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Browsing Category: > Culture

Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas announced

Date: Friday 4th May 2012 [3:51] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

The successful London based Japanese culture event Hyper Japan have just announced the date for their next event. Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas is set to run from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th November 2012 at Earls Court in London. So save the date!

Read More... | Source: Hyper Japan

Throne of Blood and Cymbeline at London's Barbican

Date: Monday 30th April 2012 [15:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

London based fans of classic Japanese cinema will want to head over the to Barbican on 2pm Saturday 2nd of June 2012 to catch a special screening of Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood. This will include a screen talk by director Yukio Ninagawa.

Yukio Ninagawa also directed Cymbeline, which will be performed the Ninagawa Company and will run at the Barbican Theatre from at 7:15pm on Tuesday 29th May to Saturday 2nd June 2012.

Read More... | Source: Barbican

ICN Gallery Part 1 What is Ukiyo-e? Event report

Date: Saturday 21st April 2012 [13:46] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Art

The ICN gallery London opened this month with the first in a series of exhibitions exploring the iconic historic Japanese artist movement, Ukiyo-e. The works explore the tradition and an influential legacy that has shaped the face of modern Japanese artistry.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Interview with MyM publisher Tarik Alozdi

Date: Sunday 25th March 2012 [12:40] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Culture

Publisher for new UK/Ireland magazine MyM gives an interview to Otaku News and discusses the magazine, it's upcoming launch and it's content and direction.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

What is Ukiyo-e? London ICN Gallery exhibition

Date: Saturday 24th March 2012 [15:25] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based readers looking for some art and culture will want to head over to the ICN Gallery 96-98 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH to see Part 1 of What is Ukiyo-e? The exhibition covers the popular and well known wood block prints, including Hokusai's famous Great wave Off Kanagawa.

The exhibition is set to run from Thursday 5th April to Saturday 28th April 2012 (please note the gallery is closed Sundays).

Read More... | Source: ICN Gallery

Bunkasai - Japanese Festival London Sunday 11th March 2012 Reminder

Date: Saturday 10th March 2012 [15:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

A quick reminder for those in London tomorrow (Sunday 11th March 2012), please don't forget about the Charity Event - Bunkasai Japanese Festival. We've got all the details here. The event is to raise money for Aid For Japan.

Source: Bunkasai

Distant Worlds: Celebrating 25 years of Final Fantasy - London November 2012

Date: Tuesday 6th March 2012 [16:18] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London Based fans of Final Fantasy will want to keep Friday 2nd November 2012 free as that's when the Distant Worlds: Celebrating 25 years of Final Fantasy concert hits the Royal Albert Hall.

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra plus choir will be performing. Arnie Roth is the Conductor and Nobuo Uematsu will be in attendance too.

Tickets will start from £25 to £65, plus there's a special VIP meet and greet ticket for £125 which gets you lots of great things.

We know the event is in November, so why are we mentioning it now? Tickets go on Sale on Thursday 15th March 2012 9am London Time. As always with popular events we advise booking early to avoid disappointment, but with this we can't emphasise this enough.

Read More... | Source: Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy

The Last Explorers - Thomas Blake Glover - The Scottish Samurai

Date: Monday 13th February 2012 [15:59] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

UK Readers who missed it on Sunday 12th February on BBC 2, will be keen to catch The Last Explorers - Thomas Blake Glover.

"Neil Oliver follows in the footsteps of four Scottish explorers who planted ideas rather than flags - ideas that shaped the modern world we know today.

In the last of the series, Neil travels to Japan to uncover the extraordinary story of Thomas Blake Glover. Blending adventure with commerce, Glover was a rogue trader who helped rebel samurai clans overthrow the shogun and lay the foundations for one of the most aggressive and powerful economies in the world."

The episode is filmed on location on Japan and features in interviews with Japanese historians.

Source: BBC iPlayer

Japanese embassy in UK announces manga writing competition winners

Date: Monday 13th February 2012 [6:48] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Manga

The Embassy of Japan in London has chosen the winning entries in their annual manga writing competition.

Read More... | Source: Embassy of Japan, London

Bunkasai - Japanese Festival London Sunday 11th March 2012

Date: Monday 6th February 2012 [17:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based readers looking for some Japanese culture should head over to the Bunkasai - Japanese Festival on Sunday 11th March 2012. The event is set to run from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Park Crescent Conference Centre. The event is to support the charity Aid for Japan, which aids survivors of the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. The Bunkasai will run on the first year anniversary

Cultural highlights at the Bunkasai include the Tea Ceremony, Engeki play, Traditional Japanese dance, martial arts demonstration, Taiko drumming, and cosplay.

Advance tickets are now on sale.

