Limited Edition Sake Released Alongside NFT Art to Share the Value of Japanese Spirits with the World
Two incredible new Junmai Daiginjo bottles, the highest-quality sake, have been released in limited quantities. Hitou ASCENDING and Touka ILLUMINATING were made by sustainable means and incorporate NFT art to share the process of sake creation with the world.
While sake companies keep traditional Japanese production methods alive, some are seeking to solve problems in the sake industry by turning to current technology, like the blockchain and NFTs. In this age of convenience and automation, this particular sake maker is aiming to show the true value and authenticity of Japanese craftsmanship to the rest of the world.
Certain types of sake can only be made and enjoyed at certain times of the year, as they are not suitable for storage at room temperature and can only be consumed for a brief period to get the best taste. Many sake fans around the world might not be aware of this, so the new NFT collaboration aims to educate!
The bottles contain unique ukiyo-e NFT art prints of a dragon and phoenix on the bottle, respectively. Those who purchase a bottle will also find the year of production and bottle number etched onto the glass with lacquer. Be sure to keep the bottle even after the delicious sake is gone!
Rice / Tobe Rice
In Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, farmers have been cultivating this unique brand of Koshihikari rice without the help of pesticides or fertilizers for over two decades. The rice is called the best in all of Japan, and one-third of its yield is used to make sake.
Water / Pure Groundwater
The Japan Median Tectonic Line, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Vein,’ is a massive fault line that is home to numerous sacred sites, including Suwa Grand Shrine, Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine, Ise Grand Shrine, and the Koyasan Mountain. The groundwater found here is some of the purest found in Japan and flows from the Bungui Pass in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has been featured in many publications as one of the most famous power spots in Japan.
Brewing / Ono Brewery
While dealing with some of the harshest winter weather in Japan, the brewery has continued to create sake the old-fashioned way–with human hands. For the creation of these two bottles, the brewers took on the challenge of making a very small amount of sake, something they had never done before. Based on the concept of “making the most of the environment,” the rice was prepared in a special room with no air conditioning under the watchful eye of the master brewer.
Bottle Art/ Ukiyo-e Artist, Shun
The art displayed on the bottle is printed in a unique way, allowing it to be put on display separately. The Japanese-style art is perfect for the collaboration and was inspired by one specific hope: that a new path will open to those who work hard after the many difficulties and troubles caused by the pandemic.
Bottle Making / Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works
The circular label symbolizes the moon (water) and the sun (fire), each representing a world where different values are not only accepted but welcomed. Hand-painted and made with pure platinum and gold leaf by the talented craftsman at Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works in Shiojiri, Nagano, these advanced painting techniques are sure to impress.
Each Bottle Features the Brewing Year, Number Printed in Lacquer
Marked with a unique serial number, all proceeds from the sales of these special sakes will be used to maintain and promote sustainable agriculture, support sake brewers, and bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship to the world.
Junmai Daiginjo – ‘Hitou ASCENDING,’ ‘Touka ILLUMINATING’
Official Site: https://hitoutouka.com/
Ueno’s National Museum of Western Art Celebrates Reopening with Live Commentary for ‘In Dialogue with Nature’ Exhibit
16.June.2022 | SPOT
The National Museum of Western Art, located in Ueno Park, reopened in April 2022 after being closed for renovations for 18 months. The first special exhibition post-reopening will feature Van Gogh’s works in Japan for the first time, along with paintings depicting modern nature from both the National Museum of Western Art and the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.
To commemorate the post-renovation reopening of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, this exhibition traces the development of modern art born out of the dialogue between nature and humankind.
The event was realized in collaboration with the Museum Folkwang, and both institutions were founded on private collections: that of Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874–1921) in Germany and Matsukata Kojiro (1866–1950) in Japan.
The exhibition will feature over 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs from both museums, spanning from German Romanticism to the art of the twentieth century, ranging from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism.
