Posts Tagged ‘ Japanese ’

Koisea: Japanese Bomber Jackets.

I had someone ask me recently what I wanted for this coming Christmas.  Much to my she-grin, I couldn’t give a straight answer, because I had no idea… Until I saw these incredible Japanese Bomber Jackets over at They all, each have an individual style, both mens and women’s.  If you’re looking for something unique, I highly suggest you check them out.

What Happens When You Mix French Fashion With Japanese Culture?


Photography / BEN SANDLER
Art direction & Set Design / BONSOIR PARIS
This fashion story immerses us into a new state-of-the-art future, illuminated by neon lights and optimized by ancestral self-introspection.

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There’s A New Reason To Recycle… Art.

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Once you’re done drinking out of an aluminum can, there isn’t much left to do but recycle it. Not for Japanese artist Makaon, though. He takes these would-be discarded cans and turns them into sculptures featuring characters from popular culture. We see the Super Mario Brothers, Batman, Pikachu, and even Buzz Lightyear crafted out of the various colorful packaging.

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To construct these works, Makaon takes small pieces of the aluminum and bends it to form the shapes that he wants. Any given sculpture might have two or three different brands of drinks depending on their color. Coca Cola provides Mario with a bright red hat while Carlsberg Beer gives Yoshi his green sheen. Makaon has also managed to find a label that includes a peachy skin tone in its design, meaning that he can accurately depict the human faces. Each character is angular in shape with a rigid-looking build. But, this doesn’t stop them from feeling like a fun and energetic tribute to the pop culture icons that we know and love.

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via MyModernMet

2015 Lexus RC-F

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After BMW recently debuted their BMW M4 coupe, it only seems fitting that their Japanese rival would release its class contending model. Equipped with a 5.0 liter V8 engine, the exact power output is still unknown at this point, but there are some things we do know. A 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission sends roughly 500 horsepower (some early reports say 460 hp) to the wheels, which should provide an impressive 0-60 mph time.

100 Colors Exhibition – Japan

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With our fascination with both minimalism and color, we’ve kept an eye on Emmanuelle Moureaux, the French-born and Tokyo-based architect famous for her use of candy-hued colors in many of her projects. For many years, Moreaux has explored the use of color and the use of the traditional Japanese paper screens as dividers. Many of her projects in retail, hospitality and public spaces express some combination of the two, using colorful screens as dividers and using color as a space maker.

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‘FUMA-KAI’ – Ninja’s Bringing The Olympic Rings To Japan


The japanese collective Enra’s latest performance ‘Fuma-Kai’ shows a group of ninja’s bringing the olympic rings to Japan created by Nobuyuki Hanabusa / Enra.

Giant Robotic Beetle

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Japanese machine shop owner hitoshi takahashi built this 11-meter-tall robotic walking beetle called KABUTOM RX-03. The mobile sculpture, which takes its name from kabuto — a type of rhinoceros beetle typical to Japan — features characteristics typical to the insects like pointing horns and elongated legs. With over 30 moving parts, the machine includes a variety of technological details, such as the ability to shoot steam from the top of its head and its remote controlled legs that can reach speeds up to 4 kilometers per hour. Weighing 17 tons in total, the robot can transport up to seven people with one driver riding on top and six occupants fitting in an internal compartment.

A Bathing Ape x Ferrari 458 Italia GT3

Ferrari Maserati celebrates new showroom opening in Repulse Bay, organized by Ferrari Maserati of Hong Kong and I.T hosted with special guest Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, a mark of collaboration of A Bathing Ape (a Japanese clothing company) with NIGO.

Suntory Rolling Stones special Whisky

Japanese distillery Suntory will release a special-edition blended whisky to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Rolling Stones. The whisky will go on sale on Oct. 30 and will come in a bottle shaped in the band’s familiar tongue and lips design. Only 150 bottles will be offered. Six whiskys will be blended for the limited edition version, and each ingredient will come from a year of special significance to the Stones. A 1962 Yamazaki represents the year the band was formed, while a 1971 pays tribute to the introduction of the tongue and lips logo. A 1972 Yamazaki malt has been chosen as the year that “Exile on Main St.” was released (the album is significant to Suntory because it includes “Rocks Off,” a song used in its commercials). The other whiskys in the blend will be a Hakushu malt and a Chita grain, both from 1990, when the Stones made their first trip to Japan. Like tickets to the Stones’ concerts, the whisky will not come cheap. Suntory is planning a retail price of 500,000 yen ($6,300) for each 700-ml crystal bottle.

