Japan Expo Sud - February 22-24, 2019 Marseille Chanot

Japan Expo Sud: back to the origin

In 2019, let’s celebrate the 10th anniversary of Japan Expo Sud! It’s a good opportunity to take a leap back and have a look at all that happened in those 10 years. Let’s start with the very beginning and Chibi Japan Expo Sud 1st Wave!

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The first poster, illustrated by Aurore, the official artist of Japan Expo festivals, with chibi (small) characters, just like this first edition that was called Chibi Japan Expo Sud.

If you were there, feel free to share any anecdotes our memories down this page!

Chibi Japan Expo Sud 1st Wave: key figures

Almost 10 years ago, on Feb. 20-22, 2009, Japan Expo Sud set foot in Marseille. And many people attended this first time:

  • 19 associations to entertain the attendees
  • 40 staff members to organize it all and welcome you
  • 103 exhibitors to exhibit their products
  • 23,715 attendees who gave a heartfelt welcome to this first edition

The 1st Wave photo album

Guests & Events

French and Japanese guests attended this first gathering, with:

  • The French comics artists Ancestral Z (DOFUS, Chaosland) and Mojojojo (Chaosland), with Ankama
  • Aurore, comics artist and illustrator of Japan Expo festival posters
  • Bamboo Orchestra, traditional music orchestra playing bamboo instruments 
  • The musician Ryô FUJIMURA, leader, guitarist and songwriter of the band AciD FLavoR, who had come to present his first solo project, Concrete
  • The mangaka Yuji SHIOZAKI, author of Ikki Tousen or Battle Club, who held a panel and signings
  • Yang SONG, the comics artist of Reload and Wild Animals
  • ☆Wotaku World Wave☆, a duo of J-pop and anisong covers

Click here to have all the history of the guests who attended Japan Expo Sud along the years


Chibi Japan Expo Sud 1st Wave already had a Main Stage for cosplay and fashion shows, and concerts, and several rooms and areas dedicated to activities – a Panel and Signing Room, an Activity Room, a Screening Room, a Martial Art Area, and a Drawing Area. Over 4,073sqm in one hall, the festival gave a wide insight into Japanese culture, pop and traditional.

The attendees discovered the premiere of Shining Tears X Wind in the Screening Room while local associations organized quizzes, karaoke, and other activities about manga, anime, or J-music in the Activity Room or at their booth. As for video games, retrogaming stood besides rhythm games – Dance Dance Revolution finals even took place on stage.

For a more traditional experience of Japan, a kimono fashion show took place on stage. In the festival alleyways, the public attendees a tea ceremony, learned the basics of calligraphy, relaxed with shiatsu, and admired an exhibit of 150 bonsai. On the tatami, five martial art associations held demos of their disciplines all day long. And gourmets also tried and enjoyed sushi and takoyaki!


It’s time to end up this first flashback and we’ll see you soon for a look back over Japan Expo Sud 2nd Wave which grew up fast.

And if you were there, please share your anecdotes and memories in a comment!

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