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The city of Kawasaki established the Representative Assembly for Foreign Residents in 1996 to aim at achieving the reality of Multicultural Symbiosis Society or Tabunka Kyosei Syakai.
In the Assembly, the foreign residents of the city choose their own topics concerning things that come up in their daily lives or problems that they face.

We are now calling for the 14th representatives.
People who do not hold Japanese citizenship and are at least 18 years of age as of 1st April 2022 may apply.

Please contact the below for more information:
1)Tabunka Kyosei Suishin Dept, Shimin Seikatsu, Kawasaki City Shimin Bunka kyoku, Tel. 044-200-2846
2) One-Stop Center Tel. 044-455-8811

The history of the Paralympic Games is said to be traced back to the archery competition that took place at a hospital in the suburbs of London in 1948 to fit in with the 14th London Olympics, at the initiative of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, a Jewish neurologist, who fled to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
It was organised as a part of a therapy for the rehabilitation of disable war veterans, all of whom had spinal cord injuries, to help them develop self-respect as well as physical strength. After that, it continued to be held, and grew to an international one in 1952 when the Netherlands joined in the event.
Then, the internationally reorganized wheelchair sports event, which was no longer open solely to war veterans, was held alongside the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. It is now recognized as the first Paralympic Games.
At that time, there were eight athletic events: basketball, athletics, archery, fencing, aquatics, table tennis, snooker, and dartchery (a combination of darts and archery). In the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, the number of events increases to twenty-two.
In this way, the Paralympic Games, which was initially organised as wheelchair sports events for rehabilitation, has now developed into a sporting event for professional athletes.
The 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo will soon be starting on August 24.
One of the Paralympic sport event, boccia (a kind of precision ball sport), was scheduled to be held in this month at the Kawasaki International Center. However, it is a great pity that it was cancelled due to the declaration of a state of emergency of COVID-19. We hope you may enjoy twenty-two sports events of the Paralympics to the full at home on TV, on the radio, or through the Internet.

Tokyo 2020 has been no like other Olympic games in history and concluded on Sunday, August 8 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will take place from August 24.
We assume that many of you have enjoyed watching the games on TV at home.
Before the Paralympics will start, there is 'Obon' or a Buddhist event occurring from 13th to 15th of August, where the age-old custom of ancestral worship became tied up with the ghost festival of Buddhism.
Originally, the period of Obon was from July 13th to July 15th of the old calendar. Today, many regions nationwide celebrate Obon a month late in mid-August.
Because the spirits of the dead are said to return at the Obon time, fires are lit at the entrances to homes so the spirits do not lose their way.
On a bon-tana, a small altar or shelf to welcome ancestors' spirits, people offer a horse-like figure made from cucumber and a cow-like figure made from eggplant as transportation for the spirits. The horse is for their ancestors to come quickly and the cow is for them to go back slowly.
Japanese hold memorial services for ancestors every summer as this way. Obon is one of the most important seasonal and family-gathering events for them.
We hope that the situation caused by the pandemic will be settled down and people will be able to go back to their home towns to see their relatives soon.

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will have started by the time you read this blog. After an interval of 57 years, this Olympics can be said to be a historical event in the sense that it is going to be held under an unusual situation. On the other hand, you must be concerned about the Covid-19 vaccination.
With some differences in progress, the vaccination for the COVID-19 has been given in respective prefectures. As we put it on this blog in June when it started, we are showing below the list of the websites pertinent to this matter for your reference. We hope you may find it helpful.

Notice on COVID-19 Vaccination, Kawasaki City(English):
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/350/page/0000129626.html

Kawasaki City COVID-19 Vaccine Reservation Call Center
Phone: 0120-654-478 (8:30–18:00 Monday – Sunday) Languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish

Notice on COVID-19 Vaccination, Kawasaki City (Japanese):
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/350/page/0000126099.html?furigana=on

COVID-19 Vaccination, Ministry of Health and Welfare:
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/vaccine_00184.html

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare COVID-19 Call Center
Phone: 0120-761770(toll-free number)
Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese
Time: see below (Monday–Sunday)
Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish: 9:00–21:00
Thai: 9:00–18:00
Vietnamese:10:00–19:00

Novel Coronavirus Vaccines Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
https://japan.kantei.go.jp/ongoingtopics/vaccine.html

Multilingual Information Center at the Kawasaki International Center
We support making appointment for vaccination and consultation related to the vaccination.
https://www.kian.or.jp/kic/soudan.shtml

Let's play Boccia!

