NEWS

June 30th, 2021
Announcement of Contest Final Results
June 25th, 2021
Regarding Works Advancing to Final Evaluation
April 1st, 2021
Announcement of Application Period Closure
February 17th, 2021
Important Announcement Regarding Update in Contest Period

Contest Overview

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become nearly impossible to travel to internationally and the number of people traveling abroad has severely decreased.
Currently, the number of tourists coming to Japan from overseas is almost non-existent.
However, according to a joint survey* between the Development Bank of Japan and the Japan Travel Bureau Foundation, there are tremendous amounts of people who want to travel abroad once this situation has been resolved, and Japan is high on the list of most-desired destinations.
Therefore, by letting people interested in Japan know about its nature, climate, culture, etc., and showing the merits of Japan to those who may be interested, the number of people captivated by Japan will increase, creating fans new and renewed alike. Two new contests aimed at collecting videos and characters to share the charm of Japan with the world are now underway.

Video Division

Overview

The purpose of this contest is to allow you to freely express what you want to convey about the charm of Japan and have it widely popularized by Cool Japan. Contest entries will be evaluated by judges who are active in pop culture and tourism, with outstanding entries planned to be adopted by the Government of Japan in efforts to promote the Charm of Japan in overseas diplomatic establishments, public relations, receptions, social media and more.

Click here for details

Winning Entries

First Place

Video Title

Artisans preserving traditional crafts, skills, and the future (Japanese ver.)

Submitted By

Ogawa Hiroyuki

Runner-up

Video Title

COOL JAPAN

Submitted By

Multicreator no Nichijou [one sense]

Runner-up

Video Title

Cool Japan Beautiful Four Seasons Mt.Yatsugatake

Submitted By

Yatsugatake21_4K_Japan

Honorable Mention

  • Video Title

    Traditional Japanese Dance from Kyoto. (short ver.)

    Submitted By

    Ruriko(Rururu Kikaku)

  • Video Title

    NINJA×DRONE DAIJUJI


    Submitted By

    HITOHATA, INC.

  • Video Title

    Music of the World's Softest Towel
    (COOL JAPAN Video Contest) #CJVideos2020

    Submitted By

    Shiori Saito

Judges

  • Aoki Yu

    Aoki Yu

    President and CEO of MATCHA, Inc.
    Born in Tokyo in 1989 and graduated from the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University. President and CEO of MATCHA, Inc. Regional Producer for the Cabinet Office’s COOL JAPAN. Traveled around the world as a student, and was engaged with the production of the 2012 Doha International Book Fair. He started working independently after serving at the digital agency augment5 inc. He started operating MATCHA, internet media designed for foreign visitors to Japan in February 2014. MATCHA collaborates with various organizations, prefectures and local governments, is currently available in 10 languages and is accessible in over 180 countries.

  • Yupharet Eakturapakal

    Yupharet Eakturapakal

    CEO & Founder, G-Yu Creative Co., Ltd.
    CEO & Founder of G-Yu Creative Co., Ltd., an organization focused on Thailand that plans and operates all divisions of large-scale Japan-related events, entertainment shows and concerts, and also provides business matching support between Japan and Thailand. As a die-hard fan of Japan, he has utilized his experience studying in Japan to plan and operate over 100 Japan-related events, including Japan Expo Thailand. The Facebook page used for these events has a large number of followers, and the media often refers to them as the “Queen of Japan Events”. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, such as the CEO AEC AWARD. He has an extensive network with the media, government, and celebrities.

  • Hirano Aya

    Hirano Aya

    Hirano Aya kicked off her career as a child actor in 1998, later debuting as a voice actor when she was just fourteen years old. She got her big break as the titular character in the 2006 anime The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and has given voices to numerous characters since. Her range of activities were well-rounded from the start, initially making appearances as an actor, voice actor, and singer. In 2006 she began holding solo tours in animation and music, much to the delight of fans in both industries. In that same year, she was appointed by the Cabinet Office as an Ambassador of COOL JAPAN responsible for Pop Culture initiatives. She has made performances at overseas events in the USA and France, helping popularize Japanese content across the globe. Her stage appearances include Lady Bess, Mozart!, and Les Miserables. She is known in the anime world for her roles in The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, FAIRY TAIL, DEATH NOTE, and Let’s Go! Anpanman.