Read More... | Source: Bunkasai

Japan: Kingdom of Characters UK Exhibition

Date: Wednesday 4th January 2012 [17:19] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

UK anime and manga fans will want to make a trip over to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia. From Saturday 4th February 2012 until Sunday 24th June 2012, the venue will be hosting Japan: Kindom of Characters, a new manga exhibition that takes you inside the world of Japanese characters and asks you to consider what they represent.

It follows on from a tour of highly successful showings in cities such as Manila, Sydney and Madrid. Human-size 3D models of characters such as Ultraman and Pikachu welcome you into this colourful and substantial show. Over eighty graphics, photographs and films trace the history of cartoon characters by decade from the 1950’s to the 2000’s and provide insight into their fascinating backgrounds.

The event is organised in co-operation with the Japan Foundation. Admission is free. The event is daily and open from 10am to 9pm.

The Sainsbury Centre is the sole UK venue for this exhibition.

Read More... | Source: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

BBC News on Bento Boxes

Date: Sunday 11th December 2011 [14:58] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Cuisine

We've covered Bento Boxes and the fun designs you can make with the food called kyaraben before on Otaku News. BBC News have a video on bento boxes in Japan. It includes a bento making class eager parents go to in order to learn about the art of making kyaraben.

Source: BBC News

An Interview with Helen McCarthy

Date: Sunday 27th November 2011 [16:11] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Nostalgia

We're going all nostalgic here at Otaku News and have decided to dig up some old articles from our archive that are not published on-line, either because they were originally for print or from websites that are now off-line.

Just because they're old doesn't mean they're not relevant to today's otaku.

Before Otaku News, we used to run Anime Digital, a website hosted by the London Anime Club. In October 1999, we were lucky enough to interview Helen McCarthy, who is an anime expert, author, speaker and so much more. Although the interview is over 10 years old, it's interesting to see how many things are still the same in the industry and fandom. We've reprinted this article with Helen's permission. Readers familiar with Helen's work will note that she did write an award winning book about Tezuka in the end!

Update: Helen has also blogged about this article.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Zipangu Fest reveals full programme: nuclear reactions, retro, animation and horror

Date: Sunday 16th October 2011 [15:52] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Following on from our earlier coverage of the Zipangu Film Fest, we've just been sent the details of the full programme. The festival kicks off in London at the ICA from Friday 18th to Thursday 24th November 2011.

They've got lots of interesting things to watch. If you fancy some alternative animation then Beyond Anime: The Outer Limits will appeal.

Shirome has been described as somewhere between the Blair Witch Project and the X-Factor!

There's plenty more to enjoy, including some horror, retro films.

Read More... | Source: Zipangu Fest

Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo-Tokyo Gallery display in London October to November 2011

Date: Thursday 6th October 2011 [16:23] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Art

Japanese art and culture enthusiasts in London will want to pay a visit to the ICN Gallery to catch the Ryo Arai & ITARO - Essence of Edo-Tokyo exhibit. It's set to run from Thursday 27th October to Monday 19th November 2011.

Ryo Arai is a hariko artist (that's traditional Japanese paper mache) and ITARO is a netsuke and wood engraving artist.

The gallery can be found on 96-98 Leonard Street; London EC2A 4RH

Read More... | Source: ICN Gallery

Zipangu Fest Japanese Film Festival London November 2011 Details

Date: Tuesday 4th October 2011 [16:14] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of Japanese cinema and culture will want to head over to the ICA in from Friday 18th to Thursday 24th November 2011 for the start of Zipangu Fest Japanese Film Festival. We've been sent details of the film line up.

For it's London premiere and the festival's opening night they'll be showing KanZeOn, which looks at religious traditions in locations far from Tokyo. This screening on 6:30pm on Friday 18th November 2011 will be followed by a launch party with musicians from Japan.

Fans of avant-garde and experimental music will want to catch We Don't Care About Music Anyway... which documents the Japanese music scene on 5pm on Sunday 20th November 2011.

As always with popular screenings we advise booking early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Zipangu Fest

Hyper Japan 2012 Spring Dates Confirmed

Date: Monday 26th September 2011 [16:57] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of Japanese culture will want to keep Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February 2012 free for Hyper Japan 2012 Spring. The successful J-Culture event returns for it's third run. Ever growing they'll be at a bigger venue - Earls Court - Brompton Hall.

Read More... | Source: Hyper Japan

J-Pop Star Beckii Cruel to Perform New Single at London Comic Con

Date: Thursday 15th September 2011 [14:21] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of J-Pop Idol Beckii Cruel will want to head to the MCM Expo London Comic Con on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October 2011 to see her perform her new single You Can't Kiss me.

Beckii will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday at the Expo. We were lucky to catch up with her at the last Expo in May.

