Archive for the japan Category

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.

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.


The larger than life Kaiju looms over the building and is visible from the rooms!

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?

Official Website


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!


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.

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?

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Karakuri puppets are traditional Japanese mechanized puppets or automata, originally made from the 17th century to 19th century.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.


The books came out in the 70’s, designed for kids. I wish my childhood library contained them!

I think these are some of my favorite vintage Japanese monster illustrations out there

See more here.

Toru Kamei

Posted in art, death, japan, nature on January 13, 2014 by bettiemuldoon

Vanitas art by Toru Kamei has stolen our heat.  “Toru KAMEI was born in 1976. He is inspired by Vanitas and try to express transience but beautiful, by drawing common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death, flower, which symbolize transience of beauty.”

Here is a lovely way to start your week. The bats may not fit the vanitas theme, but, well, SWS welcomes the deviation.



Toru Kamei 1

Toru Kamei All the Flowers and Insects (2007)

Toru Kamei


Information is scarce. Source


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!!!


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.


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”.


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…

Macoto Murayama

Posted in art, graphic design, japan, nature, sculpture on January 28, 2013 by bettiemuldoon

Posted by proxy from Dana’s “stuff to blog” queue while she is on medical hiatus. She reads and appreciates all comments…and apologizes for not being able to respond at the moment.

CG illustrator Macoto Murayama renders flowers by highlighting their geometric and mechanical structure. The results are quite stunning.





For further reading:

Macoto Murayama 

Desktop Goodies 7/28

Posted in absurd, advertising, anatomy, art, Books, comics, film, food, humor, japan, kitsch, medicine, oddities, postcards, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2012 by shewalkssoftly

It looks like I was featured on Freshly Pressed, which has brought some new readers to this blog. If you’re new here…welcome! Please relax and stay a while…like this guy (by Michael Pratt):

Let me entertain you…

The cat does not appear to find this hairstyle flattering.

If swimsuits covered 99% of the body with the finest layered long sleeves and trousers…I’d be more like to wear one in public.

By comparison, this classic striped number looks positively scandalous.

Sea Lions…with human brains.

Violent beatings are always a great way to sell a product.

Few things go together like guns and Christianity…

…or kids and cigarettes.

…or booze and mornings.

Head of marketing campaign: “Don’t you see? We’re not selling a product, we’re selling a lifestyle!

Let’s look at happy things now, shall we? Like this laxative-dosed child.

I SAID…be happy!

Something tells me the gelatinous fish pie is not going to be the kiddie crowd pleaser this ad implies.

Yes. This is exactly what they do. This…and drool on things.

It’s what all the hipsters are using:

The “Health Belt” does absolute wonders…if you’re a man who happens to be sketched on paper.

What happens when there’s a fight on family portrait day in 1858.

Crazy Cat Lady dreams…

My thoughts originate from a 2″ X 2″ square of brain perpendicular to my eyeballs, in the very center of my forehead.

And if you want to know the depths of a woman’s thoughts, look no further than this handy diagram.

…Well then the whole trip is ruined:

This is a deeply profound message. See it. Feel it. Know it.


Double amazing.

May you all have a knockout day.

Meteorite Chocolates

Posted in food, geek, japan with tags , , on May 13, 2012 by shewalkssoftly

Hey guys, remember the Planetary Chocolates I posted about? Well, the company has now come out with a set of Meteorite Chocolates.

Since I can’t read Japanese, I’m afraid I have no further info. But there product page is here.

Desktop Goodies 4/23

Posted in art, fashion, food, humor, japan, monsters, photography, potions, street art, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by shewalkssoftly

I was taken aback upon looking at this because it feels like someone did a high-contrast caricature of me without my knowledge (if you doubt it, see photo on upper right). Got the hair and my spindly little limbs down…

Hanging: you’re doing it wrong.

Files, not piles.

Has anyone been to the Heinz Haunted House? If so, I want to hear everything about it. Ketchup blood everywhere?

Chocolate Covered Strychnine! I wonder if fierce convulsions and eventual asphyxiation due to paralysis of neural pathways would be enough to deter me from something covered in chocolate.

Ten Realms Within the Body (1885). So THIS is what goes on in there. I knew it.

Ma’am, you have a…oh…nevermind.

If he were mine, I’d name him “Fluffy.”

Ah, this piece of street art reminds me of my many evenings spent in the subversive act of reading…my Wild(e) Nights.


How rare to see a cute piece of street art (this one is by MORA):

A monster I’d like to meet…providing it agrees to stand still long enough for me to read its heads.

You too, sir? What a coincidence.

Yikes. It’s about to get violent.

I seriously hope this is a “brain fog” typo.

“Let go. Be afraid. You all taste so much better when you’re afraid.”

Some pretty sweet skills (no artist credited):


I believe this actually comes from a company that makes theatrical hats. Brilliant.

Now, I don’t mean to undermine someone’s “art,” but if this scrap of paper sold for $500, I picked the wrong field when I decided to study medicine.