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Fur-st draws fans to Tokyo; fursuiters jump rope at Kemospo

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Furry fandom has had an international following for over a decade, most notably in central Europe, the UK, Australia and Russia. Japan has been a tougher nut to crack, but the rise of local kemono events (many dominated by fursuiters) suggests they may be catching up fast.

March 20 saw the third instance of Fur-st (?????), in Minato, Tokyo. The one-day event included sales of fanzines prepared by a circle of local artists, and attracted 270 fans.

Fur-st 3 came two months after Kemospo, a furry sporting event held in a gymnasium in Skukza, Mie Prefecture. Promoted with the worrying slogan "No sports, no life", the five-hour schedule included dodge-ball, extended jump rope, free throws, and a 20m relay (photos).

The largest furry event in Japan is the annual Kemocon, held each November in Kawasaki. Japan also has an equivalent to Frolic, and saw a kemono doujinshi exposition in 2011.

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I see the url is fur-st so perhaps it is meant to be like that but I'm including my original question anyway.
Is it meant to be translated as Fur-st? If you translate ????? as it is it could be Faasuto, which would sound like fursuit. On the blog they use ? and not ~, which could mean you should hold the sound, although according to Wikipedia it's not standard use with hiragana.

Saying furry has an international following makes it sound like it belongs to America, since that's probably the biggest furry market but isn't included in your list. It is international but it's not following any specific place, it's a global community.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I can't claim any knowledge of Japanese - perhaps a play on words? The event seems to be based around artwork and comics more than fursuits.

I'd say that furries can be found worldwide, but that furry fandom – not the concept, but the culture associated with it – originated in and is still dominated by the USA. As time goes on, I expect this cultural dominance to lessen, and other influences to creep in; for example, Japanese fursuits and kemono art are a mixture of local and foreign styles.

Part of what is so interesting about Japanese events is how the American furry culture is being adapted to local customs. Fursuit games have long been a feature of furry conventions, but I don't think anyone had considered making an event based primarily around them; in part, because the proportion and concentration of fursuit ownership has been too low to make it feasible.

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The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association sent an invitation (in English, since nobody in the ALAA speaks Japanese) to Kemocon last August to appoint a representative to the ALAA, to share in the administration of the Ursa Major Award since it is supposed to be an international award, not just for American fans. But we never received a reply.

Fred Patten

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Well once I learn Japanese I can help out. ^^ Might take a while though as other things are keeping me from putting too much focus on it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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It is almost definitely a pun. It is also odd that they used hiragana rather than katakana. Strange.

I suspect that the Japanese furry fandom is very different than the American one because the Japanese culture has always had a very pervasive anthropomorphism tendency, probably due to the animism that's inherent in Shinto. There probably isn't much need for a fandom there because it's so commonplace and every-day anyway.

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For a cultural perspective, Japanese cartooning is much more likely to draw a non-anthropomorphic animal anatomically correct than American. In other words, Americans are obviously a bit more repressed about certain things than Japan. To put it very, very, very mildly, going both ways.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that sexualizing a cartoon animal just ain't no thang in Japan, while in America, it really is a big deal.

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FWIW, ????? sounds more like "first" than "fursuit." If you've watched Japanese anime (or listened to Japanese conversation in general), you might notice that the ubiquitous "desu" sounds more like "dess"--the "u" in the "su" is short and isn't very noticeable. "Fursuit" would need a long "u", i.e., ?????? (the actual word used is ??????, which sounds kinda like "fursuits").

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Didn't know they have their own word for fursuit. Perhaps it is meant to be said like first then. "Su" isn't always shortened like that though, for example "sumimasen." I think the contraction is more of an exception, and I've also seen it happen with "shi."

This is meant to be directed at Anon but I posted in the wrong place. Again. -.-

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Yeah, the phenomenon is known as "vowel devoicing," and there are some rules about when it happens... the "su" in "sumimasen" is pronounced because it's followed by "mi," which starts with a voiced consonant. It's not really pronounced in "faasuto" because both "su" and "to" start with unvoiced consonants. Wikipedia has an overview and Google has more details if you're interested.

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Ah. Don't know those rules, just learning them example by example. I did then glance at the links but it was quite confusing so still not totally sure how it works.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.