Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hatsune Miku! Shamisen! Pop Culture Diplomacy! All at NYAF through Japan Foundation!

The Japan Foundation is a Japanese public organization dedicated to international cultural exchange. It aims to foster greater awareness and understanding of Japan in the US and around the world through a broad range of programs for individuals and institutions encompassing arts and culture, Japanese Studies, intellectual exchange, and Japanese language education. We’re honored to be working with Japan Foundation this year to bring three exciting events and five exciting personalities from Japan to NYC!

Hiroyuki Ito, one of the men who helped give birth to the Vocaloid, will be coming to NYAF to speak about this culture-changing creation. He'll be interviewed by the Editor-in-Chief of Japan's ASCII Magazine. The panel takes place on Friday, October 8.

Hiroyuki Ito - Born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1965, Ito-san created CRYPTON FUTURE MEDIA, Inc. in Sapporo to make sound effects and ring tones for mobile phones. CRYPTON expanded into a new world with their creation of the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid voice synthesis software. He is Representative Director of CRYPTON and a guest professor at Hokkaido University.

Toshihiro Fukuoka - Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly ASCII Magazine and Tokyo Kawaii Magazine, Fukuoka-san was born in 1957, joined ASCII in 1989, became Editor-in-Chief of their EYE.COM computer magazine in 1992, and became Editor-in-Chief of the first weekly Japanese computer magazine, ASCII, in 1997. He launched the electronic magazine Tokyo Kawaii Magazine for iPods and iPhones in 2010.

OYAMA X NITTA! 21st Century Shamisen!
Oyama X Niyya is a duo formed by two of Japan’s foremost shamisen performers, Yutaka Oyama and Masahiro Nitta II. Using a creative and innovative approach to the traditional sounds of the shamisen, they perform classic and original scores with virtuosic improvisations that display the versatility of the instrument. Having their roots in Aomori and Hokkaido respectively, Oyama and Nitta both started studying the shamisen at a very early age and have won numerous tsugaru shamisen contests in Japan. Oyama X Nitta regularly perform in Japan and internationally, delivering their unique sound to audiences throughout the world. They’ll be bringing this sound to anime fans in NYC during a performance on October 8.

POP CULTURE DIPLOMACY! Takamasa Sakurai Speaks in NYC!
Writer and "pop culture diplomat" Takamasa Sakurai has had a vast career ranging from publishing to producing radio programs, websites, and music videos, as well as writing non-fiction material. Currently researching Japanese pop culture globally, he has spoken at events in 49 cities in 17 countries including France, Saudi Arabia, Korea, China, Russia, and Brazil. Mr. Sakurai is one of the founders of the organization Kawaii Ambassadors, which helps introduce Japan's unique Harajuku fashion to countries abroad. He has written such books as Anime Culture Diplomacy, World Kawaii Revolution, and Japan Will Rebuild Itself with Anime. He has been an executive member of the advisory panel to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for several years. He'll be at NYAF discussing Japanese fashion, Japanese culture, and how Japanese entertainment has crisscrossed the globe. He’ll be involved in a number of events, with his central panel on Sunday, October 10.

Tremendous thanks to everyone at Japan Foundation for all their support. For more information on Japan Foundation’s mission and activities in NYC, visit

NOTE: Mr. Wataru Sasaki was originally scheduled to appear on the Vocaloid panel as well; however, he can no longer attend due to his schedule.


Milly said...

What's the exact time that he is going to give the speech on Friday? I really don't want to miss it! Please and thank you very much!

Karla said...

10/8/10 by 6:00PM - 7:00PM on Room 1E14, that's the speech.
I found that out by going to NYAF homepage and going to te exhibitors list and searching the session with a new registered account for My Show Planner.