Obama Family Matryoshka Dolls Found in Sakhalin, But Something’s Wrong With Bo…

Nothing says traditional Russian fold crafts like Matryoshka dolls. Go to any gift shop in Russia and you’re sure to find a set of the little wooden figures on sale.

Sometimes you can even find dolls painted with a quirky theme, such as famous musical acts or soviet leaders. One of our reporters came across a set of President Obama & family Matryoshka dolls on sale for about US $30 at a souvenir shop in Sakhalin.

Needless to say, he bought it on the spot.

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Thousands of Goldfish Exhibited Artfully in Nihonbashi

The art of goldfish exhibiting can be fully appreciated at this Art Aquarium and Night Aquarium Exhibit called Edo Cooling Goldfish. Sponsored by Diners Card and running from August 17th (Friday) till September 24th (Monday) at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, the exhibit consists of artfully arranged aquariums where, the stars of this display, the kingyo, or goldfish, swim around demonstrating their own beauty, as well as being part of an intricate art presentation never seen before.

You have never, and may never again, see so many kingyo in one place at one time!

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“Beat” Takeshi Kitano Exhibition in Tokyo is Not Supposed to Make Sense, “I just want you to have fun”

Renowned as a filmmaker abroad and adored as a TV host and comedian at home, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano is perhaps Japan’s greatest living entertainer.

Most recently, Takeshi made his mark as an artist, showcasing a collection of original paintings, bizarre objects and interactive installations in his first major exhibition, held in 2010 at the Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris.

If you didn’t get the chance to fly out to Paris 2 years ago, fear not: the exhibition, titled “Gosse de peintre,” is now at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery in Shinjuku until September 2!

We recently had the opportunity to attend a promotional event held at the exhibition and can say with confidence that, whether you’re more familiar with the dark and witty Kitano on the big screen or the goofy jokester Beat on TV, “Gosse de peintre” captures the essence of Takeshi and is a must-do for any fan.

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Japan’s Magnificent Manhole Covers

You may want to watch where you walk the next time you’re in Japan. Nearly 95 percent of Japan’s 1,780 municipalities proudly decorate their streets with custom manhole covers, many of which are beautiful slabs of art featuring local symbols such as flora and fauna, landmarks or festivals.

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A Super Simple Way to Make Colorful 3D Art!

Gather ‘round kiddies, it’s time for a RocketNews24 art lesson…IN 3D.. By that we mean the art, not the lesson itself. Today we’d like to share a super simple way to make your own 3D art!

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“Almost Time to Change My Batteries!” Japanese Girl Takes Body Art to Strange New Levels

A quick look at the photo above and you might be quick to dismiss it as photoshopped. You wouldn’t be completely wrong: the arm in the picture has certainly been “edited”, just not digitally—this skin-embedded battery compartment is actually a piece of optical illusion body art by Japanese university student, “Chooo-san”.

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From trash to usable work of art – used wine bottles transformed into beautiful glassware!

Okay, we have good news for wine lovers who feel guilty about creating lots of trash by opening all of those wine bottles. See the picture above? Yes, you guessed it – used wine bottles are now being made into beautiful glassware! Isn’t this a great, eco-friendly way to recycle wine bottles? I, for one, definitely wouldn’t mind having such nice looking plates at home. Read More

Beautiful “transparent” biological specimens a work of art – you can actually buy them and they look amazing!

Have you heard of a series of unique creations called “Transparent Specimens” produced by Iori Tomita? It may sound bizarre, but they are specimens of different living creatures including fish, arthropods, reptiles and mammals that have been specially treated to make them transparent. And the end result is far from bizarre – in fact, the specimens are so beautiful that the series of work have a considerable following of fans.

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It’s a perfect match! Amazing trick of the eye lets you substitute a part of Mona Lisa’s face with manga drawing – and still see her face!

Have you seen the picture of Einstein that looks like Marylin Monroe if you’re near-sighted or if you look at it from a distance? We posted a story on it on our Japanese site in the past. Well, there’s another fun piece of trick art that is being shared on the internet in Japan recently. It’s quite a simple picture really – just the Mona Lisa with a manga drawing covering a part of her face. (Well, her face has actually been inverted, but it’s still the image of her familiar face.) But look what happens when you see a smaller version of the picture! Read More

“Procrastinate”? “Calm Under Pressure?” Take a Page from the Pros

Time limit, cutoff, due date. AKA “deadline”. Of course the concept applies to any number of jobs. But let it be said that the real experts on the subject are cartoonists / comic book artists.

