Saturday 3 September 2016, 12pm
Day events: 12noon until 7pm – OTO PROJECT SPACE
Evening events: 7.30pm until 12am – CAFE OTO
Ura Matsuri aims to be a new fun and friendly one day festival of live performance arts from Japanese Londoners and their London friends. A day of the joyful, the serious and mostly the absurd!
Taking place on the 3rd of September at Cafe OTO in Dalston, East London, the festival is named "Ura Matsuri – A Celebration of The Third Culture" In the Japanese language Ura means ‘back or other side’ and matsuri means ‘festival’. Ura Matsuri will feature live performances, film shows and children’s workshops.
Organised by London based Japanese artists including members of the long standing, much loved and joyful performance group Frank Chickens, it brings together grassroots Japanese immigrant culture in London and local alternative art and music scenes.
Celebrating the music, arts and ideas cultivated and created by UK-based Japanese artists through living in the UK, who we have now christened ‘The Third Culture”.
This celebration of UK Japanese arts aims to encourage general appreciation of the ‘third’ cultures being explored by immigrants in the UK, including local Japanese people. We feel strongly about the importance of inclusive cultural exchanges to celebrate the positive influences that the introduction of new cultures gives to society as a whole. And we like to have fun and share as well!
Our intention is to continue this event as an annual summer festival in London and so this first year is the sowing of the seeds so that much rice will grow in the future!
DAYTIME CHILDREN'S WORKSHOPS IN THE PROJECT SPACE
12 noon till 2pm – FLANGE ZOO! come and draw fantastical creatures with them!
They say: "For Cosmos-myths visitors large and small can view animation and print-outs of mythological creatures as reference to drawing an ever growing galactic scroll ov their own cosmic characters accompanied by live sounds from Flange Zoo & there will be a final ritual near the end." More details below.
2pm till 4pm – Members of Frank Chickens present a kids ninja workshop - Learn to make paper origami ninja throwing star, learn dance routine of "We Are Ninja" along with ninja games.
Both age 6 years upwards - Parents should accompany if they are 6 or 7 years
FILM SCREENINGS – OTO PROJECT SPACE
Make sure to see these exclusive screenings on the afternoon of 3rd Sept between 4.15pm and 7.15pm in the Project Space, Free entry as well.
New Japanese animated shorts including:
- Domestic RoboCop (Keiichi Matsuda, 2010)
- Friendship 2016 (Takashi Iitsuka, 2016)
- Hyper-Reality (Keiichi Matsuda, 2016)
- Mizutamamoyo (Ryu Furusawa, 2006)
- Night of Poison (Takashi Iitsuka, 2016)
- OBAKE (Takashi Iitsuka, 2016)
Also: Dream Girls by Kim Longinotto
A Japanese pop band formed and based in Hackney, London. The band consists of four Japanese girls (allegedly 17 years old but not!) Performing original songs since 2007 with a special focus on the aspects of being Japanese in the UK. They are punky, they are funky and they are funny peculiar! ‘NO CAR (nouka)’ means ‘farmers’ in Japanese.
Frank Chickens initially found fame in the late 80’s as a kimono and cardboard clad duo scoring a chart hit with the classic single “We are Ninja – No Geisha!”, they toured with the likes of Billy Bragg and The Smiths and headlined their own shows around the world!
They were regulars & favourites of DJ John Peel, recording several radio sessions for him and appearing in his famous & fondly remembered Festive 50. A Channel 4 series followed with a Perrier nomination at Edinburgh festival not far behind. Later Ninja Tunes released a remix album of Chickens favourites, Universal featured them on a best selling compilation and thanks to a Stewart Lee's drunken late night internet rant Frank Chickens found themselves the unexpected but deserving winners of The Edinburgh Festival Comedy Gods Award!
The Chickens are still going strong, recently performing at Royal Opera House, Hackney Empire & Duckie at RVT.
O YAMA O explores a certain domestic and democratic quality of everyday life, born through associations to folk music of Japan and a folding of myth, tradition, and routine; the non-spectacular and the sublime.
Formed of musician and artist Rie Nakajima and Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto, the group has performed since 2014 at venues and festivals such as noshowspace, Ikon Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre, Supernormal, Borealis Festival, Mayhem, and allEars Festival.
