Graffiti is impermanent.

Normally, thats a good thing, but as the global art world has begun to recognize graffiti and street art as a legitimate art form, the short-term and public nature of street art has presented challenges around sales and ownership.

The team at Totomo has found a solution. They have been working with street artists around the world and galleries across Tokyo to create a platform to prove digital ownership of street art.

We talk about the challenges of bringing digital tools and provenance into the spray-can world of street art, why this international team decided to launch in Japan first, and how to take advantage of the new startup support programs offered by the Shibuya government.

It’s a great conversation, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Show Notes

  • The challenges involved in monetizing street art
  • Is street art “legitimate”, and how world opinion is changing
  • Why Japan views street art differently
  • Why Totomo is not using the standard NFT marketing strategy
  • The importance of real-world gallery events
  • Why most Totomo NFTs are not bought using crypto
  • Do NFTs really pay artists on resale?
  • Bailing an artist out of jail
  • How attitudes to street art are changing in Japan
  • The real reason Totomo launched in Japan first
  • How a foreign-run startups can raise money from the Japanese government

Links from the Founders


Welcome to Disrupting Japan. Straight Talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs.

I’m Tim Romero and thanks for joining me.

Today we’re going to talk about NFTs and no, no, it’s not what you think. Regular listeners know that I’m an NFT skeptic, but being an honest skeptic means keeping an open mind. And in that spirit, I’d like to introduce you to the team at Totemo because they’re doing some genuinely interesting things with graffiti, street art and the block chain.

They’re helping artists get paid and as far as I’m concerned, that’s always a worthy activity.

So, today we sit down for a four-way conversation with the Totemo team of Marty Roberts, Elena Calderon Alvarez and Minami Kobayashi. We talk about why Totemo decided to target their business much more tightly on the art community than on the crypto community. and also why this international team who represents international artists, decided to launch their startup in Japan.

We talk about how graffiti and street art are becoming accepted as mainstream art around the world and the amazing level of support that the Shibuya government is providing startups these days and whether bailing your clients out of jail is a good use of investor capital.

But you know, the Totemo team tells that story much better than I can. So, let’s get right to the interview.


Tim: So, I’m sitting here with the founders of Totemo. Marty, thanks for joining us.

Marty: Thanks so much Tim for having us.

Tim: It’s good to have you back. And Elena.

Elena: Hi. Thank you for having us.

Tim: It’s good to have you on and Minami.

Minami: Hi.. Thank you for having us.

Tim: It’s great to have you on. I don’t usually have three people on the show, but making an exception this time because what you guys are doing is really interesting. You’re bringing street art and graffiti art to the blockchain, but I think you can probably explain it a little better than I just did. So, what exactly does Totemo do?

Marty: Yeah, yeah, I think you summed it up quite well already, but the point that we’re trying to work on is that right now graffiti and street art, while it’s loved by many around the world, it’s impermanent and eventually it will be destroyed by the elements, by the government, by other graffiti writers. So, if there was a way to make this permanent and also collectable and tradable, that would be fantastic because then the artwork will exist forever and will have owners and be traded. And that will allow these street artists to be able to monetize their work in a new way.

Tim: And so you’ve created basically an NFT auction house that that’s dedicated to this street art and graffiti art.

Marty: Exactly.

Tim: So, you’re doing things quite a bit differently than most NFT marketplaces and I mean that as a compliment.

Marty: Thank you.

Tim: So, the NFTs you’re creating, they’re not simple photographs of the artwork, there’s additional work that goes into them, there’s motion involved. Can you talk a little bit about the art itself?

Minami: Basically we use pictures from real artworks that the already as same murals and we have like animation team that they help us to animate these pictures and to break them a bit of life.

Tim: So Elena, you actually studied curation in Athens, right? And you’ve had a long interest in graffiti art and street art. And is this considered, for lack of a better word, legitimate art in the art world? Or is it something that’s not quite accepted yet?

Elena: Well, in Japan it’s not really accepted yet. And that’s why I moved here to Japan with the idea of doing like research about graffiti. My goal was like do PhD in graffiti and street art. That’s why I choose this country because it’s like totally different from any art scene or graffiti scene in the world. And in Europe they’re like starting to do like museums focusing only in street art. Like in Berlin for example, they have a huge museum only focused on it. But in Japan it’s not considered still any kind of art. So, that’s why I wanted to take it a bit more in a like academic way, like studied in university.

