We got back from Japan Sunday safe and exhausted--and up at 3AM, which gives me a chance to get caught up on some finds from the trip.
First up, obviously, is the rather amazing assortment of tattooed Kewpie dolls in a shop window in Takayama, the small city in the mountains of Gifu-ken, which was really a great place to visit.
Kewpie dolls have become an icon of kawaii because of the Kewpie brand mayonnaise. Yakuza-style full bodysuit tattoos are, of course, from the other end of the Japanese culture spectrum. The designs are hand-drawn by...I really can't make it out. The artist behind the Super Tattoo Art Collection.
The shop sign says Hohisa Ichimon on the bottom, then the big characters are Orochi, Big Snake. An online search mentions Shinjuku, but Irezumi Kewpie production seems to have recently moved to the mountains. The Apr 2012 Google Street View of the shop still shows a restaurant.
In addition to Kewpies, there are some novelty bibs and plastic chairs covered with leopard print and skull crowns, a real one-stop shop for your hardcore baby. International shipping is available, if only we can figure out who's behind this operation.