Doraemon Appears in Traditional Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print Limited-Edition Release

11.October.2021 | FASHION

Everyone’s favorite robot cat is making a peculiar appearance inside a piece of famous Japanese art! Using traditional Ukiyo-e crafting techniques, the Hanzou company has successfully inserted Doraemon into the painting Fujimigahara in Owari Province by Hokusai, originally created between 1830 and 1832. The painting will be available to preorder online starting October 8, 2021, with only 300 copies available!

 

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print Production Process

 

Engraving by Craftsman

Rubbing by Craftsman

 

First, a sketch is made, and a monochrome version of the print is carved. After carving a number of woodblocks for each color and using them to rub the painting tirelessly to bring it to life, one single woodblock print is completed. The extremely delicate and advanced techniques these craftsmen utilize have been passed down from the Edo period. 

 

The original painting was created after Hokusai turned 70, and took two years to complete. The painting is said to portray the view of Mount Fuji from Fujimi-cho, Naka-ku, Nagoya City. An eccentric piece for the time, looking closely shows that each and every line and dot was meticulously calculated. Note the vivid indigo sky and the abundance of blue shades that Hokusai loved to use. Doraemon and Nobita are shown having fun as they make barrels, a welcome departure from the more stoic figure in the original painting. 

 

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    19.October.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    To celebrate the location’s first anniversary, the Kadokawa Musashino Museum will hold a 360-degree experimental exhibition titled Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris starting October 30. The theater continuously holds showings to help share Japanese culture with both domestic and international visitors. 

    Bowie as Kidomaru. Masumi Ishikawa for the Ukiyo-e Project

     

    Momoiro Clover Z and KISS. Megumi Oishi (BALCOLONY) for the Ukiyo-e Project

     

    In the Edo period, the price of one ukiyo-e print was 28 mon, the same as a bowl of soba noodles. The word ukiyo means ‘this world,’ and these paintings captured the familiar and the mundane. In that period of time, these creations were what television, the internet, and Instagram are to us today. In the 19th century, ukiyo-e pieces first appeared in Europe and made a large impact on impressionist artists, which continues to this day. 

     

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  • Nagoya Castle “O.SHIRO Collection” Fashion Show Streaming Online

    09.October.2021 | FASHION

    GQ Japan and ITOCHU Textiles have released a video of The “O.SHIRO” Collection Vol.2 fashion show, highlighting domestic textile production areas around Japan. The video is now available on the special GQ Japan website, as well as the GQ Japan official YouTube channel. 

     

    GQ was first published in the United States in 1957 and is now published in 21 countries around the world. 

     

    The “O.SHIRO” Collection (o-shiro meaning ‘castle’ in Japanese) is a collaborative collection bringing Japanese textile producers and fashion brands together. The first event was held at Okayama Castle in 2019, with Okayama being an area known for denim production. The second event was held at Nagoya Castle, located in the famed Bishu wool production area. The theme of the most recent showing was ‘ethical consumption,’ a big topic in manufacturing. Three increasingly global brands took center stage: ANREALAGE, beautiful people, and sulvam. Models present include Taiki&Noah, Dori Sakurada, Mila Aina, and Satsuki Nakayama. 

     

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    『GQ JAPAN』Illustration by Koji Toyama (C) 2021 Conde Nast Japan. All rights reserved.

  • Exhibition Featuring Famed Silk Fabrics from Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture Now Open

    06.October.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture is known throughout Japan and the world for its silk production. Beginning on September 18, a new exhibition is inviting guests to see some of the incredibly beautiful fabrics to come out of the area, particularly highlighting Reiko Sudo, an innovative cloth-maker living in the area. These stunning pieces are being displayed at the Matsugaoka Reclamation Site, celebrating 150 years of history in 2021 and known as the birthplace of Tsuruoka silk. In particular, Sudo’s own Kibiso fabrics, created with the intent of blending long-held traditions with modern technologies, will be making an appearance! Kibiso refers to the first silk that comes off the cocoons in industrial silk spinning. 