Boccia is a ball sport born in Europe. It stands for a ball in Italian. It became a Paralympic sport in 1984 and can be played regardless of age, gender or disability. The aim of the game is to throw leather balls -- coloured red or blue as closely as possible to a white target ball.
KIAN will hold an international exchange game of Boccia this August. Please join this fun event and enjoy having fellowship with international residents through playing boccia. We look forward to your application.

Date and time: August 21st, Sat, from 10:00 to 12:00 p.m.
Venue: Kawasaki International Center
Targets: Adults and children in elementary student or above. Regardless of your nationality.
Applications to : TEL 044-455-8811 E-mail soudan39@kian.or.jp

Multilingual consultation service will start online consultation on Zoom from July 1st, 2021. Under the current situation everyone is recommended to stay home. Taking that into consideration, we are going to start online consultation on Zoom from July 1st, 2021.
If you have anything you want to consult with us, please fill out the application form mentioned below. For a fruitful consultation you are kindly requested to inform us in advance of your preferred time, date and a brief regarding the topic of your query.
The application form for the consultation on Zoom will be available from July 1st, 2021. Please click on the link below.
https://www.kian.or.jp/kic/soudan.shtml

In Japan, June is called 'Mina-zuki' which stands for 'the month of water'. It seems to have the original meaning such as 'the month to install water into rice fields.'
By the way, we would like to share with you about 2 information this time.

1) The coronavirus vaccination rollout for people over 65 in Japan has been carried out already.
The timing of your receiving "Vaccination ticket (coupon)" is different according to your age and health status. Please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe until you receive it.

You can check from the below site about the information regarding COVID-19 vaccination from Kawasaki city. 
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/350/page/0000129626.html

Kawasaki City COVID-19 Vaccine Reservation Call Center
Phone: 0120-654-478 (8:30-18:00 Monday - Sunday)
Languages such as English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish are available.

You can consult with the One-stop-center at Kawasaki International Center about questions regarding the vaccination program. Please check our website here.
https://www.kian.or.jp/kic/soudan.shtml


2) We will start the free consultation on zoom from July 1st, 2021. The details will be announced next time.

Persons who wish to apply for public housing, but who are not sure how, can attend this session and get help filling out their forms.
(English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese Interpreters will be available. Reservation required)
Application criteria: Resident of Kawasaki City for at least a year, or have worked at the same job in Kawasaki City for at least a year

* Date and Time: Saturday June 12th, 10:00am -noon
* Place: Kawasaki International Center
* Application Period: Wednesday June 9th, 16:30pm
* Apply by phone Tel: 044-455-8811 or e-mail: soudan39@kian.or.jp
* What to Bring: items proving your income over the previous year (certificate of income and withholding tax, or proof of payment form)

Satsuki flowers

Japan has a calendar peculiar to their country. It is called 'Wareki' which started to be used since 7th century. Each month is named differently. For example, May has the Wareki name as 'Satsuki'. Rice has been a staple food in Japan since ancient years ago and it is consider May is the good season for rice-planting. People in the old times used to call the month 'Sanae-tsuki' which stands for the month to plant rice seeding, and this word is eventually shortened to 'Satsuki'.
The flower 'Satsuki tsutsuji' (English name 'Azelea') blooming in May is called 'Satsuki' whose neme is shortened from 'Tsutsuji'.
Satsuki flowers erupt various colors from late spring till early summer and give us a lot of energy and peace to us.

