Country for PR: China
Contributor: PR Newswire Asia (China)
Wednesday, March 24 2021 - 12:00
AsiaNet
Eight Manga Artists' Works Exhibited at Kansai Airport Starting March 20
OSAKA, Japan, March 24, 2021 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

The Agency for Cultural Affairs presents "CULTURE GATE to JAPAN" 

On March 20, 2021, the Agency for Cultural Affairs will open an art exhibition 
at Kansai International Airport as part of a wider project entitled "CULTURE 
GATE to JAPAN". Multimedia artworks by eight artists will be exhibited at the 
airports and online in order to promote the appeal of Japanese culture around 
the world. 

Event Outline
Since antiquity, the Kansai region of Japan has been a focal point of the 
country's flourishing politics, commerce, and culture. Even today, remnants of 
these historical sites and traditions remain. The diverse lifestyles and 
cultures found within the region were largely shaped by the surrounding 
geography – it's mountains, rivers, seas, and more. The jagged San-in 
coastline, created when the Japanese archipelago separated from mainland Asia 
millions of years ago, resulted in a number of natural harbors. Lake Biwa, the 
largest lake in Japan, supplied fresh water to the entire Hokuriku region. The 
islands of Awaji island and Tokushima are home to some of Japan's oldest 
creation myths. And the historical areas of Ise and Nara in the Kii Peninsula, 
with is bizarre rock formations, virgin forests, and local craft culture, are 
the setting for some of the country's most enduring legends. The natural 
geography and resources of each area greatly influenced the development of 
regional culture, each with their own unique distinctions. 

For this exhibition, eight areas in and around the Kansai region have been 
reinterpreted as "eight roads" coexisting with nature. Eight manga artists with 
personal connections to each area have produced works depicting the nature, 
culture, and people of each of these "roads".

- Date: Opening on March 20, 2021 
- Location: Kansai Airport Terminal 1, 2F Atrium, Canyon Bridge 
- Entrance: Free 
- Theme: LIFE 
- Artists: In alphabetical order below

"The Cape Route" – Sanin Coast
IGARASHI Daisuke

A manga artist. He was born in Saitama Prefecture, and graduated from the 
Department of Painting at Tama Art University. Through a unique worldview, he 
expresses the connection between nature and humans, the world of traditions and 
mythology, and the origins of life and ecosystems. In 2004, he won the 
Excellence Award in the 8th Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division for his 
manga, "Witches" (Shogakukan Inc.). In 2009, he won the Excellence Award in 
both the 38th Japan Cartoonists Association Award and the 13th Japan Media Arts 
Festival Manga Division for his manga, "Children of the Sea" (Shogakukan Inc.). 
Other representative works are "Little Forest" and "Designs" (Kodansha Ltd.), 
"SARU" (Shogakukan Inc.), and "The Adventures of Kabocha" (Takeshobo Co., 
Ltd.). He has also created numerous picture books and book cover designs. 
"Little Forest" was made into a live-action film in Japan and Korea in 2014 and 
2018, respectively. "Children of the Sea" was made into an animated movie in 
Japan in 2019.

"The Fruitful Route" – Tamba 
KARI Sumako

She was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. After debuting in 1994 with "SWAYIN' IN THE 
AIR" ("Ranmaru" published by Ohta Publishing Co.), she has been active in a 
wide range of genres, including girls' comics and youth comics. Her manga are 
characterized by stories woven with a unique humor and sensitive psychological 
descriptions, and distinctive characters. She has earned a strong following 
from readers. Her outstanding works include "Kayo-chan no Nimotsu" (Takeshobo 
Co., Ltd.), "Ibara Ra Lullaby" (Kodansha Ltd.), "Nohara Nohara no" (Taiyotosho 
Co.), and "Ikuhyaku Seiso" (Ohta Publishing Co.). In 2006, "Family Restaurant" 
(Ohta Publishing Co.) was made into a movie. In 2020, she won the Excellence 
Award in the 23rd Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division for her manga, 
"Ashita Shinuniha (If I Might Die Tomorrow)" (Ohta Publishing Co.).

"The Sea Route" – Awaji Island and Tokushima
SATONAKA Machiko

She was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1948. In her second year of high school, 
she won the 1st Kodansha New Faces Award with "Portrait of Pia" and later 
became a professional manga artist. Many of her works deal with history. She 
completed "Celestial Rainbow", which features Empress Jito as the main 
character, after 32 years. Her representative works include "Tomorrow Will 
Shine", "Ladies of Aries", "Aurora of the Ocean", "Cypress Hill", 
"Constellation of the Hunter", and "Kojiki: Manga Koten Bungaku". In 2006, she 
was awarded the Japanese Ministry of Culture and Science Achievement 
Certificate for Lifetime Works and Cultural Activities. She has won many other 
awards, such as the Commendation of the Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural 
Affairs (2010), the Kojiki Publishing Grand Prize's Ono Yasumaro Award for 
"Kojiki: Manga Koten Bungaku" (2013), and the Japanese Foreign Minister's 
Commendation (2014). In addition to being a manga artist, she is also involved 
in a range of activities related to popularizing manga and culture. These 
include being a professor at Osaka University of Arts, being the director of 
the Japan Cartoonists Association, and the representative of the NPO Asian 
Manga Summit Administering Authority Japan.

