Japanese artists on Twitter get crafty, wow us with their creativity 【Pics】

Japanese artisans are renowned for their ingenuity and attention to detail. In the past, we’ve talked about how some of the country’s traditional art is made, such as kiri-e, gold leaf, and plastic display food, and it never fails to impress us.

But have you ever wondered how more modern forms of art, such as plastic figures, cosplay, and accessory-making, are achieved? Thanks to a new hashtag that’s been gaining traction on Twitter, users now have the opportunity to see how a little bit of material and a whole lot of skill can go a long way.
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We now bring you Mad Max: Eggplant Road

Here they come again. Worming their way into the black matter of my brain. I told myself…they cannot touch me. They’re long dead…

That’s right folks! It’s Obon time again. This is when the spirits of our deceased ancestors are said to visit the realm of the living. And so Japanese people have several traditions to make that visit a comfortable one for their loved ones.

One such custom is the shoryo uma which traditionally are little horses made from cucumber or eggplant and designed to symbolically transport the dead across these planes of existence.

In recent years these horses have evolved into a variety of things from tanks to Gundam vehicles., but now it seems shoryo uma makers have been inspired by the hit movie Mad Max: Fury Road and created vehicles in its image to transport loved ones across that great apocalyptic divide.

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Final Fantasy’s Cloud gets special illustrated birthday card from designer Tetsuya Nomura

If you’re putting together a profile for a video game or anime character, the inclusion of certain bits of information are optional, such as favorite food, hobby, or breast weight. But just about every fictional character coming from Japan has an official birthday. As a matter of fact, it’s become such a standard bit of background information for anime and video game characters that you can search online and find dozens to sing happy birthday to on any given day.

This week, though, was the birthday of an especially popular figure: Cloud Strife. Not only did the hero of Final Fantasy VII hero receive plenty of warm wishes from fans, he also got an illustrated birthday card from his designer himself, Tetsuya Nomura.

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Stunning merger of animation and music “nowisee” is gorgeous, hypnotic, perplexing【Video】

Japan is a pro when it comes to creating confusing things. Whether it’s food, anime, toilets, or even methods of relaxation, it’s not uncommon to be baffled at the beginning, still not quite sure what happened at the end, and yet, for some reason, craving more when it’s all over.

So let’s welcome the latest awesome but very confusing thing Japan made: nowisee (pronounced “noise”). Is it an anime? A music video? A promotional video? Something… else? The answer to all of the questions is a resounding maybe, and the only way you can begin to understand is by watching it.

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Beat the heat with these 14 adorable daikon dishes!

Summers in Japan are pretty warm. In fact, one might got a bit further than that and say that they are down right hot. Of course, there are many places in the world that are hotter and more humid, but knowing that doesn’t help those of us sweating over here now!

One home remedy popular in Japan is grated daikon, or Japanese white radish. Of course, if you’re not a fan of radish, this might not be an easy medicine to swallow, but fortunately Japanese Twitter users know just how to get you to eat it: with some of the cutest food ever! Get ready to beat the heat and go “Awwwww!” at the same time!

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Feast your eyes on yet more adorable 8-bit GIFs depicting daily life in Japan

A while back, we shared a series of super-cute 8-bit GIFs created by talented Tumblr user 1041uuu which depict everyday scenes of life in Japan in a whimsically awesome, old-school way. Now we’re happy to report that the artist has been busy creating even more GIFs in the same great style!

Get ready for some super sweet moving pixel art!

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Take a second look – Hikaru Cho’s surreal art part three, one year later

Art is such an ever-changing topic that even a year can shift trends and styles all across the modern art world. Well, it has been over a year since we last caught up with Hikaru Cho, the reality bending artist whose work makes you do a double or even a triple take.

Her creativeness seems to know no bounds, and the past year has allowed her to improve and grow, taking on more professional projects that still mess with our minds enough to make us wonder if what we are seeing is real or a clever trick meant to fool us.

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Why just climb Mt. Fuji when you can build it with this awesome paper-stacking kit?

There’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment you get from making it to the top of a mountain. Maybe it comes from putting such a long series of steps, each insignificant on its own, to rise to a height where the whole world appears differently.

But perhaps a hike doesn’t figure into your plans for the near future due to your busy schedule, flat-as-a-pancake local geography, or crippling fear of grizzly bears. If you can’t climb a mountain, though, the next best thing is to build one, also one step at a time, with this awesome series of paper craft models of Japanese mountains.

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Star Wars rice paddy art grows in Aomori Prefecture

The village of Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture is hoping to drive tourism with a Star Wars-themed rice paddy. The image of R2-D2, C-3PO, and the newly introduced BB-8 take up a 1-hectare field. The varying colors are created using 11 varieties of rice.

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Documentary about Japanese gold leaf process ignites interest in cultural arts online【Video】

With our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley now in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, she now has access to many of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, like Kinkakuji, or the Golden Pavillion, that we hope she makes her way to sometime during her stay.

This temple, which gets its name from the gold leaf that covers the upper two stories of the pavilion, was built during the Muromachi period (1337–1573), when much of the traditional Japanese art and culture recognized today began to flourish thanks to beneficial relationships between Japan and China as well as the spread of Zen Buddhism. This extended to architecture as well, where ornate decorations like gold leaf on Buddhist temples acted as a purifier against pollution of the outside world and inside the mind (on top of its structural benefits against weather and decay).

