Samurais and Lolitas throng London's Brick Lane

Mon Oct 4, 2010 7:49am EDT
 
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By Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Japanese cartoon characters and samurai warriors mingled with girls in Victorian-style petticoats in east London at the weekend, as they soaked up Japanese popular culture at a special event.

"Hyper Japan," held on east London's trendy Brick Lane, showcased modern Japanese culture including street fashion, Japanese animation known as "anime," comics and food.

The event, which attracted over 5,500 visitors on Saturday, was aimed at making modern Japan accessible to a young and trend-conscious audience in London.

"Today there is a lot of influence in Japan from British culture, such as Vivienne Westwood's fashion, and young people in the UK know a lot about Japanese culture from the Internet," the event's organizer Kazuhiro Marumo told Reuters.

"Both countries seem to have a mutual interest and respect for each other's cultures," he added.

British schoolgirl Rebecca Flint or "Beckii Cruel" leapt to stardom in Japan in 2008 after she posted videos of herself dancing to anime pop songs on YouTube.

One of her videos was uploaded to the Japanese streaming website Nico Nico Douga (www.nicovideo.jp), where she became popular among Japanese fans.

"Hyper Japan" was also streamed on the website and attracted more than 25,000 viewers on Friday.   Continued...

 
<p>A view of "Hyper Japan," an event showcasing modern Japanese culture including street fashion, Japanese animation known as "anime," comics and food, held on east London's trendy Brick Lane. REUTERS/Jackie Cowhig/Handout</p>