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When Mt Fuji and comic book scripts collide.

Big sporting brands love releasing Japanexclusive kicks here, and the latest ones to tempt us come from Asics, who’ve just unveiled two new sneakers dedicated to the 2021 Tokyo Marathon, scheduled to be held in the capital on 17 October.

The new limited-edition sneakers combine modern and traditional Japanese motifs in their designs, blending common expressions found in comics with beautiful ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige.

The models chosen for the limited-edition designs are the Asics Tarther and Glideride 2, which have both been given a deep indigo colour called “Hiroshige Blue” for this new release. The Tarther Japan Tokyo features Mt Fuji from Hokusai’s Fine Wind, Clear Morning (also known as Red Fuji) on the heel, along with a dark blue gradation on the sole. On the upper, the words “Tarther” (“ターサー”) and “ビューッ” (“Byu”), which translates to “zoom” or “whoosh”, are printed in a dynamic font similar to the ones used in manga comics.

▼ The Tarther Japan Tokyo is priced at 20,900 yen (US$189.33).

The Glide Ride 2 Tokyo features the word “コロンッ”, (“Koron”), a phenomime for rolling, as this shoe would be, from heel to foot when in a running motion, and a print of Mt Fuji from Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

▼ The Glideride 2 Tokyo is all about comfort and soft landings, and is priced at 19,800 yen.

While the limited-edition Tokyo Marathon 2021 shoes have been created to coincide with the upcoming marathon, you don’t have to be a marathon runner to own them, as they go …continue reading

    

Fireworks and a father’s farts: two quintessential summer experiences.

Summertime in Japan means fireworks. Those brilliantly colorful streaks of light across the night sky are delights to people of all ages. However, the spectacle often overlooks the sophisticated and deep art that goes into creating them.

Firework makers strive to create ephemeral beauty by creating a display of raw explosive power that ultimately belies its own impermanence. In this way they hope to create what the French call “l’instant éternel,” a moment of pure transience that somehow manages to bend time for those who behold it.

This is also what our resident fireworks curator Masanuki Sunakoma is searching for as well. This time his pursuit of beauty brought him to the Oyaji no Pu-sen which translates to “Pops’ Fart-loon,” the latter word of which is a portmanteau of “fart” and “balloon.”

“Ah indeed!” thought Masanuki. What better symbol of summer is there than a father lying in his underwear while his intestines struggle to perform their regular digestion under the intense heat and thus produce flatulent gas.

According to the package, the user must light the fuse sticking out of pops’ head. After a few seconds a whistling sound will be heard and then the balloon attached to his anus will inflate as a visual representation of his internal struggle.

Masanuki cautiously lit the fuse while trying to capture its beauty on camera.

The fuse gave out a healthy sputter of vermillion sparks, but this was just the warm-up.

The …continue reading

    

Maximize your hot girl summer with these pieces.

Since its inception in 1993, Japan’s Donguri Kyowakoku has wowed Studio Ghibli fans with the numerous amount of merchandise it has released so far, from replicas of in-movie objects to even loungewear based off the animation powerhouse’s charismatic heroines. Now folks who are especially big fans of Spirited Away can enjoy wearing newly released, whimsical accessories inspired by the Oscar-winning movie.

In total, Donguri Kyowakoku will be debuting three accessories, and what makes this mini collection extra special is its unmistakable references to Spirited Away as well as its stylish designs. For example, one pair of earrings on offer features not only eye-catching tassels, but also No Face as a golden, disembodied head. This statement piece is perfect for those who want to own Spirited Away merch but don’t want an item that is too showy.

▼ These No Face Earrings are priced at 1,980 yen (US$18.09).

If you are someone who prefers something more on the nose, however, the new collection also has these earrings based off the Hopping Lantern character. While these earrings will thankfully not jump off the wearer’s ears, we’re certain this accessory will provide a cute and fantastical touch to one’s everyday life.

▼ The Hopping Lantern Earrings retail for 2,970 yen (US$27.13).

▼ Better yet, there’s also a Hopping Lantern for home decor if you ever need …continue reading