Category Archives: japanese craft

The best looking Skateboard decks….ever

If you’ve been reading our blog, then you know that we posses a great affection for skateboarding, three members of our staff can be regularly found riding their boards when they’re off from work on the streets of Nagoya or on one of the many indoor skate parks.(yes, Nagoya, voted one of the most boring cities in Japan is really kind to its four wheeled residents, including an outdoor park right in the center of the city!).

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DogBowl Nagoya

A wave of excitement swept through our office when we received a press release announcing the production of four decks which truly capture the Japanese spirit.

Combining Japanese culture and skateboarding would mostly end up in a deck with the graphics of some famous Japanese manga, anime character, or just a Kanji Character and would  produce nothing more than a bored yawn from our skaters…but this time they truly took notice.

Have a look;

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What you’re seeing, are four high quality SilverFox Canadian maple 7-ply decks with a supreme finish of Urushi lacquer!    Not just any lacquer, but Yamanaka lacquer which dates back to the Azuchi Momoyama period, which not only sounds like a very long time ago, it actually is.

They come in four versions:

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(apprentice geisha)

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I can hear you thinking(I developed that skill after years of diligent zen training at my local temple), “won’t that be too fragile?”. Nope,   the lacquer layer actually increases the durability and resilience of the board.

True though, as any skater knows, your board will get damaged and eventually end up in the dust bin or on your wall, it just takes longer with these boards and until that time you’ll have the sickest board in the park. Priced at $130,- they aren’t that more expensive than any other deck….well maybe double as expensive , but they last twice as long, it’s simple math!

We ordered all four, but I won’t let my skate colleagues have them, they go on the wall until each of them reaches their yearly quote (which is set impossibly high) a better stimulus just doesn’t exist!

If your interested check out their site, and drop us a mail if you’re interested!

Serge Roso JWS

Ps. Our website will be down on Tuesday the 11th of April  for renewal.

 

 

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First fake food hairwear, now footwear!

Passers-by will be salivating over your delicious-looking footwear.

One of the most enticing things about eating out in Japan is the chance to gaze upon stunning food replicas in restaurant display windows, which show exactly what they have on offer, in beautifully recreated plastic form. The food samples are so popular that small versions can be purchased at specialty shops as souvenirs, but for those who want to add some delicacies to their wardrobe, Japanese retailer Fake Food Hatanaka is the place to go.

▼ Fancy a décolletage dripping with delectable citrus? This store has you covered.

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Fake Food Hatanaka first wowed us back in 2013 with their head-turning range of jewellery and headbands, which caused a sensation online again this year with some more snazzy updates. While a browse through their collection turns up some curious products, some of their showstoppers can be found in the company’s footwear department, with two pairs of boots that look so refreshingly delicious we don’t know whether we want to wear them or bite into them!

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The “Orange Cake Short Boots” retail for 10,800 yen (US$104), which is not a bad price, considering that most of the restaurant-style food replicas retail for 10,000 yen each.

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The juicy-looking sliced oranges have been carefully arranged around each boot to enhance the realism and give them an aesthetically pleasing finish.

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▼ The long Orange Cake Boots retail for 28,000 yen.

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This design features an extra serving of delicious orange slices, with the base colour resembling a warm, cooked cake surface.

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▼ It’s the perfect way to brighten up a dreary, rainy day!

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Although with fruit as realistic as this, you might want to keep some oranges nearby to stop yourself from licking your boots!

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If you want to add some zest to your shoe collection, head over to the Fake Food Hatanaka store, where the boots can be ordered online for shipping around the world. While you’re there, you might want to check out all their other amazing products, like drinks, sweets, and sandwiches too!

Source: Fake Food Hatanaka

Rocket 24 news.

One Piece and music lovers can now add Brook’s iconic Shark Guitar to their collections!

The new instrument is also perfect for confusing your bandmates when you tell them that your biggest musical influence is a skeleton.

Fans of One Piece‘s “Soul King” Brook should be pleased to know that the jammin’ skeleton’s very own Shark Guitar is now available for preorder!

