Manga at the Museum 博物館の漫画 I Curator’s Corner season 4 episode 7

Who would think that Buddha and Jesus
would be taking a gap year in downtown Tokyo? I’m Nicole Rousmaniere I’m the IFAC Handa curator of Japanese arts Welcome to my corner. Japanese manga is a very specific way of storytelling and what’s so compelling about it is that it really draws you in and these stories are everyday stories,
they’re historical stories they’re fictional stories, they’re ghost stories, they’re stories that are really from Japan or Japan’s interaction with other countries. And this really is a potent form that we think fits very well with the British Museum’s collecting practice. The British Museum is not so
much about the object itself, it’s about the hand that made that object, it’s about what those objects tell us about the culture it’s about what we can communicate through these objects what are people when they’re looking at this what do they see, what do they read and what does it tell us and manga is a particularly powerful form because it is so visually graphic. Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum said I would like a manga of the British Museum, it was amazing that he thought of that and I went, obviously, to Hoshino Yukinobu. His drawing is exquisite he just makes history come alive he makes these stories that are just so compelling that you have to read them and we thought he would be perfect. It took us a year to to get through but
we finally did and in 2009 after a visit to Sapporo to his studio to tell him about the British Museum we managed to entice him for the first time to England These are two drawings that Hoshino sensei made for us at the British Museum and are in our collections now. He created these from the second trip to the British Museum to do further research. This is a typical gag manga this is Professor munakata looking at the Rosetta stone but the writing is gone and he’s actually turned into the
rosetta stone but if you look at this one I think this one is particularly
important, here we have professor Munakata pointing out across the ocean
we’re thinking of him perhaps in Japan pointing out towards us or maybe he’s in
British Museum pointing out towards Japan we have our Japanese, part of our
Japanese armour right here that’s in the collection the Sutton Hoo helmet is looming large and something has shifted if we look very carefully we see Britain, we see Europe and what he’s saying is through the objects in the British Museum you see the world. what’s different about the British Museum to other museums is you can look at these treasures from and and really important
objects from all different parts of the world and you find out about yourself. It’s not about… you can find out about them but it’s more about kind of an internal exploration so through the objects we see what we are, we see what
other people are and we come out somehow changed This may be a bit of a surprise
but I think you’ll enjoy it. Nakamura Hikaru is a young female artist
who’s incredibly talented she her series Arakawa under the bridge talked about a
homeless group of people that was living under a bridge in Tokyo, her other very
very hot series which also started in a different magazine called morning sue
this one is published by Kodansha chronicles Buddha and Jesus taking a gap year in downtown Tokyo they’re living in a very small flat right here and here they’re having dinner together and they always wear fantastic t-shirt slogan t-shirts and go through very many different types of adventures and issues together. So this series has been quite compelling you can see Jesus and Buddha creating manga together actually it’s Buddha who is really
interested in be coming a Manga artist they have all sorts of different
adventures, going to different places but what I really wanted to explain is how
manga can take topics that are taboo topics that are emotional topics, that
are very close to one’s heart that you normally can’t speak about and yet they
can, through their magic of the line and through the storylines and also the
visual power can really shift your ideas about things Who would think that Buddha and Jesus would be taking a gap year in downtown Tokyo? Who would think that they were having this adventure? who would think that they would have a debate if they see a cockroach in their bedding whether it should be killed or not? These topics actually can seem ridiculous or spurious but they’re actually quite deep and and they’re quite doctrinal Nakamura sensei works with scholars and and does a lot of research and so her work is quite sensitive it’s not provocative in a bad way what it’s trying to do is is make us look and rethink about things Manga is often about disasters, there are many Mangas about the Fukushima disaster 3/11 but also about Hiroshima many of
you may know, Barefoot Gen… some of these Mangas are incredibly sad, some of them are really painful but what’s more important is that they’re cathartic, through them we can release our fears, through them we can rethink our ideas, through them we have a space to to find our own beliefs and our own imagination. I believe all of you can find your own Manga, there is a manga for everyone and what’s so exciting about what we’re doing at the British Museum is we’re trying to bring this to you and and show you that there is a choice and show you the role that Manga plays not just in Japan but worldwide and now growingly on the web. Thank you very much for joining me on our Manga adventure today. There are many more curators that are
doing many different types of adventures through the British Museum YouTube
channel, I hope you’ll all subscribe but first of all I want you to tell us what
you would like to see, what is your favorite Manga and what manga you would like to see the British Museum collect please write it in on the comment section and subscribe to the YouTube channel of the British Museum, thanks