It will soon be ‘Golden Week’ vacation that includes four national holidays, beginning from April 29 (Showa Day) and ending on May 5 (Children’s Day).
May 5th is traditionally called ‘Tango no sekku,’ and is also currently called ‘Children’s Day.’ On this day, we celebrate boys’ health and growth; while the Girls’ Festival is known as Hina-matsuri (literally Doll’s Festival) on March 3rd.
Tango no sekku originally started in the Nara period (710–794) at the Imperial Court of Japan, on the day of Tango, which was May 5th of Japan’s old lunar calendar and marked the change of seasons, as a habit of taking a Shōbu-yu (bath in which bundles of Japanese iris are floating) and drinking Shōbu-sake (liquor in which an iris leaf is soaked), because it was believed that iris was good for health and had apotropaic effects. And then it became a seasonal event to expel evil and disease.
Later, with the rise of the samurai (warrior) class, Tango no sekku came to be celebrated because the Japanese name of iris (Shōbu) is a homophone of their martial (Shōbu) ethos.
Eventually this event became prevalent in townsman society in the middle of the Edo period (1603–1868) as a celebration of the birth and growth of boys, which has been continued until today.
During ‘Golden Week’ vacation, it would be nice to be relaxed by taking a Shōbu-yu as well as to prevent infection.

In Japan, the new fiscal/business year has started on April 1st with a lot of cherry blossoms blooming. As we announced in the last log, our consultation service for foreign residents has been improved from April 1st and the opening hours has been extended to 9am – 5pm (Open during lunch time, too). During these hours, you can receive the consultation service anytime in any of 11 languages with the use of support provided by our consultation staff, but also by an interpreting company we contract with.
Please feel free to call us, e-mail to us or visit us if you find any question about any topic around you!
Our consultation staffs of 11 languages are pleased to support you as much as possible.
https://www.kian.or.jp/len/kic/soudan.shtml

Open hours changed to 9:00am–5:00pm, from April 1st, 2021. No lunch break.
You will be able to receive the English consultation from Monday through Saturday as the same way as previously.
In the case the English speaking consultation staff is not available, we will provide consultations and information by connecting our contracted interpreting company.
https://www.kian.or.jp/len/kic/soudan.shtml

Kawasaki International Center
TEL: 044-455-8811
E-mail: soudan39@kian.or.jp
Address :〒211-0033, 2-2 Kitsuki Gion-cho, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi

I have found myself lately feeling the scent of spring. In the Kanto area the cherry blossoms is blooming earlier than usual this year, with its peak sometime between late March and early April.
In Kawsasaki City there are many parks and green spaces that have a lot to offer. We'll introduce a couple of good places here to see the cherry blossoms.
Nikaryo Irrigation Channel (Tama Ward, 2-minutes walk from Shukugawara Station on the JR Nambu Line)
This historical irrigation channel was built during the Edo period. About 400 cherry trees line the watercourse for about 2 kilometers.
Asao River (Asao Ward, 3-minutes walk from Kakio Station on the Odakyu Line)
About 250 cherry trees line the river, weaving together overhead to form a pink tunnel.
Just as last year we are supposed to enjoy cherry blossoms quietly without having Hanami parties under the cherry trees, which might add a little extra je ne sais quoi.

The Kawasaki foundation provides the streaming service of their plays in aim to prevail and develop Japanese traditional performance arts. You can watch Noh-gaku plays at the below sites with English subtitles.
https://www.kbz.or.jp/movie/

The original Noh-gaku dates back to the end of 13th century and it was flourished as a samurai culture since the 14th century. Noh is Japan's oldest form of musical theater and registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Please check this website for further information about Noh.
https://www2.ntj.jac.go.jp/unesco/noh/en/

'Hirnamatsuri', 'the Girls' Festival' or 'the Doll's Festival,' is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. It is also called 'Momo no Sekku', which means 'Peach Blossom Festival.' People began this event in the late eighth century of the Heian period (794-1185). It is an occasion to pray for young girls' growth and happiness.
Most families with girls display dolls dressed in Heian period court costumes, peach blossoms, cake cubes (hina arare) and diamond-shaped rice cakes (hishimochi). We celebrate the day by eating mixed sushi with colorful ingredients (Chirashi-zushi) and drinking sweet white liqueur (Shiro-zake).
By the way, May 5th is the Boys' Festival in Japan. We will introduce this event on the blog later.