Swearing an oath to the cult of Hello Kitty

Who is Hello Kitty?An adorably innocent cartoon character? A symbol of female oppression? Or, alternatively, a feminist icon?It’s nearing five decades since her debut appearance on a vinyl coin purse in November 1974 and Hello Kitty’s status and symbolism continues to be hotly disputed.The root of t

Paper Cranes, Cats & Fading Memories – Jiji & Kinako at Sway Gallery

An early evening atmosphere had already arrived at Sway Gallery before I had. Warmly greeted by gallery staff, I had caught my first glimpse of the heartfelt displays of Jiji & Kinako. It told of the story of a once energetic and joyful Jiji, a 94 year old man who had spiralled into a world of unhap

Vaporwave Art: Behind the Vapour

2400 years ago, during the 4th Century BC, Alexander the Great’s conquest across Asia diversified Greek culture, throwing off the Classical cloak and wrapping themselves in the Hellenistic toga, which – using its busts and sculptures – paved the way for vaporwave, above other less important things.

4 Unique Japanese Foods

Coming from England, a land known world-wide for its bland, beige, sloppy brown dishes (that English people love), the experiments in flavours that can be found in every conbini (convenience store) zapped my taste buds into paralysis. It was like finding out there are new colours and swimming in the

Love Pets? Love This.

After a successful first collection, where his depiction of the humble squirrel gained interest and a positive reception, London based illustrator, So Fujii, turned his focus exclusively to animals for his latest collection, titled ‘The Pets You Love.’ It was recently exhibited at Sway Gallery, Sh

3 Relaxing Albums by Japanese Composers

One of the things that makes these soul-clearing albums so special is their ability to invoke a massive range of emotions. Hidden in their simple melodies is a world of reflective nostalgia that is far beyond bitter sweet.1. Satoshi Ashikawa – Still Way (Wave Notation 2)This album is the easiest way

Japan Nakama visit the Feb London Anime and Gaming Con

The team at Japan Nakama were kindly invited to attend the most recent London Anime & Gaming Con; a home for anime, gaming, and cosplay in London. Despite having limited personal experience with anime or gaming culture, I was excited and intrigued to explore the convention and find out what it might

Memoirs of a Murderer | Review

A remake of the 2012 Korean film ‘Confessions of a Murderer,’ Yu Irie’s ‘Memoirs of a Murderer,’ explores a loophole in Japanese law which allows a serial killer, known up until this point only as the ‘Tokyo Strangler,’ to reveal his identity without threat of trial or any legal implication.The fi

London Sake Brewer’s Club: No Expensive Membership Required

Following a successful first event, London Sake Brewer’s Club is set to make waves in the cities fine wining and dining scene, attracting experts, enthusiasts and sake-virgins, alike!The organisation behind the Brewer’s Club has a powerful vision for its future; hoping to establish a strong communit

Japanese Girls Never Die | Review

On a rainy day near Buckingham Palace, the Japan Nakama App led me into the Institute of Contemporary Arts for the sold-out showing of Japanese Girls Never Die (2016), directed by Daigo Matsui. I shuffled into the second row of seats at the front and got comfortable. Japan Foundation’s Senior Arts P

Japanese Calligraphy with Taki Kodaira

The SOAS Japan Society kindly invited me along to one of their (many) events last Saturday, a Japanese calligraphy workshop with esteemed calligrapher, Taki Kodaira. In the Oriental and African Studies building, ten of us sat cluelessly curious, inspecting the large brushes and square inkpots before

Initiation Love Review

Split between 1980’s Tokyo and Shizuoka, Yuhihiko Tsutsumi’s 2015 romantic comedy ‘Initiation Love, イニシエーション・ラブ)’ appears to explore the struggles faced by a couple navigating first love and long distance relationships; a coming of age tale with aspects that many will find relatable.Split into two c

Spotlight – Akemi Solloway

One orphan child said to me; “I hadn’t been able to reveal my loneliness and sorrow to others in Japan, as they were also distraught, even though they were adults, they had lost family are were suffering too. …but the charity workers had come from afar away land, the UK, where they hadn’t experience

Japan Center’s new store is bringing depachika back to London!

Last week, the Japan Centre re-opened it’s door to lovers of Japanese cuisine in London. The beautifully designed new premise transports customers back to the old depachika of Tokyo (except cleaner!). Depachika, if you don’t already know, is the bottom floor of a Japanese department store, the basem

The Samurai: more than meets the eye

WHEN we think of America we think of burgers. When we think of the UK, Tea, and when we think of Japan we think of modernity. However, the institution of the Japanese Samurai transcends the recent history of whirring gadgets and blazing lights. We at Japan Nakama know that the legacy of such an orde

Sushi Go Party Competition

SO YOU LIKE SUSHI,GAMES & PARTIES?‘SUSHI-GO-PARTY’HAS IT ALL IN ONE!Japan Nakama & Coiled Spring Gameshas teamed up to give You a chance toWin 1 of 3 Sushi Go Party Games!Join the Competition Hereなかま

Japanese Comedy Pranks – 7 Game Shows That’ll Make You Laugh to Tears

We’ve gathered some of the funniest Japanese Prank Videos, Comedy Sketches and Game shows. You’ll just never guess what they get away with in Japan, Hillarious!Japanese Comedy! OWARAI!Owarai is what is known as Japanese comedy in Japan, Owarai translating to ‘have a laugh’ (Warai). Ironically, many

NEO GAL – Tokyo’s Newest and Hottest Kamikaze on Japanese Fashion

What happens when young Japanese women take styles from foreign countries and mix them with Harajuku Gyaru style? The Neo Gal. One of the Hottest & Newest fashion trends sweeping the streets of Tokyo.What is the NEO GAL?The Neo Gal aka Neo-Gyaru ネオギャル in Japanese, derives from English word Girl (Wow

Nakama Top 7 Jaw-Dropping Anime of 2016 for Lazy Sundays

The rainy Sunday before Monday… how boring! Don’t worry we’ll help you to fill in the time!Our Nakama’s Top 7 Jaw-Dropping Anime of 2016 for Lazy Sundays!7. March Comes in like a Lion (3 Gatsu no Lion)Another deep story, a ‘Slice of Life’ genre following the story of a teenager, Rei Kiriyama, a hig