When the Japanese company Sanrio first launched “Hello Kitty” in 1974 as a greetings card for children, this patented brand cartoonlike image of a cat (a lucky emblem in Japan) was applied to over 1,000 products ranging from domestic appliances, computer keyboards, personal stereos, and credit cards to sweet wrappers, T-shirts, and eyelash curlers
In 1965, Kusama erected the first of her now-famous immersive environments. Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) fused her interests in repetition, sexual exploration, psychology, and perception by filling a roughly 25-square-meter mirrored room with a thick carpet of soft, twisting phalluses camouflaged in the artist’s signature polka dots.
Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is widely regarded as the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally wanted to be a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was then a children’s medium. Among his many early masterpieces was the Astro Boy series, which was popular in the United States.
Ukiyo-e is a Japanese art form that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of female beauties, kabuki performers, and sumo wrestlers, historical and folk tale scenes, travel scenes and landscapes, flora and fauna, and erotica, among other subjects. “Pictures of the Floating Planet” is how the word “ukiyo-e” is translated.
Kimono, Vanishing Tradition: Japanese Textiles of the 20th Century. The lovely design of this revised 2nd edition also renders it a “coffee table worthy” purchase or gift. The subject is particularly timely now—since although people have been talking about the Japanese “vanishing” kimono tradition” for years, the most wondrous of the vintage garments from 1970s and prior are now truly an endangered species for kimono aficionados