Awesome Japan

NHK Inside

NHK Inside

Artist and animator Daihei Shibata has a little fun in this series of playful vignettes for Japan’s NHK broadcast network. Each of the 30-second spots fools around with NHK’s typographic logo and incorporates an adorable anthropomorphic television.

Anime Rick Roll

Anime Rick Roll

We’ve heard Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up at least 1000 times. But this version posted by Christya mixes things up by transforming Rick’s sound into something straight out of a Japanese anime, minus the actual animation. Vocals by MOM0KI, annapantsu, LilyPichu, and LizzRobinett

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Japanese Pole Toppling Game

Japanese Pole Toppling Game

The Japanese sport of Bo-Taoshi is one of the craziest games we’ve ever seen. The chaotic war game pits teams against each other as they attempt to knock a player off the top of a pole, guarded by dozens of defenders at its base. It’s kind of like Capture the Flag, but the flag is a man.

100 Years of Work in Japan

100 Years of Work in Japan

Motocross Saito created this captivating pixel art short that showcases how work culture has evolved since the 1920s in Japan. From the days when workers crowded into cramped offices, to 1980s workaholism, to the modern work-from-home era, the Japanese work ethic has remained one of the strongest on Earth.

Drillog Drill-tip Dip Pen

Drillog Drill-tip Dip Pen

Fountain pen nibs have a specific shape for a reason. But the Drillog takes a unique approach, capturing ink in a series of spiraling channels which lead to to a precision straight tip which produces incredibly sharp lines. Price shown is for a set with the barrel and either a 0.5mm or 0.8mm nib. Pen rest sold separately.

Star Wars: Visions: First Look

Star Wars: Visions: First Look

The Star Wars franchise has paid homage to Japanese cinema and folklore throughout the years. Now Disney+ repays the debt by inviting seven of Japan’s top animation studios to create unique anime stories that take place in the Star Wars universe. The series premieres 9.22.2021.

How Tennis Rackets Are Made

How Tennis Rackets Are Made

Yonex is one of the most respected brands in tennis, and their rackets are the choice of many pro players. Tennis Warehouse takes us inside the Japanese company’s warehouse for a look at their production process, which seamlessly blends a human and robotic workforce.

Equalizer High Frequency LCD Watch

Equalizer High Frequency LCD Watch

This unique wristwatch from TokyoFlash Japan features a display inspired by an graphic equalizer. But instead of displaying audio frequencies and volume levels, its green dots light up to indicate the current time and date. The oversized watch uses an LED-backlit LCD panel to create the effect. Available with a black or silver case.

Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel

Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel
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Made in Japan, the Goshi is a scrubby shower towel woven from a combination of lathering and exfoliating threads. It helps to wash away dirt, oil, and dead skin, keeping you cleaner than you’ve ever felt. It’s made from a long-lasting 100% recyclable nylon. Discounted multi-packs available direct from Goshi.

The Hill of the Buddha

The Hill of the Buddha

For two decades, a statue of Buddha sat alone at the Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo, Japan. More recently, architect Tadao Ando built a man-made covering all but the top of the statue’s head, hiding the rest of the religious icon inside an observation gallery beneath a lavender-covered hill.

Skiing Ostriches

Skiing Ostriches

Nexus Studios and director Hideyuki Tanaka created this wild and wonderful promo spot for a Japanese tourism campaign back in 2004. The clip features a flock of ostriches as they take to the ski slopes, fully embracing their gangly and awkward bodies as they head down the snowy mountainside, and into the city.

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

We’ve previously seen how the musicians from Electronicos Fantasticos use laser barcode readers in their performance. In this clip from Maker Faire Tokyo 2020, one of their members shows how to make record scratching sounds using the same technique.

Piano Fingers

Piano Fingers

Japanese performance troupe XTRAP have incredible manual dexterity, focusing much of their routine on synchronized finger tutting. Here, they show off their digits with a glow-in-the-dark routine that kicks off with a piano made out of fingers.

