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Japan’s World Music and Dance Festival

Cultural Events, International Festivals0 comments

“Every August, for 30,000 people, Worlds Meet in Japan” By Prof. Ian Frank. It wasn’t planned this way. In 2003, I was living in the north of Japan and practicing drumming with a local group. They wanted to celebrate their fifth anniversary with a concert, and in front of my workplace is a huge lawn, so I  said “Let’s do it!” By gradually expanding from local to national to overseas groups, what started as an enjoyable day out for us and some friends has now turned into an annual five-day international event that passed 30,000 audience for the first time this year. We benefited from stumbling onto the gap in Japan’s events ecology: although the country is brimming with festivals, there were no others that focused on inviting groups from overseas. Because we weren’t really expecting this success, we have the rather unimaginative name of “World Music and Dance Festival”, with its abbreviation WMDF (see “Think big big big at the beginning” is just one of the lessons that we learned the hard way.  We did better this year when naming our new festival that we co-located with WMDF: the “Mogu Mogu” festival fills the park we are based in with stalls selling goods and gourmet from around the world (“mogu mogu” is a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of eating).                   Continue Reading