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.

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.

となりのトトロ

Our final Hayao Miyazaki tribute for the evening — and last post title in Japanese, for now — is this scene from My Neighbor Totoro by Andy Hung (andybear@hk), who lights up the night with an electrified Catbus in another great entry for the LEGO contest in Hong Kong.

The front side of model

The sleeping Totoro in the second scene underneath the main one is well worth a closer look:

00F

青き衣をまといて、金色の野に降り立つべし...

One of my favorite moments in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is not when Nausicaä fulfills the prophecy but when Obaba retells the legend. Hayao Miyazaki’s poetic lines reverberate through the fortress at the heart of the valley, and they bring chills every time I hear them in Japanese.

But the scene at the end of the movie is no less moving, built here in LEGO by Alex Hui, another top-12 entry for the Ani-Com Hong Kong LEGO contest.

LEGO風之谷

I’m less convinced by the chunky Mehve, but the lit Ohmu tendrils and historical scenes on the side of the display more than make up for it.

UPDATE: Alex has posted a video showcasing his LEGO model:

Bricks Helping Japan – Charity LEGO Auctions Update 4

Our custom LEGO creation auctions to benefit the victims of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, via the Red Cross, are continuing. I’ve just listed some more items, and we also have several due to end in the next couple of days! Please take a look and see if there’s anything you’d like to buy, with all proceeds going to charity. Also, once again, I’d like to thank the people who have donated creations for their generosity, as well as the bidders for being so eager to buy!

Japan fund campain 16GB USB Minifig Nr. 1

Super Banshee by Red Space Cat


LEGO Copper Coil Necklace

Once again, here’s the link to all of the on-going auctions to help the Red Cross in their efforts to help the victims of the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and the Pacific Rim.

Bricks Helping Japan – Charity LEGO Auctions Update 3

Our custom LEGO creation auctions to benefit the victims of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, via the Red Cross, are continuing. I’ve just listed some more items, and we also have several due to end in the next 24 hours! Please take a look and see if there’s anything you’d like to buy, with all proceeds going to charity. Also, once again, I’d like to thank the people who have donated creations for their generosity, as well as the bidders for being so eager to buy!

PotC: Captain Jack Sparrow

The Lady is going up for sale

Japan fund campain usb minifig Nr 2
Once again, here’s the link to all of the on-going auctions to help the Red Cross in their efforts to help the victims of the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and the Pacific Rim.

Bricks Helping Japan – Charity LEGO Auctions Update 2

We’re back with more custom LEGO auctions to help Japan! Those of you who were watching may have noticed that all of our auctions ended yesterday, without anything new being added. That’s because it turns out that eBay puts a limit of $5000 per month on new selling accounts, and we broke that number! I spent some time on the phone with eBay, and got them to raise our limit, so laissez les bon temps rouler! Here some of the new auctions:

PotC: Captain Jack Sparrow

The Lady is going up for sale

Japan fund campain usb minifig Nr 2
Once again, here’s the link to all of the on-going auctions to help the Red Cross in their efforts to help the victims of the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and the Pacific Rim.