This Japanese kei car has supercar looks, but the Autozam AZ-1 wasn’t exactly a powerhouse. Donut Media takes some time up close and personal with this awesome little lightweight that Mazda made from 1992-1995. Like a real exotic, it’s got a mid-rear-mounted, turbocharged engine, gullwing doors, and zero cargo space.
Modern umbrellas are mass-produced from synthetic fabric and a metal frame. On the other hand, Wagasa umbrellas are painstakingly handmade from bamboo, string, tapioca glue, washi paper, and linseed oil. Business Insider visited artist Kotaro Nishibori to see how he carries this beautiful Japanese tradition.
We’ve always been wowed by the craft of Kumiko. Inspired by the elegant Japanese latticework, Make With Miles created a unique electric guitar with a body that incorporates the technique. After cutting and assembling the wood, he filled the openings with tinted epoxy for contrast. He also made a matching amp.
Handmade in Japan’s Nagao Kanekoma factory, these pocket folders have a Wharncliffe blade made from Warikomi steel, wrapped in a satin brass handle, and comes in three sizes. The simple design and antique style have been passed down through five generations over 125 years. It also comes in satin black.
We weren’t familiar with the Japanese manga and anime Jujutsu Kaisen, but now that we’ve seen that one character wields a sword with a human hand for a handle, we want to know more. Bladesmith and prop maker Tetrahymena created a knife inspired by the unusual weapon, and we’d like to shake his hand for a job well done.
Award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido (of NYC’s Katana Kitten) shares his knowledge of Japanese spirits and cocktails with 80 recipes that exemplify Japan’s contribution to the cocktail scene, both from his own bar and from Japanese mixologists. Urushido analyses the Japanese approach and demystifies ages-old techniques.
We’ve seen artists create miniature and LEGO versions of The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Now watch as Minibricks crafts an incredible 3D rendition of Hokusai’s iconic Japanese illustration by sculpting foam blocks, then coating them with blue and white resins. The 3D-printed boats are even filled with tiny passengers.
A fantastic Japanese import for fans of monster movies, this oversize 96-page coloring book is loaded with Yuji Kaida’s line art illustrations of classic monsters and creatures, including Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, and more. The book also includes small color images of the original paintings for reference.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by ukiyo-e artist Hokusai is one of the most iconic works of art of all time. In this video, artist Jade shows us how created a miniature 3-dimensional version of the image inside of a block of resin. We amazed by those tiny boats they made from wooden bowls.
You might think that Japanese game shows and freestyle skiing have nothing to do with each other, but you’d be wrong. In this entertaining clip from Red Bull Snow, Swedish freeskier Jesper Tjäder lives out his childhood dream of participating in one of these famously madcap game shows, while showing off his personal talents.
This distinctive and elegant sake vessel gets its inspiration from the drips that occur during the Japanese spirit’s distillation process. Each one is crafted from stainless steel and features a removable cup and saucer that looks like rippling liquid. The bottom of the saucer can also be inscribed.
This short video proves just how universal the language of design is. Despite being entirely in Japanese, motion designer Ritsuko Nomura’s clip demonstrates the importance of using layouts, scale, and color to bring structure and legibility to information, regardless of language. From the NHK educational TV show Design Ah!
Flagrant Agenda teamed up with artist MILTZ to create this stunning deck of cards inspired by the Japanese Edo period. The court cards include famed shogun and other key figures of the period, Aces have seasonal haiku, and symbology abounds. They come in four versions, and you can add on custom minted coins.
Nintendo celebrates the launch of its relaxing new puzzle game for the Switch, in which you must carefully follow a series of recipes to create a perfectly presented bento box meal for a family of cats. It’s just the sort of game we need to take our minds off the craziness around us in the world these days.
Suminagashi is an ancient Japanese craft that produces amazing marbled patterns on paper. Linh My Truong of the Textile Arts Center in New York City demonstrates several techniques for manipulating inks in a water bath to produce various cool patterns. Her tools include a cat’s whisker and a drinking straw.
Card Experiment’s dramatic decks feature colorful images inspired by traditional Japanese Musha-e woodblock prints. The series of three decks include intricate illustrations of Suikoden warrior figures on their face cards. The Musha cards feature light imagery, while the Goketsu has a darker and more ominous look.
There are tons of wallets to choose from these days, but we’ve never seen one that looks like this. It has an all-aluminum body with an aesthetic inspired by Japanese cyberpunk anime. Each one is made from numerous CNC-machined parts, with exposed Torx screwheads to complete the look. Available in 3 customizable designs.
The Japanese craft of Kumiko requires the cutting and assembly of thousands of tiny, carefully cut sticks of wood, each individually placed to form intricate lattice panels. This video from Japan’s Shiroishi Woodworks gives us an idea of the level of effort that goes into each piece, as woodworker Tatsuo Kurozu plies his craft.
The Rage Quit t-shirt features a woodblock-style print designed by Jed Henry, maker of the Ukiyo-e Heroes prints. It sees an angry gamer tattooed with characters from Super Mario Bros. and a pile of controllers spilling out of his body after committing seppuku.
The latest game from Deadly Premonition creator SWERY, and developer Yukio Futatsugi of Phantom Dust fame looks like a trip. It’s a daily life sim RPG in which you play a journalist who must pay off a massive debt, and along the way uncover the secrets of a small UK town.