I recently blogged about some of the amazing line-up at this summer’s HYPER JAPAN here but they keep announcing more and more brilliant things, so here’s another blog about it! London’s biggest celebration of all things Japanese is happening on Friday 10 – Sunday 12 July at the O2 Arena in just over 2 weeks. So, if you haven’t already bought your tickets, here are a few more of their recent announcements to help you plan your weekend.
My only worry is how I’m possibly going to fit everything into my schedule! I’d better load up on green tea and bring a spare camera battery…
X-Japan are coming to London!
YOSHIKI and TOSHIKI from the phenomenal J-rock band X JAPAN will be performing live at HYPER JAPAN on the Saturday 15:45-16:45 at the HYPER Live! stage. There will also be an X JAPAN booth inside the exhibition area. At the X JAPAN booth, YOSHIKI’s beloved crystal drum set will be on display, and fans will be able to purchase T-shirts and other goods.
Pioneer of kawaii culture exchange joins HYPER theatre
Takamasa Sakurai, a leading expert on Japanese anime, fashion and music as methods of cultural exchange, will be giving a special presentation on the global success of Japanese idols. Takamasa will be focusing on the theme of Japanese idols, who are experiencing a rapid surge in fame all over the world. But how exactly did they get to become the recipients of such global adoration? This panel is a must for kawaii fans!
Hibiki Ichikawa and Akari Mochizuki return
HYPER JAPAN favourites – shamisen player Hibiki Ichikawa and traditonal singer Akari Mochizuki return this summer for more stunning performances! Hibiki regularly performs at festivals and formal occasions, and teaches tsugaru shamisen to over 20 students in the UK. Akari studied drama in Cambridge and modern music in London, and started working as a professional enka and minyo singer in 2009.
Brilliant NHK World guests
Leading Japanese broadcaster NHK World – a 24 hour global channel dedicated to all things Japan – will be at HYPER JAPAN this summer. NHK World presenter and J-pop singer May J, who most notably sang the Japanese language cover of Disney’s Frozen‘s ‘Let it Go’, will be singing over the weekend. Other presenters include celebrity chef Rika Yukimasa and British food writier and Japanese best-seller Michael Booth, author of ‘Sushi an Beyond’.
Japanese technology company ITK will be showcasing their latest version of the ‘Handroid’, a remotely-operable five-finger movable robotic hand which has been receiving global attention for the past few years. It can be used in engineering environments which are inaccessible or dangerous to human hands. The ‘Handroid’ will be showcased on the festival stage once per day, so make sure you don’t miss this cutting-edge technical display!
This year for the first time, Eat-Japan will be providing visitors with an exciting new trio of ‘J-Bars’! These bars will offer an array of soft drinks, authentic sparkling and yuzu sakes, as well as refreshing Japanese beer. These hard-to-come-by refreshments can be enjoyed in different locations around the venue, so plenty of opportunities to top yourself up.
HYPER Maid Retrogaming Cafe
Run in partnership with Ai My Maid and Reztron and themed after the well-known Akihabara-style Maid cafe model, the HYPER Maid Café is returning after a four year hiatus! Along with Japanese sweets and ice cream, it will feature a wide variety activities like origami, drawing, singing and dancing along with the maids. There’ll even be opportunities for taking “cheki” – a custom decorated polaroid picture with one of the maids.
Knights of Sidonia anime screening
As a special treat alongside the appearance of director Kobun Shizuno, HYPER JAPAN will be screening the first two episodes of sci-fi anime Knights of Sidonia. It’s not every day that you get to watch an anime before general release, and it certainly isn’t every day that the director of the anime walks you through an episode, so get your calendars out and save the date! That’s 11 July, the second Saturday session.
What do you mean, you haven’t watched Attack on Titan yet? Well, you’ll hopefully at least have heard of this very popular series, so either way you should check out the replica of the Colossal Titan making its way to HYPER JAPAN! Cosplayers, get your cameras ready.
For the sake of the blog (my excuse for everything these days), I will be eating, filming and trying as much as possible. Then I’ll be reporting back on the weekend as always!