Japan’s Manga Artists Join Hands For New Manga Project Depicting Life During COVID-19
26.May.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Over 50 manga artists in Japan are coming together for the launch of the new “MANGA Day to Day” project which will depict daily life during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The project is set to roll out for free in mid-June on Twitter and Comic Days. A teaser by famous manga artist Tetsuya Chiba (Ashita no Joe; Notari Matsutarō) was released on May 22, 2020.
A related project entitled “Day to Day” is also taking place over on the Japanese literature news website TREE where over 50 popular authors have penned writings and essays on the restrictions of today’s everyday life. In addition to Japan, both projects have caught the attention of overseas news media and websites too. Like the related “Day to Day” project, “MANGA Day to Day” will have one new manga strip released for free each day on Twitter and Comic Days. A piece entitled Akudama by Tetsuya Chiba is already available to see over on the project’s official Twitter account.
People’s lives have changed drastically as a result of the pandemic. To pass down this time in history to the next 100, or even 200 years, the pieces contributed to the “MANGA Day to Day” project will be compiled into a book that’s scheduled for release in early 2021. A special edition of the book will also be compiled featuring both the manga and writing pieces.
Be sure to follow the Twitter account below to keep up to date.
Universal Studios Japan to Release Snoopy, Elmo and Other Cute Character Face Masks
In an effort to ensure the safety and protect the health of guests and staff, Universal Studios Japan (USJ) introduced strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on June 8, 2020, such as limiting the number of people who could enter the park each day and enforcing thorough cleaning routines. This enabled the park to reopen after its temporary closure. It has since been able to deliver its scope of fun and excitement to guests, albeit in a more structured way.
USJ wants to make wearing masks more fun too, and so it is releasing a range of character-inspired face masks, such as Snoopy, Elmo and the Cookie Monster, on August 7. Part of the money made from sales of these masks will be donated to the USJ Wonder Kids Program which helps support children in need.
Universal Studios Japan original design masks
The masks’ unique designs take the mouths of each character. These can be worn together with each respective characters’ headband which are also sold at USJ. Designs include Elmo, Cookie Monster, Snoopy, Tim, Jurassic Park, and Jaws.
Photos provided by Universal Studios Japan.
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s20)
Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2020 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
TM & © 2020 Universal Studios.
© 2020 Peanuts
© ’76, ’20 SANRIO
© 2020 Sesame Workshop
TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
TM & © Universal Studios.
TM Universal Studios.
Universal Studios Japan Original Design Face Masks
Release Date: August 7, 2020
Price: Single Mask – ¥900 (Tax Included) / Set of Two – ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
Universal Studios Japan Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/
BAPE® Releases Face Mask Case For Storing Your Mask
24.May.2020 | FASHION
A BATHING APE® released its new face mask case on Saturday (May 23) for people to hygienically put away their face masks, whether to store away or for on the go. The cases will be given to everyone that purchases something from the BAPE STORE® or BAPE.COM in Japan.
The case features BAPE’s iconic APE HEAD design. It’s made from PVC and so can be hand washed so people can safely and hygienically store their face masks. The case can of course be used to store hand sanitiser or hand wipes too.
BAPE® MASK CASE
Release Date: Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
Available: BAPE STORE® and BAPE.COM in Japan to all customers. One case per transaction. Available while supplies last.
Product Page: https://bape.com/blogs/news/bape-mask-case
Mori Art Museum Encourages People to Stay Creative at Home With Free Online Art Content
17.May.2020 | SPOT
Like many institutions around the world now, Mori Art Museum is temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19. But that hasn’t stopped the museum spreading creativity as it recently launched a new page on its website titled “Mori Art Museum Digital.”
The page comes as part of a new agenda by Mori Art Museum which it is calling “MAM @ HOME” which encourages people to “Stay Home, Stay Creative.” The project aims for the museum to stay connected with people even while the building itself is closed by offering a host of free art-related content.
This includes the “Future and the Arts 3D Walkthrough” which had to end in response to the museum’s closure, an online sneak preview of the postponed “MAM Screen 013: Mounira Al Solh,” the “ARTISTS COOKBOOK” which features recipes, photos and stories from artists around the world, and more.
