Kawaii Burka ~ When 2D meets 0D

Each year, the annual Doha International Book Fair (ドーハ国際図書展), in Qatar, picks a country as a special featured guest. For 2012, that honor went to Japan. There is a strong demand for manga in the Middle East. More than 4,200 manga and character products were on display at the fair, and more than 3,500 were sold. Sets of Death Note and Vampire Knight sold out on the third day of the event.

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Shojo manga, or girl’s manga, dominated the shelves at the Dubai fair.

“In the Muslim world, public pastimes for women are still limited. As a result, there’s strong demand for home entertainment. Manga-loving girls constantly check the Internet and are more aware of the latest manga than boys,” Uramoto said. “Series featuring school life are particularly popular because there aren’t coed schools here, and these girls are also interested in cultures they aren’t familiar with.”

- Middle Eastern girls embrace Japanese culture through manga, Yomiuri, Takamasa Sakurai, Jan. 18, 2013
Reunions in Doha. Talking Idols and Lolita Fashion in the Middle East!, Asian Beat, Takamasa Sakurai
2012年ドーハ国際ブックフェアーレポート, Aokiu, Dec. 26, 2012
ドーハ国際図書展 イベントのようす, Sumire Uesaka blog, Jan. 11, 2013

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The major events at Japan booth and guests from Japan were :

- Cosplay Show on Dec. 14-15 by cosplay designer Kanna
– Kawaii Fashion Show on Dec. 21-22 by Kawaii Taishi Misako Aoki and fashion designer Fumiko Kawamura
– Talk Show on Dec. 15-16 by seiyu Sumire Uesaka
– Lecture on Robot on Dec. 14-15 by robotist Tomotaka Takahashi
– Lecture on Introduction to Japan’s pop culture for children by pop culture expert Takamasa Sakurai

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Qatari fans with Kanna

doha_international_book_fair05 Lecture by pop expert Takamasa Sakurai

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Seiyu Sumire Uesaka posing with Qatari fans

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Sumire Uesaka posing with Qatari Kigurumi.

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