KANSAI Close-up

Media Forum 2009 held in Osaka

Media Forum 2009, co-hosted by the Kansai Press Club, KIPPO and the Osaka International House Foundation, was held on Nov. 11 at the foundation's International House in Tennoji-ku, Osaka City. It was joined by about 130 people, including Osaka-based journalists and publicly invited citizens from among applicants.
This year's forum, the 15th in a series, was focused on the ""Rediscovery of Japanese Culture,"" a theme discussed by a panel of four foreigners actively engaging in cultural activities in the Kansai region. They were Aidan O'Connor, a food journalist researching on Japanese ingredients and cuisine; Silvain Kyokusai Guignard, a professor of Osaka Gakuin University who is also a player of Chikuzen Biwa, a traditional Japanese lute; Jessica Bauwens Sugimoto, an associate professor of Kyoto Seika University studying Japanese manga and anime; and Brad Towle, International Tourism Promotion & Development Director, Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Wakayama Prefecture (photo).
Instead of giving keynote speeches, the four panelists talked about ""Japan I have fallen for"" and about themselves, moving on to engage in lively discussions
coordinated by Asahi Broadcasting Corp. announcer Atsuo Kusu. The foreigners spoke passionately in fluent Japanese about ""cultural assets"" which Japanese themselves either have tended to forget or are not much aware of,including the ""taste of Japan's homemade dishes"" and ""notes of Chikuzen Biwa."" (Tawara)