Screening report (English)

Screening report 5-6.08.2009

6th August is the day when the world's first A-bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. So, every year there are big peace ceremony and many events in Hiroshima. Hiroshima Peace Film Festival had an all night even on 5th August until the A-bomb day. The event had film screenings, live performance, and so on.

A-bomb dome

Sadako's momument. (The girl was died from radiation).

Near the Sadako's monument, Yamaguchi-san and Endo-san had reading event of Sadako's story.



At night, I went to the restaurant with the reading group.

My hotel was located in the middle of the night town!

I woke up in the afternoon for the all night event.

I had lunch in the restaurant.

I went to the event venue.

Inside of the theatre.

With the film festival director, Aohara-san.

During the event, film festival had an Internet radio.

Director Tanaka-san's interview.

With the film festival staff Fujii-san and Tanaka-san.

With the film festivals staffs.

Pak Poe band's live performance at 4 am!!!!

With the uni students and the professor from Fukuoka.

The event finished around 5am, then I went back to hotel and slept like dead!!

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Screening report 25.07.2009

I had a screening on Saturday, 25th July in the book shop in Koenji, Tokyo. In this book shop, you can also have drinks, foods, and some interesting goods.

On the way to the book shop, I found Tesco :-(

Outside of the shop.

Inside of the shop.

At that time, they had an exhibition. All objuects were made from cat's hair!!

The screening organiser Nakasee brought his friend's prohector. It was very small! Actually smaller than my compact digital camera!

Today's MC, Hoshika-san. She is an actress.

Post screening talk with Nakasee and Hoshika-san.

After the screening. With Nakasee, Hoshika-san and Ikaru-san.

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Screening report 20.07.2009

I had the screenings in Hiroshima for the first time! I prepared that since I came back to Japan!!

I arrived in Hiroshima on 18th July. I had an English screening at the World Friendship Centre. Japanese and American people watched the film and had the discussion after the screening.

With the World Friendship Centre people.

After the screening, I went to have Okonomiyaki food with Keiko-san and other people. Okonomiyaki is a popular Hiroshima food.

I went back to the Friendship Centre, because it was also the hostel I stayed at.

Paper crane for peace on the pillow.

My room.

Next day I went to the Hiroshima peace memorial park.

I had an appointment with Shimonaka-san to have a lunch. She is a lawyer and a peace campainger in Hiroshima.

She introduced me to Watanabe-san who is a representative of Ant-Hiroshima, peace NGO. We visited her new project.

She rents out the big space in the old building for making a community room.

The space used to be a Karaoke rooms.

After that, I went to the Hiroshima Modern Art Museum. It locates on top of the hill!

Skywalk to the museum.

This very long escalator reminded me of the london underground!

The museum.

When I visited the museum, the exhibition was Martin Creed, a British modern artist who won the Turner prize.

Today's dinner was Sushi and Udon noodle.

Street car. This is popular transport in Hiroshima.

Next day, 20th July was the main screening day in Hiroshima. But unfortunately, it was unbelievably heavy rain all day :-(

I appreciated people still came to the screening!

With the A-bomb survivor, Okada-san

Screening venue, Hiroshima peace museum.

Post screening talk with Higashi-san, the member of Hiroshima Peace Film Festival.

After the screening, I went to the women's centre with Hiroshima Peace Film Festival staffs.

Watanabe-san made delicious food for us!

Next day was the last day in Hiroshima. It was still heavy rain outside, but I went to Miyajima. Miyajima is famous for Torii on the sea. (Torii = gateway at the entrance to a Shinto shrine).

You can walk to the Torii when the low tide.

On the way back to the hostel, I saw the Belgian backpackers who stayed in the same place with me. They went to Miyajima, too. In Miyajima, everything was expensive, so we didn't have lunch. So we went to have Okonomiyaki together.

At night, I got on a highway bus and went back to Tokyo.

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Screening report 12.07.2009

I had a screening on Sunday, 12th July at the British pub called Heaven's Door in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. The screening was organised by an anarchist group, Tokyo Spring.

Tokyo Spring website (English)

The group has Japanese and foreign members, so we had a screening with English subtitles. Then after the screening, we had a discussion about the film and the style of protest which Brian adopts.


