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Browsing Categories

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Browsing Category: > Culture

Tokyo bath-house murals in danger of dying out

Date: 2011 July 7th Thursday [18:24] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Current Affairs

Tokyo bath-house murals are in danger of dying out as the number of people qualified to paint them and the numbers of people visiting bath houses diminishes.

Read More... | Source: The Guardian

Something for the weekend - Japanese Art Festival

Date: 2011 July 2nd Saturday [10:25] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Just a quick reminder to all those who are looking for something to do this weekend (2nd and 3rd July 2011) in London.

On Saturday and Sunday you'll want to head over to the Japanese Art Festival, where they'll be lots of cosplay fun, fashion shows, manga, martial arts demonstrations along with a selection of other cultural fun. It's at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, WC1R 4R (nearest tube is Holborn).
Open times are as follows:

Saturday 2nd July: 10:30am - 9:00pm
Sunday 3rd July: 10:30am - 4:00pm

Tickets
Saturday: On the day: £10 / Advanced £7 /After 17:00 £5
Sunday: On the day - £10 / Advanced £7

Source: Japanese Art Festival

Mnet Premieres New Series Culture Japan with Danny Choo on July 5 2011

Date: 2011 June 21st Tuesday [15:30] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

US based readers who can receive Mnet will want to tune in July 5th 2011 at 9:30pm ET/PT to catch Culture Japan which stars expert otaku Danny Choo. Each week Danny will explore different aspects of Japanese pop culture.

You can also catch the show on Crunchy Roll.

Read More... | Source: Mnet

After school tea time with Beckii Cruel

Date: 2011 June 8th Wednesday [16:35] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Culture

As an avid follower of Japanese popular culture and a regular anime viewer, I am more than familiar with the style of dance routines that have become inseparable from so many titles and credits sequences. From classics such as Urusei Yatsura and more recently popularised by Kyoto Animation's iconic series Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, shows have taken to inserting dances at any available opportunity to arrest a fan following with catchy tunes and infectious dance moves. The indigenous para para dance style steps are synonymous with series such as Super Gals! where character Kotobuki Ran regularly regales audiences through her hyper rhythmic routines.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Tezuka Dance event in London 2011

Date: 2011 May 22nd Sunday [12:10] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Culture

Sadler's Wells Theatre in London will be showing a interpretive performance based upon the works of Osamu Tezuka, the Eisner Award winning visionary manga and anime creator.

The event, directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, draws from Tezuka's creations such as Buddha and his most famous creation Astro Boy. Using musicians, dancers, a caligrapher and an actor it will explore the world's of Tezuka. Tickets go on sale from Monday 23rd May 2011 from the Sadler's Wells Theatre and website. The show, titled TeZukA, will run from the 6th through to the 10th of September.

Read More... | Source: Sadler's Wells Theatre

London Barbican July 2011 Anime Screenings

Date: 2011 May 10th Tuesday [15:33] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

London anime fans have got a lot to look forward over at the Barbican. They'll be showing the latest Ghibli movie - Arrietty on Wednesday 6th July 2011 at 7pm which is the UK Premier and on Saturday 9th July 2011 at 11 am (all adults must be accompanied by a child to this screening).

On Thursday 7th July 2011 the Barbican will be showing -
Laputa: Castle in the Sky at 6pm. It'll be introduced by anime expert and Ghibli fan Helen McCarthy.
Trigun: Badlands Rumble will be shown at 8:45pm. Both films are part of the We Love Anime Tour.

More lovely Ghibli features can be seen at the Barbican throughout July -

Saturday 9th July 2011 - 2pm - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Sunday 10th July 2011 - 4pm - Princess Mononoke

Saturday 16th July 2011 - 11am - Laputa: Castle in the Sky (all adults must be accompanied by a child to this screening).

Saturday 23rd July 2011 - 11am Kiki's Delivery Service (all adults must be accompanied by a child to this screening).

Saturday 30th July 2011 - 2pm - My Neighbour Totoro

Sunday 31st July 2011 - 2pm - My Neighbours the Yamadas

Sunday 31st July 2011 - 2pm - Spirited Away

I've you've never seen any of these films before, or never seen a Ghibli feature on a proper cinema screen, then now's your chance. These movies are special and always deserve watching in the cinema.

