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Revealed: The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Emblem Designed by Kenjiro Sano

olympic emblem header

In exactly 5 years – on July 24, 2020 – the Tokyo Olympics will open. So today the committee unveiled the official Tokyo 2020 emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We were happy to see that the emblems were designed by Kenjiro Sano, a graphic designer who we’ve championed on the blog for quite some time.

Sano was chosen from an open call for submissions in which a total of 104 designers (4 of which were from overseas) submitted proposals.

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Japan’s Largest Treehouse is a Sprawling Structure Built Around a 300-year Old Tree

risonare atami treehouse by hiroshi nakamura

all photos by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

Japanese Treehouse Creator Takashi Kobayashi has built over 120 treehouses in the past 15 years. When it comes to treehouses, his name is known across Japan and overseas. So when he was approached by the Risonare resort in Atami to create a treehouse for them, Kobayashi had his reservations. After all, he had plenty of other offers.

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Maruhiro: A Japanese Pottery Shop With an Elevated Base Made From 25,000 Pieces of Imperfect Ceramics

monohara flagship store by yusuke seki

All photos by Takumi Ota | click to enlarge

The Maruhiro Flagship Store in Saga Prefecture recently underwent a dramatic remodeling. When the new doors – or should I say, floors – opened in April 2015, customers were greeted to an elevated base in the middle of the shop which consisted of 25,000 pieces of imperfect ceramic bowls, plates and cups.

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18th Century Illustrated Animals by Keisai Kuwagata

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Keisai Kuwagata’s artwork can be characterized by a loose, abbreviated style. In other words, cute!

In mid-Edo period Japan there lived an artist by the name of Masayoshi Kitao. He adopted the name Keisai Kuwagata once he became an artist but today both have sunken into obscurity.

However, at the time, Keisai, who worked during the same period as iconic artist Katsushika Hokusai, was popular enough that people often identified with one style or the other: Keisai or Hokusai.

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Own a Piece of History With Recycled Seating From the Tokyo National Stadium

national stadium chairs

Although currently the center of a national debate and overall debacle, there is one nice story that’s come out of Tokyo’s National Stadium. When the iconic arena which hosted the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was torn down last year, furniture company Karimoku managed to salvage roughly 700 seats. And earlier this month it became apparent what the company had in mind: they commissioned 3 designers to turn the seats into a series of limited edition stools, chairs and benches.

tokyo national stadium seating

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Sculptures of Kids Made From Books to Bring Librarians Back Into Libraries

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all photos courtesy Miharu Matsunaga | click to enlarge

We carry our childhood books with us to adulthood: the morals, the lessons, the values. In fact, “books shape who we are” has become a commonplace saying. Such so that a new campaign in Japan to bring librarians back in to libraries interprets the saying literally.

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Exotic Plants From Around the World, On Display In Tokyo

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all photos by Naohiro Tsukada

Seijyun Nishihata is a plant hunter. He travels around Japan and the world collecting exotic, magical plants. That doesn’t sound like a real job but actually it very much is. In fact, Seijyun comes from a long line of ancestors who were in the same field. Seijun is the fifth generation owner of Hanau, a wholesale floral product distributor that dates back almost 150 years. The company cultivates thousands of plant species that Seijun has collected.

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Japanese Manhole Cover Art Prints by David Robert

manhole cover art tracings by david robert (1)

photos by Mariano Cruz

It’s no secret that Japanese manhole covers are some of the most intricate and colorful in the world. So French-born designer and illustrator David Robert decided to create replicas; not from cast iron but on paper.

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Antiwar Posters by Graphic Designer Shigeo Fukuda


“Victory 1945″, one Fukuda’s best-known works, features a projectile heading straight at the opening of the barrel of a cannon

If Shigeo Fukuda were alive today, I wonder what he would say; what he would make. The Japanese influential graphic designer – he passed away in 2009 – used minimal graphics to voice antiwar and environmental advocacy messages. Perhaps the most well-known, or the one that stands out most to me, is “Victory 1945,” showing a projectile artillery shell heading straight for the opening of the cannon barrel. It was this type of visually humorous yet elusive style that made Fukuda’s posters so powerful.

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Sweet Dreams for Bibliophiles: Tokyo Is Getting a Bookshop Hotel

book & bed tokyo

Tokyo is finally getting a bookshop where you can fall asleep in without being scolded. In September of 2015 book nerd dreams of falling asleep in bookshops will come true with the opening of BOOK AND BED TOKYO. Slated to open in the Ikebukuro neighborhood of Tokyo, the new hostel will combine lodging with bookshops to create the ultimate bibliophile dream.

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