Greetings from Consul-General Uchida Tatsukuni

Posted by Josh on July 21, 2022

Firstly, I would like to express my most heartfelt congratulations to the Ai-Kon team for their hard work and dedication which has created more than 20 years of Ai-Kon history. It is commendable that Ai-Kon, first started as an open-house event by the University of Manitoba Anime Club, has now become a major event that attracts more than 10 times the number of people.

Ai-Kon must come from the combination of the Japanese word “愛(ai)” for “love” and the English word “Convention”, derived from the Ai-Kon slogan, “for the love of Anime.” I would guess that “love” always comes from “what’s real”. Anime or Manga might not necessarily be real but we can feel something real from anime and manga, which gives us that same kind of “love”, I presume. Then I noticed the Winnipeg’s new city slogan: “Winnipeg: Made from what’s real”. That’s an interesting coincidence that Winnipeg has been home to a robust community of anime and manga fans in Prairies. Considering those things, I am sure that anime and manga fans in Winnipeg and those from far and wide are always grateful and excited to have this chance to come together and celebrate their shared love and enjoyment of Japanese pop-culture.

It was most unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented this event from being held for the past two years. However, it is wonderful to see the Ai-Kon team overcome the many challenges during this time and the event to be revitalized with just as much enthusiasm as ever to be held once again for 2022.

Owing to the great efforts of the volunteers who organize and run this anime convention, fans have an opportunity to celebrate their enthusiasm for the wonderful and imaginative world of Japanimation: coined word from the combination of “Japan” and “Animation” touching upon Japanese artisan craftsmanship of amazing creativity, and sometimes to learn more about Japanese culture and language, as well as gaining a broader perspective to look into the world through these kaleidoscopic creations.

I hope all of the festival goers at this year’s event are able to make the most of this chance to come together in-person once again and enjoy themselves. It is truly heartwarming to see that Japan and Canada continue to have such a strong bond of friendship through our shared enthusiasm for events such as this. I wish you all a very fun and memorable weekend at Ai-Kon Winnipeg 2022. For the love of Anime!