Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Photo: © British Library BoardA photo of the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at The British Library

'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' exhibition is coming to Tokyo this December

If you can't wait for your Potter fix, check out part of the British Library's exhibition online now for free

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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Ever since JK Rowling published her magical books about a boy with a lightning bolt scar, the world hasn't been the same. Long after the final book was published, Potterheads have remained unwaveringly loyal to the franchise, creating an ever increasing demand for all things Harry Potter. When the British Library opened its 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' exhibition back in 2017, tickets sold out almost immediately. 

Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Photo: © British Library Board

Luckily for those of us who couldn't make it to London, the collection will be exhibited Japan this year. The exhibition is currently showing at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art through November 7, and will be on at Tokyo Station Gallery from December 18 2021 to March 27 2022. If you can't bear to wait for the collections to arrive, here's a peek at what’s to come.  

Harry Potter
Photo: 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic'

Naturally, the exhibition includes a series of early notes and sketches by JK Rowling as she created her stories. However, the collection also expands on what we saw in the books and films, with rare artefacts from the British Library documenting the historical myths and beliefs that inspired Rowling and formed the foundation of the Harry Potter world. As it happens, even the muggle world has a fascinating history of magic from medieval encyclopaedias on mythical creatures to ancient Egyptian fortune-telling.  

Harry Potter
Photo: 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic'

You don't have to wait until December to dive in, though. The British Library has put some parts of the exhibition online for free, so you can read stories of the men and women wrongly accused of witchcraft in the 17th century, and take a closer look at the studies illustrator Jim Kay did for the books’ pictures.

The best part of the compilation is the 'how to study like a wizard' section, where you can finally explore subjects like divination, potions and caring for magical creatures. It’s almost as though Hogwarts has adapted to online learning

Tickets for the 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' exhibition in Tokyo will be available for purchase on the Lawson Ticket site from 10am on November 29. Admission is priced at ¥2,500 for adults, ¥1,500 for university students and ¥500 for junior high school students or younger.

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