A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine

01.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

The Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda will open his ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ exhibition at the 1,300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine on December 4, 2021. A number of Masuda’s representative works will be on display at the historical site, known as one of the most important shrines during the Edo period. 

 

Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-

Kanda Myojin Shrine

 

Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- has been shown in New York, Milan, and Amsterdam over the past few years, and will now make an appearance as part of this exhibition. Given the magnificence of the venue, the work will be presented in a unique way–in the basement of the shrine. In addition, a part of the research on Kawaii culture conducted in collaboration with Kyoto University of Arts Ultra Factory will be on display as well. Guests will be invited to ponder the nature of Kawaii, and what makes it so beloved by audiences worldwide.


 

Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-

Time After Time Capsule Art Project

Kawaii Archival Research

 

Near the entrance to the shrine, the Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK will be on display. Clad in the cutest colors imaginable, it has become a symbol of Harajuku around the world. The Hello Kitty-shaped time capsule, which was on display for five months in New York City in 2015, will also be shown on the temple grounds. The participatory art project has made it to 12 cities around the world so far. 

 

Kawaii culture will blend with traditional Japanese culture during this exhibition, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon!

 

What is ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art?’ 

Sebastian Masuda has been at the helm of the global Kawaii movement for decades. 

 In 2020, Masuda asked a number of questions to fans of Japanese pop culture around the world–what is Kawaii? Why does Kawaii cross borders, generations, and gender? This new exhibition tries to find an answer to those questions while bringing some joy and excitement to the local community. 

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  • Interview: What Type of ‘Kawaii’ Did This Popular Foreign Influencer Find in Japan?

    03.October.2022 | FASHION / FEATURES

    Kawaii is marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul.”

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon is dedicated to sharing Japanese pop culture with audiences around the world, and today, we’re featuring a foreign influencer living and working in Japan! This time, we interviewed Etsuna, a popular influencer from China, discussing how Yume Kawaii fashion brings her comfort and the many types of ‘kawaii’ she’s found during her time in Japan. 

     

    Q. What brought you to Japan?

    “After graduating with a major in animation, I was working at a university in Shanghai as a teacher, but I decided to enroll in Tama Art University’s graduate program to study for my master’s degree. That’s when I came to Japan, and I’ve been here for 15 years!”

     

    Q. When you first came to Japan, what surprised you? Was anything different than what you had imagined? 

    “Everyone wore such bold makeup, and that really surprised me! When I first came to Japan 15 years ago, I think the gyaru trend was still big, and a lot of girls had that strong Harajuku style and big personalities. Heavy eye makeup and blush was the big thing. I thought everyone was getting ready to film for a TV show.” 

     

    Q. What do you think of when you heard the word ‘kawaii’ in Japan?

    “MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, character cafes, and Yume Kawaii fashion…they are all so unique and so adorable! Those things are what I think of when I hear the word ‘kawaii.’”

     

    Q. Did finding Japanese kawaii culture change you in any way?

    “Before I experienced kawaii culture, I was a teacher, so I wore a lot of black, white, and gray every day. But after encountering kawaii style for the first time, I started experimenting with different kawaii subcultures, like the Mori Girl trend back in the mid-2000s. Eventually, I fell in love with Yume Kawaii (Dreamy Kawaii) fashion, which is filled with pastels and a fantasy-like aesthetic. I’ve been dressing in that particular style for about ten years now. To me, kawaii is like marshmallow-flavored medicine for the soul. It’s very healing.” 

     

    Q. When it comes to Japan, what interests you now? Where would you like to visit in the future?

    “Today, it feels like Japanese fashion is becoming more and more simple, and the Harajuku kawaii trend is starting to disappear. Is that because people don’t like standing out in that over-the-top way? Do they feel embarrassed if they dress differently than most people? I’ve met a lot of people who love Yume Kawaii fashion, but they might not have the courage to wear it themselves. That’s why I’m currently researching how to bring Yume Kawaii to AR. If I can bring it to the virtual world in a way that blends with the real world, I can create a brand-new experience for everyone. Using mobile AR technology, people will be able to transform their everyday clothes into something with more Yume Kawaii style!”

