Hammerhead Studio in Yokohama, Japan closed in 2014 but this new interactive installation by Lens gives a unique take on what used to be. Shot from above in ultra high resolution video, Giraffe’s Eye allows you to see the daily routines of the artists who inhabited the building with a simple touch of a screen. Really cool idea! See more images and video below.
Here’s a video from a Japanese show about people repairing old things. This episode features Nobuo Okano, a man who has been restoring old books for more than 30 years, breathing new life into a customer’s old English-Japanese dictionary for his daughter.
This is so Japanese, I love it. Thanks to photographer Valerie Chiang for passing this along to me. Watch the clip below!
New York-based filmmaker Erik Shirai successfully funded his documentary, The Birth of Saké, through Kickstarter and it recently screened at Tribeca (Variety gave it a great review here). The film explores how saké is made at a family-owned Japanese brewery named Tedorigawa. It looks beautiful and sad. Watch the official trailer below.
Nobumichi Asai and a team of digital designers and make-up artists return with a new video expanding on their “Omote” real-time face tracking and 3D projection mapping idea. They now refer to this as “face hacking”. This kind of technology will be amazing for live performances, watch the video below.
There’s an element to this story that is quite delightful but it also has the makings of an epic horror movie. Nagoro is a small village in the mountains of southern Japan, now home to three times as many life-sized scarecrows as people. The dolls are being made by 65-year old Tsukimi Ayano, who moved back to Nagoro after years of being away to take care of her father. Ayano has slowly replaced residents, who’ve either moved away or died, with a whimsical scarecrow.
The 35 remaining residents are now vastly outnumbered by the dolls and living in what has to be the most surreal village during the day, and pretty much my worst nightmare at night.
The image above gets creepier the more I look at it. Have a look at more images from Nagoro below.
This video makes me proud to be Japanese. Hebocon was a contest held last year in which 31 “technically ungifted” Japanese people built robots and pitted them against one another in a sumo-style tournament. The crappier a robot was, the more respect it was given. One girl forgot her robot on the train, on her way to the tournament, and went and had a beer instead. She was praised for her ” act of supreme crappiness”.
Robots that made it to the venue to battle were actually penalized if they were deemed too high-tech, and there was a trophy, designed by a third-grader, for the most low-tech robot. The winner of the tournament ultimately felt ashamed for trying too hard. Watch the video below, at the end you can see all the robots in action (I love their names).