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NEW PEOPLE's J-POP Summit Festival Week Arrives

Brace yourself: J-POP Summit Week has landed in Japantown, and it’s geared up to be a sensory overloaded experience in the best way possible. The festival’s helmed by Japantown megaplex NEW PEOPLE and is a celebration of all things J-POP culture. It kicked off last night with a lecture on “sexy bad girl roles from Japanese cinema,” and continues the heat through this weekend’s all-day street festival, a J-POP bonanza that will feature anime displays, Japanese rock at its finest and pop-up stores galore. There’s a ton on the menu (check out the full schedule here), but here are some of the highlights:


The Fashion

Harajuku Girls were awesome long before they were made famous by that Gwen Stefani song. The street fashion phenomenon named for the Tokyo neighborhood takes over J-Pop’s Wednesday night line-up with Harajuku Kawaii Night, hosted by Sebastian Masuda of 6%DOKIDOKI.  Catch a screening of Harajuku Fashion Walk and see the latest kawaii (Japanese for “cute”) trends in a fashion show. $20, Wednesday, September 15, 6 pm, 1746 Post, dokidoki6.com

The Music

Several bands will take to the Pagoda Stage on Saturday, but only one of them describes their sound as “old school space age new wave.”   If you’ve got no idea what that means – and really, who does? – be sure to check out Excuses for Skipping, a four piece, Mission-bred band whose instruments include sheet metal and bike frames in addition to your basic guitar.  Saturday, 2:15 pm, Pagoda Stage, excusesforskipping.com

The Art

Not only does Bay Area local Estria use aerosol paint to create murals on the street, he has also lectured on the social impact of graffiti at universities and designed for President Bill Clinton.  Nowadays he owns Tumis Design in Oakland, creating graphic communications and web apps for non-profits.  He’ll be spraying it up all day on Saturday. Saturday, Peace Plaza, estria.net

The Toys

A whole section of booths will be devoted to vinyl toys, featuring hundreds of little plastic action figures and other adorable tchotchkes.  Jeremy Brautman of Castro toy store Neon Monster will host the so-called Vinyl Village, featuring toys from Dragatomi, Blamo Toys and Team Skullyboom.  Saturday, Middle Post Street

The Food

What’s a culture festival without food?  In addition to shochu from festival sponsor Haamonii and authentic Japanese fare from Delica, SF super star Miette Cakes will get in on the action with dessert offerings to round out your culinary experience.  Saturday, Middle Post Street

J-Pop Summit Week events will be held September 13-17 at the New People store, 1746 Post St.  J-Pop Summit Festival takes place Saturday, September 18, 11-6 pm, Japantown Peace Plaza, Post St. between Webster and Buchanan.  Summit Sunday continues September 19 with events in both venues. 415-525-8631, newpeopleworld.com/festival.