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Illustration agency – has launched an agency specializing into Japanese illustrators. Japanese mangas and animated films have been widely appreciated around the world, but not so much in the field of “illustration”. has hand picked some of the best illustrators in Japan. ic4design, for example, has won many international awards, and published several books. Their work has been featured on the cover page of New York Times, Los Angeles Times, etc. IC4DESIGN Papercut artist Chihiro Takeuchi was chosen for Google Doodles artist in 2018. is representing these Japanese illustrators internationally. You can see a lot more interesting Japanese illustrators at

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Interested in bringing your products or services to Japan?

Are you interested in bringing your products or services to the Japanese market? Even if Japanese economy has been reported to be stagnating over the past decades, it is still the world’s third largest economy, and the market is huge. In terms of design and architecture, Japan is considered one of the leaders in the world, and the general public in the Japanese market is alway keen on new products coming from outside Japan. So the Japanese design team is launching a new service “Japan market entry consulting services” for those who are interested in expanding their business to the Japanese market. Here are the details:

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“NANASAN” of Tomoe Kaho, confectionary in Shiga, Japan

“NANASAN” is a Japanese confectionary brand created by Tomoe Kaho based in Shiga, about a half hour drive away from Kyoto. What is special about “NANASAN” is all the ingredients are local – eggs, rice, fruits are all locally produced.Polyhedron-like shape is coming from the traditional Kohakuto. The art direction was done by Takahide Hashimoto (

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Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse by Shigeru Ban

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse is located in Shonai, Yamagata, about one hour flight from Haneda, Tokyo, and the hotel is situated only twenty minutes away by car from the Shonai airport. It was designed by Shigeru Ban, and this is the first hotel that he has ever designed. The concept is “Wooden structure hotel floating on rice fields”.

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YUFUiNFO by Shigeru Ban

Tourist information center “YUFUiNFO” designed by Shigeru Ban was built next to Yufuin Station in Oita, Japan. Yufuin train station was designed by architect Arata Isozaki, who is originally from Oita, Japan. Ban was asked to design something that keeps the continuity with the symbolic design of Arata Isozaki. Ban’s design was inspired by papyrus columns in ancient Egypt.

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Airvase by Takeo and Torafu Architects

Specialty paper company Takeo based in Tokyo, and Torafu architects collaborated and created “airvase” by using a single piece of paper. It was exhibited at Japan House in London.

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KOKUYO stationery series by Nendo

Japanese design studio Nendo has created a variety of adhesive products for Japanese stationery company KOKUYO. News release:

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YUNOEKI OYU by Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma & Associates designed “Yunoeki Oyu” in Kazuno, Akita. Press release: Oyu onsen is a famous hot spring in Kazuno, Akita. We designed a community center here incorporating a shop, café, open-air theater, park, footbath, and biotope under one large roof. In order to create a dynamic space which varies according to the diverse programs, we referred to mage wappa, a round lunch basket made of thin wood, a traditional craft in Akita’s. Cylinders of LVL (laminated veneer lumber) reference mage wappa and comprise the structure of the building. The assemblage of those rings then functions not only as a transparent structure but also as a partition or a … Continue reading

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SUKI lighting collection by Baku Sakashita

Baku Sakashita’s SUKI lighting collection was exhibited at Designart Gallery at Francfranc Forestin Omotesando during Designart Tokyo. It is handmade using traditional skills, which make it look familiar but new at the same time. It is created by combining semi-translucent Japanese paper and thin stainless steel wire.

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Nendo aims to “design time” with collection of unconventional hourglasses

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