This guitar is a welcome collaboration between Premium Bandai and Shimamura Music, and is made entirely in Japan with a body crafted from American basswood. In addition, the parts are produced by Gotoh, a Japanese guitar hardware and accessories company known for their top-notch quality. In other words, this isn’t just some cheap anime tie-in product, but a bona fide musical instrument fit for the pros.

Check out the Shark Guitar’s sleek design, faithfully replicated from the One Piece anime:

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▼ Amusingly, the output jack is located right in the mouth area.

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▼ This sweet official plate adorns the head.

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▼ The Shark Guitar also comes with a hard case, a leather strap, and a certificate of authenticity acknowledging your own guitar’s unique serial number.

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▼ Detail of the leather strap

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▼ Guitar specifications

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Both Premium Bandai and Shimamura Music are now taking preorders for the Shark Guitar, with an expected shipping date of September. Shoppers should be warned that the guitar will set them back 270,000 yen (US$2,640), tax included, but that’s a small price to pay for dedicated fans of Brook…right?

If not, Shimamura Music is also selling 27 collectible One Piece-themed guitar picks. A pack of two randomly selected picks goes for just 450 yen ($4.40), which should make your wallets just a teensy bit happier:

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Enjoy jammin’ the Seven Seas on your very own quest to become the best guitarist there ever was!

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Sources/Images: Premium Bandai, Shimamura Music

Chic canvas carriers let you cut a playfully stylish figure.

Japan’s just about to enter its rainy season, and day after day of gray skies can leave some people feeling pretty blue. So if you need a way to keep your spirits up during such devitalizing times, consider reminding yourself of the mental fortitude of Japan’s warrior class with a bit of samurai-style fashion.

With some chance of rain in Japan on just about any given day over the next few weeks, if you’re stepping out you’ll want to take an umbrella with you. But should the weather hold, or before you head indoors at your destination, you can slide your umbrella into one of these cool carrier bags decorated with an illustrated samurai sword.

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The latest product from historical-themed design company Sengoku, the bags are made from canvas produced in Okayama Prefecture’s Kurashiki City, a town famous for its high-quality textiles, preserved buildings and canal district.

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For the maximum effect, you’ll of course want to make sure you use the bag with an umbrella that has a handle shaped like a katana grip.

 

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Sengoku also offers plain umbrella bags, for a look that gives up some of its awesomeness in exchange for extra elegance.

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The umbrella bags, called Touken Kasakaban in Japanese, go on sale June 10, and can be purchased from Kurashiki-based retailer Baistone.

 

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Useful art: Porcelain sake glass.

Do you drink your Chateau Margaux from a paper cup, your Duvel beer straight from the bottle?

Click away, now you cultural barbarian, because the “rice wine glass” is for those who enjoy the best things in life to the full. A basic product, no matter how good, is  not at its best without the proper accessories…a lovely cognac is so much better experienced in a tulip or balloon glass than in a small glass with ice. A Canon D1 will take such better pictures when equipped with a proper lens..hey even I became a better version of myself after I met my wife (but this is more due to diligent training).

So why would you spend 18,000 yen on a glass to drink a 5000 yen sake?  Well simply because you can. If you have the means to live a life with few limitations, why would you limit yourself to drinking sake from an inferior glass?

The Rice wine glass’ foot,  stem and  bowl are made out of one piece, a first in the world. The soil used is of the highest quality used for Amakusa pottery from Kumamoto prefecture. Any sake lover worth his salt will tell you that sake is best drunk from a porcelain cup.  The fine craftsmen from  Tashiro Toukiten  shaped the glass to look like a rice kernel and its almost sexy in shape, held against the light you can do nothing but admire the beauty of this glass.

There are no limits to what you can put in this glass of course, even beer would taste better in this glass and yeah you can put your chateaux Margaux in it too…..what are you still doing here, you Neanderthal  !

This would make agreat fatherday’s gift too, and even if your father hasn’t tried the delights of Japanese sake, he’ll sure be willing to give it a try with this glass!

