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Japanese Pop Culture Concert – Otaquest Live – Hits L.A. On July 3rd

Otaquest Live,a unique live summer concert event featuring a dynamic slate of J-Pop, dance and hip hop superstars who have helped to define the vibrant sound, styles, moves and images that drive Japanese pop culture, will headline The Novo in L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, July 3rd.

Produced by Otaquest and LDH USA, this one-night-only live concert will feature live concert performances by J-Pop superstars Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and m-flo, as well as the first North American live performances from CAPSULE, CrazyBoy, and Hiroomi Tosaka.

Later in the evening, Otaquest Kick Off takes over and will showcase performances by some the hottest DJs from the bustling Tokyo EDM scene. Catch groove inducing sets by Taku Takahashi, TeddyLoid and Yasutaka Nakata (CAPSULE) and experience the captivating cultureof thereal Japanese club scenein Los Angeles for one night at this special live dance and DJ event.

Tickets for OTAQUEST LIVE and OTAQUEST KICKOFF are available now:




WHEN        WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 5:00 pm (doors), 6:30 pm (show starts)
WHERE:         The Novo by Microsoft
 L.A. Live — 800 W. Olympic Blvd
    CAPSULE, CrazyBoy, Hiroomi Tosaka, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, m-flo

OTAQUEST Kickoff Club Event

WHEN:            WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 10:30 pm 
WHERE:         The Novo by Microsoft
 L.A. Live – 800 W. Olympic Blvd
      Taku Takahashi, TeddyLoid, Yasutaka Nakata (CAPSULE)

OTAQUEST events showcase what is “of-the-moment” in Japanese culture and celebrates the best in Japanese pop music and dance with some of today’s hottest artists. For additional information, visit: https://live.otaquest.com.



m-flo is a hip hop and dance group that has taken the Japanese music scene by storm and is captivating a widening international fanbase. Beginning with their 1988 breakout debut, the maxi-single titled, the tripod EP, which earned them an instant spot in the Top 10 of the Japanese Oricon charts, m-flo has gone on to chart 12 singles and 2 hit full-length albums, including Expo Expo, which sold over 800,000 copies in Japan. In 2017, m-flo celebrated its 20th anniversary and continues to inject vibrant sounds and moves into hip hop and pop music.

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/astromantic,

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mflo_official,

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mflo_official/

Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mflo10yrs.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is themost followed Japanese artist on Twitter and one of Japan’s most influential pop icons. She made her major J-Pop music debut with the Moshi Moshi Harajuku EP, which was notably produced by Yasutaka Nakata (CAPSULE). Kyary released her full-length solo debut Pamyu Pamyu Revolution in 2015 and it scored her first #1 spot on the Oricon charts, iTunes Japan charts and Worldwide Electro charts.  Kyary has garnered accolades from Western artists such as Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Charli XCX. Kyary also curated an exhibition, The World Goes Pop, for London’s Tate Modern Art Museum. Kyary’s style and originality as a Harajuku icon and her music and artistic activities continue to attract and inspire an international fanbase.

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KPP.FC/

Official English Artist Page: http://kyary.asobisystem.com/english/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pamyurin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kyarypappa/.


CAPSULE is the live production unit of Yasutaka Nakata. Formed with Toshiko Koshijima in 1997, they debuted in 2001 as a dynamic all-in-one music group combining shared passions for music, fashion, and video media. Yasutaka Nakatawrites, composes, and arranges all of CAPSULE’s music. CAPSULE has performed at many renowned international festivals and incorporates impressive audio/video stage elements to its live shows. CAPSULE also has produced music for Perfume, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and contributed to the Star Trek: Into DarknessLiar Game and Apple Seed Alpha movie soundtracks.

Official Website: http://capsule-official.com,

Official Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/CAPSULE.OFFICIAL

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CAPSULEOFFICIAL

Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CAPSULEOFFICIAL


CrazyBoy is the hip-hop project of ELLY, who made his debut as part of the J Soul Brothers III.  His EPs NEOTOKYO and NEOTOKYO II have drawn wide international acclaim and debuted at #1 across multiple sales charts including on iTunes and mu-mo.CrazyBoy has collaborated with hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg and PKCZ® (VERBAL / DJ MAKIDAI / DJ DARUMA) on the track, “Bow Down ft. CrazyBoy from EXILE TRIBE.” The song was released by the Dutch dance music label, Spinnin’ Records/Trap City. CrazyBoy has also appeared on tracks by Shinichi Osawa, the hip-hop icon, ANARCHY, and the dance hall reggae masters, Mighty Crown.

Official Website: http://crazyboy.jp

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elly24soul

Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbEutdoNcdNFEVKKQzGS2Mw

Hiroomi Tosaka

Hiroomi Tosaka is an actor, solo artist, and vocalist and released his major label debut in the Japanese pop group J Soul Brothers III from EXILE TRIBE with their first single, “Best Friend’s Girl”. In 2017 he released his first solo single, WASTED LOVE and last year debuted his first full-length album, FULL MOON, which he supported with a 23-date international tour. His clothing brand, CLAIR DE LUNE, offers a distinct world view expressed through fashion and draws influences from a wide range of cultures. As an actor, Hiroomi Tosaka debuted in Hot Road (2014), directed by Miki Takahiro, and was bestowed the Newcomer Award in four Japanese film festival ceremonies including the Japan Academy Prize. He is also an accomplished photographer and has released a collection of photo essays, NOBODY KNOWS.

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/hiroomi_3jsb

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/3jsb_hiroomi_tosaka

Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjuPHBb3ZoncVeGoV1FSVg


OTAQUEST started as a web media platform delivering news on Japanese pop-culture including anime, music, video games, fashion and fan culture. Headquartered in Japan and staffed with a global network of contributors, OTAQUEST delivers timely content and daily updates including interviews with content notable creators, directors, and industry luminaries, as well as editorial and video content highlighting unique and focused topics for a growing English-speaking fanbase.

