Artist Profile: Illustrations by Takahiro Kimura


Takahiro Kimura was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1965. He studied technology of painting and graphic design at Salesian Polytechnic, and then studied skill of drawing, landscape painting and fashion drawing at Setsu Mode Seminar.

Since 1991, Takahiro Kimura has been creating own unique style of collages that strives to show the complicated nature of the human spirit through peculiar physical distortions.

His collages are made by cutting up photos and rearranging them into a collage to which color is then applied, thereby creating a whole new visage with an unforgettable impact.

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Artist Profile: Illustrations by Takahiro Kimura

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wjk collaborates with VANQUISH (Japan) to produce the M-65 Jacket


Image of wjk x VANQUISH M-65 Jacket

This February Japan’s VANQUISH and wjk each celebrate their 10-year anniversaries with a collaborative take on the timeless M-65. Updated with a royal blue colorway, this contemporary version of the military classic eschews heavyweight cotton twill in favor of a stretchy synthetic while additional details include flapped patch pockets, adjustable cuffs, a hidden placket, and dual branding patches.

Retailing for ¥36,750 JPY (approximately $360 USD), the bright blue M-65 drops February 5 via VANQUISH’s own online store.

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wjk collaborates with VANQUISH (Japan) to produce the M-65 Jacket


Huawei’s new high-resolution tablet may give the Nexus 7 a run for its money



Huawei MediaPad X1 tablet gets TENAA certification

There isn’t much choice among 7-inch Android tablets with high-resolution screens — the Nexus 7 is frequently the only practical option. However, it’s about to get a proper challenger. China‘s TENAA has certified the Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0, a small slate with a 1,920 x 1,200 display. It’s not clear that the X1’s 1.6GHz quad-core Hisilicon processor will outperform the Snapdragon S4 Pro inside the Nexus, but the device will be a featherweight at just 8.4 ounces and 0.3 inch thick. There’s also 3G inside. About the only clear setback is the use of Android 4.2 — where’s KitKat, Huawei?

The company hasn’t said when it might reveal the new MediaPad, but certification raises the possibility of an announcement in the near future.

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Huawei’s new high-resolution tablet may give the Nexus 7 a run for its money


A Bathing Ape 2014 Spring/Summer 1ST CAMO SHARK APE STA


Image of A Bathing Ape 2014 Spring/Summer 1ST CAMO SHARK APE STA

Flipping a classic silhouette with its own trademark style, A Bathing Ape presents the 1ST CAMO SHARK APE STA for the new season. The high-rising casual sneaker – previously seen done up in chambray and all-over printed varieties – gets treated here with a full camouflage treatment around the upper.

The shoe is then detailed with BAPE’s penchant shark motif printed toward the heel. These features rest atop a clean vulcanized outsole, perfectly wearable come the warm weather.

Available in two colors, pick these up for about $170 USD from A Bathing Ape’s website and retail locations in the coming weeks.

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A Bathing Ape 2014 Spring/Summer 1ST CAMO SHARK APE STA


Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer

RocketNews 24:

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A few years ago, I was hanging out with a friend in Tokyo. Being recently married meant that for the first time in several years I was living in an apartment more spacious and comfortable than a bunker, and I invited my buddy back to my place for a beer.

I called my wife to give her a heads-up that I was bringing home a guest, and when we arrived, I was surprised to see she’d gone down the block to the store and picked up a selection of snacks for our impromptu drinking session. In hindsight, this really shouldn’t have been so unexpected, as beer is almost always accompanied by food in Japan.

Our memories are a little hazy, but we seem to remember being taught, “When in Rome, drink as the Romans.” Taking this to heart, recently a group of foreign residents in Japan shared their favorite munchies to pair with Japanese beer.

While most people who relocate to Japan eventually adapt to the local cuisine, some dishes can be an acquired taste, such as spicy cod roe or chicken cartilage (both are outstanding, by the way). Japanese beer has no such learning curve, however, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an expat here who likes a drink now and then but doesn’t appreciate the local brews.

