During one of my frequent Junkudo magazine reading sessions, I had a look at a newish design mag from Turkey called 34. I had a look at the second issue, and quite liked what I saw. I would have bought it if not for the high price (foreign magazines are insanely expensive here).

34 is not just a magazine about style, but also a magazine about the philosophy of style. It is intelligent and beautiful, a 21st marriage of form and content. 34’s niche is that it can cover East and West with equal vigor and authority.

And how do I justify mentioning this in a Tokyo blog? Well, there is coverage of quite a few Japanese designers/personalities, including a piece on Asano Tadanobu, about his first foray as a director. The film, an anthology of 5 shorts, is called TORI, and I can’t believe I wasn’t aware of this.


Beat Versus Kitano

Yeah, yeah, another article on Kitano Takeshi, and ZATOICHI is like, so 2003, but I did like this bit:

Hollywood movies are like Ford cars, they flood the marketplace,” he said. “But when you start to worry that they are going to take over everything, other trends start to develop. In Japan we are seeing a boom in Korean films and TV. A movie need not be an international hit. It can be just a small slice of life, enjoyed just by a few.

People go to the zoo to see the pandas and the lions,” he said. “But if the dogs and the monkeys can do funny tricks, they will watch them, too,” he said. “I try not to work too hard at creating a great work of art. The more you think about that as your goal, the harder it becomes to attain.

Read the full MSNBC article here.


Back to Black (or Dark Brown)

AFTER more than a decade of being strawberry blonde, sandy brown or even metallic silver, Japanese are rediscovering the root colour of their hair.

In this country, where more than eight in 10 people colour their hair, it has caused a prominent change of hue in the cityscape.

Up until last year, it was not unusual to see an entire row of light brunettes in a train carriage. Now, it is more likely to be black-brown, the colour of Asian hair, said the Japan Hair Colour Industry Association.

Read the full article here.



Spent a lot of time today adding little features to the site. First thing you’ll notice is that the various sections (archive pages, category pages, the front page) now have some navigation links at the bottom, and are all limited to 15 posts per page. The big problem was that anybody going to the TB.Grafico page would get a page with all 300+ entries, which didn’t make any sense. Also added links to the categories in the sidebar.

As for the individual entries, you’ll now notice a link that says “Print,” which brings you to a print-friendly version of the page. Also, you can now subscribe to a comment thread. By doing this, you will get notifications whenever a new comment is added, making it easier to continue discussions.

Lastly, there is now a version of the site for mobile phones. Input the following address in your phone:

This will bring you to a barebone menu that lists that 10 must recent entries, which you can read in their entirety. You also have access to the comments.

Update: And here are some stats that you might find interesting, like the posts with the most comments, and who has left the most comments on the site.

Update 2: Also added “previous post” and “next post” links to the individual entry pages.

Design is a bilingual (Japanese/English) design blog. Amazingly enough, it seems that the author, Okada Eizo, does the whole thing in HTML, using no blog software. Link via Chad.


OK Fred 4 Cover

okfred4The cover to the next issue of OK FRED (4), the rap issue, which will be out August 12. It will feature interviews with: Scha Dara Parr, Krs-One, Tes, TTC, Afra, Doseone, Why?, Odd Nosdam, Alias, Jel, Funkstorung, dDamage, Andrew Broder, Ghislain Poirier, Madlib, The Books, Mum, KID606, Adventure Time, Buck 65, Michel Gaubert, Kid Acne, Stephan Mathieu, Aoki Takamasa, and Yasuharu Konishi. And don’t forget the release party at the ICC August 21.