InStyle: Hello Kitty is getting her wwn museum exhibit in Seattle this fall

Hello Kitty Is Getting Her Own Museum Exhibit in Seattle This Fall

InStyle (by Tess Kornfeld):

Hello Kitty just turned 40, and she’s celebrating the big milestone by hitting up the West Coast. But she’s not leaving Japan for the sunny beaches of California as you might expect. Instead, our favorite cartoon cat is getting her very own exhibit at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.

Starting on November 14, the Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty retrospective will be on display, honoring the 40th anniversary of Sanrio‘s bow-wearing and pink-loving pop culture phenomenon—even though we don’t think she looks like she’s aged a day.

The exhibition, which comes straight from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, will look back at Hello Kitty’s evolution over time. And get ready for some major flashback moments. Among the artwork and pieces featured will be over 600 Hello Kitty products that have been released since the character was just a wee little kitten. Some of the vintage treasures like stationery and the first telephone to feature Hello Kitty go back as far as the 1970s. But the exhibit also features more modern pieces, such as the iconic plush toy-covered Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga in 2009 (shown above) and a couture bustier that Katy Perry wore to the Brit Awards that same year.

You can catch the fabulous feline’s exhibit in Seattle through May 2016. And the Sanrio star’s East Coast fans may get to join in on the fun soon, too. The brand is hoping to bring the exhibit to additional museums throughout the country, although specific plans have yet to be announced. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Hello Kitty Doc Martens Boot

“The Gaze of Kitty” by Kazuki Takamatsu

“Kittypatra” by Simone Legno for Tokidoki

Takashi Murakami unveils two new exhibitions for Tokyo and Yokohama

Legendary Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, has revealed that two new exhibitions of work will be shown in his homeland within the next twelve months. The 500 Arhats, a response to the 2011 Japan Earthquake, is to be exhibited at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo from October 31, 2015 to March 6, 2016 and Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection Soga Shohaku and Kitaoji Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer is to show for the first time at the Yokohama Museum of Art from January 30 to April 3 2016. Murakami, who recently collaborated on a collection with Vans, is also set to feature at Art Basel where Galerie Perrotin will present a solo show by the artist.

The subject of Murakami’s new art is one of the most famous motifs in Zen painting, the circle ensō that symbolizes emptiness, unity and infinity in Zen Buddhism. The 500 Arhats, a masterpiece stretching 100 meters by 3 meters in height represents the 500 wise followers who attained enlightenment, in Zen tradition. Keep an eye on Galerie Perrotin’s website for more details.

Takashi Murakami on ‘Juxtapoz’ Magazine’s 2015 July issue cover

Aaron Kai “Vices” Exhibition at Above Second Gallery (Hong Kong)

Hawaiian muralist and artist Aaron Kai is set to unveil his newest exhibition titled “Vices” at Above Second Gallery this weekend. “Vices” takes inspiration from the “vices” of our generation. Often viewed as sinful or immoral to society, vices hold an aspect of elevating sub-cultures, a notion Kai aims to explore with his signature style of wavy post-pop art that embraces whimsical designs and bold colors.

The exhibition will appropriately be held in the multicultural, metropolitan setting that is Hong Kong, an indulgent city of both virtues and vices. Kai will be in town for meet-and-greets and will also be offering unique dead stock pieces for sale.

If you’re in Hong Kong, be sure to stop by the Aaron Kai “Vices” exhibition’s official opening May 22.

Above Second Gallery
9 First Street,
Sai Ying Pun,
Hong Kong

Edo and Meiji era Japanese artwork now available for free download

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Attention all designers, artists, fashion enthusiasts and people who just appreciate some nice Japanese artwork: The Smithsonian Libraries should be your best friends.

Among their thousands of other free artwork and books, The Smithsonian Libraries and the Freer and Slacker Galleries, Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Arts now offer free downloads of thousands of beautiful Japanese prints.

Haven’t you ever wanted the simple yet colorful and whimsical prints of Meiji era (1868-1912) artwork as a digital file on your computer? Yeah, we have too and we’re really excited about this cool find.

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The collection is in fact a series of monthly design magazines, entitled Shin-bijutsukai.They were released in 1902 to show various designs by famous artists of the day. Artists featured include the editor himself, Korin Furuya, and his predecessor, Kamisaka Sekka. Sekka is known for being one of the first to incorporate Western tastes, styles and methods into traditional Japanese-style works. Furuya carried on this new, modern Japanese style and helped spread it around the world.

