Today’s Watercolor AND Youtube: Tanabata!

tanabataThis past weekend was the third and final of my city’s big festivals! The first is the Daruma festival in early January and the second is the Tanabata Festival in July. I put together this little video about it for my panel at Otakon in August, and I’m happy to be putting it on YouTube for you guys to see!

Japanese festivals are a ton of fun, and Tanabata is one of my favorites. The decorations are beautiful, the food is delicious, the story is romantic…what more could you want? As a little bonus, here’s a watercolor that I did of Orihime, the princess in the stars, on the banks of the Milky Way. I hope you like it! :)

 

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Hiking the Oze Highland Marsh

IMG_6585-0Over the weekend I finally got a chance to visit the Oze National park, one of the most famous natural spots in a prefecture known for it’s nature. Officially opened in 2007, the park actually extends across not only Gunma but Fukushima, Tochigi and Niigata as well.

Oze is an interesting place, as it is a rare highland marsh, clocking in at 1400 feet above sea level. The well known hiking is generally quite flat, and most of it is actually on a raised wooden boardwalk across the marsh to protect the land. There is no deviating from this trail!

IMG_6699-0Oze is quite a popular location to see the fall colors, and though the Super Typhoon was looming we were lucky to have an incredibly clear day to enjoy the leaves and grasses.

I’ve been meaning to get up to Oze for as long as I’ve lived in Japan, so it was really exciting to finally have the chance to see it for myself! It was a bit crowded since everyone and their mother seemed to have the same idea, but I’m glad so many people got to enjoy the experience! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go back in the summer to see the famous flowers :)

 

 

 

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McDonald’s Halloween Witchy Black Burger & Ghostly Camembert Chicken!

IMG_6439A few weeks ago, the news of Burger King’s Black Burger hit the internet like a hammer. Reported far and wide, the news was the perfect touch of wacky Japan, with just blend of the light-heartedness and funny oddness. Visually striking, it caught the attention of friends far and wide. As I mentioned before, my YouTube video of a taste test is far and away my most popular clip to date!

McDonald’s has just released their own Black Burger with just about Continue reading

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Gunma-chan Birthday Cake!

gunma chan cakeThis little guy appeared on my desk at work yesterday as a belated birthday treat! My first time at my visit school since the day, and I can’t believe my lovely coworker remembered, let alone went to the effort. So cute, so delicious.

On a related note, I’m currently taking a Coursera course on Luxury Marketing, and the topic this week is Continue reading

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The Tokyo Art Book Fair!

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Last weekend my friend Julia and I went down to Tokyo to check out the annual Tokyo Art Book Fair (thought not before stopping for Black Burgers at Burger King. My video’s now up to 26,000+ views, how bonkers is that?).

The event was held at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS (you’ll notice neither Kyoto nor Tohoku are in Tokyo, so google maps was very confused at first!)

Like any great art event in Tokyo, it wasIMG_6141.JPG overwhelmingly packed and seemingly endless. I could only get through the first floor before having to head out to another event, and was glad that I had gone in with a game plan.

I wanted to see some of the artists I’ve been following on Instagram lately–namely Doodles and Stuff in Japan, Midnight Gracie and Mariya Suzuki. It was really great to get a chance to talk to some of these artists whose work I enjoy, as well as meet a number of new artists I wouldn’t have found otherwise, such as Luis Mendo and Nesse Lee.

IMG_6341.JPGThe highlight of my haul was a zine that caught my eye called “Shit the Bed.” Normally something with such a rude title wouldn’t really be my thing, but the cover was eye catching. The artist turned out to be the lovely and talented Denise Kehoe, as charming as you’d expect a young Irish woman to be. She’s been making these illustrated journals for a while now, and I picked up her two most recent issues that follow her move here to the land of the rising sun. Clever, funny, and just the right balance of insightful and self-deprecating. I’m looking forward to future installments!

I left the Art Book Fair exhausted and in full sensory overload, but happy and inspired as well. I’ve even been working on my own series of illustrations for putting together my own zine/exhibition! It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, and it feels good to finally be working toward this goal. I’ve been enjoying working on it so far, and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

 

 

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Today’s Art: Happy Fall Equinox!

September 23rd is 秋分の日Shubun no Hi, the Fall Equinox–a national holiday here in Japan, so I made this little Totoro drawing (I kind of like drawing Totoro, as you might have noticed) to celebrate it. For all the time that I’ve spent drawing in coffee shops here in Japan, this one caused a stir. Apparently the best way to get Japanese people to freak out is by drawing Totoro next to them, who knew? Anyway, I hope you like it!

Also, big thanks to everyone that’s shared my Burger King Black Burger video on YouTube–it’s got almost 10,000 views right now, which is kind of crazy! You guys are amazing!

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Burger King Japan’s Black “Kuro Burger”

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I went to Tokyo to try the new Black Cheeseburger at Burger King! It’s made with charcoal and squid ink, and is pretty much the most goth food I’ve ever eaten. Or maybe it’s super heavy metal. What do you think? Would you try it?

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