     

    Kibiso Stripes & Streaks2018 Photo Sue McNab

    Kibiso ZoriPhoto Keiko Matsubara

    Swinging Cherries2021 Photo Keiko Matsubara

    An exhibit featuring the production process, original design sketches, and prototypes

    Kibiso – Ogarami Choshi Sheets2018 Photo Keiko Matsubara

    Ogarami Choshi, the byproduct of the silk mill: Photo Keiko Matsubara

    The First Cultivation of the Matsugaoka Reclamation Site 




    Tsuruoka City is the only region in Japan where the entire silk-making process–from caring for silkworms to dying and wearing–is completed in a single place. Silk production began in 1872 when the former Shonai clam’s samurai warriors began cultivating new lands around the Matsugaoka area. During the Meiji period, a local inventor named Saito Toichi invented the automatic weaving machine, making the production of silk fabrics much quicker and easier. The new fabrics were exported around the country to be used in dresses, and silk production quickly became the area’s main industry. 

    Kibiso, a type of thread made from the first silk discharged from a silkworm, has been in production since 2007 and is breathing new life into the area’s industry. The thread is hard and thick, making it very difficult to work with–but once these works are completed, the textile is extremely durable. It holds moisture well, has antibacterial properties, and will help protect the wearer from UV rays. Combining new designs with functionality, Kibiso also cuts down on waste, and museums in the United States and the United Kingdom currently have some of these creations on display, with more requesting installations. 

    At the current exhibition, 29 unique textiles, mainly Kibiso, are hung from the ceiling. Visitors are allowed to touch each of these pieces, and can also view the entire creative process from sketches and prototypes to the final product. All pieces were created together with the members of NUNO, a textile design studio directed by Sudo. The designs were decided on through conversations with craftsmen throughout Japan. By reviewing traditional processes and helping them evolve to suit modern needs, Kibiso was born and is helping to revitalize the silk industry in Tsuruoka. 

    A highlight of the exhibition is ogarami choshi, a byproduct of silk production often caught in the thin metal tubes of silk mills. These can be torn into sheets and used for new creations, and by doing so, helps reduce waste. 

  • Colorful Collection of Wajima Lacquered Goods Appear at Yokohama Takashimaya

    02.October.2021 | FASHION

    An exhibition featuring artisan Hiroshi Nakakado’s unique lacquerware will be on display at Yokohama Takashimaya from September 29 until October 5, 2021. Wajima, located in Ishikawa prefecture, is home to 25,000 people, and a number of craftsmen producing Wajima-nuri, known throughout the country as some of the most durable and beautiful lacquered products in Japan. 

     

     

    Umbrella Dessert Dish: ¥31,900

    Umbrella Dessert Dish: ¥59,400

    Coffee Cup & Saucer: ¥49,500

    Pasta Bowl: ¥30,800

    Cube Vase: ¥26,400

    Umbrella Cup: ¥52,800

    Limited-Edition Takashimaya 190th Anniversary Goods | Wine Glass: ¥67,100 / Dry Lacquer Sake Cup (small): ¥33,000 / Dry Lacquer Sake Cup (medium): ¥35,200 / Oval Tray: ¥60,500

     

    Nakakado Lacquerware, established in 1928, specializes in the top coating of Wajima-nuri, the traditional lacquerware made in the small city of Wajima, in Ishikawa prefecture. Nakakado Hiroshi, a fourth-generation craftsman, is one of the leading experts on ‘colored lacquer.’ Using his unique technique, each piece is treated like a canvas and painted on appropriately. Gazing at each detailed piece, it’s easy to see that Nakakado has over 40 years of experience in his field–he has created over 100 different colors of lacquer, and continues to create modern lacquerware featuring trendy techniques such as gradation. His innovative pieces break the mold of traditional Wajima-nuri, and are beginning to become popular with younger generations. 

     

    In recent years, the production value of Wajima-nuri has begun to decline, largely due to changes in lifestyle, the aging population, and a lack of successors due to the low birth rate in Japan. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to foreign tourism, with local tourism also in a steep decline over the past year. Compared to the amount of production in 1991, the current rate is only 20%, and the number of workshops and craftsmen continues to decline year after year. 

     

    If you’re in the area, be sure to check out this exhibition highlighting one of the traditional crafting areas of Japan. Purchasing any of these items will also help revitalize Wajima city, and hopefully, bring more attention back to this fading craft. 

     

  • Chiba City Museum of Art Brings Ukiyo-e Exhibition to Osaka’s Takashimaya Department Store

    21.September.2021 | SPOT

    New Prints: The Evolutionary Beauty of UKIYO-E, featuring pieces from the Chiba City Museum of Art, will be held at Takashimaya Osaka from September 15-27, 2021. 

