Jun 062010
 



 
This weekend was the Eco Life Fair 2010 at the Yoyogi park. I expected it to be a big event thanks to the many seminars, workshops, performances and demonstrations aimed at raising awareness of the impact modern lifestyle has on the environment. Thus I was pretty surprised that the festival area was poorly attended with virtually no crowding. While the Japanese love all things natural, environmental concerns seems to be less mainstream than in Western countries. So I guess for all the NGOs/NPOs providing information about volunteering and their projects to protect or improve the environment this much have been a rather disappointing event. However, it was nice to see that some people care, but it will probably take a lot more effort and many more eco fairs like this one to bring some serious change here.

For kids the Eco Life Fair offered many educational experiences. Here young children are taught about how the can recycling process works.
For kids the Eco Life Fair offered many educational experiences. Here young children are taught about how the can recycling process works.
This young girl is being photographed after playing some kind of game
This young girl is being photographed after playing some kind of game
The singer Aeka performing on the Eco Life 2010 Music Tree Stage.²
The singer Aeka performing on the Eco Life 2010 Music Tree Stage.²

 

¹ http://sky.ap.teacup.com/kenchans/
² http://www.aeka-web.com

 Posted by at 15:46
Jun 052010
 



 
By accident I walked into the Adidas Sala Festa 2010 at Samurai Blue Park area near the Yoyogi park. It was a rather lightly attended event and I stayed only for a short while watching the futsal game of Japan versus Brazil. I am not sure it was really an official futsal event or just a marketing ploy to raise awareness of the upcoming soccer world cup. Because as I left the Sala Festa 2010 the Japanese team was 3:1 ahead of the Brazilian team…

A reserve player stretches at the Japan-Brazil futsal game.
A reserve player stretches at the Japan-Brazil futsal game.
A friendly confrontation between two opposing players at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010.
A friendly confrontation between two opposing players at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010.
A Japanese futsal player prepares his attack on the Brazilian goal.
A Japanese futsal player prepares his attack on the Brazilian goal.
The Japanese players takes a shot at the Brazilian goal at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010...
The Japanese players takes a shot at the Brazilian goal at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010...
...and scores the 3-1!
...and scores the 3-1!
Aftermath of the successful goal.
Aftermath of the successful goal.
 Posted by at 17:58
May 152010
 

Having covered the art of the Design Festa vol.31 in my previous post, I present you here a collection of photos of the people I saw at this art event. As with the previous shots it is a random collection of exhibitors, performers and visitors — don’t ask me for details…

I love the bustling creative chaos of the Design Festa. Many people grab the chance to dress up themselves. Stall owners present themselves as their alter egos or creative inventions, trying to impress the visitors so that they may stop and take a look at their artworks and merchandise. Others are performers or cosplayers, just dressed up for the hell of it. So in many ways it is very Japanese — a restrained outlet for one’s individuality and passions in a controlled and acceptable environment.