Guests can enjoy all aspects of the infinite expanse of nature as shown in both collections, from the smallest roadside flowers to the vast universe and all humanity contained within. Would you like to come and experience this unique exhibition?
The National Museum of Western Art Reopening Event
In Dialogue with Nature: From Friedrich, Monet and Van Gogh to Richter
Running: June 4 – September 11, 2022
Closed Mondays, July 19 (*Open July 18 and August 15)
Venue: The National Museum of Western Art (Ueno Park, Tokyo)
Hours: 9:30-17:30 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays, Saturdays)
Niconico Museum Homepage: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/niconicomuseum
NAKED’s Popular Night Walk Returns to Illuminate Jozankei Onsen in Hokkaido
30.May.2022 | SPOT
The JOZANKEI NATURE LUMINARIE -WATER LIGHT VALLEY- event is coming back in 2022! The event, which shows off the natural beauty of Jozankei’s rivers, valleys, and forests, from June to October. Guests can enjoy an illuminated walk along the Toyohira River in the Jozankei area of Hokkaido and wander across the picturesque Futami Suspension Bridge.
This year, the park area at the entrance to the event has been redesigned with new lights. A 2.5-meter-high blue dome will welcome guests with an image of water, and the trees and wisteria trellises will be decorated with twinkling golden lights.
Welcome Light Lake *Image from 2021
Forest Water Ripple
Visitors will encounter a variety of unique light art as they stroll through the rich nature of Jozankei guided by the elusive kappa, known to be the guardian Gods of the region. As visitors approach, the river begins to glow while flowers bloom in this interactive art experience. By using projection mapping across the Futami Suspension Bridge and an all-encompassing light show within the canyon, the event hopes to remind visitors that nature is important and worth preserving.
How would you like to spend your summer deep in the illuminated nature of Hokkaido?
JOZANKEI NATURE LUMINARIE – WATER LIGHT VALLEY
Address: Jozankei Futami Park – Futami Suspension Bridge
(Jozankei Onsen Nishi 4-chome, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido)
Running: June 1 – October 23, 2022
June – August: 19:00-21:00
September – October: 18:00-21:00
*Tickets available for guests of Jozankei Onsen only
Official Site: https://jozankei.jp/jozankei-nature-luminarie
NAKED’s Projection Mapping Show at Tokyo Tower Illuminates the City at Night
26.May.2022 | SPOT
Digital art collective NAKED has announced a new projection mapping show taking place at Tokyo Tower starting May 24! Welcome summer with the ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia ~Summer Landscape 2022~ event on the second floor of the 150-meter-high main deck of the classic landmark.
In 2019, the company introduced the ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia ~Cool Japanese Summer~ event, which has now been upgraded to a new version. Guests will now be treated to a colorful show highlighting the transition of the seasons in Japan from the rainy season to early summer to midsummer, filled with hydrangeas, sunflowers, and fireworks. Colorful flowers bloom in the rain giving way to a bright summer day complete with the sound of cicadas and bright white clouds in the sky. After the sun sets over the sunflower fields, fireworks light up the Tokyo sky.
The ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia’ nightscape event was planned, directed, and produced by NAKED, and began in 2014. By combining the night view from the observatory with projection mapping, guests can experience something one-of-a-kind.
Following the original launch of the event, it has traveled to towers and observatories around Japan including Abeno Harukas and the Nagoya TV Tower, playing off the particular characteristics of each locale.
This event isn’t the only thing going on at Tokyo Tower this summer. Guests can also enjoy the DANDELION PROJECT by NAKED and Ryotaro Muramatsu in the northwest section of the second floor of Tokyo Tower’s main deck. The project is based on the concept of world peace and harmony and was unveiled at Miyashita Park, Tokyo Tower, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, and Nijo Castle in Kyoto in 2020. The networked art project invites guests to send their wishes for world peace on digital dandelion fluff to other locations where DANDELIONs are planted around the world, and these messages are delivered in real-time.
