What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The New Old Japan



Mateusz Urbanowicz

A few years ago, Polish artist Mateusz Urbanowicz, inspired by Japanese animation, moved to Tokyo to study the art form. But though he enjoyed all he learned about anime, it was the city’s less-traveled streets that really sparked his imagination. In stark contrast to Tokyo’s iconic busy, neon-lined thoroughfares, the city’s aging mom-and-pop storefronts were what he found himself moved to paint.

Sake shops, noodle shops, beauty shops and the like have all been captured in soft, appealing watercolors, which beautifully showcase the traditional shops’ inviting atmospheres. Urbanowicz’s intention is to help attract people back to the struggling businesses, and if anyone can do it, I believe he can.

You can follow the very talented Urbanowicz practically everywhere: website, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr.

All images property of Mateusz Urbanowicz.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

18 thoughts on “The New Old Japan

  1. i have never been to New Yard city, But in St. Louis almost all of the ‘mom and pop’ business are long gone. Today at age 78 I enjoy the Internet. All of things we can do. Having a whole library on your Pad. But I really do miss the old days when stores make fresh Pasta each morning. Where bakeries baked fresh breat out by 6am. Nince art that brings back a lot of old memories. hl

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel the same about traditional stores. We love at least one landmark per month. Restaurants, shops, movie theaters, small store, clubs, none are safe. I, too, enjoy the convenience of the internet, but it makes me sad to think the local stores can’t compete.


  2. I miss the neighborhood shops, too. These are lovely watercolors.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful soft yet bright colors,but the detail is what is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic post. Japan is truly remarkable in its mix of architecture and life doing its own thing. If you’re ever in Japan, don’t be afraid to take side trips down residential and industrial and commercial streets. What you find can be interesting, amusing, weird, beautiful, and completely unexpected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are so great. I love seeing architecture in different places anyway (even if I have to travel vicariously to far-flung places) and I love the sugared almond colour of these illustrations. They are really charming, like 2D dollhouses. I will need to show these to my 11 year old who, thanks to manga, is a wee bit obsessed with Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These are very, very pretty! The colors are simply wonderful. You have some amazing curating skills, I must say. Each of your posts are a delight for the eyes… 😍😍😍♥️♥️♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stunning work! Gosh I love watercolours! Sending this link to my sis-in-law who loves all things Japanese, and has even been studying the language for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: A Gimlet Eye | My OBT

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