99 Percent Invisible

Original image of Amabié. Photo courtesy of Main Library, Kyoto University

June 2020 – May 2021

The Bagri Foundation has formed a partnership with the renowned podcast 99% Invisible, of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX.

Created and hosted by Roman Mars, 99% Invisible explores the unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our world, including visuals, infrastructure, sound, cities, objects, history and technology.  Mutually driven by curiosity, the Bagri Foundation supports three new episodes  focusing on Asian art and architecture. Released between June 2020 and May 2021, the three episodes explores a variety of concepts  inspired by cultural phenomena from across Asia.

Amaterasu, one of the central kami in the Shinto faith

The first episode, titled Return of the Yokai, aired on 23 June and was brought to listeners by 99% Invisible producer Vivian Le. Exploring the development of mascots throughout Japanese history, the episode looks at Amabié, one of many “yokai,” or spirits, from Japanese folklore. Their stories sprouted out of Japan’s ancient religious history of Shintoism and have echoed to the present day pop culture. Once you understand their history, it is possible to trace the influence of yokai in manga, video games, and more, including mascots channeling Amabié in order to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the first episode here. 

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About PRX

PRX is a non-profit, public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing

content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio ranging from iconic public radio programs such as The World, This

American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, TED Talks Daily, The Takeaway, and Reveal, as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network, PRX reaches more than 28.5 million listeners and generates close to 80 million podcast downloads per month. More at PRX.org.

About 99% Invisible

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about—the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. 99% Invisible started as a project of KALW Public Radio and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco and is now a podcast heard by millions. The show’s host and creator Roman Mars is a founding member of the Radiotopia podcast collective, of which 99% Invisible is a part.