Burning Japan is an event inspired by Burning Man, an annual event held in the state of Nevada in the United States. At Burning Japan, the participants are not bystanders but the main protagonists. Sharing instead of trading is one of the main principles of this unique event. People gather bringing everything necessary to survive during the event, they share and admire artworks, music or dance performances. During Burning Japan, the venue becomes a fictitious city and when finished it returns to its original state.
(Video by Tomoya Nakamura, 2015)
Burning Man is an outdoor event taking place in the Black Rock desert, Nevada, United States of America. The main highlight of this event is the burning of a wooden effigy called “The Man”. That’s why this event is called “Burning man”.
On the summer solstice in 1986, on the San Francisco’s Baker beach, Larry Harvey, the main co-founder of Burning Japan and a few friends burned The Man a 2.7 meters wooden doll during a bonfire. With the increase of popularity and the increase of participants, in 1990, Burning Man moved to Black Rock desert.
During this event, a fictitious city called “Black Rock City” is set up in the middle of the Black Rock desert in which arts and performance can be watched in the area called ‘Theme Camp’.
In 2020, Burning Man happened in the virtual world and attracted more than 160000 participants and is expected to have a virtual burn again from August 22nd to September 6th in 2021.
■ Burning Man website
Burning Man’s venue will return to its original state one and a half month after the end of the event, and will become an unmanned plain until the next summer. However, based on the original Burning Man event, communities that inherit the same culture have been formed in local regions. In recent years, more than 200 people in America are working actively as an intermediary for various countries around the world. As a result, official regional sub-events that resonate with the unique vision of Burning Man are held more than 40 times a year.
Speaking of the ‘Burning Man’, it is only being held once a year in Nevada. Meanwhile, in other countries, official regional ‘Burns’ that follows the 10 principles of Burning man are also being held under the official regulations. There are no direct financial support nor franchise but the culture of Burning Man being rooted in each community, everyone is helping each other as much as they can like a big family.
Burning Man’s influence has spread out from the Black Rock desert beyond the borders of America, and Japan is no exception. Until 2007, we organized Japan Regional on a daily basis. From 2012, the official event affiliated to Burning Man based in Japan called “Burning Japan” has been finally launched.
■ Burning Man Regional Network
■ Japan Regional
■ Burninja! , Japanese community site by Japan Regional
Throughout all America, communities of Burning Man participants has been formed. In Asia, besides Japan, there are people working actively as intermediary in South Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, India and UAE.
■ Asia – Burning Man Regional Network
Several events similar to Burning Japan are being held in the Asia-Pacific region too.
Kiwi Burn （New Zealand）
January 27 – February 1, 2021
Blazing Swan (Western Australia）
April 17 – 23, 2019
April 1 – 5, 2021
Dragon Burn （China, Shanghai）
May 1 – 5, 2019
Turtle Burn （Taiwan, Yilan）
June 7 – 9, 2019
April 1-4, 2021