     

    Ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints, were exceptionally popular as a Japanese art style from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Now, a new exhibition coming to Osaka is highlighting the ‘Shin-hanga’ movement, which took place during the early 20th century and focused largely on the creation of pieces to sell to foreign markets. The man behind this movement was Shozaburo Watanabe, who commissioned artists to design prints blending traditional Japanese techniques with unique elements of Western paintings at the time, such as shadowing and different perspectives. 

     

    The exhibition will contain 120 works selected from the Chiba City Museum of Art’s Shin-hanga collection, ranging from early masterpieces such as Goyo Hashiguchi’s ‘Woman at her Bath,’ Ito Shinsui’s ‘Before the Mirror,’ as well as rich depictions of Japanese landscapes by Hasui Kawase and international landscapes by Hiroshi Yoshida. 

     

    Selection of Featured Works

     

    Twelve Months of Tokyo: Evening Glow at Yanaka – Hasui Kawase. 1921. 

     

    The Twelve Months in Tokyo series consists of twelve paintings based on sketches made by Kawase between December 1920 and October 1921. While twelve pieces were planned, only four circular pieces and one square piece were completed. Evening Glow at Yanaka depicts a five-story pagoda glowing faintly in the light of the setting sun. Kawase has stated that as he finished sketching the piece, he heard the sound of a bell, and for some reason, he had the uncanny feeling that he needed to straighten his collar. 

     

     

    Sailing Boats in the Morning: Inland Sea – Hiroshi Yoshida. 1926.

     

    Yoshida began work on the Sailing Ship trilogy in 1921 under Shozaburo Watanabe, but all of his woodblocks and most of his works were lost in the Great Kanto Earthquake. Five years later, Yoshida decided to tackle the project again, this time deciding on six pieces. In contrast to the originals under Watanabe, these pieces tackled more nuanced periods of time and give a stronger sense of tranquility. Pay attention to the slight variations in color and light. 

     

    Before the Mirror. Ito Shinsui. 1916. 

    This is the first Shin-hanga work by Ito Shinsui. The piece only uses three colors: red, black, and white, and utilizes serrated carving to give the impression of shadows. Using layers of rare high-quality red paint, this work has been deemed a masterpiece by fans of the movement, conveying Shinsui’s subtlety when depicting the feminine figure. 

     

    Fashions of the Modern World: Tipsy – Kiyoshi Kobayakawa. 1930.

    This portrait of a modern lady is one of six in the Fashions of the Modern World series by Kobayakawa, and is regarded by many as the best in the bunch. Produced between 1930 and 1931, the artist portrayed the unique personalities of women, rather than sticking to tradition. The woman in this portrait isn’t demure or quiet, but instead shows off her short hair, a cigarette, rings, and a cocktail in her hand, showing a different side to the Japanese women of the period. 

     

    Combing the Hair. Goyo Hashiguchi. 1920. 

    With her overflowing black hair and elegant appearance, the subject of Combing the Hair makes it clear why this is Hashiguchi’s most representative work. The woman’s name is Tomi Kodaira, and she modeled for many of the artist’s works, being discovered by him as she was modeling at a nearby art school. The pose is said to be inspired by Rossetti’s Lady Lilith, but her expression is unique to Hashiguchi and the typical style of ukiyo-e. 

  • ‘UCC CAFE@HOME’ Release Coffee to Match Doraemon & Dorami’s Favorite Snacks

    07.September.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    UCC Ueshima Coffee is currently developing the Food with Coffee themed ‘UCC CAFE@HOME’ selection, pairing snacks with a perfectly matching coffee. Doraemon is the latest to appear in the CAFE@HOME series in the new collaboration, designed by Sanrio. The new series features coffee and gifts based on the Doraemon characters’ favorite snacks and was released on September 3, Doraemon’s birthday.

     

    CAFE@HOME Doraemon Series

     

    UCC CAFE@HOME DORAEMON Dorayaki Suited Coffee VP10g: ¥281 (Tax Incl.)

     

    UCC CAFE@HOME DORAMI Melon Pan Suited Coffee VP10g: ¥281 (Tax Incl.)


    UCC CAFE@HOME NOBITA Caffeine-free Coffee VP10g: ¥281 (Tax Incl.)

     

     

    Gifts

    UCC CAFE@HOME Doraemon Secret Gadget Print 6-piece Set: ¥1,901 (Tax Incl.)

