‘Taku Taku’ fest hosts anime, manga fans

Aug. 23, 2013 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
The first Taku Taku Matsuri on Sunday will feature, clockwise, from top right, Kell Komatsubara, Marissa Kato, organizer Yuka Nagaoka, Jessica Okubo, Victoria Hallett and Odie Kepo'o. (Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.com)

The first Taku Taku Matsuri on Sunday will feature, clockwise, from top right, Kell Komatsubara, Marissa Kato, organizer Yuka Nagaoka, Jessica Okubo, Victoria Hallett and Odie Kepo’o. (Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.com)

BY JASON S. YADAO / jyadao@staradvertiser.com

For many local fans of anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics), the social calendar is divided into two seasons: “Kawaii Kon” and “waiting for the next Kawaii Kon.”

TAKU TAKU MATSURI

» Where: Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu, 1239 Olomea St.
» When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25
» Cost: Free
» Info: fb.com/taku2matsuri

Highlights:
» Performance by Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club, 1:30 p.m.
» Cosplay chess, 2 p.m.
» Raffle drawing, 3:30 p.m.

Sure, there have been smaller events scattered here and there. But for the most part, broader-interest draws have been few and far between.

Yuka C. Nagaoka, the 22-year-old founder and organizer of Taku Taku Matsuri, wants to give those fans another venue where they can gather. Even the event’s name reflects that — “taku” is a shortened form of “otaku,” the Japanese term commonly used to describe such fans. The first in what she hopes will be a regular series of events takes place Sunday.

“I was born and raised in Kobe, Japan, and back in Kobe and in Osaka, there’s pretty much a cosplay event at least once a week,” Nagaoka said. “And then back maybe five, 10 years ago, there was one maybe once every two months or so, but that’s still more than we have here in Hawaii. So I thought, everybody’s always hyped up going there, so people here must want that, too.”

The inaugural Taku Taku Matsuri will have a “natsu matsuri,” or summer festival, theme, with artists and vendors selling a variety of Japanese-themed goods, food, entertainment and carnival games. DJ Shion from JSHOXX Radio will host a show, and prizes, including passes to the first Oni-Con Hawaii anime convention in November, will be raffled off.

Also participating will be Cosplay Chess Hawaii, a group of cosplayers who role-play anime and video game characters in live-action chess games. The group makes its third appearance at Taku Taku Matsuri, after successful rounds at the Hawaii Entertainment Expo (HEXXP) and Kawaii Kon.

“It’s a fun thing to be a part of on the board, but it’s also fun to watch at the same time,” Nagaoka said. “Even if you know only one or two of the characters, it’s fun to see them go crazy.”

Nagaoka hopes to run an event at least once every two or three months if demand warrants, and she welcomes suggestions.

“Feel free to come and find me and say hi,” Nagaoka said. “I’m gonna be the flashiest one in a red kimono, so find me there, talk to me, and if anybody’s interested in participating in future events, if you want to maybe participate in an artist booth or vendor booth, then please do.”
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For more on Taku Taku Matsuri and Nagaoka, as well as regular Otaku updates, visit Jason Yadao’s “Otaku Ohana” blog at otakuohana.staradvertiserblogs.com.

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