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A New Children’s Book Illustrates the Life and Career of Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is having, what you might call, a moment. Then again, it seems as though the older she gets the more energy she has. Now at 88, she as easily Japan’s most recognizable contemporary artist. She currently has a major show that’s touring the U.S. and next month she’s opening her own museum in Tokyo. Now the artist has teamed up with curator at MoMA and a NY-based illustrator to tell her story to children.

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Japanese Stationery Lets You Send a Specimen From Your Travels

Did you go anywhere fun and inspiring this summer? Did you wish you could share the experience with someone? Well now you can with this one-of-a kind mailing card that comes with a specimen window.

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Kenji Toma’s Tribute to The Most Beautiful Flowers

Peony, Raspberry Charm

In 1827 the French artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté published his seminal work Choix des plus belles fleurs (The most beautiful flowers), a series of 144 watercolor paintings of flowers. Replicating the botanic subject with perceptive realism, it would become the most well-known botanical encyclopedia. 190 years later, the Japanese photographer Kenij Toma has created a highly contemporary and hyper-realistic tribute to the genre inspired, surprisingly, by traditional Japanese painting style.

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Music Monday: Nulbarich

A relative newcomer to the Japanese music scene, Nulbarich appeared rather suddenly, and with a splash, in May of 2016 when they released their 1st single “Hometown.” The fluid 5-7 piece band, which revolves around singer and songwriter JQ, quickly followed up with their 1st album “Guess Who” 3 months later.

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The Duality of Yoshitoshi Kanemaki’s Wooden Sculptures

“Tayuta Capris”

Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki wants you to know that the world is more complicated than we can ever comprehend. He creates works that guide us towards an understanding that there are competing goods in this world; two sides that can never fully be reconciled.

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The Japanese Art Festivals to See in the 2nd Half of 2017

Summer might be coming to an end but Japan’s many art festivals are just kicking into high-gear. There’s a lot of them, we know, so we’re here to share some of the highlights, and help you decide which are worth your time.

And if you’re looking to do some domestic traveling around Japan but not sure where to go, planning your trip around one of these isn’t a bad idea. We’ve got you covered from the North, all the way to the South.

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Tohoku Standard: a Beautiful Gift Shop Designed by Keiji Ashizawa

all photos by Takumi Ota

On our recent trip to Tohoku, one place we were able to stop by is the gorgeous Tohoku Standard, a souvenir shop specializing in local crafts and handmade goods. It’s located on the 5th floor of PARCO2, a department store just steps from Sendai Station.

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Ukiyo-e Come to Life in New Animated GIFs by Atsuki Segawa

Doc and Marty travel back to 1885 Japan’s Tokaido in their DeLorean. Original print: “Fujikawa” by Utagawa Hiroshige, from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.

Atsuki Segawa is a Japanese filmmaker and animator who takes traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sets them into motion through digital animation. He began his collection of “moving ukiyo-e” in 2015 and has been slowly adding to his collection.

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A Spoon & Tamago Guide To Matsushima

all photos by spoon & tamago (taken with iPhone 5)

Matsushima, a port town in Miyagi Prefecture, has one of the most picturesque bays in all of Japan. But don’t just take our word for it. It’s considered to be 1 of “Three Views of Japan,” a select list of the country’s 3 most celebrated scenic sights. So instead of coping with the swarms of tourists in Tokyo and Kyoto, we recently had the opportunity to head up North because beaches and seafood were calling our name.

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The Yayoi Kusama Museum to Open in Shinjuku in October

photo by Masahiro Tsuchido ©YAYOI KUSAMA

Yayoi Kusama, one of Japan’s most prolific and successful artists, is opening her own museum in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. The 5-story structure will open to the public on October 1st, 2017.

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