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August 2008

Thank You Letter Presented to Mr. Yasushi Kawabata, Chairman of the Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Theatre Group, a “Daisuki! Kyoto” Donor

25 August 2008

Kyoto City held an award ceremony for Mr. Yasushi Kawabata, chairman of the Yoshimoto Shinkigeki Theatre Group, who was one of the donors for the “Daisuki! Kyoto” campaign. The “Daisuki! Kyoto” campaign is the nickname of the Kyoto's Furusato tax payment donation. If a person donates more than 5,000 yen to the city, a certain amount of municipal tax and income tax are deducted.
Mr. Kawabata had wished to make a donation to the city long before the “Daisuki! Kyoto” campaign was put into effect as he spent many years of his life in Kyoto. As of August 15th, 2008, the city received 15 donations (for a total 1.68 million yen). The donated money will be used for the preservation of cultural properties, and the promotion of the traditional culture, scenery preservation and environmental issues. Donors can choose which area their donation will be used for. We hope the city receives many more donations for “Daisuki! Kyoto” campaign. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Tax Section: Tel: 075-222-3290.

“Mirai Machizukuri 100 Members Association” Management Group Decided

18 August 2008

Kyoto City held a public presentation to choose the members of the group that will manage “Mirai Machizukuri 100 Members Association”. The association was formed to discuss new and better city creation initiatives. The chosen group members will decide on a theme they will discuss, for example, how to solve tasks and problems they find in the daily life. The final solutions for the themes discussed will be submitted to the city office and then companies and the group members will take action to improve the situation.
Representatives of 5 groups joined the presentation and showed their plans based on their career and experience. After the management group has been chosen, the group will start to operate officially from September 2008. Kyoto City will support their activities by providing information. The association will provide opinions and suggestions to the city which will consider them and then take action promptly. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Kyokan System Section: Tel: 075-222-3104.

Gion Matsuri Festival’s Float Related Events Nominated as a Domestic Candidate for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

11 August 2008

The range of traditional ceremonies and events that constitute the Gion Matsuri Festival (grand parade, kujitori-shiki ceremony, yama and hoko-tate float construction, etc.) has been selected as one of the domestic candidates for the next UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage nomination. This is the first time that UNESCO will select Intangible Cultural Heritage proposals. Globally valuable traditional forms of entertainment, ceremonies and festivals can be nominated. Since 2007, with the cooperation of the festival’s organizing group (Yamahoko Rengo-kai Association), Kyoto City has been preparing for the nomination. With a budget of about 42 million yen in total, the city has collected video and photo materials to make a proper document to submit for the nomination. If this attempt is accepted, it will be a big opportunity for the city to promote its historical heritage to the world. In other words, this is a chance to demonstrate Kyoto’s cultural power, and the strength of its local government and citizens. The final results will be released the year after next. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Cultural Property Protection Section: Tel: 075-761-7799.

Japan’s First Disaster Prevention Facility Opened in Higashiyama's Kiyomizu Area

4 August 2008

Kyoto City has recently completed the construction of an underground water tank for fire extinction at Kodaiji Park in the Kiyomizu area of Higashiyama ward. The tank can hold the equivalent of five 25-meter long swimming pools. New fire plugs have been built around the tank. Tank construction was started in 2006 as Japan’s first project to protect cultural properties and residences in the area. This is only the first phase of the project. On the same day, a disaster prevention drill was held in which about 300 local people participated. People practiced earthquake evacuation, rescue procedures, and fire extinction using the new fire plugs. After the drill, a ceremony was held and the Mayor of Kyoto, Mr. Kadokawa, presented a list of other facilities to the representatives of the local community. For further information, contact the Kyoto City Fire Department: Tel: 075-212-6629.

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