16.12.14 by Jeff

Mina Hamada

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Works by Louisiana-born, Tokyo-raised, Barcelona-based artist Mina Hamada (no relation to me). More below.

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11.12.14 by Jeff

Life-Sized Scarecrows Outnumber People 3 to 1 in Dying Japanese Village

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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.

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05.12.14 by Jeff

Tetsuya Ishida

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Surreal paintings by the late Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida, who sadly committed suicide in 2005. Would have loved to see lots more work from him. More images below.

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03.12.14 by Jeff

Video of the Day: Hebocon – Absurd Japanese Sumo Wrestling Robots Battle To Be Crowned ‘Crappiest’

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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).

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21.11.14 by Jeff

Animated Gifs by Japanese Illustrator Daisuke Nimura

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Terrific animated gifs by Japanese illustrator Daisuke Nimura. More below.

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02.11.14 by Jeff

Satisfying Video of the Day: The Making of a Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll

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Watch Yasuo Okazaki turn a piece of wood into a beautiful Japanese wood doll, called a kokeshi. Seeing the doll take shape on the lathe, and watching Okazaki bring it to life with precise brush strokes is extremely satisfying. Watch the video below.

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29.10.14 by Jeff

Video of the Day: OK Go’s Incredible Drone Music Video

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The end of this video is one of the most insane things I’ve seen. I was positive it was faked with computer effects but apparently it was all filmed with a special drone, at half speed, to allow the dancers to move as precisely as possible. Even at half speed the effect that’s created is mind-melting. According to Billboard, by the end of the video the drone is actually filming from nearly half a mile away.

At this point there is no one that will ever top an OK Go music video other than OK Go. This one was directed by Morihiro Harano and choreographed by Airman. Watch “I Won’t Let You Down” below!

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18.09.14 by Jeff

Illustrator Wakana Yamazaki

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I’ve become completely obsessed with Tokyo-based artist/illustrator Wakana Yamazaki’s drawings. She’s gone completely off on her own tangent, I love it. I guess you’ll be able to tell how much I like her work by the sheer amount of images I’ve posted below.

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