VACUUM TUBE
HEADPHONES

You can’t purchase these headphones in a regular electrical goods store. These are John Hathway’s original products, which he produces on a built-to-order basis. His concept is “going between science and otaku art.” He draws on his knowledge of physics to dream up various works, ranging from illustrations to the tube-type headphones shown in this title. Mr. Hathway has presented a number of exhibitions in overseas galleries, including Hidari Zingaro Berlin, which is operated by modern artist Takashi Murakami, one of the gallery producers. There are many purchasers of Hathway’s works in overseas countries. (By the way, his name sounds English, but he is a native Japanese.)

160
11

Illustration

John Hathway has been interested in anti-gravity from his junior-high school days and even studied for a doctorate degree in physics at Tokyo University. In the meantime, he has been an otaku enthusiast of girls’ comics. He is a self-taught painter, and has illustrated a series called Mahoh Machi (Magic City) featuring a world of the future, where the enigma of anti-gravity is physically resolved and developed.

His drawing technique is based on “supreme-level overpainting.” One drawing consists of from one thousand to four thousand layers of such overpainting. This technique is impossible in oil painting, for example, which is regulated by physical space. Additionally, he focuses on how much information he can put into a picture. Technically, by adding as much information as he does, he draws pictures to make the faces of characters appear larger when farther away. This is because no one can even identify character gender at a distance if he draws all characters in equal proportions. He also puts enormous effort into other elements, such as signboard lettering, all from his own ideas. Mr. Hathway says he takes most of his time to come up with such ideas.

“I don’t know whether it is true or not, but I heard a rumor that there is some kind technology to control people’s emotions and psychological states using radio waves. If this is possible, there should be radio-wave music (dengaku*) just like music (ongaku) that affects people’s minds using sonic waves. To simulate such devices, I started drawing vacuum tube headphones and making real ones at the same time.

“These headphones can exist in both imaginary and real worlds since they are designed so the ‘tube’ can be removed. Depending on the tube selected, the headphones can be used for music listening in our real world. But if regular tubes are replaced with ‘Mahoh Tubes (Magic Tubes)’, listeners can enjoy dengaku. Of course, such tubes are available only in Mahoh Machi, so you can’t get them in our real world. If tube-type headphones that exist between reality and imagination are used by people who wear them while walking through cities, my work will be completed. This society is the canvas of my work.”

* On in ongaku signifies “sound” while gaku signifies “joy.” In Mr. Hathway’s unique word dengaku, den means “radio wave” or something related to electronics. So his original term dengaku can be interpreted as “radio-wave music.”

model: Shiori Fukasawa

OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
NEXT GENERATION
TOYOTA x STUDIO4°C collaboration begins a new PES Project called “Next Generation”
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
ANIME PILGRIMAGE
a quest to visit locations relating to stories and characters
Electrical goods store
家電量販店
Sushi-go-round
回転寿司
Paper fortune
おみくじ
Kaminari-mon
雷門
Roppongi Hills
六本木ヒルズ
Tokyo Station
東京駅
Tokyo Tower
東京タワー
Novels of Haruki Murakami
村上春樹の小説
Umi-budoh
海ぶどう
Resort beaches
リゾートビーチ
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
Italy
Neon Genesis EVANGELION
Japan
Kiki's Delivery Service
Japan
Inu x Boku SS
Hong Kong
BRAVE10/ TIGER&BUUNY
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
Nurturing the arts
京都ギャラリー
HOSHINOYA Kyoto
星のや 京都
Inspiration of Buddha Statues
仏像
Ippon udon
一本饂飩
Department store basement
デパ地下
Candycrafts
あめ細工
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Nishikigoi
錦鯉
ODEN
おでん
RICE CAKES
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
SOBA
蕎麦
TABAIMO
KOHEI NAWA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
MANABU IKEDA
SANJA MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
MENBURYU
JUDO
柔道
IAI
居合
SADO
茶道
KYUDO
弓道
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SPACE INVADERS
SPACE INVADERS
GAME CENTER
GAME CENTER
GAME CREATOR
GAME CREATOR
SHOGI
SHOGI