▼ Can you see the Western influence?

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If you want digital access to the pictures above and hundreds more, head to The Smithsonian Libraries website. There are two volumes of Shin-bijutsukai and both can be downloaded in their entirety by clicking the links towards the bottom of the website here.

Be aware, the files are kind of big, so you might want to stick with computers, not smart phones for this one.

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If you’re more into traditional artwork, the Freer and Slacker Museums also offer countless free downloads of artwork from all over Asia here. In the Japan section, you can find Edo period woodblock prints from world-famous artists, such as Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige.

▼ “Wood-block Print of Two Fish with Floral Sprays and a Poetic Inscription” by Utagawa Hiroshige.

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▼ “Merry Makers at Cherry Blossom Festival” by Yeisen

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Sometimes staring at pictures in museums just isn’t enough; you want to get them from the wall and onto your computer. Now you can and what’s even better, is that they’re available for free. Thank you technology and thank you Smithsonian Library.

Japanese tourist injured in Tunisian terrorist attack, also “attacked” by Japanese media in hospital

tunisian museum

RocketNews 24:

On March 18, three terrorists attacked and took hostage patrons at the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia, killing 21 people and injuring about 50 others. Among those injured was Noriko Yuki, a Japanese tourist visiting Tunisia with her mother.

Ms. Yuki sustained a gunshot wound in the attack and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. There, shortly after her surgery, she was immediately bombarded by Japanese media looking to interview her, with some members of the press apparently going so far as to tell the Japanese ambassador watching over her that he did not have the authority to stop us from interviewing her.”

Noriko Yuki (age 35), a major in the Japanese Self Defense Forces, was taken to the Charles Nicolle Hospital in the Tunisian capital shortly after the attacks on March 18. The very next day, reporters from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun arrived at the hospital and asked the doctors if Ms. Yuki was well enough to be interviewed. They were told she only had minor wounds remaining after the surgery and so permitted them to talk to her.

Security lead them all the way to Noriko’s room, but before they entered, the Japanese ambassador who had spent the past several days with Ms Yuki and knew that she was in no state to do an interview told them they could not enter. The reporters told him: “If you were Noriko herself or her family then you could stop us interviewing her, but you do not have the authority to stop us from interviewing her.”

But stop them he did. The reporters left a little while after, never getting that interview with the barely-conscious Noriko, who gave a statement a few days later on March 20. Here is the translation:

She goes into detail on her trip and the attack itself:

“I’m sorry for troubling everyone, and I want to apologize for causing any inconvenience. I also want to thank everyone too, since I’ve been unable to get any information about the terrorist attack or the aftermath. Even though I was caught up in it, I know almost nothing about it, and everyone has been so kind in informing me. Since I’m in no condition to appear in public, I’d like to express my gratitude through writing.

My mother and I left Japan on March 14, and we arrived in Italy on the 15. From there we took a cruise to Tunisia and joined a tour group. Our guide spoke English and French, so I didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying.

We arrived at the museum at 11:30, and when we were looking around on the 2nd floor, a member of our group said ‘there’s someone holding a gun outside the window.’ Our tour guide was very casual about it and said ‘that’s something that you see quite often in Tunisia.’ Shortly after, we heard gunfire and everyone, myself included, started running. I saw people bleeding and falling to the ground around me. I slammed into somebody, fell down, and then heard a gunshot and felt pain in my ear. When I looked back to the entrance to the room, there was a man holding a gun. I couldn’t see his face. I covered my head with my hands and stayed lying down. The guns kept going off for quite a while. I hurt all over and thought I was going to die, I couldn’t believe something like this was actually happening.

After a while the man left, and when I stood up there were about ten people on the ground around me. Some were unharmed, some weren’t moving.

I was bleeding from my left hand, left ear, and neck, but other than that I was fine. My mom was on the ground next to me. Blood was coming out of her neck; there was a pool of it underneath her head. When I called to her she said ‘my neck hurts’ and moved around a bit, so I was relieved that she was alive, but she couldn’t move by herself. I kept hearing gunfire and worried that the gunmen would come back. Making everything even worse was the thought that I was the one who had invited my mother to come on this trip, so it was my fault this happened to her.

