The great mass of lovers of the Japanese world has reigned for twenty years on the influence of this culture in Europe.
“When my associates moved to Japan in 1999, they came back amazed by its culture. Decision was then taken to spread all its wealth. Building on this ambition, in June 2000, we organized the first edition of Japan Expo. It attracted 3000 visitors,” recalls Thomas Sirdey, the co-founder, along with Sandrine and Jean-François Dufour, of the Great Mass of Lovers of Japanese Culture, which is celebrating its 20th edition until 7 July.
Twenty years later, the third trade show behind those of agriculture and the world of cars, in terms of daily attendance, accumulates a round of staggering figures. More than 243,000 visitors in 2018, 16 concert stages, several hundred guests, 146,000 square meters of spaces dedicated to four days of festivities. The Japan Expo reigns supreme over the influence of Japanese culture in France and Europe.
The little festival has grown up well. The great raout of lovers of Japanese culture blows out its 20 candles, from July 4 to 7, in Villepinte. The perfect opportunity to grow up again with a festive and eclectic program. Follow the guide!
It’s been 20 years. From the Epita courtyard to the Villepinte Exhibition Park, through the Austerlitz Hall and the Cnit de La Défense, the amateur festival has retained its passion for Japanese culture while becoming professional. After the centenary of Japanese animation in 2017, a new celebration is taking place this year, and not least since it is the 20th anniversary of Japan Expo’s existence. An edition where the founders of the fair decided to pay tribute to the origins of their passions, a way of greeting all the children of the Dorothea generation who have grown up.
Twentieth edition obliges, the show still grows and sees no less than four new spaces blooming. The Tsubame stage dedicated to music in Hall 5, the Sora stage number 2 for animations, the Lumica scenes for choreography and the Mikam room with a screen of 3.50 meters diagonal and 300 seats for preview sets. The main stage, Ichigo, is not left out: its area is doubled and the Yuzu stage sees its capacity increase by 50% and its screen increase to 14 meters diagonal.
The Glénat and Ki-oon editions are also celebrating their anniversaries this year. The troupe behind the parody saga of the cult France Five will be present throughout the show for the 20th anniversary of the series, with a collector’s box made for the occasion. It is also the 10th anniversary of the Visitors of the Future whose creators have had time to confirm all their talent since.
A tribute to Monkey Punch, the creator of Lupin the 3rd (known in France as “Edgar of the burglar”), who died in 2018 will be paid throughout the festival with screenings of the first episode of the cartoon, the film Cagliostro Castle and an OAV.