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1200 Station Workers in Tokyo Shift Tracks From Above to Underground in Just One Night

Daikanyama station tracks move underground

Last year on March 15 the platforms for the Toyoko Line at Shibuya Station moved from the second floor to the fifth floor basement, ending the 85-year history of above-ground operations. The event drew large crowds of train aficionados and their cameras who gathered in hordes to bid farewell to the very last train.

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The Single Stroke Artwork of Kazuhiko Okushita

Kazuhiko Okushita

“a pet jellyfish in your twitter timeline”

Film director and animator Kazuhiko Okushita creates unique artwork using a technique known as ippitsugaki – one of those great Japanese words that doesn’t really have an English equivalent. In essence, Okushita’s work, whether its a still drawing, an animated gif or a short film, is all made from a single, continuous stroke.

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Analysis: Japan’s Zombie Outbreak Preparedness

(originally published on October 23, 2011)

Each year, around this time, it’s highly recommended that you review your zombie outbreak preparedness plan – experts say it’s not a matter of if, but when. With a cremation rate of that’s nearly 100% , Japan and their corpse count, or lack thereof, would seem an ideal place to to ride out a plague of the undead. In the text that follows I would like to analyze the pros and cons of the East vs. the West, so that each of us can make informed decisions regarding our own contingency plans for the impending zombie pandemic.

japan cremation rate

image courtesy The Economist

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A Three Dimensional Sculpture of Mt. Fuji Made From Hundreds of Suspended Balls

Into Hokusai by Gwenael Nicolas at TDW Tokyo Designers Week

“Into Hokusai” by Gwenael Nicolas | photos courtesy the artist

One of the more exciting shows taking place during the 2014 Tokyo Design Week is the Hokusai Manga Inspired Exhibition. Linking past and contemporary artists, the exhibition showcases various works inspired by the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. Placed right at the entrance of the show is the work of long-time Tokyo resident and architect Gwenael Nicolas.

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Shippo tail chair at the 2014 Tokyo Designers Week

shippo tail chair

photo courtesy The Verge

The annual Tokyo Designers Week kicked off over the weekend with various events continuing through this week. There’s always a ton of stuff going on and it’s easy to get lost in all of it, but here’s one thing that caught our eye. “Shippo” (literally, tail in Japanese) is precarious-looking chair that appears to be balancing on a long tail. The chair is actually incredibly stable and it’s a cool illusion that also makes for a whimsical product. It was designed by Martin & Ocean, who seem to be a Japanese design unit but I can’t find any information on them. If you know anything let us know in the comments!

Here are some other cool things that The Verge spotted. If you do attend the festivities make sure you check out the Hokusai manga inspired exhibition.

this post is part of a series of posts on the 2014 Tokyo Designers Week. You can find them all archived here.

Kimono Artist Hiroko Takahashi’s New Studio and Gallery Space

Kimono Artist Hiroko Takahashi New Studio

photos by Shiori Kawamoto | click to enlarge

Discontinued and abandoned factories in Japan are being given a second life. Large companies like Toshiba and Fujitsu have been converting obsolete semiconductor factories into indoor gardens where they hope to turn lettuce into cash.

But it’s not only major corporations who can play this game. Earlier this month artist Takahashi Hiroko, a textile artist who has been broadening the boundaries of kimonos by incorporating geometric, black & white patterns into the traditional wear, announced that she had relocated into a renovated steel factory in Tokyo.

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A Slanted Home With A Hidden Garden on the Roof


“Want to go for a walk in the park? On my roof?” That winning question could be yours if you lived in “Secret Garden,” the latest home designed by architect Hisanori Ban.

It all started many years ago when the current homeowners went camping with the family one summer. They stumbled upon a ravine and decided to venture down into it where they discovered a beautiful yet secretive spot tucked away from the other swarms of campers. After the trip the family returned home only with memories of the distant spot. Never would they think it would be reincarnated into their home.

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Detailed Cross-section of the Kowloon Walled City Created by Japanese Researchers

Detailed Cross-section of the Kowloon Walled City

click images to enlarge (hi-res version of the file available here)

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was once the most densely populated place on earth. And without a single architect or any oversight whatsoever, the ungoverned hive of interlinking buildings became a haven for drugs, crime and prostitution. This is perhaps why the surreal, M.C. Escher-like structure, where one couldn’t even begin to imagine what life was like, captured the interest of the Japanese.

When it was demolished in 1993 the Japanese public tuned in to national television where it was being broadcast. But what most didn’t know was that, up until the previous evening, a group of Japanese researchers, which included architects, engineers and city planners, and led by historian and cultural anthropologist Hiroaki Kani, had entered the deserted city and had been documenting every nook and cranny up until the bulldozers arrived.

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OK Go’s New Music Video Shot in a Single Sequence in Japan

OK Go latest music video I won’t Let You Down

2,400 dancers with umbrellas, a drone and an incredible 5-minute single sequence shot. That is, in effect, a quick summary of OK Go’s latest music video I won’t Let You Down. But to not watch the video itself would be an incredible disservice to you and your Monday morning. Trust me. They won’t let you down.

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Sponsor // Create Realistic Mixed-Media Waterscapes with a Free Guide from Craftsy


Do you wish you could recreate the wonder of the ocean on canvas? Learn how to draw and paint crashing waves with Craftsy’s free, exclusive guide, Secrets to Creating Realistic Waterscapes in Mixed Media, by artist Antonella Avogadro.

With 21 pages packed with step-by-step mixed media tutorials, tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to make beautiful waterscapes you’ll be proud to hang in your home. Enjoy foolproof techniques for drawing flowing water, painting crashing waves and painting a picturesque pond. Plus, gain the skills to draw water drops and much more. Download the free PDF guide instantly and enjoy it forever.

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