United Bamboo and Pinceau Omotesando

Last night I dropped by the opening reception for the new United Bamboo shop in Aoyama (behind Omotesando Hills), along with the new Masamichi Katayama-designed Pinceau store, located in the same building. The United Bamboo store has a sort of gallery concept, which gives it a livelier feel than the Daikanyama store. I don’t know much about Pinceau Omotesando, but Katayama was in attendance, and it was nice getting to meet him. This was followed by a party at Montoak, where drinks and hors d’oeuvres were aplenty, which meant for good — if crowded — fun. Apologies for the lack of photos, as I didn’t have my camera with me.

Murata Boy

Who says robots in Japan are dead?

A robot rides a bicycle at the headquarters of electronics equipment maker Murata Manufacturing Co. The “Murata Boy” can ride up a 25-degree slope and stop without losing its balance. It can also make an S-curve without falling off the bicycle. The new robots will be shown at CEATEC Japan 2006 that opens Oct 3. (Crisscross)

Hanae Mori Retrospective in Paris

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If you’re in Paris, you might want to catch this:

Hanae Mori began her prestigious career as a costume designer in the post-war Japan movie scene. In 1965 she presented her famous collection, “East Meets West” in New York, and in 1979 she became the only Asian designer to be admitted to La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Commemorating her prestigious career, the Hanae Mori Foundation will be presenting a retrospective at La Maison de l’Amerique Latine in Paris from October 6th to the 27th. In addition to her more famous pieces the website informs us that the exhibition will feature an animated robot mannequin designed by Tatsuya Matsui and dressed by Ms. Mori in an effort “to be a hyphen with [the] 21st century rather than pure nostalgia.” It should be a lovely exhibition, so if you’re in Paris at the time, go and check it out. (JoshSpear.com)