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MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO entered its second day at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on November 7th and not even chilly autumn rain could dampen the spirits of those looking to get their fill of Japanese food, fashion, music, contemporary and traditional culture and everything in between. With the theme of Moshi Pop, it was a day full of all things cute, elegant, cheerful, crazy, and of course kawaii. To read about what happened on the first day Moshi Ani (November 6th), check out the photo report in the link below.


Matsuri Stage

The outdoor free Matsuri Stage got started at 10:30am with traditional Japanese dance courtesy of Motokao Hanayanagi and Hatsuhana Bando mixing it up with DJ Hiyokochang Nishimura, DJ POCHI, and DJ HACK.

However, as morning turned into midday, the cloudy skies began releasing rain upon Sendagaya, which lead to a delay as the event staff rushed to build a canopy for the stage. Once things were in order, the performances continued with the DJ duo of BPM15Q and twintail idol trio drop. The small group performances continued with Bitter & Sweet, Nanshiki globe.’15 (the reboot of the globe parody group with Parc Manther the 3rd and Koike the 2nd). Thai acoustic rockers SanQ Band collaborated with TEMPURA KIDZ. There was also a Nico Live segment where the members of Musubizm, drop, and Kamiyado competed to see who had what it takes to be an interesting television personality.

As night began to fall, DJ Kana Tsuzuki (ex-Lovely★DOLL) and pandakeiko kept things going. DJ POCHI and DJ Hiyokochang Nishimura returned for an evening set. Closing out the night were Tottori idols Chelip, retro group Hauptharmonie that brought along an entourage of suited musicians to help them complete filming of the MV for “Reden ist Silber, Tanzen ist Gold”. Erika Akiyama and Dream Color also returned for a second evening in a row.

Moshi Moshi Stage

The main stage opened early with a fashion show, showing off some the diverse fashions straight from the streets of Harajuku. It looks like the backlash against skinny jeans has begun?

The stage went dark and after a short video showing all the different MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL event from around the world in 2015, a lone shamisen player appeared on the stage, percussive notes resonating from his instrument. A shakuhachi player appeared next and the traditional Japanese sounds mixed together, joined by drums and dancers in kimono. The performance moved into the present as models wearing T-shirts decorated with ukiyo-e prints and carrying paper umbrellas walked down the runway. stormed onto the stage in outfits designed to look like the snowcapped peak of Mt. Fuji, waving their ribbons to “Denden Passion”. The audience jumped and danced to the explosive “Future Diver” before things cooled off with Dempagumi’s latest song, “Ashita Chikyu ga Konagona ni Nattemo”. What followed was the frantic and white-hot “Chururi Chururira”; the only way it could have been more intense was if they could have used the pyrotechnics which regularly accompany its performance in large arenas.’s performance came to an end with the festive “Demparade JAPAN”.

From one of the biggest Japanese artists of the day, the stage shifted to some of the hottest up and coming groups courtesy of FUJIYAMA PROJECT JAPAN, a new idol specialty label created by Asobisystem and Idol Yokocho. If have not heard of sora tob sakana, Osaka☆Shunkashuto, Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, Lovely★DOLL, or Niji no Conquistador yet, you will soon!

There was a presentation by Moshi Moshi Nippon Torikomu Project, which reminded people that whatever their physical limitations may be, it’s not okay to just let your dreams be dreams. Even though there should be no doubt that glasses are fashionable (especially with so many people wearing fake ones), there was a fashion show by eyewear maker Zoff.

Thanks to the idol communication mobile app DMM.yell, Hokkaido idols Ice☆Pastel and Osaka’s Culumi were granted the opportunity to perform on one of the biggest stages in Tokyo. Bananas, which are a vital part of Japanese youth culture (they’re a common ingredient in crepes) also made an appearance on the stage. Of course, idol fans are familiar with Fujifilm’s line of Instax cameras, a commonly used item at cheki events.

While many may think of enka as the music of Japanese senior citizens, there are quite a few young artists embracing the soulful melodies and putting their own spin on the genre. AKB48 member Misaki Iwasa started with enka versions of her groups’ hits “Heavy Rotation” and “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie” before delving into more adult matters with “Hatsu-zake”. Hayabusa, possibly the closest thing the enka world has to a male idol group, showed off a range of emotions with Yuriko Futaba’s tear-jerking “Kanpeki no Haha” (Perfect Mother) and the campy “Tsuki Akari no Tango”.

