Japan Matsuri 2010 in London

Date: 18 September 2010, 10:00am – 8:00pm
Venue: Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, Spitalfields London E1
The Japan Society and theJapanese Residents Association, in collaboration with other leading Japanese organizations; Hosted by Spitalfields Traders Market

The first large‐scale urban matsuri took place in London’s historic Spitalfields Market in September 2009. Previously Matsuri had taken place in Hyde Park (1991 & 2001) but this was the first time a Japanese community celebration was held in the middle of a thriving modern mixed commercial and residential area. 2009 Japan Matsuri was a vibrant and colourful occasion, which attracted some 35,000 visitors (young andold, Japanese and non‐Japanese) and much media coverage including internet blog posts and streamed video.

There has been a market at Spitalfields since the 13th century and the area soon became the commercialcentre of London with a rapidly changing population as communities came to Britain from Europe over thecenturies. Hammerson plc, which manages the present day Spitalfields Traders’ Market, is committed to developinglinks with and making the site accessible to both the local resident and business communities. Situated astone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station, the market has many Japanese corporate neighbours and was anatural choice when the organisers sought a venue for the ambitious new festival. Links with the City ofLondon are stronger than ever, with Michael Bear, Regeneration Director at Hammerson plc, set to become Lord Mayor of London from November 2010.

Japan Matsuri is at heart a community project. It is an event where members of the Japanese community inLondon can celebrate and enjoy food, music and dance with their friends and neighbours of all nationalities,in a similar way to a local festival in Japan. Everyone has a stake in the event: Japanese businesses eachprovide financial and volunteer support; Japanese traders and restaurants share their wares; Japaneseperformers young and old, give of their skills. The organisers’ work is to bring all the various strands together and to provide the vision and theadministrative back up to realise the event. The lead is taken by the Japan Society and Japanese Residents’Association together with support from the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industryand Nippon Club.

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