The Barbican have a full listing of all the Ghibli features this July here.

As always with such features, we advise booking early to avoid disappointment.

Source: Barbican

London Lolita Through the Looking Glass Exhibition

Date: 2011 May 5th Thursday [18:07] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London Lolitas are in for a treat on Saturday 14th May 2011, where they should head over to the Resistance Gallery, 265 Poyser St, Bethnal Green, E2 9RF from 1pm until late for the Lolita Through the Looking Glass Exhibition

The event will celebrate Lolita fashion and its offshoots. Artwork from our very own Wing Yun Man will be on display too (she does the Otaku News Post Cards and wallpaper).

They'll also have other events such as a swap and buy sale, along with DJs throughout the day, a photo booth, plus a fashion show and a panel discussion.

Read More... | Source: Lolita Through the Looking Glass Exhibition Facebook Page

At Home in Japan - Beyond the minimal house symposium

Date: 2011 April 19th Tuesday [16:28] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

In London on Saturday 14th May 2011 and looking for something educational to do? Well why not head over to the At Home in Japan - Beyond the minimal house symposium at the The Geffrye Museum. It's set to start at 10 am and run to 4:30pm. coffee, light lunch and an exhibition tour is included in the ticket price. This forms part of the At Home in Japan - Beyond the Minimal House special exhibition.

£40 (£30 concessions) in advance.
Bookings - 020 7739 9893 / bookings@geffrye-museum.org.uk.

Read More... | Source: The Geffrye Museum

Terracotta Far East Film Festival - London May 2011

Date: 2011 April 17th Sunday [10:04] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

London based Cinema fans are in for a treat at start of May as that's when the Terracotta Far East Film Festival is set to start. Scheduled from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th May 2011, it has a great selection of films at the Prince Charles Cinema.

They'll be showing a mix of Chinese, Japanese and South Korean movies many of which are either the European or UK Premieres.

Thanks to Helen McCarthy for reminding us about this festival.

Source: Terracotta Far East Film Festival

Zipangu Fest Japanese Tsunami Relief Charity Screening

Date: 2011 March 22nd Tuesday [18:45] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

We've been impressed with the UK Zipangu Fest line up so far. But we believe that this latest screening is something special.

Londoners will be treated to Beyond Anime: CALF Animation, at 6pm, Sunday 3rd April 2011 at the ROXY Bar and Screen.

Apart from a rare chance to see an alternative side to anime, what makes the event so special is the ticket pricing. There is no set price for admission, you pay what you want with all proceeds going toward the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

ROXY Bar and Screen
128-132 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1LB

Nearest Tubes Borough and London Bridge.

Read More... | Source: Zipangu Fest

Japanese Maid Cafes in London Day - Sunday 27th March 2011

Date: 2011 March 22nd Tuesday [18:01] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Looking for something to do in London this weekend? Well Sunday 27th March 2011 seems to be London Maids day, with not one, but two separate Maid Cafes running on the same day. Both events will have Japanese Maids.

We have Oh My Lord! set to run from 2.00pm to 7.00pm. We've covered them before. Cosplay is actively encouraged, but not compulsory.

They'll be at Jetlag
125 Cleveland Street
London
W1T 6QB
You can book tickets here.

The nearest Tube is Great Portland Street.

Then at Sofra in Covent Garden we have Japanese Maid's Cafe London. They'll have 4 sittings, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm or 6pm. WOTA London VJ namimo will be there to provide some simulation to the eyes and ears. The new comers claim to be the first of it's kind in London, even though Oh My Lord started 4 months before.

Sofra
36 Tavistock Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 7PB

The nearest Tube is Covent Garden.

Both events promise to donate proceeds to Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami relief.

Correction - Since posting this article, the people behind the Japanese Maids Cafe have confirmed the reasoning behind being called the first of it's kind in London. They'd like to emphasise that they are the first Japanese Maid Cafe in London. They highlight that all their maids, VJ namimo and the owner of the event are all Japanese. While in comparison Oh My Lord! has maids of different nationalities.

