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Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 Commemorative Symposium

2009-9-22 (Tue) 10:00 a.m. -

A symposium "Osaka -- Rebirth as a Water Metropolis" will be held on Tuesday, September 22. This symposium is being held in celebration of Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009, a 52-day event aimed at reviving Osaka as a water metropolis.

Osaka City boasts a rare feature: an urban center with "water corridors" of 5 rivers on 4 sides of its square-shaped center. Not only unusual in Japan, but also in the world, these water corridors in a major urban center have provided immeasurable benefits to people in Osaka from the era when Japan had its capital in Osaka in a district called Naniwa-zu, to the Edo Era (1603-1867) when Osaka was referred to as the Kitchen of the Nation through to the modern age when Osaka was dubbed "Manchester of the East."

The history, economy, culture, scenery and customs of Osaka have been formed and nurtured by its rivers. However, during the modernization and motorization of Japan after the war, many of Osaka's rivers and canals were reclaimed. Once reputed as a city of 808 bridges, now most of those bridges are gone. The view of rivers as being city assets has been forgotten and lost.

Economically, Osaka is also a historical and cultural city where the power of its merchants has been a driving force behind the development and maturity of its urban culture. This tradition continues in various non-profit organizations and civilian participation in city planning.

Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 is a festival, part workshops, in which citizens can enjoy the city and its rivers, stimulate their senses, and experience once again the "culture of play". ("Culture of play" is used here in the sense of building a city in which the 5 senses of the body are respected with regard to the more practical needs of a modern city: information, symbols, fashion, and speed.)

Participants in this symposium will include researchers in history, urban development, and the culture of Osaka, specialists in rivers and the environment, and local artists active on the international stage. The purpose of this symposium, of bringing these different types of people together, will be to enhance the power of Osaka and to share this information with the world by examining the project Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 from varied viewpoints, by discussing the history, culture, and relationships of Osaka as a water metropolis.

Date and time: September 22 (Tuesday and national holiday), 10:00 a.m. - 6:15 p.m.

Venue: Royal Hall, Rihga Royal Hotel (Osaka)

Quota: 300 (Registration in advance is required.)

Participation fee: 1,000 yen (This fee does not include the charge for an after-symposium party of 2000 yen.)

Simultaneous translation of the symposium -- Japanese and English -- will be available. 

Sponsors: Osaka University, Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 Executive Committee

Supported by: Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70.



10:00 a.m.  Words of Welcome: HIRAMATSU Kunio, Osaka City Mayor, Chairperson of Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 Executive Committee

10:15 a.m.  Keynote Speech: WASHIDA Kiyokazu, President, Osaka University

10:45 a.m.  Issue presenter: YOSHIMI Syunya, professor at Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies

11:00 a.m.  Session 1: River Port Osaka and Civic Society -- Part 1

12:30 p.m.  Lunch time

13:30 p.m.  River Port Osaka and Civic Society -- Part 2

15:00 p.m.  Coffee break

15:15 p.m. Session 2: Civic Power and Cultural Power in Osaka -- Arts Stir up the City!

17:15 p.m.  Summary Speech: WASHIDA Kiyokazu, President, Osaka University

17:45 p.m.  Performance: "GUYS -- Aqua Metropolis Osaka" Symposium-Style Dance -- "Dance! A pointless argument of hot-blooded men" planned by the Dance Box.

18:30 - 19:30 p.m. After-symposium party

Coordinators of Sessions 1 and 2

KINSUI Satoshi, director, Center for the Study of Communication-Design, Osaka University, professor at Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University

HIRATA Oriza, script writer, professor at the Center for the Study of Communication-Design, Osaka University

KITAGAWA Furamu, art director, Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 producer


For more information and/or to make your reservation, contact:

Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009, Executive Committee Secretariat, Art Front Gallery

Tel: 03-3476-4868

Fax: 03-3476-4874


For more information on the Symposium, click here.

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