J-POP SUMMIT 2017 Guest Interview : YANAKIKU Transmit Japanese Culture Through The Music

J-POP SUMMIT 2017 Guest Interview : YANAKIKU Transmit Japanese Culture Through The Music

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J-POP SUMMIT 2017 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 9th and 10th at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture located in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Attendees will experience this year’s theme ARTS, EATS, and INNOVATIONS; a vibrant celebration of Japanese pop culture featuring live music, Japanese food and travel attractions, and interactive technologies.

This year, J-POP SUMMIT is proud to present a potent line up of music and dance artists that represent the wealth of cutting-edge talent emerging from Japan. Live concerts will be held on Saturday and Sunday nights.

YANAKIKU first appeared at J-POP SUMMIT in 2013, and this marks their fourth time in a row to return to perform and interact with their San Francisco fans.

With J-POP SUMMIT close at hand, YANAKIKU has delivered a message.

Q1. I think this is the 4th year in a row that you take part in J-POP SUMMIT, but is there anything specific about this event that you enjoy or are looking forward to?

YANA: Thankfully this will be our 4th consecutive year, and the number of local fans who are waiting for us has been slowly increasing, so we’re looking forward to meeting everyone! J-POP SUMMIT is a place where the Japanese culture that is being transmitted to the world “now” gathers, and it’s stimulating to be able to see the direct impact to it every year.

KIKU: So far we have been able to attend events in different countries that are all about “Japan”, and among them J-POP SUMMIT is an event that is particularly hot, and every year we can feel the excitement from the people who come to the venue and were clearly looking forward to it!!
This year we will be participating again as iichiko Ambassadors, so we’ll work hard to have a lot of people picking up a bottle of iichiko!!

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Q2. Last year, the show that was tied to iichiko was also very appealing. Concerning the fusion between food and music culture, how do you feel that the locals receive it?

YANA: SF has JAPAN STREET, and I feel like there is a strong interest in Japanese food, culture and J-POP music. We also really like the Japanese food that is getting so much attention worldwide, and we want to continue to transmit how wonderful Japanese food is in a playful way, through the YANAKIKU worldview, creating a song about sushi, for example.
Following up on last year, we’ve been given the opportunity to participate as ambassadors for “iichiko”, a typical Japanese shochu, and we hope to get the people of SF and iichiko this year with the iichiko song we created!

KIKU: I think that what we can do as YANAKIKU is to transmit Japanese culture through music. I will be happy if even a few more people become interested in the name “iichiko”, or new food and culture by listening to our songs.

Q3: Musically, have there been any changes in these last 4 years?

YANA: What I’ve felt from being able to go to different countries is that there are different ways of receiving and expressing music according to the country’s culture and habits.
That is exactly why “how can everyone enjoy a space even if words can’t be understood” is always a question for us, and is also an area where we have been allowed to mature.

KIKU: The way the audience gets into it is different according to the country, and while there are places where people calmly observe us, there are places like San Francisco where we get a heated response, and until a little while ago that reaction would make us go through an emotional roller coaster, but now we always have in mind to do a “Welcoming show” that only YANAKIKU can do. We have been emotionally strengthened! (laughs)


Q4: Lastly, could you please talk about your enthusiasm about J-POP SUMMIT, and send a message for the fans who are coming to the event?

YANA: On this 4th consecutive year of being a part of this, we are being allowed to collaborate on different fronts, so we think you’ll be able to see a side of YANAKIKU that you haven’t seen before. We want the fans who are waiting for us to look forward to it, and we want to do a performance to make people who have seen us for the first time think “That was fun!”
Above all, we want to enjoy J-POP SUMMIT 2017 to the max!

KIKU: I’m really looking forward to going back to J-POP SUMMIT once again this year! Please look forward to different kinds of collaboration. And! Above all, as iichiko Ambassadors we will make the iichiko booth an exciting place! Please come and see us!!!

September 9th (Sat) & 10th (Sun), 2017
Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture MAP
Door Opens at 10am for VIP, 11am for General Admission
Ends on 8:30pm (Sat) & 9pm (Sun)

J-POP SUMMIT official website :
J-POP SUMMIT 2017 Guidebook (PDF) :
YANAKIKU official website :

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