  • Makino Tomoe

    Makino Tomoe

    After being responsible for web service development at AOL Japan, he was in charge of the development of new domestic projects for Google and YouTube as a director of business development at Google from 2003 to 2010. In 2011, he was involved with the planning and implementation of business strategies to increase the number of Twitter users in Japan. After that, he was appointed as the Representative Director of Tripadvisor in September 2016. He also collaborated with local governments to promote inbound tourism with foreign travelers’ perspectives in mind. He retired from the company in November 2020. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Digital Strategy Advisor. He has a profound knowledge of IT platform-related business development and content application.

  • Matsumoto Rika

    Matsumoto Rika

    She has been involved in the acting industry since she was a little girl, and has stood tall as an actress on various stages, including in the music industry. With an inherently cheerful and lighthearted voice, she also serves as a radio personality and variety program commentator.
    Her performance of the Pokemon anime title theme song Mezase Pokemon Master sold over two million copies. She was the first woman to sing the Kamen Rider song Alive A Life, capturing the hearts of many fans across all generations. She works to bring smiles to children’s faces through the Manmaru Project, an initiative that she launched. In 2019 she published her own children’s book series titled Yumeraccho. As she has many fans across the glove, she is very active overseas as well, giving solo singing performances and making appearances at conventions such as Japan Expo. She was appointed as an ambassador of Cool Japan in 2019.

  • Kenichi Watanabeのプロフィール画像

    Kenichi Watanabe

    President, XPJP, Inc.
    Value Designer
    Cabinet Office Value Design Committee Member, COOL JAPAN Strategy Experts Committee Member
    After working for KDDI, The Asahi Shimbum and the Cabinet Secretariat’s Regional Revitalization Integrated Secretariat, he became the president of XPJP and serves as a representative of the board of directors for Genki Japan. He is also a researcher at the Graduate School of System Design and Management at Keio University. Watanabe is also involved in Japanese value design centered around SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious). As the general producer of international-regional branding operations, he has developed projects for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan Sports Agency, the prefectural governments of Fukushima, Kochi, Tochigi and Ehime, Kansai Tourism Bureau, and the cities of Ishigaki, Tsuruoka and Ise. Born in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan and attended Gakushuin University in Tokyo. Completed courses at UC San Diego Extension and the Business for International Professionals Certificate Program (BUSIP) at the University of Washington.

Character Division

Overview

The purpose of this contest is to allow you to freely capture the coolness of Japan's Charm through a human character and have it widely popularized. Contest entries will be evaluated by judges who are active in pop culture and inbound tourism, with outstanding entries being made into real costumes worn by famous cosplayers at the official award ceremony. Winning entries are also planned to be used by the Government of Japan in their efforts to promote the Charm of Japan.

Example
Click here for details

Winning Entries

First Place

Niima Haruta

Submitted By

Niima Haruta

Runner-up

Yoichi

Submitted By

Yoichi

Runner-up

Penguu

Submitted By

Penguu

Cosplay Award

  • ocuto69

    Submitted By

    ocuto69

  • nuh

    Submitted By

    nuh

Honorable Mention

  • Utou Shii

    Submitted By

    Utou Shii

  • towa_blanche

    Submitted By

    towa_blanche

  • Anri Mike

    Submitted By

    Anri Mike

Judges

  • Iwabuchi Teiya

    Iwabuchi Teiya

    General Editor-in-Chief of Bijutsu Techo. Board Member of an art publishing company. He was born in Yokohama in 1975. In 1999, he graduated from Keio University with a degree in Economics. He became Editor-in-Chief in 2008 and has been at his present position since 2019, when he launched the art-focused electronic commerce website OIL by Bijutsu Techo alongside his brick-and-mortar store in the PARCO building in Shibuya, Tokyo. He’s also involved with many different aspects of the art scene, having made appearances at talk show events and as a judge at art exhibitions.

  • Enako

    Enako

    A cosplayer with an extensive and active background in television, radio, magazines and the internet. In addition to making the cover of various magazines, she has also been expanding her appearances into popular variety programs and television dramas with guest performances. Ever-popular on social media, she has amassed over 1 million followers across Instagram and Twitter. She was appointed as an Ambassador of COOL JAPAN by the Cabinet Office in April 2020.

