Glass Artist Genki Hirano Crafts Tentacle Earbuds

all images courtesy Genki Hirano

Genki Hirano is a Japanese glass artist based in Iwate prefecture who creates delicate works that range from glass cups and vases to more whimsical designs like glass clothing hangers and pens. For a design festival last year in May, Hirano decided to respond to the theme of sea life by creating glass octopus tentacle earbuds.


The simple yet ingenious design creates a surreal scene as if the user’s body had been taken over by some alien lifeform. Unfortunately, the glass tentacle earbuds were only available to the lucky few who attended the design festival.

But the earbuds proved so popular that toymaker Ikimon reached out to Hirano to make his design more widely available. It was announced yesterday that the tentacle earbuds are now on sale through gashapon vending machines for 400 yen a pop. Although they’re made from plastic and not glass, they come in 6 different varieties that include squid and other forms of tentacled sea life.

If you live in Japan, here is a fairly exhaustive list of the different locations that plan to stock them.


1 Comment

  1. I had a laugh when I saw the octopus tentacle earbuds. For those non-Japanese speakers, they are also the visualization of a Japanese-language pun. The expression “mimi ni tako ga dekiru” is something you say when you’ve heard something way too many times. It literally means [you’ve heard something so often] that you’re getting calluses on your ear. The word for callus, “tako”, sounds the same as the word for octopus, also “tako.” Hence an earbud shaped like an octopus tentacle.

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