Kodansha’s Pop Culture Family of Books

I was happy to see that top shelf pictured at the Junkudo book store in Ikebukuro, bringing together that great little collection of Japanese pop culture books from Kodansha International. I remember that when Arcade Mania came out, because we were the first, it was actually challenging for bookstores to place the book, as it wasn’t obvious where it should go. But with the addition of all those other books that ended up using the same format — Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda’s Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, Brian’s Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, and Patrick W. Galbraith’s The Otaku Encyclopedia — it now makes sense to display them together. I think the next step is the creation of a box set — how great a Christmas gift would that be!

Opening of Diesel Concept Store in Shibuya

Thursday night I was out in Shibuya for the opening reception of the new Diesel Concept Store, which opens to the public today (November 20). Like the Diesel Denim Gallery in Aoyama, the store features a gallery space, and the opening show is Simon Henwood and Fannie Schiavoni’s “Black Sun” (until February 23). I rather like the diner-like cafe/bar area, but I have no idea what the regular menu will have to offer.

The party itself was a bit too packed for my taste, although I did get a kick out of seeing Takashi Murakami waiting in line to get in when I was on my way out.

Nikko

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a bunch of overnight trips around Tokyo as I do my research work for the next editions of the Rough Guide to Tokyo and Japan, and it’s been fun. Sure, I’ve had the worst luck when it comes to weather, but there have been some bright spots, like this past Wednesday in Nikko. It was a bit strange to be at the spot pictured above in the afternoon, only to end up at this past week’s PechaKucha Night at SuperDeluxe in the evening.

Tomorrow I head out to Fuji Five Lakes for some more research, and the weather is looking nice (knock on wood).

Venom Palette

I had a chance to check out Daniel‘s exhibition yesterday — the one I posted about — and quite enjoyed what I saw. The best was to have him explain the meaning behind each piece — it was great to hear the justification for each element used. Unbelievably, he’s selling t-shirts for 1,000 yen — yes, I of course grabbed one — and each work is also available for sale as a poster.

It looks like Daniel will be coming to this Monday’s PauseTalk, so it should be a good chance to interact with the artist and ask him about his works.

Malin Baumann and the Gorilla Store

OK Fred‘s Gorilla Store #3 is now over, but I still wanted to put up a few photos from the space, featuring Malin Baumann‘s items. Really loved the graphic patterns seen on the badges above — each one represents a letter from the alphabet. I’m hoping she follows through with what she told me and that she comes out with some bow ties.

Also, while on the topic of OK Fred, a new episode of Radio OK Fred should be up later today or tomorrow. Subscribe to the feed so as not to miss it!

101TOKYO Opening

On Wednesday I attended the opening for this year’s second edition of 101TOKYO, held again in Akihabara, but this time at the Akiba Square event space inside the UDX building. It’s not really fair to compare this edition to last year’s — they were quite different beasts — so I’ll just congratulate Jason, Kosuke, Donald, and the entire 101TOKYO crew for a terrific event. The opening was a blast — and according to Jason, 400-500 were in attendance. Oh, and the purple rocks.

101TOKYO ends today (April 5), so depending on when you read this you may still have a chance to go out and catch it on the last day, or go to the after-party to be held later tonight (from 21:00) at Trump Room in Shibuya — that’s where they’ll be giving out the Berengo Prize. I’ll put up a report tomorrow at PechaKucha Daily on last Thursday’s special edition of PechaKucha Night — it was hosted by our very own Mark and Astrid, who took a break from preparations for their big exhibition, which opens this week at Gallery Ma.

Below, a few more photos from the opening.

Party people taking in art.

Jason giving me a “you lookin’ at me?” face during the event’s opening press conference.

New this year: gigantic art.

Party people drinking and chatting in the main hallway. The purple definitely works.

My friends Ega and Erika, obviously having a good time.

Juniper giving me the look, and in the background we see Digiki, who helped produce last year’s edition, and made it to the opening despite the broken arm.