Works by Louisiana-born, Tokyo-raised, Barcelona-based artist Mina Hamada (no relation to me). More 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).
Terrific animated gifs by Japanese illustrator Daisuke Nimura. More below.
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.
Red Bull Music Academy has produced a fantastic documentary series called “Diggin’ In The Carts” about the secret history of Japanese video game music. Watch parts 1 and 2 below!