The Cosplay competitionOver the last few years, the Dijon Saiten has been regularly inviting some special guests. They are artists, our French equivalent to Japanese “idols”, French mangakas, or famous Youtubers. In my opinion, this last category is especially interesting. Those “Youtubers” register podcasts about the Japanese culture, and are trying, with their personality, their universe, and their own sense of humor, to transmit their passion for Japan by using this easily accessible broadcasting platform. More and more Youtubers are appearing recently, this platform allowing them to spread their ideas without investing too much money. The majority of them usually stream directly from their bedrooms. All of them have this passion for Japan in common, and are also representing the “geek” culture. Some of these Youtubers became huge Internet celebrities, on par with famous singers or models and participate regularly to events like the Dijon Saiten or the Japan expo. Those kind of festivals nurture the fascination that Japan exerts on France. The Japanese culture has been popularized in the mid 80’s in France, but was never really well-known from older people. For example, videogames and mangas were seen as “lower class” culture, targeting odd and marginalized people. Nowadays, they are more and more acknowledged, and events like the Dijon Saiten festival and Japan Expo help sensitizing people to this exotic culture. Of course it is far from being exhaustive, but it is less cliché than a few years ago.This trend is far from receding. On the contrary, Japan is becoming more and more popular among young French people, and I am very glad of it. Just like me when I was a child, more and more French youngsters are being enticed towards Japan.I have the feeling that France and Japan share a very strong cultural bond, those two countries being fascinated by each other. Judging by the steadily growing popularity of Japan-related events, the love story between France and Japan is far from being over.
- Dijon Saiten: Nurturing the fascination for Japan: