The Race is organised and sponsored by 5countries.wordpress.com and and all nations in the world can take part in this competition. So far 114 countries have take part in this race and many more will join in in the next few weeks/months. The overall winner of the competition is the country that after 12 races has more points. The point system works as follow:

  1. 24 points
  2. 22 points
  3. 20 points
  4. 18 points
  5. 16 points
  6. 14 points
  7. 12 points
  8. 10 points
  9. 8 points
  10. 6 p0ints
  11. 4 points
  12. 2 points

According to the bookies the favourite nation to win the Race is USA even if at the present Italy is leading the ranking followed by the UK. In addition to the favourites there are smaller countries that have been working very hard to score points, countries such as Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Singapore. While Spain and Poland, after a good start, have dropped position Philippines after a low start have managed to get points. Which nation will be the overall winner? Time will tell, for the moment for updated information of the nation taking part in this Race and ranking click here.

After the first Race the ranking is as follow:

  1. Italy
  2. UK
  3. USA
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Japan
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Saudi Arabia
  9. Germany
  10. Philippines
  11. Indonesia
  12. Singapore

Korea’s Got Talent Choi Sung-Bong

Video preso da yuotube su un ragazzo Coreano che ha commosso il pubblico sia per la sua storia che per le capacita’ vocali. Il ragazzo orfano dall’eta’ di tre anni e che ha vissuto da solo dai 5 canta una canzone in un ottimo Italiano. Se la storia e’ vera ha dell’incredibile. Il video e la storia del ragazzo e’ stato anche pubblicato da Repubblica.it.

The incredible story of Choi, from South Korea, orphan from the age of three who amazed the audience at a Korean Talent Show. Choi sings in a very good Italian. Astonishing!

Tadasu Takamine: Body, Mind and Expression

The Japan Foundation presents….

Japanese artist Tadasu Takamine, formerly a member of radical performance group Dumb Type, continues to take a similarly radical, and often confrontational, approach to his work. In installation and performance, as well as theatrical productions, Takamine uses a variety of approaches and range of media including images, sound, and 3D objects, placing him in a unique position as an artist who is impossible to classify or pigeonhole. One commonality which can often be seen in his work though is an awareness of the relation between the body and expression.

Takamine’s consciousness of social and political issues is also very much at the centre of his work and he is not one to shy away from challenging the viewer. This can be seen in his Venice Biennial exhibit God BlessAmerica (2002) and in Kimura-san (1998). Some of Takamine’s works have been the subject of criticism due to his bold and blunt expressions, as well as its often intimate and personal nature.

In this talk and following conversation with Prof. Fran Lloyd, Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University we have a chance to hear from Takamine about his unique artistic career and philosophy. This event also offers an opportunity to explore issues such as artistic expression and communication between the artist and society.

Date: 20 June 2011 from 6.30 pm
Venue: The Japanese Foundation,
Russell Square House,
10-12 Russell Square,


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Colours, Fun and Knowledge to Come Together at Thailand Tourisn Festival, June 8-12

Bangkok, 3 June 2011 — More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011 (TTF 2011), the annual travel and tourism showcase event targetting Thai and expatriate residents, to be held during June 8-12, 2011 at the Challenger Hall 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre between 10.00-21.00 hrs.

This event is being specifically held in conjunction with the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2011, so that it may be visited by international trade visitors and help to further boost the publicity and promotional value for the variety and uniqueness of Thai tourism products and services from all regions.

The five-day event is expected to generate an estimated 150 million Baht, both directly and indirectly. One of its primary objectives is to promote domestic tourism and meet the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2011 target of 91 million domestic trips and estimated revenue of 432 billion Baht (US$13.03 billion).

“We want to stress the importance of domestic tourism to the national economy, especially in these days of frequent global crises which invariably have an impact on international visitor arrivals.”

This year, TTF is designed to focus on promoting sustainable tourism activities under a new campaign slogan, “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand”. The numerous promotional activities are divided into three categories:

Exhibition “The auspicious occasion of 7th cycle 84th birthday of His Majesty the King”: Participants will have a chance to send greetings and blessings to His Majesty the King through information technology.

