Thursday, July 30, 2015

The 23rd Japan Teddy Bear with Friends Convention!

The 23rd Japan Teddy Bear with Friends Convention saw Artists from more than 9 countries taking part! It was the biggest show I have ever attended and probably the best in terms of the layout arrangement and location! The convention was held at Tokyo International Forum which near Ginza, an upscale luxury shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo where human traffic is high.

Grand Opening on the first day of the show
Some of the artists which I can identity are from - Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Latvia, Estonia, New Zealand and United States.

The convention had over 160 trading tables, with over 300 local and international teddy bear artists, suppliers and traders! It's really astounding!

We were happy to be located next to our friends Emi Etchu and Niina Kanai. We met a few times in Singapore and I was delighted to meet them again and do some catching up.

Wayneston Bears by Wayne Lim - Singapore Artist

L-R: Wayne & Ms Emi Etchu - Japan Artist

L-R: Ms Niina Kannai - Japan Artist & Wayne

Before the show opened, we can see the atrium was flooded with visitors! Everyone queued in an orderly manner and patiently waited for their turn to enter the hall. As the show announced it's grand opening at 12 noon, the crowd moved their way in and went to their regular/favourite artist tables.

The coordinator Ms Kayoko Jennings was very helpful and friendly. She even stationed translators nearby the overseas artist tables to assist with the translations with local visitors.

L-R: Event Coordinator Ms Kayoko Jennings 

L-R: Wayne & Mr Takeshi Morii ( President of Japan Teddy Bear Association)
After the 1st day of the convention ended, the thoughtful event organiser, president and team of the Japanese Teddy Bear Association arranged a dinner party for participating artists at Tsukino Shizuku. It's was an ideal place to have a traditional Japanese dinning experience.

What a sumptuous dinner! We even took a video of everyone introducing themselves! It was indeed a wonderful networking experience for Philip and myself.

Kayoko-san shared with us that this year's convention visitorship had 4300 people, which was about 300 more than last year! Many of the guests feedback that they had a wonderful time meeting the artists, the dealers, and the bears from around the world.

Atelier.Owl by Ms Masako Yoshimits - Japan Artist

Ms Masami Abe - Japan Artist

Koto Bears by Mari & Akemi Koto
I saw a few artists having their tables fully sold out on the very first day of the show! This really inspired me to improve myself and become like them some day! With the number of visitors, I am not surprised that many artists have sold more than half of their display by the 2nd day of the show!

Table Display by Taiwan Teddy Bear Association

Ms Yumi Ikeno - Japan Artist

Mr Masaya Sato - Japan Artist

Mori Bear - Japan Artist

Konpeitoudoll - Japan Artist

L. Dipper Bears - Japan Artist

Ms Han Hye Jung (Center) - Korea Artist

Ms Atsuko Minato - Japan Artist

Saint Bear by Ms Kaeko Hayashida - Japan Artist

D'Lyell Bears by Heather & Roy - New Zealand Artists

N.P. Bear Studio by Ms Nana - Japan Artist

Apricot House by Ms Fosako Iwasaki - Japan Artist

Noko Bear by Ms Tsushima Nobuko - Japan Artist

Kim's Bear by Ms Kimiko Murase - Japan Artist

You Bou by Ms Yumiko Nishimura - Japan Artist

Ayako's Bear by Ms Ayako Kusaba - Japan Artist

L-R: Jun Bear by Junko Ymaguchi and T's Pocket by Jisako Takahashi - Japan Artists 

Snow Angel by Ms Michiyo Ota - Japan Artist

Japan Kimono Bear by Ms Arisa Taeko Watanabe - Japan Artists

L-R: Mugya Bear by Ms Fujita Rie and A-tan Animals by Ms Saori Matsul - Japan Artists

MilkyWay by Ms Katsura Yoshida - Japan Artist

Little People by Ms Chie Mizukami - Japan Artist

Ms Shizuko Miyasaka - Japan Artist

YukoBears by Ms Otuki Yuko - Japan Artist

Karipuries by Ms Jibunosuke - Japan Artist

Bear Country Yoko by Ms Yoko Sekizawa - Japan Bear Artist
Hickory Bear by Ms Yuki Yamanaka - Japan Artist

L-R: Philip, Wayne, Ms Viktoria Golubeva (Estonia Artist) and Ms Tatjana Kolosova (Latvia Artist)

L-R: Ms Tatjana Kolosova (Latvia Artist), Ms Viktoria Golubeva (Estonia Artist), Wayne & Philip 

Lumi Koubou - Japan Artist

KiRoKi - Japan Artist

Baby Talk Bears by Ms Soyo Sato - Japan Artist

Po & X Teddy Bear - Japan Artist

Antique Heart by Ms Yuuki - Japan Artist

Bon Bon Qoo - Japan Artist

Ms Kurumi Hashino - Japan Artist

Ayu Bear by Ms Chiyoko Ayusawa - Japan Artist

Atelier Perro - Japan Artist

M*Bear - Ms Michiko Taguchi - Japan Artist

Hiromi Sugahara - Japan Artist

Chito Bear by Ms Manago Chitose - Japan Artist

Takako Bear by Ms Okamura Takako - Japan Artist

L-R: Wayne, Jumi Bear by Ms Jumi Yonesaki and Sachi Bear by Ms Sachiko Tokushige

Happy Tymes by Ms Beverly White - US Artist

L-R: Maggie Anderson and Beverly White

I considered myself lucky to have Russell and Rhaegar adopted on the 2nd day of the show. I stayed positively despite having zero sales on the first day as I was new to everyone in Japan. Many people also took my name cards and I am happy to at least make myself known in the Japan market.

Rhaegar and his new mum

Russell and his new mum and dad

We want to take this opportunity to thank the Japan Teddy Bear Association for organising such a successful event and we hope to be able to visit Japan again next year!

Giant animals display at the entrance of the convention

We would like to express our special thanks to Emi-san and Translators for helping us to do the English translation to the Japanese collectors.

L-R: Philip, Tommy (Ms Kayoko's son / Translator) and Wayne

Not forgetting to express our special thanks to Ms Annel Leung from Hong Kong as well. She is the one who recommended me the show and she also introduced some of her friends to me, namely Sonney Lai and Ivy Cheung.

Ms Annei Leung - Hong Kong Artist

Ms Ivy Cheng - Hong Kong Artist

Ms Sonney Lai - Hong Kong Artist

P.S - The next year's convention will be on July 30-31, 2016 at the Tokyo International Forum.