Shishi-Iwa House is a 10-room boutique resort in Karuizawa that recently opened its doors for business. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and tucked away in a secluded setting, the resort is “a restorative retreat that reinforces the relationship between nature, architecture and human connection.”
It’s ironic how the rise in technology, which was thought to destroy borders and bring people closer, has coincided with a rise in xenophobia and isolationism. But it’s worth remembering the famous words of Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri: “I could see no border on earth from space.” Inspired by this illuminating thought, Japanese designer Eisuke Tachikawa (Nosigner) wants to show us what Mohri saw through an immersive, technological art installation.
Isshindo Honpo is a Japanese company that combines Japanese culture with contemporary design to come up with unique products like the design face mask and Shogi chocolates that have proven popular with foreign tourists. Their latest product is Nihon de Chocolat, a delicately packaged set of chocolates shaped like the country but scaled down to 1/25 million.
This discovery of porcelain clay in Arita around the end of the 16th century lead to a number of kilns being established in the area. And over the next 400 years arita-yaki, as it’s referred to will grow into the grandfather of fine porcelain. But it’s constantly reinventing itself, the latest iteration being mg&gk.
Tokyo is getting some cold weather right now, including a rare bit of snow. So it seems timely to introduce the photography of Yusuke Komatsu, who recently published a self-explanatory series of photographs titled Snow in Tokyo.
D&DEPARTMENT, which I’ll refer to as D&D, is a unique Japanese company that’s taken on various forms over the years. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: their unwavering focus on long-life design. Established by Kenmei Nagaoka, a former colleague of graphic designer Kenya Hara, D&D was founded in response to the fast cycles of change in products around the world. It began as a 2nd-hand shop in the outskirts of Tokyo but has since grown to 11 outposts around Japan (as well as 1 in Korea and China) and has established themselves as purveyors of good, long-lasting design from all around Japan.
Our immune system is essential to our health. It not only fights common ailments like cold and flu but recent medical breakthroughs have revealed its potential for fighting deadly diseases as well. But out of sight, out of mind, as the proverb goes, renders these friendly cells almost invisible, that is until we need them most. Japanese designer and illustrator Masanobu Ishii decided to create a series of detailed illustrations of the life-saving immune system cells.
Japanese beverage maker Kirin launched a “Home Tap” service that brings this beautifully-designed, compact kegerator into the home. Home kegerators have never been appealing to me because they’re either too bulky, too ugly, or both. This is neither.
Look down, not up, as you walk. But only if you’re headed to the Japanese Manhole Cover Festival happening in Tokyo. If you love Japanese manhole covers as much as we do, you’ll be excited to learn that the extravaganza will include everything from actual manhole covers and manhole cover goods (like doormats, miniatures, collector cards) to manhole cover cookies and snacks.
guys! This new spinning top from Japanese brand +d is brilliant!! It’s called
Sp!n and when you spin it, an optical illusion of levitation reveals an exclamation
point!!! Playfulness aside, it’s not every day that punctuation, or spinning tops,
makes us this excited.