art

These Japanese cat masks both enchant and terrify

Cats have been our free-willed companions for centuries, even revered as gods in some cultures, and in modern times still have our hearts (and the internet) wrapped around their little kitty toes. But despite their closeness to our hearts, there is still so much about them that remains mysterious, and it is this mystery that captured the imagination of Japanese artist Junko Koguchi as she rendered these gorgeously enchanting cat masks.

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Manga goes 2.5-D with artist’s awesomely clever paper cutout photography 【Photos】

These days, we’re seeing more and more manga and anime being adapted into live-action movie, stage, and musical versions. In other words, Japanese animation and comics are going from the 2-D world to the 3-D one.

But it turns out there’s an intermediary step that we’ve been forgetting. Here with a reminder is one talented comic artist who’s using illustrated cutouts of his characters, settings, and even sound effects to create an amazing 2.5-D manga.

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Master glass craftsmen creating 500 handmade Spears of Longinus for Evangelion giveaway

With its crowdfunding project falling short of its goal, Evangelion’s Spear of Longinus won’t be hitching a ride to the moon after all. That doesn’t mean the iconic weapon isn’t still going places, though.

As part of the influential anime’s 20th anniversary celebration, 500 lucky fans will be receiving handmade glass replicas of the spear, just the right size for equipping their Eva models with. The talented craftsman responsible for the high-class anime goodies recently spoke about the experience of making them, and one of them could be yours as long as you remember that you mustn’t run away from your daily glass of vegetable juice.

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Origami at the dinner table! How to make cranes and doggies out of your chopstick sheath

Ramen joints and other cheap restaurants in Japan often just leave a container of chopsticks out on the table for customers to grab a pair from. Classier dining establishments, however, set the table with a pair of chopsticks for each guest tucked inside of a paper chopstick sheath, called a hashibukuro in Japanese.

But what do you do once you’ve pulled your chopsticks out of the cover? You could leave the empty sheath lying on the table, or, seeing as how you’re sitting in a Japanese restaurant with a piece of paper, you could use it to make some cool origami art.

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Introducing the new PikaChu! Amusing character mash-ups bring the Japanese internet to giggles

Ever wondered what Pikachu would look like fused with other familiar characters from manga, anime, and video games?

Neither have we, to be honest, but now we can see what the love-children of those amalgamations would look like thanks to Japanese company Mountain Graphics, a maker of t-shirts and other apparel. “Cardcaptor Zakura,” “Wapire-chan”…their series of character mash-ups are sure to tickle your funny bone!

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“Insta in my Hand” is the latest smartphone trend among high school students in Japan

The latest social media craze to hit Japan is called “Insta in my Hand,” for which net users share photos which look like they’re holding a transparent version of their Instagram or Twitter homepages in the palm of their hands. The boom was apparently imported from South Korea earlier this month, after Key, a member of K-Pop group SHINee, uploaded his own “Insta in my Hand” picture to his Instagram account. Japanese high school students have since tweaked the trend to include “Twitter in my Hand” shots as well.

Now you too can create your own “Insta in my Hand” images with our handy English guide, right after the jump!

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Fetishes as art?! Joint photo exhibit “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit” opens

TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (Asakusa) will hold their second free gallery event, “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit,” for artists from April 29 until May 10. If you’re in Tokyo and into cool, sexy, and unusual art, you won’t want to miss it.

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Japanese craftsmen strike again: Make an old, beaten-up book look as good as new

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something special about the smell of an old book, and the older and mustier it is, the better. The thing about books though, they’re made of paper, so over the years, the more you use them, the more they tear and get worn down. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could reverse this deterioration?

Actually, you can! Just take your books to this Tokyo-based book repairman who can make even the most decrepit book look like you just pulled it off the shelf at the bookstore. 

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Studio Ghibli involved in six great art exhibitions that you just have to see this summer

Waiting for the next Studio Ghibli film is like waiting for the next Game of Thrones book, it never comes soon enough! And with no new projects announced since the completion of When Marnie Was There in 2014, Ghibli fans may have a longer wait than those waiting for The Winds of Winter.

Luckily, movies aren’t the only way to lose yourself in a Studio Ghibli world. For those who can’t wait, there are six different exhibits in Japan that are connected with the fantastical Ghibli places that have become so familiar thanks to the movies and better yet, they are all being held right now.

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Giant, realistic cat head made from felt is impressive but kind of terrifying

Students in the art of needle felting in Japan have created this wearable cat head that’s so realistic it looks like it’s been Photoshopped into these pictures. It’s incredibly impressive, but there’s just something about the realism combined with its huge size that makes it undeniably disconcerting.

