Iillustrated by Crisalys, the Kamakura series combines a beautiful mashup of her unique style of illustration with traditional Sumi-e art. Beginning in February of 2022, we partnered with Crisalys to take on the arduous task of creating 10 unique pieces of art by drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese folklore. Not only did she absolutely crush that, but she found ways to make the art still share similiar themes to the pedal’s original art concepts.
A statement from the artist:
"When we first starting conversations about this project from our friends at Walrus Audio effects, the first point we came across is our admiration for Japanese culture. Both traditional and contemporary, the country has given so much inspiration, regarding the way the apporach art and how they have developed it throughout the years. On my case my early exposition to videogames and anime from a young age, had me as an adult recognize parts of their ancestral culture, and I've gotten more deep in finding where those parallels came to be. In Chile (my home country) we have a close relationship with the Nippon country, similarities such as the work between countries to learn how to better handle earthquakes and our mutual love for traditional paper kites, plus the fact that our entire youth has been completely immersed on Japanese pop culture since the 80's has developed my work in such a way that I felt comfortable enough to try and give the interpretation Walrus was looking for on this project.You can see that each and every pedal art has been reworked to have a connection with traditional stories and imaginary from Japan's folklore. The rabbits making mochi on the moon, traditional painted kites, many Yokais and tales such as the Oarfish (that we ended up knowing about because of the relation with earthquakes Chile/Japan has), mixed with my art style but conceptualized to show traces of a modern Sumi-e using digital inking to give this rite of passage, and hoping to honor the artform that we so deeply love."
The process Crisalys went through to create these works of art is just as beautiful as the finished products. Check out the process below:
If you really want to dive deep into this series, check out the inspiration for each piece along with the concept notes from Crisalys:
- The baku is a strange holy beast that has the body of a bear, the head of an elephant, the eyes of a rhinoceros, the tail of an ox, and the legs of a tiger. Despite their monstrous appearance, baku are revered as powerful forces of good, and as one of the holy protectors of mankind.
- Baku watch over humans and act as a guardian spirits. They feed on the dreams of humans - specifically bad dreams. Evil spirits and yokai fear baku and flee from them, avoiding areas inhabited by them. Therefore, health and good luck follow a baku wherever it goes.
- A baku eating dreams along clouds as its mane.
-The Rokkaku dako is a traditional six-sided Japanese fighter kite. Traditionally, it is made with bamboo spars and washi paper. The rokkaku kite is often hand painted with the face of a famous Samurai. The structure is a vertically stretched hexagon with a four-point bridle.
-An scenery with many colorful Japanese kites.
-A terror from Western Japan, ushi oni is a class of monster that lives near water. The name literally means "ox demon." and it refers to a number of different monsters with bovine traits. Most Ushi oni resemble an ox from the head up and a demonic horror below. Many variations are known to exist; the body of an ox with a head like an oni's; the head of an ox on a body like a spider's or a cat's; or even an ox's head on the body of a kimono-clad human (a Japanese version of the minotaur).
-Ushi-oni Matsuri is a bullfighting purification festival held in Uwajima on Shikoku Island July 22-24. Ushi-oni are bull-headed (literally) devils which in Uwajima are protective symbols. Uwajima is one of the few places in Japan where they practice ushi-zumo or bull sumo.
-Used in reference to the depth of water
-Understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought.
-Measure the depth of water.
-Woman and Oarfish in the depth.
-Oarfish: The oarfish is thought to inhabit the epipelagic to mesopelagic ocean layers, ranging from 200 meters (660 ft) to 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) and is rarely seen on the surface.
-"Ryugü-No-Tsukai" known in Japanese folklore as the Messenger from the Sea God's Palace.
-Walrus Logo as Sumi-e Artist Red Stamp
-Color of the pedal as warm white to match the color of old watercolor paper.
-Halftones to simulate watercolor shadows.
- Sea Yokai Akugyo
-Akugyo are monstrous fish usually encountered in the seas near Kibi Province (Okayama prefecture). They're large in size and are known to capsize entire ships, before feasting upon the drowning sailors. Some Akugyo breathe fire, while others resemble gigantic versions of mermaids with gold and silver scales. The variety which appear as colossal mermaids usually have a pair of two oni-like horns sprouting from their head. Fisherman fear them because their boats can easily become logged between the fins of an Akugyo.
- Sea woman bust adorned with collage of sea creatures, skulls, and blended in a Japanese sea wave motif.
* Due to an oversight during the layout of the art (but after final confirmation of the translations) on the Julia, the pedal name is printed with the Katakana letters for Fathom.
- Toyotama-hime (Japanese for "luminous jewel"'), better known as Otohime, is a goddess in Japanese mythology, and is featured in the Kojiki as well as Nihon Shoki. She is the beautiful daughter of Ryujin, the god of the sea. She married the hunter Hoori and gave birth to a son, who in turn produced Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. After giving birth, she turned into a dragon or a wani and flew away.
- Otohime featured with a kimono and different ornaments along her father Ryujin.
- A woman in kimono holding a skull surrounded by spider lilies and butterflies.
-Japan perceives the butterfly to be a 'soul of the living and the dead', as a result of the popular belief that spirits of the dead take the form of a butterfly when on their journey to the other world and eternal life
-Red spider lilies are bright summer flowers native throughout Asia. They are associated with final goodbyes, and legend has it that these flowers grow wherever people part ways for good. In old Buddhist writings, the red spider lily is said to guide the dead through samsara, the cycle of rebirth. Red spider lilies are often used for funerals, but they are also used decoratively with no such connotations.
- In Japanese folklore, kitsune (literally the Japanese word for fox) are foxes thot possess paranormal abilities thot increase as they get older and wiser. According to Yokai folklore, all foxes hove the ability to shape-shift into human form. While some folktales speck of kitsune employing this ability to trick others - as foxes in folklore often do - other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, and lovers.
-Kitsune masks are worn during the Japanese festival of Tanabata and during other joyful events. A kitsune mask is a very popular piece of Japanese art. It is believed that the fox spirit can protect from bad luck and bring happiness to its wearer.
-Kappa are revered in Shinto as a kind of water god. It is not uncommon to see offerings of cucumbers made at riverbanks by devout humans. In return, kappa help people by irrigating fields, befriending lonely children, or competing with adults in sports and games.
-A kappa (river-child) - also known as kawatarò ("river-boy"), komahiki ("horse-puller"), kawatora ("river-tiger") or suiko ("water-tiger")-is an amphibious kami found in traditional Japanese folklore. They are typically depicted as green, human-like beings with webbed hands and feet and a turtle-like carapace on their back.
-Kappa have been used to warn children of the dangers lurking in rivers and lakes, as kappa have been often said to try to lure people to water and pull them in. Even today, signs warning about kappa appear by bodies of water in some Japanese towns and villages.
-Bunny making mochi in the moon
-The image of a rabbit and a mortar its delineated on the Moon's surface
-The Moon rabbit or Moon hare is a mythical figure in Far Eastern folklore who lives on the Moon, based on pareidolia interpretations that identify the dark markings on the near side of the Moon as a rabbit or hare. The folklore originated in China and then spread to other Asian cultures.  In Aztec culture, there is also a tale for the rabbit being in the moon.
-In Japanese and Korean folklore there is a rabbit who lives on the moon and makes mochi rice cakes).
Looking for these in Europe? Here's a list of participating dealers:
Music Store Professional
House of Sound