Tim: Yeah, I think that to a large extent it’s still considered more of a nuisance than an art in Japan. So, is your go-to market, your marketing strategy, it’s quite a bit different from the standard NFT marketplace and it seems like you’ve actually been working to engage the art community and the gallery community here in Tokyo.

Marty: Yeah, absolutely. We’re really working in strong partnership, not just with the artists but with the entire art community. Now of course we also work a lot within interconnections with the NFT community, which Minami can speak more about. But we found it’s been really important to actually form live events at different galleries. We’ve been doing live events where the artists themselves perform some live painting so that people can see what goes into creating this art.

Tim: So, I’ve noticed you have been doing the live events. You had one in October, another November. Is what you’re doing closer to an art gallery style event or more of an NFT promotional event? Can you explain like how it leans one way or the other?

Marty: I think it’s more of a community building exercise. It’s a little bit educational and focused because we want the people to meet the artists, hear the story. Why does that artist create this specific style of art? What is it that the artist is trying to say through their art? It’s really interesting for the attendees to have a chance to speak with the artist, to hear from the artist. Sometimes the artist speaks a little bit then watching the artist perform live art is very, very fun. And then of course we do want to promote the NFTs, so we tend to perform an auction at the end. And also anyone who attends our event, we allow them into our NFT gallery because you’re right, it’s very different than other projects. We’re not making 2000 copies of an NFT and just trying to make a quick buck on a drop.

Tim: Right. Minor variations of…

Marty: Right, right. We’re taking, sometimes they’re one of one NFTs. Sometimes they might be an addition of 50, just like a normal print art business might have. So, I’d say much more focused like the traditional gallery method rather than this NFT spammy approach that we’ve seen over the last several years.

Tim: And so you mentioned the auctions. Is this a traditional offline auction or is it an online marketplace or is it kind of a hybrid auction? How are you selling these NFTs?

Elena: So, far we are selling the art pieces on marketplace, but normally we do set price non auction, but still we have the auction to do the auction. But so far we did a live auction in real life.

Tim: Yeah, like the physical space?

Elena: Yeah, physical space.

Tim: And so like the flyers and the promotional stuff, you mentioned that you could pay in crypto or cash or credit card. So, obviously trying to be very friendly to the non-crypto art community. What’s the breakdown? Are most of the people coming from more of a traditional background and paying in cash and credit or most of the customers who are engaging with this coming from the crypto community and paying in ETH?

Marty: We’ve had both. But at our live events, I mean in real life live events that we’ve hosted, most people I’m seeing are just really using credit cards, that’s easier for them. And then in our online marketplace that’s still, which is kind of in a closed beta right now, it only accepts ETH but we do plan to be adding a credit card option.

Tim: No, I mean I think that’s really interesting in that it is using the blockchain technology in the art domain rather than, for lack of a better term, kind of pulling the art into the blockchain. So, how does this focus on the art galleries, on the artist community, how does that factor into your long-term plans? Is that where you want to continue to focus or do you think that eventually or sooner than eventually perhaps you’d want to address the much bigger speculative financial crypto markets as the bigger market? Or do you just want to stay focused on the art community?

Marty: Well, we really feel that our collectors that we’re targeting are more people who are actual art collector. Lots of them tend to be contemporary art collectors and they’re just learning about street art and gaining interest in it. Because if you think about it, a lot of like the biggest selling artists now artworks by like Keith Harring or Basquiat or Banksy. I mean these things sell for millions of dollars and they all started as graffiti artists. So, if you could imagine collecting something for not so much money right now, imagine how valuable that could be if that artist ends up becoming that next Banksy. So, that’s kind of the market we’re targeting, but we also do find more interest in the United States. So, ultimately we’ll really be focusing, not really just on the Japanese market, but on the overseas market. And so that I could imagine will spill over into more of the NFT speculators. But what can we do? By that point we’ll be too large to vet every single customer.

Tim: Well, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean yeah, the prices will go higher there for sure. The bigger marketplace, and correct me if I’m wrong, what would you just describe sounds very much like the traditional art market as a whole. The gallery owners will discover or promote relatively unknown artists acquire the paintings and then resell later as they get more valuable. So, the value of bringing NFTs into this is just ensuring the uniqueness of the artwork. That it’s not just one of a thousand reproducible photographs.

