Graphic Designer Masashi Murakami Pushes the Possibilities of Paper | Spoon & Tamago

On a semi-annual basis, Japanese paper company Takeo curates solo exhibitions by Japanese graphic designers, inviting them to experiment with the company’s paper and printing technologies. The results are often inspiring in ways that you didn’t think paper could inspire, and their latest exhibition was no exception. Their 15th “Aoyama Creators Stock” feautred graphic designer Masashi Murakami.

Source: Graphic Designer Masashi Murakami Pushes the Possibilities of Paper | Spoon & Tamago

Seijinshiki 2020: Kitakyushu’s Coming of Age Ceremony dazzles in the Year of the 

Turning 20 marks the societal threshold for adulthood in Japan. Every year on the second Monday of January, known as Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day), crowds of Japanese youths who turned 20 the previous year or who will turn 20 by the coming April take part in a ceremony known as Seijinshiki, the Coming of Age Ceremony, in their hometowns. These ceremonies are quite formal in nature and participants are supposed to don their most elegant suits and kimono–most of the time, that is.The city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture has been turning heads for quite some time now thanks to many of their 20-year-olds decking themselves out in the most garish outfits imaginable to mark their entry into adulthood. It’s become something of a tradition for us as well to send one of our reporters to the city to document each year’s most outlandish get-ups. The kinds of outfits that this particular group of young adults tends to wear would likely give their obaachan a heart attack (unless they were part of this idol group from Osaka).

Source: Seijinshiki 2020: Kitakyushu’s Coming of Age Ceremony dazzles in the Year of the Rat【Photos】 | SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Studio Ghibli produces commercial for Japanese convenience store chain Lawson

Academy award winning animator and a Ghibli artist who works at Lawson part-time join forces to pay homage to the konbini.Studio Ghibli is one of Japan’s most well-known anime studios, famous around the world for producing beloved feature films with memorable storylines and characters.In Japan, however, the animation studio produces works on a much smaller scale as well, with original shorts shown exclusively at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s Mitaka, and commercials for brands aired on national television.Now, Studio Ghibli is kicking off the New Year with a brand new commercial for local audiences, and it’s in honour of an equally well-known and beloved franchise: Japanese convenience store chain Lawson.

Source: Studio Ghibli produces commercial for Japanese convenience store chain Lawson 【Video】 | SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Japanese pagers to issue last beeps on Tuesday, ending 50-year run | The Japan Times

Half a century after their debut, Japan’s pager services will finally cease on Tuesday, bringing an end to what was once considered a must-have communications tool by high school girls before the advent of mobile phones.Tokyo Telemessage Inc., the nation’s sole remaining pager provider, said it would begin shutting down the radio signals behind its services at around midnight Monday.In recent years, the tiny device had been favored mainly by those working in hospitals, where cell phone use was once discouraged because of concerns about poor reception and the disruptive effect that electromagnetic waves can have on medical devices.Dubbed pokeberu (pocket bells), sales of the devices in Japan began in 1968 with the predecessor of NTT Corp. To reach someone, callers would dial a pager number from a landline, causing the device to beep to notify the owner.Initially, pager services were used by companies to communicate with sales staff who were out of the office. But from the late 1980s onward, their popularity grew because they could be used to display short messages by creatively combining numbers and text characters.In the 1990s, female high school students drove the pager boom further as they came up with clever combinations to exchange messages.Among the short numerical messages were “33414,” which in Japanese can be pronounced “samishiiyo,” meaning “I’m lonely.” Another was “999,” a series of three (san) nines (kyū) that was a casual way to say “sankyū” (“thank you”).Pager users exceeded 10 million in 1996. However, from around that time, beeper services began to decline with the arrival of mobile phones. Subscribers decreased further as email, texting and taking and sending photos by phone became standard.Though NTT’s mobile unit, NTT Docomo Inc., terminated nationwide pager service in 2007, Tokyo Telemessage continued to operate in Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures.

Source: Japanese pagers to issue last beeps on Tuesday, ending 50-year run | The Japan Times

Sony celebrates 40 years of Walkman in Tokyo – The Verge

The Sony Walkman TPS-L2 was released 40 years ago this summer, forever changing the way the world listened to music. It became arguably the most iconic brand in Sony’s history, with hundreds of devices bearing the name and continuing to be released today.To celebrate the Walkman’s legacy, Sony held an exhibit in Tokyo until this week called “Walkman in the Park.” The venue is Ginza Sony Park, a new public space that sits on the site of the iconic old Sony building that was recently demolished; another Sony building will be constructed here next year.

Source: Sony celebrates 40 years of Walkman in Tokyo – The Verge