Hyper Japan at Earls Court in London brought together sellers, performers and spectators over the weekend in the UK’s largest celebration of Japanese culture. The three-day event attracted 36,000 visitors, including Japanese anime fans, Lolita fashion followers and lovers of the country’s traditional garment heritage.
Cosplay and cult manga fans roamed around in full character mode as visitors were invited to take part in calligraphy and sushi workshops as well as tea ceremonies and ikebana – Japan’s traditional flower-arranging process.
This year has seen a notable interest in Japan’s fashion subcultures. London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s Kitty and the Bulldog exhibition over the summer promoted the dress codes of youth in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, while London-based magazine Dazed and Confused features J-pop (Japanese pop) singer Kayary Pamu Pamu on the cover of its December issue.
Hyper Japan highlights a growing interest in Japanese subcultures among Western youth, as well as the increasing number of people who are curious to find out about Japan’s more eccentric side.