Written by Ren’s Box of Tricks

Out of all the conventions, expos, picnics and general cosplay get-togethers, this is one of the highlights of the year for me. Japan Day is a cultural experience not to be missed.

For those that are not familiar with it, Japan Day is an initiative by the Office of Consul of Japan to showcase the wonder and beauty of Japan since 2013. The event itself showcases different aspects of Japanese Culture as well as certain customs.


Cosplay Cape Town Admin Team at the ready, Ghibli Style*

In collaboration with the Consul’s theme of the Olympics, a secondary theme was created specifically aimed towards the Cosplay element of the day: Studio Ghibli. This was also in conjunction with the online competition #FindYourGhibliCT .

*Above we have the Cosplay Cape Town Admin Team of the time, from left to right:

  • TheColourofDuctape dressed as Baron Humbert von Gikkingen – The Cat Returns
  • TrueNeutralPhotography dressed as Sheeta – Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  • Ren’s Box of Tricks (me) dressed as No Face – Spirited Away
  • KiwiCosArt as Zen (Genderbend) – Spirited Away
  • WesJade Cosplay as Prince Ashitaka – Princess Monoke
  • Zaynab dressed as Sheeta – Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  • PotatoSack Cosplay dressed as Sophie Hatter – Howl’s Moving Castle
WesJade Cosplay and PotatoSack Cosplay learning to make Origami Butterflies

Some of the interactive activities included Go (A board game), Tea Ceremony, Ikebana (flower arranging), Origami, and trying on Yukatas (summer kimonos).

 In addition to the stalls at the slow market there were also demonstrations of various martial art forms such as Judo, Akido, Kenjutsu (Swordmanship), and Kyudo (Archery).

The Tea Ceremony is one of the most sought after experiences at Japan Day. With the sophistication involved in the preparation, you really cannot fault people for their desire to enjoy the bitterness of the traditionally prepared matcha tea accompanied by seasonally themed Wagashi sweets (pictured on the right) made from bean paste.

At 13h30 Cosplay took to the Stage. People were encouraged to dress up as characters from Ghibli movies and were asked to sign up for the Cosplay Masquerade. PotatoSack Cosplay acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced the brave souls, who each had a few seconds stage time to strike a pose. All participants then returned to the stage where the public voted by cheering for their favourites characters.

1St Place went to TheColourOfDuctape as Baron Humbert von Gikkingen - The Cat Returns
2nd Place went to KiwiCosArt as Zen (Genderbend) - Spirited Away
3rd Place went to Ameer Essack as Margo Pagot (Human form) - Porco Rosso

The programme for the day was filled with different activities to suit the diverse preferences of the
public and ended on a high note. Japan Day was closed by means of a traditional dance known as the Nihon-Buyo, commonly known as the Bonfire dance.

Photos and videos were supplied by PotatoSack Cosplay and TrueNeutralPhotography