Design Technology

Emoji at the MoMA


The original set of 176 emoji created for NTT DOCOMO in 1999 (supervised by Shigetaka Kurita) has been added to MoMA’s permanent collection. Read more about their creation in this Medium post.

Design Events Technology

Span 2016 Tokyo Livestream


If you didn’t get a chance to follow the Google Span 2016 conference as it was happening in Tokyo, the archive of the event’s livestream is available for your viewing pleasure. Pictured, a shot taken by Craig, who was also a presenter.

Design Events Technology

Google Span 2016


Today (October 6, in Japan) in Tokyo is Google Span 2016, a conference featuring “conversations about design and technology,” and I’m blown away by the fantastic lineup, that not only includes a lot of smart people I know, but also a PechaKucha session. The space looks beautiful too. The entire thing is being livestreamed here (from 11:00 JST).

Design Events Technology

Reason Behind Forms


I’ve been a longtime fan and supporter of the work of Nosigner (aka Eisuke Tachikawa, whose monicker is now the name of his firm), covering many of his early works in my “On Design” column and elsewhere, and it makes me happy to see that he’s gotten to a point where he’s headlining his own show at the Ginza Graphic Gallery (“Reason Behind Forms,” running this month until October 31). One of the main installations in the show is what you see pictured, which represents all of the technology that has been engulfed within the iPhone. There’s more to see in this Spoon & Tamago post.


KYOTO VR x Reylia Slaby


This “KYOTO VR x Reylia Slaby” project looks quite interesting, as they look to create a photorealistic VR experience based around Kyoto landmarks. It’s currently looking for funding through Campfire, a Kickstarter-like Japanese site.

Games Technology Tokyo Walking



When I was still living in Tokyo, near Shibuya, it happened a few times that I was having a coffee at Starbucks with my dog, and in front of me I saw a line of people dressed up as Nintendo characters (Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach) drive by in supped up go-karts — Mario Kart come to life. Turns out you can now go for a spin yourself courtesy of Maricar. The prices are quite decent (starting at around 1500 yen for 30 minutes), and it must be a blast to go karting through the streets of Tokyo. A driver’s license is required though — I first learned of the service when I saw a tweet from my friend Kyle about getting an international driver’s license during a recent visit back home to the US, with the express purpose of doing this when back in Tokyo.

Photography Technology Web

Hi and Goodbye

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.46.23

Earlier this year, the fine folks behind the “moment sharing site” Hi (né Hitotoki) shared some big news: they would shut down the site on September 1, as part of a novel archiving project (here’s what Craig Mod had to say about the “Hitotoki Archives” project). We’re just a few days away from the site shutting down, which means you still have a chance to share a moment or two, that will be preserved on physical media.

I received a notice the other day to download all of my contributions to the site, which I’ve done. I was never a big contributor to the site, but it’s nice to see these shared moments again, and I’m thinking of incorporating them in my blog (as you know, I’m very much in an archival state of mind these days).

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.35.59

Games Technology

Nintendo Monthly iPhone Wallpapers


I use the Line app once a month, and for the exact same reason every time: to check the new messages from the official Japanese Nintendo account, for the purpose of downloading the new iPhone calendar wallpaper it shares each month. Pictured above, the wallpapers we’ve gotten for July, August, and September (which is now adorning my iPhone lock screen, a bit ahead of schedule). I absolutely love these.

Games Technology

Famicom Titler


Just look at this gorgeous machine. Released in 1989 by Sharp, only in Japan, its purpose was to allow better video capture of Famicom (NES) games. Read more about its history in and use in this Kotaku post. I mostly lust for those controllers with the big “1” and “2” graphics on them.

Technology Tokyo Walking

Godzilla Wi-Fi in Shinjuku


Since I’m no longer based in Tokyo I can’t really comment on the access to free wi-fi in the city, but while I was there (until March 2015) it was horrible, and so it’s nice to see that our big green friend is taking care of covering Shinjuku ward in beautiful free internet vibes. The photo was taken by the always awesome Patrick Macias, Tokyo senpai to us all.