Monthly Archives: February 2006

HIRO’s Factory

I recently received a link to a Web site called HIRO’s Factory. HIRO has a LEGO page filled with wonderful creations. What’s really cool about HIRO’s LEGO page is that many of the creations tell short little stories — all presented without text.

I’d like to highlight a couple of great creations that reflect uniquely Japanese inspirations.

Here’s a cool little police station:

And a tofu shop:

I’m looking forward to seeing more creations from HIRO in the future!

Two Vignettes from Sugegasa

Sugegasa has recently posted two uniquely Japanese vignettes. (Bruce credits Sugegasa as one of the earliest builder of LEGO vignettes — the “haiku” of LEGO building styles.)

Japanese bathtubs are smaller and deeper than American bathtubs. You wash off outside first, and then you soak in the water. Many bathtubs have hot water heaters attached directly to the bathtub (kind of like a hot tub), and some of the more old-fashioned bathtubs have chimneys, like this one in “Chimney Bathtub” (a continuation of the long-running shiritori word game):

A wonderful wintertime tradition in Japan is to sit around a kotatsu and eat mandarin oranges, or mikan. Kotatsu are low tables skirted with a quilt and a heater underneath. Mmmm…toasty… In this vignette, one of Sugegasa’s recurring minifig characters sits at a kotatsu eating mikan and watching TV:


(Today we’ll be introducing Joe Vig to Japanese LEGO builders. For an English introduction to Joe, read all about him on LUGNET.)

BrickshelfLUGNET のヴィネット作品で、Joe Vig(ジョー・ヴィグ)という人物を見かけることがあります。ジョー・ヴィグとは何者なのでしょうか?今日は普通の和英の説明に変わって、ジョー・ヴィグを日本のレゴファンの皆様にご紹介したいと思います



ジョー・ヴィグはマイク・クラウリー氏(Mike Crowley)およびイリザリ兄弟ネルソンとパトリック(Nelson and Patrick Yrizarry)の意図に基づいているものです。元のアイデアは単純なレゴフィグを作り、Joe Food(食べ物ジョー)と名付け、付近のレストランで写真を撮ることでした。その写真をウェブに載してあちらこちらで現れてることを見せびらかしたかったのです。

いろんなことが重なってジョー・ヴィグは LUGNET のヴィネット作品の登場人物になりました。その結果で名前を「ジョー・ヴィグ」に変えました。(「ヴィグ」は「ヴィネット」の省略で、もちろん実在・架空の人物の名前ではありません。)

ジョー・ヴィグのアイデアには好意的な反響が大きく、間もなく世界中のレゴファンがジョー・ヴィグのヴィネットを作り始めました。2005年の6月にLUGNET .vignette グループの管理者たちは第一回 [ジョー・ヴィグコンテスト] を開きました。将来もジョー・ヴィグを多くの作品で見ることを期待しています。







(ネルソンさんが LUGNET のために書いた文章をもとにこの記事を書きました。LUGNET の新しい 日本語版を編集して下さった Izzoさんにも大変有り難く思います。)

Japanese Historical and Legendary Minifigs

For those of you just joining us (welcome, BoingBoingers!), my other blog, Pan-Pacific Bricks, features cool LEGO creations from the many LEGO builders in Japan, along with a few of my own Japanese-themed creations. (I was born and raised in Japan.)

NOTE (2/25/06): Although I’m in the process of migrating my images to Flickr, there are still a fair amount of images hosted on a site called Brickshelf, which appears to be unstable at the moment. Check back later if you don’t see pictures in this post. (This is definitely going to make me switch to Flickr.)

My most recent set of creations is a series of minifigs based on historical and legendary people from Japan. Click the thumbnails to read more on Pan-Pacific Bricks:

Kukai (Kobo Daishi)

Name: Kukai (空海) / Kobo Daishi (弘法大師 こうぼうだいし)
Dates: 774-835
Biography: Known after his death as Kobo Daishi, Kukai was the founder of Shingon-shu, one of the major sects of Japanese Buddhism. In 804, Kukai traveled to China, where he studied under Hui-kuo. Kukai returned to Japan in 806, bearing religious texts from various faiths. He founded a monastery at Mt. Koya outside Kyoto, where he was buried upon his death, and which continues to be the headquarters for Shingon Buddhism to this day.
Further reading: Wikipedia (English), Wikipedia (日本語), Shingon Buddhist Int’l,