Film, music, fashion, and more, the J-POP Summit Festival showcases the most current Japanese pop-culture trends – all without you having to have to go to Japan yourself.
On July 27th and 28th, J-POP Summit Festival (JPSF) imported a heavy dose of Japanese popular culture into the heart of San Francisco, CA. Produced by NEW PEOPLE, Inc., the annual street fair is held primarily in San Francisco’s Japantown and is meant to showcase the latest in Japanese trends spanning a multitude of genres including film, music, and fashion. JPSF features celebrities and artists that come from Japan to share their passion for what they do in the pop-culture space with festival attendees. This year, JPSF attracted an even bigger slate of guests than their previous events.
The music headliner for the event and arguably one of the biggest pop-stars in Japan at the moment, was singer and model Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Hot off her world tour, this was her first appearance in San Francisco. Also on hand were rockband LoVendoЯ featuring ex-Morning Musume member Reina Tanaka, the human beatbox sensation Daiichi, as well as singer Kylee. Indie band and festival favorites The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass brought their own punk rock flavor into the mix and the three member idol group Sweety performed as well.
Most of the musical guests performed on Japantown’s Peace Plaza stage throughout the first day. On the second day however, special guest Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, along with LoVendoЯ, Daiichi, and Kylee all headed one and a half miles over to the historic Union Square to perform an open air, free midday concert.
A big draw this year for many festival goers was the inclusion of an authentic Harajuku fashion pop-up shop on the second floor of the New People building. Harajuku fashion brands 6%DOKIDOKI and LIZ LISA made their newest, trendiest clothing, shoes, and accessories available during the weekend. 6%DOKIDOKI’s influential fashion designer Sebastian Masuda held a couple of meet and greet opportunities much to the excitement of his fans. Also making an appearance were the Harajuku Kawaii!! models.
An annual event, JPSF is held in conjunction with the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco (JFFSF) featuring both live action and animated films from Japan. Animated movie Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo made its U.S. premier at the festival to sold out showings. This year’s JPSF attendance swelled to 80,000 people over the weekend. That’s an increase of 15,000 attendees over the previous year’s headcount.
The festival was a great event for anyone interested in or even simply curious about Japanese pop-culture. Going to the concerts, catching a film or two or three, meeting the celebrities, and participating in games and mini-events such as sake tastings was an entertaining as well as eye-opening experience. If you weren’t able to go this year, we suggest you try to make it out next year. We are already looking forward to it.
Idol Group Sweety representing Toyota’s Peace Eco System (PES) at the TOYOTA×STUDIO4C meets ANA Booth. Image: Gettyimages for Toyota
For more info:
J-POP Summit Festival Official Site: http://www.j-pop.com/2013/
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Official Site: http://jffsf.org/2013/
NEW PEOPLE Official Site: http://www.newpeopleworld.com/
Images: “Gettyimages for Toyota” (top image) and Jerry Tsai.