Vintage Posters from the 60s and 70s by Kazumasa Nagai

kazumasa nagai poster

Asahi Steinie, 1965

At the age of 85, graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai may be slowing down but his career is certainly not. If anything, it’s been picking up over the last 12 months. At a large retrospective of his work last year the fashion designer Issey Miyake was inspired to create a line of clothing based on his designs. Then, an even larger exhibition was held this year featuring an astounding 475 posters he created during his 57-year career. (“There must be roughly double this,” he remarked at the exhibition, referring to his entire body of work.)

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An Illustrated 2015 Daruma Calendar by Akiko da Silva

akiko dasilva daruma calendar

Japan-based designer Akiko da Silva has created an adorably illustrated 2015 calendar featuring the daruma, one of Japan’s most beloved New Year’s icons. “Daruma dolls are Japanese talismans of perseverance and good luck,” explains Akiko. Modeled after Zen Buddhism’s Bodhidharma, the hollowed out, roundish doll is portrayed without arms or legs because, according to legend, the Bodhidharma’s legs and arms fell off from atrophy after meditating for 9 years.

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Fashion and Graphic Design Collide in a Collaboration between Issey Miyake and Kazumasa Nagai

Kazumasa Nagai pleats please

The Japanese graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai always designs his own exhibition posters. And it’s definitely not because he’s short on funds. At 85, his name is almost legendary. He’s not only created the logos for major companies like Mitsubishi UFJ, Nissin and the now notorious TEPCO, but also thousands of posters (yes, thousands) for events, advertisements and personal liking.

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Walk Through an Installation of 65,000 Shimmering Watch Base Plates

citizen watch base plate installation

The design team at Japanese watch-maker CITIZEN and paris-based architectural office DGT have collaborated on a magical installation transforming a seemingly ordinary object into what looks like shimmering droplets of suspended rain. What makes the installation tick is 65,000 base plates, the basic component of a watch, which are suspended from the ceiling. The installation is on display at SPIRAL in Tokyo through November 28, 2014.

citizen watch base plate installation

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The Niku Towel Lets You Dry Yourself With Meat

niku towel

Meat-lovers rejoice! Now you can have your meat and dry yourself with it too.

If you’ve ever purchased beef in Japan this package will look very familiar. Everything from the brown butcher paper to the red and white slabs of beef ready to be laid down on a hot grill. And while this product won’t satisfy your salivary glands, they will satisfy your sweat glands. The Niku Towel (literally, meat towel) is a towel meant to resemble a large slice of beef. It can be taken to the beach, worn around your neck or simply hung in the bathroom.

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Kids Gloves by Nobumasa Takahashi (an anniversary giveaway!)


Exactly 1 year ago Spoon & Tamago debuted its online shop. It’s been quite a ride and a huge learning experience, but we’ve loved every moment of it. Writing about Japanese art and design will always be our passion but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with delivering it to someone’s hands.

To thank you all for your support we’re giving away 2 sets of these adorable Cubic Kids Gloves by artist Nobumasa Takahashi, who also designed the Wasanbon Sugar Skulls.

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Thin and Stylish Electronic Paper Watch by TAKT Project & FES

fes1You may remember the TAKT Project from their DIY creations combining industrially made objects with 3d-printed parts. This month the small but innovative design team is back to explore the possibilities of wearable design. They take a shot at combining elegance and technology by using a thin, electronic paper display. The FES watch was designed for Fashion Entertainments, a Tokyo-based startup that’s looking to revolutionize the fashion industry through the use of electronic paper. Their first product is this watch, which takes the stand of being a fashion item first, adding a layer of technological prowess on top of it.

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Astro Boy Traffic Light Unveiled in Sagami

astro boy traffic light

Tezuka Osamu’s beloved robot Astro Boy, better known in Japan as Atomu, is using his mighty powers to direct traffic. In an attempt to promote their robotic industries and rebrand as “Robot Town,” the district of Sagami in Kanagawa prefecture has created a pedestrian traffic light in the likeness of Astro Boy. By simply swapping out the generic human figure with the recognizable robotic role model, government officials managed to put a fun twist on the ubiquitous crossing light.

The city even turned it into a scavenger hunt by intentionally hiding the location and encouraging residents and visitors to try and find the Astro Boy traffic light. The location has already been leaked thanks to a newspaper that mistakenly revealed the location in their headline. Here is a Google Map link to the location (spoiler alert, obviously).

An Exhibition of Vintage Subway Manner Posters by Hideya Kawakita

hideya kawakita vintage tokyo metro posters

“The Dictator” 1976.July | taking their cue from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” this poster discourages the man-spread.

In the mid-70s in Tokyo a series of eye-catching posters appeared in Tokyo that featured appropriations of iconic western imagery like Hitler, Superman, Marilyn Monroe and Santa Claus. Each poster promoted proper subway etiquette and manners like not smoking on the platform during rush hour, not spitting gum and displaying your train pass clearly. The comical posters, which ran from 1974-1982, were the work of graphic designer Hideya Kawakita, a man who arguably has had the biggest impact on the image of Tokyo’s subway.

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IMAGINATOMY: Art Director Yuni Yoshida’s 1st Solo Exhibition

yuni yoshida IMAGINATOMY

Yuni Yoshida is a 34-year old graphic designer and art director. She’s made a name for herself by art directing various campaigns for department stores like La Foret Harajuku and Parco, as well as CD jackets for J-Pop acts like AKB48 and Kaela Kimura. Her work often features female models in surreal, dreamlike settings that make you look, and then look a little closer. And now, for the first time, her large body of work is meticulously recreated and is being put on display in a retrospective at Laforet Museum in Harajuku.

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