Category — Interactive/ Technology
Yesterday in Tokyo former Yokozuna sumo wrestler Akebono lead about 1000 zombies up and around Tokyo Tower. They, of course, weren’t real zombies and the event was staged by Fox International to promote season 4 of the TV show “The Walking Dead.”
Organizers recruited the Hawaiian sumo-wrestler-turned-TV-personality and about 1000 beauty school students, giving them an opportunity to show off their makeup skills.
On a related note, check out our analysis on Japan’s zombie outbreak preparedness.
Reporters who were on the scene to cover the carnage got their brains chewed out.
October 31, 2013 Comments Off
After successfully crowd-funding their campaign on Kickstarter and GreenFunding (a Japanese equivalent), the band SOUR has released their latest music video. With the help of directors Masashi Kawamura and Kota Iguchi, the band filmed 189 spinning CDs as phenakistoscopes to create their entire animated video, “Life is Music.”
The song is about “the circle of life, and how music is its rhythm maker,” says the creators. “We took this concept, and came up with an idea to use the spinning CD disc as a Phenakistoscope.”
Supporters of the project who pledged $70 or more were entitled to receive one of the actual CDs used in the filming. Leftovers are being sold for 3,000 yen (about $30) on the website.
Masashi Kawamura & Co. are responsible for several other highly creative music videos that prove you don’t need million dollar budgets to create a great music video.
October 24, 2013 Comments Off
Make sure you go to the bathroom before watching this new ad for Sony’s image sensors. A creative team of cinematographers, sound engineers and recordists ventured into the riverhead area in Kumamoto, Kyushu, a lush, tranquil location renowned for its high quality of pure natural water. There they recorded both audio and video of over 700 samples of dripping water – everything from droplets falling off of stalactites onto limestone and rainwater dripping off leaves to the underwater sounds of a gurgling brook. They even captured the sound that water makes when a frog hops.
Back in the studio the engineers remixed the 700 samples of audio and 1500 cuts of video to create a “rock version” of Pachelbel’s Canon. “Water Rock” is the work of Morihiro Harano and ad agency Mori Inc., who also brought us the extraordinary Forest Xylophone commercial. “We simply drew upon the natural beauty and scenery that can always be experienced in Kumamoto,” the creators explained. “We wanted viewers to sense the whole cycle of nature.”
October 22, 2013 1 Comment
The Kyoto-based airy, dreamy songstress Cuushe just released the music video for “Airy Me,” an equally dreamy animation of wobbly camerawork and characters that are painstakingly comprised of 3000 hand drawn sketches. Interestingly, the catalyst for the video was illustrator Yoko Kuno who, at the time, was finishing up her art degree. Kuno emailed Cuushe to aske if she could use her music in her graduation thesis. And thus the collaboration was born.
You can read interview with Cuushe over on Dazed, where her video premiered.
July 18, 2013 Comments Off
The streets of Tokyo can be deafeningly silent late at night. “As I walk home at night listening to music I would imagine shapes moving to the sounds,” explains Tao Tajima, who created “Night Stroll.” It’s a mesmerizing short video shot on the late night streets of Tokyo featuring florescent geometric shapes that illuminate the dark pavement. It’s like a secret party that we’ve accidentally stepped into.
“I simply visualized the images I was seeing,” Tajima tells us. “I think anyone who’s walked home at night listening to music has experienced this feeling,” which perhaps explains why it strikes a chord with so many.
Tajima, who works at the Tokyo-based film and visual design studio Tanagram, deliberately chose a drizzly night and shot everything in his own neighborhood. “I like how wet pavement creates a mirroring effect. So I wanted to recreate the images in my head as realistically as possible.”
(all quotes translated from Japanese to English by author)
July 18, 2013 Comments Off
Hydroponics is a subset of gardening in which plants are grown only in water. Terrariums are enclosed ecosystems for raising plants. Elegantly combining the two is “[ 10¹² ] TERRA,” a new shop started by Daisuke Tsumanuma and Kenichi Yamada. “The name of the brand…was inspired by the number of cells produced per day (10¹²). We started this brand to create products that mirror the constant changes of life, full of new discovery.”
The minimal casing allows creates the perfect environment for observing the growth of your plant and its roots – something that conventional terrariums don’t do. And the clever structure lets you easily replace water as soon as it gets murky.
