“World Cosplay Summit 2014″ is hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other bodies Jul.26-Aug.3 in Nagoya. (http://www.worldcosplaysummit.jp/en/)
This WCS is the 12nd and this time representatives join the event from 22 countries or regions. The event includes several programs such as a coaplay parade, cosplay championship, visitations of the representatives to city offices and MFA, anime-song festival, and so forth. Six representatves of the event from China, Mexico, and Finland officially visited Seiji Kihara, the vice-minister at MOFA in Tokyo giving presentations over attaractions of cosplay. Kihawa made a speech saying, pop culture has power to bind countries together and expect the representatives to support strengthening rapport with Japan. The Chinese representative said cosplay had a role to enhance cultural exchange.
Goeido, a sekiwake-rank sumo wrestler, was promoted to the ozeki(one step higher rank from sekiwake and the second highest only to the yokozuna) by the Japan Sumo Association with the unanimous decision of its members of the directors of board on Jul.30th. He will be an ozeki- wrestler from the next Grand Sumo sutumn tournament of Sep.14-28 at Ryogoku Kokugikan(National Sport Stadium) in Tokyo.
Goeido(Gotaro Sawai) was the first ozeki after Kakuryu’s promotion,who is currently a yokozuna-wrestler, in spring 2012 and the very first one in three years as a Japanese-born wrestler following Kisenosato in 2011. Goeido energetically keeps his postition as a sekiwake for 12 consecutive tournaments since 2007, which is the record-long after Showa era, after having started his career as a sumo wrestker in 2005. This year, he defeated two yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu and the total score 12winning to 3 losses, which is quite excellent. He also says he would like to realize his Yamato Damashii(/the Japanese Spirit) in his new coming career. Currently all the three yokozuna-wrestkers are from Mongolia and a lot of people may expect him to regain a glory of the Japanese national sport.
“Sapporo International Art festival 2014″ started on Jul. 19 in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, the northen part of Japan and will have been held for 72 days. (http://www.sapporo-internationalartfestival.jp/)
This time the festival has a theme of “Cities and nature”, and contemporary artists’ works are shown with events visitors can take part in. This time Ryuichi Sakamoto, a world famous Japanese composer is a guest artist and his works are provided.
Universal Studio Japan in Osaka opened a new theme area of the worldwide popular fantasy series, “Harry Potter” on Jul.15. (http://www.usj.co.jp/harrypotter/)
The theme area is 40,000 ㎡ with re-enacted facilities of those in the stories, such as the magic school that wizard children go, and at restaurants and stalls where special food described in the stories are available.
On the grand opening day, about 3000 people visited the area and everyday it receives a lot since then. USJ made the record high of the number of visitors there with more than 10 million last year and now it expects to have more than 12 million this year with these new attraction services. About 45 billion yen (≒$440 million )which is equal to the half amount of an annual budget of USJ was spent on building this new area. Some hotels expand their capacities expecting a huge increase in visitors and job opportuniies are expected to increase as well in Osaka, kobe, Kyoto, and other areas in Kansai, which will surly invigorate economy there.
A new brand, “KOE” from Cross Company made their first appearance this month.
The famous Japanese singer, CHARA who’s known for her quirky looks and a distinct voice modeled for the brand with her daughter who is a model.
On July 3rd, Cross Company released their new brand “KOE” at Roppongi Hills Areana. The singer CHARA and her daughter SUMIRE who is a model was chosen for the brand ambassador. The ever first store is going to open on September 26th in Okayama city, and will make their way out globally.
The mega brand celebrates their 20th anniversary, with their popular brand “earth music&ecology” and “THOM BROWNE. NEW YORK” opened in 25 countries mainly in Asia, with approximately 1,088 stores. The company’s first SPA brad “KOE” will debut in 2014 fall. The concept of this brand is ” Mode for everyone.” Their target customers are 30-40′s men and women, as well as kids, junior and expected mothers. The main focus is to offer real mode to everyone.
The meaning of “KOE” is translated to “VOICE” in Japanese.