Program #1: Online Sneak Preview of MAM Screen 013: Mounira Al Solh
Mounira Al Solh – Rawane’s Song (2006)
Mounira Al Solh – As If I Don’t Fit There (2006)
Since “MAM Screen 013: Mounira Al Aolh” has been postponed as a measure against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Mori Art Museum is introducing two works online prior to the official screening: Rawane’s Song (2006) and As If I Don’t Fit There (2006).
Mounira Al Solh works internationally and is based in her home country Lebonan and in Europe. Her work offers humorous takes on everyday events and stories, as well as episodes based on the lives of women from a contemporary society where political and religious conflicts as well as issues surrounding refugees occurs.
Program #2: Future and the Arts 3D Walkthrough
Due to the museum’s closure, “Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow” was forced to end earlier than scheduled. Since then, the museum has been able to share walkthroughs of the exhibition via Instagram Live, as well as photos. Now people can enjoy the exhibition in a more immersive way as the museum introduces a virtual, 3D walkthrough, which they were able to capture thanks to the galleries being empty. It’s a complete recreation of the exhibition for people to enjoy at home.
Special #1: ARTISTS COOKBOOK by MAM
As a special project during Mori Art Museum’s closure, the museum has introduced “ARTISTS COOKCOOK by MAM,” a collection of recipes, stories, and photographs that artists from around the world have shared with them. The first recipe showcased is the “Kusama Lotus” by Kataoka Mami, the Director of Mori Art Museum. She describes lotus roots as reminiscent of polka dots and white nets, and that it’s a dish we could keep eating forever. She calls it a “dish for infinity.”
More recipes can be found on the museum’s official social media pages, so be sure to check them out.
Learning Online: Enjoy, Play, Learn Art @ HOME
Mori Art Museum hosts various programs and events where people can deepen their knowledge about contemporary art from around the world. The museum has posted an archived list of videos from some of their programs which people can tune in to from the comfort of their homes.
Mori Art Museum
Address: Roppongi Hills Tower Floor 53F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato Ward, TOkyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (until 17:00 on Tuesdays)
*Last entries 30 mins before closure
*The museum is currently temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Official Website: https://www.mori.art.museum/en/
Buy These Face Masks and Help Save Japan’s Cats in the Process
08.May.2020 | FASHION
Neco Republic launched online pre-orders of its new face masks, called “SAVE THE CAT MASK,” via its website on May 6, 2020. Neco Republic is a company who pours efforts into helping save cats in Japan; they manage various businesses including the cat cafe Neco Republic which takes in rescue cats, NECOREPA/ which sells a variety of products and items with all proceeds going towards their efforts to taking in stray cats, Neco Ichi Neco Za which is a rescue cat event held in Japan, and more.
The “SAVE THE CAT MASK” series was launched for cat lovers and as a way to help cats in the process. The previous batch of these masks sold out in just two days.
High quality materials and skilful sewing, all made in Japan
SAVE THE CAT MASK – ¥1,980 for one / ¥9,900 for five
The masks are made from high quality natural cotton with all manufacturing carried out in Japan. They are sewed using a Japanese sewing method known as ayaori which ensures elasticity and makes it harder for the masks to wrinkle. The masks can also be washed repeatedly. Maintaining hygiene is of utmost important when it comes to face masks, and so these face masks are made so you can hand wash them lightly with detergent as well as put them in a net before putting them in the washing machine.
The masks are all sewn in Gifu Prefecture which is where Neco Republic is based.
Cute designs inspired by cats
There are five design variations of the masks each inspired by a different cat breed including calico, Russian Blue, tuxedo, white, and black. They are also shaped subtly like a cat which most likely won’t be noticed by other people meaning you can express you love of cats secretly.
Save cats during the process
The masks aren’t only for us humansーthey benefit our cats too. All proceeds from the masks will go towards Neco Republic’s rescue cat cafe as well as be used for the company’s efforts for helping rescue cats.
