art

Japanese cat and dog clocks with swishing tails make clock-watching more adorable than ever

Honestly, I’ve never really seen the point in hanging a clock on the wall in your home. Between the time displays on my PC, phone, TV, DVD player, PlayStation, and microwave, I’ve got plenty of ways to tell the current hour and minute without a dedicated timepiece taking up space where I could hang other things, like the California license plate in my living room that simultaneously makes me miss my home state and driving whenever I look at it.

I’m just not convinced that having a wall clock makes your home that much more convenient. However, it can make it a lot cuter, if it’s one of these adorable Japanese dog or cat-shaped clocks with an amazingly lifelike wagging tail.

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PanTea? This pair of granny panties in a teapot can be yours for only 1 million yen!

If you’re like me, then you certainly love gazing at a piece of modern art while sipping white wine out of a vinegar dispenser with a wilted rose floating inside. But if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t, then you may wonder why this pair of granny panties soaking in a teapot is on sale with an asking price of 1,081,728 yen (US$8,753).

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Epic Studio Ghibli exhibit to feature 3-D sets, artwork from every Ghibli film spanning 30 years

Regular readers will remember that we recently reported about an exhibit featuring life-size recreations of sets from the most recent Studio Ghibli film, When Marnie Was There. Well, the exhibit has proved to be so popular that they’ve decided to do it all over again, this time in Aichi Prefecture.

But being Ghibli, they can’t just do the exact same exhibit twice. This time, in addition to featuring life-size sets, they’ll also have artwork and props from every single Ghibli film, going back 30 years all the way to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

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Artist depicts kill count of major Dragon Ball heroes in cool illustrations

Insofar as you can say that a character in the Dragon Ball  universe can really “die” (Krillin has supposedly “died” so many times we’re suspicious he’s actually a Terminator) there have been a lot of major deaths in the franchise, and the large majority of those kills are, unsurprisingly, at the hands of the series’ primary protagonists.

Even though the series is ostensibly a kids’ show, the weighty subject matter, with battles often fought to determine whether or not entire worlds and/or solar systems will be blown up, basically demands that somebody’s gotta give up the ghost once in a while. But it’s hard to get a handle on the true extent of the carnage, given that every major death is typically punctuated by nine episodes of people yelling and grunting.

Now, though, we can finally get an at-a-glance picture of how many kills each hero in the series has racked up, thanks to these neat illustrations by DeviantArtist, Alberto Cubatas.

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Three fantastic Japan-themed exhibits at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts set to end soon

2015 has been a good year for lovers of Japanese art in Boston. The city’s phenomenal Museum of Fine Arts has hosted not just one, but three special exhibitions of Japanese art so far this year, along with its newly restored Japanese garden outside. The most hyped of all of these is an exhibition dedicated solely to Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most important ukiyo-e painters and printmakers of the Edo period who’s best known as the creator of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Besides the Hokusai collection, the museum is also hosting a particularly powerful exhibit displaying the work of 17 photographers in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku triple disasters, along with a lighthearted exhibit showcasing prints of some whimsical Japanese toys and games. As all three of the exhibitions are preparing to wind down within the next few weeks after hosting thousands of visitors over the past months, we thought we’d take a moment to share some of their highlights with you!

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Artist’s amazing colored pencil drawings of Tokyo scenes look like actual photographs

Remember the joy of getting a fresh new pack of coloured pencils when you were a kid? The artistic possibilities! You were going to make masterpieces with those things, weren’t you? Unfortunately, coloured pencils are kind of a difficult tool to wield. For one thing, they’re hard to erase, meaning that whatever mistakes you make wind up lasting forever.

But this Japanese artist can make serious magic with nothing but paper and those same humble art supplies. In fact, his artwork depicting Tokyo street scenes looks so photo-realistic, we were almost fooled at first…

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Japan’s Amazon Prime Day sale offering huge discounts on million-dollar artwork and more

Around the world, 15 July is Prime Day over at the online retailer Amazon. This is the day when members of their subscription service Amazon Prime get in on one big sale that they claim is as big as it gets.

And it certainly is looking big, according to a sneak peak of four items that will be on sale come Prime Day. One of them is a set of 12 original works by Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano valued at 260,000,000 yen (US$2,150,000) on every day except Prime Day!

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Meguro Gajoen, a traditional event space in Tokyo and its stairway of 100 steps

Meguro Gajoen is one of the tangible properties of Tokyo, established in 1931 originally as a venue for wedding banquets. Now all that remains of the original architecture is a series of rooms connected by the “stairway of 100 steps“. In 2009 these rooms were classified as one of the cultural assets of Japan.

We recently visited the establishment to get a look at the traditional party rooms for ourselves, since they were open to the public for a very short window of time and we figured this would be our only chance. We were even permitted to take photos, so come and join us for a guided tour!

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Anime tombstone would let fans keep loving <em>Love Live!</em> even in death

A while back, we took a look at the top 20 anime that fans want to be watching as they leave the mortal realm. But what if it’s not enough to spend the last moment of your life watching your favorite series?

Then maybe what you need is a way to express your love of Japanese animation from beyond the grave…and through the grave, for that matter, with an anime tombstone like the one this craftsman made.

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Venus de Milo gets her arms back thanks to Japanese figure company

Even if you know nothing about classical art, there’s a good chance you’ve at least seen photos of the Venus de Milo, the Greek statue of a lovely woman without arms. With a height of 203 centimeters (6 feet, 8 inches), the statue is larger than life in every sense of the phrase, save her missing limbs. What happened to her appendages remains a mystery to this day, and, we imagine, it will likely continue to be that way for approximately forever.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine what the sculpture looked like! And thanks to FREEing, a Kanagawa-based company, we won’t even have to stretch our imaginations too much, as they’re producing a “Venus de Milo” figure…with arms!

