unless otherwise noted, all phots by Erieta Attali | click to enlarge
Kichijoji is a suburb in Western Tokyo that’s gained popularity in recent years for its hip boutiques, convenient department stores and large park. (The author grew up in the neighborhood, which earns it extra brownie points)
A unique feature of Kichijoji is Harmonica Yokocho, a retro-style stretch of tiny shops, eateries and bars. There, one of the most popular spots with locals is Tetchan, a yakitori (grilled, skewered chicken) shop that recently underwent a vibrant facelift.
It’s that time of year again: Milano Salone, often simply referred to as Milan Design Week. Each year we cover various Japanese designers who are showcasing new work. But this year feels like Japan – from solo exhibitions to behind-the-scenes staging – has a larger presence than usual.
So we thought we would round up all the Japanese design that’s on display this year. We’ll be posting individual items of particular interest but here you’ll find it all: everything from inflatable bonsai to groundbreaking toothbrush technology.
Borrowing from the concept and technique of Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, designer Masahiko Yoshihara has created a doll with a surprise inside. Mato Ryoko appear to be a regular peasant girl but when the top comes off there’s a bikini-clad woman inside.
“A person’s outer appearance, words, reputation and position gives us preconceptions, and we often fail to see the essence (the middle) of a person,” says Yoshihara. “This shape-transforming figure expresses that situation.”
He designed the doll in hopes that we can be more aware of how we perceive people and focus on the essence rather than external appearances. Yoshihara’s design won the excellence prize at a Tokyo Midtown Design Awards 2 years ago. It’s now part of a self-titled exhibition at Milano Salone.
photos by Hiroki Kawata courtesy Ninkipen | click to enlarge
This month Kyoto Gakuen University welcomed students into their new Uzumasa campus. Amongst the sparkling auditorium, the medical training site and the library, undoubtedly one of the most anticipated facilities is the cafeteria. Because, after all, who can study on an empty stomach?
photos by Giovanni Giannoni courtesy Fairchild Fashion Media
Fashion, according to Takafumi Tsuruta, shouldn’t just be about the runway. Whether you’re in a wheelchair, have only one arm, are on your way to a funeral, or simply going to work on a rainy day, fashion should encompass all walks of life. So in 2013 Tsuruta founded the fashion label HaHa.
a young man delivering soba alond Meguro-dori in Tokyo. Photo courtesy koitaro
Nowadays when we order takeout we open an app, push a few buttons and 30 minutes later someone shows up on a motorcycle with your food. But in the olden days in Japan it was obviously a bit different. Demae, which literally means “to go in front of” is thought to have originated as early as the mid-Edo period in the 1700s.
“Flame of this world and the other world I” (2015) | all images courtesy Jonathan Levine Gallery
The girls who appear in Tokyo-based artist Fuco Ueda’s paintings are, in a single word, mysterious. They appear in surreal situations and seem to embody complicated emotions like guilt, aggressiveness, independence, and a subtle seductive eroticism.
The girls are often accompanied by colorful flora or fauna. But Ueda’s recent work takes a darker turn.
Photos by Fuminari Yoshitsugu
For the past 10 years a small Furoshiki shop has maintained a quiet presence in the back-streets of vibrant Harajuku. But for their anniversary, Musubi, which sells traditional wrapping cloths known as furoshiki, decided to give themselves a facelift.
Cause and Effect: Painted iPhone 6 Cases That Emerged From Canvases
In a recent series titled Cause and Effect, Brooklyn-based artist Meguru Yamaguchi used his signature style of streaked paint to create a series of artworks that include canvases, as well as iPhone 6 cases.
Photos by Kenta Hasegawa | click to enlarge
You’ll want to run through this new terminal, even if you’re not late for your plane.
Yesterday Tokyo’s Narita Airport opened Terminal 3, a brand new terminal exclusively designed to service low-cost carriers. Much in the same way that UNIQLO has made low-cost fashion new and exciting, the project, an undertaking by 3 different companies over a 3-year period, was to create low-cost terminal without making it dull and boring. The answer? Running tracks used for track and field.