Neco Republic’s SAVE THE CAT MASK
Left-Handed Ellen Manga Spin-Off Launched by UNICEF to Help Support Children During COVID-19
06.May.2020 | ANIME&GAME
UNICEF Japan launched a spin-off story of the manga series Left-Handed Ellen on May 1 to help support children from the novel coronavirus. The web series gives tips on how to raise kids.
What is Left-Handed Ellen?
Left-Handed Ellen is a web manga series written by Kappy and illustrated by nifumi. Kappy became popular for his Facebook Police web manga. Left-Handed Ellen was the first full-length manga series to win the Special Prize at the Cakes Creator Content which was organised by Note. The series was made into a televised drama in October 2019.
The new spin-off made in collaboration with UNICEF Japan takes inspiration from UNICEF’s “6 Hints On Raising Kids” which was released on April 10 this year. It was made with parents in mind who are having to stay at home more with their children now due to COVID-19 and gives tips on teaching them about the virus, spending one-on-one time with them, how to stay positive each day, and so on.
Schools in 190 countries and regions are currently closed as a result of the pandemic, with around 60% of the world’s children at home from the lockdown. The sudden change to everyday life where we’re having to stay at home over long periods of time is sure to cause household stress levels to rise. There is also fear of an increase in fights and abuse at home. Kappy, who himself is raising a child at home, made the following comment with regards to this new manga collaboration.
Kappy | Comment
“I have a daughter who is 1-and-a-half years old. Me and my wife are working together to bring her up. But we’re also swamped with work, so when I’m not in tiptop shape there are times I feel like I can’t raise her to the best of my ability. UNICEF release their own message about this, but I think the most important thing in all of this is to lay down a daily routine so you can live a more peaceful life. And it doesn’t have to be something special. It might be something ordinary that you can do which will benefit someone else. Myself, for example, all I can do right now is draw manga. So if me drawing manga as I usually do helps somebody else in some way, I don’t think there’s a more economical way of doing so. If parents can bring back a sense of normality I believe the kids will be able to relax too. When I hear things about fighting at home and domestic violence my mind automatically wants to think that that has no relation to us. But in these times when we can’t even do the things that are the most natural to us, spending time with family is important, and so I hope [this manga] helps people remember that.”
Stay Home: 6 More Toast Arrangements to Bring the Cafe Experience to Your Home During the Lockdown
Here at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, we post news and information about Japan in six languages. Our aim is to deliver a variety of content related to Japan for those who love and enjoy Japanese culture.
Right now, people across the globe are in self-isolation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for Japan too, so we’ve taken this opportunity to create a new series on the website to show how we’re spending time at home here in Japan. The future is yet uncertain, and we hope for normality to return for all of us soon. We created a new articles series called Stay Home with which we hope to take your mind off the situation, even for just a little bit, to help you feel calmer. It might give you some tips on what you can do while spending time at home.
In this edition of Stay Home, we’re taking a look at six more cute, easy-to-make toast recipes that were featured with the trending Japanese hashtag #おうちカフェ (“Cafe at Home”). Try making them yourself at home for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack.
1: Orange Toast | @candyrose914
Candy Rose’s recipe shows us how to make orange toast. Orange and chocolate is a tried and tested combination. The fresh cream adds a dessert-like quality to the toast.
・Bread ・Navel Orange & Chocolate Jam ・Orange Jam ・Fresh cream ・Orange
1: Simmer the orange in white wine and granulated sugar.
2: Toast bread and smear with the jam.
3: Add a dollop of fresh cream on top.
4: Top with sliced orange and tuck in!
2: Mini Strawberry & Red Bean Paste Butter Toast | @__yk._
yk.’s toast recipe is a combination of Japanese and western flavours with red bean paste and buttered brioche which looks cute when it’s cut thick and small like in the picture♡
・Brioche toast ・Strawberries ・Red bean paste ・Butter ・Fresh cream
1: Toast the bread and add the red bean paste.
2: Top with a strawberry and fresh cream.
3: Finish with a knob of butter and enjoy!
