14 January 2013

☢ 281 ANTI-NUKE ☢

 Japanese Street Art

Whenever I visit Japan I always end up photographing such weird things, anything from the floor to local graffiti, or "Street Art". I absolutely find it fascinating, especially in Japan. Sure you get the 'I LOVE ____' graffiti scrawled up the side of vending machines, chain link fences and such, but you also get amazing pieces of art! Some pieces are very mind boggling, where as others, promotional tags.
I wouldn't consider the tags part of a 'terrortory' not like here where I come from, you see 'NG15' around a lot, because apparently we have a representative 'gang' in our area, nice...

After the Tsunami disaster in 2011, it sparked many people's concern with health, especially after the meltdown of Fukushima power plant. The threat and worry of radiation became a nationwide epidemic, and a lot of unanswered questions, skillfully dodged and skirted around.
Nearly a year ago after then, I was in Japan, and a year after the Tsunami; so obviously the disaster was to be remembered, charity and fundraising made streets swell, because; after all despite all the help previously Japan was still suffering with worry and dread of this unspoken radiation!
If you looked beyond the fundraisers that day you will see (yes see) a silent voice - and even today you will still see the silent voice of "281 Anti-nuke", a graffiti tag artist who believes in anti-nuclear power.
This little girl is all over Tokyo - mainly Shibuya is where I spotted her the most. Her anorak comes in a variety of colour, but the message is always the same. 281 Anti-nuke also created a new tag for the Summer.  So the fear is still out there, however who really will take these small voices into consideration?
Image credit: SNUPPED
281 not only focuses his views on anti-nuclear, but also anti-tepco, (Tokyo electric power company). Many of 281's work for anti-tepco involve Children's characters such as Hello Kitty and even Seseme Street characters.
281 has been known now as the Japanese version of Banksy, where you can see the similarities and especially since no one knows the true person behind 281.

There are so many other pieces - between Shibuya and Harajuku you see a vast vast variety and it is indeed beautiful that many local people just breeze by them without a second glance. I on the other hand, always stop and take photographs. Though I do this in the UK so I am no different and I love Art like this. By the way, not all pieces of street art are scary demonic sounding threats and/or warnings. Some are purely innocent, creative and cute. As long as the work isn't tacky or discriminative, I see no reason as to why graffiti should be hidden from society. 
Disclaimer: all images are © to me unless otherwise noted beneath the image!


  1. I love street art. I was into street are a lot when I was in high school. Street art always tells a story but only to those who are willing to take a step back and listen. I'd be so happy if I could visit Japan and see all these wonderful pieces. Thanks for sharing.

    Please take a look at my blog, I'd mean a lot: http://ghostlip.blogspot.com/

    1. I always find it amazing~(*・ω・*)
      Maybe one day you can go! But hopefully when you go, 281 not be tagging about such a thing in Tokyo!

  2. hi❤ I really like this entry, not only because of the partly cute street arts. it shows, that in fact some people are aware of the fukushima-situation and not totally brainwashed by the overly "daijoubu-ing" media >.<

    1. Oh totally! When I was in Shibuya, a year after the disaster; it was all happiness and cheers in the street.
      I guess they don't want to forcefully remind people in pictures like they do else where in the world. But it still doesn't mean to blanket the truth either. (>_<;)