Playful Animated GIFs Imagine Edo Japan With Computers


“MADE in JAPAN” shows artisans carving keyboards and computer towers, illustrating the divisions of labor that became common in the 19th century. The image is a mash-up of Hokusai’s View from Fujimigahara in Owari Province and The Timberyard at Honjo

GIF artist Atsushi Segawa (previously) is known for taking classical images of ukiyo-e and carefully computerizing certain parts, setting them into motion. His style is a mix of realism and surrealism, combining historical accuracy with science fiction. Segawa’s work recently caught the eye of Japanese computer maker NEC, who commissioned the artist to create a series of animated GIFS that imagine what life in Edo Japan would be like if computers existed.


in “New Product Announcement” a Shogun reviews upcoming products with his subordinates. The original image is Tanryo Murata’s Taisei Houkanzu


“Christmas Shopping” is a playful twist on Hiroshige’s Goyu on the Tokaido

The series, officially titled LAVIE in EDO, imagines what life in old Japan might look like if NEC had developed their Lavie brand of computers hundreds of years earlier. So far, 4 images have been released with an additional 3 still to come.

You can keep up with Segawa and his work on twitter, where’s he posts his own creations, as well as commissioned work such as these.


In “Digital Terakoya,” people learn math problems from a popular webinar. The original image is this one from Kunisada Utagawa.


  1. very creative blog I was wondering what gave you the inspiration to do something like this

  2. This is super cool and funny. At the same time it gives us a glimpse of how it would look like if our forefathers get to use the technology that we are using today. This could even be a good story for an anime!

  3. Caregivers Canoga Park

    February 16, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Very cool and funny. What inspired you to do gifs like this?

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