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Music Monday: Creepy Nuts

The curiously named Creepy Nuts are a Japanese Hip Hop pair (get it?) comprised of R-Shitei and DJ Matsunaga. R-Shitei, whose rap name means “R-Rated,” is a lyrical genius who spouts fast-paced rhymes over his partner’s catchy tracks. The duo began working together in 2015 and released their first mini album just about a year ago in January 2016.

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Ippitsuryu: Single Stroke Paintings of Dragons

all images courtesy Fumiko Takase / ippitsuryu.com

The dragon is a mythical creature. In fact, it’s the only mythical creature among the 12 zodiac animals and, for centuries, has been considered to be an embodiment of a deity and the source of all other animals. For many artists specializing in images of the dragon there is a certain dedication and sense of purpose to honor this mythical beast and mighty symbol of good fortune.

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Honda Introduces Motorcycle That Balances Itself, Follows You Home

Fans of Kino’s Journey, the Japanese novel series about a girl who travels through mystical lands with her talking motorcycle Hermes, will be delighted to know that we are one step closer to getting our own personal Hermes.

In a global debut at CES, which is currently taking place at Las Vegas, Japanese automaker Honda has unveiled a motorcycle that leverages the company’s robotics technology to self-balance and respond to its owner.

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Make Shinshoji Zen Museum & Gardens One of Your Top Destinations of 2017

The Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens is a sprawling campus of traditional Japanese structures like tea houses, hot baths and museums all connected by tranquil and beautiful Zen gardens. In other words, it’s your one-stop-shop for Zen meals, Zen baths, Zen art and everything else you need to nurture your body and soul.

Located in Hiroshima, and completed just 3 months ago in September of 2016, the museums and gardens elegantly merge traditional and contemporary design.

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Japanese Designer New Year’s Cards of 2017

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Happy New Year! It’s become a tradition here at Spoon & Tamago, around this time of year, to share some of our favorite Japanese designer New Year’s cards (prior years can be found here).

Of course, not everyone sends cards. Some simply post staged photographs. Others painted paintings. One even created a free, downloadable calendar. But even though sending nengajo, as they’re called in Japan, is in a secular decline, we still enjoy bringing them all together here because it gives us a chance to reflect on those we shared a moment with, whether it was intentional or by chance.

Now, prepare yourself for an onslaught of rooster-inspired New Year’s cards.

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Sola Cube: Elements of Nature Encapsulated in Resin

3.8 billion years ago life began on earth with single-celled organisms like bacteria. And over millions of years multicellular life evolved into land plants and forests. The colors and shapes of flowers, fruits and seeds all have unique purposes and are as beautiful as they are functional.

One Japanese designer, intent on showcasing the wonder and beauty of mother nature, developed a way to exquisitely preserve plants in acrylic cubes. He called them “Sola Cubes.”

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Objects of Nature Encrusted with Polygons Made From Twine by Norihiko Terayama

“crust of polygon” by Norihiko Terayama

Driftwood, stems and branches. They’re all around us but so easily overlooked. But designer Norihiko Terayama’s latest series of sculptures offers different way of seeing these ordinary objects of nature.

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Kiyoto Maruyama: one of Japan’s last public bath mural painters

If you’ve ever been to a sento, or a public bath in Japan, you may have noticed a large mural, typically one of Mt. Fuji. Most sentos are decorated with such murals on the interior, referred to as penki-e, and it’s common for them to be repainted at least once a year featuring Mt. Fuji in various forms.

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Gravity-Defying Stacked Coin Sculptures by Shunsuke Tani

With a little bit of creativity and, occasionally, a whole lot of patience, any household item can be turned into material for art. And it’s often the most mundane of items that have the greatest impact. For Shunsuke Tani, a young biologist major-turned childcare specialist, it was spare change that was lying around his house that became one of his greatest passions.

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The Wintry Elegance of Hasui Kawase’s Woodblock Prints

“Snow at Tsukijima” (1930)

Hasui Kawase (1883-1957) was a prominent landscape artist in 20th century Japan who travelled extensively throughout the Western regions of the country. Known for his poetic renderings of snow, rains and moonlight, he created elegant prints of Kyoto temples covered in snow, as well as dark and quiet landscapes.

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