    UCC CAFE@HOME Doraemon Open Lot Printed 6-piece Set: ¥1,685 (Tax Incl.)

     

     

     

    Goods

    Doraemon Mug (Dorayaki): ¥1,540 (Tax Incl.)

    Doraemon Cotton Handkerchief (Yellow) ¥990 (Tax Incl.)

    Present Campaign Freebie: Original Coaster

     

     

    CAFE@HOME, main product and cafe brand of UCC Group’s COFFEE STYLE UCC, are releasing a lineup of Doraemon themed coffees, each to be drank with the characters’ favorite snacks: One to go with Doraemons beloved Dorayaki, one for Dorami’s preferred Melon Pan, and a caffeine-free blend for the sleep-loving Nobita.

     

    UCC has been researching coffee and food combinations for many years, using taste sensors to analyze both the coffee and food before diagnosing the comparability rating between each product. The company has patented their ‘Food Matching System’ technology, which has now been used to find out which coffee would be best suited to Doraemon’s Dorayaki.

     

     

    An in store campaign has been announced to celebrate the release of CAFE@HOME’s Doraemon series, starting on September 3. During the campaign, customers who spend over ¥3,000 on CAFE@HOME’s Doraemon series will receive a free coaster. The coasters are only available in store and are limited in quantity.

     

    Taste the world of Doraemon for yourself with UCC CAFE@HOME’s special coffee technology!

     

  • Doraemon Tokyo Banana Now Available by Mail-order Nationwide for Limited-time

    23.August.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Tokyo Banana World has started selling 8-packs of the new Doraemon Tokyo Banana by mail for a limited time. The treats will be available on the Tokyo Banana Official Online Shop until September 14. (Once they’re gone, they’re gone.) 

     

    In the first week of release, the Doraemon Tokyo Banana sold over 150,000 units. 

     

     

     

    Doraemon Tokyo Banana ‘Found it!’ (8-pack): ¥1,188 (Tax Included)

     

    The Doraemon Tokyo Banana is a fluffy, gluten-free sponge cake baked in a Doraemon pattern with rich banana custard cream in the center. The treats come in a cute gift box adorned with Doraemon’s smiling face. 

     

    The sponge cakes come in 6 different designs, with the Takecopter design being the rarest. If you snag one, consider it good luck!

     

    ©Fujiko-Pro,Shogakukan,TV-Asahi,Shin-ei,and ADK

  • New Lottery Campaign Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

    18.August.2021 | ANIME&GAME

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Kawasaki-based Fujiko F. Fujio museum on September 3, a book fair lottery event featuring a variety of the manga artist’s works is coming to bookstores nationwide starting August 13. For each specially-marked manga or book purchased, participants can grab a special sticker as a prize. These stickers are new versions of those from last spring’s ‘Not-only-Doraemon Sticker Lottery.’ 

     

    10th Anniversary Pin (©Fujiko-Pro/Shogakukan)

    10th Anniversary Denim Doraemon Plushie (©Fujiko-Pro/Shogakukan)

     

    *Images submitted from social media.

     

    The prize stickers for the campaign don’t only feature beloved characters from Fujio’s beloved Doraemon series, but also familiar faces from Perman and Kiteretsu Daihyakka. These are perfect for decorating smartphone cases, notebooks, or anywhere that needs a manga makeover! 

     

    There are also two secret stickers, along with two special rewards for lottery winners. You’ll have to win to find out which characters are featured!

     

    As part of this event, a special photo campaign using these stickers will be held from August 13 to September 30. Just follow the official Doraemon Channel Instagram and Twitter and post a photo featuring a prize sticker of your choice with the hashtag #NotOnlyDoraemonStickerLottery (#ドラえもんだけじゃないシール) to enter. 10 people will be randomly selected to receive both the 10th Anniversary Pin and Denim Doraemon Plushie!

     

    Which sticker set would you choose? Who is your favorite Fujiko F. Fujio character? 

     

    ©Fujiko-Pro/Shogakukan

  • Special Area for Doraemon Tokyo Banana Opens in JR Tokyo Station

    10.August.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / SPOT

    Popular souvenir brand Tokyo Banana is celebrating 30 years! These tasty treats are a must-buy for those visiting Japan, and now, a familiar face will be popping up at a special area in the JR Tokyo Station Tokyo Banana shop: Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station opens on August 6, 2021. Our favorite blue robot-cat just turned 50 in 2020, and this is the perfect way to celebrate!

