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Winter in Japan

ice-marina-logo

‘Tis Winter! At least on this side of the globe: here’s some seasonal news from the Eastern part of the Northern Hemisphere; Kobe, Japan more precisely, Umie Shopping Mall to be entirely accurate.

winter-shack

People told us winter weather in Kobe would feel more or less Mediterranean, when we went there earlier this year, so all I brought was this blazer style jacket… I remember standing frozen on the JR platform waiting for a train that would bring us to to Kyoto. By the time we got there, it was snowing. And when we woke up – in a Ryokan with paper walls – the city was covered with a white carpet…

souvenir-montage

Luckily we found a Winter vest at the local Zara and some human warmth in the person of Hiroshi! (who showed us around town, in an almost identical jacket:-)) ありがとうございました

So far so good, but here is the real deal: winter work for our ‘most demanding customer of the year’.

winter-people-list

As they did last Summer, the agency sent us an extended wish list of characters they needed for animation purposes, so there were a lot of folks traveling along to our Eastern Winter Wonderland.

winter-people1

There was one character in particular I really loved painting after reading some old Japanese legends and that’s the Yuki Onna – not to be confused with Yoko Ono;-) -, a female spirit from the old days with a tendency to appear when a male traveler lost his way in the mountains (trapped by the snow f.I.:-)), trying to seduce the poor man to come over to her place & into her bed etc…

yuki-onna-painted

Really thought I nailed ‘the Eastern spirit’ right there, but the client just wanted her to be ‘cuter’…

yuki-onna-new

Well after all she’s just a tiny piece in a giant puzzle we had to put together: go try to find her below!

almost-square

(Tip: she’s hanging out here on the Ice Marina, somewhere in the Xmas zone behind the tree)

winter-square

And at the end of the day (& the year!) everyone seemed to be rather happy with the final results:-)

kenji-ryota

PS Here’s the ‘cutest snapshot of the year’ (of the final recipient of one of our exchanged presents)

kenji-boy

 

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