85 thoughts on “Manga at the Museum 博物館の漫画 I Curator’s Corner season 4 episode 7

  1. for as hard as she tries to explain what makes manga so great as a medium, i still feel like this explanation is kind of reductive

  2. When i see the hoshino yukinobu picture, i see a different thing from what you said.
    I see the manga artist, not pointing, but separating.
    I see an affirmation of the incomparable cultures of Europe and Japan.

    I see the helmets of war and suffering originated from want of power and from fear of mortality.
    Those same human emotion, but in distinctive geographic and cultural condition creating different path of accomplishment.

    In conclusion, i see i cry for self affirmation, as many artists tend to do.

  3. I’m not into Manga. But there’s no doubt in my mind it’s a serious art form. One which will be remembered and cherished long after a lot of modern art is (deservedly) forgotten. What’s the best Manga for the British Museum to collect? Based on the video it seems you’re a far better judge than I.

    The Buddha/Jesus mash up is pretty cool because the two religions share more in ancient time than most people know. They share similar parables and Egypt had a Buddhist community in Jesus’ time.

  4. I'd like to see "the Kurosaga corpse delivery service" by Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki, it has an interesting slant on death, belief and the world in and out side of Japan.

  5. "Feeeel the manga! Beeee the manga!" Lol this lady is weird but it's good, you need eccentrics like that to curate or explain or be an expert in these things. I mean it's good she's passionate about it.

  6. I'm so glad Manga deserved a place in the Museum, as a piece of art. I'm 25, I have grown with Manga and Japanese cartoon. They gave me so much, I couldn't even put it into words. They are so communicative. You learn a lot about Buddhism, Zen and Shinto, even though they are never directly mentioned. I think my love for eastern culture and meditation is mostly due to Japanese art. Thank you again for giving to Manga the importance it deserve

  7. Fine , I'll be "that guy" .. (2)
    i guess Akira Toriyama and BIRD STUDIO's work should be included because of the sheer popularity of Dragon Ball. it'd be nice to see that he also penned Dr. Slump, Sand Land, collab'ed in many Enix videogames and was part of the huge success of Shueisha/VIZ publishing house
    dunno about english-speaking countries, but Dragon Ball in spanish-speaking countries is as big or bigger than DC and Marvel Comics franchises

  8. I've actually started to collect copies of manga I already own, but they're In Korean
    I was hoping I could use it to teach myself how to read

    But personally I think the manga that have people who actually existed as characters are fascinating

    I also enjoy discovering the cultural things that people throw in as Easter eggs (or In the case of Naruto not even remotely subtle cultural references)


  10. you do realize that you have Alan Moore on your soil…right?
    manga are japanese comics , nothing more, nothing less, if you respect manga, you should give the same respect to british comic authors.

  11. Easy: From Eroica with Love by Yasuko Aoike. 🙂 Still the best I've ever read, bar none — whacked out as all hell, but brilliant, and incredibly acerbic and witty.

  12. Manga I consider worthy of being collected by the museum:
    Anything by Taniguchi
    Anything by Tezuka, Apollo no Uta being my personal favourite
    Kiseiju, Heureka and Historie by Iwaaki
    Anything by Maruo
    The Climber and Innocent by Sakamoto
    Anything by Satoshi Kon
    Anything by Kamimura
    Anything by Ikegami
    Anything by Eguchi
    Anything by Amano
    Five Star Stories
    Mob Psycho 100

  13. The fact that the British Museum is noticing and appreciating the art and skill that goes into Japanese Manga makes me happy. Not necessarily because I like Manga, which I do for the most part, but because I believe that popular artwork and liturature can tell you just as much, if not more, about a culture as a high class painting or a intricately crafted artifact.

  14. Tell me you guys have Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira in there, and you almost certainly need Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue, the former is one of the best examples of the sci-fi genre ever, the latter being a visually gorgeous rendition of the life of Musashi Miyamoto.

