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J-POP SUMMIT, hosted by SUPERFROG Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a Japanese cultural festival held every summer since 2009 in San Francisco, California, United States. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, fashion, film, art, games, tech-innovations, anime, food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a landing platform for new trends from Japan. The festival is also getting attention by foreign companies and organizations as an effective promotional opportunity and an entry point into US markets. In 2014, the festival was held in Japantown and enjoyed 120,000 in attendance in two days. Since 2015, the festival expanded its area to different locations in the city; Fort Mason Center, Union Square, NEW PEOPLE Cinema and Castro Theatre and successfully re-launched as an indoor event. J-POP SUMMIT in 2018 was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances with the venue. Website http://www.j-pop.com
J-POP SUMMIT first took place as the opening ceremony of NEW PEOPLE building at Japan Town in San Francisco in 2009. Since then it has become an annual festival to introduce the latest Japanese pop culture including Anime, Manga, Food, Sake, Games, Fashion, Films, and Music. In recent years, Interactive (tech innovations) and Travel have been added to its content diversity to make stronger bonds between IT companies in the two countries and also to revitalize Japanese inbound tourism from the US. The event has provided good opportunities for Japanese companies to expand their business to the U.S. market.
"POP IS OUR TRADITION" is the theme of J-POP SUMMIT.
Takako Tokiwa, a Japanese actress and Yoshitaka Amano, a well-known character designer joined the first J-POP SUMMIT in 2009, and since then, prominent guests from a variety of fields including artists, actors, directors, designers, voice actors, programmers have been invited from Japan each year. One of the most popular program is the J-POP LIVE concert event and Japan’s top musical acts such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, JAM Project, WORLD ORDER, Silent Siren, Tomomi Itano, May'n, Tokyo Girls’ Style, YANAKIKU and many more have performed on the J-POP SUMMIT main stage.
|2009||Japantown, SF||Girls Rock Explosion, TsuShiMaMiRe, noodles, RED BACTERIA VACUUM, OMODAKA, 6% DokiDoki, Takako Tokiwa, Yoshitaka Amano, Yuichi Yokoyama|
|2010||Japantown, SF||Jinny Oops!, 6% DokiDoki, Soulit, Excuses For Skipping, Hopie Spitshard, DJ Amaya, Patrick Macias, Hidekazu Kohara, Mori Chack, Ken Hamazaki, Estria|
|2011||Japantown, SF||Danceroid, ZANEEDS, DJ Amaya, Emi Meyeer, Layla Lane, Parsychords, Bay Area Girls, The Bayonettes, K-ON! voice actors, SpeacE KRafT, DJ Vex Mode, Aoi Yamaguchi, Ken Hamazaki|
|2012||Japantown, SF||KYLEE, All Ages, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass, Bay Area Girls, Capital, Random Encounters, The Glowing Stars, SpeacEKrafT, Steve Chun, DJ REViSE, DJ Ayama, Vex Mode, Ken Hamazaki, Mike "Bam" Tyau, Rome Kanda|
|2013||Japantown, SF||Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, LoVendoЯ, DJ COCO, SWEETY, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass, KYLEE, DAICHI, Slime Girls, Cal Raijin Taiko, Miwa Nishikawa, Shinsuke Sato, Sebastian Masuda6% DokiDoki, Kyohei Sakaguchi, Katsuya Terada|
|2014, Jul 19, 20||Japantown, SF||May'n, Tomomi Itano, Tokyo Girls' Style, DAICHI, AKIRA, UNA, Pinky Doodle Poodle, KYLEE, Black Diamond, Cal Raijin Taiko, SF Awakko-Ren, YANAKIKU, The Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass, DJ COCO, DJ Amaya, Yuki Furukawa, Mitsutoshi Tanaka, Lisa Takakura, KEI (illustrator of Hatsune Miku)|
|2015, Aug 7-9||Fort Mason Center, SF||JAM project, Ken Ishii, Eir Aoi, YANAKIKU, Musubizm, AMIAYA, Gacharic Spin, FEMM, ANAMANAGUCHI, Jinny Oops!, Little Glee Monster, FES☆TIVE, Faint★Star, Jaru Jaru, Chicchai Ossan, Koakkuma& Akkuma, Sanasenabona, Dear Marriette, Yusuke Nakamura, Tadanobu Asano, Koji Morimoto, Kelvin Kazumi Hiraishi, Kaoru Sugano, Timothy Archuleta, Jake Myrick, Eric Gower, Allen Miner, Jim Newton, Redg Snodgrass, Tak Miyata|
|2016, Jul 22-24||The Regency Ballroom, Fort Mason Center, SF||Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Una, WORLD ORDER, Silent Siren, GARNiDELiA, WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA,
Tokyo Performance Doll, Mitz Mangrove, YANAKIKU, Domo, Zombear, Paper Bag Fairies – SanaSenaBona, KOAKKUMA & AKKUMA, UMEBARA “HIBARI”, AsakuSamurai, Kaori Wakamatsu, Ken Hamazaki, Sebastian Masuda, Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi, Chef Tatsuo Saito, Yu Hayami, Heklina, Julien Montousse, Kelvin Kazumi Hiraishi, Kelvin Kazumi Hiraishi, Taku Imasaki, D’Arcy Drollinger, Stephen Chun
|2017, Sep 9-10||Fort Mason Center, SF||May’n, Zoomadanke, Band-Maid, Misaki Iwasa, Babyraids Japan, TOKYO GEGEGAY, YANAKIKU, Azumi Inoue & Yuyu, LINQ OG, Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi, Ken Hamazaki, Jake Wiens, TJ Kolesnik, Kenyatta Williams, Dylan Westmoreland, Mitz Mangrove, D’Arcy Drollinger, MC Stephen Chun , HEKLINA, Dearmariette|
J-POP SUMMIT was held in Japantown as a free outdoor event from 2009 until 2014, and it moved to Fort Mason Center in 2015. When it was in Japantown, the streets were turned into a pedestrian precinct. The number of attendees kept increasing year by year and finally in 2014, it went over the crowd capacity of Japantown. Thus J-POP SUMMIT made its big move to an indoor festival venue to pursue the next level of exhibition and staging, and became a ticketed event in 2015. In 2017, J-POP SUMMIT will be held again at the Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture (Festival Pavilion, Firehouse and outside Parking area)
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco
This is the first Japanese Film Festival in Northern California held along with J-POP SUMMIT for about 2 weeks. At this festival, selected Japanese films are screened; and prominent guests are typically invited from Japan to make appearance on stage for US premieres. Originally, “film” was just one of the contents at J-POP SUMMIT, but for the popularity it gained, it became an independent festival in 2013. Tadanobu Asada, a Japanese actor, received the first Japan Film Festival of San Francisco Honorary Award at the opening night event that was held at Castro Theatre in 2015.
Sake Summit is a sake tasting event at J-POP SUMMIT. Major sake manufacturers, distributors, and retailers gather at one place to promote Japanese sake culture. The number of sake labels available at this event is increasing every year and it reached 52 different bottles in 2015.
Ramen Summit* is where the top ramen restaurants gather to show off their best broth and noodles. People can enjoy ‘slurping’ a variety of ramen, including Tonkotsu (pork bone broth), Miso, Shoyu (soy broth), Tsuke-men and more. The list of ramen shops that have participated are: Orenchi Beyond, Hinodeya Ramen & Bar, Marufuku Ramen, YOROSHIKU, nojo ramen tavern, Naruto Ramen, Ramen TAKA, and Iza Ramen.
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