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Papa’s Maze Featured on Japanese TV


papas maze kazuo nomura on Japanese TV

the original spoon & tamago blog post on Japanese TV

Earlier this week Fuji TV’s FNN News interviewed Kazuo Nomura – we know him better as “Papa” – the creator of Papa’s Maze. It was a significant event because not only did it expose the identity of the creator, who up until now has remained anonymous on the internet and communicated only through his daughter, but it also marked the TV debut of Spoon & Tamago!

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Shiseido’s Interactive Stained Glass Window in Tokyo

shiseido stained glass window

Now through December 25th, walk by Shiseido’s Ginza showroom and you’ll do a double-take at its church-like stained glass window. Whereas typically the colored glass slowly changes from the light of the sun, the Japanese cosmetics company’s  window will become animated before your very eyes. That’s because it’s made digitally using transparent LCD monitors, instead of glass and metallic salts like they did 1000 years ago.

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Marshmallows That Look Like Cats in Hot Chocolate

cat paw yawahada marshmallow

Need some extra cuteness for your hot chocolate this winter season? How about a cat paw? Or even better, a whole cat? The Yawahada Marshmallow Shop creates adorable cat-themed marshmallows modeled after a cat named Hirokichi. (Depending on your vantage point, these can either be taken as uber-cute or a cruel image of a cat drowning.)

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Locked in the ether: photographs of flowers in thawing ice by Kenji Shibata

kenji shibata frozen flowers

Kenji Shibata. “11:53:36″ (2014). lambda print, 72.1 × 96.4 cm | click images to enlarge

Ice is frozen, which is obvious. But what’s not always so obvious is that ice can signify, both symbolically and in reality, the stopping or slowing of time. Locked in ice, life can be preserved and time can literally be frozen. Which is what makes the thawing of ice all the more poignant and, for Kenji Shibata, an ideal subject to photograph.

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Pleats Designed to Look Like Flowers in Issey Miyake Campaign

pleats please flowers by taku satoh

The fashion designer Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection, introduced in 1993, is a series of polyester garments heat-treated to create permanent pleats. And since 2005 the graphic designer Taku Satoh has been collaborating with Miyake on all the visuals. Last year Satoh created monthly ad campaigns that likened the fabric to scrumptious-looking food. This year he’s tapping into the more sensitive side of the brand, creating a series of ads that show “clothing blossoming into flowers.” The series of ads includes camellia, plum, tulip, rose, poppy and sweet pea blossoms.

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Reusable Bamboo Tableware That Looks Like Disposable Paper

tm series bamboo tableware

This tableware looks like disposable paper plates, bowl and cups, but they’re not. Please don’t throw them away after a single use. Or 10 uses. Or 100 uses. The tm series of tableware by Japanese design firm ideaco was carefully designed to mimic the look and feel of disposable paper plates.

By brilliantly using bamboo powder the design team managed to achieve practically the same weight and texture as disposable paper, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor eating. We’re proud to be able to carry the sustainable and environmentally friendly plates, bowls and cups in our shop!

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Meet the Color Chasers, Yuri Suzuki’s Robots That Translate Colors Into Sounds

color chaser yuri suzuki

Designer Yuri Suzuki‘s dyslexia prevented him from reading music as it is traditionally written. This led the Japanese artist to adopt quite a playful approach to music-making: his installation last year at the Mudam Luxembourg invited visitors to create their own compositions using color markers. The public would draw along the curvy lines on the floor, and let robots translate their scribbles into unique sound pieces. Earlier this month, the innovative piece was selected by the MoMA to join its collection.

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The Secret Behind Japan’s 2015 Zodiac New Years Stamp

2003 and 2015 new years stamp

12 years later the sheep is back… | image by spoon & tamago

Amongst the many notable New Years traditions in Japan, one of them is sending nengajo, or New Years cards. And despite the number of cards sent being in decline, there are still about 30 million printed. For the design team at Japan Post, one of their most important tasks is coming up with the design for the stamp, which incorporates the zodiac animal of the new year, to be printed on all the postcards.

This year, stamp designer Ayaka Hoshino was chosen to design the stamp. Coincidentally (or not) she also designed the stamp 12 years ago. And if you’re familiar with the zodiac system you’ll know that this means Hoshino was tasked with designing the same animal as last time: the sheep. The design that she came up with is one that captures time and continuity. In 2003 the sheep was depicted knitting a ball of yarn. 12 years later the knitting project was complete! Whether or not this was all part of Hoshino’s elaborate, long-term plan? I suppose we’ll never know.

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How to Prepare Fried Shrimp in Three Seconds

3 second cooking fried shrimp

Riffing on the popular Japanese TV segment 3 Minute Cooking, the cell phone carrier DOCOMO has created an ad called 3 Second Cooking to promote the fast speeds of their Full LTE service. The “fried shrimp version” of the ad starts off just like the original cooking show with the list of ingredients: shrimp, flour, bread crumbs, eggs, but then takes a unexpected, technical twist: 2 LTE lanes, 1 total control computer, 6 air pressure adjustment devices, heat-proof goggles and any sort of shock-absorbent material.

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The Profitable World of Designing LINE Stamps

LINE creators market

If you use the Japanese messaging app LINE then surely you’re familiar with stamps, or stickers, a series of colorful illustrated icons that are often accompanied by a word or two. Stamps and their popularity have been solely responsible for the explosive growth of LINE to capitalize on this trend the company, in May of this year, launched “Creators Market,” a platform which allows anyone with basic illustration skills to design a set of stamps and sell them each for 100 yen. The artist pockets half of the revenue while the company takes the other half.

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