Tag Archives: Japan

From samurai and ninjas to giant mecha like Gundam or the beautiful films of Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese history and culture inspire LEGO builders all over the world. With contributors fluent in Japanese, The Brothers Brick also brings you coverage of the people and events in the large LEGO fan community in Japan itself.

LEGO Godzilla has atomic halitosis

Beware! Jeff Cross‘ brick-built Godzilla is coming to stomp all over your hometown. The big beastie himself is well-executed, but it’s the pulse effect created by a simple stack of trans blue 2×2 round pieces which makes this model really stand out. I can hear the sound effects in my head!

Godzilla does not love you

Now I want to see the big guy duking it out with Mothra over a microscale Tokyo. Do it Jeff. Do it.

The age of the Samurai: a stunningly huge mountain hideaway with working illumination

When your 5 year old son asks you to build a Ninjago city, you only say yes. But Ben Pitchford took things a little bit more seriously and ended up with a massive diorama nearly 4 feet (or 121 cms) high! The building process took almost 9 months, which is way over the attention span of a 5 year old. I guess Ben just needed an excuse to build something large. Luckily he had 100,000 LEGO parts laying around so this fortress was no big deal for him. He sculpted the big mountain with absolute attention and mastered the art of rock building. Ben also hid small LEDs behind transparent parts, so it makes a great scene once illuminated after dark.

The Samurai Code

The rice field, dojo, shinto shrines, cherry blossom trees, numerous caves, flowing lava, amazing waterfalls, grand stairs, mountain zipline and original Japanese characters make up a most amazing diorama. It will take you some time to absorb all the details, but you can see more photographs below.

Click to see more images

Amazing folding LEGO Himeji castle

LEGO castles are a well-practiced art form at this point, so it takes a lot to impress us here at The Brothers Brick. But this pop-up Himeji Castle has left us dumbfounded! According to Japanese builder talapz, whose pop-up Kinkaku-ji temple and Todai-ji temple we’ve featured previously, it took 15 months to complete and weighs 12.5 kilograms (27.5 pounds).

Amazingly, the pop-up and folding action is done entirely with the friction of LEGO pieces, because no glue was used to keep the bricks together. Even when the castle is folded down to its “storage” mode, it measures in at 70 x 70 x 11.5 cms (27.5 x 27.5 x 4.5 inches).

LEGO samurai blocks the way

Not content with wowing us with his LEGO versions of Discworld characters, Eero Okkonen recently knocked us sideways with this excellent Samurai figure. The helmet armor’s “face” is particularly good, as is that awesome bird device on the chest. Magic stuff — now I want to see an opponent built for an epic shogun showdown.

Arcane Samurai

These chibi girls rule the school

Mike Dung has created a troop of supercute chibi schoolgirls. A relatively simple frame structure and face design manages to support distinctly different characters thanks to great use of color, and some fantastic hairdo designs. Brilliant stuff Mike.

ちびμ's 練習着

For the anime aficionados among you, these characters are from Love Live! School Idol Project (ラブライブ), a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by three companies. The project revolves around a group of fictional school girls who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down.

Baikinman the bacteria man

Anpanman was a popular Japanese children book series that ran from the early seventies until 2013, and among its record-holding 1,768-character roster was the main series antagonist, Baikinman. A devious bacteria man from the Germ Planet, he fought the title character in endless battles. Depicted here in a more serious (and deadly) manner by builder Moko, Baikiniman is clearly a monster you don’t want to mess with. That is, unless you have his one weakness on hand, soap, which causes him to shrink down to the size of a fly.

Baikiniman by Moko

Konnichiwa from a modern Japanese home

Japanese style of building are a thing of wonder. I love their style and proper functionality — not a single bit of space is wasted, and this build by Gzu is a perfect example of this.

Ryokan (旅館) - Front

You can see the attention the builder has paid to all the details, like the little sandals at the door, and admire the functional sliding doors, smart toilet, tea table, small bed, and even the tiny bath. But if you choose, you can always go for something bigger:

温泉 - Onsen

So, who is ready for a vacation to Japan?

Kamen Rider Black brings back 80’s Japanese nostalgia

As my family left Japan in 1989 after 15 years there, one of the memories I carried with me was all the TV shows my brother and I had watched. While my own favorite was Ultraman, my brother preferred Kamen Rider (the “Masked Rider”). One of the best and most popular incarnations of the titular hero was the Kamen Rider Black series, which aired just before we left Japan, in 1987 and 1988.

Moko has been building various LEGO versions of Kamen Rider for at least the last 10 years — I first featured minifig versions of the characters way back in 2006 — and his latest Kamen Rider features a chibi version of our hero pulling a wheelie astride his iconic “Battlehopper” motorcycle.

Kamen Rider Black

Kamen Rider himself is fully posable, and Moko says that this is his first attempt at a non-minifig scale motorbike. Moko makes great use of LEGO rubber elements in this build: The red and yellow lines on the character are built from rubber bands, and the motorcycle tires are tank treads on radar dishes.

Kamen Rider Black

Moko says that the first Kamen Rider show he watched was the RX series that immediately followed Black, and he only watched Black later, but really loves the show despite its age — which, you know, makes me feel a bit old… You can see more photos on Moko’s blog (in Japanese).

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Baltan!

Not surprisingly, the moment you mention a hero like Ultraman, a giant space monster shows up to destroy your nice little cardboard city–it’s just the natural order of things. Filling in said order is the latest creation by nobu_tary: the deadly Alien Baltan. With the powers of flight, laser beam claws, furry looking legs, and presumably the ability to gain more abilities as dictated by the plot, Baltan is sure to give Ultraman a run for his money. At least until the third act requires his loss after an oh-so-close victory.

Alien Baltan by nobu_tary

A Japanese bento box made with love

While I certainly admired the delicious-looking tempura shrimp and rice bowl by nobu_tary I highlighted a week or so ago, I’m vegetarian and prefer some lovely vegetables with my rice — no homemade Japanese meal feels complete without some umeboshi, or pickled plums. I think I’d enjoy this gorgeous LEGO bento box a bit more, with black sesame seeds and an umeboshi on the rice, with broccoli and a variety of small side dishes packed with care into a lacquer box.

お弁当 BENTO

I’m craving some lovely tempura

Many restaurants in Japan have plastic models of their food in their front window. Japanese builder nobu_tary has recreated the fake food that gaijin visiting Japan sometimes find so amusing. But as someone born and raised there, I know that it’s food art in its own right, and I can admire the well-built fried shrimp drizzled with sauce, chopsticks, and even some delicious pickled eggplant peeking out from behind the red and white striped bowl.

天丼

And after chowing down those crisp golden shrimp, you might consider ending the meal with some fruit. Perhaps a LEGO banana by the same builder would do nicely. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after every meal.

Tary says on his blog that this is his entry in this year’s Original Model Contest, held by clickbrick for the past 14 years. You can see this entry, along with all the others, at the Odaiba store in Tokyo from this Saturday through the end of March.

Ultraman Lives

The truest test of popularity is whether or not someone can recognize your costume after 50 years. That’s no doubt the case with this famous monster-bashing Japanese television icon, Ultraman. Built by Jan Lego, this ultra-pose-able figure is actually based on the more recent manga series design, but he nonetheless kicks just as much monster-butt with more style to boot.

Ultraman (Close) by Jan Lego

Packed with detail, Jan’s Ultraman is a prime example of a well built brick figure utilizing form and shaping to its fullest advantage. If you want to see dozens more views of this beauty, head over to Jan’s Ultraman album–you won’t be disappointed, although overconfident kaiju may be.

Ultraman by Jan Lego