Country focus |

All Eyes On Japan

Country Focus | 12 September 2016

Popularly known as the country with bold innovations and deep-rooted traditions, Japan seems to be an expert in juggling the modern and the classic and even collaborate them into a unique fusion that is shown through its fashion and popular culture.

Akihabara Tokyo Just take a look at the widely-celebrated anime and manga whose stories often concentrate on the country’s past with interesting twists that serve as a history mentor for those wanting to get to know Japan more. On the contrary, although some plots are more fantasized and set in the future milleniums to come, the characters’ outfits sometimes still bear glances of kimono or other Japanese indigenous styles. The present Japanese youth still has pride in their rich colourful culture as many festivals are particularly dedicated to it—this August Koenji Awa-odori Dance performed by 10,000 dancers and one million visitors on the busy street of Koenji, Nezujinja Shrine Annual Grand Festival in September where the performers carry portable shrines around the town followed by traditional dances and ceremonies including Urayasu-no-mai and Sanza-no-mai. If you cannot afford a vacation to Japan, you can still experience its cultural festivity closer to home, thanks to numerous Japanese festivals held abroad, including in the US and Czech Republic. Do not miss the upcoming Indonesia Comic Con 2016 this October in Jakarta Convention Center where you can meet your anime and manga idols in the real life, or even participate by dressing as one yourself (cosplay). On the high-tech side, the heated global phenomenon Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm since its release this July. Downloaded by over 130 million people worldwide and counting and dubbed as the “it game” of 2016, the game has caused quite a stir in most countries including Indonesia where people were caught for being suspected as thiefs after hunting for Pokemon in a dense neighbourhood. Here, the players can find the monsters on the busy streets, public transportation modes and facilities, or even the landmarks such as Monas, Lawang Sewu, Raja Ampat, and Ujung Kulon. Aware of how much Japan has been affecting the globe other than becoming the host of the next Olympics in 2020, the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe showed up at the closing of Rio Olympics 2016 in August in Super Mario Bros costume. Yes, you read it right. Popping up from a green pipe at Brazilian Maracana Stadium with a red ball in his hand, the bit officially marked the handover from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo.