Culture Japan Night Penang was recently held at St. Jo's, Gurney Paragon on the 5th January 2013. It was the very first Japanese event I have attended, credit to the fact that it was held in close proximity to my home.
Despite the fact that it is called Culture Japan Night, it was held in the hours of daylight - from 1p.m to 6p.m. Admission was free.
Although I turned up at the venue 15 minutes before the event started, a sea of people could be seen flooding the venue. I registered myself at the counter, collected a free pen and made my way to the nearest staff.
I was given two choices. One flight of stairs lead the the Mirai Touch 'n Go card stall while the others allowed me to have a meeting with Danny Choo.
It's like forcing me to choose between a pint of mint chocolate ice cream and a bar of dark chocolate, both of which are my favourite dessert. >~<
In this page, you'll find:
- Meeting Danny Choo
- Getting the Mirai Touch 'n Go Card
- What to get as a memento?
- Dollfie Dolls and Figurines
- Artist Booth
- Mirai Car
- Cosplay - Getting into Character
- Wacky Moments
- After Party
- Up Next
In the end, I came to a decision to go for Mr. Danny Choo as the queue for the Touch 'n Go card was really, REALLY long.
My heart was throbbing hard as I waited for my turn. I think it would have flown out of my chest if it wasn't contained by my rib cage.
I pondered hard of what I yearn to convey. Words seem to run wild in my head, refusing to structure a proper sentence.Culture Japan Night
Very Short intro on Danny Choo
- Director and Presenter of Culture Japan
- Creator and producer of Mirai Suenaga, mascot of Culture Japan
Son of Datuk Jimmy Choo
I even got a photograph with this celebrated shoe designer who was also present to show show his support. =^-^=
It was finally my turn to meet up with him. I carefully handed over my camera to the staff in charge and took a seat beside Mr. Danny Choo. I felt like a little child who finally gets his turn to sit on Santa's lap. You can imagine my delight, can't you?
He was such an engaging man live as he was on TV, not as intimidating as I thought he would be. He gives off a friendly, amicable aura, making it very easy to chat to him
The most shocking comment that came from his mouth was that I had an AMERICAN accent when I converse in English. o-O? Culture Japan Night
My spontaneous reaction, I apologized to him. He chuckle on how I reacted. It was truly an epic face-palm (embarrassing) moment for me = > . < =
We only had a short chat as they were still many admirers waiting to their opportunity to get a picture with him. Before we say adieu, I wished him the best of luck as he autographed my Culture Japan AmiAmi postcard.
Before long, I made my way to join the long bee line to get a Mirai Touch 'n Go card. The line was still incredibly lengthy.
An opportunity arose when I spotted a friend in the queue. I cast my pride aside and asked for her assistance to purchase the card. I really don't have the persistence to spend the time to line up for the card. =P
There was a total of 8 designs available.
After waiting for roughly 20 minutes, I managed to get my hands on one of the cards. YES!!! Mission accomplished. >^<
A number of merchandise were on sale during Culture Japan Night Penang.
Moekana cards - A set of 50 cards that seek to help individuals learn basic Japanese hiragana. The cards feature adorable illustrations of the characters from Culture Japan.
Some Culture Japan posters and T-shirts were also presented. I would've bought all the goods offered if only I had the greens ($$) to acquire it. T^T
I, personally, really wanted to get my hands on the Culture Japan T-shirt with Chibi Mirai Suenaga in Tora(Tiger) ensemble illustration.
There were also a handful of dolls and figurines on display on that day. Some of the collectibles featured were Saber from Fate Stay Night, Hatsune Miku, and Victorique de Blois from Gosick.Culture Japan Night
The intricate details of the dolls and their outfits were simply beyond belief. Everything from the hairstyle to the accessories they put on is exactly what you would see on the actual character of the anime. Too bad they aren't for sale *Sigh*
I then made my way to Lee Chalyn's (an acquaintance) artist booth. The brilliant art works on sale were illustrated by her companion, Michelle Chan and herself.
Chalyn also made an art book, First Sound featuring Hatsune Miku. It is a compilation of graphics made by her friends and herself which were posted on deviantART. Check out her deviantART profile here.
Truthfully speaking, her illustrating skills have improved by leaps and bounds since I last saw her in high school. Cheers to you, my friend. I wish you all the luck the world can offer in your future endeavour. =]
There was also a Feel-free-to-doodle corner at her booth. Here are some of the delightful sketches drawn by some of the passers-by and staff.Culture Japan Night
There were also other artist booth available but I was too busy chasing after the cosplayers and helping out my friend that I didn't manage to snap a couple of shots of the other booth's work of art.
To the other illustrators present on that day, I'M SO SORRY!!! >.<
As I went out for lunch, I noticed a very unique car parked just a few meters away from the reception. Culture Japan has a specially illustrated car. *0*
The designs drawn featured characters from Mirai Millennium. Check out this amazing Mirai-mobile below.Culture Japan Night
No Japanese event is complete without some cosplay (costume role play). Cosplayers from the Malaysia Cosplay Toshokan and non-Penangnites could be seen at Culture Japan Night Penang.
I took my time to snap some photos of the various cosplayers present on that day. Get ready to be awed by the costumes built from scratch by the individuals.
These enthusiastic people really spend quite an effort to fabricate such incredible attires. They really fit the expression Dress to Impress!
It was quite a wearing but fruitful day spent at Culture Japan Night Penang. I've came across a few interesting characters along the way.
Some of the comical behaviours displayed by the staff and cosplayers were captured by my ultra fast, ever ready camera during the spur of those funny moments. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. ;)
I was extremely fortunate to be invited to join Mr. Danny Choo and the organizing team for dinner. To all aspiring writers, take this as a valuable tip. It pays to stay back even when an event is already over.
I even received a coupon from one of the organising committee to redeem a light snack from Pacific Coffee at Gurney Paragon. =D
We went to Gurney Drive hawker center to fill our rumbling tummies. I guess it's true what they say - Food is best savored with a starving stomach.
The next Japanese-themed event that will be taking place in Penang is Penang Yosakoi Parade. It will be held on 19th January 2013 (Saturday) at Esplanade and Beach Street. The parade starts at 4p.m. and ends at 10.30p.m.
You may purchase your coupons from the following places starting from 3rd January 2013.
- Gartien Pineapple cake (Lorong McAlister)
- Penang Butterfly Farm (Teluk Bahang)
- Cherry Art Studio (Tanjong Tokong -Â Suria Tanjung 97-G-07,Jalan Fettes)
- Fourseason Bakery (Straits Quay, Tanjong Tokong)
- PenangPAC Box Office (Straits Quay Convention Centre 4th Floor, Jln Seri Tanjong Pinang)
I really take pleasure from the time spent with these out of the ordinary group of people. They truly made every moment at the event extremely worthwhile.
I look forward to the next Japanese event that will be held in Penang or Malaysia and with a bit of luck I'll be able to be present at these spectacular events.
Comments on this article are deeply welcomed and appreciated. You can write to me through my e-mail :]
Photographs taken by,
Article written by,
Chew Kok Lynn