© grape Japan | © Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi / © Horipro International

grape Japan Site Update Featuring Original Illustration By Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

grape Japan site now updated!

If you visited our mobile site today, you may have noticed we have a new look! In fact, so does our PC site, but the changes in the mobile site are more extensive.

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Mobile Site Changes

Here's how we've improved:

User interface

  • Top image rotates automatically at 4 second intervals between categories or can be flipped manually
  • Pull down menu at top right for more easy access to all pages


  • Site mission statement always visible at top bar
  • Content categories identified through 1)rotating header images and 2) permanently displayed sub-bar / selectable tabs
  • Top four trending articles displayed in two columns beneath rotating header

New illustration by international artist Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

More about that below!

New categories


Our previous header image by Miki Katoh (see our article here) now proudly represents our art category.

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For our food category, we used our header from our article on Chachanoma, the green tea haven in Harajuku.

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For our travel category, we used our header image of Miyajima from our popular top travel destinations in Japan article.

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For our interview category, we used our header image (photo by Nathan Gey) from our interview with former Kamen Joshi member Erina Kamiya

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Our new illustration!

New illustration by Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

Designer and artist Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi is known internationally for his vividly colored illustrations which seem to resonate with multiple strands of Japanese and global youth culture. Traditional Japanese aesthetics and science fiction, sacred Buddhist iconography and profane symbols, street culture and high culture, the soft, organic and kawaii body intersected and interfaced with the hard, inorganic and the digital, Eros and Thanatos, tentacle fetish and oral fixation, war and peace, all of these seem to find expression at various junctures in his work.

Mitsume has performed and exhibited at home and abroad, including at Japanese pop culture festivals (for example, the J-Pop Summit in San Francisco in 2017). Perhaps synchronized to his growing international popularity as designer of art, fashion apparel and performer of live paintings, the hybrid bodies in his striking illustrations, embedded and decorated with daruma figurines, manekineko cats, Japanese festival and Noh masks as well as kanji characters, seem to pulsate with a desire for Japanese pop culture, connected to a disembodied heart racing at a steady beat somewhere over 140 BPM.

You will find many of these themes in this original illustration which now graces our culture category. In contrast with Miki Katoh's elegant artwork which symbolizes the more traditional aspects of Japan which we often like to cover, we think Mitsume's illustration symbolizes the more popular and subculture aspects of our site. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!

© Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi / © Horipro International

About the artist

For further reading:

The Strikingly Unique and Colorful Art of Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

© Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi / © Horipro International

By - Ben K.