明和電機 – Maywa Denki

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Nobumichi Tosa
Maywa Denki is an art unit produced by Novumichi Tosa. It was named after the company that his father used to run by gone days.
The costume is designed as a typical working uniform of Japanese electric stores, symbolizing small/medium-sized enterprises that had once supported Japan’s economy during its high-growth period. Its unique style is indicated by a term he uses: for example, each piece of Maywa Denki’s work is called “a product” and a live performance or exhibition is held as “a product demonstration.” The products produced so far include “NAKI Series,” fish-motif nonsense machines, “Tsukuba Series,” original musical instruments. And as an activity besides of Maywa Denki, Novumichi announces “Edelweiss Series,” flower-motif object art. Although Maywa Denki is known and appreciated as an artist, its promotion strategies are full of variety: exhibition, live stages, performances, producing music, videos, writing, merchandising toys, stationery, and electric devices. As Novumichi is still looking for a new scheme for a different approach to the public, Maywa Denki now in earnest begins to extend its activities to overseas, holding exhibition in over the world.

Maywa Denki is organized in 1993 as an art unit of two members (brothers), Masamichi (elder brother) and Novumichi (younger brother) Tosa. They started their career as an exclusive art unit belonging to Sony Music Entertainment, and later in 1998 transferred its management agency from SME to Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Novumichi Tosa (President)
  • April 1967, Born in Hyogo Prefecture
  • March 1992, The Department of Arts Study, Postgraduate Course, Tsukuba University, Awarded Master’s Degree
  • May 1993 – Mar. 2001, Vice President of Maywa Denki
  • April 2001 – present, President of Maywa Denki (succeeded on Masamichi Tosa’s retirement)

WEB

Awards

  • September 1993, Maywa Denki, Grand prix in “Art Artists Audition II” (sponsored by Sony Music Entertainment)
  • October 1995, Uo-no-me/Corn (NAKI-EX), licensed to the registration of a design
  • December 1995, Gumbass (MI-02), licensed to a new design for practical use
  • December 1996, Na-Cord/Fish Cord (NAKI-DX), licensed to the registration of a design
  • 1996, Na-Cord-Fish Cord (NAKI-DX), awarded a Special Prize of Editors in “MONO MAGAZINE Super Goods of The Year”
  • June 1997, Glass-Carp (NAKI-KX), licensed to the registration of a design
  • 2000, Maywa Denki, awarded Excellence Prize of Interactive category of Digital Arts in “Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival III”
  • 2000, Maywa Denki, awarded Good Design Award of New Theme Category by Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization
  • 2003 Maywa Denki, awarded Distinctions of Interactive Art category in “Ars Erectronica 2003″
  • 2010, “Otamatone” received “the grand prize of Japan Toy Prize 2010- High target Toy”
  • 2010, “Otamatone” received “Lisesing of the Year 2010 – Product license”

