Art

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…


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…


Flip Book Artist Explores Dangers of Overwork Culture in Shady Japanese Companies with Heartbreaking Video

2018-04-10 05:38

Amazing flip-book artist shows the dangers of overwork culture in Japanese “black companies” using a heart-wrenching, but brilliantly animated video. While there are more innocuous (and quite frankly, accurate) roots to the stereotype of unusually long workdays at Japanese companies, many of the darker stories surrounding grueling work schedules in Japan are in relation to what are referred to as burakku kigyo (literally “black companies”), or more aptly translated, “shady companies”. The term refers to companies that violate workplace standards with exploitative overtime systems (with no overtime pay), bullying, and damage to career reputation of workers who attempt to attempt to quit. The phrase made another term, karaoshi (“death from…


This Moving LEGO Escalator is a Stairway to Creative Heaven

2018-04-09 12:56

You can always count on everyone’s favorite creative engineering block, LEGO, to bring out the childhood imagination in all of us. In the past we’ve seen people use Lego bricks to build wonders such as Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky music box and a marvelous pop-up book model of Japan’s famous Himeji Castle. Japanese LEGO enthusiast and wizard Takanori Hashimoto, however, has been turning heads with his moving LEGO creations, such as this fully functioning LEGO escalator! The device caught a lot of attention at Japan’s Wonder Festival, a convention that showcases some of the brightest artists and cosplayers in Japan, but has recently blown up on Twitter and…


Kei Mieno’s Incredibly Detailed Oil Paintings Convey A Beautiful World Beyond Language

2018-04-03 06:05

We have recently had the opportunity to introduce the art of some remarkable painters currently working in Japan, thanks to a recent hashtag on Twitter which contributed to a sudden increase in the visibility of artists online. From the anthropomorphic animals of Tobihachi to the bijinga-like maidens of Nadesico Rin, and let’s not forget the kimono-clad beauties of Kato Miki whose art adorns our top page, many talented painters are participating in this trend. We also introduced the remarkably photorealistic portraits of women by Yasutomo Oka. In comparison with Oka, the oil paintings of Kei Mieno may appear at first glance to be of a similar genre since they seem…


Japanese Trend of Smoothing Foil Balls Into Perfect Spheres Is Beautifully Satisfying

2018-04-02 01:33

You could kill a lot of time browsing through cost-effective DIY arts and crafts projects on Japanese social media, with resorts varying between therapeutic and mind-blowing with creations such as functioning steampunk wristwatches and $3 rusty knives turned into high quality Japanese blades. A Tweet by Japanese jewelery and accessory maker @puchuco709, however, has put the spotlight on a recent trend of turning otherwise boring aluminum foil balls into shiny spheres of treasure in a process that just watching is enough to relieve some stress. アルミホイル(16m)を丸めて叩いて、球にしました。 pic.twitter.com/XA9nbWsacH — アトリエpuchuco (@puchuco709) 2018年3月1日 After some curious responses, @puchuco709 explained that they crafted the glossy orb by taking a 16 meter (52 feet)…


Artist Celebrates Japanese Art and Culture With Strong and Beautiful Women Illustrations

2018-03-26 04:53

In recent years, an abundance of talented Japanese artists have begun to share their work on Twitter, to the appreciation of many. Whether it’s mind-blowing 3D art, dark and deep thought-provoking illustrations, or animals transformed with fantasy-inspired anthropomorphism, there seems to be no end of new styles and artwork to discover. イラストボードやキャンバスにアクリルとガッシュで描いてます。美しいカワイイを伝えるのが目標。5月に個展やりますのでお願いだから来て#私の作品もっと沢山の人に広がれ祭り pic.twitter.com/og4orqm8Ez — 撫子凛 (@nadeshicorin) 2018年3月10日 Born in Chiba prefecture, illustrator and graphic designer Nadesico Rin’s style focuses on more traditional aspects of Japanese art and culture. On her official website, she cites a love for Japanese art and culture, the aesthetic of which has raised her and led her to the focus of her artwork. The primary focus…


Awesome Functioning Steampunk Wrist Watches and Other Creations by Japanese DIY Artist

2018-03-16 04:25

Japanese social media channels can be an adventurous source for DIY projects, whether it be revealing a $3 rusty knife to be a high quality piece of Japanese cutlery or turning Thomas the Tank Engine into a Mad Max-esque apocalyptic death machine. Japanese Twitter user and DIY tinkerer @FRISK_P, however, stands out for not only crafting their gear with an incredibly cool and detailed steampunk aesthetic, but also complete functionality! While FRISK_P creates a variety of marvelous contraptions bring the world of science fiction and steampunk to life, it’s the artist’s take on out-of-this-world working wrist watches that is turning heads everywhere. #私の作品もっと沢山の人に広がれ祭り 他の人が作らないような腕時計を作ったりします。 pic.twitter.com/yb3qyMhmMa — フリスクP (@FRISK_P) 2018年3月9日 With…


