Final Fantasy's Yoshitaka Amano Draws Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Suave Samurai

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Artist also discusses relationship between art, politics

Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D artist Yoshitaka Amano has been expanding his artistic horizons lately with the beginning of the new Japanese era. For the website of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, he drew an illustration of seven samurai, the leader of whom is Amano's impression of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The website also had an interview with Amano, which goes into some detail about why the artist chose to take on this particular job.

"I'd never done something Japanese-style – like an ink wash painting – for a job before, so it was really interesting. It may be the very first time something I've done in this style has gone out to the world. It felt very much like doing a live drawing, since you can't redo things when you're using ink. I think it's very important to try out new things."

"I'd always known it through an objective standpoint, but through actually doing the job I came to realize keenly that art and politics really are intertwined. When you look at history, there were kings and court painters during the Renaissance and in Velázquez's time. It was only around the time of the Impressionists that people could draw art freely, and even though that's also true today, of course, art and society still have a strong connection."

"The Heisei era has ended and the new Reiwa era has started. I'm very interested in it as an individual. I myself may not have changed, but I wonder if it may trigger something for society as a whole. Even if you're not actively conscious of it, society ends up taking it in."

When asked about where he saw the LDP headed in the future, Amano responded, "I think that the things we take for granted are important to our society, like the roads we walk on and having police to protect us ... Those are things that citizens take for granted, but personally I'm very grateful for them."

The Liberal Democratic Party has continuously been in power since its foundation in 1955 with only two breaks in 1993-1994 and 2009-2012.

Amano has high ambitions for his own future. "I want to draw something that I can not only be satisfied with, but which can also be presented to society, in Japan, and around the world. So far I've done drawings on paper, but I'd like to try drawing a mural or a ceiling painting. I want to try doing something huge that would seem fruitless doing it by myself. As far as I'm personally concerned, I think it's around time for me to start consolidating my work."

Amano also left the following message for the younger generation: "Time stops for no one, and you've got to do what you can to get through each day. If you keep working toward your ideals and your dream, the results will come to you naturally. And if you choose the right path, then others will follow you. It's okay to slack off sometimes. I do it too. But as long as you remember what your heart wants to do, then you'll be able to keep going no matter what obstacles life throws your way."

Source: Liberal Democratic Party's website via Hachima Kikō

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