COUGEN Project Initiatives at Sapporo Snow Festival 2023

Location Sapporo
Type In Person
Format Festival
Language Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, No language barrier

Following a hiatus of two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 73rd Sapporo Snow Festival at last took place as planned in the city centre from the 4th – 11th Feb 2023. Approximately 1.75 million people attended the event over the eight-day period, surpassing the figure of the previous edition in 2020.

Offering truly unique and spectacular experiences to festivalgoers, two COUGEN Project initiatives could be seen and experienced at the event this year. “COUGEN Project” is the collective name of a host of sound and light synchronisation development and demonstration activities performed by Crypton Future Media Inc. (creator of world-renowned character Hatsune Miku).

Ice Instruments

Instruments made seemingly entirely out of ice (marimba, timpani) could be played freely by visitors to the festival, reverberating a large electronically generated sound throughout the vicinity. What made this a once-in-a-lifetime experience was that when the instruments were hit, the Sapporo TV Tower was illuminated in a multitude of colours in synchronisation with the sounds. A special demonstration performance entitled “Interplay: Partita for the Polygonal Lighting Synthesiser and Ice Marimba” was also held by professional musicians Ryohei Terada, Saiichi Mitsuyu, and Junichi Oguro. A total of 868 people played the instruments over the course of the festival.
Sapporo TV Tower lights up in synchronisation with the ice marimba; a crowd gathers

Snow Miku 2023

Hatsune Miku is the most famous mascot character of Crypton’s voicebank software series VOCALOID, and given that the company hails from Sapporo, she is also an important representative of the city and the wider region of Hokkaido.

The Snow Miku initiative, which has taken place annually since 2010, sees the creation of a new snow-themed version of the character each year followed by a large-scale snow sculpture at the festival. In 2023, COUGEN Project joined forces with Snow Miku to hold a special light and sound show, bringing the sculptue to life with illumination effects synchronised with this year’s theme song “SnowMix♪