Elena: The, how you say, the goal, why we do this NFTs with graffitis because it’s an art that as Marty said is like a mural, so it going to last forever, this kind of work. So, that’s why it’s like totally different from other artworks that they already exist in art galleries.

Tim: Well, you mentioned before that street art is gaining respect and exposure. In Europe they’ve had museum ex exhibitions and stuff. So, how is it curated and displayed there?

Elena: I mean they could take these pieces directly from the streets, like the physical pieces just put in the wall and bring it inside the museum or they do curated works. The graffiti artist for inside the museum.

Tim: So, they just like cut out the concrete wall and bring it into the really…?

Elena: That’s what we do with Banksy, for example. But of course with a big murals like huge dimensions, it’s impossible to do this. So, with NFTs is a perfect way to monetize these works.

Marty: It’s not just to the museums like for instance in Berlin, but you can think about how there’s so many projects around the world that are using street art to revitalize areas of the city. So, for instance, Wynwood Florida, when they started Wynwood Walls was a huge project bringing in all of these famous artists to paint like six blocks of the city. And now I think it’s only three blocks because they turned half of it now into very expensive condos. So, street art is having more of an impact, but the problem is how do you collect it? How do you trade it? How does the artist make money off of it besides getting commissions to paint a wall? And also even if they get commission work, there’s no way for them to make any value off of the secondary market. And that’s the other interesting thing about NFTs. So, in the traditional art world, let’s say Minami’s the artist, I buy a painting from Minami, she gets half the money, half of it probably went to the gallery I bought it from. Then I sell that painting to Elena, Minami the artist gets nothing. But we’re in NFTs and using smart contracts, you can program it in so that the artist will always receive a small commission on every secondary trade.

Tim: I hear that a lot about NFTs, but I don’t quite understand that. So, if an NFT is traded exclusively on an exchange, right, you can enforce those kind of rules. But if you go to sell that NFT to Elena and you just send her ETH to some other wallet, the NFT doesn’t know it’s been traded or for how much? How does that work in practice?

Marty: Yeah, that’s a big problem. And my entire NFT world, it hasn’t been solved yet. I mean there’s always a way that you could take it off chain.

Tim: Yeah, I think it is something as a former musician, I am completely in favor of anything that helps artists get paid. There’s so little in this world helps artists get paid. But I guess, I don’t know, I think maybe it’s going to have to come down to some kind of an industry standard among the exchanges or something.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think in the largest sphere that it’s going to have to be something like that, which to be honest Totemo’s not going to solve that problem. What we’re trying to do right now though is by building our community of real art lovers because we’re actually kind of vetting the collectors because we have an invitation only platform at the moment. So, you can only come in if it’s obvious that you really like this sort of art.

Tim: Yeah, I noticed. I could not get in.

Marty: We’ll send you a invite.

Tim: Please do.

Marty: So, the great thing about that though is that means that the people, as we build out this community, the people who are in there really love that art and chances are, if they like one artist, they’ll like another artist on the platform too, which will then grow the collector base for each artist there. And if that’s where they’re used to buying the NFTs, we’re hoping that if they decide, well I want to sell this one and get something else, that they’ll sell it on the marketplace where they know they have the best chance of selling it. Because if you just take any art NFT and throw it on open sea, no one will ever find it. There’s just so much on there.

Tim: Well, actually let’s talk about artists getting paid. So, what is the model, if you sell an NFT on the platform or at a gallery event, what’s the percentage that goes to the artist?

Marty: 65%.

Tim: 65, okay. So, that’s significantly higher than what artists usually get. And do you pay to produce the NFTs or do the artists have to like do that themselves? How does that part of it work?

Minami: With do almost everything for the artists, we support to create the art itself. We sell it on the marketplace and we do promotion for them and also we provide this sales share for the artists and help them create the MetaMask  wallet.

Tim: That’s awesome. Are the artists are, oh I was going to say I don’t imagine they’re digital savvy, but maybe they are. Are the artists comfortable with digital tools or are they strictly like spray paint people?