  • Ōishi Masayoshi

    Ōishi Masayoshi

    Began pursuing activities focusing on anime and game content under the self-titled Ōishi Masayoshi moniker in 2014. As an artist, he has provided the theme songs of the anime series Ace of Diamond, Monthly Girls’ Nozoki-kun, and Tada Never Falls in Love. He was also responsible for the theme song of the Tokusatsu drama Ultraman R/B. While performing in his digital rock unit OxT, he performed the opening theme Union for the anime series SSSS.GRIDMAN, which became a #1 hit on iTunes and other various music platforms.

    As a writer under his own name, he wrote the mega-hit song Welcome to Japari Park, which was used as the opening theme for the 2017 anime series Kemono Friends. He will also be writing the theme songs for two different anime series premiering in April 2021: Imperfect for the series SSSS.DYNAZENON, and Role-playing for the series Dragon Goes House-Hunting. He has been attracting attention as a music creator by providing music for various artists.

  • Kizuna Ai

    Kizuna Ai

    Kizuna AI began her virtual talent activities in December 2016.
    Starting up her YouTube channel focusing on the theme of “Wanting to connect with everyone”, she became the world’s first Virtual YouTuber, reaching over 2.9 million subscribers on her official “A.I. Channel” and over 1.5 million on her live-stream gaming channel “A.I. Games”. But her talents are not limited to just YouTube; she is currently starring in television shows and commercials as well. Her fame as a celebrity has burst past Japan and spread the world over. She has overcome various barriers and challenges and is currently working on becoming a full-fledged professional recording artist. Using a combination of leading technologies in VR and AI, Kizuna AI is determined to bridge together the gap between the virtual and real world.
    ©Kizuna AI

  • Sato Kazutaka

    Sato Kazutaka

    International Otaku Expo Association (IOEA) Representative(https://ioea.info/
    Circle.ms Representative(https://circle.ms/
    Born in 1970, he has been involved with Comiket and other Doujinshi (self-published print work) conventions since he was a student. He also operates Circle.ms, an online service specializing in sales of Doujinshi. He is a founder and representative of the International Otaku Expo Association (IOEA), an international organization for Otaku Events focused on anime, manga and video games. As of 2020, over 150 events have been held in over 50 countries, and attendees outside of Japan have surpassed 6 million. Since 2019, he has served as a member of The Cabinet Office’s Intellectual Property CreativeJapanWG, and has been focusing on proposals for overseas COOL JAPAN strategies. His favorite anime are Space Runaway Ideon, Ghost in the Shell, Please Teacher!, and Steins;Gate.

  • Danny Choo

    Danny Choo

    Born and raised in England. After working as a computer engineer for Japan Airlines, a website manager for Amazon, and a product manager for Microsoft, he launched Culture Japan, a brand set on disseminating Japanese culture throughout the world via blogs, television, and by emceeing events.
    He is currently developing Smart Dolls, fashion dolls that he invented, and partners with local molding and sewing factories to have them made in Japan.
    He has been collaborating with numerous companies, such as Dentsu, The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Sunrise, Isetan, KADOKAWA, Bandai Namco, Kinokuniya and Warner Brothers to promote Japanese content and craftsmanship to the world.

Character Costume Models

  • Enako

    Enako

    A cosplayer with an extensive and active background in television, radio, magazines and the internet. In addition to making the cover of various magazines, she has also been expanding her appearances into popular variety programs and television dramas with guest performances. Ever-popular on social media, she has amassed over 1 million followers across Instagram and Twitter. She was appointed as an Ambassador of COOL JAPAN by the Cabinet Office in April 2020.

  • Ōishi Masayoshi

    Ōishi Masayoshi

    Began pursuing activities focusing on anime and game content under the self-titled Ōishi Masayoshi moniker in 2014. As an artist, he has provided the theme songs of the anime series Ace of Diamond, Monthly Girls’ Nozoki-kun, and Tada Never Falls in Love. He was also responsible for the theme song of the Tokusatsu drama Ultraman R/B. While performing in his digital rock unit OxT, he performed the opening theme Union for the anime series SSSS.GRIDMAN, which became a #1 hit on iTunes and other various music platforms.

    As a writer under his own name, he wrote the mega-hit song Welcome to Japari Park, which was used as the opening theme for the 2017 anime series Kemono Friends. He will also be writing the theme songs for two different anime series premiering in April 2021: Imperfect for the series SSSS.DYNAZENON, and Role-playing for the series Dragon Goes House-Hunting. He has been attracting attention as a music creator by providing music for various artists.

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