In 2018, OTAQUEST LIVE was established in both Japan and the United States with an emphasis on expanding the global audience for Japanese pop music and culture. Focusing on trending artists and the latest bands, DJs and live performers, OTAQUEST LIVE delivers the current sounds and styles of Japan with high energy and spectacular production quality. For additional information visit: https://www.otaquest.com

About LDH USA:

LDH USA Inc. was established to broaden, celebrate and raise awareness about Japanese culture internationally. The LDH roster of artists includes EXILE, J Soul Brothers III, GENERATIONS, and legendary Japanese hip hop and dance act, m-flo. A dynamic multi-faceted company, LDH Japanoperates 14 dance schools and artist development facilities known as EXPG designed to inspire youth and develop talent. EXPG NY was established in New York City in 2014 and serves as an artist development center focused on training young artists in dance, music and singing and acting. In January 2019, EXPG LA was established in Hollywood in partnership with mL studio (Movement Lifestyle) one of the top dance studios in LA.

LDH Japan also operates 12 restaurants and 9 fashion brands including the renowned jewelry and apparel brands, AMBUSH, and HUMAN MADE, which is a partnership between LDH, Pharrell Williams and NIGO®. LDH USA is a part of the LDH Global Initiative which strives to share the LDH philosophy of “LOVE DREAM HAPPINESS” with the world and replicate the enormously successful live shows that LDH produces in Japan that have drawn over 50,000+ attendees per show and over 1.5 million guests per tour. For additional information about LDH, please visit:

USA: https://www.ldh.co.jp/eng/usa/ Japan: https://www.ldh.co.jp/eng/

Otaquest Live J-Pop Concert Announces VIP Tickets and Other Packages

Otaquest Live, a unique, live summer concert presenting a dynamic slate of J-Pop, dance and hip hop superstars who define the vibrant sound, styles, moves and images that drive Japanese pop culture, has unveiled a variety of ticket packages, including VIP passes, for the event headlining The Novo in L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, July 3rd.

Produced by Otaquest and LDH USAOtaquest Live will feature live concert performances by J-Pop superstars Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and m-flo, as well as the first North American live performances from CAPSULE, CrazyBoy, and Hiroomi Tosaka.

A variety of affordable ticket options and V.I.P packages will give attendees the maximum amount of flexibility to customize a memorable Otaquest Live experience.


WHEN: WEDNESDAY, JULY 3; 6:30 pm (show starts)
WHERE: The Novo by Microsoft L.A. Live — 800 W. Olympic Blvd
ARTISTS: CAPSULE, CrazyBoy, Hiroomi Tosaka, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, m-flo

All ticket packages on sale now:

(**All packages include AXS.com ticket fees)

OTAQUEST LIVE Ticket Packages:

Premium VIP Package: $250 – Only 200 tickets available

  • One (1) Orchestra Pit Ticket with Exclusive VIP Badge
  • All Star Meet-and-Greet with OTAQUEST LIVE Artists
  • Early 5:00pm Pre-Show Entry
  • OTAQUEST Exclusive Gift Premium

Standard VIP Package: $150

  • One (1) Floor Level Ticket with Exclusive VIP Badge
  • Early 5:00pm Pre-Show Entry
  • OTAQUEST Exclusive Gift Premium

VIP Balcony Package: $200

  • One (1) Premium Balcony Ticket with Exclusive VIP Badge
  • Early 5:00pm Pre-Show Entry
  • OTAQUEST Exclusive Gift Premium

Special Balcony Package: $75

  • One (1) Premium Balcony Ticket with Exclusive VIP Badge
  • Early 5:00pm Pre-Show Entry
  • OTAQUEST Exclusive Gift Premium

Standard Balcony Tickets:  Standard Lower Balcony Ticket: $50                    

Standard Upper Balcony Ticket: $40

Standard General Admission Floor Ticket: $60

J-POP Summit Announces On-Sale Tix And Music Artists For SF Japanese Pop Celebration

.J-POP Summit 2017, one of the world’s biggest Japanese pop culture events, has announced advance tickets for this year’s 2-day festival are on sale

J-POP SUMMIT 2017 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 9th and 10th at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture located in San Francisco’s Marina district. Attendees will experience this year’s theme ARTS, EATS and INNOVATIONS; a vibrant celebration of Japanese pop culture featuring live music, Japanese food and travel attractions, and interactive technologies. The festival is accented by ramen vendors, sake-tasting, and additional events highlighted by celebrity Guests of Honor.

The festival also announces its first line-up of Guest of Honor artists scheduled to perform:

Babyraids Japan
Misaki Iwasa (Former AKB48)

Additional artists and performers will be announced! Artist Meet-and-Greet event details also coming soon!

This year’s festival branding visuals feature striking artwork created by artist Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi, who also attends the festival as a Guest of Honor.

2017 marks the 9th consecutive year J-POP SUMMIT has been held in San Francisco.

J-POP SUMMIT 2017 (Fort Mason Center-only) Tickets are available for VIP, 1-Day, 2-Day, and Kid’s Passes (ages 0-12). Adult single-day passes start at only $35.00 each; 2-day passes start at only $50.00 each.

Dragon Con 2016: Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos Celebrates the Best of the Bad

When my Dragon Con roommate Kurt aka TheGreatSG told me about his panel for Dragon Con, I figured it was worth a look. I hadn’t been in the J-Music scene in a while, but I’m always down for weird music videos.

I was not prepared for how weird it was going to get.


