Interactive Map Plots Ukiyo-e in Location They Depict


The interactive Ukiyo-e Map has pins of exact locations that Ukiyoe depict

One of the most appealing aspects of Ukiyo-e, at least for me, is that many of them depict actual locations. In particular, Utagawa Hiroshige was known for his landscapes; the most famous being The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, which was the result of a procession between Edo and Kyoto. Now, an online Open StreetMap called Ukiyo-e Map has plotted over 200 of Hiroshige’s prints on a map of Japan so you can pin down the exact location they depicted several hundred years ago.

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A Giant Fusuma Defines This Renovated Home and Architecture Office in Tokyo

all photos by Haruki Kodama

When Kaori Kikushima and Ikki Nagasawa of Tokyo-based architecture firm knof purchased this 33-year old apartment in the Kiyosumishirakawa district, it was compartmentalized into 5 separate rooms. An aggressive renovation plan opened the space up to create a multi-functioning area that could breath and morph between home and office.  

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Custom-Fitted Pokemon Dress Shirts

Contemporary Pokemon fans have always been able to carry around their favorite Pokemon in their smartphones. But now, they’ll be able to carry them in another way: on their backs. The Pokemon company has teamed up with Original Stitch, a Japanese manufacturer of custom-made shirts, to create custom-fitted dress shirts in original designs that feature your favorite Pokemon.

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A Pencil That Amplifies the Sound of Writing

The Kokuyo Design Award Grand Prix went to “Sound of Drawing” by Takuma Yamazaki

The Kokuyo Design Awards are one of the most interesting design awards in Japan that have helped commercialize simple yet groundbreaking new stationery products like the Nameless Paints and the Kadokeshi Eraser. Winners of the most recent 2018 Design Awards were just announced this week and the top prize went to Takuma Yamazaki, a young designer who has created a kit that amplifies the sound of the pencil, adding a new, musical dimension to drawing/writing.

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New Abstract Sculptures Made From Cut Stacks of Paper by Noriko Ambe

Parallel World 5 (2018) | all images courtesy lora reynolds gallery

For roughly 20 years now, Japanese artist Noriko Ambe has been creating sculptural works rendered by cutting into stacks and stacks of paper. Her work resembles three-dimensional topographical maps. Ambe has always been inspired by nature and landscape, but in a recent showing her work has taken a slightly more abstract form.

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2019 Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program

Spoon & Tamago is proud once again to partner with the Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program. As media sponsor and judge, we’ve supported the program since its inauguration and are excited to be coming back for a 4th year. Open to Japanese artists, this annual program seeks to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue by providing the opportunity for Japanese visual artists to live, work, and exhibit in New York City.

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Hideaki Hamada’s View of Somewhere in Tokyo

all photos copyright Hideaki Hamada

The Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada is perhaps most well-known for his lovingly intimate depictions of his two kids, Haru and Mina. But if you are following him on any one of his social media channels, you’ll know that he also has a keen eye for capturing places in photographs that are achingly mundane yet beautifully nostalgic.   

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Japanese Hand-Carved Wooden Dumbbells

Blue 2 Tokushima is an initiative to connect designers with local manufacturers in Japan’s Tokushima Prefecture with the objective of coming up with new applications for craftsmanship and manufacturing expertise. One result of that initiative are these gorgeous, wooden dumbbells.

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New Masking Tape Paintings by Nasa Funahara

Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” recreated in masking tape. The piece was part of a recent Vermeer Tribute Exhibition in Japan.

The Japanese artist Nasa Funahara’s obsession with masking tape began with the simple hobby of collecting. As you might know, Japanese washi masking tape comes in all sort of colors, patterns and designs. And at 200 -300 yen a pop, they’re pretty easy impulse purchases, especially if you have a thing for stationery. It was in college when she decided to use her masking tape as part of a class assignment and the response was huge. So she began replicating famous paintings using only masking tape.

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The Stove to Table Frying Pan JIU

Using the frying pan you just cooked in as a plate is an age-old device employed by everyone from broke college students to campers. It’s not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, but when rethought, reworked and redesigned, the result can be startlingly fresh and unique. That’s what this Japanese design duo set out to do with the Frying Pan JIU.

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