DATE: JUL 2016

monopo initiated project to satisfy a deep-seated desire to faithfully brand, communicate, and give voice to the often misunderstood city of Tokyo, Japan.

PLAY intro


The Essence of Tokyo Illustrated by Those Who Embody it is a community-driven initiative that seeks to establish the modern Tokyojin. The aim is to authentically and organically capture, document and communicate Tokyo's unique urban culture and lifestyle through the insight and experience of the very people that shape it while redefining what it means to call Tokyo home. We do this through documentary and narrative films, photo editorials, interviews, brand collaborations, live events, and high concept campaigns.


To put Tokyo and its people on the map on the same level as New York, London, and Paris

Tokyo is a tough city to pin down. A dizzying labyrinth of bold contrasts, equally old and new, chaotic and serene, modern and traditional. Up until now, any attempt to brand Tokyo has felt forced and out of touch, falling victim to the usual played out tropes and cliches that seem thought up by tone-deaf bureaucrats and not actual residents with their ears to the ground. As proud, battle-scarred Tokyojin, we felt Tokyo deserved better, so we created a platform for the creative and business communities to spearhead this movement.


The actual individuals pushing Tokyo’s culture forward

With Tokyo's rapidly-changing demographics, we are witnessing a new era of cultural innovation and being forced to reevaluate how we identify as residents of this city. Tokyojin is more than a citizen of Tokyo; it's the spirit and state of mind of anyone that is connected and committed to pushing the city's creative and cultural boundaries. These men and women—the inspired everyday citizens who tend the fire and survive on its warmth—are best qualified to occupy the podium themselves. Their voices are most compelling because, most loudly, they resound with genuine insight, knowledge, and experience. It is the people – the entrepreneurs, the creatives, the chefs, the bartenders, our cultural delegates – who are shaping this city’s identity and future. We want to create a platform to give these individuals a voice. Then, collectively, we can establish an authentic image of the real Tokyo.


Crowdsourced creative content and brand collaborations

Through original and brand collaborative content using the full spectrum of creative mediums and our vast network of Tokyo’s finest creatives and brands, we tell Tokyo’s story. Our mission has resonated with the community, and as a result, we have been able to mobilize and involve the best photographers, designers, and filmmakers this city has to offer to make the most authentic and sincere content possible.


Street, Urban, and Contemporary Aesthetics and Sensibilities

The cornerstone of this project is Tokyo contemporary urban lifestyle, so a strong effort was made to have the website, brand, and general identity reflect this. direction leans heavily on the the urban and contemporary side of the city’s style, so a dark, moody neutral aesthetic was applied across all branding material including the website, content, people, and organizations we choose to align with.


Our role: Creative direction, video, photography, UX/UI design, development


Creative Director: Chace Fedor

Designer: Jin Okuma

Producer, Assistant Director: Asako Tomotani

Awards & recognition

  • Css Design Awards

    Site of the day

  • Awwwards

    Honorable mention

  • Vimeo

    Staff Pick in 2017

  • Fantasia Film Festival

    Most Creative Film Award 2017

Related projects

We should work together!