It’s always seemed fitting that Ebisu beer shares its name with a full-fledged god.

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Japanese beer received kind praise in general from the 20 foreign residents polled, with fans citing its smooth, rich flavor. Brewers in Japan often roll out limited-time versions of their products with the change of seasons, such as amber beers in the fall and whites in winter, which participants also said they enjoyed.

Asahi’s packaging asserts that it is “the beer for all seasons,” however.

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Still, the focus group did have a few quibbles about Japanese beers. One American male lamented the lack of Japanese-produced ales, likely a byproduct of the country’s relative lack of the hard water preferred for their brewing process. An arrival from Tunisia grumbled that Japanese beer’s alcohol content wasn’t quite as high as he’d like.

This is an extremely simple problem to rectify.

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But when foreigners in Japan are pounding down a few cold ones, what do they chow down on? One man from Brazil said he goes for either umeboshi (pickled plums) or chocolate. Actually, neither of these are completely unheard of in Japan, with umeboshi being a popular at-home snack for older men, and chocolate often being on the menu at bars, particularly upscale ones.

▼ Umeboshi and Premium Malt’s: affordable luxuries.

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If neither sour nor sweet is what you’re looking for, you could follow the lead of the Greek man who suggested Pote Long, a popular brand of crispy potato chip-like snack sticks. Regular potato chips are also a common beer partner, and Japan has a ton of unique flavors.

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Of course, sometimes you crave a little protein, in which case there’s no better choice than meat. Respondents mentioned the Japanese-style fried chicken karaage, which is usually seasoned with garlic, soy, and/or ginger, as well as the chicken skewers known as yakitori. And if it’s right after payday, you could take the advice of the Taiwanese man who gave his answer as yakiniku, or Korean barbeque.

We’re sort of blurring the line between “snack” and “meal” here, though.

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By far the group’s favorite snack to have with beer, though, was edamame, also known as soybeans. Yes, the same edamame that get recommended by nutritionists and show up in vegetarian eating guides. Toss a little salt on them, chill before serving if it’s summer, and you’ve got a light, tasty, healthy snack that you can eat with your fingers.

Edamame are essentially the Japanese version of crunchy mini pretzels. You don’t have to be drinking a beer to enjoy their flavor, but the combination is highly recommended.

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Source: Nico Nico News

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Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer


Nike partners with COMME des GARÇONS (Japan) for customized Team Defender Jersey

A Dover Street Market New York exclusive, Nike has partnered with COMME des GARÇONS for a customized version of the Nike Team Defender Jersey. The slim fit football jersey provides a modern silhouette that is adorned with COMME’s signature polka dot pattern. The jersey was customized by hand in their Tokyo workshop yielding a slightly different finish on each, ensuring every piece is original and unique. Furthermore, front and side mesh panels offer ventilation and full range of motion while the reinforced shoulders and yoke provide strength where needed.
The Nike Team Defender Jersey CDG is now available in limited quantities only at Dover Street Market New York for $250 USD.
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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

RocketNews 24:

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Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.

But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favor of their hobby if it came down to it.

In Japanese human resources company Dipp’s “Otaku Opinion Survey: Valentine’s Edition“, 335 self-confessed nerds were asked a number of questions about their hobbies, ranging from how much they spend each year to whether they’d ever attended events dedicated to their respective hobbies.

Unsurprisingly, anime and manga were the group’s favourite hobbies, taking the top two spots with 62.7 and 61.2 percent, respectively, closely followed by classics such as video games and computers, as well as the for-some-reason-socially-acceptable pastime, music.

What was a surprise, though, was the fact that a startling number of respondents said that they had so much passion for their hobby that they said they’d choose it over love. When asked the question: “Hobby or love: which would you choose?” just under three quarters of those surveyed said they’d choose their pastime over romance, with 66 percent of all those surveyed saying that they wouldn’t feel even a shred of embarrassment if people thought of as nerds.