Nakajima’s performance often focuses on the use of found and kinetic objects, using modest items such as rice bowls, toys, clockwork, balloons and small motors as instruments to create a “micro orchestra”. Elements are layered into impressive and immersive atmospheres. Yamamoto alternatively floats and charges through this with body and voice; chanting, incanting, thundering, whispering, stamping on the floor.
Their debut album consolidates their musical conversations into keenly paced studio music, the duo working with additional instrumentation and a resolved focus on melody to provide vivid portraits of folkloric Japan in song.
They move between pop and the philosophical, defined by the overall space afforded to texture and movement. In small, delicate sound an intimate musical climate is established that reflects on life, telling stories of improvised clockwork, whispered dreams, small movements of the hand and the rhythm to be found in the shuffle of a deck of cards.
Grandly theatric and dramatic flourishes add solidity to these illustrations, operas driven by the swooping energy and power of Yamamoto’s voice can be playful or emotionally charged, particularly when the duo arrange themselves in ensemble with violinist Billy Steiger and percussionist Marie Roux. Production by David Cunningham creates the shadowy presence of a leftfield Flying Lizards dubwise depth that adds subtle strangeness to the atmosphere. The result is something raw, full-bodied; full of energy, grace and mystery.
Akari, dubbed the only professional enka singer in the UK, will be singing enka (Japanese torch song) with backing tracks, and also sing minyou (traditional Japanese folk) accompanied by Hibiki playing Tsugaru shamisen.
Hibiki is the only professional Tsugaru shamisen player in Europe. Tsugaru is the northern region of Japan, which has its own regional percussive style. His set normally consists of traditional folk songs and improvisations.
Robert Storey(guitar), Natalie Mason (Viola, Accordion) and Atsuko Kamura's music incorporates Enka, Chanson, Japanese punk and vocal improvisation. Atsuko started out in Mizutama Shobodan (Polkadot Fire Brigade) one of Japan's first all female punk bands. On moving to London she joined Frank Chickens and toured Japan, USSR, Australia & USA and co-presented Kazuko's Karaoke Klub with Kazuko Hohki on Channel 4 Television.
All Yokos! All Ukes! All Alright!
Kitsune Tsukai, an ancient Japanese fox-witch, a 3.5 billion year old dragon Lotan the Destroyer and Tiger Gnome an immortal Tiger sprite together form Flange Zoo. For Cosmos-myths visitors large & small can view animation & print-outs of mythological creatures as reference to drawing on an ever-growing galactic scroll ov their own cosmic characters, accompanied by live sounds from Flange Zoo a troop of musical mythical animals using multi-effects, Stylophone, Theremin, hand-designed ‘Tube-Fox’ Didgeridoo and other amplified interferences. Strange Star Rivers, by Flange Zoo.
Richard DeDomenici makes work that’s social, joyful, topical and political - although rarely simultaneously. He specializes in urban-absurdist interventions which strive to create the kind of uncertainty that leads to possibility. Richard is the inventor of the Carry-Ok wearable karaoke system, office chair sport The Swivelympics and the crocheted crypto-currency Knitcoin.
At Ura Matsuri 2016 Godzilla has been watching the continued gentrification of East London unfold with increasing horror. On September the 3rd he invites the good citizens of Dalston to build cardboard models of prominent local buildings, which he will then destroy, in what will hopefully be an act of collective catharsis.
Jasper Sharp is a writer, curator and filmmaker. He is the co-founder of the Japanese film website Midnight Eye.com. Books include Behind the Pink Curtain, The Historical Dictionary of Japanese Film and The Creeping Garden: Irrational Encounters with Plasmodial Slime Moulds. A regular contributor to Sight and Sound and curator with the BFI he is director of Zipangu Fest, a festival dedicated to Japanese independent cinema and is Artistic Director of the Asia House Film Festival. Film programme will be announced nearer the event
Mini-Kev from Monkey Stomp Blues will soundtrack the end of the evening with a selection of vintage showa period records randomly selected from his collection hunted out while working with Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. Perfect listening for having an end of the day beer or sake to! Kanpai!