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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.