Series pairs gravure models with onsen ryokan.

Unless “gangly illustrated apes” is a far more popular artistic genre than anyone had realized, a lot of NFTs are marketed more for their purported investment value than their aesthetics. But Shibuya-based tourism marketing company Enbound thinks there’s a place in the market for NFTs that are prized both for their rarity and their visual appeal, which brings us to their OG project.

That OG doesn’t mean “old girl” (the term used in Japan for a female alumnus), nor is meant to be “original gangster.” Instead, Enbound’s OG stands for “Onsen Gravure.”

The two-fold aim of the project is to attract NFT investors/collectors while also attracting people to onsen (hot spring) towns and hotels in Japan. Each installment in the series will pair a gravure model with a specific hot spring property for a photo shoot, with the pictures serving as the basis for that batch of NFTs. The first set features model Miyako Sono at Kokuya, a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in Ikaho, a hot spring town in Gunma Prefecture.

Enbound says the Sono/Kokuya NFT series consists of 17 photos, with five iterations of each being made into NFTs. “A total of 70” says the press release, in what seems like some shaky math, but it also promises “each shot is an NFT with only five in existence in the world,” so maybe they meant to say “a total of 85.”

▼ In a separate non-Onsen Gravure photo shoot, Sono shows that she also appreciates a good sauna session.

Enbound hasn’t said how many models/locations will be involved in the Onsen Gravure project, but it’s also the company that created the Onsen Musume promotion, with illustrated anime spokesgirls who serve as semi-anthropomorphized versions of actual hot springs, which has nearly 100 characters. For now, though, the Miyako Sono/Kokuya NFT series is being offered through OpenSea, with a crypto currency-listed price that Enbound says currently converts to around 12,000 yen (US$89) each, and can be seen, for free, here.

Source, images: PR Times
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