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New Cut Paper Book Sculptures by Noriko Ambe

Noriko Ambe’s Man and the Sea, cut on a book of the same name and completed in 2016

Noriko Ambe is a longtime Japanese transplant in the New York creative scene, who hand-slices thousands of paper sheets into remarkable sculptures. Ambe is exhibiting a new body of work at her solo show “Continuous Cutting Altered Daily” at the newly established Maho Kubota Gallery in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

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A New Kindergarten Made From Shipping Containers Teaches Kids to Value Resources


Photography by Studio Bauhaus, Ryuji Inoue

For its 50th anniversary, Ogura Asahi Kindergarten in Saitama, Japan upcycled stacked shipping containers into an earthquake-resistant and environmentally friendly kindergarten. These alternative structures were completed in a relatively short amount of time in 2016 by Hibinosekkei + Youji No Shiro, architects who specialize in the construction of children’s facilities. The reconstruction strives to send an educational message to OA kindergarteners about reuse and green living.

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Sukima Atelier: a home in Tokyo that’s like a stroll through the city


Welcome to Sukima Atelier, a structure which captures the vibe of the Tokyo cityscape in a single residential home. While some like to consider the home as a relaxing shelter from the hustle and bustle of city life, others like to think about ways to bring the experience of that very same city into their home.

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Wagashi Shop in Tokyo Sells Seppuku-Themed Dessert


Just South of Central Tokyo, in the district of Shinbashi, is a 104-year old wagashi shop that’s been family-run for 3 generations. There, you’ll find a peculiar Japanese sweet called Seppuku Monaka. Indeed, it’s a suicide-themed desert that borrows its name the Japanese ritual suicide of stomach-cutting (also known as harakiri) that dates back over 800 years.

But for Yoshihisa Watanabe, the 3rd generation proprietor of Shinshodo who came up with the idea, the ominous dessert was more about remembering history than creating sensational sweets.

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MUJI’s New Tatazumai Collection of Artisan Crafts

MUJI tatazumai collection

Teapot by Keisuke Iwata

If there’s any major retailer that can authentically make the claim of an “artisan craft collection,” it’s the Japanese minimal lifestyle retailer MUJI. And that’s exactly what they’ve done with their new Tatazumai collection. In doing so, MUJI has pushed their “no brand” philosophy to the side just a bit by teaming up with 6 different Japanese artisans who will oversee the production of the wooden, ceramic, glass and fabrics pieces.

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Father-Son Ultraman Tumbler is the Perfect Father’s Day Gift

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Ultraman Zero with his father, Ultra Seven

Ultraman is a long-running TV franchise that spawned movies, toys and perhaps Japan’s most well-known television family: the “ultra family.” The popular show was filmed using tokusatsu-style special effects and debuted on TV in 1966. One of the underlying themes of the generation-spanning show was the father-son relationships. If you or your Dad were fans of the show, this Ultraman father-son tumbler would make a great Father’s Day gift!

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Wooden Work Stations and Benches Added to Subway Stations Along the Tokyo Metro

Tokyo Metro Bench Work Stations by Nikken Design Lab (1)

The Tokyo Metro opened Japan’s first Subway, the Ginza Line, in 1927. Almost 90 years have passed and the underground network of trains has grown to become one of the world’s most complex yet well-working subterranean infrastructure systems. But times have changed. Lifestyles have evolved and, naturally, the values that society looks for in public transportation have also shifted.

To keep up, Tokyo Metro enlisted Nikken Activity Design (NAD) Lab to rethink our relationship with public transportation and what a renewal of the Tokyo Metro might look like.

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Miniature Collages Inspired by the Sea, Made From Newspaper Clippings and Nihonga Materials

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“Great Wave 2.” Mineral pigments (pearl, copper, brass), newspaper, magazine clippings, hemp paper board.

In 2009 the artist and designer Nao Morigo, after leaving her job at a women’s bags and accessories brand, took some time off and traveled the world. She collected all sorts of memorabilia on her trip from foreign newspapers and ads to magazines. But one observation that had a profound effect on her was the realization that the ocean, and all its treasures, connects the earth.

Two years later the traumatic earthquake and tsunami struck the Japanese region of Tohoku. And 5 years from then, Morigo has returned to the subject, looking at it face-to-face in a new series of miniature collages.

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Miyagawa Bagel: a New York Staple Meets Local Japanese Ingredients

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Call it the land of the rising bagel. Thanks to their close association to New York, an eternal fashion icon for Japan, the unassuming bagel has seen a surge in popularity over the last couple years. There’s Bagel Standard, Coo chan Bagel and Kepo Bagels, just to name a few. But last month a new bagel shop opened in the picturesque town of Miyagawa, located at the tip of the Miura Peninsula.

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Shin Yoshiwara: A New Risqué Souvenir Shop in Tokyo Inspired by the City’s Red Light District

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The district of Yoshiwara in Tokyo has a 400-year history of catering to our carnal cravings. In order to reign in widespread male and female prostitution, in 1617 the government restricted prostitution only to this area, located just North of Asakusa. To this day Yoshiwara remains both a historic landmark but also an active red-light district, and has gone on to inspire many popular works of cinema and literature.

But for designer Yayoi Okano, Yoshiwara was more than just a neighborhood known for its sex trade. It was home.

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