- 6:30-6:40: Welcome and Refreshements
- 6:40-7:30: Presentation: The Art of the Belly
- 7:30-7:45: Break
- 7:45-8:30: Discussion
The Hyogo Business and Cultural Center cordially invite you to an evening lecture and discussion on Japanese culture. Wine and light refreshments will be served as we spend time looking at a facet of sumo and Japanese culture seldom presented in our area.
Location: The Hyogo Gallery (1st floor of Building 2 of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington)
About the Event: Inherent in travel is the need to trust intuition and gut instincts. No matter how many guide books you read, classes you attend, or experts you hear, you ultimately still encounter situations for which you have no intellectual clues to follow. The Art of the Belly uses the ancient sport of sumo to navigate Japanese culture at this gut level. It is a journey of insight and misstep, of cultural awareness through immersion in a very foreign sport, and ultimately of metaphor as we focus on Japan through the lens of sumo.
When Steven first lived in this oft-baffling culture, he learned to follow my instincts and, in these moments of ambiguity, discovered something new about himself and his adopted home. This process of discovering Japan, of practicing “the art of the belly,” coincided for him with discovering sumo, Buddhism, and Shintoism. The more he learned about Japan, the more he learned about sumo; the more he understood sumo, the better he understood Japan.
Memorial services were held for the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake at the Seattle Center’s “Kobe Bell” on January 16th, 2011. The Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association began the ceremony at the same time and date the earthquake broke out in Japan, January 17th 5:46am Japanese Standard Time (January 16th 12:46pm local time), by lighting candles and holding silent prayer. After a Buddhist ceremony conducted by the Seattle Koyasan Buddhist Temple, attendees rung the Kobe Bell one by one.
It is already 16 years since the earthquake. Starting three years ago, the Hyogo Prefectural Police have been working to pass on memories and lessons from the earthquake to the next generation.
The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake was one of the various topics discussed at last September’s disaster-prevention summit held by Peace Winds America and attended by disaster-prevention specialists from the sister cities of Seattle, Kobe, San Francisco, Osaka, Honolulu, and Hiroshima.
We had the pleasure of running another successful kimono dress-up booth at this year’s Culture Day (or “bunka no hi” in Japanese). From kids to grown ups, all ages and sizes of festival guests picked out a kimono they liked and got dressed by our kimono experts. We hope that everyone enjoyed wearing a kimono and will consider trying it for upcoming festivals, like Sakura Matsuri and Obon!
There were other interesting events at Culture Day as well, including a tea ceremony demonstration by the Urasenke Foundation, a preview of this year’s new Obon dance, and a speech by famous newscaster and local activist Lori Matsukawa.