Behold the delicate beauty and cleverness of this interactive Japanese children’s book by Megumi Kajiwara and Tathuhiko Nijima. Entitled Motion Silhouette, the handmade book features white pop-up silhouettes between each page. Shining a light on either side of the silhouettes cast moving shadows onto the pages that help tell the story. Ghosts appear before frightened a sleeper, a train travels down tracks and across the face of the moon, someone makes a wish on a dandelion head and then blows out birthday candles, butterflies flutter and what appears as a tree on one page turns into lightning flashing above a cityscape on another.

Click here to watch a brief video that offers a closer look at this enchanting book.

Motion Silhouette is a sequel to a previous book by Kajiwara and Nijima entitled Silhouette. These beautiful works of interactive art are handmade to order.Click here for order inquiries.

[via Colossal]

We thought these creepy yet strangely serene ceramic space and biker babies might help make your day a little more awesome. They’re the work of Japanese artist Shigeki Hayashi, who uses traditional ceramic techniques to create decidedly futuristic pieces inspired by science fiction and Manga.

"The somewhat unusual baby motif, as gallerist Aki Nakanishi revealed in an essay about the artist, stems from the 900 AD story “Taketori-Monogatari,” where a woodcutter discovers a baby from the moon in a bamboo tree — perhaps one of the first science fiction narratives in existence.

Hayashi’s works at times resemble dolls or action figures, and intentionally so. The artist toys with the idea of mass production, giving his work a polished, refined look that makes it appear machine-made, though each piece is sculpted from clay using Japanese ceramic techniques that date back to the 13th century.”

Head over to Shigeki Hayashi’s website to check out more of his fascinating ceramic creations.

[via Hi-Fructose and Weezbo]

We aren’t sure if this Giant Isopod iPhone case would deter phone theft or actually encourage it, but either way it’s creepily awesome. You could chat on your isopod phone while snacking on a batch of adorably creepy isopod sausages or actual giant isopods.

Created exclusively for sale in Japan, these limited edition communication crustaceans come in both silver and gold versions, which sell for $80 and $120 respectively. Only 500 were produced, so we’d better buy plane tickets soon if we hope to snag one for ourselves.

It probably won’t fit in your pocket. But if your phone looked this fantastically freaky, would you ever want to put it away? Neither would we.

[via Geekologie]

This awesome video was created by some Japanese students making the most of their after school classroom cleaning duties by turning them into an opportunity for serious shenanigans. Uploaded by YouTuber Daiki Ikeda and entitled “Blackboard War II”, the stop motion animated video depicts an epic battle between one student trying to clean the blackboard and another determined to draw on it.

Their fantastic fight takes place in both the third and second dimensions as they move from battling with chalk drawings to actually becoming drawings themselves. We don’t want to spoil any more of the fun, so you’ll have to watch the video to see how their creative conflict unfolds.

[via RocketNews24]

Behold the awesomeness that is Bandai’s new “Samurai Taisho Darth Vader” action figure. Designed by Takayuki Takeya, this impressive figure was recently unveiled at the International Tokyo Toy Show 2014. Standing 7.8 inches tall, the design seamlessly “fuses the aesthetics of feudal Japan and imperial galaxy far, far away.” Look closely and you’ll noticed that Vader’s samurai armor features the emblem of the Galactic Empire in place of a Japanese family crest or kamon.

Also known as “Movie Realization Samurai General Darth Vader,” this fantastic action figure is set to be released in Japan during winter 2014. All of our fingers and toes are crossed in hope that it’ll be released worldwide later on.

[via Kotaku and RocketNews24]

How good is your posture? In Japan sitting with a hunched back is known as neko-ze, which translates to mean ‘cat’s back.’ Odds are good that many of us are sporting neko-ze right now as we sit in front of our computers. Poor posture is bad for our backs and can lead to other health issues.

That’s why Japanese toymaker Bandai is putting out this awesome set of eight hunchbacked cat figures, in hopes that slouching office workers will place them beside their computers as a friendly reminder to sit up straight. Say hello to weirdly cute toy kitties and goodbye to neko-ze.

