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201 posts tagged Japan

In Japan you can enjoy your favorite anime, cartoon and video game characters as more than simply visual entertainment. They’re also available as sweet treats. These kawaii confections are a form of wagashi (和菓子) called nerikiri (練り切り). Made from white bean paste and rice-based dough, nerikiri are often tinted and molded similar to how marzipan is prepared in Western desserts.

These pop culture-inspired nerikiri were all made by Japanese Twitter user Otakumi at a wagashi shop called Kuramoto Hinode, which is located in the Tokushima Prefecture of Japan’s Shikoku island.

Follow Otakumi’s Twitter feed

You can also try your hand at making your very own nerikiri. Click here for the recipe.

[via Kotaku]

After you’ve awarded your cat with the World’s Best Cat Trophy, treat yourself (or your neighborhood Crazy Cat Lady) to a pair of earrings custom-made to look like your favorite feline. Let your kitty dangle from your the ears to show the world just how awesome they are.

These pieces of fabulous feline finery are the work of Leo the Cat Gallery, an online Japanese shop that uses photos of your pet to custom-craft earrings in their likeness. Leo the Cat’s earrings are available in four styles: Head Only, Full Body, I Spotted My Kitty, which depicts your cat peeking out from behind your earlobes, and the top-of-the-line option, My Kitty’s Hanging On, which features your cat dangling from your ears. Hang in there kitty!

"After sending in your cat’s photo, Leo will draw up three different designs, based on your requests such as colors you prefer or additional accouterments you’d like. For customers with gold allergies, earrings made with plastic resin parts are also available."

Leo the Cat Gallery is currently working through a backlog of orders, so they’re aren’t accepting new orders until September at the earliest. In the meantime you can follow them on Instagram to see many more photos of their fine feline fashion accessories.

[via RocketNews24]

The leaf pictured at the top of this post isn’t a leaf at all. It’s made of paper and is an exquisite example of the Japanese art of papercutting is called Kirie (切り絵, meaning ‘cut paper’). All of the extraordinarily delicate examples of the Kirie seen here were handmade by a self-taught Japanese artist named Akira Nagaya, whose skills were first discovered about 30 years ago while he was working in a sushi shop.

"One of his first tasks was to learn sasabaran, a technique to create decorations by cutting slices into bamboo leaves. Back at home, and recalling his boss’s demonstration, Nagaya tried to practice using paper and a utility knife. He found that the technique came quite naturally, and he enjoyed doing it.”

Years later Nagaya was still making his intricate paper objects when he opened his very own restaurant and decided to display his kirie “for fun.” When a local newspaper showed up to review his restaurant they spotted his creations and encouraged him to display them in a gallery.

“That was the first time I even considered what I had been doing as art,” recalls Nagaya.

Head over to Akira Nagaya’s Facebook page to check out many more of his marvelous cut paper creations.

[via Spoon & Tamago]

Oh Japan, you’ve done it again. Perhaps the only thing better than eating yummy slices of toast is eating toast shaped like an adorable teddy bear that cheerfully sits up to greet you right before you devour it.

Called the Ernest Bread Pop Up!, this delightful product is the work of Japanese company Tokyu Hands. It even comes with three interchangable facial expressions so you can customize your scrummy toast bear before you send him to your belly.

[via Bored Panda and the Huffington Post]

"I’m so hungry I could eat a horse the world!” This weirdly enticing fried chicken burger is served on a blue and green planet Earth bun. It’s on the menu at the Orbi Yokohama science museum, a collaborative creation by the BBC and SEGA located in Yokohama, Japan.

We already love learning about and doing science, but the opportunity to have science-y fun while also eating some unnaturally blue food is practically worth the price of the plane ticket.

[via Kotaku]

Summer means spectacular sand sculpture season. Here we see an international team of sand sculptors work on various large and elaborate sections of the 2014 Yokohama Sand Art Exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. This year’s theme is ‘Culture City of East Asia’ and the exhibition producer, sand sculptor Katsuhiko Chaen, invited artists from around the world to help create sand sculptures of World Heritage and historical buildings located in China, Japan and South Korea.

The sculptors are using sand taken from the Tottori Sand Dunes, Japan’s largest coastal dunes. So much sand has been brought in for the exhibition that they even had some for visitors to play with. The largest piece measures nearly 53 feet long by 10 feet tall. That’s an awesome amount of sand.

Photos by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Visit Design You Trust for additional images.

Today the Department of Awesome Parenting travels to Japan where a creative mother, who goes by the name Sasariri on Twitter, creates beautiful bento lunches that are both delicious and educational. Each of the meals pictured here are edible geography lessons, each one identifying a different Japanese prefecture by both shape and name.

Sasariri says she’s now made a bento lunch for every single prefecture, complete with countless kawaii details. Visit RocketNews24 to view many more.

[via RocketNews24]

Before today it had never occurred to us that birds and bananas are at all similar. Now that we’ve seen this wonderfully weird and ridiculously cute series of parrot-banana hybrid Epoch Gashapon toys, we’re dying to see how other fruit and fauna pair up.

According to RocketNews24, these banana birdies are selling so well that the manufacturer has plans for a whole series of “parrot-foodstuff mash-ups.” The parrot-mushroom hybrids seen in the bottom image are coming out next.

Photos via @mel__t, Netorabo, @suicarin, @yasuu22, @akky_1981, and @nyairu1.

The parrot-banana series actually includes a number of birds from the parrot family from little cockatoos to the splashy Macau.

[via RocketNews24]

Kutani Choemon is a Japanese pottery shop that’s been operating since 1879, creating exquisite pieces of handmade, hand-painted pottery. However just because their business is 130 years old and they still create their lovely wares in the traditional fashion doesn’t mean they’ve no interest in incorporating modern subject matter into their work.

Here you can see musicians, skateboarders and surfers delicately rendered in beautiful blue Kutani color glazes. Of course our favorite piece is the flute player whose head bears a striking resemblance to our very own Horse Head Mask.

Visit the Kutani Choemon shop to view more of their wonderful, whimsical creations.

[via Colossal]

Japanese artist Miho Yata combines knitting with stop-motion animation to creates short films that she calls “Yatamimation.” Her latest piece is this charming production, entitled Film Muffler, made using long knitted mifflers that depicts a sweet love story in the old-timey style of silent films, complete with a cute piano score.

Visit the Yatamimation website to check out more of Miho Yata’s crafty creations.

[via Make:Craft]