Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Japanese Pop Culture Invades Singapore! Top 10 Moments from the First Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival


It has been a month since the first Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival, aimed at introducing Japanese pop culture to the masses, was held in Singapore. Many renowned Japanese personalities including model-singer Anna Yano, DJ twins AMIAYA and idol unit BPM15Q were invited to the outdoor festival, which was held in the heart of the city and attracted over 7,500 visitors over its two days.

The team had a blast and we definitely hope to see it again next year, livening up the Japanese pop culture scene in Singapore. Here are the top ten moments we took away from Moshi Moshi Nippon!

Hop in for a long and exciting ride! 10 articles packed into 1! Click on the buttons below to navigate. Best viewed on desktop.

  • 10. Wide range of interesting booths

    Despite being the first Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival to be held in Singapore, there was no lack of interesting booths. Music lovers could karaoke for free at the LIVE DAM booth (more on that later) and take home unique Harajuku-inspired souvenirs at the Moshi Moshi Nippon booth. Those interested in traveling to Japan could also pick up travel and shopping guides at Japan Shopping Festival's booth.

    Model-singer Hikari Shiina had a limited edition T-shirt which was sold only in Singapore while buyers could get Anna Yano's photo book signed by her personally at the artiste goods' booth. Visitors could also purchase Hachioji-P's new album "Desktop Cinderella" at the festival, which was impressive considering it was released just the day before.

    In addition, kawaii culture lovers could get their hands on exclusive MILPOM merchandise and watch the first episode of the "girls' talk" anime, which premiered at the festival. You could even obtain a valuation of your branded bags and watches and trade them in for cash at Gold Rush's booth! With the diverse line-up of exhibitors, visitors were able to experience many different aspects of Japanese pop culture.

  • 9. Japanese karaoke with LIVE DAM

    Japanese music lovers longing to have a go at their favourite J-POP tunes enjoyed themselves at the karaoke booth by LIVE DAM. The leading Japanese karaoke operator brought their cutting-edge karaoke systems, featuring the latest hits, direct from Japan. To aid Singaporean users in singing along, some songs had romanised lyrics too.

    The booth was undoubtedly a hit with the public, with large crowds forming around it and many people lining up for their turn all day. Some of the event guests, including models Anna Yano, Hikari Shiina and idol Rinahamu of BPM15Q even had a go themselves, attracting swarms of fans whenever they sang a song.

    Japanese karaoke systems are quite uncommon in Singapore and there are few places which offer them. We hope that LIVE DAM and JOYSOUND (Japanese karaoke operators, with the latter making its presence at Cosfest earlier in July) see the potential to expand locally so that we may get our Japanese karaoke fix more easily in the future.

  • 8. Good music with Exit Tunes

    After their roaring success at major anime conventions AFA 2014 and CharaExpo 2015, music publisher Exit Tunes made their return to Singapore at Moshi Moshi Nippon. This time around, they brought many VOCALOID and utaite (singers on Japanese video-sharing site Niconico) albums and singles.

    Merchandise from wotagei (dancing and cheering) unit PCF and utaite Matsushita, who were invited to perform, along with those from other Niconico artistes were also on sale at the booth. Each time a signing session was held for the two performers, a long queue of excited fans would form at the booth, indicating that there was indeed no dearth of Japanese music lovers in Singapore.

    Looking at what an incredible time everyone must have had, we guess that we will be seeing Exit Tunes again at the upcoming AFA 2015. In fact, given that there is already a "P's Live" with parent company Pony Canyon's singers on the second day of the I Love Anisong concert, we are just waiting for the booth announcements. Signing sessions with Maaya Uchida and Mimori Suzuko, anyone?

  • 7. Enthralling stage performances

    Not holding back in their first year, organisers ASOBISYSTEM brought along a diverse and stellar line-up of Japanese artistes to Singapore. Wotagei dance unit PCF wowed the public with their astounding high-energy dances, rallying the audience to chant and dance along to hit anime, Vocaloid and idol music together.

    Niconico singer Matsushita, making a rare appearance in public, belted out all-time favourite anime theme songs to rapturous cheers over the two days of the festival. Idol unit BPM15Q and model-singers Hikari Shiina and Anna Yano also entertained the crowd with their electrifying live performances-more on them later.

     On the second day, the indoor main stage was also opened to the public. Every performer took to the stage and gave their best performance, including AMIAYA, who got the audience on their feet with a live DJ set. Singapore's Asia Anisong-singer Audition winner USAGI also delivered her own rendition of Haruna Luna's famous Sword Art Online ending theme, "Overfly".