I love this brand movie created by Makoto Yabuki.
Source: Makoto Yabuki
July 16, 2013 Comments Off
The island of Japan, from Northern Hokkaido to Southern Kyushu, is about 1500 miles long. Traversing it by car would take about 30 hours of non-stop driving. And even if you had the time and resources, it’s a daunting feat that few have probably succeeded at. But design engineering firm takram have figured out a way to do it while sitting at your desk. And in under 1 hour. Fifty five minutes, to be exact.
“Wait, do you think we can traverse all of Japan simply using Street View?” It started with a simple question, after discovering that most of Japan has now been photographed by Google’s Street View. By hacking the open source code of a program known as Hyperlapse, which allows you to create short animations using frames from Street View, the team managed to create an automated program that would capture all the frames and animate an entire route from the Northern to Southern tips of Japan. Engineers amaze me.
From Northern to Southern Hokkaido (10 min)
Takram has uploaded their own source code so you can use it to program different routes.
From Northern Honshu to Tokyo (10 min)
From Tokyo to Osaka (15 min)
From Osaka to the Southern tip of Honshu (10 min)
From Northern to Southern Kyushu (9 min)
July 16, 2013 1 Comment
Last week marked the 60th Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, where the best of the best creative advertising is honored. Agencies from Japan came home with a total of 33 awards (down from 55 last year) including top nods for projects like World Wide Maze, Tokyo City Symphony and Penguin Navi. But perhaps the most high profile act was pop idol group Perfume, who not only won an award for their Perfume Global Site Project but also put on an impressive performance with the help of Daito Manabe, digital creation director at Rhizomatiks.
Perfume performs their hit “spending all my time” (fast forward to around the 2-min mark for the song to actually start)
Manabe’s skillful use of projection mapping, a technology used to turn irregularly shaped objects (in this case, the 3 girls’ outfits) into video projection screens, won them a standing ovation at the end of the performance. This was the first time a Japanese act has performed on the Cannes Lions stage.
Perfume Global Site Project
June 26, 2013 1 Comment
Last weekend marked the 21st annual World Oceans Day, a time to commemorate that blue part of the planet that covers 70% of the earth’s surface and represents our planet’s largest habitat. And while this vast area supports nearly 50% of all species on Earth, some of those species are increasingly in danger due to overfishing: catching fish faster than they can reproduce.
Watch as the soulful octopus sings a sad song of overfishing:
One day captured in the net
Next day sold in the market
Today all of the ships wrecked
Tomorrow fishes are dead
Ocean is lonely because you are hungry
Recognize the voice? That’s Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof.
June 11, 2013 Comments Off
Last month Will.i.am, the hip-hop bohemian-turned-dancehall-music-captain, unveiled his video for #thatPOWER (embedding disabled), a track from his new album #willpower. It was shot mostly in Japan earlier this year and features will.i.am and his posse dancing through some recognizable and some more obscure architectural landmarks. Oh, and it also features a hologram of Justin Bieber.
Will.i.am dancing under the seizure-inducing kaleidoscope mirrors of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando.
Will.i.am dancing in front of Florian Claar’s “Fragment No.5” at Tokyo Midtown
Will.i.am dancing in front of Tokyo Big Sight, Japan’s largest convention center.
Will.i.am dancing in front of a ubiquitous Japanese street lined with pubs.
Will.i.am dancing in front of “The Eye of Shinjuku,” created by Yoshihiko Miyashita in 1969.
Seasoned YouTube connoisseurs will recognize the slow-motion dancing style to be that of mixed-martial-artist-turned-buddhist-internet-dancing-sensation Genki Sudo. It’s certainly a sign of the times when hip hop artists are turning to Asians for dance lessons.
When the video premiered, many were quick to jump the gun, assuming that Genki Sudo and his dance unit World Order had indeed given lessons, collaborating with the U.S. pop stars on their dance moves. No one believed that will.i.am had the audacity and gall to not only appropriate Sudo’s moves but to perform them in Japan. However, a statement by the group denied all rumors of any prior agreement, prompting publications like tvgroove.com to edit their article and issue an apology. So I guess will.i.am did indeed have the audacity and gall?
In a tweet, Sudo also wrote, “It looks a lot like World Order (LOL). Thanks for using, Justin & Will…”
May 6, 2013 2 Comments