Come enjoy this incredible night view while you can!
CITY LIGHT FANTASIA ~Eternal Lights in TOKYO~
Venue: Tokyo Tower Main Deck (Height: 150m) 2F Facing North
Running: May 24 – September 4, 2022
May 24 – June 5, 19:00 – Close
June 6 – July 18, 19:30 – Close
July 19 – August 21, 19:00 – Close
August 22 – September 4, 18:30 – Close
Fee: The event is included in the price of observation deck admission.
Official Site: https://naked.co.jp
Anime Series Chibi Maruko-chan Inspires New Sake from Hatsukame Brewery in Shizuoka
Last year, Hatsukame Sake Brewery, a staple in Shizuoka Prefecture, released a collaborative special edition sake featuring Papa Hiroshi from the anime series Chibi Maruko-chan. The collab makes sense, as the anime series takes place in Shizuoka Prefecture. Bottles sold out incredibly fast, so it’s no wonder that the brewery has now opened orders for the 2022 batch! The special products will be available on June 4, just in time for Father’s Day. Customers can choose from the Junmai Ginjo or Junmai Daiginjo varieties.
Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
The Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022 was made with water, rice, and yeast from Shizuoka, where the series takes place. With a refreshing aroma and a gentle sweetness derived from the Homarefuji rice, the flavor is sure to arouse your palate!
The original label featured on the bottle shows Papa Hiroshi enjoying local sake with tuna sashimi from Shizuoka with Mt. Fuji in the background. All bottles will come with a paper box featuring a similar design. The turtle on the label is the symbol of Hatsukame Brewing! It’s recommended that customers drink their sake with local tuna–it’s the perfect combination.
The Daiginjo variety is made from rare Aiyama rice, known as the ‘Diamond of Sake Rice.’ Polished and carefully prepared by hand, the aroma of the sake is reminiscent of tropical fruits. The final product has a rich sweetness.
Last year’s label showed Papa Hiroshi in a Kimono watching the first sunrise over Mt. Fuji. Be sure to grab a bottle to experience the taste of Shizuoka! Only 223 bottles will be available, so be quick!
©さくらプロダクション/日本アニメーション ©Hatsukame Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. ©Nexus Co., Ltd.
Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
Now available to order
Release Date: June 4, 2022 *After the release date, orders will be shipped within 3 weeks from the order date.
Where to Buy: Saketsunagi Online Shop https://saketsunagi.base.shop
First Phase of Rakuten NFT Art Gallery Offering Works by ORIHARA, Ado’s Image Director
20.May.2022 | FASHION
Rakuten NFT, an NFT marketplace and sales platform, will launch the Rakuten NFT Art Gallery featuring original NFT artwork on May 26, 2022 at 17:00.
Rakuten NFT offers a marketplace where users can buy and sell NFTs inspired by sports, music, animation, and other entertainment. It also gives IP holders a place to publish and market NFTs. The first phase of the Rakuten NFT Art Gallery will include works by ORIHARA, the image director for the popular singer Ado; Numata Zombie!?, the artist responsible for creating the cover art for Ado’s song Gira Gira; and yasuna, known for using incredibly detailed sophisticated techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Users can use Rakuten ID for payment, and doing so will earn Rakuten Points. Purchased NFTs can be added to a personal page and can also be listed for sale on the marketplace.
The NFT art packs to be sold include nine total works by all three artists. ORIHARA will release two works based on the theme of ‘Shibuya Kawaii.’ Numata Zombie?! will release three works depicting girls with pigtails and white hair, while yasuna will release four pieces of art with personal meaning. The latest information on the Rakuten NFT Art Gallery will be posted to the official Twitter page.
Japan’s First NFT Anime Project ‘Zombie Zoo’ to be Released in May
12.May.2022 | ANIME&GAME
Zombie Zoo, Japan’s first animated adaptation of NFT art, will be released this month! Based on the NFT art collection by Zombie Zoo Keeper, a 9-year-old Japanese boy, Toei Animation is in charge of the series.
