Culture

Osamu Tezuka-Inspired Artist Kaechang Portrays Girls And Their Restless Spirits

2018-04-27 09:47

If the girls populating the illustrations of Kaechang, with their long limbs and large hands, their small heads and big eyes, remind you of Osamu Tezuka, the resemblance is not a coincidence. The so-called “Father of Manga” who created Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Blackjack and Phoenix was Kaechang’s original inspiration when she began drawing in her childhood years. Born in Yokohama in 1995, she graduated from Department of Information Design of Tama Art University. Since 2010, Kaechang has been actively uploading her illustrations on Tumblr and her influence has spread through social media. We interviewed Kaechang to learn a bit more about her artwork and her vision: grape…


Interview with Survival Game (Airsoft) Idol Kasumi Takara

2018-04-26 07:10

In our report on Akiba Base Shooting Cafe & Bar earlier this month, we brought along survival game idol Kasumi Takara to help us out. After we enjoyed all the exciting features of Akiba Base, we asked Kasumin (as she’s called by her fans) about airsoft culture in Japan and her relationship with guns. grape Japan (gJ): “Could you talk about the difference between the “survival game” airsoft culture that you’re a part of and real guns?” Kasumi Takara (KT): “The Airsoft guns we use today have restrictions on their power, so they’re very safe. If you hit someone at very close range, it may hurt, but Japan has established…


This May Be The Best “Kiki’s Delivery Service” Cosplay Ever

2018-04-26 05:36

Studio Ghibli films provide golden opportunities for cosplayers Full of appealing characters and memorable stories, many of Studio Ghibli’s animated films have not only delighted and entertained audiences around the world but have also provided countless opportunities for cosplayers. From classics like Laputa (as we noted in our cosplay roundup of Wonder Festival 2018 Winter) and Porco Rosso to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, you’re sure to find familiar characters from these films at anime conventions both in Japan and abroad. Let’s not forget Hayao Miyazaki’s 1989 hit film Kiki’s Delivery Service. The titular heroine Kiki, the trainee witch, is a popular character to cosplay and there have been many…


One of Japan’s Most Famous Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots is Even More Magical After Dark

2018-04-25 05:01

Beautiful nighttime photography of cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park. The end of sakura season in Japan typically means saying goodbye to the slew of seasonal sakura-themed products that flood the country’s convenience stores during peak flower viewing season, but in the wake of the hanami rush, many like to look back on one of Japan’s most gorgeous seasons by celebrating with photography that captures the fleeting beauty of the iconic flower. Kenta (@knt_photo), a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of northern Japan, reminds us that some of the most spectacular sakura scenery is actually on display after dark with his brilliant nighttime photography of cherry blossoms in Aomori prefecture’s…


Watch Vintage Footage of Famous Sights in Tokyo from 1915

2018-04-25 05:14

Numbers of foreign visitors to Japan have been skyrocketing recently and naturally Tokyo is getting a lot of the tourism. With that in mind, it’s very interesting to see some of the most popular tourist spots depicted in this vintage footage from 1913-1915. This footage is from the Eye Film Museum and has been speed corrected and had sounds added for ambiance. Then it was uploaded to YouTube by guy jones. Watch it for yourself and if you know Tokyo well you will probably recognise at least one place. Although admittedly, a lot of the footage could be from anywhere in Tokyo at that time, there’s two standout places which…


Golden Kamuy Manga Wins 2018 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize

2018-04-25 04:53

The Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize The highly anticipated results of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize were announced yesterday. A yearly manga prize for the development of Japan’s manga culture founded and sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (not to be confused with the Tezuka Osamu Prize) is named after the late Osamu Tezuka, a legendary manga artist who was pivotal in the development of comic books in Japan. Tezuka was responsible for such classics as Astro Boy, Kimba The White Lion, Black Jack and Phoenix. In 2018, the award is now in its 22nd year, having conferred the Grand Prize to such well-known works as…


22,000 People Throng To Edo-Tokyo Museum Reopening Event “Edo→Tokyo Vision”

2018-04-25 09:21

Reopening of the Edo-Tokyo Museum Celebrating its reopening after a six-month closure, the Edo-Tokyo Museum held a spectacular series of events from April 1 to 7, drawing a crowd of over 22,000 people to the uniquely-shaped building which has been an icon of the sumo neighborhood of Ryogoku ever since it opened its doors in 1993. Edo is the old name for Tokyo, and the name of the period when the city became the center of political power in the country. Therefore, the reopening event “Edo→Tokyo Vision” focused on the history and culture of Tokyo from the Edo period to the present day. Through talk sessions, live performances, concerts and…


Authentic Katana Paper Knives Modeled After Famous Swords of Shinsengumi Warriors

