Japan has an entire festival dedicated to beautiful manhole covers

Beauty is all around us, and sometimes, right under us. In Japan, manhole covers are considered to be canvases for works of art. Each municipality, which numbers in the thousands across the country, has a unique manhole cover design to represent their local culture and history. Source: Japan has anRead More →

Rice paddy art canvas, Honshu

This is one of those bizarrely creative things that I’d only expect to see come out of Japan. In the early ’90s, the country village of Inakadate watched as their population continued moving to the cities, and the local council began brainstorming ways to turn the village into a touristRead More →

If you’re looking to freshen up your home and inject it with some positive energy then you might want to explore the tenets of kanso – a Japanese interior design concept that’s all about minimalism. Similar to feng shui, kanso – which means simplicity – focuses on the flow andRead More →

Like most things in Japan, the country’s take on coffee culture is an exquisite display of precision, beauty and craft. Rather than be intimidated, the Californian purveyor Blue Bottle Coffee opened a café in Kyoto this month, its eighth outpost in Japan and the first outside of Tokyo . Source:Read More →

Japan Highlight Video Here is a copy of our Japanese highlight video from early in the year – enjoy! Daily Photo – Wandering in Kyoto I don’t think I would ever get tired when wandering around streets in Japan. I can’t quite figure out my fascination with it. Source: WanderingRead More →

Japanese air vases

Speciality paper company Takeo based in Tokyo and Torafu architects collaborated and created “airvase” by using a single piece of paper. It was exhibited at Japan House in London. Related This entry was posted in Industrial design, Product design. Source: Airvase by Takeo and Torafu ArchitectsRead More →

‘Cracked Portraits’ is an ongoing series of illustrations by Japanese artist Taisuke Mohri. The realistic hand-drawn portraits are overlaid with a pane of cracked glass, which contributes to the ethereal, surrealistic aspect of these artworks. Source: Cracked Portraits by Taisuke MohriRead More →

Has any Japanese woodblock print — or for that matter, any piece of Japanese art — endured as well across place and time as The Great Wave off Kanagawa? Even those of us who have never known its name, let alone those of us unsure of who made it andRead More →

Not surprisingly, Tokyo is one of the most photographed cities in the world. But it’s the often unexpected fringes that offer a different perspective – the small villages and towns that are far from the stereotypes often associated with contemporary Japan. Source: Photographs of “small town” Japan that reveal aRead More →

Oyu onsen is a famous hot spring in Kazuno, Akita. We designed a community centre here incorporating a shop, café, open-air theatre, park, footbath, and biotope under one large roof. Source: YUNOEKI OYU by Kengo Kuma & AssociatesRead More →

A new book, Ravens & Red Lipstick, can be unravelled by its title. Chronicling the multifaceted developments of Japanese photography, “ravens” alludes to the mournful black-and-white images create by Fukase Masahisa in the 1970s in the wake of his divorce. Source: Ravens & Red Lipstick Lifts the Lid on JapaneseRead More →

It’s a common adage that often rings true, especially depending on your background. Walls, for example, don’t immediately come to mind as a thing of beauty. And thanks to a certain president, they don’t exactly have a great connotation right now. Source: An Instagram Account Dedicated to Japanese WallsRead More →

If you like all things small, then Japanese artist Kiyomi (aka @chiisanashiawase2015 ) is for you. A mother of two, Kiyomi brings interior design chic to the world of dollhouses, with a range of handmade miniature antique furniture and accessories. Source: Japanese Artist Creates Stunning Miniature Antique Dollhouse Furniture byRead More →

gen sou en, the tea company, has opened a new location in Boston. this tea house gives the bustling Coolidge corner a little taste of Japanese culture. while the city has a bad reputation when it comes to tea, it’s clear that this authentic cafe will receive a much betterRead More →

Japanese Fashion Hanten Parka

From bushido pants to samurai sword umbrella sheaths, we’ve seen a lot of hybrid fashion ideas come out of Japan in recent years. Now, as the weather begins to cool, it’s time for a new range of garments to make their appearance, and this year everyone is scrambling to getRead More →

Japanese Autumn illustration by Tatsuro Kiuchi 2015

Japanese Illustration: Autumn. Tatsuro Kiuchi. 2015Read More →

Hornyak gooddesign glasses

A favourite theme of some journalists commenting on Japan today is how Japanese innovation is nearly dead. However, while the country’s global brands may not pack the punch they used to, there’s no shortage of transformative ideas in Japan, particularly in the field of design. Source: Good Design Awards goRead More →

Hiroshima artbook illustrations

I just came back from my week visiting Hiroshima including the island of Naoshima (Art Island). Departing from Okayama, it has been an incredible journey and one of the things you encounter when you are traveling in another country is the art & design (as a designer for the least).Read More →

portraits from the Awa Odori festival in Koenji (2018) | all photos by Benjamin Beech I grew up in Koenji, a small suburb of Tokyo. Every summer the town would host the Awa Odori , one of the grandest festivals I had ever seen. For days leading up to theRead More →

Exhibition Poster: Where Will Art Go – Exploring the Future of Art and Society. Yuma Harada (UMA / design farm). 2015  Read More →