Yokoyama-san and Kouguchi-san came and helped me to record the event. I appreciate their help because basically I always go to the screening by myself, so I can't take photos and video (I can only put the camcorder on the tripod).

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Screening report 6-7.7.2009

I arrived in Kumamoto on 6th July. It took two hours by express train from Fukuoka.

I found a local restaurant. I had a salad and salmon bowl for lunch.

I saw Miyata-san in the afternoon. He was the organiser of the screenings in Kumamoto. He runs the fabric factory which is opens to everyone (especially small children and disable people).

Miyata-san made a Sri Lankan coffee!

I met Miyata-san for the first time when I visited Aldermaston for CND event. He visited there with other Japanese peace campaigners. They visited Brian in Parliament Square on the other day, and I filmed them. So, he is in my film, too!

He read my interview article on the Japanese anti-atom paper, and then contacted me. I explained to him that I was going to Fukuoka. So, he organised the screening in his city, Kumamoto.

I tried to make the fabric art!


There was a harp in his factory, too!

Screening in the evening at the anti-atom meeting.

After the screening, Miyata-san and Mori-san took me to the local restaurant to eat raw horse meat! This is the famous food in Kumamoto.

And the fresh raw fish.
And the curry!

I thought I was definitely going to be fat after the trip. All the food I had was very tasty and I thought people living in Tokyo had to have very bad food for very high price.

I went to the hotel.

The breakfast was buffet style.

In the morning, I went to Kumamoto Castle.

The wall is beautifully designed not to be invaded by enemies.

I had a Japanese green tea and sweets.

I saw Miyata-san again in the afternoon, and I went to the church for the screening. People were setting up the screen!

Miyata-san's talk.

Post screening talk.

One lady said Brian was handsome and he looked like Clint Eastwood!!!!! What do you think?!?!

I flew back to Tokyo in the evening.

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Screening report 5-6.7.2009

I woke up at 5 am on Sunday and I got the highway bus from Tateyama to Haneda airport (domestic airport in Tokyo) to go to Fukuoka, Kyushu.

I arrived at Fukuoka airport, and it was very hot!

I went to the restaurant before going to the Fukuoka Asian Film Festival venue. Because I was hungly and I knew it would be better to eat something whenever I could otherwise I would miss the chance to eat at all!

With the film festival organisers, Maeda-san and Imamura-san.

With the film festival staffs

Post screening talk

After my film, I saw the documentary film "Smell of Sunshine" by Yoko Tashiro-san. I listened her talk.

After the film festival, I went to have dinner with the film festival staffs and other directors. The night's dinner is Motsu-Nabe (gut & vegetable pot). This is very popular food in Fukuoka.

I went to the hotel after the party.

The break fast was buffet style.

Traditional (?) Japanese breakfast!

I checked out the hotel and went to the station to get on a train to Kumamoto city.

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Screening report 3-4.07.2009

My film was shown at the "film festival" for the first time, so I went to Tateyama city, Chiba prefecture for Awa Peace Film Festival. Tateyama city locates two hours away from Tokyo by highway bus. Popular tourist place for beach and marine sports.

Tateyama Station

I checked in the hotel near the station.

When I arrived at the venue, I met film festival staff and did sound check for the screening. My film is super home-made, so only my film had to be lower the volume because of the loud traffic noise in Parliament Square!

At the opening, the film festival representative, Yagi-san had a speech.

Film festival was held for two days (Friday and Saturday). The first day was only one screening, America Banzai. The post screening talk by Asako Kageyama san (producer and interviewer of the film).

After the first day screening, we went to the restaurant/bar in the city with film festival members.

Tateyama is also known for very fresh raw fish (Sashimi).

On Saturday, I changed my hotel because I decided to stay one more day here. I had to go to airport on early Sunday morning to go to Fukuoka (Fukuoka Asian Film Festival), so it was easy for me to stay in Tateyama and go to the airport from there. This hotel is so old Japanese style!

In the room.

Saturday was my screening day. Before my film, I looked around the venue and took photos.

Film Festival venue.


Many of the film festival staff and also some audiences are organic farmers. They brought home-grown rice and vegetables. They were very tasty!

