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Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

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Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival

Every year there is a cherry blossom festival (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”) in central Stockholm, Sweden, organized by the Japanese Association. For the public, it’s a lovely tradition to go there every year and experience a little bit of the hanami spirit even though Sweden is far away from Japan. This year the cherry trees were just beginning to flower and it was a nice sunny day. The festival was packed with people, it seems to become more and more popular each year.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

 A taste of traditional Japan

During the festival there were lots of stalls where you could see some of the traditional side of Japan.

Furoshiki – traditional wrapping cloth you use to wrap your gifts or goods in. Both sides of the fabric are decorated with beautiful colours and patterns.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015 WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bonsai – Growing trees in small pots to make them grow into miniature size. The bonsai trees come from the Swedish bonsai association club, bonsaisallskapet.se. Even though none of the trees were for sale, the club members that had brought them along were very happy to talk about all things bonsai.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Origami –  Folding paper and sculpturing it into shapes.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Shodō –  Japanese calligraphy. This seemed to be one of the more popular stalls, where you could get your own zodiac animal sign in calligraphy, beautifully hand painted.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Kimono – A traditional Japanese garment. At the festival you could try it on to see what it’s like to wear. This was another one of the stalls that we had seen before which seemed to be very popular. We also saw lots of people walking around with kimono and yukata.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Ikebana – Flower arrangement art.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Karuta – A Japanese card game.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Food stalls, Japanese goods and more

There were also several food stalls where you could buy bento, onigri, kimchi, macha cakes, sushi, noodles and lots more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bon Aibon are Japanese sweet cakes made by Ai Ventura, who also sells her cakes at the cafe Kikusen in Östasiatiska Museet in Stockholm.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The food stalls were really popular at the festival with some of the stalls having very long queues.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Swedish manga association also had a stall, showing off lots of different manga books.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sunai Japan Shop had a stall with stationary, magazines and bento boxes for sale.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Selmish was there, selling packets of Japanese treats and more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

It was also great to see a lot of our favourite dog breed, the shiba inu, which were all walking around very proud.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Japanese Association of Stockholm is a great site to check for other Japanese events in Sweden.

We have posted lots of other articles about hanami over the years. They can all be found by clicking the following link: hanami





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Taiko no Tatsujin Arcade Game

whysojapan Taiko no Tatsujin

 Taiko no Tatsujin 太鼓の達

whysojapan Taiko no TatsujinThe Taiko drumming game gets its roots from playing the musical drum, which is a popular thing that is played in Japan. The arcade version of the game is a 1-2 player game consisting of two big taiko drums and a large screen. Each player has its own drum and two drum sticks. The game can also be played as a one player game where you use one of the drums. I have seen people that are really good at this game using both drums to play, there may be a setting for the game which allows one person to play two drums at once. It’s nothing that I have ever looked for since the menus are all in Japanese. We normally just keep to the basic game play, of one vs. one mode. A typical game consists of three songs, with most songs having different grades of difficulty. In two player mode you both can choose your own difficulty level while playing the same song.

Object of the game

The drum has two parts that can be hit with the drum sticks, the main section of the drum and the outer rim of the drum. On the screen you will see symbols moving across the screen and when they go past the left handside of the screen you hit the drum in the way that corresponds to the symbol. Small red faces mean one hit of the centre of the drum and the small blue face means you the outer side side of the drum. The drum strikes will go in rhymthm to the music that you’ve chosen to play to. There are also other variation of symbols, like a big red or blue face, which means you hit the drum with both sticks at once.

Versions of the game

whysojapan Taiko no TatsujinThe game has been released on many different platforms, like Playstation, Nintendo wii and iOS devices. A review of the iOS version of the game will becoming soon to the blog.
There have been many releases in Japan with updates, like new music etc. The game has also been released once in North America, going by the name of  “Taiko: Drum Master” and is available as a Playstation 2 game, which came out 2004. The nature of the game being you are playing a Japanese drum makes the main market target of the game is Japan.

whysojapan Taiko no TatsujinThe main mascots of the drums is Don who has the red face icon and Kat that has the blue face icon. There are also other colourful face icons that appear, like the yellow one and the red one, but the main mascots are the red and blue face icons. Products in the shape of drums with the colourful faces are available, like Happy Meal toys, plush toys and so on.

