26 Sep 2019
As part of its celebrations for next year’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic has been hosting a special exhibition at the Panasonic Centre Tokyo, based on the theme of sports and manga.
The “Sports x Manga” exhibition highlights how the sports world has influenced the manga genre of highly stylised comic books and graphic novels, which has become one of Japan’s most popular art forms.
With the development of dedicated “sports manga” titles, these comics and graphic novels have played a significant role in promoting the popularity of certain sports across Japan.
The exhibition is being supported by The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, and uses a wide range of official footage from previous Olympic Games to help connect the world of “sports manga” to the Olympic Movement, while also providing a fresh view of the Olympic values for younger generations. With interactive and immersive exhibits that give the public a chance to try their hand at manga-style boxing and tennis, this informative, fun exhibition also helps to raise awareness about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The exhibition explores how pop culture in the form of manga has gone hand in hand with sport over several decades,” explains Anne Chevalley, Head of Cultural & Educational Programming at The Olympic Museum, who visited the exhibition in Tokyo. “Baseball, football, basketball, boxing, martial arts and Parasports, to name but a few… manga does not simply tell the stories of characters with a passion for sporting activities; it also examines Japan’s relationship with sport from the Meiji Era to the present day.”
In a unique collaboration, the “Sports x Manga” exhibition also brings together Japan’s major manga publishers, Kodansha, Shueisha and Shogakukan, to work together for the first time in the history of Japanese manga exhibitions. In addition, to highlight the impact manga has had worldwide, the artistic presentation of the exhibition has been created in collaboration with the production team of the Angoulême International Comics Festival – Europe’s largest manga exhibition, held every year in France.
“We are extremely glad, from a TOP Partner perspective, to share the passion for the Games with a fresh and entertaining cultural approach such as ‘Sports x Manga’. Manga has a unique essence which can be understood worldwide and help empower young people’s interest and engagement toward 2020.
That’s one of the main reasons why we chose such an approach for our latest special exhibition ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” explains Alex Ikenouchi, Director of the Panasonic Centre Tokyo.
The “Sports x Manga” exhibition forms part of Panasonic’s “Let’s Build TOKYO Together” initiative, which has seen various activities and events being held prior to the start of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, aimed at building excitement ahead of the Games and creating a legacy for the future.
From 2 April next year, The Olympic Museum will also be taking up the baton, as sports manga, a truly iconic part of the host country’s culture, comes to Lausanne.
The exhibition runs until 29 September 2019. For more information, please visit Panasonic’s website.