Mingei is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement.
Pictures of 100 poems by 100 poets, explained by a Wet Nurse - Hokusai's pictures describe what the poems do in the head of a wet nurse. With high resolution scans.
Iwase Yoshiyuki "In the late 1920s, young Yoshiyuki received an early Kodak camera as a gift. Since the main livelihood of the town came from the sea, he gravitated there, and soon found a passion for "the simple, even primitive beauty" of ama – girls and women who harvested seaweed, turban shells and abalone from beneath the coastal waters." "By the late 1960s, they had disappeared. This body of work stands as the final, most comprehensive visual document of the life and work of these divers." [NSFW] [more inside]
Kiuchi Nobuo - a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
The Asian Giant Hornet is cool, unless it's baked. Japanese honeybees can detect the hornet's secretion and they attack en masse. With approximately 500 honeybees surrounding the hornet in a tight ball, the temperature within the cluster rises to 47 degrees Celsius which bakes the hornet alive.
Cheap 1.7 million yen toy. When Keiko Nakamoto of the Ishikawa prefecture came across an old vinyl robot covered in a thick layer of dust, she had no idea that she had unearthed only the third known specimen of an item described by Tokyo toy dealers as "the most sought-after item in Japan." From ToyboxDX [toy robot goodness].
The Digital Silk Roads Project continues to grow apace with more additions from the Toyo Bunko rare books archive. Now available online, among others, are Les grottes de Touen-Houang, The Thousand Buddhas and several German books, including Chotscho. Unfortunately, all of the high resolution images are greyscale. [related]
We want you as a new recruit. The Japan Defense Agency has a short recruitment video on their site. [via]