A Korean illustrator dressed up as the main character of his artworks - some kind of boxy bird.
A Korean illustrator dressed up as the main character of his artworks - some kind of boxy bird.
Two people - one with a tiger suit - promote their booth by walking around.
Two people - one with a tiger suit - promote their booth by walking around.
I think this person in a schoolgirl's uniform with an oversized red bunny head is not only presenting the pictured paintings, but also a band called "Amanda".
I think this person in a schoolgirl's uniform with an oversized red bunny head is not only presenting the pictured paintings, but also a band called "Amanda".
This booth caters to "reenactors" - selling doll masks to male cosplayers who dress up as female manga characters.
This booth caters to "reenactors" - selling doll masks to male cosplayers who dress up as female manga characters.
Some nice paintings of weird situations and the girl who created them.
Some nice paintings of weird situations and the girl who created them.
An old Japanese guy dressed in a dark-blue sailor suit who just walked around on the Design Festa event, getting lots of attention and loving every minute of it.
An old Japanese guy dressed in a dark-blue sailor suit who just walked around on the Design Festa event, getting lots of attention and loving every minute of it.
In contrast to the previous picture here is a real Japanese schoolgirl artist: Akayuki-hime (赤雪姫).⁽¹⁾
In contrast to the previous picture here is a real Japanese schoolgirl artist: Akayuki-hime (赤雪姫).⁽¹⁾
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll performs at the Design Festa live stage.⁽²⁾
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll performs at the Design Festa live stage.⁽²⁾
The beer chicks at the Bar Cherry next to the outdoor stage selling alcoholic refreshments.
The beer chicks at the Bar Cherry next to the outdoor stage selling alcoholic refreshments.
This Japanese guy dressed in a gray jumpsuit and a balaclava was walking around beating a drum and promoting some booth number.
This Japanese guy dressed in a gray jumpsuit and a balaclava was walking around beating a drum and promoting some booth number.
A female cosplayer with a purple wig in her booth selling photos of herself modeling.
A female cosplayer with a purple wig in her booth selling photos of herself modeling.
Three Japanese performers dressed up as some weird kind of Indians.
Three Japanese performers dressed up as some weird kind of Indians.
A group of Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" cosplayers.
A group of Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" cosplayers.
Japanese fetish model Moira Gabriel Coco with her naughty schoolgirl and rubber ducky shtik.⁽³⁾
Japanese fetish model Moira Gabriel Coco with her naughty schoolgirl and rubber ducky shtik.⁽³⁾
No, I have no idea what this is supposed to be...
No, I have no idea what this is supposed to be...
A paper artist wearing two of his creations - a demon mask and a dragon hand puppet.
A paper artist wearing two of his creations - a demon mask and a dragon hand puppet.
Covered in stickers of shoes, I think this guy is promoting a shoe seller.
Covered in stickers of shoes, I think this guy is promoting a shoe seller.
The amazing woodblock printmaker David Bull shows his lasted piece of art.⁽⁴⁾
The amazing woodblock printmaker David Bull shows his lasted piece of art.⁽⁴⁾

 

¹ http://akayuki-hime.com
² http://www.psydoll.com/index_en.html
³ http://www.myspace.com/moira_chan
http://woodblock.com

 Posted by at 23:44
May 092010
 



 
A common fixture at the entrance of the Yoyogi park in Harajuku are the rockabilly groups that gather there on the weekend. For hours they like to party to rock ‘n roll, showing off their dance moves and cool blue jeans and black leather retro fashion. While they apparently don’t mind being photographed, everyone keeps their distance as the tattooed members of these groups are rumored to be possible bōsōzoku, yakuza wannabees.

 Posted by at 18:22
May 042010
 



 
This Golden Week Tuesday I went to the Inokashira Park in Kichijōji. It was pretty crowded and lots of entertainment and photo opportunities were provided. The central features of the park are the large Inokashira Pond and a small temple dedicated to the love goddess Benzaiten. Paddle boats and row boats are offered for riding on the lake and were very popular. However, there is said to be a spell over the park by the vengeful Benzaiten, bringing love affairs to an untimely finish. To make this one a self-full-filling pro­phecy, appa­rently young people choose a boat ride as a place to tell their significant other that they want to break up. So be warned if your boy- or girl­friend wants you to take a ride on the pond…

On this day there was an art market with many vendors selling postcards, illustrations and other self-made artworks. There were also performers entertaining the crowds, playing puppets or telling stories. One mime was using simple accessories to perform famous pieces of art as some kind of DIY open-air museum. He also incorporated members of the audience for some pieces. Unfortunately, I did only see part of his performance, but I did grab a shot of him presenting the classical Madonna and Child theme with a surprised young man.

People riding row boats and swan-like paddle boats on the Inokashira Pond.
People riding row boats and swan-like paddle boats on the Inokashira Pond.
Children playing in the playground of the Ino­kashira Park. I have no idea why the young boy is sticking out his tongue, perhaps he is just eager to use the slide.
Children playing in the playground of the Ino­kashira Park. I have no idea why the young boy is sticking out his tongue, perhaps he is just eager to use the slide.
Japanese mime performing the "Madonna with child" theme in front of an amused audience.
Japanese mime performing the "Madonna with child" theme in front of an amused audience.
 Posted by at 17:25