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A Japanese Pharmacy Company’s Creative and Humorous Health Magazines

aisei health graphic magazine

The Spring 2015 issue focuses on the topic of headaches, and features a masked wrestler putting an office worker in a headlock

On a Semi-annual basis Japanese pharmacy company Aisei publishes a magazine called Health Graphic Magazine. The issues, which come out usually three times a year, are focused on a specific topic. They’re not long – usually around 23 pages – but utilize a wide array of creative methods that make it a joy and pleasure to learn about lack of sleep, sinus infections, stress, or whichever topic they happen to be focusing on.

The covers are also spectacular, and often feature a single, humorous image that makes you want to pick up the magazine and flip through it. The latest – the Spring 2015 issue – focuses on the topic of headaches, and features a masked wrestler putting an office worker in a headlock.

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An Illustrated Poster of the 25 Most Popular Types of Ramen in Japan

ramen-poster (1)
The number of ramen shops in Japan are at a historic high with about 35,000 shops throughout the country serving up the beloved salty soup and noodles. But given its vast proliferation, both within Japan and abroad, no bowl is alike. You’ve got shio (salt) ramen in northern Japan’s Hokkaido, tonkotsu (pork) ramen in southern Japan’s Kyushu, and any number of variation in-between.

Thankfully, there’s now a beautiful poster of the 25 most common to help you keep track, and maybe even help you conquer any you haven’t tried.

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A Multifamily Apartment Turned Into a Multicolored Cross Section of Rooms


Photos by Daichi Ano and Kazuyasu Kochi

Late last year, Tokyo-based architect Kazuyasu Kochi completed a renovation project of an old apartment building. Located in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo, “Apartment House” is a renovation of multi-family apartment into a single-family home by slicing out a portion of the center to reveal a void that connects the entire home. Each cross-section was then color-coded to delineate it.

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Emptiness The Sky: A Tea House-Inspired Installation Made From Charred Wood by Miya Ando


Shou-sugi-ban (焼杉板) is a traditional Japanese method of treating wood used for the exterior of homes and temples. Sometimes also called yaki-sugi-ita, the process involves charring the wood to a charcoal-like state. This not only makes it less flammable but also more durable against the elements of nature. In other words, burning it to make it stronger.

Taking inspiration from the method commonly employed in her hometown of Okayama, artist Miya Ando has created a tea house-inspired installation whose exterior is made entirely from the charred timber.

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Tokujin Yoshioka’s Transparent Glass Teahouse Puts a Rainbow in Your Hand

kou-an by tokujin yoshioka

Tokujin Yoshioka’s glass teahouse that opened in April 2015 in front of the Shorenin Temple in Kyoto

The teahouse plays a central role in the Japanese tea ceremony. It is to cha-no-yu, as it is referred to in Japanese, what a museum is to art. The tea house is typically a minimal space, meant to heighten the significance of the ceremony. It usually consists of a small space with no furniture, small windows to allow natural light in, and an object of nature, typically flowers, to emphasize the passage of time.

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Japan-Themed Paper Cup Sleeves by Akira Yoshimura

cups with bite japan by Akira Yoshimura

“Ever lose your drink cup during an evening with friends then wonder if the cup you picked up was actually yours?” asks NY-based Japanese designer Akira Yoshimura. That eventually led him to create a series of paper cup sleeves that he calls “Cups With Bite.” The unique paper sleeves not only help you keep track of your drink but they could also be fun conversation starters as people would assumingly choose a sleeve that best represents them.

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Oki Sato: the James Bond of Design


Oki Sato, founder and lead designer at Nendo

As we noted in our round-up of Japanese design at this year’s Milano Salone, Nendo is showcasing all the products they designed in the last 1 year. Astonishingly, it’s over 100 products. That’s almost 1 new product every 3 days!

We’ve always wondered how a studio of moderate size – a latest headcount indicated 24 full-time employees – could be so productive. But in a recent interview Oki Sato, the founder and lead designer, lets us in on a few secrets that make the company spin.

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Tsumamigui: A New Sushi Shop in Tokyo Wants to Fill the Gap Between High and Low End


tsumamigui, the new nendo-designed sushi shop in Tokyo | photos by Akihiro Yoshida (products) and Jimmy Cohrssen (space)

If you want sushi in Japan you’ve got kaiten-zushi on the low end, the conveyor belt sushi that circles around and you pick out what you want. If you want a more authentic experience there are also plenty sushiya, a shop typically comprised of tables and a counter where a sushi chef will slice the fish on the spot. It’s better quality but it also comes with a hefty price. Now, a new type of sushi shop want to fill the void between the two.

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Narita Airport’s New Toilet Gallery is a Museum for Bathrooms

toto toilet gallery at narita

TOTO’s new toilet gallery at Narita Airport | click images to enlarge

It’s no secret that Japan has some of the most advanced toilets in the world. They respond to your voice, they heat your bum and, of course, they wash you. But convincing the rest of the world to equip their homes with washlets has been a difficult task. The hefty price tag is one thing but an even greater barrier seems to be simply cultural differences.

So to overcome these differences TOTO, the largest toilet manufacturer in Japan (and the world!) decided to place a toilet gallery in the first place foreigners come to when they visit Japan: the airport.

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Quiksilver Japan Develops Business Suit Wetsuits For the Board Room or the Beach

quicksilver japan true wetsuit

the True Wetsuit is a business suit and wetsuit

You’ve heard of Cool Biz right? The Japanese government’s initiative to conserve energy by encouraging their labor force to dress down? Well meet Surf Biz. Developed by the team at Quiksilver Japan, True Wetsuits are high spec waterproof wetsuits that “can be worn from home, to the beach, and from the beach to the office with no need to change at all.”

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