Event Coverage: Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas
The UK’s biggest J-culture event!
If Christmas is a time for giving then Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas, which was held on November at Brompton Hall, Earls Court London gave in abundance by way of a spectacular line-up that surpassed the previous event Hyper Japan 2012 Spring, with many of the live acts performing in the UK for the very first time.
The entertainers that took to the main stage throughout the three-day event included the fantastic Samurai Sword Artists KAMUI, famous for appearing and choreographing some of the fight scenes for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1, who gave an amazing showcase of their on-screen-fighting skills. The troop also held workshops on all three days where enthusiastic participants were taught how to weld a samurai sword movie-style.
The Japanese swordsmen, and swordswoman, later joined guitar legend Tomoyasu Hotei on stage as he blasted out “Battle Without Honor or Humanity”, which appears on the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack. It was definitely the highlight of the opening day and a real crowd pleaser.
Visual Kei (a music genre heavily influenced by glam rock, punk, and heavy metal) band NINJAMAN JAPAN wowed audiences with their high-energy rock music whilst also dazzling them with their flamboyant stage outfits and live antics. The band certainly gained new fans that weekend.
The musical extravaganza continued with solo artists J-pop singer Naomi Suzuki, who sang some of her best known songs such as the infectious “Future Love”, and enka singer Akari Mochizuki (formerly known as Alika Mochida) whose repertoire included her debut single, “Hitori De Nadeshiko”. The talented Tomoca, backed by her three-piece band, took to the stage on Sunday with her unique fusion of traditional and contemporary vocal music which she calls Wa-pop – an act most definitely worth looking out for.
The main stage was also used as a platform for cosplay and fashion shows and competitions – a popular attraction for many who are interested in the more frilly and kawaii (cute) aspects of J-culture.
A smaller stage situated in the Activity Area was also in use and played host to a variety of activities and performances including a Japanese tea ceremony demonstration, a calligraphy display by the mysterious master calligrapher Kenshin, and a classical koto performance by professional musician Keiko Kitamura.
Situated within the venue was an arrangement of stalls selling everything from scrumptious authentic Japanese food; gifts for those wanting to pick up something a little different this Christmas for friends and family or perhaps themselves like traditional crafts and beautiful tableware; manga and anime related goodies; fashion accessories such as wigs of various colours, as well as booths offering travel information for those planning a trip to Japan. There was an area for sake tasting and a large spot for gamers too. There really was something for everyone.
This is just a taste of the colourful and exciting three-day event. For a broader overview of the event’s entertainment and activities, visit the Hyper Japan 2012 Christmas website.
Without a doubt, it was the best Hyper Japan event to date. And we can only surmise as to how fantastic the next event in 2013 is likely to be.
For a visual document, please enjoy the slideshow and selection of video clips.
For more images click on the links below:
Special thanks to James Fielding Photography.