The Curious, Colorful Art of Kimiaki Yaegashi Kappa, Kintaro, And Pizza People, Oh My.

    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.

    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi of two lovers meeting with animals
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi
    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi of a woman sitting down
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi

    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.

    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi of singer Michael Jackson with Kintaro
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi

    But mostly there's pizza; lots and lots of cheesy pizza.

    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi of a woman inside a pizza
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi

    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!

    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi of Kintaro as Bruce Lee
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi

    Yaegashi also did a great illustration to benefit victims of the 3/11 disaster last year.

    Artwork by Kimiaki Yaegashi for victims of the 3/11 Earthquake
    Source: Kimiaki Yaegashi

    You can find him on his site and various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr (warning: his Tumblr is NSFW at times).

    You can also find prints from Yaegashi on Thumbtack Press, and shirts on Tee Party.