Atsuko Yukawa Creates Homopolar Motor Sculptures Using Wire and a Battery

Japanese artist Atsuko Yukawa runs a small studio called Trill where she primarily spends her time illustrating birds. But recently, in her spare time, she’s been experimenting with simple wire sculptures. At first sight they don’t seem like much, but that’s because they’ve been designed for a very specific purpose: to be carefully balanced on a battery.

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Overhead Electric Wires: a Neighborhood Boon or Blight?

The prolonged electricity outages that are occurring in Chiba, Japan thanks to Typhoon Faxai have renewed an age-old debate: whether or not to bury Japan’s utility poles and electric wires underground.

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Ultimate Infill: A 2.7-meter Office Building Rises in a Ginza Alley

all photos by Takumi Ota courtesy SO&CO

Along one of Ginza’s many backstreets, just steps from Showa-dori, sat an L-shaped plot of land. At just 2.7-meters wide, or a little less than 9 ft, it had remained vacant for the past 3 years, obscured by the shadows of the towering grey buildings around it. Until finally a developer stepped in.

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Music Monday: Quruli

Quruli are (from left to right): Shigeru Kishida, Fanfan and Masashi Sato

Quruli are a 3-piece Japanese rock band that have been making music for over 2 decades. The band’s original members – Kishida and Sato – met in university and formed in 1996. If you attend Fuji Rock, the annual music festival held in Naeba Ski Resort, you’ll surely recognize them as they’ve been a mainstay since 1999.

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Branding for Hakko Seikatsu: a line of fermented vegetable products

Established in 1940, Nishiri is a Kyoto-based company carrying on a local legacy of pickled and fermented vegetables. But 2 years ago, when they decided they needed a rebrand, they turned to design agency Nosigner, who helped them modernize their “Hakko Seikatsu” (meaning fermentation lifestyle) brand of sauces, soups and dressing.

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Trunk House: a Rentable Townhouse in Kagurazaka

Down a secluded backstreet in Tokyo’s Kagurazaka neighborhood, a one-of-a-kind rentable townhouse opened for business last month. Trunk House, operated by the Trunk Hotel that opened 2 years ago, is inspired by everything that Tokyo stands for: the new and the old, the Japanese and the foreign, and the city’s ability to host discreet gathering in its maze of back alleys and side-streets.

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Kenji Ishikawa Travels the World Taking Photographs Using Only Moonlight

“Iguazu Falls and Rainbows,” taken in Argentina by Kenji Ishikawa

Lighting is one of the most critical elements of photography it can literally make or break the end result. And if there’s anyone who understands the importance of light it’s Kenji Ishikawa. The 74-year old Japanese photographer has been travelling the world for the last 35 years taking photographs with one of the most minimal forms of light: moonlight.

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Okura Hotel to Reopen with Replica of Iconic Lobby

the new Hotel Okura’s lobby is a replica of it’s former | all photos by Satoshi Nagare

When Tokyo’s Okura Hotel announced that their main wing would be demolished in 2015 and be rebuilt, there was public outcry over the loss of the hotel’s iconic, modernist lobby. But the hotel promised to “faithfully reproduce” the former lobby and now, with an opening date set for September 12, it appears that the hotel has made good on that promise.

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Gestural Brushstrokes Form Abstract Portraits by Teppei Takeda

Japanese artist Teppei Takeda uses grand, gestural brush strokes to create abstract portraits of his subjects. The completed paintings are anonymous, rather than of a specific person, and emphasize the vividness of the strokes, the traces of the flowing brush and the luster of the generous applications of paint that catch the light.

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Akira Minagawa Designs New Kyoto Machiya Guesthouse

Designer Akira Minagawa, of the faux-Finnish brand minä perhonen, has collaborated with seasoned architect Yoshifumi Nakamura to renovate and transform a Kyoto machiya into a rentable guesthouse.

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