     

    Etsuna’s Original Yume Kawaii AR Filter

     

    Q. Please give a few words to those living abroad who are interested in visiting Japan!

    If you really want to experience Japanese kawaii culture, stay at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS in Harajuku! There are so many fashionable people in Tokyo too, and if you hang out near Harajuku Laforet on the weekend, you’ll see people taking plenty of pictures. Come have a special trip to Japan and surround yourself with all things kawaii! Have fun!” 

  • BTS TinyTAN Pop-Up Shop Open in Nagoya for a Limited Time

    27.September.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    BTS fans will want to head to Nagoya! The TinyTAN Licensed Product Special Exhibition is now open at Nagoya Kintetsu Pass’e until October 2, 2022. Tons of new products inspired by Butter are available at an on-site pop-up shop!

    The exhibition opened on September 17, and fans of the BTS song Butter are flocking to the event to snag some adorable new merch. In addition to new interior goods being unveiled for the first time, popular products have been released with entirely new designs. 

     

    Many other world premiere products will also be available, including the 4 Season Blanket decorated with TinyTAN characters and inspired by spring, summer, fall, and winter. This will be available in limited quantities, so don’t miss out!

  • Special ‘Roots of Kawaii’ Exhibition Marking Rune Naito’s 90th Birthday to Open in October

    24.September.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    A special exhibition commemorating the 90th birthday of Rune Naito will be held at the Hanshin department store in Osaka from October 19 until October 31. Titled ‘Roots of Kawaii,’ the event will look back at the life of the esteemed artist, illustrator, writer, and designer. Known for his illustrations of large-headed baby-faced girls, he first became interested in art after discovering the works of Jun’ichi Nakahara, joining Nakahara’s company after graduating high school. In 1959, Naito got his big break, designing the cover of the girls’ magazine Junior Soleil. Following this, Naito would become active as an illustrator for a number of magazines, and from the 1960s on, he began other activities, even producing a line of commercial goods from glassware to stickers. 

     

    The exhibition’s theme is ‘Life’s fantastic dreams,’ and over 300 items will be on display, including rare original drawings, goods, personal sketches, and more. The event will be held in celebration of Rune Naito’s birthday on November 20, and will also feature a special shop. Admission is ¥1,000 for adults, ¥700 for high school and college students, and free for junior high school students and younger. Discounts are available by preordering tickets. For details and tickets, check out the official website.

  • First Large-Scale Made in Abyss Exhibition to Open at Nagoya PARCO

    21.September.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Nagoya PARCO will hold a massive Made in Abyss exhibition from October 1 until October 16, 2022! The Tracks of the Challengers exhibition is being held to celebrate the new season of the anime series.

     

    Exhibition Images

    Photos from the Ikebukuro Venue

    *Contents of the exhibition are subject to change. 

     

    Exclusive Goods

    Mini Bromide Collection

    Acrylic Panel

    Acrylic Stand Figure

    Clear Folder

    Mini Acrylic Character Stands

    Tapestry

    Art Board

    Type 5 Energy Ration

    Mug (with Coaster)

    Explorer Utensil Set

    Explorer Cooking Set

    *All photos are sample images.

     

    The exhibition features original drawings from the first and second seasons, as well as the film. Fans can see special video content only being screened during the event, and can enjoy artifacts from the story and photo spots perfect for grabbing shots for social media! In addition, those purchasing an audio guide ticket will be led through the exhibition by Nanachi herself! New items have been added for the Nagoya event, including a script for Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul! Original goods will be on sale at the venue as well.