The music is normally a mixture of j-pop songs, classical music, children’s songs and songs made just for game use.

One day maybe I will be this good…

The official site for Taiko no Tatsujin is here: http://taiko-ch.net





Posted on by Paul in Gaming Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #44 and #45

We can’t get enough of the wonderful and lot of time the wacky TV adverts from Japan. We just love to share them with you and we hope you enjoy this great selection of adverts that have been shown on TV in Japan recently. We have ads from SoftBank as normal (which has a bit of a cross over to the world of Disney this time), a cat driving it’s Yahoo! van around the streets like cats do, a fun ad for the theme park Fuji-Q Highland, an advert for Green Aroma featuring Perfume, and also an ad showing some of the cool looking robots from Murata.

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts: http://www.youtube.com/user/JPCMHD

Also check out older posts with Japanese TV adverts under the media category to the right of this post.





Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment

Book Review: Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

About the author

Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture is written by Ralf Bähren, a German designer and photographer, that spent a year living  and working in Tokyo, where half of the time he documented lots of close relationships and cultural discussion with all different of sort of people that live in Japan. From the old-fashioned to the more interesting side of Japanese people. This is his first book that he has released. When Ralf Bähren is not writing books, he designs exhibitions, interactive experiences, animation and websites.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

The book features lots of different pop cultures that can be found all around Tokyo. I remember on our first trip to Tokyo how so many things were so different compared to how things are here in Europe. Not always the big things, but the way day to day life can be. The way Japan looks at solving day to day problems can be an eyeopening experience. I think one of the things I really love about this book is that it presents so many of these things that we never see here in the Western countries, but are very present in Tokyo, Japan. It’s also highlighting the Japanese pop culture, and the way things look in modern Tokyo.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

On each page of this book you find a short piece of text in multiple languages (German, English and Japanese) describing subjects that goes along with one or several photos. I found the pictures to be of great quality and they really seem to jump out of the pages of this book. You can really see that someone has designed it well.

Why So Japan Tokyo Clash Japanese Pop Culture

It’s a perfect book for a coffee table read and I would really recommend it for anyone that loves Japan or is interested in Japanese pop culture.

More info about the book and author: http://www.visuaheli.com/blog/?p=409#more-409
Buy online at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tokyo-Clash-Japanese-Culture-Style/dp/3833156996

 





Posted on by Paul in Reviews, Shopping Leave a comment

Music Video Filmed In Japan #10: The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough

Just Can’t Get Enough is a song from the American hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas. It is the second single from the group’s album The Beginning. The song was written by the group and produced with help of DJ Ammo, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins,  and Tommy Brown. The Black Eyed Peas have been a group since 1995 but they did not hit it big until their album Elephunk was released in 2003. To date the group are one of the all time best selling artists with 35 million albums and 41 million singles over the sold over the world. They were also ranked 12th on the Billboard ’​s Decade-End Chart.

Music Video

The video consists of all the members of The Black Eyed Peas: will.i.am, Apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie. The video was shot while The Black Eyed Peas where in Japan on a press tour. It only took three days to shoot, it was filmed in Tokyo and directed by Ben Mor (who has also directed the music video for Scream & Shout).

What I love about the music video is the futuristic feel, with some of the locations being Sega Joypolis for like half a second, which was a shame. You can also see the driverless train in a couple shots, the one you can ride out to Odaiba to go to places like Sega Joypolis or go and see the massive Gundam robot behind Tokyo Diver shopping centre. There are also lots of street views of Tokyo at night in the video, which look fantastic. One of the shots features some of the led signs near the Shibuya crossing, and you can also spot Don Quijote in Roppongi in the background in of one of the shots.

The Just Can’t Get Enough video was released on Vevo on the 16th of March 2011 and the single was released about a month before that. The single reached number 1 on the UK dance chart and number 3 on the offician UK singles chart. It also reached the same position on the Billboard charts. The video was shot a week before the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and just like the music video Big in Japan by Martin Solveig and Dragonette., it features a message: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people of Japan. We love you”

Official homepage
http://www.blackeyedpeas.com/





Posted on by Paul in Music Leave a comment