After my screening, I did post screening talk in the meeting room as film festivals's special event!

MC was Mao-san, film festival staff.

In the talk, we talked about the possibility of independent media. I talked about my experience how to make the documentary with the very cheap camera! In Tateyama, it is not a small city, but they don't have a cinema at all. So, for them, having film festival is a good opportunity to know what's going on in Japan and elsewhere. It is also important for them to have own media to get information for themselves. The talk lasted nearly two hours and I had a very good time with the audience.

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Screening report 20.6.2009

I had a screening on Saturday at MediR (citizen media centre) in Takada-no-baba. The screening was organised by Video Act.

I arrived at the centre half an hour before the screening. Then I met Video Act members. I only contacted with the organiser via e-mail, so it was my first time to see Tsuchiya Tokachi san. He is also a director of the film; A Normal Life, Please).

The screening started at 4pm. There were 10 to 13 people at the screening.

After the screening, I did a post-screening talk with Tsuchiya-san.

"Why did you make the film?" - I think this is the most popular question for me so far. I was asked this time, too. Then I answered as usual, "I got my video camera for fun before studying abroad in the UK, the I learnt how to make films through uploading videos on YouTube. Normally, people don't seem to be impressed by this answer, but this time people were interested in the fact I'm the filmmaker from YouTube!

I think that YouTube (or other internet media) is popular than TV or film, so I am not surprised there are new filmmakers from YouTube. But when I saw their reaction, I changed my idea, probably there are not so many YouTube-based filmmakers in the professional field yet.

I learnt a lot from making YouTube videos. I repeated filming, editing, and uploading videos from Brian to my flatmates. Looking at the videos, then I realised I needed to film buildings or other different scenes when I go to film some events or something. I was thinking "I need to film the event from beginning to the end!", and I didn't think about the entrance scene or audiences. So, now I have to be careful to film everything related to the event. Another example, I used to chat a lot when I interview someone. But when I looked at the footage, I really hated I spoke to the interviewee and talking my opinions!!

Audiences asked me "How did you make relationship with Brian and other protesters?", "How about toilet?", "Did you interview withy pro-war people?", "How did Brian decide to start the 24/7 protest?", etc.

The post screening talk was finished around 6pm, then we had a mini-party in the same venue. Tsuchiya-san bought some beers and snacks. Video Act members, MediR people, and three audiences joined the drink.

People started talking more frankly than the post-screening talk. Since I made the film, I have a lot of opportunities to meet Japanese peace campaigner and independent filmmakers. When talking with them, I realise I don't have that background. This is good and bad. Some peace campaigner said my film looked unique, because most of anti-war films they had seen were dark and negative.

I started to be interested in peace campaign and making film through Brian. Before going to UK, I had never joined any peace activities in Japan, of course I was against wars though.

At the drinking party, some people started to talk about the Japanese flag I used in my film. I used the image when I talk about Japan and Japanese protesters. I used the flag with the image of mass people walking the Shibuya crossing. I intended to express Japanese society's oppression. But the Japanese flag is very controversial background.

The Japanese flag and the national anthem are considered a controversial symbol of the militaristic past of the country.

I edited my film in the UK. Because the history of Parliament Square is very long and complicated, and I had to understand all the dialogues in the footage, so I needed the help from Paul and other people. I was the only Japanese who watched the film before its made. When I was making the Japanese part and the flag, I was thinking about the shape of the red circle (it was a bit ellipse in the beginning, so modified it to the perfect circle), but not about the background history!!!!

I think of myself, I am the person who prefer not to reveal the story until it done. I don't want to show the procedure of the making. But I started to think it may be a good thing to show the un-completed film to different people who are familiar to the issue and get advise from them. I have seen my film well over 100 times, but lots of things I didn't realise until I showed to other people! I'm sure I would not realise even watching it over 1,000 times by myself!!!

Director Kamanaka Hitomi san has a style of making video letters and showing them before completeing her final films. I think it is a good idea. Because she can get people's comment and reaction, then continue her filming on the issue. I think there are not so many filmmakers who can have a long-term filming budget, but I definitely think I want to get a lot of advise during making a film in future!!