The company built a “Fair supply chain” which is concerned and restrains many problems the fashion world is carrying. These include the background of production, such as ethics, and work environment. The brand name comes from the idea of ” to listen to every creature’s voice.”which leads to the production of items without using real leather and fur. Therefore, the prices are affordable, which estimates to be around 8,000 yen.
The established location of Cross Company is Okayama City, which where the first shop is going to open. It is going to be a flagship, which roughly spaces outs to 522m3.
Chara and her daughter, and the commercial where CHARA’s new song is played is aired. In October, the company plans to expand it’s store in Takamatsu and Niigata, as well as 7 more shopes in 2016, which totals up to 15 stores in Japan. They aim for one trillion yen with the caption ” World’s number 1 brand. ”
The newest installment movie of “Ju-on”, the most scary horror work series according to some survey, released at theaters on Jun.28. (http://www.juon-movie.jp/) , (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ju-on_(franchise), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ju-on:_The_Beginning_of_the_End), (http://eigapedia.com/movie/ju-on-owari-no-hajimari)
The newest work is “Ju-on, The Beginning of The End”(Juon, Owari-no Hajimari) and is the seventh installment to the series. “Juon” means a “grudge” and basic story is that people who visit a house where brutal murders took place before are cursed to death by the infuriated vengeful ghosts that were the victims of the murders. A victim of the curse to death becomes a new vengeful ghost to kill other people and stories of those chain reactions of curses and deaths spreading out are described in such a manner of somewhat independent episodes. Three of the currently released works, “The Grudge”,”The Grudge 2″, and “The Grudge 3 “ were made in Hollywood as US versions and the first two made a huge success as movies run at theaters and the third was released as a dvd software.
One of a popular girls’ idols/idol groups live event, “Tokyo Idol Group 2014″ is going to be held on Aug.2-3, and two types of its tickets, one-day tickets and two-day tickets started to sell on Jun.28. (http://idolfes.com/2014/english/)
Names of idols/idol groups to perform in the event are being released bit by bit and 117 idols/groups are announced. A trait of Tokyo Idol Festival is that, unlike average idol events, the facilitators focus not only very famous ones but even on less known local idols that have aptitudes as general promotion acitivity of all corners of the Japanese society as well.
National Stadium in Tokyo(http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/corp/english/tabid/382/Default.aspx) was closed at the end of this May and its seats, tables and some other attached equipment were donated to 12 municipalities.
Out of those municipalities, Kitakami City in Iwate(http://www.city.kitakami.iwate.jp/), which is one of damaged areas of 3.11 disaster in 2011, was given the highest number of seats of 6,500 from the facility on Jun.29. One that day, 600 volunteers were dedicated to labor of removing those items such as seats there. The city mayer Toshihiko Takahashi said, “We would like to give a confirmation of our successful reconstruction from the disaster to people.” Those donated seats to the city will be used for a new city stadium under construction there that is to be a venue of the National Sports Festival in Iwate in 2016(http://www.iwate2016.jp/kokutai/venue).
National Stadium,on the other hand, is to be partially demolished in this July and a new one is to begin to be rebuild in October 2015 for a part of the preparation for sport events in 2019 and upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
“The 7th Ninja-kentei”(Ninja exam) was held on Jun.15th in Koga city Shiga Pref. (http://www.koka-kanko.org/contents/news/ninja_kentei7.html)
The exam is hosted by Koka City’s toursim association(http://www.koka-kanko.org/), and is held in order to promote the “Ninja culture” of the area, for Koka(or Koga) has been traditionally well-known as the home of ”Koga Ninja” for centuries.
This time “advanced level” was added to the exam for the first time which consisted of only “beginner level” and”intermediate level” up to last time. Totaly 113 teenagers took the test with clad in a ninja style cosplay respectively ,for if you wear ninja’s clothes you could receive up to 5 points to the exam’s marks. 55 testtakers passed the beginner level and 19 passed the intermediate level, and 14 took the advanced which only those who had already passed the intermediate level were eligible to take. The results of the advanced would be announced afterwards considering the tests’ scores and related reports submitted by the testtakers.