These professionals truly know the possibilities of pre-deadline behavior. Today, we present to you 99 ways comic book artists find themselves approaching, or avoiding, their day of reckoning. See if you compare… Read More

Japan Self Defense Force Recruitment Posters Kill with Cute

In recent years, the Tokushima Provincial Cooperation Office of the Japan Self Defense Force has created recruitment advertising posters featuring cute, adorable illustrations, and it wasted little time in releasing this year’s version.

The posters depict a girl texting her Self Defense Force member boyfriend after she sees him on a news show, in uniform and providing natural disaster relief. “That uniform made you look twice as dashing as you usually do,” she texts lovingly. Read More

Artist Makes Battleship Roll Sushi Into Actual Battleships, Devours Results

OK, sushi-lovers, have you ever eaten a gunkanmaki, or “battleship rolls”? They’re the ones with a little bit of rice surrounded by a sheet of nori to form a little bowl. Then loose toppings like sea urchin and salmon roe are piled in. They’re named after their resemblance to a battleship, but one artist is taking that verisimilitude even further by constructing battleships out of battleship rolls, and the Twitterverse can’t seem to get enough of them.
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JoJo fans rejoice! Special 25th Anniversary JoJo Exhibit to take place in Sendai and Tokyo

You have to say 25 years – a quarter of a century – is a very long time to be working on a single story telling project. Well, that’s exactly how long manga artist Hirohiko Araki has been producing the series “JoJo no Kimyo na Boken – or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, commonly referred to as “JoJo” by fans.

Not surprisingly, after 25 years in the making, the comic has a huge following of loyal fans of varying ages. The story line, which revolves around battles of good vs. evil fought between characters with supernatural powers spanning over several generations, is certainly unique, but the comic is also loved for Araki’s distinctive sense of graphic style and color, which leaves quite an impression and which once seen, is not easily forgotten.

Fans of the comic will be delighted to hear that a special exhibition of original JoJo artwork by Araki will be held later this year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and in Tokyo to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series.

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Free Umbrellas With A Purpose

Since March 8, you may have been seeing umbrellas around Tokyo printed with graphics for a new Xbox 360 and PS3 mahjong game.

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It’s Disney Magic! Turn yourself into a Disney Princess

What small girl hasn’t dreamt of being a Disney Princess? Now you can actually make it happen, at least in the digital world. Read More

Amazing art at your fingertips! Historic Japanese painting goes mobile and interactive

Japanese companies Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd and Digital Ehon have come out with an innovative App that is sure to appeal to art lovers. The App, called “My Unryuzu”, has been developed in collaboration with the art exhibit “Japanese Masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” that is being held at the Tokyo National Museum from March 20th to June 10th. Read More

You can tell a moving story in a number of different ways through a number of different mediums. None of them are inherently more effective than the other; it’s through the creator’s vision and execution that a truly exceptional piece is defined.

Furiko (Pendulum), an animated film recently featured on Japanese late-night TV program DO! Shinya and later uploaded to YouTube is a perfect example of this, having viewers in tears despite being no longer than 3 minutes.

Even more surprising, this “film” is actually a 1038-page flip book illustrated page-by-page by Japanese comedian Tekken.

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Japanese Artist Grows Gardens From Old Comic Books

Most Japanese manga are serialized and published in weekly or monthly anthologies, usually thick paper magazines that are often discarded by subscribers after reading as few have the space at home to store them.

While most manga end up in second hand bookstores or the paper recycling bin, Japanese artist Koshi Kawachi has thought of a way to literally fill the faded pages of these comic books with new life by turning them into colorful seedbeds, a process which he had dubbed MANGA Farming.

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Otomo Exhibition Features Original Drawings from Akira, Domu and More

This is an exhibition you won’t want to miss, particularly if you have even the slightest artistic inclination. 3331 Arts Chiyoda is hosting a collection of renowned manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s original drawings. Read More

Duct Tape Da Vinci Discovered in Hawaii

Kalakaua Avenue, the main strip of Waikiki, is littered with high class hotels and brand name shops and it is by far the best place to spend evenings after enjoying the sunset on the beach. It was on this street that I discovered a young man with a very unique talent.

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