Design: “Chibi-K” Children’s Day Celebration 2008

Design for Chibi-K 2008 @ Little Tokyo

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) sponsors a Children’s Day Celebration in Little Tokyo every year in May, in honor of “Kodomo-no Hi” (こどもの日) which is celebrated annualy on May 5th in Japan. Part of the Children’s Day Celebration is the Chibi-K Kids for Kids Fun Run, wherein kids from age 4-12 (?) run a short rout around San Pedro and 2nd Street in Downtown, Los Angeles. Several volunteers from community groups help put the event together–especially college students involved with the Nikkei community.

This design was submitted for consideration as the T-shirt design for participating kids and volunteers of Chibi-K 2008, and waddayaknow, they decided to use it. Now there’s hundreds of these shirts being worn by kids around SoCal with the loud purple-on-yellow coloring and a bunch of pink-on-teal shirts for volunteers that i’m sure will inevitably end up in the back of the closet (or donated to the salvation army). I had no say in the color of the ink & shirt, so if you liked it, great. If you didn’t, it wasn’t my choice, so yeah.

Anyway, it was a great feeling to see everyone sporting the shirt on Sunday, May 18th, even though it may have been the only day it would ever be worn. Thanks to Jessie and the board for accepting the design and for those of you who gave me kind words about how “cute” and “appropriate for the event” the shirts were. You guys are awesome.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Alas, my basketball shoes were beginning to die on me. for the past 3-4 years I’ve worn the Jumpman FBI:

Jumpman FBI

They were so comfortable that I bought a second pair after the first ones got beat up. Probably one of the most comfortable shoes right out the box, and they were pretty durable, too. I’ve been wearing the first pair for outdoor ball, but I think it’s time to bid farewell to them… but it’s OK, my second pair will take over its role of my outdoor balling shoe of choice.

So, new shoes. What did I decide to buy to replace my beloved FBIs?

After much deliberation, I went for the Gil Zero, signature model for Gilbert Arenas. I know it’s an older model, but I like it better than his latest shoe, Gil II Zero, so I decided to go with last year’s edition:

Gil Zero Low

Gilbert Arenas has one of the greatest pro-athlete blogs today at NBA.com. He’s such a character. I kind of liked the shoes when it first came out, but they sold out by the time I thought about getting them. Footlocker/Eastbay finally re-stocked this past month, much to my delight. I got the Lows, not because I don’t care about my ankles, but because my fatty ankle-brace has difficulty fitting inside a mid or high-cut shoe (I had a major left-ankle injury in June 2007, and still recovering almost 5 months later). I figured it would be easier in a low-top. It’s a pretty crazy design, but not too crazy. Unique yet slick. Definitely not a plain looking shoe, but not too loud, either… Well, at least I think so. And that’s the way I like my bball shoes.

Can’t wait to try it out on the court for SBK on Sunday. I’ve heard/read really good things about the shoe, and they felt pretty good just trying them on and walking around the apartment.

While we’re on the topic of shoes… AIR PENNY II’s are being RETROED in Fall/Winter 2008!!!! FINALLY:

Air Penny II

Ah, yes. 1996.

Wizard of Westwood

In a special session for UCLA student-athletes, Coach John Wooden spoke to us in Pauley Pavilion last night. I was able to go as part of Department of Athletics staff along with Neema, Sara, Steven, and Akemi. Rachel was sick so she couldn’t go. I wish she could have, because she was pretty excited about it. I left my JET info-session early to attend.

Coach Wooden @ Pauley

And boy, it was amazing stuff. Coach Wooden is 97 now, and his mind is sharp as a razor.

Continue reading ‘Wizard of Westwood’

Groove Girl

Daft Punk has another version of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” than the one I originally heard. This one’s shorter, but more entertaining—especially the second half of the track. I found this ‘Groove Girl’ dancing to it on video. She’s quite talented with the pop/lock-ish ness.

Design: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

T-shirt designed on a whim, 8/27/07. Based on SLAM DUNK’s Rukawa and words from Kanye (Daft Punk) West’s “Stronger.”


SLAM DUNK is a comic (manga) series by Takehiko Inoue about a Japanese HS basketball team–one of my favorite comic series ever. I swear, if you ever read it, it’ll make you want to play basketball. It caused somewhat of a cultural revolution in Japan, popularizing basketball to the general public of Japan in the late 1990’s. I used the character Rukawa, a tenacious MJ-esque guard, as the basis for the design.

SlamDunk Cover 19

man, that cover brings back memories. Ask me if you ever want to read it… I downloaded a scan of the entire series a few months ago. It’s in Japanese, though.

Kanye West’s song “Stronger” uses the track from Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” and it’s been one of my favorite songs of the summer. I think that phrase epitomizes what it takes to become a good ballplayer. Work harder, play better, move faster, get stronger… something like that.

Plus, the music video is kinda cool.

July 2018
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