Manga Fans Alert! British Museum is holding the World's Largest Manga Exhibition Outside Japan!

Mr. Qoo

The largest ever manga exhibition to be held outside of Japan has arrived British Museum! Featuring 162 works by many leading manga artists, The Citi exhibition Manga opens its doors to the public until 26th August.

▲ Photo by J.Fernandes © The Trustees of the British Museum

Fans will be thrilled by the massive manga showcase, which includes the work of Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫), Toriyama Akira (鳥山 明), Eiichiro Oda(尾田栄一郎), Takehiko Inoue (井上雄彦), Gosho Aoyama (青山剛昌), Masashi Kishimoto (岸本斉史),Hajime Isayama (諫山創), Junji Ito(伊藤潤二) and Naoko Takeuchi(武内直子).

▲ From Real © Takehiko Inoue and I.T.Planning,Inc.
▲ From Galaxy Express 999 © Leiji Matsumoto

The exhibition undoubtedly creates an interesting cultural dialogue as it scrutinizes into details about understanding manga through reading, drawing and producing it. The history of manga, different styles of storytelling and its influences over the world will also be discussed, which aim to expand the genre’s boundaries.

▲ Photo by J.Fernandes © The Trustees of the British Museum

A manga exhibition in British Museum further demonstrates the artistic value of this medium, as well as its contribution to cultural developments. ‘Manga is a multi-billion-pound industry, super-fueled by its readers and viewers. It is immensely popular with people of every age in Japan and increasingly across the world. With hundreds of genres, from sports to love, and from horror to sexual identity, there is a manga for everyone,’ stated by exhibition curator Nicole Rousmaniere, who posted an introduction of the exhibition on The British Museum official blog.

▲ From Captain Tsubasa © Yoichi Takahashi/SHUEISHA
▲One Punch Man © ONE・Yusuke Murata/SHUEISHA

Manga has been phenomenally popular in Japan for over a century, and its influences continually spread to western countries. According to the worldwide statistics and data compiler Statista, manga sells huge amounts across the globe. As of March 2019, One Piece, written and illustrated by Japanese artist Eiichiro Oda, was the best-selling manga series in the world, having sold 450 million copies globally, followed by Dragon Ball at 300 million copies. Some of One Piece and Dragon Ball’s manuscript will also be showcased in the exhibition.


▲ From ONE PIECE © Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA

A brief history of manga development is also presented in the exhibition, showcasing illustrated handscroll dated back to approximately the year 1200 AD.

▲ Photo by J.Fernandes © The Trustees of the British Museum

Other works in the exhibition focus on gender identity and the difference between boys’ (shōnen) and girls’ (Shōjo) manga. One example is Princess Jellyfish (海月姫), a manga series primarily for women, written and illustrated by female artist Akiko Higashimura (東村 アキコ) . The series explores gender and identity through a fictional apartment in Tokyo where only female tenants are allowed.

▲ Princess Jellyfish © Akiko Higashimura / Kodansha Ltd.

Other highlighted topics in the exhibition include the influence of digitalization over the entire manga industry and the transformation of manga as an art form.

▲ Photo by J.Fernandes © The Trustees of the British Museum


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