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A massive manga exhibition is coming to the British Museum next year

Written by
Rosemary Waugh

Pokemon Go! The British Museum has just announced its major exhibition for summer 2019, and it’s the biggest exhibition of manga ever held outside Japan. Opening on May 23, the exhibition charts the history of this now multi-billion dollar industry back to its roots in drawings, paintings and theatre design. It then goes forwards, showing how manga has spread to take in anime, gaming and cosplay.

Noda Satoru 'Golden Kamuy' © Satoru Noda / SHUEISHA

The British Museum wants to show visitors there’s a version of manga out there for everyone. And if you feel unconvinced, this might be the show to help convert you to the manga cause. The exhibition will have an area for trying on cosplay costumes and a video booth where you can get ‘manga-fied’.

A section of the oldest surviving manga bookshop in Tokyo is also being recreated for visitors to browse in, but the main bulk of the show will be filled with manga art old and new. Fans of the Japanese art can look forward to seeing original works by artists including Tezuka Osamu, Oda Eiichirō, Hagio Moto, Takemiya Keiko and Higashimura Akiko.

Kawanabe Kyōsai 'Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain' © Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University

One of the star attractions, however, dates all the way back to 1880. The Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain is a 17-metre-long cloth-based painting decorated with scenes of monsters and beasts.

Artist Kawanabe Kyōsai apparently completed the masterpiece in just four hours after drinking a few bottles of rice wine. Thus proving that a boozy lunch doesn’t always destroy your productivity.

Manga runs from May 23 to Aug 26 2019 at the British Museum. Click here to find out more.

Want to check out more of the latest exhibitions coming to London soon? Click here.  

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