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.

Maple Syrup =/= Mecha

Japanese builders make mecha like Canadians make maple syrup. Now I don’t think mecha would taste nearly as good on my waffles, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t love them equally.

Flickr user Dak Yuki proves my point with his Armored Core:

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Be sure to browse through the full photoset for all the cool poses & other goodies

NOW the question is whether mecha would taste good with maple syrup???

Cheers to Stijn & Peter for the heads up

Monolithic Builds: Giant Sushi and a Robot Uprising

This latest Iron Builder contest has provided an incredible slew of fascinating models from the uuber talented contestants. Sean and Steph Mayo pull out all the stops with this monstrous sushi roll fit for a giant.

Lego Sushi: Giant Centipede Roll

And Bart De Dobbelaer fires back with this super cool Monolith. I don’t even pretend to know what’s going on here, but I’m imagining some sort of robot sentience emergence, ala 2001.

the Monolith

First pictures of LEGO Architecture 21017 Imperial Hotel

Pictures of an upcoming Lego Architecture has surfaced for 21017 Imperial Hotel. There’s no word on the price or release date, but you can find more pictures on Eurobricks.

Edit (AB): A few notes about the real-world building: Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and construction was finished on the Maya Revival-style complex in 1923, just in time for the Great Kanto Earthquake that same year. The structure survived, though with some damage, ultimately having to be torn down several decades later. This will be the first LEGO Architecture set inspired by a building in Japan.

Beautiful LEGO bonsai

Japanese artist Azuma Makoto usually creates his botanically themed pieces from real plants, but occasionally dabbles with materials as diverse as Astroturf and LEGO. One of his latest pieces is a gorgeous recreation of a bonsai pine tree built from bricks.

LEGO bonsai by Azuma Makoto

Click the pic to see more photos on the artist’s Facebook page.

Via MAKE, a text message from my mom, and the rest of the Internet (we’re a little behind on this particular item)…

Pop-up LEGO Todai-ji opens to reveal Giant Buddha

Back in 2009, the Internet marveled at Japanese builder talapz‘s mind-boggling pop-up Kinkaku-ji pavilion. Now, he’s at it again! This time, he’s built Todai-ji, a temple in Nara, Japan that houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha.

Nara was one of Japan’s first capitol cities, before Kyoto and Tokyo. Todai-ji and the Giant Buddha (Daibutsu) are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, encompassing treasures from the period of ancient Japan (AD 710-794) that shares the city’s name.

For those of you inclined to try building your own pop-up Todai-ji, there is hope! In the second half of the video, talapz provides step-by-step instructions (449 steps) to build your own pop-up Todai-ji temple from a parts list — complete with Bricklink IDs — of 8816 LEGO elements. Good luck!

2nd Japanese LEGO CUUSOO project launches with Hayabusa space probe

The second fan-created LEGO CUUSOO project has just been released in Japan, and will be available from the LEGO Shop online later in 2012. The set depicts the Hayabusa probe, which brought bits of an asteroid back to earth.

21101_back

Here’s the full press release:

BILLUND, Denmark – The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, the second LEGO® CUUSOO release, has gone on sale in Japan, while a limited number of Hayabusa sets will also be available exclusively online via shop.LEGO.com later in the year. No release date has been set yet.

The original Hayabusa model on LEGO CUUSOO was built by Daisuke Okubo and achieved 1,000 supporters on the Japanese-only version of LEGO CUUSOO in the spring of 2011. LEGO model designer Melody Louise Caddick designed the final model, refining earlier concept models based on Daisuke’s original project.

The model is priced at ¥ 4,118 in Japan, USD49, EUR49

LEGO CUUSOO is a website where LEGO fans can submit their ideas for new LEGO products and collect votes to make their ideas become a reality. They can also vote for other users’ ideas. It can be found at http://lego.cuusoo.com

LEGO CUUSOO began in 2008 with a Japanese site that attracted hundreds of ideas and saw thousands of votes cast by a 35,000-strong community. It was launched globally in October.

The first Japanese product, the Shinkai 6500 submersible, went on sale in Japan in February 2011. A project backed by Minecraft developer Mojang became the first user-sponsored project to be approved on the global version of LEGO CUUSOO.

Ideas supported by 10,000 votes are examined by a LEGO jury to check the models meet LEGO standards of safety and playability and support the LEGO brand. Consumers who have their ideas chosen for production will earn 1% of the total net sales of the product.’

Hayabusa (“falcon” in English) is an unmanned spacecraft built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), designed to travel to a small near-Earth asteroid named Itokawa and return sample material to Earth. Hayabusa’s mission began in 2003 and ended successfully in 2010.

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Something I look forward to every New Year’s Day is the lovely LEGO creations by Japanese builders celebrating the new year, most often incorporating the animal from the Chinese Zodiac. I generally wait a couple days and do a roundup, but Moko‘s dragon is too gorgeous to share later.

LEGO Chinese dragon

(And since we get at least one comment about this every year, Japan celebrates New Year’s on January 1st every year. Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, the exact date varies by year, and is celebrated by many other Asian cultures. Just not Japan.)

Pagoda of Kiyomizu-dera by Matija Grguric

During my wife and my last two trips to Japan, the complex at Kiyomizu-dera has been the first stop after detraining at Kyoto Station so it made me happy to see among Matija Grguric’s excellent series of world landmarks (including Easter Island heads and Great Wall) this colorful pagoda based on the one at Kiyomizu-dera. I’m especially impressed by the contours of red painted woodcarving under the eaves and the tiled angles on the roofs.

LEGO Kiyomizu-dera Pagoda by Matija Grguric

If you’re ever at Kyomizu-dera, it’s worth grabbing a snack at the little stand just inside the southwest entrance. Tea, mochi dango and kitsune udon.