Summer might be over but, is there a ever a season when Harajuku models and pop rock quartet Silent Siren’s anthemic “Biisan” is not welcome? They followed it up with “Kimi Suki Smile” the girly B-side from their latest single “alarm” and the fan-favorite “Guru Guru Wonderland”. There was a presentation about overseas travel and Asahi Shimoda won an opportunity to appear in mer magazine and a year’s supply of miso soup from Marukome! See, even if you cut your bangs too short, good things can happen!

From the mind of Sebastian Masuda, producer of the nearby Kawaii Monster Cafe and leading authorities on just about everything kawaii in Harajuku, came a fashion show that had to be seen in order to be believed!

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu made a surprise appearance during the demonstration of SHARP’s AQUOS 4K television, a product that she had previously provided a song for in “Oshiete Dance Floor”. She let fans know a little bit more about her upcoming single “Kanzen Keitai” and gave a sneak preview of the next commercial which shows her playing 17 instruments at once on the screen. TEMPURA KIDZ blasted through a medley of their songs before unleashing a “Happy Natsu Matsuri” before a wall of digital lanterns. They locked things down with the aggressive “Mask Mask” and “LOLLiPOP” before racing off the stage on to their next adventure.

A fashion show by the fashion magazine mer showed off the understated elegance of Harajuku that resides in the vintage clothing stores, a world away from the fluorescent hues and pastels of TEMPURA KIDZ and Sebastian Masuda.

9nine sparkled on the main stage, beginning with their infectious hit “Re:”and recent summer single “MY ONLY ONE” before turning the clock back with older songs “SHINING☆STAR” and “with you / with me”. Visual kei band Kameleo brought a mini festival of their own as they were joined by backup dancers in happi coats and several women in ’80’s “bodycon” dresses and rabbit masks!

Hikari Shiina, Anna Yano, Ai Matsumoto and other cast members appeared on the stage to talk about their animated series MILPOM★ and show off some new merchandise which you probably did not even realize that you wanted. They were joined by a model in an amazing cosplay from the MMORPG Astral Tale.

A kimono fashion show by Mimatsu, Furifu, and Kyoto Marubeni displayed some of the trendy new interpretations of Japan’s timeless garment. It’s almost like the models are from an anachronistic world that Nina Mikagawa would create! These are not your grandmother’s kimono!

Natsume Mito, the leader of the short bangs movement and charismatic aomoji-kei fashion icon, rocked out with a funky white vintage guitar as she played her anthem “Maegami Kiri Sugita”. She was joined by backup dancers with wigs imitating her trademark hairstyle as she floated across the stage with a keytar slung over her shoulder.

Naturally, there was a fashion demonstration by Loretta which showed the audience how even if they lacked the boldness to pull off Natsume Mito’s forehead-baring look, they could still make themselves as cute as the aomoji-kei girls walking the streets of Tokyo.

Golden Bomber, the most popular visual-kei “air band” were the closers for Moshi Pop and the audience erupted into cheers and began headbanging immediately as they launched into “Moto Kare Korosu”. While they’re not known for actually playing their instruments, their theatrics are unparalleled as evidenced by their performance of “Dakishimete Schwarz”. Guitarist Yutaka Kyan joked that he was Natsume Mito after an accident with a katana. Drummer Kenji Darvish renacted Marilyn Monroe’s famous subway grate skirt scene from The Seven Year Itch while standing behind his kit. Bassist Jun Utahiroba ran around the stage in Sailor Moon lingerie!

The main arena of Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium looked like an aerobics class as fans danced along to “Shinda Tsuma ni Niteiru”. The lines between visual kei and idols seemed to be blurred during “The V-kei-ppoi Kyoku” as the audience banged their heads and alternating between pumping their fists and moving in sync with Golden Bomber in a gesture that might look familiar to fans of Dear Stage. Kenji Darvish and Jun Utahiroba grabbed guitars to join Yutaka Kyan for the harmonized solo and even vocalist Sho Kiryuin played along on a violin! Of course, they saved the best for last, closing with their long-running hit song “Memeshikute” as the audience released the last of their remaining energy to dance along to the inescapably infectious choreography.

Nippon Stage

UPUPGIRLS (KARI) shook things up at the Nippon Stage as the first performer of the day with the raucous tune that may have the power to stop summer from ending, “Appaare”. It was a 3-round KO as they flexed their muscles and got pumped up with all their strength (“Zenryoku! Pump Up!!”) before leaving the ring with an “Uppercut”. Niji no Conquistador may share a choreographer with UPUPGIRLS (KARI) in Natsumi Takenaka but, that’s probably the extent of their similarities. The girls as diverse as the colors of the rainbow cast another vote to postpone winter with “THE☆Uchouten Summer!!”, hammering their point home with the upbeat tunes “Yarukkyanai! 2015” and “Triangle・Dreamer”.