  15. If Munakata tickles your fancy, then you should look up Urasawa Naoki's Master Keaton. Taiichi Hiraga-Keaton is a half-Japanese, half-British Oxford-educated archaeologist who has a hypothesis that an unknown civilization once existed along the Danube river. Because this hypothesis is not mainstream he has to part-time as a Lloyd's special claims investigator and in that capacity has many adventures in Cold War Europe. Oh, and he used to be a survival skills instructor in the SAS. He's a bit of a Japanese MacGyver in that he can devise ancient weaponry from stuff lying around, but what the series reflects most is the Japanese public's view of Europe in that period, presented in a realistic and not romanticized manner..

  16. I want to show the entire world Nagabe's <i>The Girl From The Other Side</i>, so…child-friendly but non-facile soft apocalyptic darkness and monster tea parties? Also this specialist has the Best Robe and it should be BM policy to have all their experts look like magnificent culture wizards.

  17. Impressive. American here, been reading Manga since the late 1980s and I am so glad to see a major museum recognize that Manga is not mere "comics", and are of a higher artistic form. And landing Hoshino Yukinobu was perfect.

    His Star Field painting book was beautiful. Congratulations on having some original work in your collections.

  18. ありがとうございます。日本の漫画が大英博物館に展示されることは日本人にとってとても名誉な事です。

    Thank you it is a great honor for Japanese people to display Japanese manga in the British museum. 🇯🇵🇬🇧

  19. doraemon? they are like japan’s winnie the pooh, it is a starter read with all the furigana and helps children explore the world through their eyes, regulating their emotions through childhood. many lifelong manga readers always start small. it also shows the inventive nature of post war japan?

    (rant: many seemingly sweet/silly beginnings of a manga doesn’t guarantee its mood, when the mood changes or bigger relevations occur, then suddenly its like whiplash, and i’m left wondering, wait, wasn’t this supposed to be for a young audience? why is it so sad?? spoiler: gakuen alice and hana to akuma)

    Suicide Island, the manga was thought provoking, and i like that they are able to use this medium for social commentary and then develop into its own thought experiment about the world, human nature and human development. Shingeki no Kyojin as well, I’ve always thought of it as our relationship with animals. Animals used to be free, and now they are mostly caged. Do they know they are being caged? What do they feel when they see the human kyojins, whose appearance meant their destiny as fodder is here?

  20. One of the most succinct and clear explanations on why Japanese manga is an art form in its own right. Very very few other drawn mediums of story telling even come close.

  21. FullMetal Alchemist is one of the best mangas I've ever read. Wonderful, diverse and developed cast, incredible plot, compellive storytelling, great artstyle, ethical questions, it's got it all. Keep up the good work and thank you!!

  22. I love the Japanese wing of the British Museum, it is such a nice quiet and calm area to walk into after having wandered around outside for a while. I dare say it is one of the most memorable things about British Museum. The addition of Manga in it surprised me when i saw it first, then again, the entire area surprised me when i first saw it many years ago (by now)

  23. From Japan.

    The British Museum is very right in not reversing Japanese name into western style.
    “Hikaru Nakamura ”isn't right. “Nakamura Hikaru ”is right. Sometimes the reversed name means others name or has another means. As a museum for diversity, this should be praised.

  24. Favorite Manga: Battleangle Alita, although Sanctuary is a close second.
    However, on the subject of manga — really, Watchmen should be part of the British Museum collection.

  25. I don't know if it is also a Manga, but there is an Anime called "Zero" by I think Studio Ghibli, covering the life story/reflections of the designer of the Zero warplane for World War 2 (used for Kamikaze attacks). Strikes me as quite a profound topic; the duality of a maker and inventor, whose inventions enable their people to have 'power' in some respect, but by causing some other people/cultures pain.

  26. Finally went today. Was extremely happy to see Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue get a huge mention. But honestly, very disappointed as a whole. How can you feature Captain Tsubasa and Slam Dunk under the ‘sports’ section, but forget to mention Mitsuru Adachi’s works? – Touch and H2 are ground breaking within the genre. Also no sign of Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20/21st Century Boys), Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21, One punchman), Kentaro Miura (Beserk) and mostly importantly Yasuhisa Hara. Could go on more and more… not much seinen manga either. Instead concentrating on shōjo and old works from the 70s

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