     

    (c)つくしあきひと・竹書房/メイドインアビス「烈日の黄金郷」製作委員会

  • Nodame Cantabile Exhibition to Open in Tokyo and Osaka in Fall 2022

    20.September.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    With over 38 million copies sold, Tomoko Ninomiya’s music manga Nodame Cantabile remains popular 20 years after its debut. To celebrate this milestone, a Nodame Cantabile exhibition will be held in Tokyo from October 8 until October 23 and in Osaka from November 23 to December 5, 2022.

     

    (Bundle)

    Mini Towel in a Turmeric Box

     

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    (C)二ノ宮知子/講談社

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    From September 30 until October 2, 2022, artist Sebastian Masuda will present a hands-on live performance work titled Polychromatic Skin – Minitsukeru, nugisuteru at kagoo in Kitakagaya, Osaka. 

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    The theme of this art piece is ‘wearing something by taking it off.’ Audience members will participate in the live performance by wearing masks, tops, and bottoms based on the idea of androgyny, or the body of a human before it is divided into male or female. 

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    <Comment from Sebastian Masuda>

    “In Brooklyn, New York in 2018, I wandered off to go to the restroom at a club. The male and female signs on the restroom doors had been smashed together, and the sign only said ‘non-gender.’ Bewildered by the unexpected instructions, I opened the door with the usual color and found a completely different sight than I was expecting. Shocked to realize that there were stereotypes hiding unconsciously within me, I returned to the club floor to find the space is as fun as ever. Since then, I’ve wondered if there is a way to break the stereotypes I have. I can’t stop thinking about it. 

    Is breaking down the walls the only shortcut?
    The right answer is inside all of us.
    Sometimes, to see the truth, you just need to put something on.
    Cast off the self by taking it off.”

     

  • Suntory Museum of Art to Display Art from Chishakuin Temple in Kyoto for the First Time

    31.August.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    From November 30, 2022 until January 22, 2023, the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo will hold the ‘Treasures from the Chishakuin Temple in Kyoto’ exhibition.

     

    National Treasure. Maple Tree. Hasegawa Tohaku. (Four of Six Sides) Momoyama Period / 16th Century.

    Chishakuin Temple. [On display during the entire exhibition.]



    Chishakuin Temple is located in Higashiyama, Kyoto, and is the headquarters of the Chisan School of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. This originated with Kobo Daishi (774-835), and the sect now has 3,000 temples around Japan. Founded during the Muromachi period (1095-1143) the temple was originally built in Wakayama Prefecture in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s son Sutemaru, but the builds were brought to Kyoto in 1598 on the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

     

    Kobo Daishi Scroll

    Muromachi Period, First Year of Bun’an Era (1444)

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    Kyoto Prefecture Designated Tangible Cultural Property –  Kogyo Daishi Scroll

    Kamakura Period / 13th Century

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    National Treasure. Cherry Blossoms. Hasegawa Tohaku. (Four of Five Sides) Momoyama Period / 16th Century.

    [On display during the entire exhibition.]

     


    The temple is best known today for its panel paintings and gardens, the latter of which was inspired by tea master Sen-no-Rikyu. Half of the original paintings remain, with some having been lost to fire and some simply being degraded over time. 

    National Treasure. Diamond Sutra (Partial) – Zhang Jizhi

    Southern Song Dynasty, First Year of Houyuu (1253)

    [On display during the entire exhibition]

    Important Cultural Property. Mahamayuri Scroll.

    Kamakura Period / 14th Century

    [On Display from December 28, 2022 until January 22, 2023]

    Important Cultural Property. Green Maple and Waterfall. Song Dynasty / 13th Century

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    Ladies at Tea. Insho Domoto. 4 sides. Showa 33 (1958)

    [On display during the entire exhibition]

     

    This exhibition will mark the first time that many of the paintings are shown simultaneously outside of the temple, including Cherry Blossoms, Maple Tree, and Pine Tree with Autumn Plants. Visitors can also enjoy National Treasures and items from the temple’s treasure trove of Buddhist Art. Would you like to come and browse these incredible pieces?

