Hello everbody, I hope you are having a great week and preparing for a terrific weekend. Today friday April 17th the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) at its Politics and Social Sciences School got the honor of receive to the number one expert in japanese pop culture and its international diffusion with his conference “The japanese pop culture international competitiveness“.
The date was to the 11 o’clock in the auditorium Ricardo Flores Magon of the school, and the event began with the words of the Excellency Embassador Akira Yamada, he told us how he met the main spekear, Mr. Takamasa Sakurai, when he was the japanese embassador in Spain, because of his love for the manga, giving conference about this topic. Mr. Sakurai has suggest that we call embassador Yamada “Otaku Embassador” because of that.
For everyone who doesn’t know who is Takamasa Sakurai, he is a producer, writter and teacher who has dedicated his life to investigate and promote japanese pop culture, making conference about this topic in more that 25 countries around the world, just as an example we can say Italy, China, Russia, Brazil, Qatar, Thailand, Taiwan, Spain and now Mexico, where he meet with all the anime, manga, cosplay, jrock and jpop fans, watching how they enjoy the japanese products and make a net which makes stronger the “otaku” communities in that countries. In this moment he is teacher in the Digital Hollywood University, college dedicated to teach careers which make professional anime, manga or videogame producers. He nicknames himself the “Wednesday teacher”, because wednesday is the day which he is in Japan, all the other days he is in another country as a “pop culture diplomatic“.
This is the second time when Sakurai visit Mexico, the first time was for the invitation of EXPOANIME in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, in 2011. In this opportunity, he was invited to give his conference in J’Fest next sunday April 19th, but with the help of the Japanese Embassy in Mexico he could give his conference in UNAM. Sakurai knew that he was in the correct place when he asked to everybody in japanese “Do you like Evangelion?” and he got like answer “はい！！！” (hai, yes), it was the first of many questions that he did to the auditorium in order to know how mexicans see anime. At the same time, he spoke about classic series like Detective Conan and Sailor Moon, which emblematic phrases like “Truth Will Prevail” and “I’ll punish you in the name of the moon” break the wall of language and make friendship where nobody believes it was possible.
Then he spoke about cosplay, anothe way to express the love of an anime or manga. He has seen the work in the topic of young people around the world, maybe some of them make a over-detailed work, other a simple one, but the important is get fun making it, because he think the important thing a in hobby is enjoy and sharing with friends.
He told us too about his experience with J~Rock bands like Alice9 and An Café, which visited Mexico in November, last year. In order to finish the music topic, he told us about his work with Morning Musume and °C-ute, idols bands that say hi to all their fans in Mexico. He told us about the kawaii emabassadors project, in which one lolita models selected by Ministery of Foreing Affairs of Japan promote lolita and Harajuku fashion.
To finish his speech, he told us that he doesn’t distinguish between pop culture and traditional culture, because he see in ukiyo-e and kabuki the origins of manga and anime, making of them the same thing. Next, he ask for the participation of his special guest, the maid hitomi-chan, president of the Athome Café. She began with a little video about how they give the “ohôshi” (お奉仕, service) in the maid cafe where she works, she explained that they look for a confortable and fun experience for their visitors, emphasize in the well working doing by heart of the maids.
At the end, Sakurai, hitomi-chan and embassador Yamada took a photo to rememeber the great auditorium that their had and finished with the phrase “大好き物大好き”(daisukimono daisuki, “Love what you love”), making an invitation to ignore the negative comments about the love for the manga and anime, and continue to enjoy of them.