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Ogaki Mini Maker Faire, a great place to make stuff up

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Who says you have to be a professional to be an inventor? The Ogaki Mini Maker Faire 2014 this weekend in Gifu Prefecture brings together all manner of people to share their unique ideas — from craftsmen, artists and developers to absolutely anyone who likes electronics and gadgets.

Out of more than 100 participants’ inventions, the most notable genre is music, with unusual instruments and various sound generators. For example, “Utau Ano-gakki” by Ano-gakki/Innocencer Systems Lab. is a reproduction of a touch-panel guitarlike instrument that vocaloid diva Miku Hatsune plays in the 3-D version of her music video “Innocence.” Similarly, Neya Gakki has created a guitar out of a broom called “Hoki Guitar,” played by sweeping instead of plucking the strings. For chiptune fans, Hekeke-kun & Nicobow modified a Nintendo Family Computer into an instrument played through a simple controller, and though artist Ugoita has announced he’s going to be bringing “whatever is working,” it’s possible he’ll show his Game Boy-sounding electronic 8-bit harmonica.

This event was originally called Make: Ogaki Meeting, and is held this year under the new name Ogaki Mini Maker Faire with hopes of encouraging a new culture of making things.

Ogaki Mini Maker Faire 2014 takes place at at Softopia Japan Center Building in Gifu from Aug. 23 to 24; from noon to 6 p.m. on Sat. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sun. Admission is free. For more information, visit ommf.iamas.ac.jp.