    Not forgetting the Harajuku Fashion Show which opened the main stage programme, the first Moshi Moshi Nippon was absolutely packed with enthralling performances to keep the public entertained all day. You could jump right in anytime you wanted to soaked up the atmosphere.

  • 6. Preserving memories at the Photo Booth

    In this day and age, photographs are the new autographs. The rage among IT-savvy youths is all about snapping pictures on posting them on social media nowadays. What better way to preserve your memories of meeting an artiste than by taking a photo together and uploading it onto Instagram forever?

    A photo booth was set up at Moshi Moshi Nippon where you could take photos with the Japanese guests at selected times. Over the two days, hundreds of fans waited in line for photo opportunities with twin models Emi and Ema Tanioku, (also twins) model-DJs AMIAYA, model-singer Anna Yano and dance act TEMPURA KIDZ.

    We feel that having a dedicated photo booth is actually a really good idea. Sometimes, what many fans wish for is just to get that photo with their favourite singer. It does not take much time or effort to set one up and it can really appeal to visitors.

    STGCC has it with their Walk of Fame, CharaExpo sort of had it with Ayano Mashiro's and Ayaka Kitazawa's meet-and-greet sessions at the Sony and VisualArts booth respectively, Moshi Moshi Nippon has it-we are waiting for, and hoping that AFA 2015 has it too.

  • 5. Cool Japan Fukuoka

    Fukuoka, sitting on the northern shore of Japan's Kyushu Island, is home to many things. It is home to the latest Japanese fashion trends and the Fukuoka Asia Collection, one of the largest fashion shows in Japan.

    Held in March during the annual Fukuoka Fashion Week, there are runway sessions featuring top Japanese models and even live music performances by artistes such as hip-hop duo CREAM and singer Kavka Shishido.

    Fukuoka is also home to the world-famous Hakata ramen, one of Japan's top three styles of ramen. Love Hakata Ikkousha's mouthwatering tonkotsu ramen? Well, that comes from Fukuoka too.

    At the Cool Japan Fukuoka booth, visitors were able to sample the famous Niwaka Sempei (sweet crackers), shaped after Hakata Niwaka, an impromptu Japanese comedy with half-masks and a variety of other sweets such as the Tirolian crispy rolled cookie. The friendly staff at the booth were also more than glad to answer any questions about Japan's sixth-largest city.

    Jankenpon (rock-paper-scissors) tournaments with the Japanese guests, which proved to be popular with the crowd, were also carried out at random timings. Lucky visitors who edged out Anna Yano and AMIAYA walked home with exclusive souvenirs from Fukuoka. With so much going on, the booth was certainly bustling with activity throughout the two days.

    Did you know that Fukuoka is also home to many idol groups including superstar idols HKT48 (Sashihara Rino and Sakura Miyawaki), cute girl group LinQ and Rev. from DVL (once-in-a-thousand-years-idol Kanna Hashimoto)? Looks like we'll have to plan a getaway to the home of idols very soon!

  • 4. Hikari "Pikarin" Shiina

    Fans of Popteen model Hikari Shiina or Pikarin, as she is better known by, have been eagerly waiting for her return to Singapore since she strut the runaway at the Marble Wonderland fashion show back at AFA 2013. We are also huge fans of her and her cute image ever since we came across her music video, "Toroamachu", produced by Hachioji-P.

    Pikarin finally made her return to Singapore this year and we got to see her in person for the first time! She was here together with Anna Yano to launch and promote MILPOM, a new stop-motion animation about girls and fashion by Bandai Namco Pictures. They shared about the anime and their voice-acting experiences at the mini stage on Saturday.

    Although she was only here for one day, the response was overwhelming. Overzealous fans flocked her wherever she went and even prostrated themselves in front of her, a seemingly long established practice at her live performances in Japan.

    She performed a total of four songs including her latest single "Makai Joshi ☆ Koi Mode", in which she growled monstrously throughout in allusion to her title of "makai (demon) girl" and smeared fake blood on her "followers".

    There was no doubt that both Pikarin and her fans were overjoyed to meet each other again and we look forward to seeing this cute idol-singer-model back on our sunny little island soon, hopefully displaying more of her cute side.

  • 3. CHEERZ and BPM15Q

    An app that allows you to show your support and get noticed by Japanese idols by liking their photos ("CHEERing" for them), CHEERZ has been making headwaves across the globe, featuring at many overseas events including Japan Expo in France and J-Pop Summit Festival in America.


    The app made their debut in Singapore, bringing along idol unit BPM15Q, who came in first in a voting event, to perform four mini-lives over two days at Moshi Moshi Nippon. Attendees got the rare opportunity to watch a live idol performance up close, take many photos and interact with the two performing idols, Rinahamu and Nicamoq.