The main staff, character designs, and an advanced cut of the live-action portion of the series have been revealed ahead of the project’s official release. YP of YURUPPE is directing the series. Jiro Sameyama is the character designer. The character design settings are now on display in the Metaverse at NFT FESTA 2022 SPRING.
©️Zombie Zoo Keeper
Zombie Zoo Keeper
Coming in May
Official Site: https://www.toei-anim.co.jp/zombie-zoo/
teamLab Opens 8th Annual Art Exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Saga Prefecture
From July 15 until November 6, 2022, the ‘teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live’ exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen, an ancient forest at the Takeo Hot Springs in Saga Prefecture. The massive event is held each summer and fall and was named CNN World’s ‘Best Outdoor Art Exhibition to Visit’ in 2021 and one of the Top 10 Art Installations in the world by DesignboomMagazine in 2017.
Works on Display
Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock, 2017
Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats – Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond, 2015
Ever Blossoming Life Rock, 2017
Life is Continuous Light – Azalea Valley, 2017
Rock Wall Spatial Calligraphy, Continuous Life – Five Hundred Arhats, 2017
Split Rock and Enso, 2017
Resonating Forest – Cherry Blossoms and Maple, 2017
Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins, 2019
Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List, 2017-
Resonating Forest in the Ravine, 2019
Abstract and Concrete – Forest Entrance, 2018
Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup, 2016
Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Summer Forest, 2018
Mifuneyama is said to have risen from the Ariake Sea 3 million years ago. The 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park was created in 1845, at the end of the Edo period. The park is home to megaliths, caves, and forests that have been slowly shaped over thousands of years. teamLab believes that the shapes and textures of these objects are important, serving as traces of ancient people and natural changes over time. The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.
The creative team will be holding a number of other high-profile exhibitions this year, including installations in Paris, Tallinn, Shanghai, and Geneva. Their sauna collaboration with TikTok for teamLab Reconnect in Roppongi made huge waves in 2021–guests would take alternating hot and cold baths to experience intense physical sensations while surrounded by digital art.
teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live
Running: July 15 – November 6, 2022
Location: Mifuneyama Rakuen (4100 Takeo, Takeocho Oaza Takeo, Takeo City, Saga)
Official Site: https://www.teamlab.art/jp/e/mifuneyamarakuen/
Fendi and Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai Collaborate on #FendiTsunaguOmotesando Art Project
Italian luxury fashion brand Fendi has teamed up with Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai on a new street art project! ‘TSUNAGU – Omotesando Street Art Project’ was unveiled on April 29, 2022.
The project, which aims to improve the city’s scenery and share positive messages, is on display in Omotesando, a popular area with young people. The canvas is the formal site of the Oriental Bazaar, an iconic part of Omotesando for over four decades. Under the theme of ‘hope,’ three young artists will be displaying their artwork in a massive temporary enclosure on the site. Hopefully, Japan really will open tourism soon so that guests from around the world can enjoy these inspiring pieces!
The first piece of art was unveiled on April 29 and was drawn by Dai Tamura, a young Japanese artist who has attracted worldwide attention after becoming an illustrator for the NBA. The dynamic and powerful compositions vividly depict endangered animals and plants alongside delicate flowers to symbolize hope for the futures of these beautiful creatures.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the next installation coming soon!
TSUNAGU – Omotesando Street Art Project
Location: Oriental Bazaar Former Site
Address: 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official Site: http://www.fendi.com
Popular illustrator and alcohol ink artist Jiji will release her first artbook in May!
This is the first collection of works by Jiji to be compiled and released. ‘Jiji ILLUSTRATION AND MAKING BOOK’ will include around 110 illustrations, including both past creations and new images made exclusively for the book’s release. The compiled illustrations were made in a variety of ways, including with alcohol ink, fountain pens, and by digital means.