” The Aeon Girls”~ Surge in university girls shopping in malls
The article about ”Aeon Girls” , by Nikkei MJ (June/02) is stealing the spotlight in the fashion industry.
When you imagine stylish Japanese girls, you see them shopping in the hottest, trendiest spot.
Perhaps trying to blend in with the Harajuku girls, or with the extravagant fashionistas in Shibuya.
But, things have been changing recently.
Wander around in Shibuya 109, OlOl, and La Foret Harajuku, you notice a decline in these girls.
Shibuya 109′s target market are the late teens to the early 20′s, but in fact, 70% of the actual customers happen to be junior and high school students.
24-35 years old make up 50% of the sales in La Foret Harajuku, but with the high end tenants filling up, we see more 30′s women shop.
Some shopping areas has commented, ”We don’t even target university students to begin with. They are just too difficult.”
So the question is, where did all the girls go?
( photo by Nikkei MJ)
The amount of money you spend for fashion increases when you become a uni student. For those who crave fashion and shopping, big shopping centre, “Aeon” is the place where it hits the spot. The major enticement is that you can compare items for those indecisive shoppers! For those who aren’t picky with brands and tastes, they prefer items that are affordable.
” I come here 2-3 times a month with my friend. We usually shop for more than 2 hours. I do go to Harajuku and Shibuya, but about once every 3 months. I like how you can browse around at Aeon mall”. ( University student)
” Even if I find an outfit that I like, I would still go check out 5-6 stores. It doesn’t satisfy me unless I look at everything!” (University student)
Most girls don’t shop impulsively. They take their time to look around, compare, and think what they should get. Not only do they check online for informations, but they prefer to go around and check out similar stores to see what’s the best for them.
They’ll go to the store 3 times, and still can’t decide. Very careful, and very planned. This is the same with cosmetics too. Girls check websites and get information via word of mouth. They double check and even triple check since they usually on a tight budget.
Therefore, the perfect environment would be a mall where you can look at large amounts of items all at once. The more store, the merrier.
Research done by Nikkei MJ makes this evident. 63% of uni girls buy they clothes at Aeon mall or shopping centres, which is an extreme close call with Uniqlo being 64%.
Under 20% are department stores, and pricey brand shops don’t even reach 2 %.
” Uni girls who buys expensive brands are declining year by year. The sales share is less than half, compared to the 90′s”.
Before, girls would buy with out even checking the price. Owning expensive brand bags were a status. But for those who have grown up in the deflation era, a strong attachment towards brand names and logos are relatively lower.
Ready for a shopping spree?
June 11th, the his rise building ” Toranomon Hills” mascot character “Toranomon” was presented.
The concept of “Toranomon” is a business robot (opposed to business men ) who traveled down from 100 years in the future to built the future Tokyo. This perfect collaboration was created with “Doraemon’s” Fujiko Pro and Mori building.
This cute, robot may ring the bell to the cat shaped robot all of us are familiar with. The head and the body is white, while the nose and the neck is colored grey. This cutsie also has ears too. Not only businesses, and hotels, but it includes offices with the Toranomon hills logo.
It also includes residence, 30 floors worth of offices, hotels, restaurants and the biggest high rise tower in the Toranomon ward.
Located on the first block of Tokyo Minato ward Toranomon, it is 247m tall with 52 stories. You should definitely prepare yourself with a sore neck looking up this building. Next to the Tokyo Midtown, is a super high rise building. Office (6-35th floor), residence (37-46th floor), 24 businesses (1-4th floor) and on top of that, the conference institution “Toranomon Hills Forum” (4 and 5th floor) as well as Japan’s first luxurious hotels ” Unders Tokyo.
Preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Toranomon definitely did a great job!
A Japanese celebrity ” Akina Minami” enjoyed her first experience on being a Lolita girl. Pictures are posted on her blog and has gotten many hypes for it.
Mountain like teased hair, long lashes and fancy lacey outfits. These may not sound like your typical wardrobe, but every girl has a fantasy inside them. A fantasy to become a Lolita princess <3
Minami visited a salon where you can experience being a Lolita. The store offers amazing service where you can choose your outfit, get your makeup done and have a complete make over. An awesome photo shoot will be followed after all of this.
