Topic: Japan

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Rintaro Hara’s Projection Wall of bubbles

A large, soapy grid of netting rises up in front of eight small fans. Huge bubbles are blown into the room towards the person pulling the net up into place with a pulley. This is Rintaro Hara's Projection Wall, an int...

Emmanuelle Moureaux’s gridded rainbow installations

Tokyo-based French architect and artist Emmanuelle Moureaux visualized a decade of 'the future'—2017 to 2026—as a numerical rainbow forest in an installation for The National Art Center in Tokyo. The 2017 commission, ...

The Link Between Japanese Samurai and Real Indigo

Real indigo-dyed clothing is not like the blue you know. Richer than the chemical blues used on most fabrics today, real indigo dye comes from a plant and has a surprising range of qualities: on fabric it is antibacte...

How Jun trained his cats to shake hands and ride a bike

Jun Yoshizuki runs a popular Japan-based cooking YouTube channel called Jun's Kitchen that's known for good food and his sous-chef cats: Haku, the orange bike riding cat, Poki, the black and white cat, and a smaller o...

Life With Snow: Clearing a rooftop full of snow in the Japanese Alps

Heavy snowfall (yuki oroshi or 雪下ろし) is common in Japan's snow country, a section of Honshū along the Sea of Japan and into the Japanese Alps. In snowy Nagano Prefecture, circa March of 2013, Seiji Yamada and Taku...

How Yodoe oil-paper umbrellas are crafted in Japan

There's a long tradition of making oil-paper umbrellas in Yodoe, a city in the Tottori Prefecture of Japan. The process involves over 70 steps, crafted on a variety of specially-made tools by skilled artisans, includi...

Who will get to the top of these slimy stairs first?

In this viral clip from the long-running, biannual Japanese television special All-Star Thanksgiving (オールスター感謝祭), six men compete to get to the top of the stairs where a treasure awaits. The twist: The stairs...

How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen

How is Japan’s Shinkansen, a long-nosed bullet train that travels up to 240–320 km/h (150–200 mph), like a kingfisher? Or an owl? Or an Adélie penguin? In this video from Vox and 99% Invisible, we see how these three ...

Making a rice straw animal sculpture, a time lapse for the Wara Art Festival

A wooden framework and curved plastic pipes provide a solid structure for 'knit' bundles of wara or rice straw, the byproduct of the season's rice harvest. As volunteers work together to tie and wrap the bundles into ...

How Kanazawa gold leaf is made

Far too delicate to touch with fingertips—just one ten-thousandth of a millimeter thick—gold leaf foil is an extremely delicate, almost transparent material. It requires a humid climate, pure water for the manufacturi...

Ballet Rotoscope

A ballerina dances as the joints on her body are traced with a computer-generated rotoscope animation technique, an algorithm that brings a mathematical layer to her natural movements. Ballet Rotoscope (2011) was crea...

A drone with robot arms

This large, six rotor drone with two 5-axis robot arms can grab and carry small items, potentially assisting humans, making deliveries, and assisting in emergency aid missions. It flies up to 60 km/h (37 mph) and tran...

Unendurable line – Design Ah!

Consider this line and its corresponding chorus as they graph and reflect the variables of different objects. It's a visual and aural experiment that can be created for anything... toast in the toaster, the wind in th...

Casdoce (カスドース), a confection made for lords & emperors

Traditional castella sponge cakes, introduced to Japan by Portuguese merchants circa 1550, are cut precisely into bite-sized pieces before they're soaked in bright yellow egg yolks and boiled in a sugar water syrup. T...

Greetings Around the World

When you see friends or acquaintances, do you hug or kiss on the cheek? Do you shake hands or say 'hey' and wave hello before starting a conversation? What greetings are most common where you live? The Cut travels...

The art of carving, Haruya Abe

By carving simple yet elegant patterns into pottery, Japanese ceramicist Haruya Abe has created a beautiful line of handmade dishware and a large instagram following. His account features short videos of his diligent ...

Haruki Nakamura’s surprising paper karakuri animals

Japanese paper crafter Haruki Nakamura designs mechanical paper karakuri-style animals that peek and pop in surprising ways. Karakuri, meaning 'trick' or 'mechanism', are mechanical automata pieces that were first mad...

The most skips over a single rope in one minute by a team

File under practice and team work: Fourteen students from Japan's Fuji Municipal Harada Elementary School in Shizuoka Prefecture have set the "unfathomably fast" Guinness World Record for most skips over a single rope...

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