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Lifelike Balloon Animals

Lifelike Balloon Animals

Masayoshi Matsumoto is no birthday party balloon artist. Nope, his specialty is creating complex balloon animals that belong in an art gallery. His inflatable sculptures require many more bends and twists than typical balloon art, resulting in greater detail and realism. Check out his YouTube channel for tutorials.

Stone Sushi

Stone Sushi

What you’re looking at here might look like some delicious sushi, but you definitely don’t want to bite down on it unless you’re ready to chip a tooth. Japanese artist ha_ma_73 makes incredibly accurate sushi replicas by carving and polishing stones. What’s even more amazing is that those are natural stone colors, not paint.

Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975

Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975
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Waxwork Records presents an incredible collection for die-hard Godzilla fans, this box set includes all 15 film soundtracks from Japan’s Showa era, remastered for vinyl. The 18-record set features amazing new artwork by Robert Sammelin, 180-gram colored vinyl, a collector’s slipcase, a storage box, a slipmat, and more.

Inside Super Nintendo World

Inside Super Nintendo World

We previously got a brief aerial view of the Super Nintendo World attraction that’s coming to Universal Studios Japan. Now Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto takes us inside the park for an in-depth tour of some of its main attractions. We love all the movement in the exterior design. The park is slated to open 2.4.2021.

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Great Wave

LEGO Certified Professional Jumpei Mitsui created a 3D interpretation of the wave depicted in Hokusai’s iconic Ukiyo-e image The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The brick-built version shows off some really neat LEGO tricks, especially with the foamy wave peaks. The 50,000-piece model is on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum.

Super Nintendo World Flyover

Super Nintendo World Flyover

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is slated to open in early 2021. From the looks of this flyover of the park, it’s going to look amazing when it’s all done, transporting Nintendo fans into the heart of their favorite games. We spy Peach’s and Bowser’s castles, a Mario Kart ride, and a Toad House among other details.

Ultraman Returns

Ultraman Returns

Well before Power Rangers or TNMT, Ultraman was a live-action TV series, establishing a new type of sci-fi adventure, kitschy kaiju characters, salarymen superheroes, and sparkly special effects. Rarely broadcast in America, it’s now streaming on Pluto TV with select titles on-demand on Shout! Factory TV.

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DrainArt Enamel Pins

DrainArt Enamel Pins

Classicbot toy designer Philip Lee and his wife, artist Mary Chang have teamed up to create a beautiful series of enameled metal pins based on the artful manhole covers found throughout Japan. There are 16 designs in all, along with a Ukiyo-e inspired wall scroll for display. Each pin measures 2″ in diameter.

Guess the Product

Guess the Product

Japanese commercials can be so creative, weird, and funny. Start watching this ad spot and see how long it takes you to try and guess what the product is that they’re advertising. If you guess some kind of interactive torture experience, you’d be very wrong.

Children of the Sea (Trailer)

Children of the Sea (Trailer)

Based on the manga by Daisuke Igarashi, Children of the Sea tells the story of a girl who feels drawn to the waters at the aquarium where her dad works. As she meets two other children with similar experiences, they come to find that fish are mysteriously disappearing from oceans around the world. Drops 8.31.20.

Lost & Found: Tokyo Style

Lost & Found: Tokyo Style

If you’ve ever lost an item in a big city in the U.S., there’s a slim chance you’re ever getting it back. Speaking from experience, it’s the opposite if you lose something in Tokyo. Great Big Story takes us inside of the city’s massive and well-organized Lost & Found center for a look at how the Japanese respect other people’s property.

Unexpected Outcome ver.03

Unexpected Outcome ver.03

Daihei Shibata created a series of visual illusions for the Japanese TV program Design Ah!, in which each scene starts off with an ordinary premise, but its outcome is very different than what you might expect. Catch the first two videos here.

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Views of Tokyo, 1913-1915

Video technician Denis Shiryaev of Neural Love took some early 20th century film footage from Tokyo, Japan, and processed it to increase its resolution and frame rate, repair damage, and add colorization. The result is sort of a living postcard of the time and place. The ambient sounds were previously added by Guy Jones.

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