While this was my first year attending, Awesomely Bad Japanese Music videos has become something of a staple of cons in the Southeast. Showcasing the best of the bad, the panel has grown to have its own in-jokes and expectations over the years. Starting with the glory of interdimensional being Daigo Stardust to the death of Tarako Kewpie at the hands of Chris Jericho. Don’t worry, where that strange red bean kewpie fell, what will rise in its place is an epic and mind-bending song about snack crackers composed by Yoko Kanno. No, really.

The thing I quickly learned between being swung back to the days of Kishidan and Supercar’s somewhat mortifying ‘Be’ video is that Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos is not really about mocking these videos. Which seems like it would be the main idea when you got videos like ‘Nande?’ and the bizarre, hysterical and cheaply made video for Polysics’ ‘Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto.’ However, as much as it is about comedy, it’s also about celebrating the weird. There’s something of an art in the weird and SG gets that. It’s fun because it’s weird and awesomely bad. Not in spite of it.

Of course, there’s even a few earworms in there. I had ‘Nande?’ and Complex’s ‘Be My Baby’ stuck in my head for days after the panel. And, of course, FISH FIGHT!


If you’re at a con where Awesomely Bad Japanese Music videos will be at, I implore you to give it a look. It will be weird and awesomely bad, but it’s presentation is the furthest thing from malicious. Being introduced to these videos in a crowd that was just as into it as I was was easily some of the most fun I had at the con this year. If have one complaint though, it’s that we didn’t get ‘Miira Killer on our playlist, but that’s only because I’m biased towards the current NXT Champion.

For the Dragon Con playlist and to find out when Awesomely Bad is coming to a con near you, check them out on Facebook or Tumblr.

J-POP Summit Celebrates Tea Culture In S.F. With Free Matcha Summit

Matcha SummitThe 2015 J-POP Summit, a Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, showcases the exotic and delectable world of Japanese green tea – Matcha – as part of this year’s extensive programming.

Presented within a special area adjacent to the Sake Summit, taking place in Union Square Park, the Matcha Summit will contain a specially curated collection of premiere retailers and manufacturers of Japanese matcha products, including tea and Japanese desserts. The Matcha Summit complements a tasty and informative array of events and attractions focused on essential components of Japanese cuisine such as Matcha, Sushi and Sake. Admission to the Matcha Summit is free.

San Francisco’s inaugural Sake & Matcha Summits celebrate Japan’s tea culture and national spirit and take place in the city’s downtown Union Square Park on the weekend of August 8th and 9th; the 2015 J-POP Summit takes place Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Organized by the J-POP Summit Festival Committee and presented in partnership with a variety of leading Japanese and U.S. matcha tea companies, sake brands, brewers, distributors, and retailers, the 2015 Sake Summit & Matcha Summit in Union Square will feature multiple tasting booths. Inside the Matcha Summit area, attendees can enjoy an assortment of Japanese matcha and tea-related products. Taste authentic matcha, made with finely ground tea powder and served as the focal point of the Japanese tea ceremony, Sen-cha (green tea), Houji-cha (roasted tea), and all kinds of flavored tea will be available to sample and purchase. A selection of sweet treats and snacks with matcha flavors invented by long-established Japanese sweets brands will also be offered. In addition, there will be demonstrations of traditional tea ceremonies from the Urasenke and Omotesenke schools of tea ceremonies.

SAKE SUMMIT attendees can try a wide range of premium Japanese sake and learn how to enjoy them with food-pairings. In addition to tasting, attendees can purchase select brands of sake on-site. There will also be live Japanese traditional music entertainment, Japanese food vendors, and Japanese Matcha (green tea) exhibitors.


The popular ITO EN-produced matcha specialty store “MATCHA LOVE,” which can be found in the San Jose Mitsuwa Market, comes to Union Square for MATCH SUMMIT. The store will sell a variety of matcha-inspired drinks and soft serve desserts normally only carried at the retail store.



Lupicia, a Bay Area staple with locations in Bloomingdale’s in downtown San Francisco and at the Mitsuwa Market in San Jose, comes to the J-POP SUMMIT for the first time this year. The retailer stocks teas from all over the world, including seasonal black and green tea, oolong tea, original blend tea, and flavored teas. At the MATCHA SUMMIT, Lupicia will have 4 types of green tea, 4 varieties of green tea based flavored teas, and 2 types of matcha. There will be lots of samples available.


Minamoto Kitchoan

Minamoto Kitchoan carries a wide variety of Wagashi, Japanese sweets. International branches are spread over 7 different countries and proudly serve mochi (rice cake), manju (bean cake), jelly and more. Delight in the finest ingredients available including seasonal fruit, teas and nuts. Pair each flavor and variety with a cup of Green tea for an unforgettable experience. Inside each beautifully wrapped Wagashi item lies the warm heart of Japanese culture. Minamoto Kitchoan will be offering a variety of matcha sweets, as well as sweets that go perfectly with tea.


Omotesenke Domonkai Northern California Region

Since Omotesenke Domonkai Northern California Region was founded in 1969, it has been practicing Omotesenke tea ceremony by Rikyu. Now it has two hundred and thirty members in Northern California including twenty eight instructors who are officially certified by omotesenke Domonkai in Kyoto, Japan. It also hosts an annual Summer seminar for three days in August, overseen by two instructors from Kyoto.


The Urasenke Foundation, San Francisco

The Urasenke Foundation, San Francisco Center represents the 400 year-old Urasenke Tradition of Tea in the United States. The non-profit foundation is devoted to public service educational programs on chanoyu (the tradition of preparing, serving, and drinking powdered green tea) and Japanese culture. The Foundation offers opportunities to learn more about chanoyu and Japanese culture through direct participation in tea gatherings, lectures, workshops, and other events. The Foundation also serves as a resource center for local and visiting scholars and offers introductory through advanced instruction in chanoyu.