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When asked roughly how much money they spent on their particular hobbies, however, it became clear that at least a few of the “hobby-before-love” enthusiasts probably couldn’t afford to fritter money away on things like dates and romantic mini breaks anyway as, although many said that they spent just US$100-500 per year, one person admitted to spending a whopping $5,000 a year on their pastime.

Sure, if we’re talking computer components or video games, $5,000 a year probably doesn’t sound so bad. But if this individual’s particular vice happens to be plain-old manga? Well, lets just say we hope they’ve got a lot of storage space at home!

otaku pic

Source: Dip via Netorabo

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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love


Junya Watanabe MAN (Japan) collaborates with Duvetica to present the “Marsia” Cotton Moleskin Paraffin Down Feather Vest


Image of Junya Watanabe MAN x Duvetica "Marsia" Cotton Moleskin Paraffin Down Feather Vest

Continuing their string of collaborations, Junya Watanabe MAN and Italian down and winterwear specialist Duvetica present the “Marsia” vest. Made using a medley of materials, the vest features a paraffin waxed cotton body with moleskin, cotton twill and leather accents. Opening up the vest reveals a glossy inner lining as a nod to Duvetica’s traditional glossy nylon pieces. A bevy of external pockets on the front and leather attachment points and straps on the back round out this detail-packed vest.

Available now at HAVEN with a retail price of $1,420 CAD (approximately $1,270 USD).

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Junya Watanabe MAN collaborates with Duvetica to present “Marsia” Cotton Moleskin Paraffin Down Feather Vest


To mark spring, Starbucks Japan brings back the seasonal Sakura Seasonal Menu


In an annual event similar to the Pumpkin Spice Latte here in the U.S., Sakura (meaning “cherry blossom“) season is upon Starbucks Japan! Sakura season is when the cherry blossoms bloom in Japan (typically ranging from March to April) and droves of people in Japan stake out a spot at the park to view them (and picnic; drinking is usually involved).

The viewing is called hanami (literally “flower see,” but it’s only used in reference to cherry blossoms). It’s kinda like the Fourth of July, but longer and with varying dates depending on when the flowers decide to bloom.

For Starbucks Japan, what that means is Sakura-themed drinks, baked goods, and quite a bit of merchandise (including a Sakura-themed Starbucks Card).

On the drinks side, there’s a Sakura White Chocolate Frappuccino and a Sakura Hot White Chocolate. Both feature a light pink hue and cherry white chocolate flavor, and are topped with whipped cream, cherry white chocolate and white chocolate shavings, and strawberry powder.

Prices range from 430 yen (~$4.64 US) for a Short to 550 yen (~$5.94 US) for a Venti of the Hot White Chocolate version and starts at 490 yen (~$5.29 US) for a Tall and up to 570 yen (~$6.15) for a Venti of the Frappuccino version. The prices carry a 100 yen premium over their plain counterparts (i.e. a Coffee Frappuccino and Hot White Chocolate).

The available baked goods selection include cherry chiffon cake, cherry macaroons, cherry cookies, and cherry cookie balls. The latter two have already been sold out.

The limited-time merchandise include several tumblers, mugs, and a water bottle. Bringing your own tumbler or cup to a Starbucks in Japan saves you 20 yen (~$0.22 US) by the way.

The latte will set you back between 430 and 550 yen (US $4.10 to $5.25), depending on size, while prices for the Frappuccino run from 510 to 590 yen. Both drinks will be on sale only from February 15 to March 18, so remember to get yours before the actual sakura start blooming in April.

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To mark spring, Starbucks Japan brings back the seasonal Sakura Seasonal Menu


ASICS Gel Lyte III “Neon”


Image of ASICS Gel Lyte III "Neon"

This spring, the ASICS Gel Lyte III returns in a bright new “Neon” colorway. Here, the shoe features an upper composed of premium suede, leather and mesh in a combination of white, black, off-white and vibrant neon. Reflective accents on the toe box and a green and black outsole complete the look for this latest Gel Lyte III.

Score yourself a pair now from select stockists including Feature Sneaker Boutique.

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ASICS Gel Lyte III “Neon”