3: Apple Toast | @ruko_0519
KAORUKO’s toast recipe is a great dessert idea too. It’s a super simple recipe made with microwaved apple compote.
・Bread ・Apple ・Lemon juice ・Sugar ・Fruit granola
1: Slice apple with the skin on.
2: Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 30g sugar to the apple and microwave for 3 minutes.
3: Slice a thin slice of bread and toast. Add the apple compote to the toast and finish with a sprinkle of fruity granola.
4: Marshmallow Toast | @woo.rrei
Rei has added marshmallows to their toast to create a fluffy, dessert-like, and cafe-worthy recipe.
・Bread ・Marshmallows ・Chocolate Sauce
1: Slice a thin piece of bread and toast. Top with marshmallows.
2: Toast once again under a grill until the marshmallows take on colour.
3: Drizzle with chocolate syrup and you’re done!
5: Open Avocado Sandwich | @keijunrin
Keiko’s recipe makes a fresh open-style sandwich with lots of avocado. The egg yolk adds a melt-in-the-mouth texture. The texture of the whole thing is nice and smooth.
・Bread ・Avocado ・Pink pepper ・Egg yolk ・Mayonnaise
1: Add the avocado to a slice of bread and grind on some rose pepper.
2: Drop on an egg yolk and lightly toast under a grill.
3: Drizzle with mayonnaise and enjoy!
6: Bread Gratin | @izumxx_37
izumi’s recipe is a combination of bread and “naporitan” which is a Japanese pasta dish. It’s a hearty serving that makes for a great lunch.
・Bread ・Naporitan pasta ・White Sauce ・Cheese
1: Make naporitan and white sauce in advance. Cut the naporitan into small pieces.
2: Slice 1 thin and 1 thick slice of bread.
3: Cut out the inside of the thick slice. Place this hollowed-out thick piece on top of the thin slice of bread. This thin slice forms the bottom of your bread.
4: Add the naporitan inside. Drizzle in white sauce so it’s like a lid over the pasta.
5: Sprinkle on cheese, toast, and you’re done!
Bring the cafe experience into your own home by making your own fun toast arrangements.
#StayHome and Enjoy Art With Pola Museum of Art’s Creativity Packed Website
05.May.2020 | SPOT
Pola Museum of Art, an art museum in Hakone, Kanagawa, has launched a new page on its website for people to immersive themselves in the world of art while at home. From gallery talk videos to painting activities that kids and adults alike can enjoy, the web page is packed full of fun and diverse content.
The page is split into four sections: “Watch,” “Read,” “Create,” and “Learn About Pola Museum of Art.”
A menu of videos showcasing exhibitions and artwork from the museum. This includes videos hosted by the museum’s curators who talk about certain works of art, paintings, art tools, and more.
Learn more about art by reading commentary about artists and their works. This includes manga, life drawing, and much more. Discover the history of these artists, see how scientific research has brought to life the process of how they created their works, and more.
A wide selection of video tutorials encourage you to simply move your hand to create something yourself. From painting to cutouts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
＜Learn About Pola Museum of Art＞
This section is a chance for people who have never heard of the Pola Museum of Art, or who have never visited it, to get to know the place. It covers everything from Fuji Hakone Izu National Park where the museum is located to the work that goes on behind the scenes at the museum.
Pola Museum of Art will continue to update the page, so be sure to check it out.
Pola Museum of Art – Enjoy at Home
Q-pot. Adds Kids Sizes to Next Batch Of Stylish Textile Face Masks
04.May.2020 | FASHION
Q-pot. dropped its new collection of textile style face masks from its “Made in Japan” apparel line Q-pot.Dress via its online shop on April 22, 2020. The company is now taking orders for its 4th batch of masks.
The masks feature the same textile design seen in Q-pot.Dress’s attire collection. The “Chocolate College” design features Q-pot.’s signature motif. Due to high demand, the company is bringing the mask back in a kid’s size. “Honey Lemon” will also be available again.
The “Candy” design from the brand’s autumn collection which was released around Halloween has also been introduced into the fray. The fourth batch of masks are available to order until May 6, 2020 at 23:59 (JST).
