For the first time in years, there is again a not (entirely) traditional Japanese music group on the main stage of the 18th edition of Japan Day in Düsseldorf. Not entirely traditional because Kurofune (黒船) combines traditional Japanese and jazz music. Their traditional music has its origins in two Japanese regions. The famous three-stringed shamisen comes from the north of Honshu and their singing is inspired by the traditional music of the Amami Islands southwest of Kyushu. The group has been formed around 2013 and their first album was realised through crowdfunding. Last year they signed a contract with Universal Music which resulted in the album Journey.
By the way, Kurofune means black ships, named after the American black vessels that visited Japan in 1853 to force trade between Japan and America. With its music, Kurofune wants to build a bridge between traditional Japanese and American music.
The performance during Japan Day starts at 9.40PM at the outdoor stage on the castle square (Burgplatz). Recently their sixth official video clip Promised Land was released. This song can be found on their third album Journey.
As usual, the top act from Japan Day performs a day earlier in Cologne. That also applies to Kurofune who is a guest at the JKI: Japanisches Kulturinstitut in Cologne. The performance will take place on Friday 24 May at 7.00 PM. The admission is free. The venue is open at 6.30 PM.
Other program sections Japan Day
The organisation of the Japan Day Düsseldorf has once again succeeded in putting down an attractive program. Of course, the regular program components are not missing: the information market, the Pop Culture market, numerous demonstrations, workshops and performances of traditional Japanese music, sports and crafts, the pop-up restaurants and the spectacular closing fireworks.
Cosplay and Tabi sock competitions
This year you can get an airline ticket and a trip to Japan again by winning the cosplay or Tabi sock contest. Unfortunately, there is no sale of second-hand kimono this year. Of course, you can enjoy the countless diverse cosplay designs of the contestants as they compete either solo or in a group of 2 or more. There are usually great cosplay creations joining the cosplay competition that will start at 2 PM. The award ceremony is at 4 PM and the winning act can be admired at 6:15 PM on the main stage.
Japan Market and tourist information
The market with manga, anime, books and other things is not that big but certainly interesting enough to immerse you in. On this market, space has been made for a demonstration of Japanese mascots: Yuru-chara. It is a perfect way to orientate on a trip to Japan because there are various regional and national tourist offices present. Japan Railways is present with information about the famous Tokaido Line.
Source: Japan Day