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Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas a Resounding Success!

Date: 2012 December 04 15:59

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The good folks from Hyper Japan have sent us details of their last event run in November 2012, and are delighted to report the event had the biggest footfall ever.

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Press release as follows:

The UK's Biggest J-Culture Event Records Biggest Ever Footall at HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas, supported by The Embassy of Japan in the UK, The Japan External Trade Organizaton (JETRO), The Japan Foundaton, The Japan Natonal Tourism Organizaton (JNTO), The Council of Local Authorites for Internatonal Relatons (CLAIR) London, The Associaton of Japanese Animatons, Visual Industry Promoton Organizaton, and The Foundaton for Promoton of Music Industry and Culture, was held over three days at Brompton Hall in Earls Court, London, from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 November 2012.

In additon to showcasing Japan's vibrant pop culture, including manga, anime, and J-pop, HYPER JAPAN also hosted stage performances and workshops by KAMUI, a Japanese sword performance troupe led by Tetsuro Shimaguchi famous for appearing Kill Bill Vol. 1, and a surprise guest performance by rock legend Tomoyasu Hotei, the artst who performed the theme song to Tarantno's Japan-influenced epic. The highlight of the first day of the event was an exclusive collaboratve performance of the Kill Bill theme song-Batle Without Honour or Humanity-by Hotei and KAMUI on the main stage.

Other highlights included a talk featuring Mitsuhisa Ishikawa of anime powerhouse Producton I.G., a panel discussion including Junya Yamada, the General Creatve Director of the fashion and culture show MARBLE Collecton, and appearances from J-music artsts: NINJAMAN JAPAN, THE MICRO HEAD 4'NS and Tomoca. In all, the event featured 20 guests over three days, making for a packed schedule of diverse entertainment spanning the traditonal to the super modern.

Eat-Japan events were designed to give visitors a chance to experience authentc Japanese cuisine: at the Sake Experience 2012, tcket holders could try more than 20 different brands of sake, while stage demonstratons included a seminar on Japanese-inspired cocktails. Visitors could also take part in sushi workshops. One partcular highlight was the fusion chocolates introduced by William Curley, four-tme winner of the Best Britsh Chocolater award, created using Japanese ingredients such as Kikkoman soy sauce and S&B wasabi.

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas is the fourth HYPER JAPAN event, and recorded the highest visitor numbers ever, at approximately 46,000 over three days. Visitors ranged from dedicated J-pop and J-culture fans in their teens and early twenties to families, young professionals, and couples and groups in their 40s and 50s, many of whom had come for wide range of new and traditional cultural of Japan, as well as food and drink.

HYPER JAPAN was first held in 2010, and has shown huge growth over two years, quickly establishing itself as a unique, diverse and colourful event with something for everyone. HYPER JAPAN welcomed more than 350 members of the press to the Christmas 2012 event. As always, the event was a big hit on social media, and positive reporting of the event in new and traditional media has helped to boost the reputation of J-pop, J-culture, and Japanese cuisine and traditions through-out the UK and beyond.

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas: Outline
Venue: Brompton Hall, Earls Court, London
Opening dates & tmes:
Friday 23 November: 14.00-20.00
Saturday 24 November: 09.30-20.00
Sunday 25 November: 09.30-17.00
Organiser: Cross Media Ltd. (Managing Director: Kazuhiro Marumo)
Supporters: Embassy of Japan in the UK, The Japan External Trade Organizaton (JETRO), The Japan Foundaton,
The Japan Natonal Tourism Organizaton (JNTO), The Council of Local Authorites for Internatonal Relatons
(CLAIR) London, The Associaton of Japanese Animatons, Visual Industry, Promoton Organizaton, and The
Foundaton for Promoton of Music Industry and Culture,
Sponsors: Bandai Namco Games, Britsh Airways, JEM Group, JP-Books, Konami, NHK World, Nintendo, OCS,
Square Enix Products.

