Appreciate & Collect
Courtesans, Heroes, Stars and Phantoms - In the early seventeenth century, Edo, which was the biggest city in the world at the time in ancient Japan, developed a distinctive culture oriented towards pleasure and consumption. This period gave rise to a broad spectrum of motifs and narrative material. The publishers of the ukiyo-e woodblock prints took their cue from the demands expressed by their urban readership. Popular themes included the star cult surrounding Kabuki theatre and the glamorous world of courtesans. The woodblock print motifs show elaborately attired prostitutes as idols of femininity. They cater to the erotic curiosity of men, while simultaneously bringing the latest fashion trends into the homes of middle class women. The devotees of the Kabuki actors stuck woodblock prints on the wall showing their portraits or depicting them in classic roles. They also copied their mannerisms and expressions and formed fan clubs. Modern stars are fictional but are just as idolised. Characters like Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy are so popular that they are to be found in a huge range of different media and have risen to become icons of pop culture, forming part of the everyday fabric of life. Their fans bring them to life in cosplay using costumes and accessories, imitating their gestures and facial expressions. The passion for graphics amongst readers is also expressed in the large-scale production of fan art. Popular manga and anime materials find their way into interactive computer games, contemporary graphic and fashion design, and the visual arts.

In an extensive exhibition, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will retrace the manifold links between historical and contemporary popular culture in Japan. The MKG has in its possession an internationally acclaimed collection of Japanese colour woodblock prints and woodcut books by the most important ukiyo-e artists, such as Utagawa Kuni- yoshi (1797–1861) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). The exhibition will cover the spectrum from these superb wood- block prints and historical printmaking products of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the visual mass media of modern Japan: manga comics, anime and computer games, as well as the active fan scenes and appropriation practices – for example, cosplay (short for “costume play”) – that accompany them. In addition to presenting the various independent stylistic elements that distinguish these media, Hokusai x Manga: Japanese Pop Culture since 1680 will explore the timeless features that they have in common. Images courtesy: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.
Miss Hokusai, film still, 2015, © 2014-2015 Hinako Sugiura•MS.HS / Sarusuberi Film Partners, All Rights Reserved
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), High Sea at Kanagawa, Wave Trough, 1831, coloured woodcut, 24 x 35 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Suido Bridge and the Surugadai Quarter, 1857, colour woodblock print, 34 x 22,6 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Jed Henry (*1983) (Design), Fox Moon, 2012, woodcut, woodcut and print by David Bull, © Jed Henry
Jiro Taniguchi (*1947), The Walking Man, 2009, Cover of the german edition, © Jiro Taniguchi, Carlsen Verlag
Keiji Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen, A Cartoon Story Of Hiroshima (Vol. 1, german edition), 2004, Cover, © Keiji Nakazawa, Carlsen Verlag
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), The Hero Yokogawa Kanpei Munenori, 1852, coloured woodcut, 36,1 x 24,5 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), The Vengeful Ghost of Kobata Koheiji, Japan, Edo, 1831/32, colour woodblock print, 25,6 × 19,2 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Jed Henry (*1983) (Design), Blue Storm, 2013, woodcut, woodcut and print by David Bull, © Jed Henry
Macoto Takahashi (*1934), Deluxe Margaret, Japan, 1972, Cover Illustration, reproduction (Genga dash), digital print on paper, © Makoto Takahashi, Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Enter
Hiroshi Saitō (*1936) / unknown, Vicky the Viking, Japan, 1974, Anime Cel, Collection Frostrubin, © 1972 Zuiyo Production, © 2016 Studio 100 Media GmbH
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), The Hero Izumo no Imaro, 1827-30, coloured woodcut, 36 x 25 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Yoshihiro Tatsumi (1935-2015), Beloved Monkey, p. 262, 2013, Graphic Novel, © Carlsen Verlag
