Celebrate Shonen Jump's 50th Anniversary at Mori Art Center (Tokyo)
A few months ago I introduced you to the Marvel Exhibition at Mori Art Museum, and if you're a comic book/manga geek (or otaku) like me, then have I got the thing for you! But first, a little bit of introduction to warm you up...
If you've a foreigner and you've read manga, chances are you've picked up a tankōbon, or standalone book. For example, that copy of Deathnote or those volumes of Dragonball on your shelves are tankōbon. Still, they weren't originally published that way. In Japan, manga don't start off as books; rather, they are published in weekly serial magazines full of lots of different manga titles. Each week, readers pick up those serials and they can submit to the editors which titles they liked the most. The most popular titles continue running in the magazine, while the unpopular ones die off quickly. This relationship between producer and audience is one reason manga has such a die-hard following in Japan.
Well, there are a number of important manga serials on the shelves, but perhaps none as influential as...
Shonen Jump published its first magazine in 1968, and as it approaches its 50th birthday, scores of places are looking to commemorate it. Just look at this display at 7-11 below:
Why? Well, Shonen Jump was the birthplace of some of Japan's most beloved manga and anime icons, like Dragonball, Saint Seiya, Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star), Kinikuman, and many, many others. So as the beloved Manga serial turns 50, there are a number of ways to commemorate it, but the best is to visit the exhibit at the Mori Art Center on the 52nd Floor of the Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills (address:6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-6150).
There, they have a large exhibit that will take you anywhere between 1-3 hours to explore (but be sure to save time for the store and cafe, too!).
It starts with a Theater Zone that offers a video introduction before showcasing specific favorites (like Dragonball, of course) and taking you through the evolution of Shonen Jump. Interestingly, the curators chose to focus on the years between 1968 and 1980, since these were the seminal years that secured the serial's place as a permanent fixture in the world of Japanese manga and anime.
At the end of the exhibition is the museum shop. For those of you looking for souvenirs, the comprehensive shop offers a wide range of goods including stationery, home goods, key-chains, models, comics, stamps, apparel, and art work. Check out the full list at the website here.
There's also an awesome exhibition cafe where you can get themed food, like the sandwich options on the menu below:
The Shonen Jump Exhibit is open every day until October 15. Weekday hours are 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and weekend hours are 9:00 to 9:00.
Tickets cost 2000 yen for adults, 1500 for High School/Junior High Students, and 800 yen for elementary students and younger (children 3 and under enter for free).
So there you have it...
...the best exhibit to visit to celebrate Shonen Jump's 50th anniversary. If you are in Tokyo soon and you enjoy Manga, I say zehi, go visit the Mori Art Center and see how some of your favorite characters came to be!
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Article by Preeti Mehta
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