Sowa Unit

Sowa Unit is a new project from architect Kensuke Watanabe, in the form of a rehabilitation center for mental illnesses located in Tokyo. The complex is made up of six connected two-storey concrete sections. Dezeen features a gallery of photos, as well as an explanation of the project from Watanabe.

Design Toys


Incubot, a new toy company started by Matt Alt and Alen Yen, has released its first soft vinyl figure in the form of the Nekosaur. The figure was designed by Yen, sculpted by Kiyoshi Ikeda (Gargamel), and directed by Alt, and is the company’s homage to classic Japanese vinyl robot toys. The Nekosaur will be available for purchase first at this weekend’s SuperFestival 51 (January 10), and will then be available for order through the Incubot website.

In addition to the “crystal model” (pictured), a hand-painted custom version by Matt Walker will also be available for purchase.

Events Meta

Next Week’s PauseTalk (Vol. 37)

Kicking off the New Year not only with a new episode of Radio OK Fred, there’s PauseTalk as well, with Vol. 37 happening this coming Monday (January 11) at Cafe Pause, with the usual start time of 20:00. Please note that the cafe is reserved from 19:30, so feel free to come a bit earlier to hang out. There’s also a Facebook event page set up — it’s always nice to see the RSVPs, to get an idea of who plans on coming.

Max Hodges will again be adding to the “PauseTalk Portraits” series, and we’ll soon be releasing PDF photo books of some of the shots.

Meta Music

Radio OK Fred 17

Time to ring in the New Year with a new episode of Radio OK Fred (17), the “New” show. Well, it’s our take on new, and you’ll just have to listen to the show to find out how we justify some of our selections. Before you comment, yes, there’s a bit of technical issue at the start of the “1999” track (sound is too low), but hey, it was done live, and so that’s that. Hope you enjoy!

Also, please not that I made a mistake with the numbering recently. The “Christmas” episode was in fact #16, as I forgot to count the special episode Audrey recorded in Gothenburg this past summer. We already have the next episode in the can, and it’s another special one, this time recorded in Paris and featuring Audrey and Marie of Colette, with a terrific selection of tracks. It will be up next week. Below, a link to download #17 and the track listing — and you can subscribe to the feed as well.

Radio OK Fred 17 (44MB)

1. Radiohead – “The National Anthem”
2. Depeche Mode – “New Life”
3. New Order – “Blue Monday”
4. American Quartet with Billy Murray – “Casey Jones”
5. Sentridoh – “That Kind of Year”
6. Prince – “1999”
7. Happy End – “Haru yo Koi”
8. Dirty Projectors – “New New Attitude”
9. Fishmans – “Atarashii Hito”
10. Lhasa de Sala – “Rising”


Hoto Fudo

Back in October was saw renderings of the Hoto Fudo complex — designed by Takeshi Hosaka Architects — and now we get to see what the completed structure looks like, courtesy of Designboom.


MA House

Another beautiful living space to drool over, this time Katsufumi Kubota‘s MA House, located in the city of Matsuyama. One thing I’m always curious about though — how do these spaces look after people have actually lived in them? Via MoCo Loco.

Anime Film

Space Battleship Yamato

Here’s the first trailer — in the form of a TV commercial — for the upcoming live-action Space Battleship Yamato film.

Design MoCo Loco

MoCo Loco Top 5

How’s this for a first post of 2010, a photo of myself! It’s actually for my “top 5” that was just posted at MoCo Loco. My selections are taken from all of the “This Week from Tokyo” posts I did in 2009, and are (in no particular order): Jo Nagasaka’s PACO, the Reading Lamp, the Yamagiwa lamp collection, D-BROS’ Kudamemo, and Nosigner’s AWA line.