Hatarakimono: a Project to Document the Workers of Japan

A friend of mine recently visited Japan for the first time in his life. After the trip he came up to me and told me what he was most impressed with. And it wasn’t the amazing food or the clean bathrooms. It wasn’t the punctual trains or the abundance of cute stationery. It was the workers, and the way each and every one of them took the utmost pride in their work, no matter what the task was. And I was reminded — indeed, the reason why Japanese food is so delicious, and why everything is so clean, is because of the people who pour their soul into these jobs. The Hatarakimono Project is a tribute to these workers; a documentation of the humans behind what makes Japan special.

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Black & Light: A New Immersive Painting Inside an Inflated Canvas

Japanese-Brazilian artist Oscar Oiwa has created a new immersive installation that just opened in NYC. Spending over 100 hours, Oiwa and his team transformed a blank inflated canvas into a world of swirling, black and white cosmos that visitors can step inside of and explore on their own.

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Japanese Kaiju Figurines Apologizing at Press Conferences

The art of the apology – it’s an integral part of Japanese culture that helps maintain balance and harmony in society. Combining that with kaiju figurines is this brilliant little set of toys that feature the likes of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla apologizing at a press conference, head hanging solemnly, for the destruction they’ve caused.

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Assemblages Made From Tsunami Wreckage by Fumiaki Aono

Eight years ago today, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the Tohoku region of Japan. The artist Fumiaki Aono was living in Sendai at the time and luckily his own home was sparred but other areas received significant damage.

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Dogs More Than Welcome at Japan’s Regina Resorts

even the signage throughout the hotel is catered to our four-legged friends

At the Regina Resorts, a chain of boutique hotels in Japan, you’ll find more than a ‘Dogs Welcome’ policy. You’ll find a resort that has been specifically designed and tailored to accommodate our four-legged friends and their human partners. For example, at the Regina Resort Kyu-Karuizawa, one of the more recent locations, everything from the reception area and the dog run to the signage is put in place to cater to doggos.  

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Keisuke Aiso’s Ubume Sculpture that was Missappropriated as the Face of the Momo Hoax

If you don’t know about the Momo Hoax that has spread globally and caused a whole bunch of uproar over nothing, you can read about it here. But today we wanted to highlight the real victim of the hoax: Keisuke Aiso, the artist who created a sculpture whose image was subsequently misappropriated as the face of the hoax.

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A Sculpture of Waves Installed in a Museum by Art Unit Mé

photo by Kioku Keizo courtesy Mori Art Museum

Japanese art unit (pronounced Mé and literally meaning “eye”) is behind a stunning installation at the Mori Art Museum. Titled “Contact,” the installation consists of a single sculpture installed in the confines of a room that mimics the swelling of waves in the sea.

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Intersections of Japanese Art on Display at Roppongi Crossing 2019

all photos by Kioku Keizo courtesy Mori Art Museum

Held triennially and currently in its 6th iteration, Roppongi Crossing is an exhibition staged by the Mori Art Museum that attempts to comprehensively survey the Japanese contemporary art scene. The theme this year is “Connexion” and, as in the past, the museum has done a fantastic job curating some terrific art that is relevant to the many social and political issues of today.

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Noborito Station Receives a Doraemon Makeover

Getting to the Fujiko F Fujio Museum in the outskirts of Tokyo just got a lot more fun. The museum, which pays tribute to the creators of Doraemon, is admittedly a bit hard to get to. You first have to access Noborito Station on the Odakyu Line where a shuttle bus takes you to the museum. But now, thanks to a partnership between the museum, Noborito Station has undergone a drastic makeover that rendered everything from their signage and elevators to storage lockers in Doraemon colors and motifs.

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World’s Largest Starbucks, Designed by Kengo Kuma, Opens in Nakameguro

Tokyo’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery is now open in Nakameguro

For the past 3 years Starbucks has slowly been rolling out what they’re calling Reserve Roasteries: luxurious shops that offer crafted coffee and differentiated beverages. The Tokyo location is the 5th of such stores and the largest to-date, boasting 4 differentiated floors of coffee goodness. It’s basically Disneyland, but for coffee.

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