Miss Hokusai, 2015, film still, © 2014-2015 Hinako Sugiura•MS.HS / Sarusuberi Film Partners, All Rights Reserved
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), ‘I Want to See the Next One!’, Japan, Edo, 1852, colour woodblock print, 36,2 × 24,6 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Hiroshi Saito (*1936) / unknown, after Waldemar Bonsel‘s ‚Maya the Bee‘, Japan, 1975–1980, Cel with background, 27,5 × 23 cm, Sammlung Frostrubin, © Studio 100 Media GmbH
Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), The Joo and Manji period, Japan, Tōkyō, 1896, tryptich, colour woodblock print, 35 × 72 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Osome and Hisamatsu,1798/99, colour woodblock print, 34,9 x 23,4 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), The Vengeful Ghost of Oiwa, around 1831/ 32, coloured woodcut, 26,1 x 18,8 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Isao Takahata (*1935) / unknown, Heidi, Japan, 1974, Cel with background, Collection Linda Manz, © 1975 Zuiyo Production, © 2016 Studio 100 Media GmbH
Chōensai Eishin (active 1789-1804), The Falconer, Japan, Edo, 1789–1801, colour woodblock print, 37 × 24,9 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), Lovers, Japan, Edo, colour woodblock print, 26,2 × 38,2 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Hokusai x Manga, exhibition view 3, photo: Friederike Palm
Cosplayer Rudolf Arnold al Miku Hatsune, mascot of the singing synthesizer application Vocaloid, photo: Joachim Seidel
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Koganei in Musashi Province, 1858, coloured woodcut, 33,8 x 22,2 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © MKG
Hokusai x Manga, exhibition view 1, photo: Christiane Papenmeyer
Cosplay-Fest im Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan, 2010, Courtesy: imrc, © Kyoto International Manga Museum
TAKEO 竹尾纸张展
Hans Poelzig: Architecture as Gesamtkunstwerk
Sweet bubbles
未来のお菓子 一日(ひとひ)A Sweet Future
hitoshi koizumi
Europa ‒ Where it has been & Where it is at
Light of Thought
Heaven & Hell
Hell & Heaven
Poul Kjaerholm: PK0
light & shadow
Handmade Cafe
Édouard Vuillard: Turn of the Century Paris
Ghost: Kader Attia and Ventimiglia
American Modern Paintings at Sotheby´s
Hiroyuki Tanaka
Designing a 56 sqm bistro in Tokyo
Modigliani: Your real duty is to save your dream
The Art of Writing. The Rebirth of the Ogatsu Inkstone
S&O design
Frank Stella: Radical Abstraction
Geometry Stool
The New Social
Sony World Photography Awards
人類の進歩と調和: Osaka Expo 1970
Landscape in my Mind
Monet and the Birth of Impressionism
Azuma Makoto and Shiinoki Shunsuke
タツヤオカザキ Tatsuya Okazaki
ホームジュエリー Home Jewelry
Islamic Art Now
見つめる家 House of Vision
Scape House 窓辺の家 / Kouichi Kimura 木村浩
Voyager avec un crayon: Jacques de Loustal
Contemporary Still Life
Igort Tuveri
X Spanish Biennial
佐藤 卓 Taku Satoh
Richard Estes´ New York
Master of Fantastic Illustration: Daniel Mróz
Who the f*** is Halil Altindere?
Shinn Asano 代表 浅野真一郎
Takeshi Okada
18 classic chairs
The weight of the light
Hello Kitty Culture
you might like
I See Violence in Your Eyes (I-VIII)
Trajectories of the Lost, Fallen, Forgotten, and Most Unclean
Kunio Makaewa
Pieter Bruegel
Writing & Design
Black Box. A Cabinet of Robotic Curiosities
The Joys of Ice Skating
Wayne Sorce: Urban Color
We Ar
ARCHITETTURANALOG(IC)A massimo gasperini
Kenzo Tange
Design for Disaster
“I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter.”
Akiko Masunaga
Scum Pixel
Microscopes of utopia
Andy Warhol: Portraits
Andy Warhol: Endangered Species
In Infinity
reversed silhouettes
Spatial Clusters
Une Cité Industrielle by Tony Garnier
“I’m not supposed to talk about it”
Bird´s Nest
Jewelry Design Art
Toshio Onda
Eimi Kuroda 黒田 エイミ
Universality of the Vortex-Sphere Archetype
Jean-Jaques Lequeu
Luigi Colani
Alain Georges Frank Jacquet
Sketching: Bellini, Castiglioni, Colombo, Mari, Magistretti, Munari, Ponti, Sottsass
Still Life Monkeys
The Bride Stripped Bare
German Painting after the 1960s
David Bowie is Crossing the Border.
私たちは Continuous Design
Antonio Rubino
Guiseppe Galli da Bibiena
Hasui Kawase 川瀬 巴水
France 1661
The Slave Ship
Sweets by 若杉 智也
Pleats House
長嶋りかこ Rikako Nagashima グラフィックデザイナー Founder / Graphic designer
Faces of the 17th century
Urban Robot: The early works of 伊東 豊雄 Toyo Ito