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Winter in Japan


‘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.


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…


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’.


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.


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…


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


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


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


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


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