Read More... | Source: Japanese Maid's Cafe London

Hibiki: Resonances from Japan - March 2011

Date: 2011 March 3rd Thursday [17:24] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

For those looking for something to do in London this weekend, otaku are spoilt for choice with the Bunkasai Japanese Festival near Holborn, along with Hibiki: Resonances from Japan at Kings Place near Kings Cross.

Scheduled as a 1000-year journey through the rich heritage of Japanese music, there's 3 events.

Tsugaru-Shamisen: Sheer Wind from the North
Friday, 4 March 2011 - 7:30pm

Talk: Music in Manga
Saturday, 5 March 2011 - 5:00pm

Tradition & Exploration: The Koto of Michiyo Yagi
Saturday, 5 March 2011 - 7:30pm

Manga fans should note that Helen McCarthy will be running the manga talk, so we can expect to see her normal expert insights into the subject.

Source: Kings Place

At Home in Japan - Beyond the Minimal House

Date: 2011 March 3rd Thursday [16:43] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

If you can get to London between 22nd March 2011 to 29th August 2011 you should try and swing over to the The Geffrye Museum, which has an interesting exhibition At Home in Japan - Beyond the Minimal House. To see a Special Exhibition on what Japanese homes are really like.

Read More... | Source: The Geffrye Museum

Hyper Japan 2011 Details

Date: 2011 February 28th Monday [16:33] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

The good folks from Hyper Japan have sent us the details for their 2011 event in London. It's set to run from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 24th July 2011 at Olympia Two.

Read More... | Source: Hyper Japan

An Interview with Figure Sculptor Momiji

Date: 2011 February 27th Sunday [14:00] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Production

Last year, the second annual MCM London Expo returned to bring together a myriad of media and popular culture exhibitors and merchants. It is an exciting occasion for anime fans who attend to meet, mingle and fight their way through the melee of merchandisers and organisers.

Expo is an event that I attend on the front line behind the dealers' tables as an assistant for sales. I am predominantly positioned ready and waiting to serve customers who are on the hunt for anime, manga and figures from the store United Publications. It is an intense and demanding event and catering for the volume of visitors is often a challenge that affords little time to explore the wonders of the wider event. This time, however, I had to make the exception for a remarkable appearance amongst October's exhibitors.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Japan's kawaii culture in Britain

Date: 2011 February 21st Monday [16:21] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

The Mainichi Daily News have an interesting article about Japan's kawaii culture taking hold in Britain.

It seems that cute is everywhere in the UK now.

"Over the last 10 years, the country's youngsters have started to embrace the whole spectrum of kawaii -- from the extremes of costume play down to the purchasing of accessories adorned with cute anime and manga characters."

The article gets commentary from Helen McCarthy the British-based expert on Japanese popular culture, anime, manga, book author (we really need to write up some sort of introduction to Helen as she's done a lot of stuff). Helen reports that over the last 10 years with the growth of the internet the kawaii culture has become more visible.

'"Kawaii has made inroads, but is not embedded yet," she said, adding that its influence can be seen in TV shows and subway posters'

"We (Britain) are still quite a masculine and patriarchal culture and we have never embraced the cute, soft side like France and Japan. We are not ready to go full-on cute yet and whether we ever will be is a mute point."

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Bunkasai Japanese Festival and the European Cosplay Gathering in London - March 2011

Date: 2011 February 6th Sunday [13:32] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

UK based Cosplayers looking to be part of the European Cosplay scene will be pleased to hear about the European Cosplay Gathering. Known as ECG for short, this new cosplay competition will have it's finals at the Japan Expo in Paris. What makes the ECG a bit different is that cosplay performance is just as important as the costume.

The UK selection of the Competition will be held at the Bunkasai Japanese Festival on Saturday 5th March 2011 at Conway Hall Red Lion Square, Holborn London. Near Holborn tube station.

Bunkasai has an interesting selection of events, including Martial Arts demonstrations, Taiko Drumming workshops, Japanese Language lessons, a lecture on the Tea Ceremony, Food Tasting, Sake Tasting and much more.

