Art Topics

'Showa Memorial: Atae Yuki'

Apr 4, 2013

"Showa Memorial: Atae Yuki"

by Tomohiro Osaki

Doll maker Yuki Atae had just turned 8 when World War II ended in 1945. He remembers spending his childhood being surrounded by people with great resilience, and as an artist he began reproducing models of his old neighborhood using dolls. He is especially ...

'Kunio Okawara:  Mechanic Design'

Mar 21, 2013

'Kunio Okawara: Mechanic Design'

by Tomohiro Osaki

Kunio Okawara’s robot designs have appeared in many widely loved Japanese anime series, including “Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman,” (“Science Ninja Team Gatchaman”) and “Kido Senshi Gandamu” (“First Gundam”). He is often praised for designing complicated and versatile robots that are also detailed enough to appear ...

'Ancient Glass: Feast of Color'

Mar 7, 2013

"Ancient Glass: Feast of Color"

by Tomohiro Osaki

In ancient times, when precious stones such as lapis lazuli and carnelian were admired and desired, craftsmen found ways to imitate such beauty by experimenting with decorative glassware techniques. This gave birth to glassworking traditions that include using colored glass in mosaics and sandwiching ...

'Print Art Triennale in Kyoto'

Feb 21, 2013

'Print Art Triennale in Kyoto'

by Tomohiro Osaki

With the growing popularity of high-tech art, such as digital media and installations, engraving woodblock prints might seem primitive and old-fashioned. Many Japanese, in fact, associate woodblock printing with older-generation artisans, who they imagine slave fastidiously over works in the silence of a gloomy ...

'Hina Dolls and Their Accessories'

Feb 7, 2013

'Hina Dolls and Their Accessories'

by Tomohiro Osaki

Hina Matsuri, Japan’s annual girls day festival, became a particularly popular celebration during the Edo Period. As part of the festivities, girls are given a set of ornamental dolls, which are put on display from February through March 3 — a ritual believed to ...

'Motoju Miyosawa: Katazome Stencil Dyeing'

Jan 31, 2013

'Motoju Miyosawa: Katazome Stencil Dyeing'

by Tomohiro Osaki

After meeting Muneyoshi Yanagi, a pioneer of the famous Mingei (folk arts) movement, artist Motoju Miyosawa (1909-2002) became a major advocate of the beauty of frugality, a quality that Mingei followers believed everyday objects possessed. During the 1960s, however, he chose to travel internationally ...