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!
THE BEST Japanese
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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