Performance & Exhibition

  • April-September 1994, a brand-new products exhibition “Next Weekend are Maywa’s Days”
  • May 1995, “Skins of Arts”
  • May 1995, “Fukui International Video Biennial VI”
  • July 1995, “Curator’s Eyes ‘95″ (on site production & sales of Sava-O/NAKI-SO)
  • April 1996, “Tokyo Pop”
  • August 1996, “Tsukuba Exhibition” (visitors totaling of 26,000)
  • September-December 1997, “NAKI Exhibition” (visitors totaling of 25,000)
  • 1999, “Maywa Denki Exhibition” at Shinjuku Odakyu Department Store & Kobe Daimaru Department Store (visitors totaling of 30,000)
  • May 2000, “NAKI Exhibition” at agnes b., Aoyama
  • August 2000, “EDELWEISS Exhibition” at agnes b., Aoyama
  • March 2001, “Maywa Denki Exhibition” at Galerie Du Jour agnes b., in Paris
  • May 2001, “Maywa Denki Exhibition” invited for the event “Tokyo Life” at Selfridges in London
  • September-December 2002, “Romance Engineering” at Shibuya PARCO and Nagoya PARCO (visitors totaling of 10,000)
  • September 2003, Ars Electronica “Cyberarts 2003″ at the O.K Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria (9.06-9.21).
  • November 2003, “HOMMES ET ROBOTS” at La maison de la culture du Japon, Paris, France (10.28-1.31).
  • July-December 2004″NONSENSE MACHINES” at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art,Hiroshima (7.31-10.11) and at NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo (11.03-12.26).
  • December-October 2005, “Maywa Denki : Exhibit Nonsense Machines” at the JSMA , Oregon, America (10.21-11.20).
  • July-September 2006, “NONSENSE MACHINES” at Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima (7.21-9.3)
  • October 2006-January 2007, “Nonsense Machines: NAKI” at Agnes b.’s LIBRARIE GALERIE, H.K.(9.23-1.13).
  • July-August 2007, “NONSENSE MACHINES” at OKAYAMA DIGITAL MUSEUM, OKAYAMA (7.13-8.19)
  • October-November 2007, “Noncense Machines: NAKI” a multimedia exhibition by Maywa Denki at Eslite Sinyi store(1F Robby, 2F agnes b. [sport b]), Taipei, Taiwan. (10.11-11.10)
  • January 2008, “The World of Knock Music”, Gallery MITATE+ Gallery le Bain, Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo (1.8-1.21)
  • January 2008, “The World of Knock Music”, Oriental Hotel Gallery, Hiroshima. (2.29-4.30)
  • November 2008, “Article 08″, Norway
  • Spring-May 2009, “NONSENSE MACHINES” at The Museum of Art – Kochi, Kochi (4.11-5.10)
  • May-August 2009, “Exhibition 5 ‘bones’ Directed by Shunji Yamanaka”, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Tokyo (5.29-8.30)
  • February 2010, “Cyber Arts Japan- Ars Electronica 30 years for Art and Media Technology”, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo(MOT), Tokyo (2.2-3.22)
  • May – June, 2010 : “Maywa Denki Voice Project declarative exhibition” Seibu Department Shibuya, Tokyo
  • June – October 2010 : “Knock! music -Four evolution theories, from percussion to computer” National Museum of Emerging science and innovation, Tokyo
  • August – October 2010 “Japan Media Arts Festival in Istanbul 2010″ Pera Museum, Istanbul
  • September – October 2010 : Exhibition at COMME des GARCONS TRADING MUSEUM, Tokyo
  • November-2010 : Exhibition at COMME des GARCONS DOVER STREET MARKET, London
  • January-April 2011:Exhibition “Agnes b.’s  Musique Plastique” at Pari France (1.28-4.02).
  • June -July 2011: : Exhibition “TRANSFORMER” at Bethune France (6.14-7.31).
  • September2011 : Exhibition “Ars Erectronica Campas 2011: Seriously Playful / Playfully Serious – University of Tsukuba” at Linz, Austria (9.01-9.06).
  • March – May 2012 : Exhibition” OTAMATONE” ELTTOB TEP ISSEY MIYAKE , (GINZA , SEMBA)

