My childhood friend Fumi heads the US office of a Japanese non-profit called Table for Two. It’s really neat — you should know about it if you don’t already. Founded by former McKinsey consultant Masa Kogure, TFT aims to simultaneously solve hunger in the developing world and obesity in places like Japan and the US by offering healthy meals in first-world cafeterias that also donate a portion of proceeds from that meal to a school lunch for a kid in Africa. TFT collaborates with NGOs in the hunger countries to distribute 20 cents from every meal purchased in the US or Japan to buy a nutrient-rich meal — usually including maize, some protein (beans, dried fish), and green vegetables — in non-conflict zones with high levels of malnutrition.
The idea that hunger and obesity are two sides of the same global issue has been echoed by Ellen Gustafson, co-creator of FEED bags (watch her TEDTalk here).
On Tuesday, TFT is launching a campaign to try to get TFT meals into 100 school campuses in the US in 100 days. Anyone can start TFT at their school cafeteria or kiosk, or help publicize the campaign. More info is here. If you want to learn more about TFT over a healthy delicious meal, check out one of the existing participating restaurants here.
This is a beautiful video that shows the artistic process of Riusuke Fukahori, who just showed a selection of amazing multi-dimensional goldfish art at a gallery in London. Apparently he was inspired by his pet goldfish to do both the giant painting drawn finished with a broom and the 3D-looking acrylic on clear resin series.
I was on a work call with an editor in the UK today and he said one of two words he knew in Japanese was ゴキブリホイホイ (gokirubi hoi hoi). In case you don’t know what this very important word means, it’s actually the name of a popular cockroach-catching contraption that is shaped like a little house. The house has mysterious substances in it that lures cockroaches in through its doors; but once they enter, they get stuck on the sticky floor and can never get out and eventually die. We used to have one in our old house but I don’t remember seeing any immobilized cockroaches living in it.
You may not need a real gokiburi hoi hoi if you don’t have a roach problem, but you can get this lovely little keychain that looks like one — it even comes with a resident cockroach! — for just 600 yen here.
Artist Yayoi Kusama does it again — this time with the help of Australian children! As part of her latest exhibition Look Now, See Forever — on view at the Queensland Art Gallery through March 11 — she prepared a stark white room and then gave visiting kids thousands of colorful dots that they were then allowed to put wherever they wanted. So cool!
For those of you who have not gone to sleep on January 1 yet, please try to dream about Mt. Fuji, an eggplant, or an eagle. It has long been known that carrying one of these three items in your subconscious is the key to having a good year.
The photo above is of kids’ calligraphy at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. If you ever wondered why all Japanese people have excellent penmanship, it is because we are trained to do this from a very young age.