Takayuki Yoshida is a Japanese artist and motion graphic creator who was selected as one of “The 100 Japanese Motion Graphic Creators" in 2021. In addition to innovative and attention-grabbing graphic design, he creates motion graphics for events, television shows, and projection mapping projects.

One of the things Yoshida is known for is his futuristic, sometimes cyberpunk designs for animated digital signage and other elements of the urban infrastructure. Some of our readers may recall the motion graphic cyberpunk crosswalk concept he designed in 2019 (see further below).

Shinjuku Kabukicho No.0-Street

On February 12th, 2022, Yoshida posted his latest concept, this time for an entrance gate to the famous Tokyo entertainment and red-light district of 歌舞伎町 Kabukichō in the Shinjuku 新宿 area.

With its interlocking arches and red moving lights displayed at night, Yoshida's gate design seems to be inspired by the current gate to 歌舞伎町一番街 kabukichō ichiban-gai Kabukicho No.1-Street (the moving lights can be seen in a video such as this one), arguably the most famous Kabukicho landmark, although here, it is for a different entrance of a fictional 0番街 zero ban-gai No.0-Street.

The red gate and colourful neon street signs at the Shinjuku-dori entrance to Kabukichō. | Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The arch has been renewed as technology improves. The original arch, installed in 1969, used electric bulbs but in 2013 it was updated to a design using brighter, energy-saving LED bulbs and fitted with solar panels allowing it to provide lighting in the event of a power outage. What will the future update bring? Perhaps city planners will be inspired by Yoshida's design!

If you're wondering why a kabuki actor's face is featured in the design, Yoshida is paying homage to the roots of the neighborhood. In the 1940s, an idea was proposed to build a Kabuki theater there. The theater was never built, but the name of the neighborhood stuck. It seems that Yoshida has a thing for Kabuki. As we explained the last time we introduced this innovative graphic designer's work, he also featured a Kabuki face in his 2019 design for "Tokyo New Crosswalk style," although for a different reason. The font he uses for 歌舞伎町 has a retro feel to it, perhaps also harking back to an earlier time when residents still recalled the origins of the neighborhood's name.

As for the other design elements, above the attention-grabbing kabuki actor's face striking a dramatic 見栄 mie pose, there are two taiko drums with a three-comma 巴 mittsu-domoe design. You can also see text for 新宿 Shinjuku, 歓迎 kangei welcome (and "welcome" in English), and, partly visible on the right and written vertically, 百花繚乱 hyakka ryōran, meaning "a hundred flowers in bloom," which is appropriate for a gate welcoming people to a lively entertainment district. You can also see signs for a sushi shop, a sauna, a mahjong parlor, and P for parking.

2019: Tokyo New Crosswalk style

Information on Takayuki Yoshida

If you'd like to see more of Takayuki Yoshida's innovative work, here is his latest video reel:


By - Ben K.