Cool Japan Festival 2015: Day 2 with AKB 48, Alodia and AkiShibu Project

 

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The spectacular display of Japanese culture with its unique and engaging music, artistry, food, innovation and tradition continued on its second exciting day at Cool Japan Festival 2015  at the TriNoma Activity Center in Quezon City.  For the second straight day Filipinos from all over got to experience how fun and interesting Japanese culture can be  as dynamic Japanese multinational company Hallohallo Inc. makes history in bringing amazing celebrity performers and artists together for a weekend of cultural and economic exchange and friendship.

 

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Appearing and performing as they headline the event were wildly popular idol group AKB 48 represented by Team 8 and world-renowned cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao, as well as up-and-coming idol group Akishibu Project. Special attractions like Japanese drum performances, a unique drawing aquarium, a sushi-making workshop, a Hello Kitty display, and Japanese street food stalls provide a memorable and enjoyable experience of Japanese culture for everyone.

 

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arkadymac.com is an official media partner for Cool Japan Festival 2015, and helping us bring the action are our Cosplay Model and Correspondent Ami and Guest Correspondent Meiji who also got to enjoy the sights and sounds of this fresh, amazing event and getting to meet the wonderful special guests.

 

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Bringing this incredible event together is Hallohallo Inc., an outstanding Japanese multinational company which garnered the Grand Prix of the “Cool Japan Business Matching 2015” held last year. With the earnest desire and interest of further promoting cultural and economic exchange and friendship between the Philippines and Japan, they have conceptualized a grand festival where the best and coolest aspects of Japanese culture will be put on display in front of a curious and receptive Filipino audience.

 

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At Cool Japan Festival 2015, Japanese companies from various fields come together under the Cool Japan banner to introduce and showcase the pride of Japan to the people of the Philippines.

 

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The exclusive appearance of Team 8 of the renowned idol group AKB48 definitely showcased the unique charm of Japanese music and pop culture as they headline this amazing event. Once thought impossible, HalloHallo Inc. made history by bringing in a unit for the first time to Philippine shores to perform live, with fans complimenting the gesture by coming in droves, lightsticks, flags and banners in tow to cheer the special guests on.

 

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These 12 members of AKB48, the group most representative of Japanese idol pop-culture, made their first-ever appearance in the Philippines. By singing onstage and conversing with the audience, they promoted all that is good about Japan, even greeting their fans and introducing themselves in Filipino.

 

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Their performances were cool, cute, bubbly and energetic, with their Filipino fans, still probably in disbelief that an AKB group got to perform their very eyes in the country, wildly cheering them on, singing along and waving their light sticks, all happy to witness this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

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It then came time to acknowledge the great people behind the event as the organizers and partners got to take photos with the acclaimed idol group.

 

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After their performance, we got to take part in an interview with Team 8 at a nearby establishment.  They were presented to the media, and they received and answered questions from the press. Through their bright and candid replies about themselves and their group, we got to know more about their lives in and out of the limelight.  They also got to tell about the many fun and interesting things about their country and invited everyone to come visit Japan.

 

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World-renowned cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao had a cosplay show at Cool Japan Festival 2015 with the fantastic up-and-coming Japanese idol group Akishibu Project, and they had an amazing, well-received performance onstage.  Ms. Alodia has been an amazing and prominent cosplayer known in many countries, and Cool Japan has recognized her achievements in bringing the fun and creative aspects of Japanese culture to the attention of everyone in the world.

 

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AkiShibu Project is a formidable idol group who has been making waves in Japan, and has performed with Alodia as well there.  Basing their names from the Akihabara and Shibuya districts from their native Japan, they strive to bring the unique aspects of the two together.  They had special performances at Cool Japan festival as well, showcasing their talent and versatility in front of an appreciative Filipino audience.

 

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NHK’s popular TV drama series “Amachan” has begun airing in the Philippines and has been emulating the traditional values of Japanese. At Cool Japan Festival 2015, Filipino girl quintet unit “Kawaii5” had a live show and had games with the audience as they spread the appeal of the show around.

 

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Drums have a long history in Japan, and it is said they were used from the Jomon period to convey messages. To introduce this ancient, traditional Japanese instrument, a drumming group from Japan, “Tokoro Taiko,” had performances on stage to deliver the compelling sound of the taiko to the people of the Philippines.

 

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Cool Japan Festival 2015 is not just about the great guests and performers on stage. A variety of interesting attractions and exhibits are available to the public at the venue. At the Drawing Aquarium, attendees can freely color in pieces of paper, make their own patterns, then scan their drawings of fish. The fish then swim out into a giant aquarium display alongside with the fish drawn by other children. Similar shaped fish swim in schools, and when you approach the aquarium, it is possible to ‘feed’ them.  Our Cosplay Model Ami got to try it out for herself too.

 

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At teamLab Camera, visitors stand in front of a camera that automatically detects their presence, takes a photo then automatically alters the image.

 

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“Washoku” is registered on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. As the flagbearer, “sushi” is tremendously popular in the Philippines and around the world. A sushi chef from Japan will be conducting workshops on how to make sushi at the event.

 

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Street food stalls like those seen in Japanese local festivals are recreated at the event, showing off the best delicacies of Japan, with iconic Japanese food like okonomiyaki and takoyaki as well as sweets like shaved ice.

 

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Hello Kitty had a special performance, and had some lucky guests take photos with her.  Sanrio character merchandise was also available at the event, along with commemorative photo taking with the costumed characters.

 

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Doraemon Philippines also had a show with their cute and funny mascots, proving that the classic show is still loved by Filipinos. They had a puzzle game where the first ones to assemble the required face got to win, but all got to receive some nice prizes.

 

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On top of all of these, the premier Japan specialty store Cool Japan Shop will also be offering for sale merchandise truly unique to the Japanese market, along with authentic ‘yatai’ for a truly Japanese festival atmosphere. Cool Japan Shop will display its best-selling items and invite everyone to visit their booth at the event where they can get novelty goods by filling out a questionnaire and receive coupons and catalogs by becoming a Hallo Hallo member.

 

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Cosplayers were very welcome at Cool Japan too, and they did come to enjoy the event and have photos with the crowd too.  Among them was our good friend Richard who cosplayed as Saitama of One-Punch Man.  He was such a hit that Ms. Alodia even asked him on stage for an interview and some photos.

 

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And we got one final shot for good measure.

 

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Cool Japan Festival 2015 has been one amazing, unbelievable event that got to share with many Filipinos about Japanese culture and brought about an ever deeper understanding and appreciation between our cultures, and with the huge turnout, the event was a big success.  Many thanks to Hallo Hallo Inc. for making this extraordinary event possible, and we all hope that they’ll have more such events in the future.

 

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Thank you for dropping by, and do visit us again for more features here at arkadymac.com.

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Author

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.