As further encouragement, the series of capsule toys will include four secret cats who sit upright with perfect posture. Right now Bandai is only sharing their silhouettes, so we’ll have to wait until the June 24, 2014 release date to get a better look at them.

[via RocketNews24]

It may be hard to believe, but this incredibly lifelike lobster is entirely made of boxwood. Hand-carved and fully articulated, it’s the painstaking work of 25-year-old Japanese sculptor Ryosuke Ohtake and an awesome example of form of uniquely Japanese sculpture known as jizai okimono.

"The craft involves carving realistic animals whose bodies and limbs are all animated through joints just like the real living thing. Some common subjects are birds, fishes, snakes and insects. It’s a craft that originated in the late-Edo period (late 1700s) when metalsmiths and armor makers, faced with a decline in demand for armor, found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. But ever since it’s modest beginnings, the lobster, with its numerous joints and undulating back, has been considered to be the most difficult and challenging subject."

What’s perhaps even more unbelievable about this amazing creature is that it was Ohtake’s very first jizai okimono piece. It was shown as part of a wooden sculpture exhibition which took place at Tokyu Department Store in Tokyo this past April.

Click here to watch a brief video to get a closer look at this truly astonishing wooden crustacean, how it was made, and how realistically every single part of its beautifully articulated body moves.

Then visit Ryosuke Ohtake’s Facebook page to check out more of his amazing sculptures.

[via Colossal]

The Department of Miniature Marvels is thrilled to discover that they can add gardening to their list of work-related hobbies. A recent trend in Japan has people raising itty-bitty bonsai plants less than 3cm in height. Called cho-mini bonsai, or ultra-small bonsai, they’re the perfect green hobby for people who don’t have much gardening space or simply love exquisitely teeny-tiny things. The completely kawaii pots, wee gardening supplies and mini display shelves that are made for cultivating cho-mini bonsai are almost as awesome as the tiny plants and trees themselves.

Visit RocketNews24 for additional images.

Los Angeles-based cinematographer directed this fascinating short documentary about Iijima Hiroki, a 22-year-old who fuses breakdancing moves with dextrous manipulation of an ancient Japanese skill toy called a Kendama.

The kendama consists of three wooden cups of different sizes placed on the center of a wooden spike, with a smaller cup at the spike’s base and a ball connected by a string to the center piece. It’s a complex variant of the cup-and-ball toy, but the two toys share the same principle, which is catching one object with another, where both are joined by a string.

Hiroki is a stylish and precise performer and clearly delights in every single moment spent playing with the kendama. He’s so good at it that he’s now redefining the game itself. Ballard calls a Kendama Samurai. We think he’s right.

[via Design You Trust]

We already thought Relaxing Bear Omelettes (Rilakkuma Omurice) were ridiculously cute, but we may have briefly lost consciousness at the the sight of this mind-blowingly kawaii Corgi rice omelette. His body is made of plain white rice and rice mixed with ketchup. His ears have been decorated with two little slices of ham and his eyes are probably oval pieces of seaweed

"And the nose…well the nose looks like a jellybean, or maybe a chocolate covered peanut. Neither one is generally considered to go well with omuraisu, but with all the sweetness radiating from the adorable design, we doubt one little piece of candy is going to make that big a difference."

We may not recover from the sight of this edible corgi until we find a real life corgi to pet. Until then we’ll be walking on air.
[via RocketNews24]

We already thought Relaxing Bear Omelettes (Rilakkuma Omurice) were ridiculously cute, but we may have briefly lost consciousness at the the sight of this mind-blowingly kawaii Corgi rice omelette. His body is made of plain white rice and rice mixed with ketchup. His ears have been decorated with two little slices of ham and his eyes are probably oval pieces of seaweed

"And the nose…well the nose looks like a jellybean, or maybe a chocolate covered peanut. Neither one is generally considered to go well with omuraisu, but with all the sweetness radiating from the adorable design, we doubt one little piece of candy is going to make that big a difference."

We may not recover from the sight of this edible corgi until we find a real life corgi to pet. Until then we’ll be walking on air.

[via RocketNews24]