    Check out our extensive coverage on the idols, including their journey to Singapore, a full report of their two-day activities and an exclusive interview with Rinahamu of BPM15Q.

    In fact, CHEERZ has already announced that they will be back in Singapore for AFA 2015 this November and they will be bringing along idol group, Stand-Up! Hearts along with them. One of our team members, Nakitty was fortunate to have met two of the members, Yuyu Arata and Mashilo Suzukawa at the Tokyo Idol Festival earlier in August..

    Afilia Saga-affliated idol group Stand-Up! Hearts will be coming to Singapore this November!

    We will be gearing up for another extensive coverage on these idols so do look out for them!

  • 2. Marukome miso soup sampling

    What would miso soup be doing at number two on our top ten list? Surprised? So were we. Japan's leading miso soup paste producer Marukome offered free samples of miso soup at their booth and nothing much could match up to that.

    You were allowed to pick two ingredients to go along with your soup including anchovies, seaweed and who would have guessed- you tiao (fried dough, a Singaporean Chinese snack). When we had our first sip of the miso soup prepared by Marukome, our entire understanding of miso soup was irrevocably transformed. NEVER HAVE WE TASTED SUCH GOOD MISO SOUP BEFORE!

    Despite looking just like any other normal miso soup and prepared simply by adding boiling water, it was astoundingly unlike any that we had ever tried before Just like that, we have never looked at miso soup in the same way again ever since.

    "Is this how miso soup in Japan actually tastes?" we wondered. Our Japanese friend who tried it too commented that it was extremely delicious and tasted authentically Japanese. With guests AMIAYA and Anna Yano helping to serve miso soup as part of the Miso Kawaii collaboration, our life-changing experience was made all the better.

    The miso soup at Yayoiken couldn't compare to Marukome's

    One thing's for sure- after drinking Marukome miso soup, our expectations were taken to the next level. We immediately bought a few packets of the vacumn-packed miso soup as they were on sale. We hear that they are also sold at Isetan and Meidi-Ya so if you have yet to try them, do not wait any further!

  • 1. Anna Yano

    Before we met Anna Yano, we had little of what to expect from her. However, once we met her, our hearts were stolen. This charming princess is the epitome of beauty and cuteness. When we first met her on Saturday afternoon, we could tell that there was something extraordinarily different about her. "Please come for my performance at the main stage tomorrow!" she invited us in Japanese cheerfully.

    She continued to captivate us for the rest of the day at the MILPOM mini talk show, where we found out that she loves anime and it was actually her second time in Singapore, having walked the runway at Marble Collection in AFA 2012 previously. She mentioned that she likes to dress herself up for a natural, innocent girl look with lolita fashion, which we find is incredibly alluring.

    On the second day, she enthralled us with her amazing performance at the main stage, where she sang her songs "Shape My Story" and "All Over", both of which were produced by livetune(kz). Her riveting renditions and cute aura on stage was a complete testament to her all-rounded perfection and unparalleled flawlessness.

    Barely hours away from performing at the Sunday concert, she was still warming the hearts of many by serving hot miso soup at the Marukome booth, being ever friendly and always beaming as she did so. She even performed a few songs at the LIVE DAM karaoke booth in the closing hours of the festival, a true indication of her selflessness and just wanting for everyone to have a great time.

    The true star of Moshi Moshi Nippon, warmth and friendliness emanated from Anna wherever she went. Her priceless smile brightened everyone's day and made it such a delight to be there. We wish her all the best in her modelling and singing career and look forward to more songs from her. We want to see her back in Singapore soon!

  • The first Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival was undoubtedly well-received by many in Singapore. It certainly did not disappoint with its wide range of interesting booths, enthralling all-day stage performances and stellar line-up of invited guests. That's not forgetting the electrifying concerts on both nights featuring class acts WORLD ORDER, yanaginagi and CAPSULE among other artistes.

    There were also plenty of opportunities for the public to interact with the guests, which we feel is always critical to the success and enjoyment of any event. If the huge turnout was any indication, the event has certainly achieved its aim of promoting Japanese pop culture.

    We look forward to another Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival in Singapore next year and wonder which amazing acts will be invited down. If any event is as good as this, it is certainly a welcome addition to Singapore's increasingly vibrant Japanese pop culture scene.

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Presented by Tanoshii World
Article by XDantheManX Online
Photos and videos by Nakitty Channel, Roaming Dog, REASONATE:Visuals and Eugene Chua

Tanoshii World is a new collaboration project between XDantheManX Online, Nakitty Channel, Roaming Dog and REASONATE:Visuals. We will continue to bring you the same high-quality coverage of Japanese pop culture events in Singapore.