Pocky galore!

November 15th, 2014, 5pm

There is a growing fascination with all things Japanese in the UK right now. Probably kick-started among young people by Manga and Anime, interest in various aspects of Japanese culture has been steadily rising over the past few years.

On Saturday I went with my son and three of his school friends to Hyper Japan, an event at the smaller exhibition hall at Kensington Olympia (the largest being occupied at the same time by the Good Food Show, which to be honest I may have found more to my liking!). I must admit that although I would not have felt drawn to this if I had been on my own, I found the experience fascinating and was glad that I went.

The array of Japanese candy was impressive, as were the great variety of food stands, including sushi and a demonstration of how a massive Tuna is cut up and reduced down to very small pieces!

Inevitably there were plenty of stands catering for the love of Anime and Manga, with lots of visitors dressing up as their favourite characters (an activity known as cosplay). Part way through the afternoon was the COSparade, with prizes awarded to those with the best costumes.

We had several blasts of J-Pop, including a set from Yano Anna (no, I hadn’t heard of her either!), as well as some traditional Japanese dancing and some impressive drumming, and I got to try some very strange green tea with cranberries which I most certainly won’t be drinking again!

My son and his friends seemed to enjoy it, so I felt it was a worthwhile trip. And I now know a bit more than I did before about this ‘scene’, and I believe it’s a good thing to be always learning!

Shu, David Wade and Christine said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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