Sakura-con Japanese Relations

A lot happened this year, and I should have been taking notes. Hitomi did a pretty good job of describing her Friday which is typical every year we've been at the convention.

For those without the benefit of understanding Japanese, Hitomi wrote a list of scheduling and guest issues discovered that day. For example, Mr. Daiichi was returning to Japan on Sunday, but his autograph signing session was scheduled that day. We take on the responsibility of running around talking to the executive staff in programming, relations, and other departments on fixing things at the last minute. This sort of represents the sorts of things dealt with by relation staff.

Those dealing with musical guests, have similar last-minute problems which come up. Eureka, for example, was practically up all night trying to locate all the things required by Avex staff at 11PM at night before the next day's event, while simultaneously trying to get a full equipment sound check ready. Since the sound equipment was being concurrently used by the dance, setup was delayed until 1-2AM. She supposedly only got a few hours sleep each night.

What did the other staff do? Hideki ("dancho") is a point of contact for us all, and the interface between us and Sabrina, who is relation department head. Masaki is sort of the off-site guest services and off-site translator, though he does not drive. Our boss ("dancho"). The rest of the Japanese staff provide panel and press translation, some do a bit of guest hosting, some I never really saw share meals with the guests, which is what I often do.

What did I do? I'm not a panel or press translator, though I'm able to read most Japanese fine, my problem is I hardly speak Japanese anymore or participate in conversation practice. And just being a shy guy interferes with opening up to people. It also doesn't make you relaxed when you sit face-to-face with a veteran voice actress, or are talking with a director or character designer. And when there's a group of them happily communicating, it's a bit difficult to jump into a conversation.

But whatever lack of language skills I have, I am considered "reliable" (perhaps because Hitomi is so much so) and have a reputation to do whatever it takes. This is probably why I get invited back every year.

The two biggest (unstated) goals of the staff are: 1. Ensure the guests are happy. 2. Provide an environment for them to interact with their fans. For us, satisfying both goals is actually quite fun, though sometimes exhausting.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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One Response to Sakura-con Japanese Relations

  1. Dancho says:

    You've summarized what we do at the Con, and that's very cool! 🙂

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