Exhibiton content: Japanese cuisine, sake, Sushi Workshop, Japanese desserts, snacks, beer, tea bar, games, music, art, film, technology, toys, martal arts, kimonos, fashion & beauty, tourism, anime, manga, character merchandise.
Stage shows: KAMUI, J-Music, Media Arts Festval, MARBLE Collecton, World Cosplay Summit UK Preliminary, live performances, fashion show, seminars, giant tuna carving, and more.
Ticket price: £12.00 (advance); £15.00 (on the door)

Organiser Comment: Kazuhiro Marumo, Managing Director, Cross Media
"HYPER JAPAN is not just the UK's biggest J-culture event. It's one of the few Japan-themed events in the world actually run by a Japanese team. Our aim with HYPER JAPAN is to showcase Japan as it is right now; that's everything from pop culture to traditons and customs, food, drink and technology. We don't want to limit ourselves to specific genres, and instead provide a glimpse of Japan as it really is today. The UK is a great base for the promoton of Japanese culture and of Japanese products and services throughout the world, partcularly since English is spoken throughout so many regions of the world including Europe, India and the Middle East. Japan is increasingly focusing on Asia, but establishing a reputaton in the UK, where legislaton on intellectual property, for example, is firmly in place, should be an important first step for Japanese companies.. In future events, I also want to work more extensively with UK based fans of Japanese culture to help support areas of
Japan stll recovering from the effects of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake."

Surprise Guest Tomoyasu Hotei and KAMUI Recreate Kill Bill Live on the HYPER JAPAN Stage!

Japanese sword artst troupe KAMUI has established a unique style of performance, combining breathtaking swordsmanship skills with drama,
aesthetcs and martal arts. Troupe founder and leader Tetsuro Shimaguchi caught the atenton of director Quentn Tarantno, who asked him to
choreograph some of the fight scenes in Kill Bill Vol. 1, as well as appear in the film, too. Elsewhere, Testuro and KAMUI are actve in choreography
and performance in Japanese films and creatve productons.

KAMUI appeared at HYPER JAPAN in a special collaboraton with Tomoyasu Hotei, legendary rock guitarist and composer/performer of the Kill Bill theme tune, Batle Without Honor or Humanity. Hotei performed his theme tune together with the KAMUI troupe, to the delight of the large crowd gathered. Afer his performance, Hotei said: "So many people here are interested in Japanese culture, and I wanted to take part in the hope that they would enjoy listening to my guitar-which is part of Japan's culture, too. I see myself as a guitarist producing music that can be enjoyed by everyone, from small children to the elderly, but despite being a confident performer I felt a litle nervous before the performance today. Which is why I felt so relieved-and pleased with myself!-to hear the applause. I haven't come to London to focus on mistakes or successes. I've come here so that I can build up experiences that will allow me to become more enriched as a person. That's why I'm approaching my live performance in December as a chance to really test myself; I'll be giving it my all".

Hotei also presented the winner of a pre-event competton to tckets to his live show at the Roundhouse in London on 18 December.

Aside from their stage performance, the KAMUI troupe also conducted several workshops over the three days, with around 100 visitors partcipatng in total. "Having the eyes of so many Britsh people trained on us meant that we were able to inject even more passion into our performance," said Tetsuro Shimaguchi. "We've been delighted to be part of such an excitng event. At our workshops, we met so many different characters, all of whom were extremely polite and atentve and it was so easy for us to communicate. I think we might have learned more than we've taught this weekend. "

A Jam-Packed J-Music Line-up: Talk Shows and Live Performances Delight Fans All Weekend Performances by these three completely different artsts gave a snapshot of Japan's contemporary music scene delightng existng fans of Japanese music and giving those who've never heard J-pop before a chance to sample some of its most excitng artsts.


Broody rock artsts THE MICRO HEAD 4'NS appeared at HYPER JAPAN in an exclusive talk show. The band are enjoying an increasing presence in Europe, and many of their fans crowded around the stage to listen to the members talk about their music and personal lives. "We'd love to come back and play live next tme, "commented the band.

NINJAMAN JAPAN are a visual kei act combining acton, drama and music with outrageous costumes to create a uniquely excitng and eye-catching musical performance. Their performances atracted huge crowds, many of whom became instant fans of NINJAMAN JAPAN's infectous energy. "We were nervous at first, but everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastc that we really enjoyed our performance, and we hope the crowds did, too, "said the band.

Japanese pop ingénue Tomoca was at HYPER JAPAN with her unique brand of Wa-pop (rather than J-pop, since her music incorporates more traditonal elements, "wa" being the classical term for Japan). "I wanted to take part in HYPER JAPAN to communicate traditonal Japanese culture as well as my own artstc expression", said Tomoca. With her beautful kimono and stunning vocals, Tomoca's performances were very popular with the crowds, including those unfamiliar with J-pop in general.

