Category Archives: traditional japan

One Piece kabuki adaptation officially opens in Tokyo, cast photos begin to surface online

Even 18 years after its initial publication, One Piece continues to enjoy unprecedented popularity around the world, no doubt thanks to the grueling efforts of series’ creator Eiichiro Oda. Since July, fans have been waiting with bated breath after new details emerged regarding a kabuki stage version of the beloved franchise, but that wait is now over–October 7 marked the opening performance of the play, and we’ve finally been treated to some pictures of the cast!

Before we get to the pictures, we have one more exciting announcement to share–it’s been confirmed that Super Kabuki II: One Piece will be performed in Osaka between March 1-25 of next year. That’s great news for any One Piece fans living in the Kansai area or further from Tokyo.

This kabuki adaptation covers the story arc between volumes 51-60 of the original One Piece manga. While it’s true that kabuki has evolved with the times considerably over the past 400 years or so, basing a play on a contemporary manga series is still an incredibly radical digression for the traditional art form. In particular, we’ve been dying to see what the 2-D characters would look like in kabuki costume, and now we’ve finally gotten a glimpse following this past Wednesday’s debut performance.

▼ An original promotional poster for the kabuki adaptation featuring the characters in their regular 2-D forms, along with some first looks at the cast

Okay, are you ready for this? Check out some pictures of the cast below!

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Let’s now take a closer look at some of the individual characters.

Impressively, 39-year-old kabuki star Ennosuke Ichikawa IV plays protagonist Monkey D. Luffy, Boa Hancock, and Shanks all by himself. If you’re confused about why he would play “Pirate Empress” Boa Hancock, remember that male actors have portrayed females in kabuki since the mid-1660s.

▼ Ennosuke Ichikawa IV as Luffy

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▼ Ah, so that’s how they portrayed anthropomorphic reindeer Chopper!

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As fans of the series know, Luffy develops an unusual ability to stretch his body like rubber after accidentally eating a certain kind of Devil Fruit. If you’re like us, you were probably wondering how an actual human could ever pull off that tiny detail in real life–but the kabuki answer is actually quite clever (see the picture below). Additionally, some net users pointed out that the stunt was probably inspired by a dance move featured in K-Pop duo TVXQ’s 2012 music video for “Catch Me,” which was in turn inspired by Marvel’s superhero The Hulk.

▼ Top: TVXQ, otherwise known as Tohoshinki in Japan; bottom: One Piece kabuki version

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If you’re a fan of One Piece, kabuki, or both, be sure to check out a performance of Super Kabuki II: One Piece, which is running October 7-November 25 at the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre in Tokyo’s Ginza district. More detailed ticket and performance information can be found here.

Source: Naver Matome
Featured image: Kabukibito

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Self proclaimed “city of blades” releases bizarre PR video.

Gifu Prefecture’s Seki City has recently released its quirky PR video. This ad focuses on the city’s contribution to daily life with an important product that the city is famous for rather than emphasizing any local accent. Judging by the bizarre scene in the photo above, can you guess what Seki City is famous for producing? Here’s a hint: This video is shear madness!

Give the video a watch yourself.

Seki was famous for its swordsmiths during Japan’s feudal era, and while we’re not entirely clear if it’s still the largest producer of bladed objects in Japan by volume or what, but apparently it’s associated enough with all manner of sharp, pointy things that it warrants this title.

We checked out their website, and yeah they got some awesome blades and best of all they are not out of this world expensive either.

kitchen knives
sommelier knives
wood carving knives

nail clippers

Samurai armour bottle covers, give your bottles a proper Japanese historical feudal look.

Have you ever visited a museum in Japan and found it hard to tear yourself away from the samurai exhibits, wanting desperately to reach past the “don’t touch” sign to prod the delicate folds of metal armour and the faded material with stains from a bloody war?

Well now there’s a range of samurai armour you can take home with you, and despite their petite size, they’re actually faithful recreations of suits worn by famous warriors in Japanese history.

Certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a “Wonder 500” product, awarded to 500 of Japan’s finest goods, foods and travel experiences, this unique range of warrior suits can either dress up your figurines or safeguard your favourite bottle of sake, wine or shochu.

Designed to fit over 900-millilitre (35-ounce) sake (Japanese rice wine) and shochu (Japanese distilled liquor) bottles, the Samurai Armour Bottle Cover range also works perfectly for 750-millilitre (25-ounce) wine bottles.

▼ Clockwise from top left: Date Masumune (7,020 yen/US$58.23), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (8,100 yen/$67.22), Mouri Motonari (7,560 yen/$62.75), Takeda Shingen (8,100 yen) and Sanada Yukimura (7,020 yen).

SamuraiAll5

While each of the characters in the series has an interesting history, you might want to keep an extra-sharp eye on Sanada Yukimura (whose armour appears bottom-left, above) as he will be the star of NHK’s year-long Taiga drama series in 2016.

▼ Two of the most spectacular in the range: the gold Tokugawa Ieyasu and the silver Oda Nobunaga both retail for 10,260 yen ($85.06) each .

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The collection has received a huge response from people in Japan who are eager to get their hands on the well-made suits of armour.

@spgd_minai shows us how a doll owner uses it.

sx7

Or if you’re at their page anyway…what about one of those awesome caps…use it to decorate your room or frighten the crap out of anybody during Halloween.

兜キャップ<br>豊臣 秀吉<br>-TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI-
-TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI- 11,880円(税込)
兜キャップ<br>真田 幸村<br>-SANADA YUKIMURA-
-SANADA YUKIMURA- 11,880円(税込)
兜キャップ<br>徳川 家康<br>-TOKUGAWA IEYASU-
-TOKUGAWA IEYASU- 11,880円(税込)
兜キャップ<br>忍者バージョン<br>-NINJA VERSION-
-NINJA VERSION- 8,640円(税込)

 Samurai Age

These products are all handmade, so if they’re not in stock they need approx. 2 weeks to be created…let us know! JWS request form

A Japanese finishing touch for your living space.

You created your ideal living space, well that is as much as you could afford it of course. You chose some lovely furniture, got this beautiful hard wooden flooring, designer curtains, a LG EG9600  flat screen on the wall, a Bang and Olufsen stereo etc etc….but like many folks you forgot to put the dot on the i (it’s a Dutch expression), opening your kitchen drawers shows stacks of IKEA cutlery, your bowls and cups are a collection of presents and hand outs, your coasters and place-mats an embarrassing mix of souvenirs and flea market articles…..

If you recognize yourself, then it’s time to undertake some action….life is really about the details. Beauty is in the details and first impressions are created by the details caught by the eye. Sure you can throw lots of dough and get yourself an expensive WEDGWOOD & Bentley tableware set, but that tells more about your salary than your taste.

A lovely teak  kakoi coaster set▼

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Let us introduce some fine handmade, original and characterful tableware and accessories from Japan, guaranteed to last a long time and with a simple but subtle design.

These products never tread the line between kitsch and art, they are simply art, they don’t have an “in your face” design, no each article breathes the philosophy of zen….unbalanced, relaxing, and peaceful, believe us when we say that you never get tired of these.

BUNACO(ブナコ)  ボウル

Bunaco wooden bowls are made by winding a thin sliced tape-like natural beech wood around a center, this unique technique creates that groove like pattern of a record. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Bunako created

Bunako created

Taro-cobo▼

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taro-cobo(タロウ工房)の作家(竹之内太郎)の器(陶器)blue(ブルー)シリーズ、ポットtaro-cobo vessel of the writer (Taro Takenouchi) of (Taro workshop) (pottery) blue (Blue) Series

Crinkle mug by Makoto Komatsu▼

セラミックジャパン ニュークリンクルマグ

Potmat by kakoi▼

カコイプロダクツの天然木のクリップボード

カコイプロダクツの天然木のクリップボードカコイプロダクツの天然木のクリップボード化粧箱

Sori Yanagi▼

Most of these products are not expensive and fairly light (shipping)

japanese tableware and accessories

We can get you anything from Japan to anywhere..the cheapest way!