A Japanese Extravaganza

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Blogs, Philip Berman

Tonight sees the start of Brighton Japan 2012. And what a festival it is! A variety of communities and venues throughout Brighton have collaborated to celebrate Japanese culture through film, music, performances, workshops, traditional food and much more.

Since its birth in 2008, the festival has grown to become the largest annual Japanese cultural festival in the UK.

This year Moshi Moshi, Brighton Dome, Duke of York’s Picturehouse and The Marwood are in on the action rolling out a series of festivities up until 1st July.

These are the events which have really caught our eye, make sure you check them out:

The Paper Cinema

live animation performance

This unique performance fuses live music with animated drawings, puppets and magic!

The Paper Cinema describes its shows as ‘an illustrated song, a shadow, a smoke, a mirror, a puppet show, a cinema show, side show, magic show, a show and tale, a show off’.

It consists of a group of designers, artists, puppeteers and musicians, who are all onstage throughout the production. A video camera at the front of the stage projects the images for the audience – images created by two people animating drawings to relay the story.

It sounds fascinating and enchanting – here’s a sneak preview of their latest project based on Homer’s Odyssey from Greek mythology, ‘The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey’.

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The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey (Trailer) from The Difference Engine on Vimeo.

The Paper Cinema show runs tonight, 22nd June from 7pm at HŌMU, the festival’s dedicated hub outside Moshi Moshi in Bartholomew Square. Hopefully it’s under shelter – or else it might be wise to pack your waterproofs!

Asahi Anime Festival

Manga art at Asahi Anime Festival
As the UK’s only open-air anime celebration, at the Asahi Anime Festival you can expect dance performances, manga drawing competitions, a Japanese-style game show, cosplay (traditional costume role-play) contests, karaoke battles and delicious Japanese food stalls.

We think the Giant Manga Chalk Art – a collaborative process of creating the UK’s biggest ever manga drawing sounds particularly fun!

The Asahi Anime Festival is from 11am on 30th June and 1st July in front of Moshi Moshi.

Film screenings

From Up on Poppy Hill animation

Don’t miss the Japanese film and animation screenings throughout the festival too. There’s From Up on Poppy Hill, written by one of Japan’s most legendary and greatest animation directors, Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki; 90s horror original The Ring (Ringu); post-tsunami drama Himizu; and short films by leading anime house Studio 4°C, Genius Party Beyond. Renowned for its cutting edge productions, this animation studio is led by producer Eiko Tanaka, line producer of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Japanese culture fans should not miss Brighton Japan 2012 – it showcases everything from traditional to modern, film to music, costumes to games. It’s only running for just over a week so don’t miss out! To find out more about the events and buy tickets, visit the Brighton Japan 2012 site.