Yusei Nagashima: an artist who paints nothing but fish

Scomber japonicus

Scomber japonicus

Yusei Nagashima grew up watching fish. He was enthralled by their expressions and colors, and the way they glide through the water. So it’s only natural that he became a uofu gaka, a Japanese word referring, specifically, to those who specialize in painting fish.

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Crystal Universe: an immersive, interactive installation now open in Tokyo

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Beginning today, you can now walk through a universe. And control it with your smartphone. “Crystal Universe” is the latest immersive installation by Japan’s artistic tech wizards TeamLab and it’s currently on display in Tokyo.

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Students Turn Candy Packaging Into Fun and Whimsical Characters

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a Pretz knight rescuing a Macadamia princess

Japan has some of the most bright and colorful candy packaging. Perhaps that’s why illustrator and designer Akihiro Mizuuchi (previously) turned to his students’ sweet tooth as inspiration for a design project.

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Classical Ukiyo-e Come to Life in Animated GIFs

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“Yoshida at Tōkaidō” by Katsushika Hokusai. Part of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series. Travelers resting at the station watch is a Shinkansen goes by. They, of course, continue their journey on foot.

Ukiyo-e, or “pictures of floating worlds” were woodblock prints that became wildly popular in 17th -19th century Japan. Emerging as a spontaneous artistic development, they remain, to this day, as some of the most well-known imagery and, by extension, some of the most readily available glimpses into what life was like in Japan.

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Split House: A New Home in Tokyo With a 360° Mezzanine

split-house by Naruse-Inokuma Architects (1)

all photos by Masao Nishikawa

In a city like Tokyo, achieving both natural light and privacy in your home is a high-wire balancing act. Overdo it on side and the other suffers. The latest solution comes from Naruse-Inokuma Architects, who recently completed their “Split House” in a dense, suburban neighborhood of Tokyo.

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WalkCar: the World’s Smallest Electric Vehicle That Fits in Your Bag

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Move over Segway. Step aside Honda’s Uni-Cub. A Japanese engineer has invented a better way to travel. The WalkCar, developed by 26-year old Kuniaki Sato looks like a laptop. Except when you put it on the ground, step on it and lean forward, it takes you on a magic carpet ride.

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Delicate Watercolor Scenes of Japan by Masato Watanabe

masato watanabe watercolors

Masato Watanabe is an artist who lives in Ashiya, a small city in Hyogo, Japan, where he practiced perspective drawing and illustration for over 25 years. But in 2009 Watanabe discovered watercolors. Attracted by the transparency of the medium, Watanabe continued to work and now, 6 years later, he creates wonderfully complex scenes of Japan that feature lines so crisp its hard to believe they were made from watercolors.

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Absurd and Whimsical Water Faucets Created by Kakudai

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The chubby faucet (12,500) is one of several whimsical and absurd products that Kakudai makes

The Osaka-based Kakudai has a very serious catalog of products. Over 900 pages of sinks, faucets, pipes, valves, toilets and other water-related products. But someone at the company must have a great sense of humor because because buried within those 900 pages are a series of faucets that will make you look twice.

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Vintage Illustrations From a Japanese Student Protest Magazine

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the cover of the 1st issue of Shukan Anpo published in June of 1969

The Beheiren (previously) was a Japanese activist group formed in 1965 to protest Japanese involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1969 they started their own periodical called Shukan Anpo (Weekly Anpo). It managed to reach a significant number of students and intellectuals, rallying a group of new-leftists who were dissatisfied with policies and programs at the time. Shukan Anpo generally consisted of several longform essays, reports on other political movements in the U.S. and around the world, photo-journalistic reports on incidents around Japan and political cartoons.

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A Tokyo 2020 Olympics Font Generator

Spoon _Tamago

“Spoon Tamago” written in Tokyo 2020 font (our only complaint is the ampersand wasn’t available)

The logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was revealed 2 weeks ago, on the date that marked exactly 5 years to the opening ceremony. And while you certainly can’t please everyone, we loved it and felt the general consensus was a thumbs up as well. Now, Japanese programmer Mitsuhide Matsuda has created a font generator that lets you type out words and even phrases using a font based on the original logo design.

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