Tickets are £5 on the door (with Children under 10 free). Or you can buy a single ticket for £3.50, or 4 tickets for £10 on their website.

Read More... | Source: Bunkasai

Natsume Ono at The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011

Date: 2011 February 2nd Wednesday [17:26] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Manga fans in Toronto Canada are in for a treat on the first weekend in May, where Natsume Ono will be the featured guest at The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011.

The event is set to run on Saturday May 7th 2011 and Sunday May 8th 2011 with free admission. This will be Natsume Ono first ever public appearance in North America.

You may know her from such works as not simple, Ristorante Paradiso, Gente, and House of Five Leaves.

Read More... | Source: Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Leeds Tanabata Festival 2011

Date: 2011 January 30th Sunday [16:05] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Events

Japanese culture fans in Leeds might be interested to know that a Tanabata Festival is being held at Leeds University Student's Union 11-12th February 2011.

Festival Events will include 1000 crane origami challenge, calligraphy and putting on Kimono. Entry is free.

Read More... | Source: Leeds Tanabata

Japanese Cinema Screenings in London's ICA - February 2011

Date: 2011 January 16th Sunday [12:40] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

London's ICA will be showing a season of Japanese cinema since the Mid 1990's. They've called the season Back to the Future: Japanese Cinema Since the Mid-90s. It's set to run from the 4th to 13th February 2011.

Read More... | Source: ICA

Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy

Date: 2010 December 24th Friday [12:35] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of the music from Final Fantasy are in for a treat next year as the venues and dates for The Distant World music from Final Fantasy have been announced.

Returning to Chicago! First Ever Distant Worlds
"Marathon Final Fantasy Concert" June 26, 2011!
Tickets on sale now!

Distant Worlds in London!
November 5, 2011 at Royal Albert Hall!
Tickets on sale Dec 17, 2010!

Distant Worlds in Australia!
April 15 & 16, 2011 at Sydney Opera House!
Concert Tickets on sale now!
Meet and greet tickets on sale Dec. 17, 2010!

Source: Distant Worlds

Makers of the Modern World from Haus Publishing

Date: 2010 December 23rd Thursday [18:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

The good folks at Haus Publishing have sent us the details of their Makers of the Modern World series of 32 volumes on the Paris Peace Conference, which tried to create a new world order after the devastation of the First World War.

Why would that interest an anime fan? I hear you cry. Well we know some of our readers are history buffs, while others would be interested in the Prince Saionji: Japan volume, which is written by Jonathan Clements, who is best known to anime and manga fans as the co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia, along with being an industry expert, translator, anime magazine columnist, he also did the Wellington Koo: China volume.

You can order the books on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com -

Makers of the Modern World - Prince Saionji: Japan
Order from Amazon.co.uk
Order from Amazon.com

Makers of the Modern World - Wellington Koo: China
Order from Amazon.co.uk
Order from Amazon.com

Read More... | Source: Haus Publishing

BBC News on the OS-tans

Date: 2010 December 13th Monday [16:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

BBC News have discovered the cute Japanese take on Operating Systems, the OS-tans.
The cute anthropomorphic characters of operating systems which later spread to characters of popular programs being made too.

Originally a fan made effort article points to how in some places anime style characters have been created as official mascots such as Microsoft's Silverlight having it's own character in Taiwan.

Ruth Keattch of Sweatdrop Studios comments on them in the article and introduces the readers to the basics of the OS-tans.

Fans of the OS-tans might also be interested in Ubunchu The Ubuntu Linux Manga.

Source: BBC News

Reni on NHK World - Tokyo Fashion Express

Date: 2010 December 12th Sunday [17:14] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

We've covered Reni everyone's favourite cosplay maid in Manhattan before, and how Japanese TV station NHK World would be filming here performance in November. NHK World are going to broadcast their feature this week.

Read More... | Source: Reni's Blog

BBC News on Cosplay

Date: 2010 December 7th Tuesday [17:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Fandom

BBC News have an interesting video and article about cosplayers. The cosplayers interviewed are fans of World of Warcraft. It's a basic introduction into cosplay and highlights how much effort goes into creating great costumes.

