kikuya kanzashi

Japan Day 2014 by Aisha Anime

cosplay left.jpg

After much pony loving at Buck 2014, Manchester is the place to be and Bank holiday Monday at the Midland's Hotel was home to Japan Day this year. This event was completely free and hosted by Japan North West society with help with the London Japan Society.

Upon walking inside you were greeted by the bright lights and amazing tree in the middle of the foyer creating a great backdrops for photos. The staff at the Midland's hotel were exceedingly helpful and even took some coats into their cloakroom to help the cosplayers. 


Upon passing the info desk and cosplay registration, past that takes you to the martial arts demonstration room, where a heated kendo match ensued, with tables at the back laden with different types of weapon and armour for people to look at. Shortly after an authentic tea ceremony took place. Where a audience member sat and received tea made in a stylish and methodical way. You would have to wait a while for this cuppa ! Six lucky members also got to partake in the ceremony for only £2 per person.


We also had the lucky opportunity to listen to Rakugo Comic Storytelling by Katsura Sunshine. A 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling told my Canadian comedian in a Kimono kneeling on a cushion who literally converses with himself. What really struck me was he was teaching us about Japanese etiquette at the same time. There wasn't a single member of the audience who was not laughing. Mr Sunshine will be touring the UK check out  his page for more info:


If you ventured to the right of the main hall you would find the dealers room where a huge array of Japanese merchandise was on offer from cosplay outfits and Japanese fashion from Manchester's store Tokyo Royale to traditional Geisha head pieces from Kikuya Kanzashi.

There was also an abundance to art - especially from deviant art artist Kidura who was donating all her profits to charity, a Japanese manga artist was showcasing her art, Japanese Railway Society, Northern To-ken and the Ningyo (dolls) were bewitching making me reminisce of my JRPG survival games. If you also wanted to you could try on a Japanese Kimono for free and wear it throughout the day.

A lot of people simply came to watch the Cosplay contest where a lot of entries graced the stage with their outfits and personality. Third place came Haku from Spirited Away, then the L and Light duo and first place was Lightening from Final Fantasy. All of them looked great and Totoro and the Wolf man got honorable mentions.

We also got to watch some authentic Japanese lottery where Mr Sunshine picked out the raffle winners of free sushi, tea set, picnic hamper and more. Straight after was the really energetic Taiko drummers. If you were interested in the cuisine you had a choice of curry rolls (Japanese equivalent to Pasties), noodle, rice and pastries fro the Sweet Cup Cake maid cafe.

~Aisha Anime~

tea ceremony

Hyper Japan Summer 2014 by Aisha Anime

I'm just too kawaii for Tomb Raider

I'm just too kawaii for Tomb Raider

Welcome to Hyper Japan a convention dedicated to all things Japanese! The line ups were bigger and better with so much to pack into the timetables I wish I could split into two to watch everything. Here are some of the highlights I was lucky to catch at Earl's Court:

Vocaloid Opera Aoi with Bunraku Puppets premiered their film on screen at Hyper Japan and I caught up with the team at the weekend. The director explained they finished putting it all together on the friday the day before the screening! It was all a team effort from Chihiro (voice actress of the Vocaloid database) for months of recording her voice to the puppeteers which were three per ;puppet to the composer creating the original music. One of the important questions was:

Why is this debuting as pre recorded film rather than a live show?

“Advantage of the film is that we can look close up to the puppets themselves. If we preformed on stage, you can’t see the face and the small, subtle movements of the puppets and  the face since it’s far away... Also, video is portable, easy to display & distribute to many people and we want many people to watch.” 

Vocaloid Opera Aoi team, Mr Director loved my Lolita outfit ^_^

Vocaloid Opera Aoi team, Mr Director loved my Lolita outfit ^_^

For more information on Vocaloid Opera Aoi with Bunraku Puppets go to their website.

I caught up with the ASOBISYTEM models in colaboration with Moshi Moshi Nippon including twin sensations and Yura to find out there favourite fashion styles. Surprisingly the twins absolutely love British vintage fashion and love to base their outfits around that theme. On the other-hand Yura preferred to base her outfit around her shoes. There are significant differences between Japanese and British fashion when I asked what did the ladies wear they look puzzled and explained they could wear what they wanted from a certain designer for themed shoots and there was never a restriction on what they did with their hair ie. cutting it short or doing pig tails they could also choose to wear natural or over the top makeup at their own desecration.

Asobisystem models

It was amazing to see the ladies strut their stuff on stage and alongside some British hopefuls, one of which chosen was our very own Himezawa the aspiring German model and cosplayer. She was very exciting to be walking alongside the pros and wore some exclusive items she'd seen in magazines - my personal favourite was the Sailor Moon themed outfits ! The catwalk occurred three-four times each day with lots of different outfit themes.

The models are wearing Sailor Moon themed outfits for this particular show

The models are wearing Sailor Moon themed outfits for this particular show

One had to drop by the Broken Doll stall after they started talking to the public on facebook, the friendliest band ever. Ken from Broken Doll even made all the merchandise to sell, super kawaii jewelry alongside their CD's. Ken told me that their gig the previous night at Namco Funscape courtesy of Japan Underground was a roaring success.  I then proceeded to fire kami hami's at the other band members who fan boyed over my Dragon Ball Z cosplay of Femme Gohan. 

Broken doll hype

Sadly I missed YanaKiku's performance on stage but they waved me down at the fringe area as they recognised the Japanese character on my cosplay saying 'Grandson' they proceeded to make a calligraphy gift for me. It was an absolute honour to meet the friendly duo and they were more than happy to talk to me about anime ! Seriously they sing, draw, have great personalities I wonder what else they can suprise their fans with next !


Karaoke was a serious thing at Hyper Japan especially when tickets to Japan were at stake - enthusiasts to youtubers battled to get picked and win the glorious tickets. NHK World certainly got a huge buzz at their stall with that alone without having Mr Domo Kun prancing around having his digital self captured on cameras or the just the good old fashioned the massive mascot.

Karaoke: Kelsey gives it her all to win the tickets to Japan

Karaoke: Kelsey gives it her all to win the tickets to Japan

After grabbing some delicious salmon curry from Sushi & Friends which you can order online  I declared myself king of the feylines and poogies on the Monster Hunter chair (which Capcom kindly brought with props for people to pose at) and on my way to leave caught the last performance of the electric Shiro-A. 

Shiro A demonstrating their music based performances, touring around London in Novemebr

Shiro A demonstrating their music based performances, touring around London in Novemebr

This year's Hyper Japan had such a wide variety of entertainment I spent most of my time on my feet admiring the fashion, listening attentively to the new and familar music. HJ also introduced a few new things too with their massive stalls sections separated into fringe and normal.  Looking forward to the Christmas Market edition of

For more photos go to my page ~ Aisha Anime
Hyper Japan Friday Album