About Video Act (English page)

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Screening report 6.6.2009

I left my flat on Friday night for the screening in Kyoto. I got on a highway bus from Shinjyuku, then I arrived in Kyoto station on the next morning.

On the bus, I felt very hot, so I couldn't get much sleep. I was very tired when I got off the bus. It was still very early in the morning. I had an appointement at noon to interview some people at Kyoto University, then screening would start at 6, so I wondered how I could kill my free time. There were no 24hour restaurants, so I walked around carring my heavy luggage.

I found a shrine, and laid on the stone bench. Then I slept for three hours!!! When I woke up, it was already 10, then I jumped out from the stone bench. I felt very good because of the sleep, but I thought it was not safe sleeping in the public space with all my belongings!!

I had a breakfast, then I headed to Kyoto University. I heard the weather forecast was cloudy/rainy, but the weather was very good and fairy hot. On the way to the university, I bought a bag of rice for the people I was going to see.

The symbolic clock tower and the camphor tree of Kyoto University.

Well, why did I come to the uni? Because I was going to interview 'Union Extasy' (cool name!!)' members. Union Extasy was formed in 2007 in order to against the university admin's regulation of "5 year rule".

The university made the rule for temporary workers, their annual contract would renew up to 5 years. Half of the university employees are "temporary" workers (over 2,600 people!!). But their job and responsibility are not "temporary" at all, they are just employed as "temporary" to reduce personnel cost.

University admin explains why they have 5 year rule, because if they renew the contract so many times, employees "expect" to be hired like full time workers, so they stop hiring person 5 years later whether the person is very able or not.

Union Extasy's blog (Japanese only)

Ex Kyoto University's temporary workers, Inoue-san and Ogawa-san are the main member of Union Extasy. They are against the 5 year rule and squatting the place under the uni's symbolic camphor tree until university admin agree with having meeting with Extasy Union. They also opened  "Kubi Kubi cafe" (lay-off cafe) under the tree!

The sign of Kubi Kubi cafe

Inoue-san recently vacated his flat and he brought all his household effects to the cafe and living here. He used to work in the uni's library, so he likes books. Most of his household effects are tons of books!! So, he started to sell his book collections when the weather is good.

The day I visited them, the weather was very hot, but under the camphor tree, I felt very cool and comfortable. They explained to me why I could feel good under the tree, because the camphor tree has essential oil in it and used to aromatic products. I see!!

Cafe's menu is several kinds of coffee (they roast here!), tea, cocoa, herb tea, etc. Customers pay the fee as donation. But price of the drink depends on customer's income (if his/her annual salary is 2,000,000 yen (10,000 pounds), the price of the coffee is 200 yen (1 pound). Inoue-san and Ogawa-san  are unemployed since April, so Union Extasy's activities are supported mainly by the danation from the cafe.

Roasting coffee beans!!

I heard 2,600 people are employed as temporary workers to Kyoto University. So, I thought it must be very powerful if all of them go on strike for a day. Kyoto University would go panic so easily because half of the employees go on strike. I asked Union Extasy about the idea. They said "We started the union and the strike without thinking carefully. Now I think we should have planned carefully before starting."

Most of the other temporary workers have sympathy with Extasy Union, but they worry about their contract renewal stopped by joining the union. So, they are not satisfied by the situation, but they can't do anything about it. Some temporary workers visited them at night and gave cold remedy, left very quickly...

I can understand both situations. But if we don't protest, our rights are neglected by the authorities. If someone stand up with courage, but he/she can't get support from people, the movement will not get bigger... What I can do about this? I don't know, but one thing I can do is letting people know problems and report their activities to get support... I'm still trying to do many different ways.

University admin still not having meeting with Union Extasy. Addition to that, they sued the union for squatting the university premise!! They even said "the tent is eyesore", "cause damage to the camphor tree".....!!!! It reminds me the infamous London GLA!!!!

Union Extasy has been squatting over three month now. If you have a chance to go to Kyoto, please visit their Kubi Kubi cafe. You will get very delicious coffee :-)

I realised the time was already 4 pm, so I headed to the screening venue, Hito-machi Koryu-kan.

Outside of Hito-machi Koryu-kan Kyoto.

