I don't remember how i found this guys works. But i just love the colors and the layouts. My brother has been buying some shirts from the site. I actually wanted to buy some of the tabloid posters. He does such a good job with the silkscreen texture look. Very vintage, very classic, very well done.


So this is a little different from the typical once we've seen from the 80s movie. Its i believe the Japanese version of the movie poster and i just love it alot more since its more dynamic and dramatic. I remember seeing this poster at Mandarake in Osaka for 5000 yen ($50). I didn't wanna pay that much for a poster but loved the illustration so much.


Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann

Its probably been a long long time or maybe never that a new current Japanese animation had impressed me. I discover Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann from watching some clips of Nakagawa Shoko, who sings the opening theme to the animation. As soon as i saw the mecha design and the character designs, it got me curious. As i saw the clips on veoh.com, the pilot was not bad and it made me want to watch more. The mecha has a unique design yet is very child-like but nostalgic. It is a kids show since its says 8:30 AM on the clock but Japanese kids show can range from a kid to an adult, not all the time but from what i can think when i was a kid myself. But the characters big head concept and merging into a giant robot sometime in the future of the story has a good concept. I heard its only 26 episodes which i'm glad. I love short episode series, since you know they have a limit and need to end it. This is a current fave for me. Next to Death Note.



I love alot of the logo designs Paul Rand had come up. So simple. So bold. I even kept the book Marks of Excellence which is the basic 101 of logos, marks, and semiotics. He was such a great pioneer to the world of graphic design even before it was called that.


I haven't eaten this in a long time. But i've always loved the packaging and the taste of the chocolate. I didn't realize that it actually resembled the pyramids. Now i wanna pick up a bar of Toblerone.



An animation made by nine different directors with nine different robot short stories. Its been awhile that i've been impressed by Japanese animation. Impressed meaning, not just having great animation but just interesting visuals, audio, storyline, character development, etc. Its gotta have a harmonious tone, which not alot of animation has these days besides Ghibli. This was made back in 1987, and every segment is about 10 minutes long. My favorites are DEPRIVE, PRESENCE, and STARLIGHT ANGEL, just cause they such an 80s feel to it and just love the background music.



I have this weird thing about cafes, coffeshops, just coffee in general. I'm not an expert or an extreme coffee drinker. But i enjoy exploring around for places and try to give my own sort of review or mark it somewhere in my head. I think it all started with the fact that the city has way too many Starbucks. Down by my neighborhood theres about 4 Starbucks, down by school theres about 10.

Lavazza. I first laid my eyes on this place down on Randolph and State. Just a little bit passed Old Navy and Nordstrom Rack. Its an Italian Cafe. Franchised like Starbucks but not as big or not having much of a reputation. But if you walk in, its a different atmosphere and obviously its no Starbucks. I found out there is another in the city down on east of Jackson and like LaSalle.

The logo is graphically simple and catchy. I even want to pick up a mug from there someday. Just because it has the logo on it.


I was first introduced by one of his works back on campus in Columbia. It was a poster for Artworks i believe, an annual art lecture event that Debra Parr used to or still coordinates. Jay Ryan's illustrations are whimsical and very child-like. You've seen his posters everywhere. Especially for band promotions. If you go to birdmachine.com, you'll see alot of the posters he's done for bands.



Probably one of my favorite animations out there. Most likely because its about a robot. The story, the design, the settings, is just so old school. The robot design is just great. I do still have a toy of it somewhere around the house. My brother got it for me back in high school. I don't own this particular special edition dvd. But i used to have the regular version until i sold it. I've been meaning to get this someday when i feel like it.

But this is a great animation movie.



I'm currently intrigued by this Japanese graphic novel. Not only by its context but for its graphic illustrations by Obata Takeshi. I've never read such a graphic novel where i take my time reading and slowly absorbing every vivid detail, every specific lines, forms, contrasts, etc. Frame by frame, the illustrations are well drawn, the plot just keeps you excited. You think you wanna stop but you ended up going one volume further than you expected.


MRT Singapore

I used to live in Singapore for about 2 years back in around '89-'90 I believe. Some of the few things i remember then is the train system they had. How it was so clean and so slick looking for its time. I guess it seemed that way since i was mostly used to going to places by cars or buses. But i just remember it being so clean and so spacious. How sometimes doors from both sides opened up depending on the station.


