Origami-Inspired Optical Illusion Oil Paintings by Momo Yoshino

Kami #63 and Kami #62 (2020) installation view at Seibu Shibuya

Yoshino Momo is a Tokyo-based artist and painter who renders architectural optical illusions on flat canvases. Her “Kami” (or paper) series, which she began in 2014, is inspired by the the Japanese art of origami and skillfully replicates the lines and shadows that emerge from folded paper.

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Designer Wallpaper: Twilight at Nihonbashi by Shinji Tsuchimochi

Shinji Tsuchimochi is a Tokyo-based illustrator who creates views of Tokyo and Japan that are inspired by ukiyo-e but produced with a contemporary sense of whimsy and surrealism. This image is titled “Twilight at Nihonbashi” and is one of his most recent works, which the artist has kindly allowed Spoon & Tamago members to use a wallpaper on their favorite device. 

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Tree Rings of Light Illuminate 35 Years of Art & Design at Spiral in Omotesando

The Spiral design complex in Tokyo’s Omotesando neighborhood opened in October of 1985 with the concept of connecting lifestyle and art. And for the past 35 years it’s done just that with several creative marketplaces and rotating art exhibitions. For its 35-year anniversary, graphic designer Shin Obita, inspired by tree rings, has created in installation of light on the store’s windows.

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Some of Japan’s Most Notable Architects Are Redesiging Shibuya’s Public Restrooms

Japan’s public restrooms have in international reputation for being clean and well-maintained, but apparently that still wasn’t good enough. Shibuya’s public restrooms are currently undergoing a huge facelift in a project called Tokyo Toilet. Sixteen renown designers have been hired to redesign 17 public restrooms in locations all throughout Shibuya.

The project was spearheaded be the Nippon Foundation, who explains that “toilets are a symbol of Japan’s world-renowned hospitality culture.” All the toilets will be wheelchair-accessible and will be maintained by dedicated cleaning crews so that they “stand the test of time.”

Some locations are still under construction and won’t be completed until 2021 but below are the locations that have already opened. There’s also a handy map showing the location and status of each restroom.

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Modern-Day Chindōgu-Maker Marina Fujiwara’s Wasted Creations

Back in the 90s, magazine editor Kenji Kawakami coined the term Chindōgu, literally meaning “unusual tool” and gave birth to a global craze of wonky Japanese inventions that were simultaneously ingenious but also useless. Fast-forward 3 decades to internet-era Marina Fujiwara, who was born right around the time Kawakami was getting ready to publish his book The Art of Chindōgu.

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Colorized Photos of Hiroshima Show Daily Life Before the Atomic Bomb

On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, a new photobook is being released by a university student and professor. What’s unique about the photographs is that they have been colorized and brought to life as if just taken the other day. Memories, imagination and technology worked hand-in-hand in the colorization process, which combined interviews with those seen in the pictures, people who remembered what was depicted in the pictures, and artificial intelligence. The team that worked on the book called the process “unfreezing memories.”

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Panasonic Will Help You Transform Your Living Room Into an Office Cubicle

With an extended work-from-home environment, do you find yourself missing your office cubicle? A new offering from Panasonic called Komoru (which translates as ‘seclude oneself’) will let you create your very own partitioned desk and cubicle in your living room.

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Get All of Japan’s 72 Microseasons Delivered to Your Inbox

What season is it right now? Summer? Well, according to Japan’s ancient calendar it’s actually “Great Rains Sometimes Fall” (or 大雨時行; taiu tokidoki furu), the time of year when heat gives way to torrential downpours and evening showers.

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Introducing the Spoon & Tamago Membership Program

Spoon & Tamago began publishing in 2007 and for the last 13 years have dedicated the site to highlighting Japanese arts & crafts and authentically communicating elements of Japanese culture abroad. We want to continue doing this so today we’re reaching out to you – our readers. Maybe you’ve been reading since the early days. Maybe you just discovered us. Either way, today we’re thrilled to be able to offer a new way to deepen our relationship, support Spoon & Tamago, and, ultimately, develop a sustainable path to elevating and preserving the Japanese arts: the Spoon & Tamago Membership Program.

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Tsuchiya Kaban Creates Leather Bag Specifically for Carrying Watermelon

Finally, a luxury handbag that caters to our interests! Japanese leather bagmaker Tsuchiya Kaban has created a hand-crafted work of art (or bag, if you prefer) whose sole purpose to to carry 1 watermelon.

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