2015 Japan Film Fest of San Francisco Adds 16 Films

JFFSF15-LOGO-MAINThe 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first and only fully-dedicated Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area, has just announced 16 additional films that will screen as part of this year’s program.

Presenting a diverse array of current and acclaimed Japanese cinema, this year’s slate features a number of notable Japanese films across a variety of genres such as action, anime sci-fi, documentary, short film, historical drama, crime drama, coming-of-age, and romantic mystery. The just-announced films augment an extensive roster of titles already announced to run during the weekend of the 2015 J-POP Summit, taking place at Fort Mason on Saturday and Sunday August 8th and 9th

The 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco opens in conjunction with the 2015 J-POP Summit on Friday, August 7th at the Castro Theatre, and runs thru Sunday, August 16th at New People Cinema located inside the NEW PEOPLE entertainment complex in Japantown at 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115. Tickets to individual screenings are $13.00 each, unless otherwise noted.

The latest announced films will run at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning the week of Monday August 10th with screenings continuing until Sunday, August 16th.


Monday, August 10th, 7:00pm

Granted near-unrestricted access to the notoriously isolated Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli – the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director,” Isao Takahata – over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya.



Monday, August 10th, 9:20pm

This film unfolds in Harajuku, the melting pot of Tokyo and the epicenter of many popular sub-cultures. The lives of many young and dream-filled eccentrics, teenyboppers, narcissists, tourists, and workers from various countries – cutting-edge filmmaker Shuta Tanaka humorously captures the amalgamation of cultures found in today’s Harajuku in an ensemble cast comedy.



Tuesday, August 11th, 7:00pm

Here comes the farm-to-table film for foodies! Little Forest, Summer Autumn is a beautiful adaptation of the popular comic by Daisuke Igarashi about a young woman’s self-discovery through farming, cooking, and eating to live through the changing seasons. Ichiko moves back from the city to the tiny village in Northeastern Japan where she grew up and starts living a sustainable lifestyle that she learned from her mother.



Tuesday, August 11th, 9:15pm

Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro – the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. Inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni – Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes and grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers.



Wednesday, August 12th, 7:00pm

A nostalgic portrait of kirare-yaku – an actor whose forte is being “cut to death” with a sword in samurai films, Uzumasa Limelight goes behind the scenes of the distinctive film genre. A professional extra named Kamiyama (played by real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto) has devoted 50 years of his life as a kirare-yaku. When the studio decides to discontinue its productions, he finds himself at a loss. Will the art of dying by the sword live on?



Wednesday, August 12th, 9:00pm

The newest feature from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli is a sweeping story of friendship, mystery and discovery that delivers breathtaking animation that only Ghibli can bring to life. When shy and artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and a mysterious young girl named Marnie. The two girls instantly form a unique connection that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.



Thursday, August 13th, 7:00pm

Directed by multi-faceted filmmaker Shunji Iwai, The Case of Hana & Alice follows Tetsuko Arisugawa (a.k.a. Alice), a transfer student at Ishinomori Middle School. She hears a strange rumor about a murder case in school. Meanwhile, Alice’s classmate Hana is said to know something about the case… Was Judas really murdered? Hana and Alice embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of the “smallest murder in the world.”



Thursday, August 13th, 9:00pm

This touching school drama unfolds around Yuri Kashiwagi, a former piano prodigy, who returns to her hometown to work as a temporary music teacher and supervise the chorus members at the local middle school. While practicing for the regional contest, chorus members get an assignment from Yuri to write a letter to themselves in 15 years. Facing their personal issues, Yuri and her students begin to find their own voices.



Friday, August 14th, 7:00pm

From Yuya Ishii, the award-winning director of The Great Passage, comes this honest adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel about a family that pulls together to fight a terminal illness will resonate close to the heart. Reiko’s daydreams and forgetfulness were not concerning to her broken family until a trip to the doctor reveals that she has brain cancer. With Reiko given only one week left to live, how will this dysfunctional family keep from falling apart?



Friday, August 14th, 9:20pm

Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, one of Japan’s leading directors in the erotic fantasy genre known as pinku (pink films), Kabukicho Love Hotel is an erotically charged drama that traces the intersecting stories of a group of employees and visitors at a notorious “Love Hotel” (a type of short-stay hotel in Japan used primarily for sexual activities) in Tokyo’s red-light district- from a sexless young couple with broken dreams to a middle-aged couple on the run.



Saturday, August 15th, 12:00pm

32-year-old slacker Ichiko lives with her parents until a fight with her disapproving sister escalates, prompting her to move out and start working at a local 100-yen shop. One day she meets boxer Yuji, whom she has seen passing by on his way home and becomes attracted to him. After her life takes more unexpected and unwanted turns, she takes up boxing herself and attempts to change her ways.


TOKYO SHORT SHORTS 2015: A New Generation of 5 Short Films

Saturday, August 15th, 2:30pm

Co-presented by Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. By popular demand, JFFSF teams up again with the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia to present the exclusive SF premiere of five outstanding short films directed by several up-and-coming filmmakers from Japan! Enjoy a colorful mix of comedy and drama that reflect life in Japan with a delicate and witty touch.



Saturday, August 15th, 4:30pm & Sunday August 16th, 12:00pm – Director Erik Shirai will attend both screenings followed by Q&A sessions

The Birth of Saké is a cinematic documentary that reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in Northern Japan. Director Erik Shirai and producer Masako Tsumura were granted unprecedented full access to film at the brewery and capture the intense and relatively unknown process (even within in Japan), of traditional saké making.