Minami: In general graffiti artists, they’re much more into analog traditional techniques. So, it’s difficult for them to get into digital tools. That’s why we also like support them if they don’t do their own, like animations for example, we support them we say like animation team. So, they can do like a kind of collaboration between the artist and the animator.

Tim: Yeah, that is, because it sounds like what you’re doing is closer to almost a collaboration than curation and running a marketplace.

Minami: Of course there is still picture like art works itself has already lots of value, but we want to make them even more valuable, even more interesting. That’s why we have animation team to make the pieces move.

Tim: I mean I think it’s great that you’re providing that much support for the artists because they clearly need it moving into the digital medium and Marty, you were telling me before that you had to bail one of your artists out of jail.

Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s true. Just when we were getting started and we were still ingratiating ourself, I would say into the graffiti community, especially in Tokyo. I had just raised a round of funding, an initial likes precede round of funding and just closed. And like a week later I got a message from this one artist’s girlfriend who DM’d me and she’s like, he’s in jail. And I was like, ah, no. All right. So, I called up our venture capitalist, she’s in capital Mark Bivens fantastic support.

Tim: Going to plug the VC?

Marty: Yeah, I called up Mark and I said, look, listen Mark, I know I don’t need your permission. I’m the CEO, but I got to take some money and bail this kid out jail, and Mark flick what happened. And I was like, 222 counts of vandalism. He’s like, get them out. He’s like, and that’s fantastic. Think about the marketing this will help for you to get, to get validity in the graffiti scene that you care about the artist so much that you worked to find a lawyer and get the person out. And interesting, the lawyer was one of Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers. She went into the police and said 220 counts, you only have him on video committing one thing of graffiti, so we’re going to plea that down. So, she got him out within like 20 minutes of talking to the prosecutor. And then she called me and she was like, I’m sorry Marty. I mean I took your money but I did this so fast. And I was like, well, would you mind him spending some extra of that time for me?

Tim: Who I need you a retainer?

Marty: Actually even more interesting. I asked her to please just draft for me a simple document about what to do if you get arrested in Tokyo for graffiti. What can the police compel you to do? What can they not compel you to do? And then I added stuff like how to contact your embassy if you’re overseas and things like that.

Tim: A valuable resource for the community.

Elena: It’s like an underground market.

Tim: No, I mean I think bail money is a great use of capital, but I’m glad you obviously agreed, they would not. So, you were talking about the appreciation of street art, graffiti art in the West is just much more advanced, much further along, much more developed than it is here in Japan. Has this exposure like led to other gallery showings for the artists that are on the platform? Is that something you see happening?

Elena: In Tokyo right now there have been like a lot of exhibitions related with graffiti. Like in the past two years I saw like a completely how it changed since I arrived here in Japan and they’re inviting a lot of like foreign artists to paint here also and do like a sweeter festivals. But yeah, it changed a lot in this few years.

Tim: Well, that’s great. And you mentioned before that eventually you’re planning on going overseas. Why the focus on the Japanese market in particular right now? Is it just because that’s where we all are and you’ve got to start somewhere?

Elena: Yeah, basically.

Marty: But at the same time, we’re not really only focused on Japan. We’re trying to play both sides of it. On the one hand, we believe our true markets are US, Europe, Australia probably are going to be the largest markets where they already appreciate it and you have collectors who will definitely want this. And also our artists are not only from Japan, we have artists from the US, from Germany, from Australia, from many, many countries already. But at the same time we are trying to play off this thing that we are coming from Tokyo because it just sounds cool to people overseas and where, there’s certain aspects of Japanese culture that we are featuring. So for instance, one of our artists Kua her work is so Harajuku, it’s really cool. And we think that collectors overseas, once we start promoting her, she’ll really take off because of the Japan aspect.

Minami: Yeah. And I’m going to say that a lot of foreign artists, they contact Totemo to as a way to enter in Japan and get some kind of collaboration with us and get like free legal walls to paint here and also do some kind of exhibition. So, it’s also nice that they’re trying to get in contact with us like a bridge to entering the Japan and art world.

Tim: Is finding legal walls challenging? Is there just a community that supports that or…?

Elena: Very challenging.

Tim: Very challenging?