Over time, Kanazawa area of Ishikawa Prefecture, which produced the gold leaf used for Kinkakuji, became Japan’s top producer in gold leaf. Even today, Kanazawa produces 99% of the country’s gold leaf, and recently a wonderful documentary highlighting this traditional art has been garnering praise online both domestically and abroad.

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Taiwanese illustrator gives Dragon Ball characters bizarre, gender-swapped erotic novel cover makeover

While you may be inclined to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon curled up on the couch, binge-watching Game of Thrones and consuming eight entire pints of Chunky Monkey ice cream (just us?), a certain demographic in Japan would much rather stretch out on the tatami with a nice, wholesome… erotic novel.

See, while the romance novel section of a western bookstore is a lonely wasteland, tucked away in the far corner, illuminated by nothing but a single bulb swinging lazily from the ceiling, erotic novels and manga are comparatively more accepted and, dare we say it, widely read in Japan and a handful of other Asian countries, such that the formulaic cover illustration template that near every publisher of the books seems to use has evolved into a kind of cultural shorthand for cheesy, kinky escapades.

So, let’s keep that in mind as we take a look at this Taiwanese illustrator’s collection of cool, gender-swapped Dragon Ball character book covers. You’re welcome to appreciate the raw talent and attention to detail here, just, uh… remember which section of the bookstore you’d be finding these in if they were real.

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Paint your room in Ayanami Blue with official Evangelion paint

While there’s no way you could call the Evangelion franchise underappreciated as a whole, one part of the anime classic that often gets overlooked is its effective use of color. Add a couple of splashes of green and black to a field of purple, for example, and any fan will instantly think of the show’s central robot, Eva Unit-01.

Likewise, it’s impossible to imagine Rei Ayanami, Evangelion’s most famous female character, without the otherworldly fragile aura imparted by her distinctive blue hair. The color is so iconic that one Japanese paint company has even started selling a new shade, Ayanami Blue, that’s an exact match or Rei’s trademark tresses.

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We go hands-on with “Pictuarium”, the virtual aquarium that brings your doodles to life!

Fish may make low-maintenance pets compared to cats and dogs, but they are still fragile creatures, and you may find that neglecting to clean the tank, forgetting to feed them, or letting their water get too warm in the summer months will send Bubbles to an early, watery grave. Even with utmost care, some fish don’t have very long lifespans, and no one likes saying goodbye to a beloved pet.

Well, now you can forgo the aquarium maintenance and not worry about the heartache, by creating your own invincible fishy friends and bringing them to life through your iPhone with Takara Tomy Arts’ new Pictuarium!

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Collection of retro travel posters proves Japan has always been a cool place to visit 【Photos】

Last year, over 13 million foreign visitors took a trip to Japan. Many of the country’s best attractions, though, are actually hundreds of years old. That means that while they’ve been drawing more international travelers than ever in the 21st century, they were hardly being ignored in the 20th, as shown by this collection of retro-cool travel posters from the early and mid-1900s.

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Artist’s rendition of popular Ghibli movies and more will blow you away

Watching a Studio Ghibli movie always leaves you with a lasting impression. Their skills in storytelling and art create masterpieces for the eyes and the heart. If you were to describe the Ghibli style in a few words, magical, whimsical and playful would probably come to mind. Which is why it’s incredible to see the tone shift in these fantastic pieces of art from AJ Frena.

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Want a souvenir from the ocean? Take part of it home with a realistic resin replica!

We’ve seen some amazing things Japanese artists have created out of resin before, but the one problem with them is just that: they’re too amazing. They’re all miniature masterpieces that you’d be too scared to touch, much less carry around with you.

But now artist and Twitter user @tokibo has come up with a solution: creating beautiful, realistic resin replicas of the ocean that you can put in your pocket to feel like you’re at the beach anytime you want. Skeptical? Take a look at some of the pictures; if they don’t make you feel like you’re in an underwater paradise, then your (unspent) money back!

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Samurai cats look awesome, teach us about Japanese history and culture at the same time

Over the years here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you news of cats in kimonos, kittens in coffees and sushi cats that fly through the air. So as soon as we stumbled upon a collection of mighty samurai cats being awesome, we knew it was our duty to bring them to everyone’s attention.

These warrior felines wrestle with giant fish and ride on tigers but they also teach us a thing or two about history and pop culture in Japan. Can you guess what famous Japanese movie inspired the group of cats in the image above?

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Want to be a manga artist, but can’t draw backgrounds? Website has environments you can download

If you’re a budding manga creator, odds are you spend most of your time working on your character artwork. That’s probably a wise choice, too, as most famous comic artists focus on drawing their stories’ leads, and hand off work on other details, such as background art, to a team of assistants.

Of course, another reality of being a budding manga artist is that you probably don’t have a publisher bankrolling your comic and paying for the abovementioned team of assistants. But thankfully there’s now a way for you to pour your efforts into story and character art and still produce something that looks polished, thanks to a new Japanese website that sells ready-to-use manga backgrounds.

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Rice field art: Star of Ted 2 appears in Japanese rice field this summer

Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

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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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