Jiji ILLUSTRATION & MAKING BOOK
Release Date: May 2022
Price: ¥2,530 (Tax Included)
Hong Kong and Virtual Exhibition to Reimagine Japanese Contemporary Art, Fashion as NFTs
26.April.2022 | FASHION
From April 21 until May 15, 2022, Startbahn is holding the ‘Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality’ exhibition at a pop-up venue in Hong Kong! A virtual showroom by VIRTRIX is also open for those who can’t attend in person.
‘Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality’ utilizes blockchain technology and NFTs to showcase cutting-edge Japanese creativity in the worlds of fashion, art, and crafts, bringing the physical and virtual worlds together. The lineup was brought together by Startbahn, a leader in blockchain and Web3 infrastructure in Japan. Participating artists include fashion stars Tomo Koizumi and Anrealage, ceramic artist Takahiro Koga, and Yumi Kishi, known for creating digital portraits using artificial intelligence. The latter has appeared in Vogue and worked with Nike.
Participating Fashion Brands / Designers, Artists
Fashion Brands / Designers
B-OWND / Takahiro Koga
SBINFT Market Artists:
Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality
Running: April 23 – May 15, 2022
Venue: Shop Go1, K11 Art Mall (K11 Car Park, 18 Hanoi Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong)
Virtual Showroom / Official Site: https://www.virtrix.io/startbahn/madeinjapan3.0
AmPm Give In-Depth Explanation of NFT Appeal During 5th Anniversary Project
25.April.2022 | MUSIC
In 2017, the masked musical unit AmPm made its debut with the song Best Part of Us, and has continued to attract listeners from all over the world. In celebration of its 5th anniversary in 2022, the pair are planning tons of new projects. Each will be announced on the 16th of each month.
Along with releasing original music, AmPm has been working to create valuable assets in the Metaverse, starting with the sale of NFT. In a first for a Japanese artist, the pair began selling a limited trial of unreleased music in 2021. Recently, AmPm announced some new NFT digital art.
Based on the pair’s experience of music curators, the NFT project hopes to provide unique pieces for an affordable price, allowing as many people as possible to become familiar with the NFT space.
AmPm recently purchased ‘Jidori Girls,’ a project by JidoriDeployer, on OpenSea. They decided to purchase it not only because of its immediate appeal, but also because it fit with AmPm’s worldview.
After the announcement, there was an exchange on Twitter with the creator of Jidori Girls. Fans from around the world also chimed in with comments like “You are incredible,” “Awesome collab!,” and “Thanks for joining our community!”
AmPm Delivering “THE BOOK”
In the note section, the pair explained the NFT, how they came to purchase it, its appeal, and the significance of the purchase.
It’s unclear how NFTs will affect AmPm’s future activities. Fans will just have to stay tuned to find out!
Artwork by ‘Eren the Southpaw’ Protagonist Available as NFTs
19.April.2022 | ANIME&GAME
Digital manga distributor Number Nine Inc. is teaming up with gumi Corporation and double jump.tokyo to sell two pieces of street art drawn by Eren Yamagishi, the main character in Kappi’s manga series Eren the Southpaw, as NFTs. The company announced that it will auction off the pieces starting April 20, 2022.
Night in Chelsea
A special spin-off manga, THROW UP THE DEUCE, has also been published on the website ‘cakes.’
THROW UP THE DEUCE – Eren the Southpaw | Special Edition
Those winning the bid will also be able to enjoy some special bonuses. The two who win the NFTs will appear in the second part of the spin-off manga series, and will also receive another commemorative NFT.
Don’t miss your chance to actually appear in a manga series!
Eren the Southpaw Street Art NFT Collection
Special Site: https://eren.nftplus.io/
tofuNFT Auction Site: https://tofunft.com/ja/launchpad/eren_the_southpaw
Auction Begins April 20, 21:00 / Auction Ends April 23, 21:00