If you are checking out the anime and manga events of 2019, you definitely should take a look at Toshima ward in Tokyo. It has been certified as the center of East Asian culture 2019 and will host many events this year.
Other cities certified in Japan so far: Yokohama (2014), Niigata (2015), Nara (2016), Kyoto (2017) and Kanazawa (2018). Toshima is the sixth Japanese city to receive the honor of the title ‘Capital of East Asian Culture’. Two events were introduced at the opening ceremony on 1 February 2019.
The first one is called ‘All Toshima Welcome East Asia’. The exhibition features anime and manga that came from Toshima from different artists, focusing on the theme of ‘Past, Present, Future’. Illustrations by Kazuhiko Shimamoto, Osamu Tezuka, and Fujio Akatsuka will be exhibited. Shinichi Suzuki and Norio Hikone will sit down for a cross-talk among other exciting things.
From 1 to 11 February 2019 even the city hall of Toshima became a castle for anime and manga in a special event. In addition to Yoji Kuri, Sakao Saito, Machiko Satonaka, Fusanosuke Natsume, and Kotobuki Shiriagari, many authors and researchers representing Japan were featured in video interviews that could only be seen there. Also, a special exhibition of Yoko Kuno, who is active in a wide variety of fields, could be seen as well. Visitors who came to both exhibitions were able to participate in a ‘Opening Exhibition Stamp Rally’ and received a special clear file as a reward.
As expected form this year’s capital of East Asian Culture, anime were also featured in the seijinshiki (coming of age ceremony) of Toshima. The ‘Anime Seijinshiki’ took place on 14 January 2019 and participants were allowed to wear cosplay to this ceremony! It became a very exciting event when all the new adults were welcomed into this new stage of their life by staff members in costumes of popular characters. You could even take a commemorative picture with a professional cosplayer! The voice actor Kazuki Yao, who voices Franky from One Piece and Judau Ashta from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ among others, was hosting the ceremony. Mayumi Gojo performed Pretty Cure’s theme song and Tsuyoshi Matsubara performed Ultraman Cosmos’s theme song on stage. This coming of age ceremony overflowed with originality!
More events will be held each month from here on, so please keep an eye on all the things happening with the ‘East Asian Culture Capital 2019 Toshima’!