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HYPER JAPAN Festival 2022’s New Main Visual is Out Now!

In our latest main visual, our lovely Showa pop mascot Nacchan from illustrator Inko welcomes you to HYPER JAPAN Festival 2022, featuring beautiful calligraphy by Koshu Akemi Lucas.

ただいま TADAIMA – We’re back!
おかえり OKAERI – Welcome home!

We spoke to Inko about the latest appearance of HYPER JAPAN’s mascot character.

What inspired your artwork for this year’s event?
– I enjoyed collecting reference images might be good for this HJ poster, especially fond of 70’s or 80’s Japanese Showa film posters.
They are gems of nostalgic beauty, and that tone will be nicely in harmony with Koshu sensei’s warm calligraphy. 
For Nacchan’s kimono, I was looking at one of my favorite artists, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka’s print, and mixed the kimono with modern kawaii.
I created the back-ground based on Namba city in Osaka and Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo (both are big eating & drinking-out places), so it became a chimera of the two places.

Which part was the most enjoyable to draw and which was the hardest?

– The part of the illustration I most enjoyed drawing was bits and bobs in the background, especially the metal superhero sign. 
The metal hero series is an iconic children’s Tokusatsu TV program produced by Toei company in the Showa era.
The hardest part was how to arrange them to be able to look comprehensive even after rearranging some of the objects for editing purposes for different media images. And sadly a few objects I drew were removed from the image because they won’t match the background perspectives if they are moved. (;_:)

How do you charactesise Nacchan?

– I always try to depict her in a friendly relatable character even though she’s wearing flashy costumes with a cascade of colours. Nacchan is inviting, welcoming you (yes, YOU!) to wonderful Japanese theme events.
She loves ramen, mochi, sake, manga, anime, games, kimono, kawaii fashion, music and the list keeps going. I hope you see all sorts of fun embodied in her!

Inko Ai Takita – Biography 

Inko is a UK based Japanese manga artist. Her aesthetic features fun and dark crossovers of modern & traditional Eastern and Western cultures, which comes from her studies at Kyoto Zokei university of Art & Design in Japan, and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in the UK before she kicked off her career as a manga artist. She also joins various art projects, gives talks at museums, and delivers manga workshops. 

Her clients include: Kyoto Newspaper, Transport For London, British Museum, V&A Museum, Sony Entertainment Japan, and Guardian children’s book. 

Recent publications: Magic: the gathering Kamigawa: A Visual Novel (YRS TRULY, 2022)Lady Murasaki’s Tale of Genji: The Manga Edition (Tuttle, 2022)Learn Clip Studio Paint 3rd Edition (Packt, 2021),  Manga Yokai Stories (Tuttle,  2020), and Tam O’Shanter (Cranachan publishing, 2019).

Visit her Instagram for more info @inko_dokotei , Twitter @yokkoishoichi and website

Koshu Akemi Lucas – Biography

Koshu is the identity of Akemi Lucas as a Japanese calligraphy master.  She was born in Japan and started learning calligraphy from the age of eight. Her distinct style of calligraphy builds on traditional skills, and further embodies of fusion of the ancient and the modern, the eastern and the western, and the before and the after.

Currently, she is based in the UK as a Japanese artist, predominantly working on exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, and commissions. Her latest calligraphy artworks were used in the 2019 Rugby World Cup and a multi-media advertising campaign for the main sponsor of the British Olympic team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Etsy

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