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Altered Landscapes Meticulously Rendered in Pencil by Shinji Ogawa

Shinji Ogawa’s black and white works are so meticulously rendered that they at first appear to be old photographs of architectural landscapes. And yet something seems off about them. Make no mistake – these are pencil drawings created by the artist, who clearly possesses a masterful drafting technique.

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Japanese Yukata Covered in Shunga Erotic Prints

Shunga were a form of traditional pornography in Japan, made by Ukiyo-e artists in the form of woodblock prints. They were often printed on small pages and booklets that people would carry around with them wherever they went. And for obvious reasons they’ve become somewhat obsolete, yet they remain an important part of Japan’s cultural and artistic history, not to mention a testament to the skill and craftwork involved in producing them.

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Sarutahiko Coffee’s New Flagship Store in Chofu, Tokyo

the new Sarutahiko Coffee flagship shop opening 9/29/2017

If there’s anyone that can give Blue Bottle in Japan a run for their money it’s Sarutahiko Coffee, Japan’s homegrown specialty coffee shop. Tomoyuki Otsuka opened Sarutahiko Coffee’s first shop in Ebisu, Tokyo in 2011 and has since added 7 coffee shops and stands around the city. Now they’re opening what will be their largest ever flagship in Chofu, a Western suburb of Tokyo.

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Performance Artist Tatsumi Orimoto and His Facial Baguette Flash Mobs

Bread Man at Onomichi Station, Japan (2017) | photo courtesy The Mainichi

Last weekend a group of 36 people with 3 to 6 baguettes wrapped around their face appeared suddenly at Onomichi Station in Hiroshima, Japan. They paraded down a street, through the city’s shopping district and even went on a ferry ride, all the while chanting “We are Bread Men. We are not human” in Japanese and English.

This was not the latest All Breads Matter protest. Rather, it was a performance art piece by 71-year old Japanese artist Tatsumi Orimoto called “Bread Man” and has been staged around the world over 200 times.

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Music Monday: Red Bull Music Festival Tokyo

We usually introduce you to a new artist on Music Monday. But today we’d like to highlight the upcoming Red Bull Music Festival taking place in Tokyo next month because it’s the perfect intersection of music and graphic design. We’ve been seeing some of the posters around Tokyo and they’re simply stunning. Their bold use of colors and typography makes them hard to miss.

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Makoto Azuma Plunges Bonsai into the Depths of the Sea

For the past several years, Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma has been experimenting with flowers in a way that delicately balances the natural and unnatural. For his ongoing series “Bloom” he’s launched bouquets of flowers into space and floated them in the middle of the sea. But the artist, whose work often deals with the ephemeral nature of his subject matter, has frozen flowers in blocks of ice and placed them at the center of decommissioned power plants. His latest endeavor was to plunge bouquets and a bonsai into the least explored part of this planet: the bottom of the sea.

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Kanban: The Exquisite Art of Historic Japanese Store Signs

Before department stores and convenient stores became one-stop shopping destinations, a highly fragmented industry of local, family run shops thrived throughout Japan. And to advertise their business, merchants would frequently spend significant sums of money on kanban: signs that would be displayed prominently outside the shop that would convey prestige and reliability to customers.

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Historical Photos of Japan Brought to Life Using Artificial Intelligence Colorization

For all their charm and nostalgia, black and white photos do create a certain disconnect between the past and present. Looking at them, it’s easy to forget that we’re connected to that time by what is merely a blink of an eye in the grand scale of history. And so it’s worth colorizing old black and white photos if only for the contemporaneity, with which we use to learn from history.

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The Radical Pop Kimonos of Akira Times

With a mohawk and thick black beard, Akira doesn’t immediately come off as a proponent of the Kimono – the traditional Japanese garment worn for over a 1000 years. Then again, the 37-year old stylist isn’t exactly a purist either. Entirely self-taught, Akira blends elements of photography, graphic design, kitsuke, styling and make-up to create radical, neo-pop imagery, which he’s been posting online since 2008.

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Upcycled One-of-a-Kind Garments Featuring Studio Ghibli Characters

Now you can dress your kids in adorable garments featuring their favorite Studio Ghibli characters, and also be environmentally conscious while doing so, thanks to Anofuku (meaning, “that garment”), a new Japanese brand of kids clothes. Anofuku takes vintage and dead stock clothing and adds hand-embroidery to them, transforming them into a one-of-a-kind pieces. And for their first line they’ve collaborated with Studio Ghibli.

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