"The Water Route" – Lake Biwa and Hokuriku
SEKINE Yuki

An illustrator and manga artist. She was born in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture 
and lives in Isumi, Chiba Prefecture. She graduated from the Department of 
International and Cultural Studies at Tsuda University. Her work is 
characterized by warm water-painting colors gained from ideas based on 
day-to-day life, and expressions that leave blank spaces and suggestiveness. 
Sekine won the Excellence Award in the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival Manga 
Division for her first picture book, "a continuous day" (Shinpusha). Her 
illustrations include "Sora no Teppen Giniro no Kaze" (Komine Shoten/assigned 
reading book for the 51st National Youth Book Report Contest), "Saigo no Jugyo" 
(Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.), "Yasashii Oto" (Komine Shoten/winner of the 28th 
Niimi Nankichi Children's Literature Award), "Asu no Konai Kuni" (serialized 
novel, Asahi Shogakusei Shimbun). Her works as a manga artist include "Yuruyuru 
Makurobi Seikatsu Kantan Genmai Saishoku Comic Essay" (Kadokawa Co.).

"The Pilgrimage Route" – Kii Peninsula 
URUSHIBARA Yuki

She was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1974. Her manga series, "Mushishi" 
(Book title: "The Light of the Eyelid") won the Grand Prix in the Afternoon 
Four Seasons Award in 1998 and debuted in commercial publications. "Mushishi" 
was turned into an anime in 2005 and a movie in 2007. Her works are 
distinguished by a nostalgic and in some respects painful world, and a lyrical 
style that doesn't sway from mundanely and delicately depicting the 
inexplicable in that setting. "Mushishi" won the Excellence Award in the 7th 
Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division and the 30th Kodansha Manga Award in 
the General Division. Her outstanding works include "Mushishi" (Kodansha Ltd.), 
"Suiiki" (Kodansha Ltd.), and "Neko ga Nishimukya" (Kodansha Ltd.).

"The Crafts Route" – Fukui, east Lake Biwa, and Mie
YAMADA Yoshihiro

He was born in Niigata Prefecture in 1968. In 1987, he debuted as a manga 
artist while in university in the then-titled weekly publication, "Comic 
Morning" with the manga, "Taisho Yaro", which was awarded the Chiba Tetsuya 
Prize by Kodansha Ltd. To this day, he continues to consistently pursue 
portraying "the Japanese people". His distinctive characters that possess a 
strong destiny and stories of highly original dramatic nature have garnered 
solid support that exceeds genres. His representative works include "Decathlon" 
(Shogakukan Inc.), "Dokyo-Boshi" (Shogakukan Inc. and Kodansha Ltd.), "Giant" 
(Kodansha Ltd.), and "Hyouge Mono" (Kodansha Ltd.). He won the Excellence Award 
in the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division in 2009 and the Grand 
Prize in the 14th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for his manga, "Hyouge Mono". 
Currently, his serialized work "Bokyo Taro" (from 2019) is appearing in the 
weekly publication, "Morning".

"The Mythology Route" – Ise and Nara
YASUHIKO Yoshikazu

He was born in Hokkaido in 1947 and has worked as an animator since 1970. 
YASUHIKO was involved in works such as "Space Battleship Yamato" (1974), "Brave 
Raideen" (1976), and "Invincible Super Man Zambot 3" (1977). In "Mobile Suit 
Gundam" (1979), he played a central role in creating the animation, serving as 
the animation director and taking charge of character design. Later, he began 
working full-time as a manga artist from 1989. He has been involved in many 
projects with an historical theme, from works based on Japan's ancient history 
and mythology to works based on Japan's modern history. He won the Excellence 
Award in the 19th Japan Cartoonists Association Award for "Namuji", and the 
Excellence Award in the 4th Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division for "Oudo 
no Inu". "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin" won the 43rd Seiun Award (Best Comic).

"The Artisans' Route" – Harima  
YOKOYAMA Yuichi

An artist and manga artist. He was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1967. 
YOKOYAMA graduated from the Department of Painting at Musashino Art University. 
He debuted in 2004 with the book, "New Engineering". YOKOYAMA's manga, called 
neo-manga, do not contain clear story development. Depictions of actions that 
are unfriendly and devoid of understood aims are carried out by several 
characters, and mysterious objects move and morph to express the pure passage 
of time. His representative works include "Travel", "NIWA", "Baby Boom", and 
"World Map Room". He is also an artist who has held many private exhibitions in 
Japan and abroad. His manga, "Baby Boom" earned a Jury Selection in the 14th 
Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division.

About CULTURE GATE to JAPAN
Beginning in February of 2021, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of 
Japan will launch an innovative cultural promotion project called "CULTURE GATE 
to JAPAN".  Held at seven airports across Japan as well as the Tokyo 
International Cruise Terminal, artists and creators active in the field of 
Media Arts will exhibit artworks inspired by the unique culture of each area 
with the goal of communicating the broader appeal of Japanese culture.

The global effects of the novel coronavirus have made it difficult to meet new 
people and experience new cultures in person.  However, that should not 
interrupt the exchange of art, ideas, and culture. Through this project, we 
hope to continue providing people around the world with the same sense of 
wonder and joy felt when encountering a new culture. 

Organizer: Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
Official Website: https://culture-gate.jp/

The "CULTURE GATE to JAPAN" PR is managed by wondertrunk & co. Inc. 

SOURCE: Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan CULTURE GATE to JAPAN 
Initiative

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