Read More... | Source: MCM Expo London Comic Con

Zipangu Fest Japanese Film Festival London November 2011

Date: Monday 5th September 2011 [15:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of cutting edge Japanese cinema will want to head over to the ICA from Thursday 17th to Thursday 24th November 2011 for the return of Zipangu Fest Japanese Film Festival. The festival will then move around the UK.

They'll have lots of treats lined up, including two titles that have never been shown in the UK, one being especially subtitled for the festival.

Read More... | Source: Zipangu Fest

London's Japan Matsuri 2011 Details

Date: Friday 2nd September 2011 [17:50] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of Japanese culture will want to head over to London's County Hall on Sunday 18th September for the Japan Matsuri 2011. This year it's at County Hall next to the London Eye.

They'll be over 130 stalls with lots of lovely Japanese things, from food and drinks to clothes and textiles, art, travel companies, tableware and so much more.

Entry to the event is free. It's set to run from 10am to 8pm.
Don't forget that the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September is the Open House London, many great places open to visit in the city.

Read More... | Source: Japan Matsuri 2011

Japan Underground to Organise Free Asian Cinema All-Dayer

Date: Wednesday 24th August 2011 [22:16] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of Japanese cinema will want to keep Saturday 3rd September 2011 free for the Free Asian Cinema All-Dayer at Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EU. It's organised by the good folks behind Japan Underground to raise awareness and support for the independent Asian film companies that lost their stock when the Sony DADC centre was burnt down in the England riots on 8 August.

Third Window Films and Terracotta Distribution are confirmed for the screenings.

Japan Underground have also sent us details about Unshin a Japanese pop/rock band based in the UK who'll launch their debut album at Japan Underground. This is event is scheduled to run 7pm-3am Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EU after the Free Asian Cinema screenings.

Read More... | Source: Japan Underground

Cosplay Ireland announce first event

Date: Thursday 18th August 2011 [20:06] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Fandom

Cosplay Ireland website announces a cosplay event in Dublin in early September. Attendees are encouraged to cosplay but event is open to all aged 18 and up.

Read More... | Source: Cosplay Banter in the Attic

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui TeZukA - Dance Work in London

Date: Monday 1st August 2011 [15:23] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Fans of Tezuka, the arts and dance will be pleased to hear about London's Sadler's Wells' up coming production TeZukA. The world premiere dance work is set to explore Tezuka's fascinating world with help of cast of 10 performers, two musicians and a calligrapher. They'll cover a wide range of his work, including Astro Boy and Buddha.

So keep Tuesday 6th - Saturday 10th September 2011 free and head over to London.

On Thursday 8th September 2011 at 6:15pm they'll also be a special pre-show director's conversation.

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

Murakami makes his mark at the Gagosian

Date: Thursday 14th July 2011 [15:42] | Posted By: Priss
Category: > Art

This article features coverage of the Takashi Murakami Exhibition at London's Gagosian Gallery.

Due to the nature of some of the artwork on display in this article, we issue a NSFW content rating.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Manga Jiman 2011 Competition now open for entries

Date: Thursday 14th July 2011 [14:18] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Following on from our earlier story, we've just been sent the official details about this years Manga Jiman Competition run by the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

This years theme is "New Beginnings". Prizes first prize is a return trip for 2 to Japan courtesy of All Nippon Airways. While other great goodies such as a laptop, or digital camera is also up for grabs for the winners.

Further details terms and conditions can be found on the Manga Jiman Website.
Please note that The closing date for the submission of entries is Tuesday, 1st November 2011.

Source: Embassy of Japan in the UK

Something for the weekend - Japanese Art Festival

Date: Saturday 2nd July 2011 [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

After school tea time with Beckii Cruel

Date: Wednesday 8th June 2011 [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: Sunday 22nd May 2011 [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: Tuesday 10th May 2011 [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: Thursday 5th May 2011 [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: Tuesday 19th April 2011 [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: Sunday 17th April 2011 [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: Tuesday 22nd March 2011 [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: Tuesday 22nd March 2011 [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: Thursday 3rd March 2011 [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: Thursday 3rd March 2011 [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: Monday 28th February 2011 [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: Sunday 27th February 2011 [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: Monday 21st February 2011 [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: Sunday 6th February 2011 [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

Leeds Tanabata Festival 2011

Date: Sunday 30th January 2011 [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: Sunday 16th January 2011 [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: Friday 24th December 2010 [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: Thursday 23rd December 2010 [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: Monday 13th December 2010 [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: Sunday 12th December 2010 [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: Tuesday 7th December 2010 [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: Tuesday 16th November 2010 [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: Sunday 31st October 2010 [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: Wednesday 27th October 2010 [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

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