Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Asian art’

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: I am still drawn to Yui Yokoyama!


… and who wouldn’t be? Actually this is a DRAWING of the lovely Yuihan wearing a kimono. The original drawing is by Rodolfo Cortez. You can view more of his drawings — AKB and otherwise — on his web page linked here. Yokoyama-san has very intense eyes. Do you think that he did a good job of capturing their intensity? I also like that little “48” clasp he drew on the kimono.

There are also some great paintings of Yui Yokoyama in kimono in her first photo book released earlier this year. The artist is Japanese painter  Yasunari Ikenaga. The photo books are mostly photographs, but there is this nice little part of about her making this kimono painting.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nklaf3teBn1tk0ttpo8_1280

Here is Yui lying down on the kimono pattern, to see how it looks with her.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nkl9zrJNbI1tk0ttpo8_1280

This is her kimono (yukata actually) that the painting is based on. Note the floral pattern and the obi-sash pattern below was used in the painting.

Guess what my favorite part of this photo is!

compare yui kimono to drawing1

Here is the basic drawing before color painting.

yui drawing tumblr_no7hgxFwLr1upgonmo2_400

I would have to say that the picture turned out well.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nkla3gnT621tk0ttpo7_1280

I sure would have to have this Yui panel in my tea room! It looks like Ms. Yokoyama also approves of the art …

yui tumblr_no7hgxFwLr1upgonmo1_400

I am probably even easier to please than Yuihan.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nklabqSlkf1tk0ttpo4_1280

Even her painting is INTENSE!

The photobook is available from CD Japan linked here.

It only costs $12 … Gulp … so why can’t I have one?. (There is also a DVD-Blu-Ray photobook if you have a Japanese player.)

yui book cover NEOBK-1745808

Starlight: The photobook was released February 2015.


KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Japanese Beauty in Kimono — The Art of Shinsui Itō

"After Washing Her Hair" by Shinsui Itō

“After Washing Her Hair” by Shinsui Itō

While washing her hair ...

While washing her hair …

Shinsui Itō: Japanese women in kimono. Which is your favorite color?

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Shinsui Itō, in Japanese 伊東 深水 (1898-1972), was one of the great Japanese artists of the twentieth century. Arguably, traditional Japanese art entered into a decline after the introduction of photography, and the introduction of western artistic styles.  Under the name of Shinsui Itō, (his real name was Hajime Itō, in Japanese: 伊東 一), he continued to use the “old” style of Japanese woodblock print painting.

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I like his work, because he often depicted Japanese women in a peaceful, yet sensuous manner. His depictions of beautiful Japanese women in kimono are the subject of my post today. Ahem … what a peaceful moment …

From the "Japanese Beauties" collection series 1929-1931

From the “Japanese Beauties” collection series 1929-1931

The Japanese government has declared his artwork to be a “national treasure”.

"Before The Mirror" by Shinsui Itō

“Before The Mirror” by Shinsui Itō

Shinsui Itō: One of the great names of the Shin-hanga art movement!




KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #28): The artwork of Rieko Morita

Morita Rieko 00a12552a51d310225f6726c043965fe

Rieko Morita (Morita Rieko) is a Japanese painter from Kobe, Japan.  Although most of her art is not kimono-themed, all of it is interesting. I especially like the “panel art” that she does, and would love to have one of these in my office.*

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The following is from her official website: “A Japanese artist renowned for her remarkable precise description technique of Maiko, symbol of Kyoto’s traditional culture, and other objects such as seasonal flowers and exotic women. Rieko draws keen attention at the present Japan art world as a leading artist of the Japanese painting of the next generation.”

Visit her official web site linked here.

This YouTube video is a slide show of some of her other (non-kimono) art.

*How many hints do I have to drop!



“Kodoku na Hoshizora” by AKB48: Is it “art” … or do I just have a dirty mind?

AKB48 Team A  “Kodoku na Hoshizora” song and music video.


Watch the music video here on the wonderful web site.  A new window will open for Jpopsuki linked here.—Kodoku-Na-Hoshizora-%2528eng-subbed%2529/de348894133a1dd04cf3eea470170259/18

Edit: Jpopsuki is out of business — please see the new link below. Sorry no subs there.

Make sure to view full screen in order to appreciate the period art!


click images to view full size

This was an amazing AKB video, and you will not find it on YouTube.  The story takes place during the Tokugawa Shogunate-era in Japan.  We are taken to a scene in the era’s Ukiyo (浮世, ) or “Floating World”.  This is the pleasure area, or “red light district” of brothels and tea houses in Edo.

The story centers on a character played by Mayu Watanabe.  She plays an Edo prostitute who is in love with another prostitute played by Rina Kawaei.  The haunting lyrics describe a desperate love that can never be.

When I first viewed this, I thought that the music video contained much more lesbian erotica than it actually does. There is much that is inferred, and the camera switches at particular moments.  There is A LOT of teasing (e.g., at time 2:26, Mayu leans forward as if to kiss Rina, but the camera switches to show that Mayu is just whispering a secret into Rina’s ear).  I daresay that the music itself has a very sexy and seductive sound … but then again, maybe I just have a dirty mind. One becomes open to suggestion here.  This music video is done very tastefully.  Upon later viewing. I was better able to enjoy the art, kimono costumes and lyrics.  There is no vulgarity, but it does tell the story of  lesbian passion and longing – something that is rarely told in popular music.  It is an elaborate music video, and is another reason why I like AKB48.  I liked the kimonos of course, and the tapestries, and I especially loved those “Sitka deer” statutes.  It is hoped that after viewing, readers will want to research more about this period of Japanese culture and history.

          “I beg you shooting stars …”

As always, Thank You to Stage 48 for providing a source of lyrical translations.  Thanks to Jpopsuki users “mochichan”,  “abilien” and “spacelion139” for lyric transcription and time setting.  You did an amazing job with the English Subtitles!  Thank you Mr. Yasushi Akimoto-san for being a creative genius.  His lyrics are wonderful:  They sound great sung in Japanese, and are still  mystically beautiful as translated into English below:

English Translation: “The Lonely Starry Sky”

While feeling around in the dark
I searched for a faint light
I’ve been lost in the forest of my heart
Since the day I met you

Please tell me, shooting stars
How long must I wait here?
For the sake of this irreplaceable love
I am now merely looking up at a time of solitude…

Near the thin purple dawn
I found hope in the sky
Even if you cannot embrace me
Having you by my side is enough

I beg you, shooting stars
Let this love shine for eternity
If love is enveloped by myriad clouds
My sigh will become the wind, an illusion that will reach it

For the sake of this irreplaceable love
I am now merely looking up at a time of solitude…

Loving one another
I do not want to call it a miracle

Nothing can be seen
That light is still far in the distance

Loving one another
Such a thing is always fate

The stars are silently
Waiting for that day to arrive

Team A

It took approximately one year for this starlight to reach my world. 

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