Ramune is probably the Coke of Japan if i may say. Only because its been in the culture for years and its bottle design, and packaging hasn't change much for the past 50 years. I see alot of anime kids drinking this, assuming some anime they liked featured this drink, as well as Pocky. But to me, it just simply gives me more of an nostalgia. The idea of pushing a little marble ball in order to open the drink, has that same effect of opening a bottle cap off of a Coke bottle.

KADOKESHI Multi-Corner Eraser

I still have this eraser. Probably one of the most interestingly designed eraser i've ever seen. Just the fact that it has so many corners is just unbelievable. As soon as i saw it, i had to get it. I believe i bought this at Loft or Tokyu Hands.


Super Sculpey

I've always liked sculpting. I haven't done much of it. But i've been meaning to pick up one of these ever since i watched TV Champion's Professional Plastic Modelers. These artists create the most amazing figures from scratch. Using this! It inspired me to want to pick up a box and sculpt. I also simply just love the packaging of this box. So retro, yet very modern. The typography on the packaging is just so cool looking for a box of clay.


So i picked up a copy of Smart magazine May issue (yes i picked up a month old issue). As i was flipping through the pages they had a 'mono' section. First came the cellphone. Out of all the designs i've seen, i liked this series by Sharp.

It comes with 20 different color variations. Just simple and again, very slick.

Japanese cellular phones are so ahead of time...

GUYLIAN Chocolate

My first taste of this delicious chocolate was back in the Philippines.We used to buy it alot at the Duty Free store. Now that i'm in Chicago can only find them in World Market. Although in world market, it only comes in single sets and only with the sea horses. I used to eat it with a whole box of chocolate with sea shells and other sea themed shapes. It is simply delicious. My next favorite after the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate. But i love this just the fact that its an unusual shape for a chocolate, it does look very uninviting at first. But you'll be in for a surprised taste.


This is a shot of Hep 5 mall in Umeda Osaka. What is interesting about this mall is how on the exterior, up on the roof, there is a Ferris Wheel. As for the inside, a giant whale and a baby whale is hanging from the ceiling, from like the 8th floor down to the second floor. A lot of impact i know. But this was probably one of my favorite malls i went to back in Osaka.


I've been using these pens for a long time. Probably since middle school. I have these weird obsessions with Japanese stationary stores. I pick up markers, pens, mechanical pencils, and somehow i always end up bringing home a pair of these pens. I mostly get the 0.3 to 0.5, they've helped me through the years. They're about 100 yen or so in Japan, so if i recall, 3 years ago, i bought about 25 or so of those for me to use at home.


Whenever i have the chance. i always make sure to pick up a Japanese Street Magazine from Asahiya, sorry, now Shinseido Bookstore. I used to pick up Boon, but somehow i don't see it too often or they just simply disappear right away because of the demands. Other similar magazines are Cool Trans, Smart, or Get-On. I get mostly any of those but i think by far StreetJack is my favorite magazine to pick up. Some lame reasons i pick any one of them is because of the free stuff that comes with the magazine. From keychains, little bags, flip flops, beanie hats, stickers, buttons, to anything you can think of (no sweaters or jackets of course, i got a sock once). But if you simply like materialistic things and high end street fashion but can't afford it, pick one up at a local Japanese bookstore. It fun flipping through it and see what type of fashion America will slowly pick up (when Japan simply gets influenced alot by the American fashion, irony).


by Philippe Starck

I have this watch. Probably have for about three to four years now. I picked it up at Fossil. I guess if you noticed i love simple designs. As much as i do like details and complexity. Simplicity simply is the best way to go when it comes to fashion and interior. There are ways to get around in making it fancy. I just mainly love Starcks design of simple funcionality i guess.


I've always loved this chair. Whenever i see it, it makes me smile for some reason. I recall seeing it displayed at this interior store down on grand by 600 N Michigan. Also displayed obviously at the Art Institute of Chicago. I remember my buddy Justin has this chair in his apartment but someone broke it. Sucks.

I guess i like the contrast of the wood and the leather. How the wood is beautifully bent and has this dynamic curve. And that foot rest that comes with it is cool.


RJD2 1976

This one of my favorite song and video by RJD2. It is visually interesting how its somewhat like stock footages of everyday life, yet they pause it and give this crazy virtual dimension. This track is very anthem like and probably one of the best tracks by RJD2.


I've noticed these sandals/flipflops in the summer of 2006. A lot of people have been wearing them, and at first i hated them. This year, i was with my parents at Whole Foods Market, and they had them there (weird i know, shoes at Whole Foods). I tried one on, and realized why people wore them. It does look like some Kingdom Hearts shoe or rather more of a Mickey Mouse feet look to it, but if you actually try that thing on, its super comfortable, and it sticks to your body. The base of the foot is great, almost like a New Balance or Saucony shoe, but super light.