The article even suggests a suitable qualification for cosplayers an HND in Theatrical Make Up and Costume. We also suggest a degree in fashion or a fashion design related subject as we've met a fair few cosplayers who are currently students at fashion colleges and are keen for a career related to cosplay.

Source: BBC News

Manga Drawing workshop in London Saturday 20th November 2010

Date: 2010 November 16th Tuesday [16:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Every now and again at Otaku News we get e-mails from our readers with questions. Normally we can answer these questions (or at least point them in the right direction). Today we got one that we couldn't answer straight away.

The reader was a 13 year old searching for a manga drawing course in London. We couldn't think of any that were coming up, so we turned to Twitter. Luckily someone out there does know. Anna Fitzpatrick who draws the great comic Between Worlds came to the rescue pointing out that the Victoria and Albert Museum will be holding Get Creative! on Saturday 20th November 2010.

The event is for 13 to 19 year olds and is set to run from 11:30am to 4:30pm. The free workshops include manga drawing, stage make-up music, VJing, talks on the fashion industry and theatre.

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum

Hyper Japan 2010 Report

Date: 2010 October 31st Sunday [17:04] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Events

For Japanese culture fans, October began with a bang at Hyper Japan, a new and highly anticipated event on the UK otaku calendar for 2010. Hosted by Eat-Japan (the number one site for Japanese food, sushi and sake), the show was a sensational success, drawing in excess of 15,000 visitors over the 3 days, a remarkable feat for what was the debut of this cultural festival. The event was located in the heart of London's Shoreditch at Brick Lane, an area well known for its offbeat character and for the eclectic, hip and chic. Standing in the line with the eager attendees, the atmosphere was alive with the building excitement as cosplayers, anime fans and the culturally curious all assembled to enjoy a different class of convention. The preshow campaign, organised and delivered by a Japanese enterprise was loaded with ample incentive for any fan of Japan to take a look at what the exhibitors had to offer. I, in my cosplay guise as Queen's Blade's spectral maid Airi, lined up with the happy crowds all eager to meet and greet, eat and shop! After conquering the queue and ascending the staircase in my heels, a veritable treasure trove was to be found, serving the many delights of Japanese culture and cuisine.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

London Barbican Cosplay Extravaganza - November 2010

Date: 2010 October 27th Wednesday [16:16] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

While cosplays in London will be busy gearing up for the London MCM Expo this weekend, you shouldn't forget that there's more fun to be had in London the weekend after. On Saturday 6th November 2010 The Barbican will be having a special late night event - the Cosplay Extravaganza.

They'll be a Cosplay Parade, workshops, a Goth Loli Fashion Show, Video Game Tournaments, some live J-Pop and Japanese Punk. Resident anime expert Helen McCarthy will be there to give a talk on Cosplay: A Short History (as well as being an anime expert Helen's also the author of Manga Cross-Stitch and is knowledgeable about cosplay to say the least).

The event is set to run from 6pm until 1am.

Entry to all the Foyer Events is free. This does not cover entry to exhibition, theatre or Kamikaze Girls screening.

Read More... | Source: Barbican

Zipangu Fest - Japanese film festival details

Date: 2010 October 18th Monday [16:48] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

UK fans of Japanese cinema will be pleased to hear about Zipangu Fest. A UK-wide festival devoted to Japanese Cinema. It's set to start from Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 28th November 2010 in London's East End, before touring the country.

Highlights include some spooky horror movies as part of the Barbican's Japanese Halloween Schlockfest.

There's also a tie in with the 24th Leeds International Film Festival with a rare screening of Children of the Beehive (1948).

There'll be lots more exciting things for UK readers to enjoy at Zipangu Fest.

Read More... | Source: Zipangu Fest

Reni Mimura NYAF interview

Date: 2010 October 15th Friday [16:51] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime

Reni Mimura, a cosplayer and singer living in New York, was performing at this years New York Anime Festival. Despite her busy schedule, she found the time to sit down and chat with us for a brief time about her reasons for taking her work to New York, what she thinks of her fans and which she prefers: cosplay or singing!

