In the 1800s, the Tobacco Dock warehouse received tonnes of imported luxury goods. Fine wines, cigars and cigarettes from the other side of the world would stop off in East London’s docklands before travelling further across the country and beyond.
Last weekend, the warehouse was reminded of its original purpose when it received a figurative boatload of Japanese culture. From Nintendo to kimonos, Hyper Japan paid tribute to every cultural import a Japanophile could ever hope for.
As one of the country’s greatest exports, performance art played a prominent role at the culture event. Visitors were greeted by the sight of Haruka Kurebayashi, the harajuku ‘it’ girl from Tokyo’s most fashionable neighbourhood. Momochi Minami treated guests to the sight and sounds of kawaii as Japan’s first animated idol. Domo, the apple-hating, gas passing, saw-toothed monster bumbled through throngs of fans, accosted for selfies at almost step. While his musical counterpart, DJ Domo performed a live set – his European stage debut.
If a trip to the Far East is out of the question, Hyper Japan might just be the next best thing. If you missed it this time round, make sure you register for the Christmas edition of the festival in just four months time!