Saturday, August 15th, 7:00pm

This Academy Award nominated film is legendary Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) rendition of Japan’s most famous folktale, that has been decades in the making. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter, a tiny baby girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.



Sunday August 16th, 2:30pm

Co-starring ex-AKB star Atsuko Maeda and Shota Matsuda, this romantic mystery is based on the bestselling novel by Kurumi Inui. In the late 1980s, a college student in Shizuoka Prefecture named Suzuki begins a romance with a dental hygienist named Mayu. However, when Suzuki moves to Tokyo for his job and the two are forced into a long-distance relationship, their relationship starts to fall apart as Suzuki begins spending time with another woman named Miyako.



Sunday August 16th, 5:00pm

Co-presented by the Legacy Film Festival on Aging. Director Momoko Ando takes on the big subjects of Japan’s historical, social and emotional psyche with her second feature epic. Based on the director’s own novel and starring her sister Sakura Ando in the leading role of Sawa, an oddly determined caregiver for the elderly, the film is a lengthy yet magnetic road movie that brilliantly captures Sawa’s unexpected encounters and unique relationships with the elderly.

2015 J-POP Summit Announces Japanese Pop Fashion Programming & Events

JPSF2015_LOGOThe 2015 J-POP Summit, the Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, has announced a colorful and exciting program of fashion shows, contests, celebrity meet-and-greet sessions and shopping opportunities that highlight the eclectic and edgy new sides of Japanese pop apparel. The 2015 J-POP SUMMIT takes place on Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Throughout the weekend, J-POP SUMMIT attendees to Fort Mason can enjoy a colorful assortment of Japanese pop-influenced culture, fashion, pop art, live music, technology, and travel that will be complemented by celebrity Guests of Honor, anime programming, cosplay and J-pop idol contests, and a wide assortment of vendors and other programming.

Baby The Stars Shine BrightThe popular Japanese Lolita fashion brand, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT, located on the second floor of the NEW PEOPLE, along its more androgynous and mystic apparel line, ALICE AND THE PIRATES, present a captivating fashion show at Fort Mason and will delight attendees with fresh designs from their new Summer 2015 Collections.

The vibrant fashionable styles of Tokyo’s famed Harajuku district come to San Francisco as MARUQ, the “Ultimate Kawaii” specialty boutique located on the Mezzanine level of the NEW PEOPLE venue, is hosting Harajuku Fashion Contest at Fort Mason. This contest is inspired by Japanese fashion brands to be showcased at J-POP SUMMIT 2015 including ACDC Rag, Milklim, AWATAPRO, OMOCAT and MILKBBI.

J-POP SUMMIT Guest of Honor Cosplay Mannequin Duo – FEMM – will make a special appearance in the SOU SOU booth to showcase the Tabi footwear manufacturer’s new 2015 Summer collection.

Additionally, the eyewear brand, JINS and the Japanese children’s apparel brand, MIKIHOUSE, will participate in J-POP SUMMIT for the very first time and offer a wide array of unique accessories and other items for purchase.

2015 J-POP SUMMIT Presents Fashion Events & Special Programming

MARUQ Presents: Harajuku Fashion Contest

Sunday, August 9th, 12:40pm-1:05pm; Fort Mason J-POP SUMMIT Main Stage

MARUQ, the “Ultimate Kawaii” specialty boutique located on the Mezzanine level of the NEW PEOPLE venue, comes to J-POP SUMMIT with a special Harajuku fashion contest! This contest is inspired by five distinctive Harajuku street style fashion brands being showcased at J-POP SUMMIT 2015 – ACDC Rag, Milklim, AWATAPRO, OMOCAT, and MILKBBI! These brands represent many different styles of Harajuku street fashion and will be the basis for the contest.

MARUQ also will have a booth inside the Fashion Area at Fort Mason Center to showcase and sell the latest pieces from these new brands in addition to a wide variety of other styles and accessories. Additional information is available at: .



Sunday, August 9th, 12:10pm-12:35pm; Fort Mason J-POP SUMMIT Main Stage

BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT San Francisco presents the Summer 2015 Collection from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates on the Main Stage at J-POP SUMMIT 2015. Experience the fantastic and whimsical show featuring fairy tale favorites and more magical adventures on Sunday, August 9th!

Alluring by design, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT, brings its beloved Japanese Lolita fashion to their first U.S. flagship store at NEW PEOPLE. Leading the scene as the ultimate Lolita fashion brand, BABY showcases its playful clothing and accessories along with its more androgynous and mystic line of attire, ALICE AND THE PIRATES.


Additional Japanese Fashion Exhibitors


SOU • SOU hails from Kyoto, Japan and is renowned for unique designs based on classic Japanese “Tabi” work shoes and kimono-inspired clothing that features vibrant and modern graphic patterns. Each pair of SOU • SOU shoes is handmade by skilled artisans, preserving traditional craftsmanship and rare manufacturing techniques.

During J-POP SUMMIT, SOU • SOU will exhibit its 2015 Summer Collection and also give a free pair of “Tabi” socks as a gift with any purchase over $50 at the booth. Coinciding with J-POP SUMMIT 2015, SOU • SOU also hosts a photo contest campaign via Instagram from August 8th to August 10th (3 days) with contest winners to get exclusive gifts from SOU • SOU. For more details, please visit: .

The SOU • SOU San Francisco Store is on the 2nd floor of the NEW PEOPLE building located at: 1746 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94115



The JINS brand was founded in Japan in 2001 and has become a global leader in crafting stylish and innovative eyewear at affordable prices. JINS continues to pioneer the creation of glasses that go beyond simple vision correction, and opened its first flagship store in San Francisco in April 2015.

JINS has developed JINS SCREEN with modern consumers in mind: ones who spend long hours looking at computer screens and other gadgets. JINS SCREEN is designed to filter out 25% of eye-strain-causing blue light while also being light-weight. JINS SCREEN will be available for purchase at the JINS booth during J-POP SUMMIT.

JINS San Francisco Union Square Store is located at: 151 Powell Street San Francisco, CA 94102



MIKIHOUSE is a popular children’s clothing brand from Japan that has gained many fans over the years through its reliable quality that puts the safety and security of children first. The brand comes to J-POP SUMMIT for the very first time and offers attendees the chance to browse the super cute and comfortable, best-selling MIKIHOUSE shoes at an incredible affordable special price! During J-POP SUMMIT, an expert will be present in the MIKIHOUSE booth to carefully measure children’s feet and help attendees browse and select the perfect pair of shoes. MIKIHOUSE also will give a limited edition novelty fan with every purchase.

The MIKIHOUSE San Francisco store is located at the Bloomingdale’s San Francisco Centre at 845 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94103.

2015 J-POP Summit In S.F. Announces DAY 2 Live Programming & Artists

JPSF2015_LOGOThe 2015 J-POP Summit, the Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, has announced key live programming and artists that highlight DAY 2 of the colorful Festival.

The 2015 J-POP SUMMIT takes place Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Sunday, August 8th will feature a second evening concert performance of J-POP Live Night, presenting a captivating line-up of headlining artists including Japan’s legendary techno DJ, Ken Ishii, electronic chiptune/bitmap band, Anamanaguchi, the futuristic electro-pop mannequin duo, FEMM, and the kimono cosplay pop duo, Yanakiku.

Throughout the afternoon on Sunday, attendees also will be treated to encore live performances by other artists including the stylish female pop duo, FaintStar, the laugh out loud hijinks of comedy duo, Jaru Jaru, and Little Glee Monster, the amazing 6-member Japanese female a cappella group, and FESTIVE, a unique act built around the concept of Japanese “festivals” that has garnered a global following with their up-tempo, catchy sound..

The 2015 J-POP Summit presents a colorful assortment of Japanese pop-influenced culture, fashion, pop art, live music, technology and travel, in addition to celebrity Guests of Honor, anime programming, cosplay and pop idol contests, and a wide assortment of vendors and other on-site attractions.


Ken Ishii is a legendary techno DJ and producer who has composed music for many different media outlets. Rising from the club scene in the 90’s, Ishii’s work first became internationally recognized when his single, “Extra,” won a music video award at the MTV Music Awards in 1996. He is also known for composing the music for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony as well as various video game soundtracks, He has performed live internationally and enjoys a worldwide fan base in the electronic music scene.


Anamanaguchi is a 4-piece bitmap/chip tune group that creates, “Emotional dance music for the video game generation!” The group is composed of hackers and producers currently based in New York City and raised on the Internet. Anamanaguchi is part of a wave of young Internet romantics, influenced by Japanese pop culture and nostalgic for a future they know may never come, but they can see the seeds of it in the beauty that surrounds them.



FEMM (Far East Mention Mannequins) is an extraordinary “mannequin” dance duo from Tokyo comprised of RiRi and LuLa, which are programed and controlled by their “agents” Honey-B (RiRi) and W-Trouble (Lula). The pair is known for their unique concept and story and mesmerizing live shows that performed in English with a dynamic mix of Japanese subcultures. After the influential entertainment blogger Perez Hilton (6 million Twitter followers) and popular YouTuber Miles Jai introduced FEMM’s twerkin’ & provocative lyric music video “Fxxk Boyz Get Money” as the new girls anthem, the single has gone on to be a smash hit among the teenage girls from the US and throughout Europe.



Yanakiku is a unique Japanese kimono cosplay duo consisting of members Yana and Kiku. In 2013, they performed for international audiences at Hyper Japan (London) and TIFFCOM (Japan) and have garnered a massive following for their costume and dance performances. YANAKIKU made their U.S. debut at the 2014 J-POP SUMMIT and became a favorite with festivalgoers. The duo returns this year for live performances and also to serve as the cultural ambassadors of the Ryokan Pavilion inside the J-POP SUMMIT POP TRAVEL Area.


DAY 2 Daytime Live Performances



The 8-piece Japanese idol group, “FES★TIVE,” is a unique act that builds on the concept of “festivals” and focuses on performing at festivals in Japan and all over the world. FES★TIVE made its major label debut through Tokuma Japan in May, and throughout 2015, they will continue to showcase their “FESTIVAL FROM JAPAN” theme to intentional audiences. With their up-tempo and catchy sound, FES★TIVE is a rapidly growing force in the international music scene.


Faint★Star is a Japanese pop-duo consisting of Hina (formerly of Tomato’n Pine) and Yuria that debuted in 2014. The duo gained international popularity after a Tokyo Girls Update article on their 1st music video became the most viewed article on the site. Faint★Star is produced by the music agency, “Agehasprings,” and are known for their live performances that integrate advanced visual technology.


Jaru Jaru is a Japanese comedy duo made up of Shusuke Fukutoku and Junpei Goto, and managed by the Yoshimoto Creative Agency. The pair is one of the most successful and popular comedy acts in Japan with their brand of Manzai – a traditional style of Japanese comedy consisting a fool and a long-suffering companion. In the twelve years that they have been active, the duo has received countless awards, made many TV appearances, and even starred in several movies.


This 6-member group composed of teenage girls has gained wide acclaim for their exceptional vocal skills and harmonies. Little Glee Monster was formed in Tokyo in 2013 by winners of a “Best Young Female Singer Audition” contest. The music video for the group’s first single, Houkago High Five, featured on their major label debut for Sony Music has been viewed more than 500 million times!  Little Glee Monster’s “Gao Gao All-Star” was selected as the ending theme song for the Pokemon XY anime series and their music also will be featured in the upcoming anime feature, Pokemon XY The Movie: The Archdjinni of Rings.