Creating Awareness and Disseminating Tourism Knowledge: This section will be sub-divided into seven zones, as follows:

Zone 1 Tourism Authority of Thailand:
TAT will highlight the latest campaign “Travel with a New Heart for a Sustainable Thailand” and feature an exhibition of the TAT’s history, information technology, 1672 call centre, TAT magazine, etc.

Zone 2 Identity of each tourism destination in the five regions:
TAT together with related agencies from each region of Thailand will present and highlight the unique identities of major tourist attractions, tourism activities and products under the following themes:
Central region: “Variety of Tourism”
Northern region: “Valuable Culture, Beautiful Nature”
Northeastern region: “Destination for Learning, Places of Civilization”
Eastern region: “Colours of the East”
Southern region: “Beautiful Forest and Sea, Variety of Cultures”

Zone 3 “Travel with Knowledge, Preserve Tourist Attractions”:
This will highlight the many activities of the TAT under the 7 Greens campaign — Green Heart, Green Logistics, Green Attraction, Green Community, Green Activity, Green Service and Green Plus. In addition, the Thailand Tourism Awards “Hall of Fame”, ecotourism and adventure activities, health and wellness ;such as, salt spa and demonstration of different styles of Thai massages from the 4 regions will be presented in this zone.

Zone 4 “77 Dining Places, 77 Shopping Places in 77 Provinces”:
A showcase of outstanding dishes, famous menus, delicious fruits,and souvenirs from Thailand’s 77 provinces.

Zone 5 New dimension of “Holding Hands, Feeling with the Heart, Hug Thailand, Let’s Go Together”:
This will highlight the long-standing cooperative efforts between TAT and the many government agencies and private-sector bodies; such as, Ministry of Commerce, International Arts and Craft Promotional Centres, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Office of Commerce in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports, etc.

Zone 6 Entertainment:
Thai cultural performance, contemporary art performance and entertainment ;such as, Thai folk songs, Thai folk concert, magic show, Thai classical dance, pantomime (Khon) and mini puppet show will be shown on the main stage. There will also be a mock up of a temple fair atmosphere with fun games and outdoor cinema.

Zone 7 Technical seminars:
On June 9, consumers can attend three informative seminars on the following topics: “Destination Branding” from 09.30-12.00 hrs, and “Modern Destination Marketing” from 14.00-16.00 hrs. On June 12, 2011, a seminar on “Tourism Onward: Past and Present” from 09.30-17.30 hrs will bring together a number of Thai experts invited to share their views. All the seminars will be conducted in Thai.

“Travel Linkages Promotion”: Dozens of exhibitors from the public and private sectors including tour operators, travel agents, diving schools and equipment suppliers, spas, accommodation, airlines, golf courses, car rental companies, souvenirs, local handicrafts, local foods and entertainment suppliers are participating in this promotion.

People who buy travel packages at this event will have a chance to win special prizes as well.

Visitors who join the activity of “Travel with a New Heart, Travel Thailand Every Month” can collect the 12-points stamp on the TAT passport and have a chance to win a gift of “New Heart” from TAT.

For further information on the Thailand Tourism Festival 2011, please check http://www.tourismthailand.org or Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext 1336, 1337

International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org

A Talk by Documentary Film Director Kazuhiro Soda

Special Film Event – A Talk by Documentary Film Director Kazuhiro Soda.
Award-winning Japanese director Kazuhiro Soda is a documentary filmmaker who produces work which is consistently both captivating and intriguing. His past films Campaign and Mental have been screened at many prestigious film festivals, garnering awards and acclaim, and highlighting Soda as a talent to watch out for.

This year, Soda returns with his new work Peace, exploring the apparently ordinary lives of a few residents of Okayama. Prior to the premiere of Peace at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Japan Foundation has invited Soda to talk about his latest work, as well as the observational style and methods he employs as a filmmaker. Yet to be commercially released, Peace has already been creating buzz in the international film circuit, receiving awards including Best Documentary at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

This is a very special opportunity to learn about the work, inspirations and practical approach of Japan’s most exciting and highly regarded documentary filmmaker.
10 June 2011 from 6.30pm
The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH
This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Organised in association with Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Kazuhiro Soda’s latest film Peace will be premiered as part of this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest line-up.
To reserve a place to attend this event, please email your name and the event title to event@jpf.org.uk