GAMES ARE ART
Meet Japan’s master crafters
Explore a beautiful world inspired by Japanese culture.
Create, explore and survive!
Minecraft is the ultimate sandbox game, boasting seemingly endless opportunities to expand upon the world you find yourself in.
As you explore spectacular, infinite worlds, from the dark depths of forests and caverns to mesmerising floating cities in the sky, you’ll experience a journey like no other. Besides the immersive adventures that await within the game, you also have the freedom to discover your own creative streak.
Connecting and placing blocks together sounds straightforward, but you can mastermind the construction of anything from a simple house, to an extremely detailed world that could only exist in your wildest imagination.
Japan’s first Minecraft Marketplace publishers
We want to continue to deliver an experience that is rich with Japanese culture
– Shyuichi Tatsunami
You can also expand your block party to the Minecraft Marketplace, where cool new worlds and skins devised and developed by international creators are available to purchase.
In January 2018, with the launch of SAMURAI Castle-MUTSUKIJO-, the members of its three-person development team called ICHI-BAN-YARI, became the first-ever crafters from Japan to release a world on the Minecraft Marketplace. And, in the process, they’ve brought an enthralling dash of Japanese culture to this global gaming phenomenon.
The inspiration for their samurai world came from the historical castles of Japan that existed between the Warring States and the Edo periods. And the castle they’ve created has been beautifully crafted, right down to the most ornate of details in the interiors of the rooms. With the launch of their latest project for Minecraft Marketplace, we sat down with two members of ICHI-BAN-YARI, Shyuichi Tatsunami and Santaro Imai, to discuss their creations.
“ICHI-BAN-YARI becoming the first group of crafters from Japan to publish on the Minecraft Marketplace is truly an honour. We want to continue to deliver an experience that is rich with Japanese culture,” says Tatsunami.
Enter the AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion-
Their latest offering is another intriguing world called AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion-, which features a massive castle located high up in the mountains and surrounded by a quiet village resting below.
This impressive world wasn’t created by ICHI-BAN-YARI alone though. This time, another group of creators going by the name of Team-KYO, did the bulk of the building work, while ICHI-BAN-YARI acted as producers for the overall project.
Team-KYO are a talented bunch, currently working on constructing an accurate replica of the Kyoto prefecture in Japan. With their collective efforts and extraordinary skill, AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion- was built in just one month; an incredible feat given the amount of detail in the finished product.
Imai says, “I love castles from the age of Warring States in Japan. In our last creation SAMURAI Castle-MUTSUKIJO-, we focused on building a castle that is architecturally very close to the real thing. This time around, we wanted to lean a bit more into a fantasy theme. That being said, while we were designing it, we took into account a layout for a castle that would be easy to defend and difficult to attack. As a result, we ended up naturally creating something that was realistic and authentic.”
As Tatsunami puts it, “I don’t think there are a whole lot of people out there that can complete a world like this in just a month.” And Imai adds, “It was porife’s (a member of Team-KYO) vision to incorporate ‘harmony with nature’ as one of the core themes of the world. You’ll also find a unique blend of Japanese architecture and fantasy.”
A world of intricacies
AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion- was created on a map size of 1200x1200 spaces. And the ICHI-BAN-YARI team believes there is plenty of quality packed into such a relatively compact space.
Imai explains, “We decided not to go too big with the map, drawing out lines from start to finish. In pushing for a fusion between nature and fantasy, the end result was something we believe to be a sort of yin and yang.”
“There are hidden doors and passages to enjoy if you can find them. We want searching for them to be part of the fun,” says Tatsunami.
A message from the creators
ICHI-BAN-YARI and Team-KYO’s collaboration on AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion- reflects the positive synergy within the community of Minecraft creators according to Tatsunami and Imai.
“I don’t really think of Minecraft as just a game. It’s a platform that allows you to do many different things, which naturally attracts different kinds of people. Everyone in the Minecraft community gets along quite well,” Tatsunami says.
The pair also discuss how becoming a creator and building fascinating worlds for players around the globe to enjoy, isn’t an unattainable goal.
“Minecraft is an amazing tool that gives you the ability to create anything you want with limitless possibilities. There are many different creators and everybody has their own twist to how they do things. I’d like to think that you could be the next person to make something great. Please make something that really wows us!”
Keen to venture into this unique world? AKATSUKI -Samurai Dominion- is available to download and play from the Minecraft Marketplace. You might just be inspired to create the next unforgettable world to share with this thriving crafter community!