Concert Tours

  • November 1994-March 1995, “SWITCHED ON KAPPA” products demonstration
  • July-November 1995, “SWITCHED ON KAPPA ‘95″ products demonstration
  • January-March 1995, “Commemorative Demonstration of Maywa Denki New Products” (in 6 large cities, 8 stages)
  • May-June 1998, “Drived-Live: Maywa Denki Japan Tour II” (in 6 large cities, 8 stages)
  • 1999, “Maywa Denki Live: Hall in Love ‘99″ (in Tokyo and Osaka, 5 stages)
  • May-June 2000, “Maywa Denki Live 2000: For Beautiful Human Live” (in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, 5 stages)
  • November 2003, “Maywa Denki Live in Paris : Mechatronica” (in Paris, 4 stages)
  • July 2004, “Maywa Denki Live 2004: Mechatronica” (in 3 large cities, 5 stages)
  • July-September 2005, “SWITCHED ON KAPPA” Live (in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka,Taiwan and Paris)
  • June 2006, Maywa Denki Live at Belluard Bollwerk International, Fribourg, Swiss
  • July 2006, “maywadenki – performance der japanischen kult-kunstfactory” Live, Zurich, Swiss
  • November 2006, “Maywa Denki Hong Kong Live 2006 : Mechatronica” (in Hong Kong, 2 stage)
  • February 2007, “Maywa Denki Live 2007 : Roppongi Mechatronica “, Nimes, FRANCE
  • April 2007, “Maywa Denki concert : Mechatronica 2007″, Nimes, FRANCE
  • June 2007, “Mechatronica: in conjunction with Singapore Arts Festival 2007″ Live, Singapore
  • October 2007, “Maywa Denki Live, Mechatronica in Matsumoto”, Matsumoto, Nagano
  • November 2007, “Maywa Denki Live, MECHATRONICA” at Seongnam Art Center, KOREA
  • February 2008, “Maywa Denki Live”, Washington D.C., USA
  • February 2008, “MECHATRONICA ~ Maywa Denki Live in HIROSHIMA~ “, Hiroshima
  • June 2008, Maywa Denki Live, Enghien les Bains, FRANCE
  • November 2008, Maywa Denki Live, Fat Festival 08, THAILAND
  • July 2010 : Maywa Denki Live – GREC Festival de Barcelona, Barcelona
  • December 2010 : “VOICE MECHANICS” concert, Tokyo
  • April 2011: “VOICE MECHANICS ~ Maywa Denki Live in hongkong~” hongkong
  • May-June 2011: ” Maywa Denki Live – digital brainstorming” zurichi, Switzerland
  • October 2011: “VOICE MECHANICS ~ Maywa Denki Live in Taipei ~” Taiwan
  • October- November 2011, “Maywa Denki Live tour 2011: VOICE MECHANICS” (in Tokyo, Osaka ,Kouchi, Shimane, Fukukuoka,Okayama)

Produce Event

  • November 2007, “BACAROBO 2007″, Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • December 2008, “BACAROBO 2008″, Shinjyuku, Tokyo
  • October 2009, “Maywa Denki’s Nonsense Business Seminar”, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • July 2011 “STRANGE VOICE”, Shinagawa, Tokyo

Discography

< Single CD >

  • July 1997, “Edelweiss” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • October 1997, “Ore wa Uchu no Fantasy” (Sony Music Entertainment)

< Album >

  • January 1996, “Teikyo” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • August 1996, “Ochugen” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • August 1997, “Sakigage” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • May 1998, “Michi” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • July 2000, “SAVAO” (Tokuma Japan Communications)
  • August 2001, “Savao de Samba!” (Tokuma Japan Communications)
  • June 2002, “Chikyu no Present” (Tokuma Japan Communications)
  • September 2005,”GOLDEN☆BEST Maywa Denki” (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • October 2007, “SAVA0″ (URUSAI Entertainment, in TAIWAN)

< Video >

  • January 1996, “Maywa Denki Gaho1″ (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • August 1996, “Maywa Denki Gaho2″ (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • August 1997, “Maywa Denki Gaho3″ (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • May 1998, “NAKI: 26 nonsense machines” (Sony Music Entertainment)

< DVD >

  • July 2004, “Mechatronica” (Sony Music Direct)
  • July 2004, “NAKI: 26 nonsense machines” (Sony Music Direct)
  • August 2005,” Nonsense musical instruments of Maywa Denki”(R and C)

< Book >

  • September 1997, “NAKI Encyclopedia” (NTT Publishing)
  • April 1998, “Maywa Denki Company Profile” (Aspect)
  • June 2000, “Maywa Denki Short Story” (Shinko Music)
  • 2000, “Knock Man” (Yoshimoto Kogyo)
  • November 2004, “Maywa Denki Nonsense Machines” (NTT Publishing)
  • November 2004, “Edelweiss Program” (Yoshimoto Kogyo)
  • August 2005,”Otaku Gyotaku”(Yoshimoto Kogyo)
  • October 2006, “Maywa Denki’s Advertising design” (NTT Publishing)
  • October 2007, “Maywa Denki Nonsense Machines” (URUSAI Entertainment, in TAIWAN)
  • April 2012, “Nonsense Brain and sketch (Beta version) “