A t-shirt printing artist’s inspiration can sometimes come from exotic sources, one of which is Japan. In the world of fashion, Japan has produced a diverse body of work. From the classic lines to the weird get-ups, Japanese-inspired designs are perfect for printed kids’ t-shirts, printed hoodies and printed sweatshirts.
Using Anime And Manga Characters In T-Shirt Printing
Perhaps the most popular imports from Japan today are the anime (animation) and the manga (comic books). Popular anime series like Naruto, Bleach, Hunter X Hunter, Ghost Fighter, and Dragon Ball Z have spawned numerous merchandise bearing the names and images of popular anime characters.
T-shirt printing artwork often features anime and manga characters with an edgy and fierce appearance. The colors are not flat, but painted in layers and gradients. The style is, in fact, so much similar to the way manga and Western comic book artists draw.
Anime and manga designs are perfect for printed kids’ t-shirts. The shows and their characters are very popular among the young ones. Not only are they screen printed on t-shirts, but they are also found on printed hoodies and printed sweatshirts.
T-Shirt Printing With Domo-kun, Hello Kitty and Kero Kero Keroppi No Daibouken
Japan has not only shared its popular animes and comic books with the rest of the world. Long before the likes of Naruto and Son Goku caught the imagination of Generation X and the succeeding generations after, Sanrio characters Hello Kitty and Kero Kero Keroppi were the stars of children’s tv show.
Hello Kitty is for girls. Pink ribbons and fluffy dresses match the cuteness of Hello Kitty’s big round eyes and button nose. Like Barbie, Hello Kitty is also a fashion icon, spawning a wide array of merchandise, including printed girls’ t-shirts.
For boys, Kero Kero Keroppi is their hero. The Romanized Japanese phrase “Kero Kero Keroppi No Daibouken” means Keroppi’s Big Adventure. He is the main character in a video game where he has to rescue his girlfriend locked up in a castle.
Kids’ t-shirt printing designs often include Hello Kitty and Keroppi designs. They are screen printed not only on t-shirts, but also on bags, caps and other types of merchandise, such as mugs and notebooks.
Domo-kun is initially not a kids’ t-shirt printing design. Young adults often wear printed t-shirts with Domo-kun designs. Other types of merchandise printed with Domo-kun are caps, bags and mugs.
The adorable brown furry creature is the mascot of NHK Japan, a broadcasting network. Domo appears in a stop-motion animation shown as station ID. He has been featured in various promotions for 7-Eleven and Target. Nickolodeon has aired two-minute shorts featuring Domo-kun.
The little guy looks hip and cool, although his expression is weird. Domo’s face freezes an expression of “cheery wonderment,” which is how Clint Bickham, the writer of the Domo comic books, puts it. His large, sawtoothed mouth is eternally open.
T-Shirt Printing With Japanese Cultural Designs
Anime and cartoon designs are the most popular these days in kids’ t-shirt printing. T-shirt printing for adults, on one hand, not only includes anime designs, but also cultural symbols of Japan like the dragon and kanji.
The dragon is the most popular and easily recognizable symbol of Asia, particularly Japan and China. The dragon design is very much common, but the quality of the print is based on the skill and detail that went into the t-shirt printing.
Kanji is another cultural symbol unique to Japan. Most common kanji symbols used in t-shirt printing are the characters for Love, Peace and Prosperity. Other kanji characters form sayings or phrases, like shogyou mujou, or “the impermanence of worldly things.”
Other t-shirt designs inspired by Japan include the Geisha, the Samurai, the Ninja, the Rising Sun, the samurai sword, the cherry blossoms (sakura tree), and the Japanese gate, torii. All these have served as inspirations for t-shirt printing artists all over the world.