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Photos: Livia Belcea

Exhibition: Manga Hokusai Manga at the Embassy of Japan—until 11.03.19

By Livia Belcea on October 26, 2019

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The Embassy of Japan proudly presents Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics. After touring internationally, this collection of sketches and graphic displays by the famous Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, his pupils, and contemporary artists makes its Canadian debut in Ottawa from October 25 to November 3.

Manga, the Japanese artform of cartooning, is arguably one of the most captivating, read and beloved form of graphic storytelling in Japan and around the world. The exhibit showcases Manga not only as a unique part of Japanese culture, but also as a key influence of art worldwide. This finely curated exhibit offers its viewers a thorough and rich visual and didactic history of Manga and traditional Japanese graphic art. Visitors are invited to discover its origins, follow the progression of Hokusai Manga through different time periods, and understand its influence and relation to traditional Japanese culture.

The exhibit showcases Manga not only as a unique part of Japanese culture, but also as a key influence of art worldwide.

On display are panels, videos, books and exquisite original prints and manga volumes that take us through the evolution of Manga from its non-narrative form Hokusai became famous for, to the beginning of illustrated stories, to Manga as a teachable art form to today’s contemporary Japanese comic book that is translated into hundreds of languages and adapted to be read from left to right.

Katsushika Hokusai is, of course, the brilliant artist behind Under a Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave), the iconic graphic representation of two boats being swallowed by an enormous wave while Mount Fuji overlooks the scene from the background. First printed in approximately 1830 and considered to be part of the seventieth century art movement Ukiyo-e, Hokusai’s illustration went on to become one of the most reproduced images on earth and essentially gave life to the modern Japanese illustration style we now know as Manga.

Manga Hokusai Manga does a fantastic job at immersing viewers into the fascinating history of Manga while weaving an indisputable link between its old and new style and celebrating the impact the Master Katsushika Hokusai has had on art in Japan and around the world.

While visiting the Embassy of Japan, you are also encouraged to leaf through the Embassy’s tourism information and their extensive library collection of books and resources ranging from history, culture, education, literature, fiction and of course, Manga.


You can see Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics at the Information and Culture Centre of the Embassy of Japan (225 Sussex Drive) October 25 to November 3, 2019 from 9:30am to 4:30pm on weekdays and from 10am to 4pm on weekends. Admission to the exhibit is free.