  • teamLab to Hold Solo Exhibition at Seoul’s Pace Gallery

    23.August.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Art collective teamLab will hold a solo exhibition at Pace Gallery in Seoul from September 2 until October 29, 2022. Titled ‘teamLab: Massless Suns,’ the exhibition will mark the opening of the expanded gallery space at the internationally-recognized art landmark. The collective will also be unveiling a new work, Massless Suns and Dark Spheres, in which countless light and dark objects without boundaries fill the space around guests.

    Massless Suns and Dark Spheres

    Dissipative Figures – Human

    Dissipative Figures – 1000 Birds

     

    As visitors stare into the strange balls of light and darkness, it will seem as though the space around them is warped. If you reach out to try to touch the light spheres, they will shine brighter, and the orbs around them will respond in succession. The work questions the nature of existence and relies entirely on visitor perception.

     


    Continuous Life and Death at Now of Eternity II

    Waves of Light

    Resonating Microcosms – Solidified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset

     

    In March, the Pace Gallery opened a new exhibition space dedicated to experimental and immersive interactive works. Those familiar with teamLab will recognize some of their most popular works appearing during the exhibition, including the Dissipative Figures series and Waves of Light. 

     

    In the newly-opened outdoor courtyard, the work ‘Resonating Microcosms – Solidified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset’ will be on display, constantly transforming due to wind and rain, as well as influence from guests. A new concept work, ‘Solidified Light Color,’ will shine with 61 colors, inviting the environment and visitors to become a part of the art itself.

     

     © チームラボ

  • Sneak Peak: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Anime 10th Anniversary Exhibition in Tokyo

    20.August.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime.

     

    To commemorate the event, a special anniversary exhibition is currently being held at Ikebukuro Sunshine City in Tokyo. Check out some highlights of the event below!

     

    Upon entering the venue, fans will be welcomed by life-sized characters and a projection of anime clips on a massive screen. 


    Bloodlines x Duels

    This area features 22 life-sized cutouts of main characters and villains from the anime series. A family tree of the Joestars and a timeline will also be on display, allowing visitors to review the many connections between each series before moving on to the next area.

    A Soul Passed Down

    This area is the centerpiece of this exhibition. Here, visitors can look back on the characters and the many struggles of the anime’s production team, with scripts, original drawings, storyboards, settings, and other materials on display.


    The exhibition is divided into rooms for each series, and each room features a different vibe. Phantom Blood, the first part of the JoJo story, is set in 1880s England, so the area has a chic and classic look.

    In the Battle Tendency area, the walls are covered with masks and images from the second series and is the perfect spot to take photos. Following this, the Stardust Crusaders area was designed to trace the footsteps of Jotaro and his friends as they traveled from Japan to Egypt.

    The Diamond is Unbreakable area offers a good look at Morioh, the setting of the arc.

    The Golden Wind arc was set in Italy, and its area is laid out like a museum to match the stylish feel of the work.

     

    The final area of the exhibition looks at the latest series Stone Ocean. The panels of the characters are surrounded by a prison-style fence, in reference to the prison in which the series is set. A large number of materials from the first season are on display, perfect for brushing up on the story before the second half begins airing this fall.

     

    A Hymn to Humanity: The Road to the Future

    This spectacular area is lined with portraits of beloved characters from the anime series and is sure to make long-time fans feel incredibly nostalgic.

     

    Goods at a Glance

     

    Collaboration Menu

    After leaving the exhibition area, guests will find a shop selling original merchandise. Some items are limited and only available at specific venues, so don’t miss your chance to grab your favorites!

     

    A collaboration cafe will offer nine tasty dishes inspired by characters from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. This will only be offered at the Tokyo venue.

