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The following photos of Japanese rooms and buildings perfectly capture the nostalgic atmosphere of Meiji and Showa-era establishments. But can you figure out the truth behind them? Take a look through these stunning photographs and scroll down for the big reveal.

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Did you figure it out? The answer is that these rooms and buildings are in fact all miniatures. Created by ‘3-D miniature artisan’ Ichiyoh Haga, each one painstakingly recreates the real world in miniature form. Every single detail is as perfectly imperfect as the real thing and Ichiyoh’s works transcend time and space to capture the nostalgic atmosphere of Japanese Meiji and Showa-era scenes.

66-year-old Ichiyoh first started making miniatures in 1995 and now frequently exhibits and sells his creations, and his work has also been used in movies. Miniatures have long been a part of the film industry, and have gained more recognition with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies where Weta Workshop made use of oversized miniatures, which they called ‘bigatures’, that could accommodate the use of tiny cameras for sweeping shots.

It’s a unique and fascinating art form that challenges our perceptions and really brings home the phrase ‘God is in the details’. Unlike the photos above, the ones below show the miniatures in context, but they’re no less impressive when seen like this.

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▼ An exhibition of Ichiyoh’s work in Keio department store.

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▼ And the exhibition in miniature version (min-ception, anyone?).

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▼ And last but not least, a comparison shot of a room he was commissioned to make for use in a movie. Below is the real room.

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▼ And here is Ichiyoh’s recreation of it in miniature form. Incredible! It really is nigh on impossible to tell which is which.

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Source: DDN Japan Ichiyoh Haga Official Website
Images: Arlmaty on Flickr, Modelismo y Modelistas, First Light, Ichiyoh Haga on Facebook