What is JMoF?
Japan Meeting of Furries (JMoF) is a convention with a focus on anthropomorphic animals, otherwise known as Kemono in Japan.
After its initial debut in Shiga prefecture’s Hikone in 2013, which brought in close to 100 people, the convention venue switched locations to its present-day location of Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture. In 2020, this convention had 1,372 attendees, both Japanese and from overseas.
Through Kemono, we are expressing ourselves and interacting with each other, and in doing so, we have created an empathy for one another. It is due to such empathy that Kemono culture has diversified and developed. JMoF is aiming to contribute to Kemono culture’s development by taking up its diverse culture and providing a place where this shared empathy towards Kemono can allow the culture to grow even further.
Taking a look at the world overseas, there exists a culture that has a close relationship with Kemono, called the Furry Fandom. Advancements in technology have allowed us in Japan to understand this other culture easier than ever before. But even so, the chances for these two cultures to socialize and interact directly are still severely limited. JMoF actively aims to bridge that gap by receiving attendees from overseas and becoming a platform where like-minded people, both Japanese and from overseas, can directly communicate and mingle.
JMoF is built from the understanding of the people of its host city, Toyohashi, and the surrounding areas. In a time where an interest in a small part of Kemono culture is starting to gather in the public eye, there is a necessity for us to further lay the framework and build up a mutual understanding between the local society and us. JMoF continues to create this bond between Kemono culture and society through contributing to the local area by donating to charities and interacting with the locals.
The values mentioned above, namely the strides to bolster the development of Kemono culture, the provision of a platform for direct interaction between overseas people and Japanese, and the creation of a connection between society and kemono culture, are all espoused as JMoF’s mission.
We have kept the concepts of “Laughter,” “Tradition,” and “Dissemination” close to our hearts ever since the inception of JMoF. To tell the stories of Kemono culture’s past, to foster the culture of the present through smiles and laughter, and to connect to the vast potential of the future are the ideals of JMoF.
Anyone is welcome at JMoF, as long as they have an interest in Kemono. Let’s create a new and exciting experience together.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all here at JMoF.
Satomi, JMoF Executive Committee Chairperson