The Japan Foundation together with the Embassy of Japan in Manila, celebrates Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this with the traveling exhibition, Japan: Kingdom of Characters.
Currently running at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s Tall Gallery, the exhibit focuses on characters that fill the world of anime and manga and how they have come to permeate into the daily landscape of Japanese life—from bank passbooks and train passes to supermarkets and vending machines.
Japan: Kingdom of Characters gives Philippine anime and manga fans a chance to closely examine the cultural and historical background behind the Japanese love of characters and the future of characters in contemporary Japan.
Divided into three sections, the first part of the exhibit examines the changes in Japanese society from the 1950’s (when Astro Boy made his manga debut) to the present and the characters that have emerged in each decade—from the classic geek favorites Ultraman, Masked Rider and Mobile Suit Gundam to more recent beloved children characters Chibi Maruko Chan, Pokemon and Tamagotchi, among many others.
The second section showcases the bond the Japanese have with characters from a faithful reproduction of a high-school girl’s room completely filled with Hello Kitty.
A final section, dubbed The Future of Characters, looks at the emerging forms of characters.
It also gives a glimpse on some of the factors that play a vital role in their future development, such as the rise of new Internet and computer software and the prevalence of anime-based cosplay.
“We hope that through this exhibition, the viewer might come to better understand the close and extremely futuristic relationship that the Japanese people have with characters,” says Aihara Hiroyuki, President of Character Research Institute Co., Ltd in Japan.
Other activities included in the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are the 2011 Eiga Sai, which will screen several acclaimed Japanese movies in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao; and a free concert and workshop featuring Japanese acoustic instrumentalists Aki & Kuniko in the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza, Makati City, College of Music in UP Diliman and at the Conspiracy Garden Bar in Quezon City.
The exhibition is organized with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and supported by Toshiba (Philippines) Inc.
Japan: Kingdon of Characters is open to the public and will run until August 20 at the Tall Galleries.
The Met Museum is at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
Open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM – 6 PM.
For inquiries call 523-0613 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit http://www.metmuseum.ph or http://www.facebook.com/met.museum.manila for more details.