     

    ©荒木飛呂彦&LUCKY LAND COMMUNICATIONS/集英社・ジョジョの奇妙な冒険THE ANIMATION PROJECT
    ©LUCKY LAND COMMUNICATIONS/集英社・ジョジョの奇妙な冒険SO製作委員会

  • First ‘Made in Abyss’ Anime Exhibition to Open at Ikebukuro and Nagoya PARCO

    15.August.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    To commemorate the release of Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun, an exhibition will open at PARCO FACTORY in Ikebukuro on September 2 and at PARCO GALLERY in Nagoya on October 1!

     

    Guests can see original drawings from the first and second seasons of the anime and the movie, special video content that mixes full-length anime footage with original drawings, and artifacts from the story.  Photo spots will also allow visitors to experience famous scenes from the series.

     

    Those wanting to be guided through the exhibition can purchase the One Point Nanachi voice guide! The voice actress Shiori Izawa will lead you through key parts of the venue.

     

    Original goods will also be on sale at the venue. A special collaboration menu will be available at Cafe Address on the 6th floor of Ikebukuro PARCO, including savory dishes, desserts, and drinks inspired by the show’s characters.

     

    Additional information will be announced on the exhibition’s official website, so keep an eye out for more!

  • Chibi Maruko-chan Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Exhibition at SKIP CITY Visual Museum

    13.August.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Chibi Maruko-chan Exhibition, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the anime adaptation, will be held from September 13, 2022 until January 15, 2023 at the SKIP City Sai-no-Kuni Visual Plaza at the Visual Museum in Saitama.

    Chibi Maruko-chan began serialization in the shoujo manga magazine Ribon in 1986. The anime adaptation began on January 7, 1990. In May 2022, the series reached 1,500 episodes, and the series continues to be popular with men, women, and children alike.

    This exhibition will showcase the charm of the anime series, which depicts the daily life of the cheerful and funny Maruko and her friends.


    Something interesting to note is the transition from the analog era to the digital age. The exhibition will also include character materials and items detailing the personal life of the original author, Momoko Sakura, as well as her thoughts and feelings.

     

    30 Years of Chibi Maruko-chan Shown in Chronological Order

    From the moment guests enter the venue, they are surrounded by all things Chibi Maruko-chan. The entrance welcomes guests with a special video and an impressive 21-character movie along with profiles and signboards. Continuing on, visitors will be able to view a wide variety of over 320 valuable materials, ranging from production items like cels and settings to theme songs, movies, and merchandise.

    Momoko Sakura’s Memories

    Momoko Sakura has always loved creating things. In addition to her busy schedule, she created a number of other works in her private life. Many of the things she created were made from everyday items, so come and see the source of her boundless creativity!

     

    Diorama Photo Spot

    Come rediscover the charm of Chibi Maruko-chan at this impressive exhibition!

  • Popular Manga Series Chihayafuru Celebrates Finale with Exhibition in Nagoya

    05.August.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Matsuzakaya Nagoya will hold an exhibition for the popular manga series Chihayafuru from August 10 until August 29. The manga concluded on August 1 after 15 years of serialization and tells the story of Chihaya, a girl aiming to become the greatest competitive karuta player in Japan. Karuta is a Japanese card game, requiring players to memorize a collection of 100 classical poems in order to play. Generations of readers have been sucked in by the inspiring and romantic tale, and the series has grown to include an anime adaptation and a live-action film. The story has now reached its inevitable climax, and fans are saying farewell to Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata. 

     

    Works on Display

     

     

    Original Exhibition Goods

    Daddy Bear Plush / Snow-maru Plush

    Maki-e Nail Clippers by Hashimoto Lacquerware

    Goshuin-cho (Shrine and Temple Stamp Book) Set

     

    The exhibition will feature over 500 original drawings and will offer a look back at the series as a whole. Guests will also be able to see new drawings made exclusively for the event. In addition to valuable setting materials and research notes, the exhibition will also go behind the scenes, and a video of the elaborate production process and the creator Yuki Suetsugu’s thoughts on the work will be shown. If you’re a fan, you shouldn’t miss it!

     

    ©末次由紀/講談社

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