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The most magical images we’ve ever seen on Instagram, created with only an iPhone!【Photos】

Do you use Instagram? If so, who, apart from your friends and family, do you follow? Celebrities, famous YouTube personalities, artists, or perhaps adorable cats and dogs? If you’re into the artsy stuff, or simply like looking at beautiful, whimsical pictures, here’s one Instagram account you shouldn’t miss.

Ali Jardine, a mom and an artist, creates some absolutely breath-taking pieces of digital art with just her iPhone and her very own brand of artistic flare. Check them out after the jump!

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Japan’s wildest nail art: sushi, pirates, scissors and more 【Photos】

Nail art is pretty big in Japan. For a lot of women (and some men?), getting their nails not just colored, but decorated with gems, 3D flowers and mini-paintings is a monthly routine and fashion must. Usually it’s fairly subtle, but some nail art aficionados think bigger and bolder is better, no matter how hard it makes typing a mail or wiping your bum.

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Haisu Tian paints gorgeous rolling hills and streams with rolling skates

Haisu Tian is a Chinese artist based in the USA where she studies for her master’s degree in fine art. Originally from a strict background in Chinese traditional painting, she has since begun to branch out into several other techniques. The most unique of these is a pair of inline skates fitted with some ink cans which she uses to craft large and elegant landscapes. It’s a technique that she calls “landskating,” and we find absolutely intoxicating.

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Eight video games get awesome Disney-esque makeovers

Adapting video game stories into live-action feature films is a really hit-or-miss business, and while we all have our own movie preferences, I think the majority would be in agreement that many game-gone-movie titles ended up as a bust. In fact, most of those titles listed over at IMDb barely squeak past a five- out of ten-star rating.

But the success of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (while not a movie adaptation of a video game per se), got us wondering, what with those pretty cool character cameos, why not ditch the live-action remakes and go animated instead? Some really amazing artists also seemed to have that idea in mind when they created their own character renditions of some of their favorite video game heroes (and villains)!

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Russian illustrator wows with bold, simple art in tribute to Studio Ghibli【Pictures】

The characters and scenery of Studio Ghibli movies inspire all kinds of artwork by fans, from impressively detailed posters to super-minimalist art. Russian artist mr von ungarn has been delighting and perplexing Japanese netizens with his adorable, naive-style depictions of our favourite Ghibli characters. Check them out after the jump/

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Can you guess what this amazing Super Mario Bros art is made from?

Given Mario’s reign as the king – or at least, like, Hand of the King or maybe Master of Coin – of the current pop culture nostalgia craze, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen a lot of Super Mario Bros. fan art over the years.

Most of it’s pretty great stuff, but few works of Mario fan art have required quite as much thankless dedication and time commitment as this recreation of the original Super Mario Bros. start screen recreated in an unusual medium. Can you guess what that medium is?

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Share and browse all your favorite pictures of men loving men at the new fujoshi network Horne

Nowadays there’s a social networking system (SNS) for just about anything. In Japan, aside from the big ones like Facebook and Twitter, the LINE messaging service (and life-LINE service) and Niconico Douga are also extremely popular ways to talk with your friends – both on and offline – about stuff you love.

And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s plenty more, based around every imaginable interest. In fact, pretty much the only kind of SNS that doesn’t exist is one based around posting and sharing erotic anime-style drawings of men loving on each other.

…until now. Meet Horne.

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Chubby kitty is a literal work of art in these photomanips of famous paintings【Photos】

If you love kitties and you looking at great art, then FatCatArt could be just the collaboration for you! FatCatArt features plump yet fabulous kitty Zarathustra in a range of seductive and downright inventive poses for your viewing pleasure! Get some culture by viewing famous works of art whilst simultaneously satisfying your endless thirst for internet kitties in one fell swoop with this gallery of masterpieces!

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Six ways to spot someone who just moved to Tokyo

Spring is the start of both the school year and the business years in Japan. That means that right about now thousands of newcomers are pouring into Tokyo, as they move to the capital to start college or their professional careers.

But the hustle and bustle of Tokyo is on a scale unlike any other town in the nation. Even people who’ve grown up in Japan sometimes stick out like a sore thumb when they first move to the capital, as illustrated in this six-point guide to spotting someone who just moved to Tokyo.

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Voice actress’ art history lecture will soothe you into a power nap, may help your test scores

When I was a student, there were a handful of teachers whose lectures had a better than even chance of putting me to sleep. As a matter of fact, in classrooms that had a mix of furniture, I always tried to avoid grabbing a seat with one of those one-armed, half desks attached to it, because they were less comfortable to doze off on.

Of course, I’m sure my teachers would have rather I’d stayed awake the whole time. But hey, a well-rested mind is a critical component of the learning process, right? That’s why one educational company in Japan has produced this video lecture, starring a famous anime voice actress, with the specific goal of putting you to sleep.

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