Japanese Yosakoi dance group Sakuramai (桜舞) was established in 2008. Since then, they have been performing at events like Taste of the Danforth, Japanese major league baseball night at the Rogers Centre, MATSURI in Yonge & Dundas Square and events at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Yosakoi dance mixes traditional and modern Japanese music and dance moves. It's colourful, loud, energetic and fun. In Japan, there are many Yosakoi teams and they compete at large annual festivals that fill a whole town with stage performances and parades of dancing.

Sakuramai's goal is to introduce this unique and exciting style of dance to Canadians to hopefully better their understanding of Japanese culture.

To find out more about Sakuramai, visit their website at


Miranda Tempest and JD Spark

Miranda Tempest and JD Spark are professional aerial artists with Toronto-based Illuminair Entertainment. Both are internationally acclaimed performers and instructors and have been featured in everything from stage shows, cabarets, television shows, and corporate events. They are thrilled to be back at Anime North and look forward to showcasing the best in cosplay circus!

Kris Oster

Kris attended her first Anime North back in 2001 and then proceeded to run away to Japan where for four years she studied Koto, among other traditional arts.

She is both excited and delighted to bring her knowledge and skills to Anime North and share what she's learned over nearly ten years of playing Japan's National Instrument.


The 404s

Join in the Anime North tradition of improvised anime hilarity! The 404s have been entertaining anime fans for over a decade around North America, and this weekend they're back at AN for their flagship shows. With your help, they’ll make up insanely funny scenes without a script, inspired by hot and classic anime! Check out their completely unique shows, including competitive “hockey-style” improv; a show where the team will create an entire “missing episode” of a popular anime; and the infamous "Last Pants Standing" show where your jaws will drop as much as the performers... You'll just have to see!


Read more: The 404s

Nagata Shachu

Nagata Shachu (formerly Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble), based in Toronto, Canada, has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since its formation in 1998. The ensemble has toured widely throughout Canada, the US and Italy performing in theatres, concert halls, and major music festivals.

While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the group's principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko. Taking its name from founder Kiyoshi Nagata, and shachu (an old term for a performing troupe), Nagata Shachu has become renowned for its exacting, straightforward yet physically demanding performances as well as for its diverse repertoire. Their playing is the combination of unbounded spirit with the highest levels of musicianship and discipline. The result is an unforgettable experience that is both powerful in expression and heartfelt in its sincerity.

Nagata Shachu has the unique distinction of having sponsorship from four major Japanese drum manufacturers. Since 1999, the ensemble has rehearsed in its own fully equipped and dedicated taiko studio.

In addition to having recorded five CDs of original music, Nagata Shachu produces its own annual concert where it premieres new works and often collaborates with guest artists.

Combining thunderous, primal drumbeats with subtle, intricate rhythms, the ensemble is able to produce a wide spectrum of sound. Featuring a vast array of Japanese taiko (including the massive O-Daiko), gongs, bells, wooden clappers, shakers and bamboo flutes, Nagata Shachu will take you on a musical journey beyond all borders.

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