Minami: Yes. It’s super, super challenging in Japan if compared to other countries because of law and regulation or many things. But luckily we found super nice wall in Harajuku, super central area of Harajuku. Anyone can access their but in a way nobody can find its kind of hidden place, but super central in Harajuku so that we can make some game like a treasure hunter. But anyway this is in the future so far we are making outside street art gallery. We have to decide the actual name, but so far we, we are calling it outside Street Art gallery. So, we have some artists mainly from Japan and they create their super nice artworks on the wall so that we can show the art pieces to the audience and make it NFT and sell it on the marketplace. And of course we share the sales to artists and the wall owner.

Tim: Okay. Monetize your walls. So, how long does that cycle last? For example, if someone paints part of the wall, would that stay up there for a month or two months or…?

Elena: Each artwork has super nice and looks amazing, so we don’t want to erase it if we don’t want to over paint it. But of course we have good technology like blockchain NFT, so we can preserve the artworks and maybe after half a year other artists cannot paint.

Tim: So I mean, this being Japan, I have to ask what do the neighbors think of all of this crazy graffiti art going up in their neighborhood?

Minami: I think we are again lucky because property doesn’t have real neighbors.

Tim: Okay. That is lucky. And it’s at Harajuku. So, it’s on brand for the neighborhood.

Marty: Yeah, exactly. And Harajuku is a section of Shibuya and we’re actually working quite closely with the Shibuya government because Shibuya is very interested in promoting themselves as a city focused on technology, art and culture, and also startups. So, they want to focus on startups, technology and arts and culture. And basically Totemo fits all of those bills. So, Shibuya actually kindly enough provided us free office space to use.

Tim: Getting back to the business model looking long term. So, the last 12 months have not been kind to NFTs in general. The volumes have collapsed, the valuations have collapsed. Totemo seems much more tied to the real world art galleries and art community than it does to the NFT community. So, looking forward five years from now, what’s the state of NFTs? What’s the state of Totemo?

Marty: So yeah, it’s very true that we’ve been following much more a traditional gallery model rather than sort of the NFT big thousand drop model. Even to the extent that we have right now in our beta version, an invite only system. And that’s almost very similar to a gallery very often…

Tim: I clearly didn’t make the cut.

Speaker 3: Very often you can’t buy from a gallery unless somehow you know the gallery owner or something like that. So, we’re kind of starting it that way because we really want to build a community of not just fantastic, well curated artists, but also great collectors. That’s our initial approach and we plan to try to expand that a bit over the next six months or so. And then I think as we gain enough traction, we’ll probably start lifting the gates a bit and trying to grow the community in a more traditional marketing style so that it becomes really open but focused marketplace where people who are into this style of art will come to buy and trade and sell NFTs.

Tim: Okay. And Elena I want to especially ask you, so do you think NFTs are kind of the natural way these things will be traded? Or is there another option between digital NFTs and taking a jackhammer to a concrete wall and pulling the mural out?

Elena: Yeah, I think there are like different ways of combining this NFT technique. So, it’s like getting this physical works, like we have it now, like this mirrors and take them into the blockchain and the digital world like we do through like animations and then maintain them into NFTs. But also it’s a nice way to documenting what is happening in the street and like the history of this kind of art. And also in the other way around, we can also bring like the digital world into the physical world. Like for example, like using AR in the mirrors like within exact location and also bring these NFTs into like digital art galleries. I think it’s going to be like kind of the future of contemporary arts.

Tim: That’s fascinating. You know, Japan has a reputation of not being overly crypto friendly or NFT friendly, but Totemo has gotten a lot of support from the Shibuya government as you’ve been setting up, right?

Marty: Yeah, absolutely. Especially from the Shibuya mayor’s office. They’ve been super helpful in providing us guidance support because interestingly, many people in that office love street art and graffiti, but they spend quite a lot of money having to clean it up each year, so one thing that I’ve spoken with the government about is how about we use your public parks to host contained events?

Tim: You know, that’s really interesting. So, there’s a lot of national government programs and professional and local city government programs that are designed to give investment in office space and things like that. And I understand Shibuya does that as well, right?

Marty: Yeah. Shabu has provided us office space, which is fantastic.

Tim: But they’re actually, they’re also trying to like connect you to other parts of government and they’re trying to help you with the connections as well.

Marty: Definitely, definitely. And so we stay in constant discussion. Shibuya is really committed to startups, technology and arts and culture and tote the most sort of fits each of those bills. So, it’s really been a great match to be working with Shibuya.

