Special Exhibition "The Bond Between Two Legends: Shotaro Ishinomori and Fujio Akatsuka"

Dates Saturday, 9 December 2023 - Sunday, 24 March 2024


1. Outline of Exhibition

Shotaro Ishinomori, the "King of Manga," created Cyborg 009, Masked Rider (Kamen Rider), and more. Fujio Akatsuka, the "King of Comedy Manga," created Osomatsu-kun and The Genius Bakabon (Tensai Bakabon), among many others. These two legendary artists were close friends for over 40 years, starting before their debuts.
This exhibition allows visitors to vicariously experience their youthful days through original manuscripts and other valuable materials from that time, focusing especially on the period from their meeting to time spent sharpening their skills through mutual encouragement while living in Tokiwaso.
We hope this opportunity inspires you to reflect on the days these two young talents spent together in Tokiwaso when their careers were budding.
In today's internet age, when many people feel lonely despite being constantly connected, the story of these best friends wholeheartedly supporting each other while pursuing their dreams in poverty might be the reminder we need, serving as a catalyst for us to reevaluate our own ways of living in modern society.

2. Content of Exhibition

Chapter One: The Two Aspiring Manga Artists
We look at some of their early developmental works as they embarked on becoming manga artists.

Chapter Two: Their Meeting
We trace the path that led the two aspiring manga artists to meet and move into Tokiwaso.

Chapter Three: The Two at Tokiwaso
We look back at the whirlwind Tokiwaso days of the two masters through their essays and works from that time.

Chapter Four: The Two After Tokiwaso
We demonstrate through parallel displays of works how the origins of these masters' signature series can be traced back to what they produced during their Tokiwaso days.

3. Profiles

Shotaro Ishinomori
Born in 1938. He met Akatsuka through the East Japan Manga Study Club that he established in the tenth grade, beginning a lifelong relationship. He debuted in the eleventh grade and moved to Tokyo after graduating in 1956. He lived in Tokiwaso from 1956 to 1961, producing works like Ryujin Marsh (Ryujinnuma). Later, he created numerous hits in diverse genres, including Cyborg 009, Sabu & Ichi (Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae), Masked Rider (Kamen Rider), and Hotel. He called for redefining manga culture with his "Manga Declaration." These accomplishments earned him the label "King of Manga."

Fujio Akatsuka
Born in 1935. After working at a paint shop and a chemical factory, he embarked seriously on a career as a manga artist. He lived in Tokiwaso from 1956 to 1961. While mainly publishing shōjo manga, he shared hardships and joys as the assistant to his close friend Ishinomori. He hit it big with his comedy manga Nama-chan. He followed this with signature works like Osomatsu-kun, Akko-chan's Got a Secret (Himitsu no Akko-chan), The Genius Bakabon (Tensai Bakabon), and Extraordinary Ataro (Mōretsu Atarō) to become the undisputed "King of Comedy Manga." He is also known for discovering the Japanese television celebrity Tamori.

4. Information

Exhibition Title
Special Exhibition "The Bond Between Two Legends: Shotaro Ishinomori and Fujio Akatsuka"
Operating Hours
10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Last admission: 5:30 p.m.)
Closed Days
Mondays (or the next non-holiday if Monday is a national holiday); year-end and New Year holidays; exhibit-changing periods
Admission Fee
Adult 500 Yen, Up to junior high school student 100 Yen, Preschool student & bringing physical disability handbook (Including one person of care giver) are free

Online Reservation