vaneea no sekai

‘Maman’, the Spider of Roppongi Hills

If you’ve had a chance to visit Ropponggi Hills, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a big spider like sculpture in the middle of the courtyard. It has 8 tall legs and has a sac under her belly, which carries 26 marbles. The landmark is iconic, eye catching and both creepy at the same time. I was curious of what the sculpture is and who created it was, but I didn’t have a chance to look around for any information on site. I soon forgotten about it.

One day, I was watching a National Geographic TV show on Guggenheim Bilboa and noticed that it has a similar sculpture erected outside the building. How on earth two similar sculptures can exist half way around the globe apart from each other? It must be one important art.

Japan – The Strange Country

Japan-The Strange Country (English ver.) from Kenichi on Vimeo.

‘Japan – The Strange Country’ was created by Kenichi Tanaka for his final thesis video. Japan is described as a densely populated nation with prosperous short and chinky eyed people, who love to gorge in luxury and food. They are so consumptive that they made blue fin tuna an endangered animal almost single handedly and had strained China’s forests to supply wood to make their disposable chopstics. Of course these and other information in the video is explored shallowly and seldom compared to appropriate statistics, making them biased. It surprised me. But, Tanaka himself is aware of it and call it a propaganda. I agree. It is.

The video will give you great fact about Japan, but it is not be the right vehicle for you to use in order to understand the country.

Cute Nissin 110th Anniversary TV Commercial by Studio Ghibli

Nissin chose Ghibli to create a TV ad for their 110th Anniversary. They had chosen well. The studio’s first attempt to create animation based entirely on brush calligraphy is a big success and super cute too.

I mean… much better than this Nissin commercial:

More wonderful TV commercials & short movie spots created by Ghibli below:

Sora Iro no Tane

House Foods ”Ouchi de Tabeyou” CM Winter

House Foods ”Ouchi de Tabeyou” CM Summer

Online Shopping Mall One

”Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi” Ticket

Umacha – Asahi Beverage

Dore Dore no Uta by Meiko Haigo



A Japanese Tea House in an Unexpected Place

Among Cherry Blossom and Apple trees, hidden a tiny tea house built as a place to spend time friends over a cup of tea in spiritual tranquility, creating a mutual closeness.

It is the vision of David Maštálka when he built the tea house, located in Prague, Czech Republic. The location and the creator may be Czech, but the soul of the tea house is clearly Japanese. It is the embodiement of the Sen no Rikyú.

A house and dewed ground
Guest and host
Drinking together a cup of tea
In quiet contemplation
In spiritual symphony


The tea house has two section: an open platfrom and enclosed tea room. The platform can fit one person, and I imagine that it would be nice to sit in it in a nice breezy day with tea and a book (or some manga).

Sweet Art of Katogi Mari Illustration


Katogi Mari illustrations are so sweet, dreamy and pretty. You can find many paintings and digital illustration based on western fairy tales.

Even though her art themes are mostly western, but her style definitely radiates Japanese femininity.

I used this as my desktop wallpaper at work (available on her website).

Regardless of our art style differences, she is the newest source of my adoration and inspiration. I definetely would like to have some of her paintings hangings on my wall.


Katogi Mari’s Website: http://mari.lomo.jp/

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