Today's event board

The screening room was on the third floor. I met the today's organiser, Peace Movie-ment. It was my first time to see them face-to-face!

The screening room....too big!!

I was told that I had to post-screening talk by myself. It was kind of a lecture-style talk, but I had never tried. The talk was 30 minutes, the questions from audiences were 30 minutes.

I was a bit nervous about the lecture-style talk, because normally I had post-screening talks with someone who ask questions to me and lead the conversation. But if I have to talk by myself, I don't know about the peace movement in Kyoto, so I don't know what subjects attract audiences!

On the other hand, I was interested in having talk by myself, too. I found myself quite enthusiastic about making film and telling British peace movement to Japanese people. So, I thought I wanted to try. I don't believe there will be miracle without effort. So, I wrote down all topics I wanted to talk. It became 3 pages on A4 paper.

After the screening, I did my first lecture-style talk! I talked about how I met Brian, why I wanted to make a film, inside story of Brian & Co, freedom of speech in Britain, other British famous protest groups, etc. These topics I chose were the questions I was often asked from audiences.

When I started talking, I realised my way of talking changed along with the audiences' response. I was the only person who spoke, but I felt audience reaction and it decided me to talk more in details!! Especially, I felt Kyoto audiences were interested in protest, so I talked a lot about the topic.

When I talked half of my list, I looked at the clock and I found I had only 5 minutes! So, I couldn7t talk all of the topics I prepared. I have to  care about time procession.

In the Q & A session, I got a lot of questions, comments and advises from audiences. For example, "Does British media report war better than Japanese media?", "Are you going to film Brian in future, too? I hope so!", "Have your life changed after making this film?", "Does Brian have trouble with other people?", "You should appeal more about it is your first film, it will encourage others to make film, too!" etc.

Time was up, so the screening ended. After the screening, me and the staff members, and audiences went to the Japanese style restaurant/bar.

In the restaurant, I was happy to listen what other people do in their daily lives. One guy said, he graduated Kyoto university. He explained the rough and unrefined character of the uni, student dormitory (some dormitory was functioned like sanctuary; some exile people are living over decades, they are nothing to do with the uni!!). My university in Tokyo was not politically active, so I was very surprised to hear those stories!

The party finished around midnight, then I stayed at the hotel near Kyoto station.

On the next day, I had still enought time to look around Kyoto city because my highway bus was goint to depart at 10:30 pm. I went to Gion town where it is famous for Maiko (apprentice geisha).

It is like feeding frenzy!! What!!??

It reminded me of the chaos at London demonstration! They tried to take photos of Miko!

I could take a photo, too :-)

I went to Yasaka shrine.

I had a Kyoto-style lunch. Customers can choose their favourite mini dishes (Obanzai) from counter table. Kyoto is also famous for vegetable pickles. There are even pickles of asparagus, pumpkin, etc. They were all tasty!


After lunch, I was walking around the Gion town, then I found a very old temple. It was "Yasui-Konpira" shrine.

These wooden pieces are called "Ema". You can write down your wish on a wooden piece. For example, good health, love, money, longevity, passing the exam, and so on.

When I looked at some Ema, I was so surprised at their wishes!!!

It says; "I have been putting up with my wife for ten years, but it is enough. I want to divorce as soon as possible!"

I realised all of Emas here were like that! I didn't know the shrine was famous for "breaking off" until I got there. So people wish divorce, quite a job, smoking, relationship, some people even want to good-bye to their fat!!

The shrine also sell "breaking off" papers along with Ema. People can write down wishes on the piece of paper (it costs 2 pounds per paper!) then stick to the object. There were already too many papers, so I didn't know how the original object looked like. I thought "breaking off" business was free from this global financial crisis!!!

After sightseeing Gion, I got on the highway bus from Kyoto station, then came back to Tokyo.
I really enjoyed my first Kyoto screening :-)

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Screening report 16.05.2009

I had a screening on last Saturday in my home town, Hachioji, Tokyo. The screening was held in Mt. Takao.

