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Lost in Translation
The British Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, has unveiled an exhibition of manga by Professor Munakata (Munakata Kyōju) and 2001 Nights creator Yukinobu Hoshino on Thursday. The museum in London is not only showcasing the exclusive manga, but it also serves as the setting of the story itself; Hoshino came to the museum in October to draw a new adventure for his Professor Munakata hero at the museum. Within the manga, Professor Munakata is a widowed scholar of folklore and history who travels the world on one adventure after another.
Besides Hoshino's original artwork, the museum features a room with wall-sized reproductions of his art, as well as a manga kissa (manga café) with a selection of manga volumes. The free "Manga: Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure" exhibition runs until January 3, 2010.
The Professor Munakata manga series began under the name Munakata Kyōju Denkikō (The Legendary Musings of Professor Munakata) in Ushio Shuppansha's Monthy Comic Tom and Monthly Comic Tom Plus magazine from 1995 to 1999. The manga later relaunched in 2004 under the name Munakata Kyōju Ikōroku (The Case Records of Professor Munakata) in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine, where it continues to this day.
Viz Media published Hoshino's 2001 Nights science-fiction manga in North America, and director Yoshio Takeuchi and TMS Entertainment adapted the manga into a 1987 video anime. Fumihiko Sori (Ping Pong, Vexille - 2077 Isolation of Japan) is directing a new computer-animated adaptation of two stories from 2001 Nights under the title TO. Dark Horse Comics released Hoshino's The Two Faces of Tomorrow manga with translations by Frederik L. Schodt and Toren Smith.
Earlier this year, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure creator Hirohiko Araki also drew a new manga story for France's Louvre art museum and set the story at the museum itself. An exhibition featuring artwork submitted to the United Kingdom version of Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga contest ran at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, Great Britain from 2007. Kyoto Seika University opened a manga museum in 2006, while Tokyo's Meiji University officially announced its Tokyo International Manga Library plans last month.
Image: Hoshino Yukinobu, Professor Munakata's British Museum adventure, 2009.
The Case Records of Professor Munakata are published in Big Comic.
© Hoshino Yukinobu/Shogakukan, Inc.
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