Check out Tashiro Toukiten onlineshop to find more amazing tableware

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Serge Roso JWS

Extremely stylish rotating fan will set you back some serious yen.

When it comes to household items that are “beautiful,” there are all sorts of things that might fit the description. For example, glassware, lacquer ware containers, or, if you’re really getting crazy, even toilets could be viewed artistically — but when it comes to electric fans, they’re all pretty much function over form. Sure Dyson has some wicked good looking fans, but changes are big that most of your trendy friends already owe one….besides that, Dyson’s modern designs don’t fit in any room.

Panasonic is about to change all that with a very limited-edition electric fan featuring a laquered case and gold-colored interior.

 

All of this combines to create an electric fan that looks more like a relic from the Heian court than a modern functional device.

▼ We can almost imagine Murasaki Shikibu writing next to it in the summer.

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The glossy exterior is the result of the application of Echizen lacquer, a traditional Fukui Prefecture craft with a history that goes back 1,500 years. Each of the fans, which are part of Panasonic’s “air generator” lineup called simply “Q”, are individually lacquered by crafts workers. As you can imagine, a product like this is a bit of a rarity, and the company plans to release only 100 units.

 

▼ We can’t blame them! Lacquering 100 fans is more than enough work.

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▼ Though they certainly do look amazing!

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And, in case you’ve forgotten, these air generator fans are totally functional — they offer two modes: Air circulation and electric fan mode. The air circulator mode is designed to output a blast of air while the fan mode is designed to create something that feels like a cool, natural breeze.

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If you’d like to see the fan in action, be sure to check out the commercial below! It’s way, way more dramatic than an ad for an electric appliance needs to be.

▼ And yet, it’s also kind of awesome!

If you’re thinking you need one of these limited-edition, super fancy fans for your home, you can buy one now! But be warned, this will probably be the most expensive electric fan you ever see — Panasonic isn’t even offering a recommended retail price! However, they do say that it will likely cost about 100,000 yen or about US$920.

▼ It’s outrageous! But…also super pretty.

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You can purchase one of these special lacquered Q fans on Amazon Japan, though if you live overseas, you’ll need Japanwebshopping. And if you like the design, but don’t want to spend quite so much money, you can also get a regular Q fan for 28,800 yen (about $265).

パナソニック サーキュレーター 創風機Q クリスタルレッド F-BL25Z-R

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Panasonic

 

 

 

Kabuki performer Ainosuke Kataoka and Nikko create a breathtaking kumadori mask.

Famous Kabuki performer Ainosuke Kataoka has teamed up with Ishikawa Prefecture’s veteran ceramic manufacturer Nikko and 3D scanning experts  K’s design lab to create a handmade 3D scan in bone china of his face wearing Kabuki’s traditional face painting called Kumadori.

The make-up describes what kind of character the performer portrays, red and white are the colors of heroes and warriors, Blue makeup can represent a ghost, spirit, or other magical creature and Greys and browns can be used sometimes, particularly when representing animals, oni (demons), yōkai (monsters..yokai watch!), or anything else inhuman.

The pattern chosen by Ainosuke Kataoka is that of  Suji-kuma of the Aragato Kabuki samurai. The mask will come autographed and in a beautiful box. This is a piece of art made for true lovers of Kabuki and mask collectors.

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This mask will be limited to 10 pieces only though and reservations will start at 10 Am on June the first….making it even harder to get than a kabuki ticket!

It doesn’t come cheap either at a price of ¥ 1,080,000, but that’s the price one has to pay for exclusivity and beauty…..

 

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If you can get your hands on one of these, you’ll probably have the only copy outside Japan and that makes it even more desirable as a collector’s item.

We will try to reserve a copy for you, but in this case, we can’t make you any promises. You can’t be short strapped for money though, as shipping will be costlier than usual, you don’t want us to toss this in a big envelope, tie it to a pigeon, say a little prayer and release it…

Serge Roso JWS

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