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More Miku Love: Beautiful Cosplay

Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan, Photography

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I love Hatune Miku so I couldn’t resist a little bit more Miku madness after yesterday’s post.

This is some of the best Hatune Miku cosplay I’ve seen, all in glorious HD via Kirinon. Enjoy.

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Happy 4th Birthday Hatsune Miku! Wallpapers

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Some of you might already know that I love Hastune Miku. For those of you unfamiliar with the teal haired songstress she’s a mascot character developed by Crypton Future Media for their virtual singing software Vocaloid.

However Miku has evolved to become much more than that; she really is the first “virtual idol”. Her success has been driven by an active fan community; most of her popular songs were written and produced by fans using the Vocaloid software, not to mention the contribution of artists who continue to create and recreate the Miku persona.

There’s Miku merchandise and even virtual Miku concerts (using 3D projection). Recently advertisements for the Toyota Corolla featuring Hatsume Miku marked her début into the American mainstream, although only time will tell if she’ll be able to garner the same kind of support she’s seen in Japan. Regardless her success has already made her an icon. Happy birthday Miku!

Wallpapers via MikuMix.

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Sweet Nippon: The Work of Yumiko Kayukawa

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Yumiko Kayukawa is a Japanese artist whose paintings combine American pop-culture with a love of nature rooted in the rural Japanese scenes of her youth. The result is a lot of pretty girls and cute animals living in their own sweet paradise.

Check out her official website here.

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Kigurumi: Work by Melissa Haslam

Art, Inspiration, Japan

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Kigurumi are Japanese animal suits; part costume, part tracksuit. It’s also the title of the latest body of work from artist Melissa Haslam, which features beautiful girls looking simply adorable in these animal suits. Marshmallow soft pastels give these paintings a dreamy atmosphere.

You can check out her official website here.

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Vintage Geisha Postcards

Inspiration, Japan, Photography, Traditional Japan

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Flickr is a wealth of beautiful and unusual images. These vintage photographs of geisha (most of them postcards) are from Okinawa Soba’s photostream. These images are truly mesmerizing to me; there’s something about the history of these sepia toned images which makes me instantly nostalgic. Enjoy.

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Dream Shangri-Las by Aya Kato

Art, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Aya Koto’s illustrations are simply amazing. Colourful and complex each almost overwhelm the eye with an overabundance of detail, as traditional Japanese motifs are reimagined into dream landscapes.

Click here to see some of Aya Kato’s darker, more gothic work, or check out her official website.

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Gothic Nouveau by Aya Kato

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Aya Kato is a Japanese illustrator whose ink work combines decorative linework and traditional Japanese ink painting. Her work is reminiscent of Art Nouveau artist Aubrey Beardsley, if Beardsley drew gothic shoujo manga.

A second part features her impressive color works.

You can also check out her official website here.

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Scans: Punk Lolita

Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Japan

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Here’s a few scans from Kera and other Japanese fashion magazines via Get Into The Fashion (mostly).
Most of these pictures are not of “proper” Lolita, rather it’s a bit of Lolita, a bit of punk, and a bit of Japanese street style.
Enjoy.

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Yamato-e Metropolis: The Work of Akira Yamaguchi

Art, Inspiration, Japan

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Akira Yamaguchi is a master of the traditional techniques of classical Japanese painting or Yamato-e. But while the style is reminiscent of Hokusai and Hiroshige, Yamagushi’s the subject matter is not. In its place are surreal and discordant metropolises in which the old fuses with the new. In some of Yamaguchi’s works the classical style initially fools the eye, until you notice elements that are out of place: machinery, guns and trucks.

In many ways these metropolises reflect the realities of Japan today. Yamaguchi argues that since  the Meiji Era Japan has embraced Western ideas to the detriment of it’s own traditional culture. Seen in this context Yamaguchi’s work takes on new meaning; are these traditional paintings being “invaded” by elements which don’t belong, or are the two really fusing together?

The level of detail in his large-scale cityscapes is staggering. Some of these paintings are 2½ meters across, and they feel truly monumental. It’s hard to admire on a computer screen so make sure to click on the images to view them as large as possible.

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Delicate Illustration by Keeggy

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Japan

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Keeggy is a Japanese illustrator with a distinctive soft and delicate style. Her doll-like characters almost seem to float through the dreamy and surreal images. Lolita and Mori Girl fashions show a definite influence in these works, not only in the clothing but in the complete aesthetic.

You can visit her official website here.

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