Digital Artworks Painted By Lonlieness.

Variations of glittered deformations form the basis for a grotesquely beautiful motif in the works of Japanese artist 非(xhxix). Digitally sketching, drawing, and painting everything using Photoshop alone, 非 visualizes loneliness in his subjects and decorates them with scars, layers of geometric abstractions and floral imagery. As most of his subjects are young men, the artist explains that “boys are more suitable to express loneliness as women are emotional and powerful.”  Concocting images of isolated pain and an ethereal sadness into haunting depictions of young western men, 非 reveals a mystified insight into the depths of the Japanese psyche.

Takamatsu’s ‘The Depth’.

Takamatsu is a Japanese artist whose world is coming out of a fairy tale. But this fairy tale is not like the others. Dark and violent stories where floating melancholic childish figures are either in despair either in possession of lethal killing machines. Little melancholic lolitas posing with innocence create an atmospheric mystic world. Kazuki Takamatsu mixes traditional and modern techniques. From one hand he uses gouache, hand painted monochromed based objects whilst from the other hand he uses “Depth Map” a technique where every pixel on the object is a shade of gray that is proportional to its distance from the object looking at it. The match of these two techniques give a real sense of surrealism and astonishing depth.

The method of mixing watercolor pigment with an opaque white pigment in a watercolor vehicle (made with gum arabic) is traditionally referred to as gouache. Gouache (pronounced “gwash”) comes from the Italian aguazzo, for mud. Gouache is ideal for illustration and photo-reproduction. Gouache paintings are typically done on hot pressed papers or smooth art boards, since the paint imparts most of the texture and these surfaces help to create a perfectly flat paint film. Tinted papers are also more commonly used, since the tint is easily covered wherever desired, but lends a pleasing background hue in unpainted areas.

The 1 Million Dollar Video Game Collection.

A French video game collector just sold a collection of thousands of video games on eBay for more than $1.2 million.  The collection includes every video game for many of Nintendo’s consoles, every video game for every single Sega console and also for lesser-known game consoles. In total, the collection includes 22 full sets with about 7,000 video games.  The seller says he took exceptionally good care of his precious games. All are factory-sealed with original boxes and instructions. Many of the games have never been opened or played. He even kept the boxes away from direct sunlight.  The efforts seem to have paid off, as a buyer from Canada has purchased the lot for the asking price of 999,999 euro (around $1.23m) for this jaw-dropping collection.

Kintaro, The Golden Boy: Artwork By Kuniyoshi.

Kintaro (a.k.a. “Golden Boy”), a popular child folk hero embodying strength and bravery, appears in statues, storybooks, anime, manga, noh, kabuki and candy. He was also the subject of numerous Edo-period woodblock prints.  Various legends say that Kintaro was raised by a Yamamba ogress in the mountains, where he learned to communicate with animals. As a youngster, Kintaro developed superhuman strength that enabled him to crush boulders, fight monsters and demons, uproot trees, and defeat bears at sumo.  The artist Kuniyoshi has an immense collection of prints centered around Kintaro.  Check the method.

The Turntable Riders.

You know the situation.  You want to go for a ride on your bike and mix some music at the same time.  Normally you’d have to settle on just doing one or the other.  Not anymore.  My homegirl’s jaw literally hit the floor watching this.  And even I don’t even know what to say. I mean, that is simply way too dope. I can totally envision crazy competitions that involve using your skills at both biking and mixing… and I really like what I see.  The technology in question is called a Turntable Ride by Cogoo.

Those Most Interesting Fish You’ll Ever See.

First: watch the video. Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori paints three-dimensional goldfish using a complex process of poured resin. The fish are painted meticulously, layer by layer, the sandwiched slices revealing slightly more about each creature, similar to the function of a 3D printer. I really enjoy the rich depth of the pieces and the optical illusion aspect, it’s such an odd process that results in something that’s both a painting and sculptural. Wonderful.  Fukahori just closed an exhibition at ICN Gallery in London titled Goldfish Salvation, and you can see many more images via the gallery’s Facebook, but probably the best resource is this set of photos by Dominic Alves.

The World’s Best Sushi Chef?