Tim: So, Marty, you’re a previous company and touch, you also got investment or financial support from the Japan Finance Corporation, right?

Marty: Yes.

Tim: So, have things gotten easier or harder or…?

Marty: I think there’s more programs now, so I think there’s more opportunities for startups, but you just have to look around and find a program that fits for you and then oftentimes know someone who can introduce you to the program. But I remember last time I was on your show, Tim, when I was talking about the Japan Finance Corporation and I was saying it was so great to get their initial investment. Because then when I went to other investors and they said, who’s your investor? And I was like, Japan, the country of Japan. And now working with Shibuya, even office space as an in-kind investment, things like this, I can now turn as we will eventually do another round of funding and people will see on our cap table Shibuya or know that they supported us even if they’re not on the cap table.

Tim: That is a really interesting point. I think particularly for like B2B startups, the legitimacy that having government support or government investment brings with it is far more valuable than the actual capital they provide.

Marty: Yeah, definitely.

Tim: I get asked about this a lot, but what advice do you have to listeners, particularly foreigners who are interested in exploring how they can get support from the government?

Marty: I would spend a lot of time attending, well first of course do your google research and you’ll find a lot not everything will be in English, but the government’s gotten better and better at putting at least summary examples of the programs in English online. Also, I would attend a lot of local events, so local startup events because these sort of meetups or these sort of pitch presentations, that’s where you’ll meet people who already know about the programs.

Tim: Yeah, it’s hard to overstate how important those connections are and how important it is to know someone who knows someone.

Marty: Exactly.

Tim: What else should the government be doing to support startups?

Marty: I think what they’re already starting to work on is they’re starting to work with other accelerator programs. And that’s kind of great because then if, let’s say the local government is putting on some sort of networking event, they can make sure that the most important people are there who can then later on support the startups. But I think they’re already starting to do that. But maybe more of that would be helpful.

Tim: So listen, just to wrap up, I’m really curious about how accepting you think Japan will become of street art. The reason being is Japan is fascinated with trends. Things come and go, like really absurd trends, it doesn’t matter. And then two years later it’s forgotten. Obviously this is something that’s had a lot of staying power in the west, people are taking it seriously. There’s a real depth that’s appreciated. Do you see Japan going in that direction?

Elena: Yes, definitely. I mean they have always copy and like Western style and American style. So if they see that now in American, Europe, they’re creating this kind of museums, art galleries for sure this trend is starting here. But it’s also like a funny because for example, Japan has this Keith Haring museum that’s been open for a long time and it’s funny to see that they don’t appreciate graffiti, but they created this unique museum in the world curated only for Keith Haring. So, they kind of appreciate what they do for like art galleries, but they didn’t appreciate what he was doing in the streets. And I think they will get to that point to appreciate it.

Tim: Okay. Well Marty, Minami, Elena, thank you so much for sitting down with me. I really appreciate it.

Minami: Thank you so much for having us.


And we’re back.

The Totemo story is much more of an art story than a blockchain story. And you know, I think that’s probably a good thing.

Sure, in the short term, it reduces their market reach because you know, obviously the art world and the gallery community is much smaller than the crypto community, but that’s precisely why Totemo has a chance to make a meaningful impact on that world.

Over the past two years, NFTs have become synonymous with insipid, uninspired, algorithmically generated art. So, it’s really refreshing to see NFTs being used to actually give some attention to artists who really deserve it.

Now, Totemo’s current business model is actually quite similar to that of a traditional art gallery. Long-term, however, they have two ways they can take this. They can stay the course and grow into the premier gallery slash marketplace for the ephemeral art that is street art. Alternatively, they could go full crypto and sell into the massive pump that comes with opening up a once exclusive community to the broader crypto market.

Either way, it would be a big win for them and for the artists as well.



If you want to talk more about street art and NFTs the Totemo team, and I would love to hear from you. So come by and let’s talk about it. And hey, if you enjoy disrupting Japan, share a link online or you know, just tell people about it. Disrupting Japan is free forever and letting people know about it is the absolute best way you can support the podcast.

But most of all, thanks for listening and thank you for letting people interested in Japanese startups know about the show.

I’m Tim Romero and thanks for listening to Disrupting Japan.