Third Thursday Lecture: Minton for the Meiji Emperor: Manga Now at the British Museum


Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere 
Handa IFAC Curator of Japanese Arts, British Museum and Research Director, Sainsbury Institute


Manga is an important cultural phenomenon in Japan, Asia and increasingly throughout the world. Literally translated as ‘pictures run riot’, manga is a form of sequential art that is basically made of a narrative sequence of images. The artistic origins of manga derive from two traditional literary practices, traditional Japanese narrative handscrolls dating from the twelfth century onwards, and printed books, especially the low cost illustrated novels (kibiyôshi) printed in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Manga in the 20th century reflects many international currents. And today it is big business. The Japanese manga industry in one year during 2014 generated approximately 2.5 billion pounds. Manga in a variety of forms is increasingly becoming popular in Europe. New technologies will only help to facilitate manga’s popularity in Europe and America.

The British Museum has embarked on an ambition programme of collecting and curating manga with the aim of a major display in 2018. This autumn an Asahi Shimbun display titled Manga now, three generations was held and attracted over 92,000 visitors.

The display focused on three artists, Chiba Tetsuya (b. 1939) the grandmaster of manga world, Hoshino Yukinobu (b. 1954) the well-known Science Fiction specialist who created Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure and Nakamura Hikaru (b. 1984) who has recently taken the manga world by storm with her depictions of Jesus and Buddha living in contemporary Tokyo. This lecture will examine the creation of this exhibition and these three artists to reveal a slice of what is happening with manga now in Japan.

Date: 17 December 2015, 18:00
Venue: Hostly, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich NR1 4EH
Tel: 01603 597507
Organiser: Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

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