Odalisque Reconsidered

Tadanori Yokoo is a celebrated Japanese artist for his work in graphic design. Yokoo’s posters constitute a unique style of graphic design that is firmly rooted in Japanese tradition while incorporating Western elements that speak to the increasing globalization of Japanese society in the 1960s and 70s.
Tadanori Yokoo, poster, Japan, graphic design, ukiyo-e, lithography, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, cosmetics


Japanese textile designer, Junichi Arai (b.1932), said that the crucial problem for contemporary textile makers is choosing and blending the myriad of available materials, tools, and technologies. He explains that history should be the maker’s guide, as there have been passionate efforts dedicated to making better fibers, textiles, and garments.
Junichi Arai, Japan, textiles, melt-off

Beware of the Goblin Spider! A haunting children's illustrated book

Everyone loves a scary story, especially on Halloween. Noted writer and linguist Lafcadio Hearn’s 1910 English translation of the ancient Japanese ghost tale, The Goblin Spider, transports children of all ages to an exotic world of samurai warriors, haunted temples, and monstrous goblin spiders.
Illustrated Children's Books, Japanese folktales, wood block prints, Halloween, Smithsonian Libraries, kaidan, Lafcadio Hearn, Takejiro Hasegawa, spiders, Japan, illustrations

The Japanese Sword and its Fittings: From the Collections of the members of the Japanese Sword Society of New York and the Cooper Union Museum

swords, sword fittings, Japan, Japanese, tsuba, sword guards, collections

Japanese Woodblock Prints in the Collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum

Publication design: Heidi Humphrey
prints, woodblock prints, Japan, Japanese, ukiyo-e, permanent collection

Tsuba, and Japanese Sword Fittings in the Collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum

Publication design: Gottschalk + Ash Ltd.
sword guards, sword fittings, swords, Japanese, tsuba, Japan, permanent collection

Why Design Now?: Furumai

Why? Water, the medium of life, has myriad manifestations. Furumai, meaning behavior or dance in Japanese, was an installation created for the Water exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo in 2007. The project consisted of paper plates treated selectively with an invisible water-repellent coating. As visitors interacted with the plates, beads of water danced about the surface, creating surprising visual effects. In one, drops gathered in a babys eye, while others formed abstract, three-dimensional patterns.
Furumai, water, Japan, Tokyo, 21_21 Design Sight, interact, Why Design Now, Exhibition, interactive design, interaction

MA, Space/Time in Japan

This exhibition, designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, consists of nine sections, each expressing an aspect of the ancient Japanese space/time concept of "Ma" through photographic essays, sculptures, and traditional structures, such as the teahouse and the Noh stage.
Japan, Arata Isozaki, Architecture, photography, sculpture, exhibitions


Three hundred Japanese sword guards (tsuba) and decorative fittings for the Samurai sword are on view. Hand protectors and jewelry dating from the 17th century, worn by the warriors who used the swords, are also featured in this exhibition.
sword guards, sword fittings, swords, Japanese, tsuba, Japan, permanent collection, exhibitions

Netsuke: Japanese Design in Miniature

An exhibition devoted to the small sculptures originally designed as toggles for purses and pouches. The four hundred netsuke on display, carved in a variety of forms including Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist deities, are from the collection of the Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
Japan, netsuke, accessories, exhibitions