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Square Enix, Cosplay, Sushi and More! HYPER JAPAN London 2010

Date: 2010 September 15th Wednesday [15:41] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

The good folks at Hyper Japan have sent us more details about their London based event on Friday 1st October until Sunday 3rd October 2010. Square Enix will be there selling goodies. They've got a cosplay competition too, with a chance to win a trip to Japan. Plus lots of lovely food! Soy sauce experts Kikkoman will be there too, issuing a sushi challenge.

Read More... | Source: Hyper Japan

Jonathan Clements' obituary on Satoshi Kon

Date: 2010 September 5th Sunday [11:48] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime

Anime Expert Jonathan Clements has written an obituary on Satoshi Kon for Sci-Fi and fantasy magazine Salon Futura along with one for British Film Institute's Sight and Sound Magazine.

Source: Jonathan Clements' Blog

The Way of Tea Special Event at the British Museum in London

Date: 2010 September 4th Saturday [13:26] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Those interested in Japanese culture in London will want to head over to the British Museum on Friday 17th September 2010 to enjoy The Way of Tea Special Event. The free event starts at 1:30pm in the East Foyer with Matcha tasting, (powdered green tea). Then at 2:30pm there will be a presentation and talk on Chado the Japanese tea ceremony. This talk will be given by one of the most famous tea schools in Japan.

Source: British Museum

Japan Matsuri London Festival 2010

Date: 2010 September 4th Saturday [11:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Looking for something fun to do in London? On Saturday 18th September 2010 from 10am until 8pm The Japan Matsuri will return to London, at Old Spitalfields market. Last years event was a huge success. This years will have all sort of lovely Japanese food to munch on, with plenty of other stalls to enjoy too. You can even get authentic vintage kimonos! They'll also have a cosplay competition. Along with an art competition to design a Japanese video game character.

Although the event is free to attend, last year it proved very popular, so we advise going early if you like avoiding crowds.

Source: Japan Matsuri London Festival 2010

The Art of Osamu Tezuka wins a Harvey Award

Date: 2010 September 1st Wednesday [16:46] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Helen McCarthy's book The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga has won a prestigious Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material. Congratulations Helen!

Source: Helen McCarthy's Blog

Anime director Satoshi Kon passes away

Date: 2010 August 26th Thursday [12:53] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

Acclaimed anime director Satoshi Kon passed away 2 days ago on 24th August 2010. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on 18th May 2010.

Satoshi Kon has directed several popular films which generally have a cerebral dream like element to them, where the imagination, dreams and reality all mix together. He directed the films Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika and the TV series Paranoia Agent. Satoshi Kon was working on a feature film called Yume-Miru Kikai, which is unofficially known as Dream Machine in English.

News of death spread like wild fire on the internet, with many anime fans expressing their sadness of his death.

Prominent food and bento blogger Makiko Itoh has translated Satoshi Kon's last words.

The New York Times also have a detailed obituary.

Anime expert Helen McCarthy points out that "at that age Miyazaki hadn't finished Totoro, Tezuka hadn't created Black Jack, Kurosawa hadn't made Yojimbo."

The Anime News Network have details from his wife.

The Guardian also has a good write up.

Source: Anime News Network

London Barbican Aspects of Japanese Cinema - October to December 2010

Date: 2010 August 20th Friday [14:44] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London's Barbican has always been a great place to visit for fans of Japanese cinema with their monthly Japanimation screenings, but some fans may want to move into the arts centre from October to December as they'll be shown a whole host of Japanese films, anime and even a cosplay event! There's so much good stuff to see!

Movie buffs will be delighted to with the great range of movies.
There's so much to recommend here, we suggest you take a look at the full listing.

Shojo fans will be interested see the live action version of Nana on Thursday 21st October 2010 at 6pm.

Cosplayers will want to keep Saturday 6th November on 11.00pm – Kamikaze Girls screening and cosplay event.

Fans of cheesy movies will want to keep an eye on the 18 rated RoboGeisha showing at 7:30pm as part of the Halloween Shlockfest on Friday 29th October.