Japan Media Arts Festval Reveals Brilliant New Animaton and Lifs the Lid on the Animaton Process

The Japan Media Arts Festval, now in its 15th year, honours outstanding work in four divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animaton, and Manga. It also provides a platorm for the appreciaton of award-winning works. The Festval hosted a discussion panel featuring Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, President of producton
powerhouse Producton I.G. and director of celebrated anime Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Innocence (2004), and Ryusuke Hikawa, a veteran Japanese anime critc and writer. "The Japan Media Arts Festval is open to anyone in the world, so it always atracts many submissions from countries across the globe. It performs an important role in providing young artsts and creators the opportunity to showcase their work internatonally, as well as the important functon of promotng anime and manga to the whole world", said Hikawa, who was one of the Festval judges. Mitsuhisa Ishikawa revealed some of the background to the making of the lates Producton I.G. feature, A Leter to Momo, which won an Excellence Award in the Animaton division of the 15th Japan Media Arts Festval, as well as his own career and experience in anime producton. "The UK has a fairly conservatve image, so to be honest I wasn't sure if people in the UK would get the sort of edgy work that we produce. But the reacton of the crowds at HYPER JAPAN made me realise that as long as you're creatng great work people will appreciate it as such, regardless of where they live. People here really seem interested in and open to Japanese culture. I hope similar events will contnue for a long tme", said Ishikawa. In a world exclusive, he also revealed footage of his latest CM, which proved a real treat for dedicated anime fans.

Japanese Cute meets UK Kawaii! MARBLE Collecton Panel Discussion on Kawaii Culture Today
MARBLE Collecton was a large fashion event held for the first tme in Shibuya, Tokyo, in July 2011, bringing together kawaii culture and fashion from all around Japan, under the vision of director Junya Yamada and General Producer, Masayuki Fukuyama. HYPER JAPAN was delighted to welcome Junya and Masayuki to the event to talk about kawaii fashion at the Tokyo Street Fashion panel discussion. In front of a crowd of fashion fans, many of whom were impressively dressed, Junya spoke with passion about Japan's fashion and its influence around the world. "There's no need to consider the differences and similarites between Britsh and Japanese fashion when you dress. Just wear whatever it is that you like, whatever it is that will help you create your own look", said Junya. "I hope to be able to bring MARBLE Collecton to London next tme, and it would be wonderful be find a fashion icon who could inspire kawaii around the whole world".

Kawaii Style Japanese Street Fashion Show: Fashion Parades On and Off the Stage!
The Kawaii Style Street Fashion Show was a colourful and ultra-cute collecton of styles designed to showcase the Lolita and Fairy-kei styles of street fashion, together with modern takes on kimono style. Local models wore a wide range of brands with each outit given a very individual twist. Japanese street fashion has caught the atenton not just of fashion fans but also the mainstream media of late, and this flamboyant and fabulous show was a good indicaton of why kawaii style is on the verge of breaking onto the high street. Off stage, exhibitors selling kawaii accessories, kimono and kimono-inspired outits, cute wigs and other street fashion items experienced strong interest and sales.

Brand New Games Delight Gamers Young and Old Alike! Pre-launch Nintendo Wii U Showcase Also a Massive Hit (Entertainment Zone)

The Toei Animaton stall was easy to find, located under the shadow cast by a giant Tony Tony Chopper, a character from smash-hit anime One Piece. Next door at the Nintendo stall, visitors could try out the brand new in-home games console Nintendo Wii U, soon to be on sale in the UK, as well as much antcipated upcoming Pokemon and Mario adventure games. At the Bandai Namco booth, visitors could get their hands on a sample of Ni No Kuni: The Queen of White Sacred Ash, a brand new game developed in collaboraton with Studio Ghibli, and Naruto Shippuden: Ultmate Ninja Storm 3. Trading card games on offer included firm favourites from Konami and Bushiroad, and several mini tournaments were held over the three days with the help of the UK trading game community. Many stalls were piled high with anime and manga goods, which fans were able to enjoy alongside exclusive anime promotons.

Elsewhere, the official UK preliminary for the World Cosplay Summit, an internatonal cosplay event held in Nagoya every year and welcoming entrants from 20 countries, was held on Saturday 24. The winners of the contents will be representng the UK at the WCS in 2013. They were presented with their return air tckets to Japan courtesy of event sponsor Britsh Airways.