It something worth having and worth wearing, too bad that its such a trend wearing this. I even see it on Japanese street fashion magazines.


I somehow feel at home whenever i make a visit to Target. I don't know what it is. Maybe its the consistency of how the store is layed out interior wise, product wise. Every little thing, from the signages to the products, it is so well-designed.

I overwhelmingly just favor the red color schemes all over the place and how it ties in really well with their spots and print ads.

Brilliant. Just brilliant indeed.


I first saw this toy at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art CHICAGO). I just liked the ironic surreality of a turtle having a skeleton shell and being a camper van. I still want this toy, its just too much to pay for me. Probably about $100.

Man Ray Chess Set

In my recent visit to the Art Institute of Chicago with my dad, i didn't know why, but i just noticed that they had one of the coolest chess set displayed. I look at the label and what do you know, Man Ray designed it. He seriously is sick. I mean, its so simple, so minimal. I've see numerous chess pieces but i've never seen anything come close to this. Yet this was made in 1926. Ahead of its time.

I would buy this chess piece set if there is a replica sold out there.

BeeHouse Teapots

I enjoy getting tea while i'm out at Argo Tea. Now, everytime i walk in there, i always get fascinated by the Japanese made teapots that are displayed in their store. I've always wanted one of them.

I finally got one. It was ironic because my old teapot was this cheap $10 teapot from Don Quixote in Japan. Apparently my dad broke it. So they got me a new one, and i said, get me one from Argo Tea.

I guess one lame reason why i like it is because its Made in Japan. Also love the obscure minimalistic design of the pot, and the various colors they had all came in pastel tons, which is currently my favorite set of pallette these days.

I've been using this almost every other day. Drinking it with my YAMAmotoYAMA teas.

Saucony Sneakers

I have about two pairs of Saucony Jazz Sneakers. My first pair was the Shadow series. I think my first introduction to these shoes were back in Osaka. I used to see these Saucony sneakers that was like a Nike Dunk or Air Force One type. Where there logo has either a snake pattern, crocodile pattern, or one with a camo pattern. Those were so cool that i wanted a pair the next year but they were all gone.

The two pairs i have now are the same type of form but just different by its color variations. I have one (like the above). The other is all navy-like blue with accented neon greens on the logo and in a few lines throughout the design of the shoe. So i like how its subtly there.

I like Sauconys because they're the underdog of New Balance shoes.

T-Shirt Depot + Cozygen

Few years back when i used to live in Osaka. I recall going to ATC with my mom and dad, and i was overwhelmed by this one store they had there called T-Shirt Depot. What the store basically has is nothing but t-shirts. All sorts of designs that come in 16 or so different colors and different sizes. All lined up on one shelf color-to-color. It was amazing, i haven't seen anything like it. I felt like a little kid on a candy store. Sadly on my first visit i only got 3 shirts. If i recall the prices are great too. They were about 1500 Yen per shirt so $15. I recall getting a black shirt with a samurai, blue shirt with this cool graphic, and a dark green shirt which i don't recall what the design was.

Only thing i have now is a shirt with On Your Bike design, Puppyfat, and this Japanese english shirt with texts on it. I believe i bought those at the store Right-On, which carries a few Cozygen shirts.

If i had the chance. I would visit that store again.

The Criterion Collection DVD's

I've always loved the DVD cover designs of Criterion Collection DVD's. My buddy Dana and I talked about this before how the covers released by the Criterion Collection is ten times better. It could cost about $30 dollars. But if its your favorite movie and really wanna own a nice looking one, definetely get the Criterion Collection.

Hands down. Yes. Get those versions when you have the chance.

Tagger Bags

A month ago, i was in Wicker Park with my older brother Ike. We walked into my favorite store Futuregarb and i saw this really awesome messenger bags. They weren't Manhattan Bridge or Timbuk2's. The materials were similar to my McRudolph Film Service bag that i use. Same material as what they would use for a tent. But anyway, the bags are called Taggerbags. I just love the simplicity and the versatility of the bag. It even looks like it can last long and stand any weather.

I would get the plain black one with the simple Tagger logo on it.


So i decided to make tea yesterday. As i opened the cupboard. I forgot how i always loved the package design of this tea. I just love its simplicty and the fact that it subtly uses an illustrated tea. Also plus points on having it both Japanese on one side, English on the other.

I'm currently drinking.
Roasted Green Tea
Orange Pekoe