Japanese Market


icona vintage

icona abbigliamentoThe Japanese market started in 2007 as a group of Japanese expats in Rome wished to find a place to meet, talk and spend some time together.

A walk through the stall

“We thought that it would be good to get to know those who10 were interested in Japanese culture– explains Kayo, one of the founders of the market – when we started there were only 20 stalls, while now they are 80 on average, attracting up 2000 visitors per day”. In fact, walking through the 80 stalls, you can find almost anything from Japan: manga and cartoons, objects such as the traditional heroes t-shirts, decorated pottery with Studio Ghibli like images.
Giulia is one of the historical market exhibitors, her love for Japanese culture dates back a few years. “It all started when I was 15 and I used to read mangas – she tells us – then I began to make pottery and I tried to put these two passions together, just for fun. I have been coming since the very beginning, when we were just a few stands in a Japanese association, then the market moved to the Artists’ circle and since a few years we hold it here at Black Out”.
1What is amazing walking through the stalls is seeing so many customers dressed up as theirfavorite characters, including make-up, wigs and perfect outfits. Annary, for example, has grown up with Japanese culture, as her parents used to take her to cartoon Expo when she was little, then she developed her passion becoming an illustrator and bringing back many characters in the sketches she used to exhibit at Romics. “Now I have more time for cosplay and I started to make the costumes of my favorite characters by myself, from Sailor Moon to Lolita” she tells us.
Some live Japanese culture through origami art and tea. “My love for tea is old and I’m happy I succeeded in turning it into a job – explains Veronica – in addition to tea which I import from Japan, I got more and more interested into pottery for this ritual and then I fell in love with origami, which I now make and sell together with tea. I enjoy spending time in front of a cup of natural tea, creating something beautiful without expensive means, I try to nurture the values of sobriety and pleasure at the same time”. 
At the sushi bar, on top of raw fish, you can also find other Japanese food, traditional but l7ess popular abroad, such as the delicious dorayaki, cookies decorated with azuki beans jam.
The market is also the place for cosplaying competitions, Japanese language classes, karaoke or origami workshops. “We get the feeling of time going by from the first visitors, who later became exhibitors, maybe they ended up in big trade fairs with their products, but they started with us – tells us Kayo – or there are those who keep on coming to the Japanese market, but in the meanwhile they got married or had children”.

Alice's Wonderland

"The Japanese market was a real discovery… I 11haven’t been to Japan yet, but I really want to go because I want to find Totoro. You don’t know Totoro? It’s a big animal, between a bear and a raccoon, who becomes invisible when he wants to. It’s the main character of a cartoon I really like, made by an old man called Hayao. Funny name for a grandpa with white mustaches who can make beautiful drawings. When I went to the Japanese market I met this young lady who is almost as good as him and decorates Totoro on beautiful mugs. So, for the time being, as I cannot travel to Japan yet, if I really want to see Totoro I can go to the market".

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio