Archives: February 2009

Twelve Animals: World maps as Chinese zodiac

12 Feb 2009

In a series of illustrations entitled "Twelve Animals," graphic artist Kentaro Nagai rearranges the world map to create the beasts of the Chinese zodiac.

Twelve Animals, Mouse --
Rat

Twelve Animals, Ox --
Ox

Twelve Animals, Tiger --
Tiger

Twelve Animals, Rabbit --
Rabbit

Twelve Animals, Dragon --
Dragon

Twelve Animals, Snake -- Twelve Animals, Horse --
Snake // Horse

Twelve Animals, Ram --
Sheep

Twelve Animals, Monkey --
Monkey

Twelve Animals, Rooster --
Rooster

Twelve Animals, Dog --
Dog

Twelve Animals, Pig --
Boar

The images shown here are high-contrast black-and-white photos of Nagai's work, which is on display at the Japan Media Arts Festival at the National Art Center, Tokyo until February 15.

- Added: Also check out the animated Flash version of "Twelve Animals" at Graflex Directions. (Thanks, Patomaru!)

Ultrasonic Bath: Human washing machine

10 Feb 2009

Ultrasonic bath/Human washing machine, Sanyo --

At the 1970 World Expo in Osaka, consumer electronics maker Sanyo demonstrated their vision for the future by showcasing a series of appliances they thought would populate the home of tomorrow. Included was the Ultrasonic Bath, a pod-like human washing machine that cleans, massages and dries the user in a fully automated 15-minute process.


- Ultrasonic bath demo video

Using a ladder, the bather climbs in through an opening on top of the machine, which stands about 2 meters (6 ft) tall. Once the desired water temperature is set and the main switch is activated, the pre-rinse cycle starts, spraying the user with jets of hot water for 5 minutes.

Ultrasonic bath/Human washing machine, Sanyo --

Next, the chamber fills up with hot water for a 3-minute massage bath. High-pressure jets create a powerful whirlpool, and scores of knobby, golf ball-sized "massage balls" suspended in the water pelt the body, delivering a vigorous massage intended to stimulate blood circulation. An ultrasonic wave generator creates a ticklish cloud of tiny air bubbles that lift dirt from the skin.

Ultrasonic bath/Human washing machine, Sanyo --

The bath is then followed by a 2-minute hot rinse cycle. Finally, a 5-minute dry cycle blasts the user with warm air, while a flood of infrared and ultraviolet light destroys any lingering germs.

Ultrasonic bath/Human washing machine, Sanyo --

Developed as a concept model, the Ultrasonic Bath never made it into our homes. Several years ago, however, Sanyo unveiled the $50,000 HIRB ("Human In Roll-lo Bathing") system, a compact version designed for use in elderly homes.

[Link]

Snow sculptures at Sapporo Snow Festival 2009

07 Feb 2009

Here are some photos of giant snow sculptures from the 60th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which runs until February 11.

Yuki Matsuri 2009 --
Hakodate Magistrate's Office [Photo: Moontears]

?60????????? --
Kinnikuman [Photo: Talk P]

??? --
Namdaemun (check out the the LIVE WEBCAM [WMP]) [Photo: Sasakei]

Yuki Festival 2009 --
Namdaemun under construction [Photo: tetsu]

Snow Festival, Sapporo, Hokkaido --
Olympic gold medalist swimmer KĊsuke Kitajima [Photo: Sasakei]

Snow sculpture --
Kitajima under construction [Photo: tetsu]

60th Anniversary Snow Festival 2009 --
Hamamatsu Castle [Photo: Talk P]

Yuki Matsuri 2009 --
Sento-kun & Manto-kun [Photo: tetsu]

Sapporo Snow Festival 2009 --
25 years in Japan [Photo: Sasakei]

Ice sculpture --
Japan Self-Defense Force soldiers cleaning mouse heads [Photo: Reuters]

Ice sculpture --
Stitch [Photo: Talk P]

????? --
Tsuyo Ink [Photo: Sapporo Snow Festival Official Site]

?????? --
Snow Zoo [Photo: bigarnex]

?????? --
Alien Baltan [Photo: bigarnex]

?????? --
Pekkle [Photo: bigarnex]

Video: Starfish Hitler

06 Feb 2009

Via The Echinoblog's profile of starfish-themed monsters in Japanese cinema come these classic clips of Starfish Hitler, a Government of Darkness (G.O.D.) villain who battled superhero Kamen Rider X on TV in 1974.


+ Part 1: Kamen Rider X vs Starfish Hitler


+ Part 2: Kamen Rider X vs Starfish Hitler

[Link: The Echinoblog]

Webcam footage of Mt. Asama eruption

03 Feb 2009

Mt. Asama volcano eruption --
[Video link]

Here is some awesome time-lapse footage of the eruption of Mount Asama, an active volcano straddling the border of Gunma and Nagano prefectures north of Tokyo, which suddenly awoke in the early morning hours of Monday, February 2. The video was shot between 1:55 and 2:30 AM.

- - - - -

Other cameras captured the volcanic activity from different angles. The time-lapse videos below were created from photos shot at 10-minute intervals. The eruption occurs toward the end of each video.

Mt. Asama volcano eruption --
[Video link]

Mt. Asama volcano eruption --
[Video link]

Mt. Asama volcano eruption --
[Video link]

Latest photos of Mt. Asama: 1, 2, 3.

[Link: Maechan.net]

Photos: Yoichiro Kawaguchi’s robot designs

02 Feb 2009

More photos of Yoichiro Kawaguchi's robot designs on display at Yushima Seid? temple in Tokyo:

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design -- Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design -- Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design -- Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design -- Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --

Yoichiro Kawaguchi robot design --