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Fun, Imaginative Prototypes From Japanese Ad Agency ‘GOES’

a prototype for lantern-shaped crossing lights GOES is a Tokyo-based ad agency that creates nice but fairly normal posters, catalogs, packaging design and branding for various Japanese companies.

Ukiyo-e Inspired Manner Posters for Seibu Railway

Last year Seibu Railways launched a new poster campaign to educate their straphangers on proper train etiquette and manners.

Hatoba Shoryu: One of the Last Remaining Crest Painters in Japan

Ask Japanese friends what their family crest is and most likely they will be able to tell you. Crests (kamon or mon in Japanese) are still in use today.

Broken by the Weight of Snow, a Tengu Nose is Now Repaired

all photos courtesy Sankei Photo Earlier this year in January, Japan saw heavy snowfall that caused the nose of a local Tengu to break off.

Music Monday: Chai

the 4-piece girl band ‘Chai’ Since SXSW was earlier this month we thought we would share one of our discoveries from Japan Nite.

Fish-Shaped Welcome Soap on a Rope

Tamanohada is a 125-year old soap company that has occupied a factory space in Tokyo since their founding in 1892.

Whimsical Transparent Brooches Let You Play With Your Logo

Japanese graphic designer Mikiji Nagai came up with these whimsical, transparent brooches that you can place over the logo of your shirt, hat, bag or pretty much any fashion item.

Papa’s Mazes 1 & 2

It’s been exactly 2 year since we released Papa’s Maze 2.0. To commemorate, we’re offering both the original (1.0) and the newer version (2.0) for a special price this week only!

The Eccentric Artwork of Kawanabe Kyosai

“Famous Mirror: the spirit of Japan” (1874) | all images courtesy Isreal Goldman Collection, London From cute cats and landscapes to the occult and the erotic, nothing was off bounds for this eccentric 19th century Japanese artist.

Japan tourism for the design-loving non-tourist

Miho Museum (Shiga Prefecture) Readers of this site are likely to see Japan as source of inspiration for art, design, and architecture, but taking the next step of visiting and making actual travel plans requires a fair bit of research and coordination.

LEGOLAND Japan Will Feature Miniature Replicas Made From Over 10 Million LEGOs

all photos courtesy Sankei News On April 1, LEGOLAND Japan will open in Nagoya. The new theme park will feature over 40 different attractions from playgrounds and roller coasters to a lego factory and building stations.

JR East Unveils Luxury Sleeper Train Designed by Ferrari Designer Ken Okuyama

all photos courtesy Nikkei It’s been almost 3 years since the announcement that JR East was investing 5 billion yen to create a luxury sleeper train.

A Japanese Steel Company’s Beautiful Briefcase

Konstella is a new brand of stylish carrying cases made by Japanese steel company Toyo Steel. The Osaka-based manufacturer specializes in utilitarian lightweight steel products like tool boxes and casters.

A coffee brewer for admirers of refined craft and slow coffee

Drawing on their kissaten coffee shop culture, Japan has risen to become one of the coffee capitals of the world.

Vegeo Vegeco: bringing back Japan’s traditional yaoya grocer

Shopping streets all over Japan used to have their own yaoya: dedicated grocers that had special relationships with farmers and knew everything there was to know about the fruits and vegetables they stocked.

Music Monday: METAFIVE

When I discovered METAFIVE my first question was, how does a star-studded supergroup like this even find time to get together?

Destroyed by the Tsunami, JR Onagawa Station is Rebuilt by Shigeru Ban and Hiroshi Senju

the new Onagawa train station On March 11, 2011, a powerful tsunami triggered by the Tohoku Earthquake swept away Onagawa Station and the train tracks on the Ishinomaki Line.  Six years later, the new station is a symbol of pride for local citizens.

Kaonashi (No Face) Coin Bank

OMG guys — Studio Ghibli is releasing a Kaonashi coin bank! The official name of this why-hasn’t-this-been-done-sooner contraption is Spirited Away Kaonashi Musha-Musha Coin Bank.

Toshiaki Hicosaka’s Newspaper Sketches of Ocean Waves

all images courtesy the artist Toshiaki Hicosaka’s latest project comes at a timely moment. During a 2-month residency in 2016 the Japanese artist created daily newspaper sketches of ocean waves in a tribute to Japan’s first newspaper, but also to journalistic democracy and knowledge.

Big Books by Mao Fujimoto Offer a New Dimension to Interactive Storytelling

The Big Book is precisely that – a children’s story that unfolds into a gigantic single sheet, revealing a beautiful illustration of something central to the story.