The Strikingly Unique and Colorful Art of Hiroyuki-Mitsume Takahashi

2018-03-15 09:24

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…


Japanese Illustrator’s Amazing Anthro-Animal Series Gives Them Fantastical Styles From Around The World

2018-03-15 06:25

There might not be a friendlier subject to artists than animals. With their adorable charm and fascinating quirks, they can provide a creative inspiration for everything from giant creatures that console people in trying times, to super-realistic and creepy masks. Japanese illustrator Tobihachi (@tonbippo08), however, seems to find the expressive nature and striking aesthetic of animals as a point of interest, specializing in giving them human characteristics and even nationalities in an ongoing series of brilliant artwork. Source: @tonbippo08 As an illustrator, Tobihachi focuses on animals and anthropomorphism. It’s a little different from the gijinka we have looked at before (where Japanese Kit Kat flavors were turned into handsome anime…


Japanese Artist’s Tricky 3D Anime Character Illustrations Are Too Good To Believe

2018-03-13 06:56

We’ve had the pleasure of enjoying and introducing quite a few talented Japanese Twitter artists, including Avogado6, whose dark and twisted illustrations are guaranteed to leave you thinking, as well as Kubota, who draws gigantic animals comforting humans in their most trying times. Artist and anime fan Minadori Naya (@mina_naya), however, is impressing many on Twitter not with themes, but technique. Namely, these fantastic illustrations of characters from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Kantai Collection that appear to be 3D…but actually aren’t! Source: @mina_naya Source: @mina_naya Source: @mina_naya Source: @mina_naya Optical illusions and tricky 3D techniques aren’t exactly new when it comes to art, but the combination of Naya’s high…


Smart Bonsai Follows You Around, Quotes Goethe, in TDK’s Vision of The Future

2018-03-05 08:01

Bonsai. The ancient Japanese art of producing miniature trees in small containers. Contemplative and philosophical (the art was associated with Zen Buddhism in its early history following the influence of its Chinese antecedent, penzai), bonsai seems to embody the qualities often associated with “old” Japan: aesthetic refinement, harmony with nature, unchanging traditions. In other words, it’s the perfect subject for conceptual artists trying to create startling juxtapositions between the old and the new, the analog past and the digital future. Projects like Nissan’s self-driving slippers and self-rearranging furniture which blend seamlessly into the traditional decor of an old Japanese inn come to mind. Surely enough, we’ve already seen a hi-tech…


Artist “E wo kaku Peter” Imagines New Technologies Injected Into Objects From Japan’s Recent Past

2018-03-02 08:23

Japanese freelance concept artist E wo kaku Peter has a unique flair for imagining technologies future and past paired together in realistic illustrations. His clear fondness for mechanical and military designs, as apparent on his online art gallery filled with illustrations of fighter jets, tanks, air craft carriers and robots, also finds expression in his focus on everyday life, resulting in thought-provoking and sometimes whimsical visions of an alternate reality. His recent work appearing on his Twitter feed focuses on communication technology. Source: E wo kaku Peter @peter6409 This illustration of a trio of Twitter terminals seems to borrow the aesthetic of public pay phones. Source: E wo kaku Peter…


Japanese Artist’s Amazing Super-Realistic Wearable Animal Heads Are Out Of This World

2018-02-28 06:01

It wasn’t too long ago that a Japanese art teacher and designer unleashed wearable, hyper-realistic gigantic felt cats heads that both wowed and terrified the internet. Those interested enough only need to wade a little deeper into the waters of the furry animal head world to find “Kamonohashizokei” (“Platypus Modeling”), a Japanese plastics modeler whose works are so impressive they’ve been featured in commercials and film. The modeler has a personal fondness for animals that has led to a fascinating lineup of super realistic and captivating molded animal “masks”, which include lions, cats, wolves, sheep, and even shoebills! Source: Kamonohashizokei Kamonohashi’s wearable animal heads have a blend of cute and…


Now You Can Experience Traditional Japanese Art in Mixed Reality at Historic Kyoto Temple

2018-02-28 11:07

Although Japan is known as the country where modernity and tradition collide, Japanese history has never been brought to life by technology quite like this before. Source: (C) Grape Japan Kenninji is Zen Buddhism’s oldest temple in Kyoto, famous for its beautiful and historic pieces of art. This new experience called ‘MR Museum in Kyoto’, will bring a whole new dimension to a national treasure that the temple holds. When you gaze upon the ‘Wind God and Thunder God’ folded screen painted by Tawaraya Sotatsu over 400 years ago, you will be able to see whole lot more than you bargained for. Source: Hakuhodo-VRAR The idea to infuse appreciation of…


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