COSTA MESA — The OC Japan Fair 2019, one of the largest Japanese cultural fairs in Southern California, will be held Oct. 18 to 20 at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr. in Costa Mesa.
Hours: Friday, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 12 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Special guests include:
• Samantha (emcee). She appeared on Investigation Discovery’s “I (Almost) Got Away With It,” where she played a college student named Jennifer Jones who fell for a con artist posing as a war veteran. She also appeared on the hit web series “SMOSH!” in its most popular episodes, such as “If Holidays Were Real” and “A Seven-Year-Old Does Twilight.” She also lit up Hollywood’s Next Stage Theater in in its production “Happily Whatever After” as Cinderella.
Yuna Ito (Oct. 18). Born in Los Angeles and raised in Hawaii, she made her musical debut in Japan with the single “Endless Story,” which was used as one of the theme songs for the popular 2005 film “Nana”; she also starred in the film, portraying Reira Serizawa. In 2006, Ito reprised her role as Reira for the sequel and sang the theme song, “Truth.” In 2007, Ito released her debut album, “Heart,” which opened atop the Oricon chart.
Ai Haruna (Oct. 18-19). In October 2009, she won the Miss International Queen 2009 transgender beauty pageant held in Pattaya, Thailand, becoming the first Japanese contestant to win the title.
Misono (Oct. 18-20). Misono Kōda, publicly known as Misono, is a Japanese singer-songwriter and TV personality. She was born in Kyoto, and is the younger sister of singer Koda Kumi.
Stage performers include:
Crimson Apple, is a Hawaii-born but L.A.-based all-girl band consisting of four uber talented sisters. Colby Benson (lead vocals, keys and key-tar), Shelby Benson (lead guitar and vocals), Carthi Benson (bass and vocals) and Faith Benson (drums) all work together to create beautiful, repeat-worthy tunes.
Layla Lane, an L.A.-based rock duo that combines exquisite arrangements and clever harmonies for a style that is equal parts 1960s pop, gypsy swing, and good old-fashioned rock n’ roll. All in the context of catchy pop tunes that rarely clock in past three minutes, the resulting sound is both playfully nostalgic and uncommonly fresh.
Eden Kai, whose musical talents and role on “Terrace House” helped him to secure a spot performing at the Fuji Rock Festival, which is the largest outdoor music event in Japan. Since then he has become one of Japan’s brightest rising stars, selling out his first two shows at the Motion Blue in Yokohama, with increasing requests to perform at major events throughout Japan, the U.S., and worldwide. His growing international popularity has resulted in interviews by many of the top media giants in Japan and the U.S., including NBC News, The Yomiuri Shimbun, and The New York Times. He also caught the attention of the talent management at Cameo, an app that lets you buy video shout-out messages from celebrities. He has used his music and status to help many organizations and causes. Proceeds from past songs and performances have been donated to benefit children from disaster-stricken countries, to purchase educational materials for a school in Bangladesh, and to support a health center in Haiti.
Zenjiro, an award-winning multilingual comedian and actor who performs in English, Japanese and Korean. He hosted numerous TV programs in Japan, and was also featured in TV shows such as “Just for Laughs,” “Ed Byrne’s Comedy Gala,” and “Japanorama” (presented by Jonathan Ross) on BBC; “U.S. Comedy Arts Festival” on HBO; and “Raymann Is Laat” on Dutch TV channel NTR.
Fuji Japanese Music, which will perform nagauta, a traditional form of theatrical shamisen music that was developed as a basic lyrical accompaniment of kabuki and classical dances. It dates back to 1740. The standard, complete instrumentation of a nagauta piece consists of singers, players of shamisen, performers on three types of drums and flute.
L.A. Koto Ensemble, led by Yuki Yasuda, who was born in Japan and began playing the koto at age 12. She later majored in koto music at the Takasaki Junior Arts College and also received rigorous koto instruction under the tutelage of Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai, the masters of great modern koto music.
A Page Unturned, part of the wave of pop-punk revival acts. Citing influences like Blink 182, New Found Glory, and Ellegarden, they creating energetic, melodic, fast-paced music that captures the essential roots of the ’90s/2000s pop-punk sound while creating a new, exciting sound of their own.
Bentenya, one of the few professional female chindon-ya in Japan, a kind of marching band dedicated to street advertising that also performs at events or matsuri.
Kohei, who has performed at anime conventions, huge festival and legendary venues. such as Anime Expo 2018, Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Prudential Center, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2017, Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C., Brooklyn Botanic Garden, San Diego Anime California 2018, Animamga Expo, Delta H Con, San Japan, Animinneapolice, and Houston Japan Festival.
Stephanie Yanez, an anime/Jpop artist who has been touring the U.S. and Japan since she won AX Idol at Anime Expo. She is known for releasing the original song “Ultimate Miku World” with Hatsune Miku. Both artists just released two new singles, “Showa Shoujo” and “Showa Girl” (English version), inspired by the sounds of the ’80s and magical girl anime like “Sailor Moon.” Together Yanez and Plasmic perform their own original songs while also covering famous anime/J-pop songs with an ’80s vibe.
Kimono Bloom, featuring Rinko Kimino, author of 16 books about kimono, folk craft goods, kabuki, etc. She is also a producer and product development planner of kimono and Japanese folk craft goods in Japan, as well as a successful event producer and planner.
MiruDaru, a brother-sister duet from Venezuela now based in Los Angeles. Their musical style is a fusion of pop, jazz and ballads. They incorporate multicultural aspects into their songs and shows, creating a different sound and musical experience. MiruDaru is heavily influenced by Japanese pop and traditional Japanese culture. Throughout their musical journey they have had the opportunity to share the stage with top artists in well-known venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Hollywood Improv. In 2013 they represented Venezuela in the Japanese singing contest TV show “Nodo Jiman the World.”
Plus Jump Up Joy, Akaoni Daiko, Geisha Opera Singer, Umamix, Inazuma, RemJ, Brothers, and Ron Robbins Ensemble.
Food vendors include: Tanota Takoyaki, Wagyu Freaks, Ajaj Café, Rockin Gyoza, Gaja, Katsu Brothers, Tenkatori USA, Fujiwara Tofu Café, Norigami, Tamaen, Sushi Boy, Egghausted, Kapamilya, SVR BBQ, The Bonks Lab, Midoh, Daikokuya, Kinjirushi, Ito En, Okamoto Kitchen, Rice Balls of Fire, Sakura Café, Gong Su Gan, Kushikatsu Sumire, Japan Toast Café, Amami-ya, Yo’s Crepe, Chicago Ramen, Lucky Ball Korean BBQ
Admission: $8 general, free for children 6 and under, seniors over 65. No pets allowed; service dogs only.
Parking fee: $9. Use Gate 8 on Arlington Avenue and park in Lots I and G.
For more information, visit: http://oc-japanfair.com