On the weekend of the 23rd of November, the CrossMedia team descended upon Earls Court to bring a colourful and authentic taste of Japanese culture to west London. This included Anime, computer games, Cosplay, sake, samurai swords, lessons to make sushi, free sushi fish, robotics and lots of other cultural bits and bobs.
Now admittedly we are not large, well funded or hipster enough to have our own social marketing person to cover our blog, which is our excuse for writing about Hyper Japan so late. Around 3 weeks have passed since we visited Hyper Japan, meaning we have quite a few photos, but a lot less to write about the day. This is fine because 1 picture = 1000 words, so get ready for our most wordy blog post ever.
So I was one of the first keenos through the doors on the Friday along with a large number of the cosplay crowd. Needless to say I felt under dressed and for a microsecond considered an impulsive wig purchase. Another microsecond later I understood that there where no males with wigs, so I was ok.
These are Anime swords. I asked my friend to pose with this one because it was the biggest; he explained which Final Fantasy it was taken from and how it actually transforms into four separate swords. Note the sign in the top left hand side of the photo.
Dragon Ball Z, one of the greatest cartoons ever, was obviously in attendance showing off their new xbox kinetic game. My skin wasn’t thick enough to work up a sweat punching punch thin air in front of me, but it did look like fun.
This machine brought a real smile to my face. The horizontal pad that you step on leans left and right while you stand and hold on to the bars.
300 calories in ten minutes, hmmm. Perhaps that's why obesity hasn't reached the epidemic proportions it has in the UK.
Now we're talking, Yaki-Gyoza
This was really cool as well, free lessons on how to make your own chopsticks.
So ninjas make postcards now, not ninja stars. Not as cool, but much more pretty. I brought one.
Uh oh, this was maybe one of the coolest stands (which we didn’t take photos of, perhaps due to excitement). They had lots of old arcade machines for sale. We need one in the Kazari office and are waiting for a loyal customer to buy 200 pieces of sushi fish, thank you.
At around 1600 things really started to kick of on the main stage. This demo by ITK demonstrated a robotic arm from Japan that mimics the users hand movements in real time.
This was the highlight of the day, a live Yellowfin Tuna
carving. The Tuna is looking similar to the carved up Bluefin in last weeks blog, although notice how much leaner the Yellowfin Tuna above is compared with the Bluefin. This is because Yellowfin Tuna has around 2% fat compared with Bluefins 20%.
Our friend above was pouring with sweat at this point, hard work!
This was easily the best part of the day; the Tuna that had just been carved up was then distributed as sashimi fish, which tasted excellent alongside a generous splash of wasabi. Shame it was not fresh wasabi though :(. I think you could also buy sushi fish elsewhere after these freebies where given out, it was a 45kg Tuna after all.
Plus a little Sake too!
Samurai Sword artists KAMUI, the “sword performance group with an edge” ;). You may not be aware, but most readers are already very familiar with these guys as they choreographed and acted the fight scenes in Kill Bill: Volume 1.
I was little unnerved about the speed at which swords where being spun around. I was sitting the front row...what if a mistake caused the sword to slip from their hands and into my chest?
I especially enjoyed this part of the show; this lady being struck assured me that the swords are at least not sharp and that the worst-case scenario of a mistake was only a black eye.
As the day drew to a close, this final photo was a nice reflection of the mood in the audience. This samurai ALWAYS smiled, no matter what.
All in all Hyper Japan was lots of fun, we would have liked to see more sushi and Japanese cuisine in general, but that’s just us. Perhaps we will just have to bring some of our sushi fish and fish roe there in future....We think Hyper Japan will next be on in spring 2013, so make sure to get tickets and arrive early on the day because the queues can become quite long.
If you enjoyed this post, please share via the share bottom at the end of the text - Thanks!