Shiragikumaru from the play Tsuruya Namboku riding the back of an enormous prehistoric-looking sea animal.

From the set: Toyokuni kigo kijutsu kurabe, “A Contest of Magic-scenes by Toyokuni” published by Hiranoya Shinzo 12/1864. One of the best designs from the set.

Signed: Shichijuku-sai Toyokuni hitsu, “The seventy-nine year old Toyokuni drew.”

Utagawa Kunisada I, 歌川国貞


Introducing: Colour! Part 2-3, Metoro (メトロ)

Coming from Toronto, we’re always blown away by how great the Tokyo transit system is — it’s fast, clean and covers the entire city pretty well. Plus, the convenience of Pasmo/Suica makes the whole system so easy to use. This is in stark contrast to the TTC, where you still can’t reliably use a card to buy fares, and traversing the entire (much smaller) city takes forever!

Anyway, this colour scheme was made during our stay in Tokyo last September, and was inspired by the Tokyo subway system. It’s a lovely soft gray (Hibiya), accented with pleasant gold (Yurakucho and Ginza), greens and blues (Namboku and Chiyoda). We cheated a bit and used some Toei lines — we just couldn’t resist the pink of the Oedo line for mines! We also tweaked the Mita line for exits, and used Marunouchi and Hanzomon in deathballs.

We’re going to try these colours on a white background also. And maybe we’ll have to make a colour scheme inspired by JR, too!