Akina left a comment saying, ” The first time I wore a Lolita outfit for work, I was super stoked!”.
She also got a “Lolita 101″. Being a Lolita isn’t just about looking cute with adorable dresses and pink curly wigs in pigtails. With joy, Akia said ” Apparently, Lolitas smile without showing their teeth. I got a chance to to learn about Lolitas today. My photos turned out pretty okay, so I’ll post them”. She seems like she’s into Lolitas, ” I have a thing for Kyoko Fukada’s Lolita movie, “Kamikaze girls”. I’m watching her DVD now lol.”
It was a double amazing cast of Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya, which was aired in 2004 in the theatres. The story is about a Lolita and a rebel befriending, although it seems like a rather peculiar combination.
For those who wants to experience a couple of hours being a princess, why not try?
Tokyo (http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/index.htm) comes first as the “overall satisfaction city” of a survey of satisfying cities in 2013 conducted by an Internet travel site, TripAdvisor(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TripAdvisor), according to its report on the 20th.(http://blog.tripadvisor.com/blog/2014/05/20/survey-tokyo-tops-list-world-cities-best-overall-experience/)
The survey was conducted with questionnairs to 54,000 travelers who had visited 37 major cities in the world in such a manner as asking how much they were satisfied grading each city by 0-10 points to each of 16 sections. Tokyo has come first in five sections of “helpful locals”,”best taxi services”,”cleanest streets”,”best public transport”,and “best overall experience”. As for the “best overall experience”, New York came second and Barcelona placed third.
Hakone, one of the most popular tourists’ destinations and hot spring resort in Kanagawa Pref. near Mt. Fuji declared it had been visited by 20,857,000 tourists (increased by 7.3 % compared to the year before) in 2013. (http://www.town.hakone.kanagawa.jp/) The town visited by more than 20 million tourists for the first time in three years and the first time after the earthquake disaster in 2011 and the number is the highest since 1996.
The one-day travelers number was 16,140,000 (increased by 9%) and that of those who stayed overnight was 4,717,000 (increased by 1.8 %). The number of foreign visitors overnight reached 168,000, which the record high and increased by 80.5% compared to the minimum number of 63,000 in 2011 when the disaster occurred. The number of foreign one-day tourists there is assumed to be about 482,000. New faclities may be one of the sources that have attracted such high number of visitors there. It is said the primary sources of such an increase in the number may be the depreciation of Yen these days and relaxations of visa conditions to tourists from asean countries. The number of people from US, China, Korea, Taiwan, and southeast Asian countries visiting Hakone is amazingly increasing. The upcoming Tokyo Olympics may be a source of such rising popularity of some area in Japan as well.
Princess Noriko of Takamado, who is the current emperor’s cousin’s daughter, has become engaged to Kunimaro Senge, who is a high priest of Izumo-taisha, a grand Shinto shrine in Shimane Pref, the Imeprial Household Agency said on the May. 27th.
The two hosted a press conference for the announcement of their angagemnt at which they said they were so happy. The two have been close since they were young due to their families’ close relationship. Izumo-taisha(http://www.izumooyashiro.or.jp/) is one of the oldest Shinto shrines and Ohkuninushi, a great leader deity in Izumo region (Shimane Pref. area)is enshrined there. According to the Japanese mythology, Ohkuninushi, who had ruled Japan in ancient times , gave up his power to Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and moved to the shrine having asked the goddess to build a huge shrine for him, and that is Izumo-taisha. Amenohohi,the second son of Amaterasu was said to have become the first chief priest of the shrine, and since then all the chief priests have been the god’s decsendents in heredity, which was also referred to by Senge at the press conference. Senge is the eldest son of the current chief priest. The shrine experiences rebuilding ceremony of its main building every 60 years and its latest was done last year, which drew a lot of attention and many people visited that shrine in Shimane. The couple will wed in this autumn after having some preliminary rituals according to the conventional protocols of the imperial family.