JAMAF's guest of honor is a holder of the prestigious Shogakukan Award. Mr. Kurata is famous for his manga series Aji Ichimonme. Born in Japan's Akita Prefecture, he was an assistant to Tetsuya Chiba before debuting with Moe Izuru. Originally an artist for children comics, he joined the ranks of shonen Mangaka in 1986 with his work Kaiun Salesman Sugiyama Hitoshi-kun. He is a professor of manga at Otemae University in Hyogo-ken, Japan and also a member of MANGA JAPAN. Mr. Kurata serves as a judge for the International Manga Awards run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japanese Government, and also as a judge for Digital Canvas Match. Outside of creating comics he also actively participates in community projects catering to nurturing new creative artists.
Originally from Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture and a graduate of Otemae University, Ms. Yukiko Yamagishi is a manga artist and works on both manga and illustration projects. She currently works as an assistant to Mr. Yoshimi Kurata drawing manga and illustrating social games, producing both drafts and sketches. She has worked on projects involving the games Cyber Agent, Tenka Toitsu Chronicle (Unification Chronicle), Book Live and others.
Enfu is a sushi & hamburger eatin' samurai cowboy. He grew up watching Dragon Ball & G.I. Joe, playing jan-ken-pon & rock paper scissors, and collecting Bikkuriman and Garbage Pail Kids. A bilingual Japanese American Nisei, his illustrations, blog, and comic aura reflect his identity exploration. A Bellevue-based game developer by day, and digital dreamer by night, Enfu cooks up anime cartoon cuteness flavored with a pinch of street culture. Learn more from his website: http://enfu.com
Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle will have information about opportunities in Japan to study and work with the JET Program in addition to interesting magazines about Japanese culture and current trends. Consulate staff will also be joined by PARO the therapeutic harp seal robot, so please visit our table and learn more about Japan!
Soju Projekt Seattle
Kenneth E. Lawrence and Kumiko Lawrence are Soju Projekt Seattle, sharing storytelling forms from throughout East, Southeast and South Asia through collaborative performances that feature cutting-edge technology, sound creators, and visual artists.
Heather Jean Uhl
Ms. Uhl is a faculty librarian at Everett Community College and advisor to EvCC's Japanese Club. She is a noted speaker, giving lectures on academic aspects of anime and manga at Sakura-con where she is known by her convention persona Lady Librarian. Ms. Uhl has also presented on the topic of kimono fashion at Bellevue College's Aki Matsuri. She is an artist and works with the idea of Meiji punk: a hybrid fashion aesthetic steeped in history and multiculturalism aligned with the international Steampunk movement. Learn more at her research blog: http://ladylibrarian123.blogspot.com/