Thursday, March 31, 2016

Takashi Murakami Animated Lifesize Sculpture in Nakano, Tokyo

Takashi Murakami, a well known contemporary artist, has a strong presence in Nakano Broadway. Along with a coffee shop, he runs multiple galleries on the 2nd, 3rd, and floors.

One such space, which is used for presentations and other events, was recently transformed. The interior was decked out with Murakami;s signature flower design. And at the entrance was an eerily lifelike statue of the artist with hobbit-like feet and an animated twist. Here are more pics, followed by a video.

 More after the jump:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

1950s-1960s Sci-Fi Tin Toys from Japan

As I've probably written before, I love old Japanese tin toys, especially the sci-fi and space-themed toys from the 50s-60s. You've got cool robots, vehicles, astronauts, and other wild creations dreamed up by some guys who must have had awesome jobs. Anyway, here are some shots of old tin toys I spotted recently.

 More after the jump:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Medicom Store Pics

Fresh pics from Medicom's flagship Project 1/6 store in Shibuya.

 More after the jump:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tokyo Views

Koenji crossroads
Sometimes toy and show reporting gets myopic. You're indoors, in front of a booth or shelf, snapping shots of static objects. So I thought I'd pull the lens back and take some shots of the environment in which all this stuff is made. Let's have a look at daily life in Tokyo.
Pachinko parlor. They're everywhere, and people line up before opening hours to get first pick of their favorite machines.

Typical izakaya, which is a type of casual restaurant. They're popular with the after-work crowd, and contrary to common notions of Japan as a quiet and peaceful place, izakayas get loud and raucous.
An outlet of Takkyubin, one of Japan's largest courier companies. Sending things by courier is fast, reliable, and affordable. Though the Japanese postal service is phenomenal - legendary even - couriers are still popular.
Multiple story car rental place. Renting cars is also popular, since owning one is expensive with fees, taxes, and parking, not to mention exorbitant highway tolls. Because space is at such a premium, many structures have to rise up instead of going wide - so bike parking places, car parking lots, as well as tons of restaurants and shops are small, narrow, and multi-story.

An older residence. These are becoming rarer sights in Tokyo. One reason is there is a formula by which the value of the building falls year after year, until it hits zero. (I believe this takes 20-30 years.) So homes tend to be built with inferior materials and then torn down after a few decades.
 More after the jump:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Vintage Japanese Lenticular Cards

I'm a big fan of old ephemera from Japan: paper items, menko cards, records, etc. One very fun type is lenticular cards, which were popular back in the day. Here's a video I shot of a number of vintage Japanese lenticulars, including a couple of really unique items.

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