London’s Japanese Art Festival

This one could be a little short notice for some people but may also plug a vacant weekend gap for some other people so is still well worth posting..

The London Japanese Art Festival will be taking place in Richmond on the 11th and 12th of July at Richmond Adult Community College and promises to be two days of art and culture in West London.

The festival will feature exhibitions of Japanese-style comic art (or manga) by both Japanese and British artists. The festival has been set up as a way to celebrate both the traditional and modern culture of Japan and offers boats lots of family activities including kimono dressing and the more obscure activity of ocosplay, which is a Japanese subculture of making costumes based on characters from animation and video games!

There will also be performances of traditional Japanese dancing and music DJ-led J-Pop party on Saturday night. Im pretty sure the festival will also be packed with some yummy Japanese dishes including takoyaki (fried octopus), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and usual bento and sake.

Admission is free and the venue is easy to get to by bus, tube and British Rail. Special Guests will include the following:

Helen McCarthy (manga expert and author)
Paul Gravett (manga expert and author)
Sonia Leong (manga artist)

Best of all the festival will feature an exclusive screening of Ocean Waves the newest release from Studio Ghibli, the Oscar-winning animation studio who brought us Spirited Away and Howls Moving Castle. This is courtesy of Optimum Releasing and is a gem of a film and is a cant-miss opportunity for Ghibli fans.