     

    Doraemon Tokyo Banana ‘Found it!’ 

    Shop Image

    Package Design

     

    The Doraemon Tokyo Banana is a fluffy, gluten-free sponge cake. Created to celebrate the original creation of these dreamy sweets, the special Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station area is now open at JR Tokyo Station. Adorned with various super cute designs, you’ll also be able to find these treats at convenience stores across Japan!

     

    Visitors will also be able to purchase a special gift box, complete with a gently smiling Doraemon design. The box contains eight Tokyo Banana sweets, and is perfect as a souvenir for family and friends–or even for yourself! The sweets within are decorated with random Doraemon designs, so you’ll have to open the box to find out which ones you got! This item is sure to bring joy to all Doraemon fans both young and old.

     

    A two-pack Doraemon Tokyo Banana will also be available. Three different Take-copter varieties and three different Anywhere Door varieties will be on sale, each with uniquely adorable designs to make you want to collect them all. Be sure to check out this special area, and pick up some memorable gifts!

     

    (Please note that the shop has certain quantities of each package, and not all packages may be available depending on the date.

    This product is manufactured in the same facility as products containing wheat flour.)

     

    ©Fujiko-Pro,Shogakukan,TV-Asahi,Shin-ei,and ADK

     

  • This Doraemon Eco Bag Collection is Inspired by the Anime Character’s Secret Gadgets

    12.July.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Japanese clothing retailer BLACK OJICO released two new eco bags as part of Sanrio’s “I’m Doraemon” series on July 2.

    Eco Bag・I’m Doraemon Small Light

     

    Eco Bag・I’m Doraemon Time Cloth

    The designs are inspired by two of Doraemon’s Secret Gadgets: the Small Light which can turn other objects smaller, and the Time Cloth, which can advance or regress an object.

  • Hokusai and Hiroshige Japan Blue Ukiyo-e Exhibition Opens in Shinjuku

    10.July.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Adachi Foundation for the Preservation of Woodcut Printing is currently holding an exhibition centred on the Japanese ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige at their permanent exhibition in Shinjuku.

     

    Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) was a Japanese industrialist who is often known as the ‘father of Japanese capitalism.’ In Japan, people have a strong image of him as being a great man of modern history, but in actual fact one third of his life was lived during the same era as when esteemed ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige were alive. The Adachi Foundation’s exhibition focuses on the colour blue, one which has roots during that era and has gone on to become a prominent colour in present day Japanese companies.

     

    The immense popularity of bright blue ukiyo-e

    Aizuri-e is a type of woodblock print that is printed predominanetly in blue. They were extremely popular in Edo and used Prussian blue, also nicknamed ‘Japan blue.’ Hokusai used this same colour when creating his famous Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, as did Hiroshige, bringing life to the backgrounds and environment.

     

    Japan Blue: Ukiyo-e From Japan to Paris

    Hiroshige showcased his work at the second Exposition Universelle in 1867, making it the first time for ukiyo-e to be properly shown to the world, allowing for the spread of Japonisme. Taken aback by how he used the Prussian blue, the people of Europe praised Hiroshige’s work and named the colour ‘Hiroshige Blue.’ It was a turning point for Japan as the country began opening up to the world, enabling them to witness the skills of Japanese craft.

    The Adachi Foundation is also hosting the exhibition online in VR for free which is available in both English and Japanese. Visitors can enjoy Hokusai and Hiroshige’s work up close.

  • New Doraemon and Korosuke Dessert Gets Served at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

    28.April.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The Kawasaki-based Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, which is dedicated to the Japanese manga writing duo who created Doraemon, is now serving up its new Doraemon Korosuke Chiffon Sandwich which was added to the menu on Wednesday.

    Doraemon Korosuke Chiffon Sandwich | ¥1,280 (Tax Included)

    The new arrival sees Doraemon and Korosuke turned into chiffon sandwiches with the beloved blue robot cat made from chocolate and filled with banana cream and his friend filled with mango cream.

     

    Check out some of the other items available on the menu at the museum too.

    Doraemon Arrabbiata | ¥1,230 (Tax Included)

    French Toast de Anki Bread | ¥980 (Tax Included)

    Fork into the Doraemon Arrabbiata with tomato sauce and a Doraemon face made from egg sheets, or a French toast inspired by Doraemon’s Copying Tost, one of his many Secret Gadgets.

     

    ⒸFujiko-Pro

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