Posts in Category: japan

The Blinged-Out Work Trucks of Japan Photographed by Todd Antony

For more than 40 years Japanese truck drivers have been piling on lights, patterned fabrics, and other over-the-top adornments to their work trucks, creating moving masterpieces covered in LEDs. This tradition of decorated trucks or “Dekotora” originated from a 1970s Japanese movie series inspired by Smokey and the Bandit titled Torakku Yaro or “Truck Rascals.” Drivers first began decorating their vehicles in the style of the comedy-action films in hopes of being cast in upcoming films. Eventually the extravagant trucks became a way of life for many workers, with decoration costs to produce such elaborate vehicles sometimes running over $100,000.

Although the art form is now seeing a decline after it reached its peak in the ’80s and ’90s, the Utamaro-Kai Association of Dekotora drivers has begun to help raise funds for various charity initiatives, including areas of the country that have been hit by the recent Tsunami. Photographer Todd Antony‘s latest photographic series documents the men behind the association, taking a peek inside their cabs to view the personalization that goes into each piece of machinery. You can view more of Antony’s recent projects on his website and Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

Japanese-Designed Public Restrooms in the Shape of Fish, Crabs, Tree Stumps

Flickr user and photographer Okinawa Soba (Rob) has been documenting the obscure designs of public restroom facilities on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the last six years. Rob has lived on the island, which is home to 1.3 million residents, for nearly 43 years, and has had the chance to explore some of the stranger bathrooms the prefecture has to offer. Included in this group is a koi-shaped bathroom which asks guests to enter through the mouth, a sliced orange, a stubby trunk with windows that have replaced its missing branches, and a robotic crab. You can see more of Rob’s unique Japanese finds (including these Okinawa manhole covers) on his photostream. (via Web Urbanist)

Japanese-Designed Public Restrooms in the Shape of Fish, Crabs, Tree Stumps

Flickr user and photographer Okinawa Soba (Rob) has been documenting the obscure designs of public restroom facilities on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the last six years. Rob has lived on the island, which is home to 1.3 million residents, for nearly 43 years, and has had the chance to explore some of the stranger bathrooms the prefecture has to offer. Included in this group is a koi-shaped bathroom which asks guests to enter through the mouth, a sliced orange, a stubby trunk with windows that have replaced its missing branches, and a robotic crab. You can see more of Rob’s unique Japanese finds (including these Okinawa manhole covers) on his photostream. (via Web Urbanist)

Interactive Culinary Embroideries by Ipnot

Japanese embroidery artist ipnot creates pieces of food and drink that seem to leap off of the fabric and into life. Ipnot enhances the realism of her embroideries by staging them with their real-life inspirations and surroundings, like piles of fluffy rice in a bowl, and slices of stollen crumbling off a miniature fork. Ipnot shares on her website that her grandmother’s embroidery practice inspired her to start, and she uses the needle and thread similarly to the painting technique of stippling. You can see more of the artist’s petite embroideries on Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago).

Laser-Cut Note Pad Blocks Gradually Reveal Hidden Objects

Ingenious note pad designs by Triad, a Japanese company that makes architectural models. The Omoshiro Block (or “fun block”) is made with laser-cutting technology and contains hidden objects and scenes that only become visible as the note paper is used. Emerging almost like an excavated treasure from an archeological dig, some of the more elaborate versions feature notable Japanese architecture like Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera Temple and Tokyo Tower. See more images below!

 

New in The Colossal Shop: LINK Collective’s Glow-in-the-Dark Tokyo Furoshiki Scarf


Famed for its radiant skyline at night, Tokyo glows on The LINK Collective’s newest addition to their modern furoshiki line. Featuring a special soft touch glow-in-the-dark paint, the design by Hannah Waldron captures the Japanese megalopolis’s towering architecture in a contemporary, slightly abstracted design. Mount Fuji and a star-spangled sky watch over the city on a background of cerulean blue, accented with red and white. Throughout the day, the glow-in-the-dark paint absorbs ambient light, and at night the city’s windows, light up.

Furoshiki, the classic Japanese square textile, are meant to be used for a variety of purposes from wrapping packages to picnic blankets and of course, as a scarf. The LINK Collective works with Japanese craftsmen and artists from around the world for their line of hand-made furoshiki. Tokyo and other designs are available in The Colossal Shop.

Japanese Tip: An Exhibition of 8,000 Chopstick Sleeve Sculptures Left Behind at Restaurants

Yuki Tatsumi was working as a waiter in a restaurant when one day, as he was cleaning up a table, he noticed that a customer had intricately folded up the paper chopstick sleeve and left it behind. Japan doesn’t have a culture of tipping but Tatsumi imagined that this was a discreet, subconscious method of showing appreciation. He began paying attention and sure enough noticed that other customers were doing the same thing. Tatsumi began collecting these “tips” which eventually led to his art project: Japanese Tip.

Since 2012, Tatsumi has not only been collecting his own tips but he’s reached out to restaurants and eateries all across Japan communicating his concept and asking them to send him their tips. The response has been enormous. He’s collected over 13,000 paper sculptures that range from obscure and ugly to intricate and elaborate.

left at a restaurant in Kochi

Earlier this month, Tatsumi staged an exhibition in Tokyo where he displayed 8,000 of some of the most interesting sculptures sourced from all 47 prefectures around Japan. “Japanese Tip is a project between restaurants and customers,” says Tatsumi, “to communicate the ‘appreciation for food’ and ‘appreciation of the service’ by using the most common material used at any Japanese restaurant.”

The exhibition has since closed but you can see some of the paper sculptures on his website and you can follow the initiative on Facebook. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

left at a cafe in Mie

Iridescent Lamps by Architect and Designer Taeg Nishimoto

Japanese architect and designer Taeg Nishimoto’s “Blurred” series involves a set of three-sided, sculptural lamps with a changeable layered surface. While appearing porcelain-like during the day, when the lamp is turned on iridescent light emerges from a combination of heat-responsive polyvinyl, heat-resistance polyester sheets and liquid rubber to create a parabolic surface which reacts to air flow from the outside.

The concept is based on “cloud iridescence”, a naturally occurring phenomenon caused by small droplets of water or ice in the clouds that individually scatter, blurring the sunlight. Click here for a more detailed description of how the lamps work and check out more images below.

 

Taeg Nishimoto