A documentary that goes behind the counter and into the life of a man who’s been called the greatest sushi chef in the world is set to open in New York Friday.  Tucked away in an underground Tokyo subway station is an unremarkable-looking 10-seat eatery called Sukiyabashi Jiro which serves Michelin-starred sushi by 85-year-old Jiro Ono, the first chef in Japan to earn three Michelin stars.  In trailers for the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, filmmaker David Gelb captures the deft, economic movements of Ono’s hands as he shapes and molds the rice for his sushi and lacquers the fish with gentle brushstrokes.  Sushi and sashimi are presented on black marbles slabs and diners eat in a hushed silence that speaks of their reverence for the ceremonial experience and the master sushi chef.  The film is not just an ode to sushi and the octogenarian’s unrelenting pursuit of perfection, but also explores the father-son relationship and succession as the eldest son Yoshikazu is slated to take over the legendary restaurant.

Vacuum Sealed Love Bugs.

In the fascinating series “Flesh Love” by Japanese artist Photographer Hal, different couples were vacuum-packed together and then photographed.  I’m not exactly sure how Hal was able to do this without suffocating anyone, but part of the magic is not knowing how its done… Check the method.

Japanese Love Hotels.

Sexual connotation, fantasy or secret meetings, those establishments called ‘Love Hotels’ provide kinky fun for all types seeking sexual adventure.  Photographer Misty Keasler traveled Japan to documented the universe of those hotels.  In her new book, Love Hotels, American photographer Misty Keasler portrays some of the newest, most creative love hotels in Japan.  Check the method.  If any of these places look interesting to you (LADIES)… give me your feedback.

Character Design vs. Package Design.

Characters have strong attraction in packaging design. Do not underestimate a cute puppy dog character on a piece of packaging because it probably does have an effective power to attract the customers. The existence of nice character design also makes packaging feel more alive and much more fun. It can also turn plain and boring packaging in to new collectible items for the customers.  Check out some interesting examples.

Japan’s Dekotora Scene.

Meet Dekotora: the land of the rising sun’s homegrown and very cool trucker subculture that covers big rigs with neon and ultraviolet lights, colorful airbrushed murals, and shiny stainless or golden exteriors, all the while housing interiors straight out of Brewsters Millions or a 2-star Las Vegas casino, complete with elaborate chandeliers and velvet-lined seats.  This stuff is WILD.  Check the method.

A Breakdown Of Traditional Japanese Ghouls.

Before I was finished writing this post, I had two people ask my WHY I would chose to put such a random topic up.  During my holiday trip back home, I got into a conversation with a friend about Paranormal Activity, and during said convo, he said something to the effect of “That sh*t wouldn’t happen in any other country”.  My immediate response was that Japanese folklore has a rich and terrifying tradition of all sorts of wild ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and goblins.  When I had to explain some of them to him, I figured I’d throw up a post about it.

Japanese ghosts collectively known as yūrei (幽霊), and Japanese monsters collectively known as yōkai (妖怪) are arguably the most popular. But how many traditional Japanese spooks do you actually know anything about? Check the method…

Traditional Japanese beliefs state that every human being has a soul called a reikon (霊魂). After death, the reikon exits the body and enters a temporal stage where it waits for the living to perform final rites and funeral rituals for them. If these are completed properly, the reikon is satisfied and it can be at peace in death, leaving spiritual limbo and continuing on to the afterlife. This sort of reikon will become a spiritual protector of its family, looking down on its ancestors with favor.

However, if a person dies an unnatural, traumatic death, or if their final rites aren’t properly performed, the reikon becomes a yūrei and starts wreaking havoc on everyone’s sanity. The yūrei wallows in temporal space, forever yearning for whatever needs to be done for it to finally achieve peace in the afterlife. If the yūrei has strong enough emotional ties to the physical world however, it can return as a ghost. A scary ghost.   These ghosts dwell on Earth, haunting its fleshy inhabitants. While all Japanese ghosts are referred to as yūrei, there are a handful of specific types differentiated mostly by the circumstances surrounding their death.


Onryō – 怨霊

Onryō are female ghosts who were abused or neglected by their lovers in life. These ghosts dwell in the physical world seeking vengeance on those who wronged them. Strangely enough though, they rarely do actual harm to the lovers who hurt them. They are also the most common type of ghost seen in Japanese horror films. In the case of onryō, the emotions tying them to the land of the living are usually hatred or sorrow- sometimes both. So if you’re in Japan, be sure to not piss off any ladies because they might come back as onryō and ruin your life.


Ubume – 産女

Women who die in childbirth or without providing for their children before death are classified as ubume. The power of their motherly love allows them to remain in the physical world to attempt to help the children they failed in life. Usually they come back to help their child in a time of need or leave gifts for them mysteriously. A mother’s duty is very important in Japan, and the stories of ubume are many.

