A couple of months ago, I saw a picture on Tumblr or FFFFOUND or one of those sites where people post pictures without knowing where they come from. I saw some really eye-catching, colorful pictures that looked, at least to me, very Japanese.
After looking into it a bit, I found out that these pictures were all by Kimiaki Yaegashi, a 40-year-old, Tokyo-based illustrator with a simple, pop art style. It reminds me a lot of a 60s- or 70s-style, like a cel from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
There are lots of bizarre, recurring themes in Yaegashi’s work. You have lots of women in bikinis (even though the men are usually fully clothed); you have Japanese mythical figure Kintaro, the Golden Boy; you have supernatural creatures like tengu, kappa, and Michael Jackson.
But mostly there’s pizza; lots and lots of cheesy pizza.
One of the cuter projects that Yaegashi’s done is something called Kintaro from A to Z, 26 illustrations of Kintaro in different scenarios corresponding to letters of the alphabet. It’s a project simple enough that if you’re a beginner or intermediate Japanese learner you can probably read through it yourself!
Yaegashi also did a great illustration to benefit victims of the 3/11 disaster last year.