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Japanese Popular Culture's CoFesta Opens in Tokyo

posted on 2007-09-21 03:06 EDT
Yoshiyuki Tomino, Takehiko Inoue, Pikachu, others attend ceremony

Japan's International Contents Festival, also known as CoFesta, got its official start on Wednesday night with an opening ceremony at the Japan International Forum Event Hall. CoFesta, a combination of events designed to promote Japan's popular culture exports, officially began on Thursday with the opening of the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba and runs until October 28.

The opening ceremony featured many internationally renowned Japanese artists and creators representing their various fields and industries. On hand to represent the anime and manga industries were Gundam series director Yoshiyuki Tomino and manga artist Takehiko Inoue, whose work includes Slam Dunk and Vagabond. Videogames were represented by Dragon Quest series creator Yūji Horii, while the Pokémon franchise had two representatives of its own on stage: Pokémon series administrator Tsunekazu Ishihara and a giant Pikachu. Other stars representing specific industries included the television drama Kita no Kuni kara (From a Northern Land) star Shigemichi Sugita representing the broadcast industry, Twilight Samurai director Yōji Yamada representing the film industry, and pop duo PUFFY (also known as Puffy AmiYumi) representing the music industry. The event was moderated by NHK television announcer Hitoshi Kusano, former Miss Universe contestant Kurara Chibana, and CoFesta promotional representative Koji Yakusho.

At one point during the event, Tomino was asked for his thoughts on the "possibilities" that anime has, to which he replied, "About 30 years ago, we called anime 'cartoons' for kids. I wanted to add a few cinematic factors to the production, so I started working on projects. When we tried mixing the kid-focused culture and themes aimed at an adult audience, it felt like working on the anime was more engaging. Anime as a medium holds a lot of possibilities in that respect. These days, I think another era of blending cultures may be at hand."

Source: RBB Today


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