Cutng-edge Technology Astounds HYPER JAPAN Crowds
ITK is a unique Japanese technological R&D company renowned for developing the Handroid, a remotely operated myoelectric prosthetc hand with all-digit movement, designed for use in hostle or hazardous environments. Their stage demonstratons, which allowed visitors to try operatng the technology themselves, had jaws dropping at this highly advanced, highly applicable technology. A Glimpse of Authentc Culture, from the Traditonal to the Modern (Actvity Area)

The interactve actvity area hosted workshops and demonstratons showcasing the diversity of contemporary Japanese culture. KAMUI hosted thrilling workshops on the art of the sword, and demonstratons included Iadio, Batodo and Aikido martal arts. Japan's traditonal culture was also showcased through workshops and demonstratons on the tea ceremony, calligraphy, and performances of the koto and of enka folk songs. Intmate live performances by J-music stars, including NINJAMAN JAPAN and Tomoca, were also held in this area.

Captvated by Traditonal Culture: Nantan City, Kyoto HYPER JAPAN was able to welcome crafsmen and women from the city of Nantan, in Kyoto, for the first tme. Folk crafs from Nantan, which has centuries of handicraf behind it, were on display over the three days. Visitors were even able to have a go at making a pair of wooden chopstcks themselves-which proved so popular that the workshops sold out in a flash. The popularity of this area highlighted the strong interest in Japanese traditonal craf among Britsh visitors and highlights how HYPER JAPAN encompasses everything from the ultra-modern to the tme-honoured and traditonal.

Eat-Japan Sake Experience 2012: Showcasing over 20 Sake from Sparkling to Scotch-like Aged
Try, learn, vote and buy: this was what visitors could experience at the Sake Experience, which followed on from the success of the Sake Awards held at the Spring 2012 event. This tme, tcket holders were given an unrivalled opportunity to sample more than 21 varietes of delicious, authentc Japanese alcohol, including sake and umeshu, from 10 different breweries, in different styles: warm, on the rocks, chilled, at room temperature. Nearly 700 visitors sampled the line-up, which included full bodied premium sake, to aged, unpasteurized and sparkling varietes, served with paired nibbles. Ticket holders voted for their favourite sake in three categories (see the results below), and had the chance to buy the sake too, with many choosing to buy a botle for a gif or to serve at a party over the festve period. "The visitors tastng really seem to know their stuff", commented Kaoru Iida, of Asahi Shuzo. "A lot of people have tried sake before, and have a strong interest in it. It seems that there are growing numbers of real fans". Rieko Hayashi, of Hayashi Honten commented on the reacton of those sampling the sake: "Britsh drinkers seem keen to learn more, and they already have a rich vocabulary for describing taste and texture. I was really impressed. I suspect it is the influence of the wine culture". Hiroyuki Ito, representng Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura, was impressed with the positve reacton of Sake Experience partcipants: "The UK has its own traditons, so in some ways it can be quite conservatve, but once people get a taste for sake, they really seem to take to it, developing their own specific likes and dislikes". Tasters seemed to enjoy communicatng with the brewery representatves and learning more about the back story to each sake. Mini-seminars by sake sommelier Natsuki Kikuya on how to enjoy sake, such as how to drink warmed sake (known as atsukan) at home, also proved popular.

People's Favourite: your overall favourite sake

First place: Dassai 23 / Asahi Shuzo (Yamaguchi Prefecture)

A junmai daiginjo with a delicate nose of fresh florals, moderate acidity and a long finish.
Perfect Sake for a Gift: the sake you would most like to give as a gift

First place: Golden Amber / Hayashi Honten (Gifu Prefecture)
An oak barrel-aged koshu (aged sake) with a warm colour and sweet and spicy aroma.

Best Match with Britsh Food

First place: Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai / Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura (Kyoto Prefecture) A junmai with a candied banana nose and smooth sweetness, brewed with the traditonal kimoto technique. Put Sushi on Your Party Menu! Event Visitors Get Stuck into Authentc Sushi Making Skills Eat-Japan wants visitors to do more than just eat-which is why the Eat-Japan Sushi Workshop presented an opportunity to get stuck into sushi making and learn essental skills from a veteran sushi chef. Run by cooking school, Sozai Cooking'scool the workshops were run over the three days of the event, with Tomokazu Matsuya, Head Sushi Chef at SO Restaurant, providing the instructon. Visitors could choose from the Nigiri (finger) or Maki (roll) workshops and were rewarded with a hands-on 30 minute workshop telling them everything they needed to know to get cracking in the kitchen for a sushi party at home. Teatme with a Japanese Twist at the Eat-Japan Tea Bar The brand new Eat-Japan Tea Bar gave event visitors a chance to take the weight off and try one of four classic Japanese teas: matcha, sencha, genmaicha or hojicha. Japanese cuisine is all about embracing and reflectng the season, so tea was served with Kawaii Tea Sweets, delicate creatons with cute Christmas designs.

