Tag: ‘Art’

Pachimon playing cards

23 Feb 2011

In the early 1970s, the Kewpie Corporation (maker of Kewpie brand mayonnaise) produced a deck of promotional playing cards featuring various pachimon kaiju (imitation monsters modeled after creatures from popular movies and TV shows).

Pachimono playing cards -- Pachimono playing cards --
1 -- Kyuradorosu (vampire monster)/ Height: 5 meters/ Weight: 800 kilograms/ From Chiba
2 -- Kashuasu (pollution monster)/ Height: 10 meters/ Weight: 3,000 tons/ From Osaka

Pachimon playing cards -- Pachimon playing cards --
3 -- Gohoho (ice monster)/ 18m/ 10,000 tons/ From the South Pole, moved to Tokyo
4 -- Altamegaro (space monster)/ 35m/ Weight unknown/ From Alta W, planet 5

Pachi playing cards -- Pachi playing cards --
5 -- Deredoron (pesticide monster)/ 20m/ 10,000 tons/ From Tohoku
6 -- Tapikurosaurus (ancient monster)/ 35m/ 9,000 tons/ From Kyushu

Pachimon playing cards -- Pachimon playing cards --
7 -- Elekipurosu (electric humanoid)/ 25m/ 15,000 tons/ From Kurobe Dam
8 -- Meji (space wolf)/ 16m/ 5 tons/ From Meteoroid R

Pachimono playing cards -- Pachimono playing cards --
9 -- Eru (space monster)/ 32m/ 18,000 tons/ From the planet Pegasus
10 -- Puradon (space monster)/ 32m/ 5,000 tons/ From Galaxy W, planet 8

Pachi playing cards -- Pachi playing cards --
J -- Mambaa (monster fish)/ 20m/ 15,000 tons/ From the Arctic depths
Q -- Oapiaa (proto-Saharan)/ 6m/ 1 ton/ From the Sahara Desert

Pachimon playing cards -- Pachimon playing cards --
K -- Alien Achiira (space monster)/ 15m/ 9 tons/ From the planet Achiira, moved to Japan Alps
1 -- Methanoron (pollution monster)/ 28m/ 30,000 tons/ From Tokyo-Kawasaki-Yokohama area

See more pachi-kaiju playing cards »

Japanese graphic design from the 1920s-30s

15 Feb 2011

In the 1920s and 1930s, Japan embraced new forms of graphic design as waves of social change swept across the nation. This collection of 50 posters, magazine covers and advertisements offer a glimpse at some of the prevailing tendencies in a society transformed by the growth of modern industry and technology, the popularity of Western art and culture, and the emergence of leftist political thought.

Modernist Japanese poster --
"Buy Domestic!" poster, 1930 [+]

Modernist Japanese poster --
Cover of "Nippon" magazine issue #1, Oct 1934 [+]

Modernist Japanese magazine cover --
"Fuji Weekly" cover, Oct 1930 [+]

Modernist Japanese poster -- Modernist Japanese poster --
Poster for Japan's first national census, 1920 [+] // "Health for body and country" poster, c. 1930 [+]

Modernist Japanese poster --
Grand Nagoya Festival poster by Kenkichi Sugimoto, 1933 [+]

Modernist Japanese poster --
Kyoto Grand Exposition to Commemorate the Showa Imperial Coronation, 1928 [+]

Modernist Japanese poster --
Poster design by Shujiro Shimomura, 1928 [+]

Modernist Japanese magazine cover --
"NAPF" (Nippona Artista Proleta Federacio) magazine cover, Feb 1931 [+]

See more Japanese graphic design from the 1920s-30s »

Video: Slow-motion running in Cambodia

10 Feb 2011

Video director Sou Otsuki has released a new version of his video for the song "Luv(sic) pt.2" by Nujabes with Shing02, featuring a variety of people running ludicrously in slow motion. The new version was shot in Cambodia and stars a few courageous amputees and exploding landmines.

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Here is the original version shot in Japan (and a link to the lyrics).

+ Video

Video: GAL-O Sengen

02 Feb 2011

Tokyo hip hop artists Policeman pay irreverent tribute to the gyaruo youth subculture in a funky animated video for "GAL-O Sengen," a track from their "Keisatsu" album due out later this month. Directed by AC-Bu.

+ Video

Paintings by Alex Gross

31 Jan 2011

A dreamlike mix of retro Japanese-style visuals, Victorian imagery and consumer culture iconography is found in the oil paintings of California-based artist Alex Gross.

