Review: "Bridges to Japan" at the ISF

Paro-chan is one of a handful of robots on display at the Bridges to Japan exhibit. Submitted photo




State Fair; Grand Hall. Was it bad karma to open this exhibition of things

Japanese on the 65th anniversary of Hiroshima? No, perfect timing. The

pavilion, which really does include a Japanese bridge, showcases the strength

of today's Japan-Indiana commercial and cultural connections. Marvel at

displays of the Japanese pop culture that has seduced America's youth. Boggle

at the number of Hoosier schools offering Japanese language and exchange

programs. See your name, written in Japanese! Pout over the Japan Railways

exhibit that rubs our noses in what REAL public transit looks like, then be

consoled by Paro-chan, the therapeutic baby seal robot. Chat with communication

robot Wakamaru, Japan's answer to C-3PO. Live entertainment ranges from

traditional Japanese performance and martial arts to "action comic band"

Peelander-Z. No pork tenderloin sandwiches here, but try the katsu (pork

cutlet) curry. Or the deep-fried sushi. Through Aug. 22; daily schedule at


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