japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — July 2009

here are some more shots…

…of the Yu Watanabe x Hiromatsu Furniture line.

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July 31, 2009   Comments Off

Yu Watanabe for Hiromatsu Furniture


*GASP* be still my beating heart. I know it’s Friday and I should be winding down but I can’t help it.  Hiromatsu Furniture has released a line of kids furniture and I can’t get enough of this sofa. It’s so free and innocent and fun; as if it was designed by a child.

But get this – it was actually designed by Yu Watanabe, an 80-year old retired professor of design. His impressive resume includes a position as head of board of directors of the Japan Interior Designers Association, as well as professor at the Chiba Institute of Technology. He retired 6 years ago but agreed to take on this one-time project with Hiromatsu Furniture.
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July 31, 2009   1 Comment

interior inspiration


I would love to have an oversized cabinet like this and fill it will all my ceramic table ware that I’ve accumulated over the years.

Via my wife’s LEE magazine (No. 314, August 2009)

July 31, 2009   Comments Off

happy birthday to me!!


2 years and 516 posts later I’m loving my blog more than ever. Thank you to everyone for reading!

July 31, 2009   14 Comments

mobile dining

How fun would it be to invite a bunch of guest over to a house party, have them stand around in a big empty room, and then pull out this baby and sit down to dinner!

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mobile dining (3)

mobile dining

I would welcome the Mobile Dining unit into my house any day! Designed by Nobuhiro Teshima of design firm LINK.

July 30, 2009   5 Comments

Would you like some cocaine with that?


The only reason I bring this up is because I’ve mentioned David Shrigley numerous times here and I completely adore his new salt & pepper shakers! I want!

Just a pinch, please.

via culturelabel

July 30, 2009   Comments Off



We’re almost through the month of July! I hope everyone has had a nice summer so far. We’ve been to the beach, grilled on our roof and played in the river but I would still like to take little huey camping!

The photo is by Japanese photographer Shino Chikura. Check out more of her work online and over at CIBONE.

July 30, 2009   7 Comments

Oh, my Darling! , Oh, my Honey!

I love Mihoko Mori’s new line of cushions for CIBONE.

Jute Pouch Cushion   |   Oh, my Darling! , Oh, my Honey!

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My only concern would be that the Jute Pouch Cushion is stuffed with Soba (buckwheat) chaff, a customary practice in Japan but also one that is known to induce asthma.

Mihoko Mori started her career as a designer of Issey Miyake. She decided to o freelance in 2004 and expanded her practice while absorbing local skills and techniques from around Japan.

Oh, my Darling! , Oh, my Honey!

Jute Pouch Cushion

July 29, 2009   Comments Off

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

I just listened to this 3 times and each time something different resonates within me. The essay was originally written by Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and published in 1997.  As an introduction to the essay Schmich writes that it is the commencement speech she would give if ever invited to speak at a graduation. A year later it was adapted by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) in an album titled “Something for Everybody” and samples a song he used in Romeo + Juliet.

(the original animation can be seen HERE. I just liked the above better)

I think my favorite piece of advice is, “don’t worry about the future…the real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind…” oh yea, and of course, “floss.”

HERE is the original essay if you want to follow along. Although I recommend against it as all the google ads detract from the experience.

Thanks, Dad

PS My younger brother just graduated from college and is off to Vietnam for a year to teach English! I wish him all the luck, which he will not need as long as he follows this advice!

July 28, 2009   8 Comments

birch sake bottle

fukunaga kouta2

The northern island of Hokkaido is not only famous for its cows, rolling hills, excellent seafood and ice festival. It is also home to a burgeoning community of artists and artisans who get their inspiration from the aforementioned elements. Take Kouta Fukunaga for example. He creates carved vessels out of birch tree trunks and fashions them into exquisite wine chillers and sake bottles. The birch sake bottle recently won first place in the 2008 Takaoka Craft Competition.

fukunaga kouta

Fukunaga first came on the radar screen in 2006 with an honorable mention nod in the Sapporo Design Competition for “logos.” Fashioned out of spruce,  “logos” is a series of smaller plates that can be combined into a larger dish for entertaining groups at parties. It has yet to be commercialized but his line of birch products are available (7,000 – 9,000 yen) through a few shops specializing in Hokkaido-based arts and crafts such as Snowwood.

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fukunaga kouta (2)

July 28, 2009   3 Comments