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“Hong Kong is not China” illustrations cause controversy online

A set of infographics claiming to show differences between Hong Kong and China has been attracting attention online – much of it negative.

The striking images, which were created by a Hong Kong artist and posted to the Facebook page of Local Studio HK (本土工作室), cover topics such as cultural differences, politics, habits and censorship. As you might expect, it’s ruffled more than a few feathers.

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Titans Attack on Kyushu with the upcoming re-opening of Attack on Titan Exhibit

Following the success of the Attack on Titan Exhibit at the Ueno Royal Museum last winter, the exhibit and the Titans are moving down to Kyushu just in time for summer vacation.

Although it mostly remains the same as the one shown earlier in Tokyo, this time around the exhibit includes extra shots of the Titans out and about exploring some of the southern island’s most famous tourist spots. Apparently even Titans need a break from attacking and devouring mankind every now and then!
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Famous Japanese wildlife photographer charms cats across the world 【Video】

Mitsuaki Iwago is a notable wildlife photographer, and is the only Japanese photographer to have his work grace the cover of National Geographic more than once.

So far he has journeyed to over nine different countries to photograph cats, and he doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Iwago believes that by studying cats we can better understand people, and has mentioned his affinity for shooting felines during multiple interviews.

Apparently the cats feel the same way about Mr. Iwago – just check out this footage taken from one of his past adventures!

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Anime becomes reality, becomes anime again as Attack on Titan artist draws posing cosplayers

Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama is actually pretty new to the manga and anime scene, with the runaway hit franchise being his only notable work out of just three total published properties.

The giant-people-eating-regular-sized-people anime and manga series has been met with wide praise and probably, like, 400 billion trillion copies sold globally. But being a fresh new kid bursting onto the scene with no significant prior work and basically hoovering up every single yen that ever was and ever will be has earned Isayama a little undue ire among other anime creators.

To wit, some other creators – including, famously, Gundam mastermind Yoshiyuki Tomino – have passive-aggressively attacked Isayama’s drawing ability, with Tomino dismissing it as “crude.” But don’t worry, guys: Isayama says he’s practicing regularly to become a better artist, specifically by having people cosplay as Attack on Titan characters and drawing them!

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Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

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Want thousands of dollars for your manga fan art? Rose of Versailles creator judging contest now

It’s been made into an anime TV series, live-action film, and Takarazuka stage musical, but more than anything else, it’s the original manga that’s captured the hearts of Rose of Versailles fans. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the series’ themes of desperate love, self-sacrifice, and challenging gender norms have been striking a chord with readers for over four decades.

Unlike last year, there’s no new volume of Rose of Versailles coming out this summer. However, there is still going to be a ton of new illustrations in the form of entries to a Rose of Versailles fan art competition that’s accepting submissions online right now, awarding impressive cash prizes, and being judged by the manga’s creator, Riyoko Ikeda herself.

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This amazing sand sculpture museum is tiny Tottori Prefecture’s hidden tourist gem

Remember when Tottori Prefecture finally got a Starbucks after all these years of being one of the few places in the world without one? Oh man, that was crazy.

Tottori is just one of those places. The kind of area that’s so quiet and uneventful that not even Starbucks, the corporate giant that’s more than happy to smother historic cultural heritage sites with their over-roasted beans and pricey lattes for a quick buck, spent decades more or less pretending it didn’t even exist. The Prefecture’s population of just over half a million is shockingly small by densely-populated Japan’s standards, and it’s just generally ignored by the rest of Japan as a place that, well… doesn’t have much to see, to put it kindly.

But wait a second! What’s this?! Tottori has been sitting on an amazing tourist draw in the form of a sand sculpture museum that features mind-boggling, award-winning and massive sand sculptures and they basically haven’t even really told anybody about it.

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Never-before-seen Miyazaki sketches to go on show at Tokyo exhibition this summer

Illustrations by legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki are among the 130 artworks going on display in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, next month.

The exhibition of background illustrations and character sketches, which have never been on public display before, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Nippon Animation’s World Animation Theatre, the weekly TV anime showcase which Miyazaki and Isao Takahata both worked on before founding Studio Ghibli together in 1985.

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Popular manga artist’s shockingly great doodles from school prove he’s always had talent

I’m sure we all remember that one kid from our grade school days that was scarily good at drawing. The kid that would hastily – and incorrectly – finish up his math problems so he could back to sketching in his notebook. The one that could caricature Mr. Goetz’s sort of goofily small head from memory on request (no offense, Mr. Goetz).

If you were to dip back in to your long-forgotten box of grade school stuff – you know, the one mom keeps around specifically to embarrass you when you bring a new woman home to meet the family – and found one of that kid’s sketches, though, they probably aren’t going to look as good as you remember them. Hell, that kid’s probably not even a Disney animator like he always said he’d be, either. He probably works in the cafeteria at your old middle school because he never paid attention in math class.

On the other hand, there’s at least one insanely talented manga artist whose grade school/high school doodles hold up just as well today. In fact, they might even be better than the stuff he’s drawing now.

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Turn your extra TCG cards into epic shadow boxes, no special tools required

If you’re a player of any kind of trading card game (TCG) then you probably have multiples of certain cards from booster packs lying around, so why not try this epic way to use up those excess cards?

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