Archive for japan

Hikari Shimoda

Posted in art, japan with tags , on July 30, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Hikari Shimoda blurs the boundaries between cuteness and horror in her neon-spattered manga style depictions of children (often in heroic costume).

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She feels the ambiguity and fluidity of childrens’ identity makes them excellent subjects
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Some are sweet, yet slightly soul-less…
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And some paintings look like the fallout after an explosion at a toy factory.
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Here’s my favorite piece:
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Hikari Shimoda

Desktop Goodies 7/10

Posted in absurd, advertising, art, Books, cats, horror, humor, japan, kitsch, monsters, oddities, photography, satire, undead, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Apologies for skipping a couple days this week, but between huge health setbacks and mold remediation in the SWS house, things are a bit hectic.

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What happened on this beach to necessitate a sign like this (well, I guess that’s self-explanatory).
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What question did someone ask him to warrant this answer? Ideas?
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I’m assuming this is a gag product (the source where I found it said it’s unironic, which was perhaps more entertaining than the ad itself).
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Facing the shadow…
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I had to look up where this fellow came from. Now I must see Ultraman Tarou. Has anyone seen it?
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Well, that’s supportive.
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Careful, parents, it could happen to you.
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Answer: don’t.
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Now THIS cat is a work of art.
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“Hey, you’ll never believe where I’m calling from.”
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Godzilla Hotel

Posted in destinations, japan, monsters with tags , , on March 4, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

My dear friend Lindsay linked me to a post about the forthcoming opening of a Godzila themed hotel in Japan.
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The 30-story hotel sits atop the Shinjuku’s Toho Cinema, and there is an “observation deck” if you want to get up close and personal with Godzilla.

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The larger than life Kaiju looms over the building and is visible from the rooms!
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The hotel contains a few Godzilla View Rooms, which have windows that looks out directly at the giant head. Would you like Godzilla to watch you sleep?
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Source
Official Website

Kintsukuroi

Posted in craft, home, inspiration, japan, wish list with tags , , , , on July 20, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Kintsukuroi is a concept very close to my heart. Like these pieces, my body bears the marks of having been broken and put back together again (multiple times). Oh, the stories a few inches of skin can tell!

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I find these items breathtaking, and would very much like to create one or have one in my home. Upon reading about this technique and philosophy, I was reminded of a thrift store statue I purposely bought in a broken state (despite the urging of a well-meaning shop owner to opt for one in better condition); a angel holding a bird whose wing had broken off. Though no more than half an inch was missing, the entire meaning of the statue changed with that broken wing. The bird was not dallying for a moment in the midst of carefree flight as originally intended, it was being cradled, protected, healed by a benevolent protector.
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As I continue to move through my (still unspeakably slow and challenging) physical recovery, I rejoice in the lines on my flesh that saved my life and the metaphorical gold within them. I am not broken…I am Kintsukuroi, right?
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Take time to love the imperfect, the discarded, the reconstructed and overlooked treasures around you (or ON you!). As Leonard Cohen once sang “There’s a crack in everything…that’s how the light gets in.”

Japanese “Karakuri”

Posted in antiques, automata, japan with tags , , on July 14, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

This is one of the most skilled antique automata I’ve seen. Most have limbs that move, but this one actually carries out the task of drawing a bow and shooting an arrow! This particular masterpiece was made 200 years ago. Watch:

From Wiki:
Karakuri puppets are traditional Japanese mechanized puppets or automata, originally made from the 17th century to 19th century. The word karakuri means “mechanisms” or “trick.” The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment. Three main types of karakuri exist. Butai karakuri were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri were small and used in homes. Dashi karakui were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends.

Gojin Ishihara

Posted in art, japan, monsters, retro with tags , , , on March 27, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

My friend Stacey linked me to this awesome collection of Japanese monster illustrations by Gojin Ishihara.

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The books came out in the 70’s, designed for kids. I wish my childhood library contained them!
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I think these are some of my favorite vintage Japanese monster illustrations out there
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See more here.

Nekozushi!

Posted in absurd, food, japan with tags , , on July 24, 2013 by liesjekraai

Proxy/Guest Blogger Liesje Kraai here! Dana has granted me the opportunity to bring you some weirdness while she is on medical hiatus. Hope you enjoy!

 

While stumbling along through the interwebs, I’ve come across some of the strangest things – things that defy explanation and honestly, at times, don’t want any.

Steming from my combined love of sushi and cats, I present to you NEKOZUSHI!!!

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Nekozushi, translated “Cat Sushi”, makes me wish I had a better grasp of kanji. Thankfully, the explanation is translated:

Neko-Sushi is an extremely unusual life-form consisting of a cat on top of a portion of sushi rice.

Although several references have come down to us through history from various researchers and witnesses, their existence is still shrouded in mystery and actual sightings remain rare.

There are several academics who have devoted their lives to the study of  these creatures. According to a number of these, Neko-Sushi make use of gaps in space to come to us from an alternate dimension. Beyond these “gaps” lies the world of the Neko-Sushi in which, it is recently understood, lies the true identity of the cats that dwell with us here in the human dimension.

Yep. Makes perfect sense.

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And if you’re still confused, there’s a helpful documentary:

But most perplexing of all is the sushi snow globes, hidden in the “Online Shop”.

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With no English translation, these bizarre microcosms of herding maguro bombard my brain with endless streams of “Wha-??” That being said, I wish my Japanese language abilities permitted me to purchase one of these amazing little enigmas. Fortunately, my artistic abilities may permit me to one day make my own…

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