2018-04-23 03:15

Famous Swords Paper Knives: An astoundingly successful crowdfunding project As Japanese history buffs and sword collectors know too well, authentic Japanese swords made by master craftsmen are prohibitively expensive and only available to the very wealthy or to those who are fortunate enough to have inherited them as family heirlooms. The next best thing is owning a replica sword, but these still require enough space to display them. But what if you could own a replica made by master craftsmen of swords owned by famous Japanese warriors but in miniature size, in the form of a paper knife? As we reported last year, this was the idea behind the Famous…


Japanese Yosakoi Group Wows with Amazing Traditional Dance and Garments

2018-04-20 05:03

When thinking of popular dances in Japan, the perfectly synchronized robotic dances of WORLD ORDER and other country-sweeping viral dances may come to mind, so it can be easy to forget that some of the best dances in Japan originate from traditional performances. One such dance is the Yosakoi, which blends traditional Japanese dance movements (such as Awa Odori) into an energetic performance, sometimes matched with modern music. Yosakoi are performed at summer and school sports festivals, and typically are used to liven up audiences. Dazaifu, located in Fukuoka, is home to a large festival where yosakoi performance teams compete in elaborate and impressively choreographed dances. At this year’s 14th…


Japanese Avengers Trailer Criticized For Ignoring Female Fans

2018-04-19 09:25

Mounting excitement in Japan for Avengers: Infinity War With the popularity of Marvel films at an all-time high, Japanese fans are impatiently waiting for April 27th when Avengers: Infinity War will open in theaters. Trailers for the film have been playing in Japanese cinemas for several months and excitement continues to mount. A new series of trailers “geared towards men” However, a series of trailers released last week on Disney Studios’s Japanese YouTube channel have come under criticism, among other things, for being very clearly aimed at an exclusively male audience. The trailers focus on individual Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow, highlighting their strengths and…


Japanese City Official Arrested For Throwing Out Trash Completely Naked

2018-04-16 08:47

When we have to go outside to throw out the trash early in the morning, most of us don’t exactly try to make a fashion statement. However, one city government official in Kochi City seems to have been so careless about the way he looked that he skipped clothing altogether. Arrested for indecent exposure According to Kyodo News, on Monday, April 16th, a manager in the Property Policy Division of Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture, was arrested for indecent exposure because he was walking in the streets entirely in the buff. Admitting to the charge, the man said that he was taking out the trash, adding: “it was too much trouble…


Layton Anime News Conference With Kana Hanazawa as Kat and OP Singer Kana Adachi

2018-04-16 06:14

Fans of the successful and long-running Professor Layton adventure mystery game series by Level-5, anime enthusiasts, and fans of voice actress Hana Kanazawa, among others, who had been waiting with baited breath to see the first episode of the highly anticipated first TV anime based on the series, Layton Detective Agency: Katrielle’s Case File (TBD), were surely pleased when it first aired in Japan on Sunday, April 8th, on Fuji TV and other networks. Source: © Level-5 / Layton Mystery Detective Agency The anime, based on LEVEL-5’s Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy game that focuses on Katrielle “Kat” Layton, is being directed by Susumu Mitsunaka at Liden…


Guns, Food and Booze at Akiba Base Shooting Cafe & Bar

2018-04-16 11:40

The wonderfully colorful and chaotic neighborhood of Akihabara is high on the list of must-see destinations for many Tokyo-bound tourists. Just as popular with shoppers seeking the latest electronic goods as it is with anime fans looking for manga, games, figurines and various goods, Akihabara never disappoints. When it comes to dining and drinking options, the neighborhood’s iconic maid cafes are a popular choice. However, true to its nature as a center for Japanese subculture, Akihabara also caters to a wide variety of more minor genres, with their own set of dining and drinking options which cater to their respective populations. If your hobby is competitive airsoft, known as “survival…


This Photographer Shows Why Kyoto is One of The Most Beautiful Places on Earth

2018-04-13 03:48

Stunningly gorgeous photography of Kyoto shows why it remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Often celebrated as a popular tourist spot for its deep and thriving traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto is home to many of Japan’s most famous and sacred attractions. What may be lost in all the clamor to explore popular areas, however, is just how naturally gorgeous Kyoto is. The must-visit Arashiyama bamboo grove is just one of many of natural wonders that Kyoto boasts on the best 30 places to visit in Japan, and at times simply taking in paths uncharted in Kyoto is an experience that tops rushing to any of the…


Sample Sakes And Laser-Etch Your Own Stylized Kanji Monogram On A Crystal Sake Cup

2018-04-11 08:54

Laser-Etch Your Personal Kanji Monogram On A Crystal Sake Cup If you’re in Tokyo between now and the end of April, and if you enjoy sake, there’s a unique opportunity for you to sample excellent Niigata sakes and take home a beautiful crystal sake cup personalized with a very stylized and modern kanji monogram. The event taking place on the Friday evenings of April 13th, 20th, and 27th celebrate the opening of a permanent shop for the Mashikaku project by design studio Ideasketch. Source: © At Press / © Ideasketch, Inc. The cup is a crystal version of the traditional square masu sake cup. Once you have chosen two kanji…


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