Paintings by Alex Gross --
Koshimaki-Osen, 2003

Paintings by Alex Gross --
The Sugar Sickness, 2001

Paintings by Alex Gross --
Ice Cream Cone (Despair), 2007

Paintings by Alex Gross --
Mammon, 2010

Paintings by Alex Gross --
Lanvin (Paris), 2010

See more paintings by Alex Gross »

Cute antique Japanese postcards

25 Jan 2011

Here is an assortment of playful Japanese postcards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, found in a recent book by collector Hiroki Hayashi entitled "Antique Cute Post Cards in Japan" (Nippon no kawaii ehagaki).

Vintage Japanese postcards --
Betty Boop (Yamaguchi Seikyokudo Co., Ltd. - c. 1930s)

Vintage Japanese postcards --
Betty Boop (1937)

Vintage Japanese postcards --
Betty Boop, Mickey and Minnie (1936)

Vintage Japanese postcards --
Mickey (c. 1920s-40s)

Vintage Japanese postcards --
Kewpie Mayonnaise ad (1932)

See more cute antique Japanese postcards »

Illustrated anatomy of Gamera and foes

21 Jan 2011

The anatomical features of Gamera and his foes are detailed in a set of illustrations found in one volume of the Kaijū-Kaijin Daizenshū movie monster book series published by Keibunsha in 1972.

Gamera anatomical illustration --

Gamera's features include infrared eyes with night vision, arms that can lift 50,000 tons, an organ for producing the flames he shoots from his hands, electrical spikes on his back, poison claws, sac-like organs for storing lava, coal, oil and uranium, balloon-like organs that blast jets of air out through the feet, and a tail of elastic cartilage that can deliver a powerful punch.

Guiron anatomical illustration --

Guiron's most prominent feature is his knife-shaped head, which is 100 times harder than diamond and is packed with shuriken-like stars that can be fired from a pair of openings above the eyes. The creature has 360-degree radar vision, 60 times more teeth than a piranha, lungs adapted for long-distance space travel, sac-like organs for storing energy and uranium, balloon-like organs in the legs that blast jets of liquid through the feet, webbed fins for stability in water, and magnetic suction cups on the hands.

Baragon anatomical illustration --

Barugon's features include dorsal spikes that produce a deadly rainbow ray, an organ to produce frosty liquid (-100 degree Celsius) that can be shot from his 30-meter-long weaponized tongue, a stomach that can digest diamonds (his favorite food), and radar horns atop his head.

Viras anatomical illustration --

Viras's features include a spike-shaped head capable of piercing through a meter of steel, a brain with an IQ of 2500, organs for producing a force field and controlling the minds of others, tentacles that are 10,000 times stronger than an elephant's trunk and which can emit powerful beams for space travel, and organs to break down cell tissue and control metamorphosis (for creating its human disguise).

Jiger anatomical illustration --

Jiger's features include a pair of horns that shoot missiles made of hardened saliva and one that fires a deadly "magnetium" beam, powerful suction cups covering her entire body, an organ for shooting jets of seawater at 300 kilometers per hour, a stomach that can melt iron ore, and an ovipositor tail.

[Via: Tokusatsu Figure-kan]

Welcome to Japan

19 Jan 2011

Poster by Masayoshi Nakajo, 1988 --
Poster by Masayoshi Nakajo, 1988 [+]

Behold a place where the people's needs miraculously meet the corporate agendas. Enjoy a nation of modern cultural perspectives -- "humanication," "forever freshness" and "the super next." Experience a country that does things better, or so its citizens fervently believe.
- Leonard Koren

LED-powered Harajuku smiles

17 Jan 2011

A commercial promoting the Laforet Grand Bazar winter sale in Harajuku (January 20-24) features a mob of people with flickering LED-illuminated smiles who overrun a dramatic love scene reminiscent of a popular '90s-era TV show.

Geee - Harajuku Love Story --

The ad -- entitled "Geee / Harajuku Love Story" -- makes use of wirelessly-controlled Mouth LED technology developed by artists Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi.

+ Video

Here is a rough translation of the dialogue that takes place as the smiling mob approaches.

[Man]: We can make it work. I'll do my best.
[Woman]: Will you come to see me if I get lonely at night, no matter what?
[Man]: I will go immediately. I'll fly.
[Woman]: Will you come and pick me up if I call you from Mt. Everest?
[Man]: I'll fly there right away.
[Woman]: Will you bring me hot nabe soup if I ask for it?
[Man]: I will. I'll bring a year's worth.
[Woman]: What if I asked you to take me to the moon?
[Man]: That might be difficult...
[Woman]: That's not good enough.
[Man]: But I can make you happy.

The commercial appears to have been inspired by an earlier project by Manabe and Ishibashi entitled "Party in the Mouth," which featured a mob of women with glowing LED smiles wandering the streets of Tokyo at night.

+ Video

Here is some video from the Laforet website:

+ Video