Leading Manga Artist At British Museum

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Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure

5 November 2009 – 3 January 2010                Room 3                        Admission free

Manga is a Japanese comic book art form which has become an international phenomenon in recent years. Cheap to produce, Manga is an appealing and flexible medium that engages the viewer-reader in stories in a uniquely affecting manner. Originating in Japan, manga are now being published worldwide. Many different audiences read manga, and there are manga for both children and adults.

Hoshino Yukinobu (b. 1954) is a leading Japanese manga artist. One of his most popular characters is Professor Munakata, who investigates history and folklore in his manga adventures. Hoshino has been inspired by his engagement with the British Museum and its collections to create a new manga in which his popular character Professor Munakata, a professor of folklore at the fictional Tōa Bunka University, embarks on adventures in the Museum galleries.

Hoshino Yukinobu first created Professor Munakata in 1990. Now, every two weeks, millions of readers in Japan eagerly follow the professor’s latest adventures in the manga magazine Big Comic. In October, Hoshino Yukinobu made his first visit to the British Museum. While here he created three ink drawings showing Professor Munakata’s most recent encounters with treasures of the ancient past.

Room 3 will feature scenes of past adventures which introduce visitors to the world of Professor Munakata whilst new drawings will highlight his most recent encounters with iconic treasures at the British Museum. Visitors will also be able to browse Japanese manga books in a setting which evokes a ‘manga coffee shop’, or manga kissa, in the corner of the room – a perfect way to discover more about the art of manga.

Hoshino plans to return next year to create a series of new episodes based on Professor Munakata’s adventures at the British Museum. They will feature his encounters with more of the Museum’s most iconic objects, as he delves into their mysteries. Mr Hoshino plans to publish the full series of British Museum adventures in both Japanese and English translation.

The British Museum is building representative collections to chart the phenomenon of manga from its origins in the Edo period (1600–1868) until the present. Small selections, including original manga artworks, are always included in the displays about modern Japan in the Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries.


Image 1
© Hoshino Yukinobu

Image 2
The British Museum
© Hoshino Yukinobu/Shogakukan Inc.

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