japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — August 2008

I’m in love…

…with Tokyo-based fashion house Basset Walker‘s Autumn/Winter ’08 collection.



Must have this ↑↑  jacket!!



And with that thought I’m off to enjoy the long weekend! Happy Labor Day to you all!!

August 29, 2008   2 Comments

web design inspiration

Here are 2 of my recent cool website finds. German portrait/automobile photographer Uli Heckmann‘s portfolio website and Tokyo-based architectural rendering and design company Active Design.


love the semi-painted canvas-look, and really love the burnt corners-look!

August 29, 2008   10 Comments

Good Design Company

Some drool-worthy paper products for your Thursday afternoon. From Good Design Company.


best looking paper bag in a long time!


August 28, 2008   1 Comment

grass for your apartment

After gaining quite a bit of traction at DesignTide Tokyo last year, interior faux-grass KUSA has gone on sale. KUSA was originally designed by Hiromi Taki and Tomonori Oohata from Switch Design and released under the +d brand.

Imagine a whole bunch of these (which would actually be quite expensive) on a small coffee table or something. I actually think it would be pretty awesome.

kusa2.JPG kusa1.JPG
Purchase them HERE (1,700 yen) or contact us if you need help!

August 28, 2008   Comments Off


I’ve seen a lot of kitschy salt & pepper dispensers but here is one that I would actually consider putting on my table. “Talking” is a new design my renowned design collective Nendo. The funny shape of each mouth is actually a phonetic representation of Yu, Shi and Ko (shoyu, shio and kosho – soy sauce, salt and pepper -  repectivley). Neat idea!

talking2.jpg talking3.jpg talking4.jpg
Available HERE (1,500 ~ 2,000 yen)


August 27, 2008   6 Comments

Jurgen Lehl’s rocks

I used to collect rocks as a child. I was geeky like that. I even considered archaeology for a profession (still a possibility… just on the back burner). That’s why I’m adding this book to my wish list. It’s a picture book of rocks, large and small, collected during a journey through Northwest India.


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These ceramic plates are also to die for! All availabe at Jurgen Lehl


Jurgen Lehl is a German fashion designer who came to Japan to visit in 1971 and decided to set up shop.The natural organic aesthetic was very appealing to the Japanese and 37 years later there are about 40 shops dispersed throughout Japan.

August 26, 2008   Comments Off

Call for entries | Japan Media Arts Festival

The selection process for the 12th annual Japan Media Arts Festival is underway and they’re accepting admissions through 9/26 for categories of art, entertainment, animation and manga. Submissions are free and you don’t have to be Japanese to enter. So what do you have to lose?

Last year’s winner? French film artist Jean-Gabriel Periot. Watch his winning entry, 20000 phantoms, HERE.

20000 phantoms. Jean-Gabriel Periot

August 26, 2008   Comments Off



Our favorite Japanese fragrance maker, KENZO, has released KENZOKI, a new line of beauty products. To commemorate, the creative people over at NENDO have designed a new boutique, the first which as recently opened in Paris.

Also, a very VERY exquisite pamphlet (PDF) for the reception.

August 25, 2008   Comments Off

Happy 50th!!

50 years ago on this date Nissin’s “chicken ramen” was born. Who would have thought that this ingenious innovation, know as instant noodles, was to alter the landscape of student diets across campuses in Japan and around the globe!

(source: wikipedia)

(source: Nissin)

August 25, 2008   Comments Off

Siwa | 紙和


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It’s August and it’s Friday and I’m having lunch in central park and not coming back! But I wanted to leave you with some inspirational paper!

I saw these great images over at design hug. Siwa is a collaborative project between innovative Japanese paper company ONAO and renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa (i.e. ± 0, MUJI CD Player). Siwa means wrinkle in Japanese (and is also “washi” written backwards in Japanese), and is made out of a new type of material, Naolon, which was engineered by the company.
The lineup of products includes tote bags, lighting, and reusable envelopes that look totally awesome.

images courtesy of design-hug & Naoto Fukasawa Design

Even their business cards are made out of the material.


August 22, 2008   Comments Off