1. Kyoto International Manga Museum

Kyoto International Manga Museum

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Kanae Nakahama

Lived in the States for ten years. Now living near a famous sightseeing area; Arashiyama, for more than 15 years. Watching people and feeling the culture in two countries made another point of view for me.

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Kyoto International Manga Museum


Have you heard of manga museum? In Kyoto, near Karasuma-oike there is a museum about manga. “Manga” is a word for comic book in Japanese. Recently, manga became a world wide word and Japanese manga are spreading all over the world; such as Doraemon, Berserk and Dragonball. Talking about myself, I learned Japanese by reading manga in Japanese.





What’s Kyoto International Manga Museum?


Kyoto International Manga Museum was built in 2006. It was the first museum in Japan that gathered precious materials about manga world widely. It has more than 300,000 items, including valuable historical materials; such as magazines and postcards that were published in Meiji period, popular manga, and masterpieces from all over the world.





Inside Kyoto International Manga Museum


It was a rainy day when I went. Maybe because of that, there were lot of people laying down reading manga and looked very relaxed. At this museum, you can enjoy reading manga. However, this is not the only point that is highly recommended. Not just reading manga, there are events hold regularly and events that are open for a limited time at this museum. There are events such as 100 cartoonist drawing 100 types of Maiko, dressing up to a favorite character from the manga and taking pictures (event name “COSJOY”), and an on-site sale of original manga and goods, and more.






Kyoto International Manga Museum used to be an elementary school. By coming to this museum, you can feel what Japanese schools are like. In Kyoto, there are lots of places that used to be a school, but now used as a public institution. Inside Kyoto International Manga Museum, there were lots of places that were not allowed to take pictures. That was done for protecting the copyrights. So, you have to save the enjoyment until you actually go to the museum.





100 Patterns Of Maiko Drawen By 100 Cartoonist


Inside the museum, there were 100 types of Maiko drawn. Just watching different types of Maiko was fascinating. All of the cartoonist put their essence inside the drawing of Maiko. This is a display you can enjoy everyday. Maybe when you arrive to the museum, there might be more illustrations of Maiko.






There was a check list too. The Maiko drawings are displayed in different places inside the museum. By walking around the museum, you might find the best drawing of Maiko you like. By the way, my highlight was Mr.Yanase’s drawing of Maiko. Mr.Yanase is a writer of a famous animation, “Anpan-man”. It is not too much to say, every children in Japan watched his animations. He is loved by many children. The Maiko he draw had a touch of an Anpan-man. Your favorite cartoonist might be involved in this project. Please find it out by going to this museum.





A Hand Plaster Model Of The Cartoonist


There was a section with full of cartoonist’s hand model. It was a surprise of the difference of the hands. There were more than 100 hands. You can tell by the shape of the hand if the cartoonist is a man or not. Comparing the shape of the hands is another point you can enjoy at this place. This display is also open everyday. Same as the Maiko, someday when you arrive the numbers of the hands might increase.





Storytelling With Pictures


At this area, there was a place you can enjoy storytelling with pictures. At this place, you can enjoy this show every day. The show is about 30 minutes. There were different kinds of a show; such as Japanese fairytales, original shows, and shows that don’t even have words.






There was a place you could leave a message. Just looking through the notebook and wandering about the writer was another new way to enjoy.





Manga Portrait


Manga portrait is one event that is held every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays. It starts at 11 am to 5 pm. It costs ¥1000 per person. You can enjoy talking with the cartoonist and order what kind of picture you want to be like.






Lots of people were in line to get their portraits. It’s a portrait, but it’s more like a manga touch. You can enjoy how you would look if you’re in a manga.





How A Manga Is Drawen


At this section, there was cartoonist drawing manga in real time. You can ask questions if you’re having trouble drawing a manga.






Everything was very new for me. 






These are the items they use to draw a manga. Watching and learning at the same time was another enjoyment you can experience at here.





Variations Of Faces


There was a section you can put in a clear sheet to change the face.






Lots of variations of the face parts existed. Learning some drawings don’t match the face.





Experiences Making A Manga


There was a section where you can experience making a manga by yourself.






It looked very exciting, so I decided to make a part of a manga. There were lots of characters that you could select. There were abundant backgrounds too. This background looked very close to the museum.






Not only the variation of the characters, the characters were able to move too. Adding words make it look more close to a manga. It was easy to use, and more than anything else it was just very fun. On the other hand, I realized cartoonist is a very delicate job. Not just the pictures, the storied have to be delightful too. They take a lot of time creating the world they want to create. It takes tons of time and great effort to make one story.





In The End


At this museum, there were lots of contents that you can experience. You can feel the culture of manga really close. Finding enjoyment by yourself was another point that you can experience at this museum. It made me realize again, manga is making a big influence on the society. You need to keep an eye on this museum how it changes.








Kyoto International Manga Museum


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Kanae Nakahama
Kanae Nakahama
Lived in the States for ten years. Now living near a famous sightseeing area; Arashiyama, for more than 15 years. Watching people and feeling the culture in two countries made another point of view for me.