Big Rice Straw Beasts Sculpted For The Wara Straw Art Festival.

You may or may not have seen images of large sculpted straw beasts, recently being shared all over the internet. Truth be told, they are not new, but are actually a few years old (from 2010 and 2011) from the annual Wara Straw Art festival in Niigata. According to CNN Travel, The Wara Art Matsuri takes place every year in two locations in Niigata, at Kanko Shisetsu Iwamuroya (96-1 Iwamuro Onsen, Nishikan-ku, Niigata) and Uwasekigata park (1 Matsunoo, Nishikan-ku, Niigata).

The festival is an annual celebration of Autumn where local people and college students of Art and Architecture departments create some impressive straw art in Nishikan-ku, an area is said to have the “largest paddy fields in the country,” according to Japan Style.

The art is created from rice straw by locals and college students. The structures are made from pipes and wood sticks, then the straw is added, taking about a week per piece to complete.

images are courtesy of Kotaku and CNN Travel

Gucci Goes Manga. The Italian Brand Collaborates With Illustrator Hirohiko Araki For Window Displays and SPUR Magazine

Gucci Manga

Italian brand Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini and renowned Japanese Manga artist, Hirohiko Araki, have collaborated to create Guggi Manga: special store window displays featuring the Japanese artist’s illustrations and the Gucci 2013 Cruise Collection. An exclusive Manga (Japanese comic strip), inspired by the collection, is also featured in Japan’s SPUR Magazine. Read more

Star Wars X Nestle Coffee Machines Complete With Light Saber Stirrers and Mugs.

The Official Star Wars branded versions of products released in Japan just keep coming. Read more

Sushi With Style. Laser Cut Designer Nori Created For Umino Seaweed Shop.

designer nori

Laser cut designer Nori, initially created as a promotional campaign for a Japanese seaweed store, is available for purchase and has been included in an exhibit of 19th century Japanese stencil art. Read more

Drill Inc. Creates Xylophone, A Commercial For The Touch Wood Mobile Phone

A lovely and inventive three minute commercial, Xylophone, for a new wooden encased phone, the Touch Wood SH 08C from Docomo of Japan.

Japanese agency Drill Inc. (the same agency responsible for the website design of the Epos 100 artist Visa credit cards) and creative director Morihiro Harano hand crafted a giant wooden xylophone in the woods of Kyushu, Japan. As one little wooden ball rolls down the giant microphone, it plays Bach’s Cantata 147. The agency claims that no artificial music was used.

A joint project with Sharp, Olympus and Docomo, the phone is beautifully designed, as is the packaging

as well as the wooden charging unit by More Trees:

Be sure to see “the making of’ the commercial here.

Here’s a dedicated microsite for owners, the phone and accessories.

You can shop for the Touch wood Phone and the More trees charger here

ARTechnic’s Stunning Shell House: Exterior And Interior

ARTechnic Shell House

Japanese architecture firm ARTechnic has designed and completed this unusual- but beautiful and minimalist – concrete ovoid home in Karuizawa, Japan. Built in two sections, around a fir tree, it is nestled in a forest and is as amazing inside as it is on the outside. Read more