Food & Drink Demonstratons by the Pioneer of Japanese Food in the UK,
Eat-Japan Showcasing the Possibilites of Japanese Cuisine New Discover-
ies, Authentc Flavours on Stage sponsored by Kikkoman and S&B

Chocolate Fusion Fun with William Curley was a unique demonstraton by mult award-winning Britsh chocolater William Curley, in which he showed the gathered foodie crowd how to incorporate some classic Japanese flavours (Kikkoman soy sauce, S&B wasabi and yuzu) into chocolate-a great idea for pett fours with a difference this festve season. "As a chef we're always looking to try new combinatons. For our own selves, we want to try things because it's interestng. As chefs, we want to push the boundaries and see what can and what can't work.", said Curley. His chocolate samples were eaten up by an eager crowd in seconds, with many notng down the recipes to try them out at home. William's recipes were: White truffles with wasabi and apricot, tomato and soy, and yuzu chocolates. Eat-Japan also ran a series of seminars on the HYPER JAPAN stage, including Christmas Nibbles: Japas, Japanese Style Tapas hosted by Atsuko Ikeda. Atsuko runs cookery classes and pop-up dining events in London, and is an ambassador for home cooking and shojin ryori vegan cuisine. Her ‘Japas', or sharing plates of tapas-style dishes, are ideal as party nibbles. Cocktails with a Japanese Twist hosted by Natsuki Kikuya, Head Sommelier of ROKA restaurant and recipient of the Internatonal Wine Challenge Sake Communicator Award in 2011, was filled with ideas on how to use Japanese ingredients and spirits as a base for some delicious and unusual cocktails: a Brandy Wasabi, based on a Bloody Mary,; Cherry Snow, made with nigori sake and cherry liqueur; Christmas Amber, combining koshu aged sake with Christmas spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The presentatons and tastngs given over the three days of the event were perfect examples of how Japan's traditonal culinary culture can be adapted to create dynamic and excitng fusion dishes and drinks that match Britsh tastes.

Queues Form for a Taste of Authentc Japanese Street Food Street food and pop-up food stalls are becoming an established part of the foodie scene in London and beyond, so it was litle surprise to see some of the biggest queues at the event forming in the Food Court. Whether it was for a firm favourite or to try something only ever seen in a manga, event visitors were brimming with enthusiasm for the wide selecton of food and drink on offer, with many stalls selling out of stock. The line-up included: takoyaki, yakisoba, onigiri, tenmusu (prawn tempura sushi), ramen, gyoza, sushi, omuraisu (omelete filled with rice), Japanese curry, pastries, snacks, dorayaki pancakes, kakigori (shaved ice with fruit syrup), Japanese confectonary, macarons, sake, beer, matcha late, and health drinks.

Stage Schedule

Friday 23 November
14:10 Award Winning Animation from the 15th Media Arts Festival  
15:10 Robotics Innovation by ITK
16:00 TOKYO Presents: Giant Tuna Carving
17:30 Samurai Sword Artists KAMUI: Stage Show
18:20 Cocktails with a Japanese Twist, sponsored by Kikkoman and S&B
19:10 Talking Visual Kei with THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S
Saturday 24 November
10:00 Saturday Morning Live
11:00 Samurai Sword Artists KAMUI: Stage Show
12:00 Christmas Nibbles: Japas, sponsored by Kikkoman & S&B
13:00 Japan Media Arts Festival presents: Talk by Anime Experts Mr Ishikawa & Mr Hikawa
14:00 The Marble Collection presents: Japanese Street Fashion Expert Panel with Junya Yamada
(General Creative Director) and Masayuki Fukuyama (General Producer)
15:00 Homemade Sushi for Parties, sponsored by Mizkan
16:00 World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Preliminary, sponsored by British Airways
    European Cosplay Gathering (ECG) Preliminary
17:30 Robotics Innovation by ITK
18:20 Cosplay Contests Award Ceremony
19:00  J-Music Event: NINJAMAN JAPAN Live
Sunday 25 November
10:00 Samurai Sword Artists KAMUI: Stage Show
11:00 Robotics Innovation by ITK
12:00 Chocolate Fusion Fun with William Curley, sponsored by Kikkoman & S&B
13:00 Kawaii Style Japanese Street Fashion Show
14:00 European Cosplay Gathering (ECG) Preliminary
15:00 J-Music Event: Wa-Pop by Tomoca
16:00 ECG Award Ceremony

Source: Hyper Japan Christmas 2012
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