January 2018

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The 100-Year History of Japanese Picture Books - Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo

At the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo that is tucked away in residential Nerima, an exhibition is currently being held that traces Japan’s picture book tradition. The history of picture books being produced in Japan stretches back roughly 100 years to the decade of the 1910s. It was back then that children’s magazines such as Kodomo no Tomo (The Children’s Companion) and Akai Tori (Red Bird) began to appear, and that a number of highly-artistic illustrated magazines and books were first published. From that time onward, along with the changing times, the culture surrounding the genre both grew and evolved in a variety of ways.


The exhibition on this occasion features approximately 120 works that are symbolic of the evolution of picture books in Japan over the past 100 years. It commences with the foundations of Doga, Japan’s unique picture-book culture, which first developed during the Taisho Democracy of the 1910s and 20s. It then considers the postwar period that saw picture books published which provided children with both dreams and a sense of hope, and the 1960s that witnessed the birth of many popular titles that continue to be much loved. The arrival of the 1970s and its boom in picture books along with the emergence of a number of works that went beyond the established norms of what picture books were thought to be is also covered, as is the 1980s that saw a deepening of the expressionism of both authors and illustrators. The period since the 1990s has seen the birth of picture books featuring free-thinking and expressionism, while more recently we have begun to see more and more works that exercise a consciousness as to the importance of life and the ties that bind the hearts of human beings together.
The Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo which was built where the famous book illustrator Iwasaki Chihiro once had her home and studio, is an museum where visitors can bring along their children and enjoy the art at their leisure. From the many materials and numerous original works, please take this opportunity to come along and see this exhibition that traces 100 years of Japanese picture books.

The 100-Year History of Japanese Picture Books

Dates November 8th, 2017 (Wed.) to January 31st, 2018 (Wed.)
Venue Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo

*See the following for more details:

■Exhibition page on the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo

https://chihiro.jp/tokyo/exhibitions/065684/(in Japanese only)

Tokyo International Communication Committee

Ono Bldg. 3F, 17-15 Kandamatsunagacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0023
TEL:03-5294-6542 FAX:03-5294-6540