Designer Desire: Ryohei Yanagihara

Mosaic of Ryohei Yanagihara designs | H is for Home

It’s taken us a whole 5 years to revisit the work of graphic designer and animator Ryohei Yanagihara (1931-2015) – 柳原良平 in Japanese. His most famous work was his Uncle Torys character for Suntory Whisky. The other main brand for whom he produced work was shipping company, Mitsui O.S.K Lines. They even have a virtual museum and shop on their website dedicated to his work.

He also illustrated several children’s books including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Babies Onomatopoeia.

It goes without saying that you’ll mainly pick up examples of his work in Japan. However, you can occasionally find his designs popping up internationally on sites such as Amazon and eBay.

Ryohei Yanagihara portraitcredit

Here’s a selection of Yanagihara’s animations from YouTube

Additional image credits:

Flickr | Pinterest

Miroslav Sasek washi tape

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Detail from a strip of Miroslav Sasek washi tape

We ordered a roll of decorative washi tape off Etsy a couple of weeks ago…

Air mail envelope to us from Japan

 … a very pretty package duly arrived from Japan shortly after.

Contents of envelope from Japan

It came from seller Eriko Shirasawa whose Etsy shop is called Sweet Supplies Store. We have to sing Eriko’s praises – look at the effort that’s gone into sending a humble little item. It was nicely wrapped – stickers & stamps, business card, a hand written message – and what looks like paper confetti – lovely!!

Plastic wrapped Miroslav Sasek illustrated washi tape

On to the tape itself, which features illustrations by Miroslav Sasek from his series of ‘This is…’ children’s books.

Miroslav Sasek illustrated washi tape

In this case, it’s ‘This is London’ which dates from 1959. As we’ve mentioned many times previously, we love Sasek’s artwork. It really is fabulous – charming and witty – and very distinctive. There are a few different designs of tape you can choose from too.

Detail from a strip of Miroslav Sasek washi tape

It’s perfect for decorating notebooks or little gifts – hanging notice board items… or even acting as a decorative border to a shelf or wall.

Grandad mug

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green vintage Grandad mug

We spotted this vintage Grandad mug amongst a sea of crockery today. It dates from the 1960s/70s and is very reminiscent of something John Clappison might have designed for Hornsea Pottery. It actually originates from Japan and we’ve seen other pieces from this company – soup bowls etc. We love the graphic interlocking typeface pattern and the soft green colour too.

green vintage Grandad mug

It’s big enough for a nice cup of tea or milky coffee. Have you got a special Grandpa that deserves a treat? Or someone who’s old before their time and might suit the ironic Grandfather reference?

Tuesday Huesday: Japanese peach blossom

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orchard of peach trees in blossom in Japan
image credit: JARL Ohashi

Spring is finally springing so we’re looking forward to the ornamental cherry tree in our garden to begin flowering in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, have a look at the fantastic colour range of the peach blossom on the trees in this orchard in Japan.

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Tuesday Huesday: Moss Phlox

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pink Moss Phlox growing in Ōzora, Hokkaido, Japan
photo credit: Club Tourism International Inc.

At first glance I thought this was the new Teletubbies set. It’s actually a park in Ōzora, Hokkaido, Japan. The pink is a natural carpet of Moss Phlox (known in Japan as Shiba Sakura) that blossoms every spring. What’s amazing is each flower is no more than 1.5cm across!

It’s a huge tourist attraction and people hold their weddings here too. Apparently though, its scent is very reminiscent of marijuana!