Appearing in the form common to most Japanese ghosts, ubume are clad in robes of white, have long, unbound, disheveled hair, and are creepier than your perverted uncle Mike. Given their grim origins, the stories revolving around ubume are more sorrowful than those of onryō and focus mainly on the mother’s quest to ensure her child’s continued safety.

There’s no haunting to be had in these stories; the mother’s spirit directly interacts with her child after death, serving as a sort of guardian angel. However, in her providing for the child, the mother inadvertently leaves clues that otherworldly devices are at work. The most common sign are coins and gifts left for the child that turn into dead leaves after they’ve been discovered. Worst. Birthday. Ever.


Goryō – 御霊

Goryō are malicious, vengeful spirits – martyred in life and returning for revenge in the form of widespread death and destruction. Usually these spirits were those of the ruling class (the more powerful the person, the more powerful the spirit). Out of all the yūrei, goryō are undoubtedly the most dangerous. They can be incredibly powerful. They are capable of everything from destroying crops to evoking widespread natural disasters.

In medieval Japan, it was a common belief that one’s social status carried over with them into the spirit world so goryō were almost always spirits of the aristocracy. The more powerful someone was, the more likely they would return as a ghost capable of great destruction, so naturally respecting the dead was very important. On the other hand, if some jerk assassinates you for no good reason, it doesn’t really matter if there’s a shrine built in your honor because you’re going to be mighty peeved regardless.

Goryō are vengeance ghosts similar to onryō. However, their destructive ways didn’t necessarily end with the death of those who had wronged them. Only the super-cool-mountain-powered yamabushi could put these spirits to rest for good.


Zashiki-warashi – 座敷童

Zashiki-warashi are child ghosts who dwell in large, well maintained, fancy houses. They’re a squirrely bunch and really enjoy playing pranks on their fleshy housemates. However, seeing a zashiki-warashi or having one in your home is considered very lucky and can even bring fantastical fortunes.

These spirits usually appear as five or six year old children with bobbed hair and red faces. Zashiki-warashi are unique in the fact that they aren’t hell-bent on murdering everyone or seeking vengeance on those who wronged them. Instead, these ghosts just act like trouble-making kids. They’re brats, but at least they aren’t trying to drown you, right?

Once they’ve decided to haunt your home, they will demand your attention much like any bratty child would. If you choose to ignore the spirit, it will then begin to play increasingly devilish pranks on you until you acknowledge its presence. If you still don’t learn to love your forcibly adopted ghost-child, it will cry its little ghost eyes out and run away from home forever. Congratulations. You’ve failed as a ghost parent. When you die you’ll become an ubume for sure.

Despite their somewhat annoying nature, zashiki-warashi are considered lucky and are capable of bringing riches to those whose homes they inhabit. Should the family successfully adopt and care for the ghost child, they will be rewarded financially. But keep in mind, these kids are no angels. If you want those riches, you’re gonna have to work for ‘em, girl.

Japanese Fanta Commercials Are The Greatest.

I’m sure many readers remember the “Fantanas”, which were Fanta’s attempt at using sex appeal to sell flavored soda.  There have been a few different changes to the line up of Fantanas, but to me the originals were always the best, especially the red one (who’s actual name is K.D. Aubert… the walking Viagra pill).  But it never occurred to me that in other countries, marketing directors may have gone in other directions to try and sell Fanta… until I saw the old school Japanese ads.  The set of ads for Fanta below were all exclusively created for the market in Japan, and feature a different direction than the ones I was used to growing up.  That being said, I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard ever in life.  Check the method below, and keep in mind that there are TONS more of these ads scattered around the web.

Sugamo Shinkin: The Rainbow Bank.

Japanese practice Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design has completed ‘Sugamo Shinkin Bank’, a credit union located in Shimura, Japan.  The design, an offset volume of rainbow-like layers, is the third branch designed by Moureaux, with the first two located in Tokiwadai and Niiza. Both the interior and exterior hit all colors in the spectrum, and at night, the entire building lights up in such a way that you’d never imagine it was only a bank.

The Negro Cookie.

Normally I can relate a blog post to a personal experience, or explain why something specific interest me.  But this is just downright hilarious.  My staff and I laughed our asses off for about 30 minutes the first time we all saw this.  Japan has some of the wildest stuff, and the ‘Negro Cookie’ is near the top of the list.