Beat Takeshi fans have a lot to look forward to on Sunday 14th and Monday 15th November 2010. They'll be showing Hana bi, Brother, Dolls and Zatoichi.

Those who enjoy classic Japanese cinema will enjoy the Akira Kurosawa season too.

Anime fans aren't left out either with a CLAMP themed screening of XxxHOLiC The Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Tsubasa The Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom – Tuesday 19th October 2010. As always resident expert and author Helen McCarthy will be on hand to introduce the movies.

As always with popular events we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Barbican

Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14 - BBC TV documentary

Date: 2010 August 8th Sunday [12:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

We've mentioned the BBC covering Beckii Cruel before and BBC Three are set to cover the teen idol this week. Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14 focuses on the 14 year old school girl from the Isle of Man who is also known as Beckii Cruel a teen icon and internet sensation. It all started when she uploaded films of herself dancing to YouTube.

The hour long documentary forms part of the BBC Three Adult Season which explores the pressure of young people to grow up quickly and what it means to be an adult.

The documentary is set to broadcast this week on BBC Three at the following times:

Thursday 12th August 2010
21:00

Thursday 12th August 2010
23:45

Sunday 15th August 2010
23:15

Monday 16th August 2010
03:15

Update:
The BBC TV blog also has some background details on the making of the documentary.

British readers can now see the documentary on BBC iPlayer.

Source: BBC Three

Hyper Japan - London October 2010

Date: 2010 July 29th Thursday [14:30] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

October is shaping up to be the month for otaku in London. With the London MCM Expo at the end of the month. While at the beginning of the month a new event called Hyper Japan is set to run from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October 2010.

The event has a lot to offer with an Otaku Village set to cater to all your retail needs.

Cosplayers will be well represented too (they'll even get a chance to win a trip to Japan). There's also a cosplay talent search, competitions and other fun to be had if you like dressing up.

Japanese fashion magazine KERA will be there with fashion shows and style tutorials (the event is looking for models to take part).

Fans of angel fighting giant robots won't be disappointed either as they have a special Evangelion Store which will be selling some exclusive and hard to find merchandise.

Figure collectors might want to note that Good Smile will be there too! ^__^

As the people behind EAT-JAPAN are organising the event you can be certain that Japanese cuisine will be well represented too. with the EAT-JAPAN food court.

They'll also have lots of culture on stage too. You can book early to get a discount from the standard £8 entry fee. Children under 5 go free. As always we advise to book early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Hyper Japan

Japanese Art Festival in Central London - August 2010

Date: 2010 July 27th Tuesday [15:05] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of Japanese culture in Central London will want to head over to the Japanese Art Festival at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square in Holborn. Set to run on Saturday 21st August and Sunday 22nd 2010. They've got kimono designer Yumi Yamamoto, Harajuku kawaii store 6% Doki Doki, along with a party on Saturday night with J-Pop Go!.

Read More... | Source: Japanese Art Festival

Study Tour of Japan for European Youth 2010

Date: 2010 July 15th Thursday [14:13] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Are you European and interested in Japan? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan is interested in hearing from young Europeans who are willing to participate in a 10 day group study tour of the country. The sponsored tour has some terms and conditions and is limited to up to 37 people. The tours will happen in November and December 2010. As it's not every day you can get a government sponsored trip to Japan, there are a few requirements.

Applicants should meet the following requirements:
1. European national
2. Aged between 25-35 (as of June 1st 2010)
3. Able to communicate effectively in English
4. Never previously visited Japan
5. Must not be a student

Apart from these conditions, you'll also have to send your CV, a cover letter, and a short essay on the subject of - "What would you do to strengthen the relationship between Japan and your country (Europe or EU)?"

The deadline for applications is Thursday 29th July 2010.

If you meet the entry requirements we strongly advise you to enter, this is an excellent opportunity to experience Japan.

More details can be found on the Embassy of Japan Website.

