So if you didn’t know already, Nakama, is the Japanese word for ‘Circle of Friends’. Japan Nakama is focused on highlighting the true extent of Japanese Culture in London. Allow Japanese and Culture loving Londoners to connect and become ‘Nakama’. The startup company launched in March 2016 by CEO & Founder Zia Rahim and is utilising Mobile Apps, Experiential Events and Japanese Entertainment to connect people to Japanese Culture in UK’s Capital. This means you’ll be able to find your local Japanese Karaoke, Access a Sushi Cooking Workshop or be updated on your favorite Anime news much easier than before.
CEO, Zia, realised the idea for Japan Nakama while working as a Manager at Sasuke Ramen, a Japanese Ramen Noodle Restaurant in London Liverpool Street. He organised many Japanese themed events, which brought ecstatic Japanese Culture enthusiasts, whom often said that they ‘stumbled upon’ the events – just as CEO Zia did 10 years prior as a college student. To find Japanese Culture in London, it’s either the Japan Centre or Hyper Japan who have the widest reach, being able to reach their target audiences. Other smaller Japanese events organisations such as English – Japanese language exchanges, Japanese Sake Tasting groups and other Japanese culture relation gatherings don’t reach the ears of London’s culture vultures – but Japan Nakama, is a central hub to unite them all!
Japanese Services, Projects and Apps
Japan Nakama has experimented with different projects with the aim of connecting everyone. Projects such as allowing other Japanese Services like Restaurants and Hair Salons to promote themselves using a Japan Nakama digital coupon. They also hosted culture exchange meetups at various Japanese Restaurants around London and even started an Internship Program for Japanese looking for work experience in London. Now, with solid experience, the company moves forward with it’s first Mobile App. The first in a series of Apps to be released on April 2017 which shows many upcoming Japanese events and meetups around London. Users are also able to read news articles from Japan related subjects such as Anime, Japanese Fashion, Food and more. A special feature called Spotlight, talks about particular people of great influence and contribution to London’s Japanese community – people such as Akemi Solloway, a descendant from Samurai family who started charities for Japan’s earthquake victims by hosting Kimono Dressing events!
Japan Nakama plans to take Apps to another level, with future plans for a Nakama Chat App similar to monstrously popular Line Messenger in Japan – for fans of Japanese Culture to network among each other.
Our Nakama – The team members
Founder Zia needed ‘Star-Players’, experienced in Japanese Culture and technology to get Japan Nakama off the ground, taking on board Haruka Takeuchi, a project manager at a London based Japanese Marketing Company – Claritas Marketing. She’s a graduate of Waseda University, a Japanese University renown for its influence in ‘Business’ and ‘International Cultural Relations’. Secondly, he brought on Wayne Daniels an Entrepreneur, Designer and Self-taught Japanese linguist and founder LSL, a performing arts clothing brand. And Alain Fundi, an Entrepreneur, Growth-Hacker who’s digital marketing tactics lead to a successful $1.6 million Kickstarter campaign with his previous team at startup, BLOCKS.
Japanese Events – Building memorable experiences
The Nakama, (aka the Team) have also set their sites on creating Events and opening a Japanese Entertainment Centre. The team are big admires of Tokyo: Night Tales, who recreated an actual Japanese environment in Shoreditch London, packed with Japanese food, Bars and even a Love Hotel.
Japan Nakama aims to create something similar, a real experience of Japan in London.
NEO JAPAN – A place to call home
Followed by the Japan Entertainment Centre: NEO JAPAN.
A mix of modern technology with traditional Japan. We’ll host Japanese themed events, exhibit new Japanese technology and products,
including a creative space for people crafting Japan related projects – inspired by the Artisan craftsmanship of Japan.
Inspired by the late Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus, which unfortunately shutdown in 2014 to be rebuilt into a hotel. NEO JAPAN Japanese Entertainment Centre aims to be the ‘Hang-out’ for Nakama, making this Japan’s ‘soft power’ channel in the UK.
It will include Karaoke, Latest Technology (Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality), Plant Technology, a Manga Cafe, Anime Cinema and all things that London loves about Japan.