A newly polished floor shines pika pika. But after all that hard work your stomach might be peko peko. These are just a few examples of Japanese onomatopoeia: an element of the language that makes it so richly nuanced. The Japanese language is said to have over four thousand, making it the most onomatopoeia-heavy language in the world. An ambitious new book has compiled one hundred of the most-common onomatopoeia, alongside illustrations from artists all around the world.
“Shuwa-Shuwa” is an illustrated book of Japanese onomatopoeia with contributions from illustrators all around the world who drew their vision of a Japanese onomatopoeia. Appearing in each illustration are Maïté & Maceo, the children of the French-Japanese family who initiated the project and spent the last 18 months working on it. Appropriately, the book is in English, French and Japanese.
You can read more about the project on the site’s kickstarter page!