On 4 – 5 August 2018, held at Suntec Singapore Exhibition & Convention Centre. The 2-day convention, Japan Park covers aspects such as food and travel, featuring the best offerings from Japan’s 47 Prefectures curated into 6 Zones, namely WA-Shiok Gourmet Festa, Discover Japan, Technology & Lifestyle, Omakase Stage, Kids Sports and CharaExpo Mini.

Fans of Japanese games and anime explore a mini game and card game corner at the CharaExpo Mini zone, while meeting voice actors and artists of some of Bushiroad’s most beloved contents such as Cardfight!! Vanguard, Future Card Buddyfight, Love Live School Idol festival.

In the Discover Japan zone, visitors gain valuable insights from prefecture representatives into how to make a trip to Japan fulfilling and memorable. Several Japanese restaurants serve various Japanese food items for visitors to savor as well. Restaurants featured in the WA-Shiok Gourmet Fiesta zone include Bistro Ryu, which will offer black curry, and Fuku-yoshi, which will serve Hamburg steak using Hokkaido’s Kuroge Wagyu. Popular Japanese restaurant Keisuke also released their limited edition ‘Queen’ and ‘King’ ramen just for this event. Visitors also sampled specialty foods from various prefectures, such as an assortment of snacks from 47CLUB, premium plushies from SAN-EI and beauty products from INOUE SEIKOEN and Oise-san.

In addition, visitors learn more about Japanese tradition at the Lifestyle & Technology zone, where visitors can interact with traditional Japanese female entertainers and witness live presentations of the Japanese Tea Ceremony held in a tatami room.

The event also featured performances from renowned traditional dance performer Ukon Nishikawa, singer Kiwako Ashimine, sumi (ink painting) artist OKAZU, and Poppin’Party, a musical group part of media franchise BanG Dream! .

Special appearances are made by the prestigious Nishikawa Family of Dancers , Okinawan singer Kiwako Ashimine, Guest appearance by 80s rock duo Sunplaza Nakano-kun and Papala Kawai and more.

Photography Credits to, 

For Poppin’Party:
© BanG Dream! Project © Craft Egg Inc. © bushiroad All Rights Reserved.

For all other photos:
© JPSG2018

 

Interview with Nakanishi Sou / Tea Ceremony Master ( Founder of https://www.facebook.com/japanese.salon.kokorone/ ):

 

  1. In recent years, the tea ceremony (Chado) has attracted much interest among people outside of Japan as a representative form of Japanese traditional culture. Could you tell us about this?

I want people to casually try Chado, feeling free to experiment. In my 20 years of teaching, my goal is to let students learn the process by memory using their ears, heart and eyes.

 

2. What was it about Chado that drew you?

Everyday people are so busy, Chado feels like mediation to me. It can be a 4 hour process from full course meals to tea ceremony at the end. I enjoy the quiet world of Chado where I can find inner peace.

 

3. Could you tell us about how you think traditional culture of Chado can be refreshed so that it is relevant to the modern day?

Nowadays tea ceremony can be done in any room.  Although in a traditional setup, it was done in a room with Chinese Idioms words painting and flowers decoration. New media like youtube is hard to implement in the art of Chado as it’s an experience you can only get in person.

 

4. You teach Chado to people. Would you talk a little bit about that, please?

The first step is always difficult and a hurdle to overcome. After that, my students will cultivate a sense of enthusiasm about Chado and like to pass on the knowledge to everyone. In my tea salon, we’ve got 50 students, 3-4 instructors and maximum of 10 paxs per class.

 

5. What kind of tea is most suitable for Chado?

I believe in good quality Matcha. You can determine the quality by the price and the smell. For the tea I used, 20 g costs around 1,000 yen – 5,000 yen. 1 serving requires about 2 g of matcha powder.

 

Ukon Nishikawa / Japanese Traditional Dance Performer ( Founder of http://nishikawamasako.com/en/ )

 

1) Can you explain the difference in choreography between theatre and traditional dance style?

Firstly, theatre dance is more on rhythm. Traditional songs are focused on lyrics. Theatre has more action while traditional is more about emotional movements.

 

2. What was it about Japanese traditional dance that drew you?

I was born into the dance family as it was passed down by generations. I started dancing when I was 3 years old. Initially I was forced into it but now I enjoyed the art of Japanese dance immensely.

 

3. Could you tell us about how you think traditional culture of dance can be refreshed so that it is relevant to the modern day?

Younger dancers are more straight-forward and westernized. I think it’s good that we keep a balance between new and old dance styles. I also like to promote it as a form of exercise to keep healthy.

 

4. You teach dance to people. Would you talk a little bit about that, please?

My dance school teaches geisha and maiko as well. Even within that category, there’s differences between Kyoto and Tokyo dancing style. My son is good in English so he teaches in universities to spread the art of Japanese dance.

 

5. How do you imagine Japanese traditional dance will change in the future?

I reckon the art of Japanese dance will expand globally and evolving with both new and old dance styles constantly.

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