2015 J-POP Summit & Japan Film Fest Announce Guests of Honor

Tadanobu AsanoThe 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF), the first and only fully-dedicated Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area together with the 2015 J-POP Summit proudly present actor Tadanobu Asano, anime director Koji Morimoto and techno DJ Legend Ken Ishii as official Guests of Honor for San Francisco’s annual Japanese pop culture festival. Tadanobu Asano will attend the opening night event at The Castro Theatre to receive Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award.

Tadanobu Asano is widely know for starring roles in movies such as Ichi the Killer, Zatoichi, Thor, 46 Ronin, and Battleship. Koji Morimoto is renowned as one of Japan’s top anime directors and is also a founder of acclaimed Studio 4℃ and known for works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. Ken Ishii is a legendary techno DJ and producer who has performed live internationally and enjoys a worldwide fan base in the electronic music scene.

An Opening Night Event on Friday August 7th at The Castro Theatre kicks off the Japan Film Festival of S.F. with a special 35mm presentation of director Sogo Ishii’s Electric Dragon 80000V, a rollicking comic-book style action film that stars top Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano, who will be on hand to personally introduce the film and participate in an audience Q&A immediately following the screening. Throughout the weekend, the Japan Film Festival of S.F. will present additional films also starring Asano, including My Man and Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi.

The Opening Night Event will culminate with a live DJ set collaboration between Japan’s legendary techno DJ and producer, Ken Ishii, and director Koji Morimoto. Advance tickets to the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT/JFFSF Opening Night Event at the Castro Theatre are available now for $25.00 each.

Tadanobu Asano also is set to appear at the SF premiere screening of My Man on Saturday, August 8th 6:00PM. Asano will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A at NEW PEOPLE Cinema.

Koji Morimoto is set to appear at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT at Fort Mason Main Stage on Saturday, August 8th, 12:00 PM ahead of the screening event, The World of Koji Morimoto, a collection of 3 illustrious animated short films by Koji Morimoto set to screen on Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm at NEW PEOPLE Cinema. Morimoto will introduce the film and will participate in an audience Q&A.

Koji Morimoto will additionally appear for an autograph session at on Saturday, August 8th 1:30 PM in bookseller Kinokuniya’s booth at Fort Mason.

Ken IshiiKen Ishii is set to headline a second evening concert performance of J-POP LIVE NIGHT on Sunday, August 9th at the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT Fort Mason.

Opening in conjunction with the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT on Saturday, August 8th and running thru Sunday, August 16th, the 2015 Japan Film Festival of San Francisco will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema, located inside the NEW PEOPLE entertainment complex in Japantown at 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115. Tickets to individual screenings are $13.00 each, unless otherwise noted

JFFSF Opening Night at Castro Theatre


Friday, August 7th, 8:00pm

Dragon Eye Morrison (played by Tadanobu Asano) is a reptile investigator who suffers from an intermittent explosive disorder caused by brain damage he sustained in a childhood accident. He manages to find a way to survive and control his urges to destroy with his love of reptiles and an electric guitar. Meanwhile, Thunderbolt Buddha (played by Masatoshi Nagase), an electric repairman turned vigilante who has acquired powerful electro-conductive powers after sustaining a childhood accident, goes after crime bosses and gangsters that take advantage of electric signals. Holding an obsessive hatred towards Morrison, Thunderbolt Buddha challenges him to a final showdown on the rooftops of Tokyo.


Tadanobu Asano & Koji Morimoto Films to Screen at the 2015 JFFSF:


Saturday, August 8th, 6:00pm – Special Guest Appearance by Tadanobu Asano

When loneliness leads to forbidden love, how far will you go? After losing everything in a tsunami disaster, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by a young distant relative Jungo. The pair begins living together as family while sharing the profound sense of loss. Amidst the deep snows of Hokkaido, both desire to fill their empty, love-starved hearts and they set foot into a forbidden world. When an elder benefactor in their small town Mr. Oshio learns of Jungo and Hana’s illicit relationship, tragedy begins to take over. Don’t miss the special personal appearance by actor Tadanobu Asano who will introduce this film!


The World of Koji Morimoto

Sunday, August 9th, 1:50pm – Special Guest appearance by Director Koji Morimoto

A collection of three short films by one of Japan’s top anime director Koji Morimoto, widely known as a founder of Studio 4℃ and his works such as Animatrix and Genius Party Beyond. The famed director will appear in person to introduce the films as well as participate in an audience Q&A.


Magnetic Rose (45min): Magnetic Rose is the first of three episodes of MEMORIES, based on the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo (the creator of Akira). The film follows the members of the deep space salvage vessel Corona. While performing a salvage mission, the crew encounters an odd distress signal emanating from the Sargasso region, ominously nicknamed “The graveyard of space.” Soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno.


Noiseman Sound Insect (15min): In the space of music, people used to live in the music fruit in the trees. One day, Dr. Frankein secretly succeeds in creating the creature ‘Noiseman’ by feeding the music fruit as fuel. Since then, the space was dominated by noise, not music. When a pair of kids Tobio and Reina find out this secret, they challenge Noiseman to bring the music back home again. The film’s soundtrack was written by Japanese composer, arranger, and musician Yoko Kanno.


Genius Party Beyond: Dimension Bomb (20min): Dimension Bomb is one of the five short animated omnibus “Genius Party Beyond,” produced by Studio 4℃, which director Koji Morimoto founded in 1986. One day, a boy named Shin who wears a pupa-like mask encounters a girl named Koo. The days spent with Koo, who is a free spirit unlike any other, start to fill up his life with cherished and unforgettable moments. Noted musical composer and arranger, Yoko Kanno, provides the voiceover of Koo.