Source: Embassy of Japan

The Anime Machine: An Illustrated Lecture at London's BFI Southbank

Date: 2010 June 23rd Wednesday [15:35] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

Fans of futuristic technology and anime who can get to London will want to head over to the BFI Southbank on Sunday 11th July 2010 for their special lecture on the world saturated with technology. Called The Anime Machine: An Illustrated Lecture by Thomas Lamarre it's set to start at 6pm. You can also get a joint ticket for a screening of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

Fans of more tradional Japanese cinema will want to consider the BFI Southbank season of Akira Kurosawa and His Influence.

As always we advise booking in advance for such events to avoid disappointment.

Source: BFI Southbank

Idle Idol - The Japanese Mascot

Date: 2010 June 23rd Wednesday [15:11] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Fans of Japanese street furniture, retail space and the quirky side of things will want to check out the new book called Idle Idol: The Japanese mascot. The authors have sent details about this book, which collates the plastic mascots found outside shops, restaurants and other places trying to draw the attentions of passers by.

Read More... | Source: Idle Idol - The Japanese Mascot

Tokyo's First Robot Wedding

Date: 2010 May 16th Sunday [10:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology > Robotics

BBC News have a fascinating article about a wedding with a difference in Tokyo. It was the worlds first wedding to be conducted by a robot. Appropriately both bride and groom are connected to Japan's robotics industry. The robot is called the I-Fairy, has flashing eyes and a flowery headdress, it speaks in Japanese and can be seen on the BBC video instructing the groom to to lift the brides veil for the traditional first kiss. The article does not state if the robot has any legal power to marry anyone.

Source: BBC News

Metropolis Interviews Helen McCarthy

Date: 2010 May 14th Friday [14:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

Tokyo based English Language Magazine Metropolis have just published an interview with Helen McCarthy. She talks about her Book The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga and it's recent Eisner Award Nomination.

Source: Metropolis

Japanese Maid Reni to perform at PJ mini Pop in NYC

Date: 2010 May 7th Friday [18:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

NY based fans of Japanese Cosplay Singing Maids will want to head over to the anime and Japanese Cultural event PJ "mini" Pop to see Reni Mimura . The event is set to run on Sunday May 23rd 2010 from 12:00 until 6:00pm at the The Dwyer Cultural Center in South Harlem.

Read More... | Source: Reni's Blog

Tokyo Bento Shopping Guide

Date: 2010 May 2nd Sunday [14:59] | Posted By: Helephant
Category: > Retail

Bento, beautiful and healthy lunchboxes, is an otaku passion that keeps niggling at the edges of mainstream consciousness. The New York Times ran an article on it recently, some of the most amazing photos made the Flickr blog last week and there has been an explosion of books (US, UK) about the topic.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Dating by blood type in Japan

Date: 2010 April 28th Wednesday [2:11] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News are running an interesting story about blood types in Japan. Similar to horoscopes, profiling people by A, B, O or AB is common, with it even being a popular question in speed dating. Blood group B get sounded out for people having bad experiences with them being "flamboyant free-thinkers, but selfish". You may have also noticed blood groups as part of the character profile in some games too.

Source: BBC News

The Art of Osamu Tezuka nominated for 2010 Eisner Awards

Date: 2010 April 18th Sunday [14:13] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga by Helen McCarthy has been nominated for the prestigious 210 Eisner Awards. The book is up for Best Comics-Related Book, it competes against the following titles -

- Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, by Annalisa Di Liddo (University Press of Mississippi)
- The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle (Abrams ComicArts)
- Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, by Eric P. Nash (Abrams ComicArts)
- Will Eisner and PS Magazine, by Paul E. Fitzgerald (Fitzworld.US)

The Otaku News crew congratulate Helen McCarthy and the team behind the book for the nomination and wish them the best of luck in winning the award.

Source: Comic-Con International

Shoes made from kimono fabric

Date: 2010 April 9th Friday [3:40] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Art

UK based Hetty Rose designs and makes bespoke shoes using vintage kimono fabric from Japan. Her most popular market is weddings. They're perfect for the bride looking for something unique and colourful. We're wondering if they'll be popular with the fashionable otaku girls out there? It's interesting to see what kind of twists designers are doing with traditional Japanese fabrics, mixing the old and the new.

Source: Hetty Rose Shoes

Browsing Category: > Culture

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