Policemen then came to help us and I was so happy I cried. I asked them to help my mother, but they said that people who could walk would be taken first, so I was put in an ambulance and separated from her.

When I arrived at the hospital, the bag that had my passport was taken away, as well as my cellphone. After my examination and treatment, I was told I would need to be put to sleep for surgery, so I was again loaded into an ambulance and taken to another hospital. The whole time, inside and outside the hospital, lots of people were taking pictures and video of me which made me feel very uncomfortable.

At the new hospital I was given medicine for the pain, and shortly after a large group of people came into my room: the Tunisian Prime Minister, government officials, and others. I told them all to please find my mom. NHK and New York Times reporters also came in and asked me questions. I thought I had no choice, and I was out of it that honestly I have no memory of anything I told them.

The Japanese Ambassador also came, asking for my contacts in Japan to call. Since I didn’t have my cellphone and could only remember my parents’ landline number, we didn’t get through to anyone.

That evening I learned that my mom was in another hospital and had had surgery and was doing fine. I was relieved, but I was told I would need surgery too. They put me to sleep, and when I woke up it was over, but the pain was far worse than before, so I asked for some medication. But that just made me worry: my mom didn’t know any English. What would she do if she couldn’t communicate? What if she was in pain too?”

The interview:

“When I was brought back to my room, the Japanese Ambassador and local Japanese coordinator were there. Since I’d been crying all day my eyes were inflamed and I couldn’t open them, so I couldn’t see their faces. The ambassador called my mother for me, and I was relieved to hear her voice. The coordinator called Nippon Television and asked me to do an interview with them over the phone. I did as I was asked and answered the questions. At the end they asked me if they could show the interview on TV, and since I was embarrassed at the horrible state I was in I said no. They then told me that my my name, face, and interview with NHK had already been broadcast, so it didn’t really make a difference. That was the first time I’d heard anything about that, so I was shocked.

The next day I got my bag and passport back and was able to talk to family back home. My mother was moved to the same hospital as me and then into the same room as well.

After she was moved, I heard someone yelling at the Japanese Ambassador outside the room: ‘Let us do the interview. You do not have the authority to stop us from interviewing her.’ The ambassador told me: ‘Asahi Shimbun wants you to let them interview you, but you don’t have to do it. You’re in bad shape, and we don’t know how the interview will be used, so you can refuse if you’d like.’ Since I’d been doing all these interviews up to now thinking I had no choice, I was so happy I cried.

Yesterday I was asked to do an interview with Fuji Television. I thought about refusing again, but I wanted to tell everyone what happened, and how I feel. So instead of refusing I decided to give my statement through writing instead. My mother is getting surgery again, and then depending on how that goes we might be able to go back to Japan. Both of us are fine, but we’re in bad shape, and we want to go back home as soon as possible. We’re very thankful to everyone in Tunisia who helped us, and to the Japanese Ambassador and everyone else. Now we just ask that you please let us rest for a while. Thank you.”

Asahi Shimbun has since released a response, apologizing for demanding an interview:

The reporter should not have shouted at the ambassador. We have read Ms. Yuki’s statement, and we apologize to her.”

Noriko Yuki, her mother, and everyone else involved in this horrible incident has been through a terrible ordeal. After being through a terrorist attack, they shouldn’t have to worry about attacks from their home country’s media. Let’s hope that everyone who was hurt in this crime gets the treatment they need, all the while avoiding intrusive interviews from pushy reporters.

Yokohama nature amusement park’s cafe introduces Black Bun/Fried Frog Burger to coincide with “Deadly Poison” exhibition

frog burger

CNN Money: 

A whole frog, minus the flies and croak, will soon be offered as a burger by a cafe in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

The deep fried frog will be served in a black bun, colored with bamboo charcoal, and topped with lettuce. For a 1,000 yen ($8), the burger comes with a drink. That’s roughly the price of a Big Mac meal in Japan.

The cafe is part of Orbi Yokohama, a nature-themed amusement park to the south of Tokyo.

The frog burger will be available as part of a special exhibition of poisonous creatures, Orbi Yokohama spokesperson Tomoko Hiroshige said. The deadly animals show will feature spiders, stingrays, puffer fish and other animals.

Fancy seconds? The cafe will also offer a toad-themed dessert.

The “frog egg pudding” consists of a miniature jelly frog and some smooth almond tofu representing spawn in a pond.

Yum!