Saturday, May 2, 2009

From insects to Astro Boy

Here's a quick article from The Yomiuri Shimbun about the previously reported Osamu Tezuka Exhibition, where Tezuka's desk and work area is on display. It's happening right now in Tokyo.

Renegade surgeon Black Jack, sensitive robot Tetsuwan Atom, dashing gender-bender Princess Sapphire, regal white-maned lion Leo...These and many other characters, from samurai to space aliens, emerged from the fertile imagination of mangaka Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) to delight manga and anime fans worldwide.

Fans can learn more about the artist at the Osamu Tezuka Exhibition being held through June 21 at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, a two-minute walk from Ryogoku Station.

The displays begin with memorabilia of Tezuka's childhood, including several minutes of home movies. There are notebooks in which the boy drew meticulous color pictures of butterflies and other insects, as well as his early attempts at manga-style storytelling.

The show includes dozens of pages of original manga manuscripts the adult Tezuka drew by hand, as well as artifacts such as the desk and chair he used while drawing, and his trademark beret and glasses.

Particular attention is paid to Atom, better known in English as Astro Boy. In addition to manuscript pages, there is a life-sized effigy of Astro Boy lying on a lab table waiting to be brought to life as multicolored lights play over him. A minute or so of footage from Hollywood's upcoming computer-graphic take on the character can also be seen.

The exhibition, in Japanese, is open 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays), with final admission 30 minutes before closing. The museum is closed May 7 and Mondays except May 4, 11 and 18. Admission is 1,300 yen for adults, 1,040 yen for university students and 650 yen for high school students and those over 65.
(May. 1, 2009)