The masks are a great way for parents and kids, as well as friends, to coordinate their outfits and look stylish.
Deliveries: Rolling out from mid-September 2020
*Maximum 5 masks per person for all designs.
*Depending on manufacturing decisions, delivery times may range beyond mid-September.
*Resales are strictly forbidden.
*Face masks are not scientifically recognised to help prevent the spread of viruses. Q-pot. requests that customers purchasing their face masks understand that they are not guaranteed protection.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
01.May.2020 | SPOT
With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.
This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.
Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel
Kanazawa: KANAME INN
Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.
Room for Rescue: Request a Room
To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.
Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.
Exercise at Home With Hello Kitty and Shimajiro in New Video Series
29.April.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Kodomo Challenge, a brand created by Benesse Corporation which helps support the growth and education of infants, has joined hands with Sanrio to release a series of exercise videos in English, Japanese, and Chinese. Titled “Exercise with Friends,” the series lets you exercise together with popular characters from Japan.
The first video features Kodomo Challenge’s character Shimajiro and Sanrio’s character Hello Kitty. The video is part of a bigger project called “Daisuki na Minna to Issho Project” (Together With Everyone We Love) which aims to bring smiles to people’s faces and relieve their worries during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
*A Traditional Chinese version will be released on April 30, 2020
The videos are being enjoyed on Japanese social media where people have commended the videos for being easy for kids to follow as well as pretty good exercise for adults too.
Lots of Friends Version (Japanese)
The newest entry to the series adds several other characters into the mix including Kumamon, Mell-chan, and Cheburashka.
Make sure you’re getting in your daily exercise at home during the lockdown, and if you’re in need of motivation, join Hello Kitty and Shimajiro!
Kodomo Challenge Official Website: https://www2.shimajiro.co.jp/
Cute Daruma Doll Of Japanese Mermaid Amabie Released to Pray For End of Coronavirus
28.April.2020 | FASHION
A daruma doll inspired by Amabie has been released by Hanjiro, a company that has been making Shirakawa daruma dolls for 300 years. The dolls were released exclusively online in Japan on April 27 and shipping will begin rolling out from May 6.
Amabie is a three-legged mermaid or merman in Japanese folklore that is set to emerge from the sea to warn of and bring good luck during epidemics. The creature has trended on Japanese social media recently in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Amabie Daruma – ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
Each Amabie daruma doll is handcrafted individually using traditional Japanese methods. It comes in a pastel pink colour and is a great way to brighten up the mood during this dark time. The dolls were created with the prayer in mind for the pandemic to come to an end.
Released: April 27, 2020
Size: 85mm x 80mm
Official Website: https://shirakawa-daruma.stores.jp/
BABYMETAL to Participate in YouTube Music Week Stay Home #WithMe Project
28.April.2020 | MUSIC
BABYMETAL have been announced as part of the line-up for YouTube Japan’s upcoming “Music Week Stay Home #WithMe” program which is set to run from April 29, 2020 to May 6, 2020, dates which run through Japan’s Golden Week.
The program is being held in collaboration with record labels and popular music artists in Japan. 49 acts are confirmed for the line-up, each of which will stream past live performances at scheduled times using YouTube Premiere on their official YouTube channels.
BABYMETAL are set to post the second night of their “BABYMETAL – LIVE AT TOKYO DOME – BLACK NIGHT” concert held at Tokyo Dome on September 20, 2016. It will be posted on May 1, 2020 at 20:30 (JST).
BABYMETAL – LIVE AT TOKYO DOME – BLACK NIGHT
Premiering: May 1, 2020 at 20:30 (JST)
YouTube Music Week Stay Home #WithMe
*The timetable will be posted on YouTube Japan’s official Twitter page.
Use this time to listen to music from your favourite acts in Japanーor perhaps to discover new artists!
YouTube Music Week “Stay Home and Listen #With Me”
Running: April 29, 2020 – May 6, 2020
Taking Place: On artist’s official YouTube channels
BABYMETAL Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/BABYMETALofficial