Saturday, January 8, 2011

SAM - Tokiwa-Sou Heroes Exhibit

The Suginami Animation Museum is currently exhibiting "The Heroes of Tokiwa Manor" (from Nov. 23 to Feb. 20; entry is free). A similar exhibit with some of the same artwork originally ran in the Ikebukuro Worker's Welfare Hall during the Fall of 2009. The SAM exhibit even uses the same advertising materials, and sells the same exhibit booklet in the gift shop. But they have a lot more material in terms of manga and sample artwork pages from the more obscure Tokiwa artists like Moriyasu and Tokuo Yokota. Materials include photos of the original manor, a scale model used for making the monument currently on display in Ikebukuro, photos of the various artists, a timeline for the manor itself, and lots of sample artwork. Many of the photos and example artwork originally ran in COM magazine as part of a tribute to the manor, and which was later compiled in the Tokiwa-sou Playback book.

There's also a TV playing two films that had been shot by Ishinomori. The Tokiwa gang loved new technology, and at the beginning of the 60's had bought an 8mm film camera. Most of the footage is simply random stuff that they encountered on a daily basis, including street shots and some airline stewardesses struggling against the wind to get to their airplane. Interestingly, Ishinomori also captured Tokyo Tower as it was being built, showing just the spiderwork structure of the legs and elevator shaft pillars.

One thing I'd never really gotten to was translating the timeline from the Tokiwa-sou Playback book. A similar listing is given in a large poster on the wall at SAM. This includes the years that each of the major figures lived at the manor:

Ishinomori - 1956-61
Akatsuka - 1956-61
Fujiko F Fujio and Fujiko A Fujio - 1954-61
Tezuka - 1953-54
Terada - 1953-57
Suzuki - 1955-56
Moriyasu - 1956-57
Yokota - 1958-61
Mizuno - 1958

(Jungle Taitei postcard)

In conjunction with the main exhibit, SAM has a little trivia chase game. There are three tables around the museum, each with a different question regarding Tokiwa Manor. If you answer all three questions right you get a prize. In my case, it was a Tezuka postcard. One extra table has an Atom Boy stamp pad.

SAM has a "no cameras/no photos" policy, so I couldn't shoot the main exhibit itself. Instead, I kind of skirted the rules by shooting from outside in - from the stairwell leading up to the museum entrance on the third floor, and from inside the elevator before the doors closed on the fourth floor. I really like SAM, and I really hope that by being able to see a little of what it's like, people will be more interested in visiting themselves.

I also took the opportunity to stop at the anime theater. I arrived late, at 2 PM, and the next set of movies started at 3 PM. They currently are featuring the puppet works of the master Kihachiro Mawamoto, (1925-2010), but that was only shown prior to my arriving. Instead, I caught the last two episodes of "the Aegis of URUK" and two early episodes of "Osomatsu-kun". All of which were a lot of fun to watch.

Lastly, we have the "Happy New Year" wishes from SAM, posted safely within the elevator.

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