Bandjanaimon! invited the audience to join them and the “Mon-stas” (name for their fans) in their colorful world with the cheerfully yet ironically named upcoming single “NaMiDa” and wild “Tsunagaru! Kanaderu! Music!” before grabbing them by the heartstrings with “Chocolat Love”. Diminutive (all 3 members are 149cm tall or shorter) power trio Caramel rocked the stage with a super-sized performance sans bass, showing off their a capella skills before launching into “tkmk Sensation”, “Lovers Moment”, and a fist-pumping update to “Ren’ai Otome”.

The youth movement in the idol world made their presence known with energetic 7-member rockers PiiiiiiiN who showed they were not afraid to “BRING IT ON!!” as they move forward (“Susume! Glory Days!!”) ready to take on whatever comes their way (“Ready Go for it”). Futuristic electropop trio Cupitron lead a “Unicorn Parade” as they moved robotically on the stage and dreaming computer dreams (“Denshikeisanki no Yume”). Precocious Devil ANTHEM. sought to subjugate hearts with a trio of songs which includes their debut single “〜Kimi no Heart wo Seifuku-chuu〜”.

A more mature mood swept over the Nippon Stage as electropop duo Faint⋆Star, who have had a productive year performing in the USA, Thailand, and Indonesia, delivered a performance full of their cool music and elegant choreography.

The sexy and sophisticated 10-member group predia kept the grown-up theme going as they stepped out in their red party dresses, popping the corks with “Utsukushiki kodoku tachi” and finishing with “Kowareta Ai no Hate ni”. Shiho Namba lent a mysterious air to the proceedings with her light and airy voice.

Cheeky Parade, fresh off their successful overseas lives in Los Angeles and Paris, heated things up as only they can with a tightly-packed 3-song set of “Cheeky dreamer”, “BUNBUN NINE’9”, and “Colorful Starlight”. They announced that they would be performing with TEMPURA KIDZ, which should be a live not to be missed!

The energy levels of the audience spiked sharply as the trio of petit pas! appeared, blasting through a rapid-fire set of songs that mixed electronica and metal. Harajuku idols Kamiyado were back and fans rushed forward to extend their hands in kechas towards the members on stage. Talking about the Niku Fes outside, they teased Hina Koyama even though she hadn’t ate anything (and her line at the fan meeting was still the longest).

POP was another repeat performer that made their way inside on the second day and they brought another powerful performance. Beginning with “pretty pretty good”, they swung their arms and stomped across the stage, rocking back and forth during “Who am I?” Ending with “Plastic 2 Mercy”, the voices of fans rang out loudly as they jumped along. If you have never seen solo idol Miyu Koike before, you have been warned. Her energy and enthusiasm alone might just make you a fan!

After an intense run of idols that are known for making audiences sweat, things cooled off as visual-kei enka singer Tsukasa Mogamigawa took the stage. He was followed by Natsumi Hanaoka, Hanae, and Lisa Melody.

Musubizm returned for the second day and added a cover of the Finger 5 classic “Gakuen Tengoku” to their setlist from the previous day. One of the most exciting young groups and a recent addition to FUJIYAMA PROJECT JAPAN, sora tob sakana delivered a promising performance despite Mana Yamazaki still being confined to a chair due to injury.

Osaka☆Shunkashuto, one of the breakout idol groups of 2015, set things off with their dance-rock hit “C’mon!”, lead vocalist Maina’s powerful voice slicing through the air like a razor-sharp axe. Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen mashed several of their popular songs together in an impressive 15-minute medley that had the crowd moshing and waving their towels from start to finish.

The audience roared to life as Lovely★DOLL started off with the energetic “High Jump”, urging them to clap along and pointing towards the heavens. Although it was still a new song for them, the residents of “Doller House” (name of their fan club) caught on quickly to the choreography for their upcoming single “Heatup Dreamer” and were waving their arms along right away.

Shiina Pikarin (aka Popteen model Hikari Shiina) transported those gathered at the Nippon Stage into her demon world as she emerged from behind flags waved by her masked backup dancers. She had the audience kneeling on the floor and bowing deeply and even walked on the backs of some of them as is her custom.

The second day of MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in TOKYO was even more amazing than the first day but there was still one day left with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as the closer! Stay tuned for the report on the final day of the biggest Japanese pop culture event of autumn 2015 with more pictures to come!


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Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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