Sunday, August 9th, 4:00pm

Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi is a 2003 samurai action film, directed by and starring actor Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi) as Zatoichi. It also co-stars Tadanobu Asano, who plays Ronin Hattori, Zatoichi’s rival. The film is a revival of the classic Zatoichi series of film and television series. It won the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Director award at Venice Film Festival and went on to win numerous other awards internationally.

2015 J-POP SUMMIT Presents Unique Japanese Technology Events & Attractions

JPSF2015_LOGOThe 2015 J-POP Summit, the Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, augments its just-announced “Interactive Pavilion,” with a special series of technology-focused keynotes, panel discussions, “idea-thons,” and pitch events focusing on the burgeoning “Maker Movement” and the evolving Internet of Things (IoT) to be led by several notable technology luminaries from San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and Japan.

The J-POP Summit “Interactive Pavilion” is a first-of-its-kind showcase of cutting edge Japanese technology, consumer product design and innovation from a diverse range of large, as well as start-up companies, pushing the limits of Japanese technical innovation and development. The 2015 J-POP Summit takes places Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

An Interactive Technologies Keynote will be delivered by one of the world’s leading digital creators, Kaoru Sugano, on Sunday, August 9th on the Fort Mason Main Stage. The Creative Director of Dentsu Inc. will speak on how pop culture and technology are driving the creation of digital content. Through case studies of past projects such as Sound of Honda – Ayrton Senna 1989, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Titanium and Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival. The film features legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna driving through a dazzling environment of digital light and sound. Mr. Sugano will show how he utilizes data that is undetectable to the naked eye to create revolutionary emotional productions with lasting emotional resonance.

The Interactive Technologies Panel Discussion will take place on Sunday, August 9th on the Fort Mason Main Stage and will focus on “Manufacturing That Links Tech & Culture — The Future of the “Maker Movement.” This panel will examine the transition from mass production to an age of individual manufacturing, and what that means for the tech world. With the emerging “Maker Culture” as a theme, the J-POP SUMMIT presents this session specially focused on the maker movement.

Panelists will include:

Allen Miner, Chairman and CEO, SunBridge Corporation, a professional group that focuses on Japanese-American cross border investments, joint venture businesses, and consulting with operations in Japan and the U.S.

Jim Newton, chairman & founder of TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio providing access to a vibrant community of creative people and more than $1 million worth of high quality machines, tools and software.

Redg Snodgrass, CEO & co-founder of Wearable World, an organization dedicated to creating the social fabric for business around Wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

Panel Moderator: 

Tak Miyata, General Partner of Scrum Ventures, an early stage venture capitalist firm based in Silicon Valley.

The 2015 J-POP SUMMIT “Interactive Pavilion” also presents a special Interactive Technology Forum, to take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 8th & 9th at the Firehouse, located adjacent to the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. As part of this event, a pair of “Idea-thons” and a technology “pitch event” will focus on the theme of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

J-POP SUMMIT IoT Idea-thon Vol. 1: “Build-Up Smart Home with MESH!”

With the spread of Nest and Smartthings, there has been a surge of interest in smart homes being built around Silicon Valley. This Idea-thon will offer attendees a glimpse into a new type of IoT x DIY construction using MESH and a cardboard building kit to build a prototype design of a smart house.”

MESH (Make, Experience, Share) is an intuitive DIY invention tool for making ideas real. It consists of wireless functional tags and visual coding canvas on a tablet. Make your own “smart projects” in just few minutes!

J-POP SUMMIT IoT Idea-thon Vol. 2: “Hack the Data with Yamaha Motor and more!”

With the growing popularity of activity tracking using technology like FitBit, Apple Watch and other devices that collect environmental data from sensors attached to homes and cars, a fast emerging topic is how to utilize all the acquired information. How will the world change when this data can be used to highlight areas of daily human life that were previously overlooked? This will be an IoT x Data Idea-thon debating the truel nature of IoT.

J-POP SUMMIT Interactive Pavilion Technology Pitch Contest

The 2015 J-POP SUMMIT “Interactive Pavilion” presents a Japanese-American start-up pitch contest “POP Tech Pitch / Innovation Weekend SF x Japan X” co-sponsored by SunBridge Global Ventures, Inc. and the Women’s Startup Lab that will take place Saturday, August 8th at the Firehouse.

Startups and entrepreneurs using premier technologies from Japan and America will gather to present a variety of innovative business plans. Judges will include a panel of technology investors and business accelerators active in various markets. The contest winner and runner-up will be awarded a trip to Japan and pitch at the ’Innovation Weekend Grand Finale’ in Tokyo at the end of the year along with other winners from all over the world!!

SunBridge Global Ventures is an early-stage IT investor firm born as a spin-off of SunBridge with a vision of nurturing global ventures from Japan. SunBridge Global Ventures seamlessly supports world-class entrepreneurs venturing into the global marketplace.

The Women’s Startup Lab is a tech startup accelerator that nurtures and supports female entrepreneurs. The founder, Ari Horie, is a Japanese native and was recognized as one of CNN’s “10 Visionary Women” in 2014 and “40 over 40 women to Watch” in 2015.

Emphasizing 3 distinct categories, the “Interactive Pavilion,” is presented with support and cooperation from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) San Francisco Office and presents a dynamic array of technology and interactive product exhibits from 21 companies highlighting a diverse range of large, as well as start-up companies, pushing the limits of Japanese technical innovation and development. “HOME,” focusing on individuals and families; “WORK,” focusing on the office lifestyle; “MOBILITY,” focusing on links between home-life and office-life.

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