THE BEST Japanese

Higo no Kami Brass Pocket Knives

Higo no Kami Brass Pocket Knives

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.

Making a Mini Great Wave

Making a Mini Great Wave

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.

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Jesper Tjäder’s Game Show

Jesper Tjäder’s Game Show

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.

Ukiyo-e Memes

Ukiyo-e Memes

Memes of the Floating World takes the classic Japanese art style known as Ukiyo-e and applies it to popular memes like the famed Shiba Inu Doge, Longcat, and Women Yelling at Cat. The images are also available as prints from Society6.

Shitatari Sake Cup

Shitatari Sake Cup

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.

Layout Song

Layout Song

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!

Yuji Kaida Coloring Ultra Monster

Yuji Kaida Coloring Ultra Monster

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.

Edo Karuta Playing Cards

Edo Karuta Playing Cards

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.

inbento

inbento

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.

Tiny Japanese “Supercar”

Tiny Japanese “Supercar”

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.

The Art of Suminagashi

The Art of Suminagashi

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.

Musha & Goketsu Playing Cards

Musha & Goketsu Playing Cards

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.

Fusion Wallet: Cyberpunk Edition

Fusion Wallet: Cyberpunk Edition

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.

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Making Kumiko Lattice

Making Kumiko Lattice

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.

Ukiyo-e Heroes Rage Quit T-Shirt

Ukiyo-e Heroes Rage Quit T-Shirt

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 Rick Dance (Japanese)

The Rick Dance (Japanese)

The dance from the Rick and Morty episode Ricksy Business is entertaining all on its own. But it’s just that much better in the Japanese dubbed version shown here. Though “wubba-lubba-dub-dub” is the same in all languages.

FightCrab

FightCrab

Alpha footage from Japanese indie developer Nussoft’s upcoming game Kani no Kenka aka FightCrab aka The Fight Game You Didn’t Know You Needed. Watch in awe as two sword-wielding crustaceans battle it out to the death. Loser goes to Red Lobster.

The Good Life: Story Trailer

The Good Life: Story Trailer

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.

Star Wars Bento Boxes

Star Wars Bento Boxes

Tote your fish, veggies, and rice around in your favorite Star Wars characters. These stackable bento sets come in R2-D2, BB-8, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, and C-3PO versions, and are made from BPA-free plastics. The bowls are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Back in Black: Japanese Style

Back in Black: Japanese Style

NHK Blends presents a wonderfully mellowed-out version of AC/DC’s 1980 rock classic Back in Black, performed on traditional Japanese instruments, including the shime-daiko, shakuhachi, and koto with a few owl calls thrown in for good measure.

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Sumi Playing Cards

Sumi Playing Cards

Card Experiment teamed up with illustrator ToK to create a beautiful deck of playing cards inspired by traditional Japanese tattoo art. The precise and dramatic artwork incorporates stylistic elements of ukiyo-e, blending images of mythical creatures and nature.

Retro Tech: The Panapic

Retro Tech: The Panapic

Techmoan looks at another strange and wonderful bit of retro technology. This time, he unboxes a 40-year-old gadget from Japan that does something we’ve never seen before. We won’t spoil the surprise, and will let you discover it for yourself.

The Go Ranger Challenge

The Go Ranger Challenge

In this skit from the Japanese variety show Gaki Tsuka, the cast dress up as Power Ranger-style heroes. But they each have to wear different colored costumes purely by chance. It gets hilarious, then boring, then annoying, and back again. It’s the human equivalent of MasterMind.

The Great Monster off Kanagawa

The Great Monster off Kanagawa

Designer Michael “DinoMike” Buxton combines two iconic Japanese images, as Gojira himself stomps through the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Available on t-shirts, notebooks, wall art, phone cases, tote bags, throw pillows, and even an awesome duvet cover for your bed.

Hot-o Peppa Peepa Pay Poppy

Hot-o Peppa Peepa Pay Poppy

A series of Japanese commercials from 2009 we stumbled across on YouTube, featuring a woman singing about hot peppers as the Peanuts gang jams out in the background. It’s almost as catchy as the Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen song. Dance remix here.

The Tire Ski Jump

The Tire Ski Jump

We’re currently in Tokyo for a few days, so there’s no better time to feature this hilarious bit of old Japanese TV in which they launched a series of car and truck tires down a ski ramp to see how far they would fly. We’re pretty sure this is how Katamari Damacy started.

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