Mt. Takao was rated by the French Michelin Red Guide, and it got  three stars along with the famous tourist spots like Mt. Fuji and Kyoto. You can enjoy the nature and the beautiful scenery unlike the other places in Tokyo. However, there has been a big government project since 20 years ago to build a long motorway which goes right through Mt. Takao. Local people have been protesting against the project to protect the nature of Mt. Takao.

Screening on 16th May was organised by the Mt. Takao's environmental NGO, Kenjyu-no-kai. I met the Kenjyu-no-kai members at the peace demo against G8 summit in Sapporo, 2008. I had been familiar with the British/European style demonstartion, but I was fascinated by the Japanese style protest. Because there were bout 5,000 people with very colourful style joined the peace walk. I could see the Kimono ladies, paper origami cranes, costumed people, and Chin-don-ya (a banc of musical sandwichmen)! I thought it was a collective of Japanese culture! I spoke to the Chin-don-ya people, then I knew they were the member of Kenjyu-no-kai.

I think there are a lot of different styles of protest on many different issues like anti-war, climate change, human rights, and so on. Brian's protest is just one of them. But I assume the reason why I was fascineted by the Parliament Square peace campaign and Kenjyu-no-kai is their colourfulness and unique style even they are facing very serious issue. I was impressed to see their musical sandwichmen style, and also, I was intrigued by their tree house they built in Mt. Takao for their demonstration! So I asked Sakata-san if I could have a screening at the tree house.

I had never seen a tree house before. I just looked it at their website. But the picture was small and not clear, so I wondered how they put the house on a tree.....

On the screening day, the weather forecast was cloudy/rainy. I was a bit worried about the weather and arrived at Takao station.

The sign of Takao station

Takao is famous for Tengu (long-nosed goblin)

We got off the bus at "Hikage" station. There was a trout fishing place. The liver was beautiful!

We walked along the road and wondered where the tree house located. Suddenly, my friend said "Is this tree house?!", we looked up.

Yes!!! It must be a tree house!!!!

We walked through the gate and arrived at the small office. I said hello to Sakata-san. Normally, when I have a screening, I have a little meeting with the organiser before the screening. But on the day, we were already very excited about the tree house, so we ran into the tree house!! I took so many pictures and climbed onto the roof, and.....I'm sure I didn't look like the film director.....!!!!

The bridge to the tree house

The tree house was hold tightly by the 80-year-old tree. The tree house was made by the staffs. It took a year to build it! (They had weekly workshop to build it with specialists.)

The holes for plants.

Opening the little window on top, you can go to the roof! (Up to 5 people)

Full view of the tree house

After enjoying the tree house, the sun was going down. It was my first time to show Brian & Co. outdoors. Behind the screen, there were beautiful green... it was so nice!

Staff people prepared the foods and drinks.

About 15 people came to the screening. The weather was OK. But I thought Mt. Takao was definitely colder than city of Hachioji. I regretted I only wore normal clothes. During the screening, the foods were delivered, so it was very good timing to warm up.

After the screening and the food, Sakata-san, me and audiences joined the talk. We talked about how we could protest effectively. Demonstration? Petitions? Strike? There are many ways of protest which we and our ancestors have tried. Kenjyu-no-kai also has been trying every possible ways of protests to stop the motorway project. However, like other protests, they are struglling with government pressure, and the government is going to start destroying the Mt. Takao to make the motorway tunnel.... People talked about Brian's protest, and we exchanged the ideas if we did the same thing in Japan, or the cultural and social differences between UK and Japan.

I made the film about the Parliament Square peace campaign, but I do not think the Japanese people can import the style as it is. Because our situation and culture is different from UK. But I think the Japanese people can share the spirit of British style protest, especially their sence of humour. (Also there are things which British people can share the Japanese demonstration style). In practical way, I still don't know how we can protest effectively though....

Many of Japanese people have a negative image against the protest. Some people think the protests (or the protesters) are dangerous, dark, etc. But through the screenings, I met so many Japanese protesters who are very positive and enjoying their act. Kenjyu-no-kai is definitely one of the example!

On this weekend, 23rd May, Kenjyu-no-kai has an even "Jyo-mon Calling" at Hikage-sawa camp site, near Mt. Takao. There are workshops and live music and talk.
(Sorry, it is written in Japanese. But the event is open for everyone:-)

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