Today the Department of Awesome (Grand)parenting salutes 59-year-old grandpa Hidebochi. For 32 years he’s run an udon shop in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. He’s also been a “weekend carpenter” for 52 years. Those carpentry skills came in very handy when he learned that his two young granddaughters, Ringo (6 years old) and Mei (3 years old), would be moving from Vancouver, Canada to live with him above the udon shop. Just like the little girls in My Neighbor Totoro, Ringo and Mei were moving far away from their first home to a new home out in the country.
In effort to welcome them and prevent them from feeling homesick, Hidebochi decided to recreate the rain scene from My Neighbor Totoro right outside their new home. He constructed a 10-foot-tall Totoro using materials such as wood, water pipes and rugs. Hidebochi’s Totoro stands at the Catbus stop with an umbrella in hand and a welcoming grin on his face.
"A concrete block keeps Totoro secure in front of the Teuchi Udon Ōishi-ka shop. A camera in Totoro’s nose lets Hidebochi’s family know when visitors come to meet the iconic character. Totoro can play music from the film when people visit him.
Totoro waits next to the Kōshiyama Eki Mae catbus stop near the Kōshiyama train station in Mihama. Visitors who want to ride the catbus may be out of luck because it only comes at night from about midnight to 5:00 a.m., according to Hidebochi’s catbus stop sign.”
What’s more, Hidebochi positioned Totoro so that his granddaughters can always see him, smiling up at them, from their room above the udon shop.
Click here to watch a brief video in which Hidebochi shows how he created this awesome Totoro. You’ll also get to see Ringo and Mei help recreate the rain scene. Judging by the smiles on their faces, it seems they’re pretty pleased with their new home and, of course, their awesome grandpa.
Visit RocketNews24 for additional photos and info about Hidebochi’s heartwarming homemade Totoro.
Fear not arachnophobes (or maybe do?), you aren’t really looking at a gargantuan tarantula, you’re visiting the Department of Astonishing Optical illusions and this is the spectacular work of UK-based concept body artist Emma Fay. She used water-based paints to transform contortionists Lowri Thomas and Beth Sykes into awesomely lifelike animals. It took five hours to transform Thomas into a giant arachnid.
"First I ask the contortionist to get into the initial pose and mark out where they will be. The contortionists can only hold the pose for a maximum of five-seconds so I have to work quickly to get it right. I then keep painting and repositioning the models until they look like the real animal."
Head over to the Daily Mail for video footage of these amazing transformations as well as a wonderfully freaky glimpse of the giant spider in motion.
Visit Emma Fay’s website to check out more of her amazing artwork.