In between when I posted this blog entry while still in Japan on July 2nd and the end of my trip, I actually had occasion to go back and visit this installation one more time. I took a bunch more pictures, and learned a few more things. So in the spirit of… completeness… I’d like to re-post this entry with all of the new photos and information, as well as a gallery of photos of the Astro Boy blueprints I picked up. Hopefully you Tezuka fiends won’t mind it too much…! – Chris

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One of my regrets last time I went to Japan was missing out on the Osamu Tezuka installation at Kyoto Station. Despite the fact there was advertising for it everywhere, including those super-keen Astro Boy and Kimba The White Lion statues/pointers, I couldn’t find it when I was there. This time though, I actually asked someone at the tourism office, and they told me exactly where it is. And so I went there, and took awesome pictures for all of you…!
So Kyoto Station in and of itself is a marvel. It’s a beautiful, high-tech reimagining of a temple-style building with a curved roof and open sides to let air flow through, but all done up in glass and steel. If you get a chance to visit, I do recommend it.
The Kyoto Station / Tezuka installation was, I believe, completed for an anniversary of Tezuka, and to commemorate the reopening of the station. It’s also located on the other side of the Kyoto Hotel Granvia, on the outside of the station, which explains why maybe I had a bit of trouble finding it last time. Here we see the entryway sign… which is also promoting a live stage-show of Beauty and the Beat, also happening in the same general area. Needless to say I didn’t stop in.
The main entrance is nice, with lenticular animations of Astro Boy (Atom!), Kimba, Black Jack, and another character I don’t know the name of. I still really love the little “fins” on the first ‘o’ in KYOTO, in the shape of Astro Boy’s hair. That’s just genius. Actually, since I’m a big fan of Big pictures on the blog, here’s a close-up of then Astro Boy lenticular. Unfortunately you won’t quite get exactly the same effect.
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I think the thing that most impresses me about this whole thing is that with something like Disney, or Marvel, or DC, or whomever, it’s very much ABOUT THE CHARACTER. The creator (except maybe Walt Disney, and that’s a whole other kettle of fish) is pushed far to the background. This installation is “Tezuka World”, and Tezuka the creator is at the forefront of the work. I think that’s pretty incredible, and something for all of us in the comics industry to aspire to.
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So the installation is, honestly, mostly a gift-shop and retail oriented, with a few cool additions.
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There are quite a few statues of Tezuka’s characters scattered about, fun to photograph or take a picture with. As you can see, the film adaptation of Tezuka’s nutso graphic novel MW (translated into a lovely English edition by Vertical) is opening this weekend in Japan, and this isn’t the first installation I’ve seen dedicated to the film. Unfortunately to put up the big cardboard standee, they had to cover a kick-ass mural of all of Tezuka’s characters.
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There’s also a theatre set up, showing two different Tezuka cartoons exclusive to this installation! The one I saw was from the most recent Astro Boy series a few years back, and it was very kiddy. I mean, it was alright, but let’s just say it was pretty easy to follow despite the fact that the characters never stopped talking—in Japanese.
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If you buy a ticket to the theatre (only 200 yen! What a steal!) you get access to this cute little reading area, set up by the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Shown is one copy of every single manga that Tezuka produced in his lifetime. That’s a lot of work there…
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Honestly, none of this was a patch on the totally kick-ass Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka, outside of Osaka. I still consider that the high-point of my last trip to Japan. But considering it’s only about 40 minutes from Kyoto station (and free if you have a JR pass…!) why not do both? :)
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So there’s a ton of photos of all of the goods in the Tezuka World shop below, if you’re a retail nut (or just a big Tezuka fan!) then make sure to check those out. But before I go, I wanted to share this. Mos Burger and Mister Donut have teamed up to create MODSDO, which is utterly insane and wonderful. Above, clockwise from top, is the MOSDO ‘burger’, the MOSDO “potado” (do is for donuts), a mango pudding, and a mix donut for people that don’t like to choose.
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The two burgers featured mini-donuts sliced in half, a sort of choclate crackle “burger” patty, and then either raspberry sauce (instead of ketchup) and raspberry mousse (instead of mayo) or green tea flavoured… something. It was surprisingly delicious, and honestly not that sweet.
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Maybe I just like puns too much, but the “potado” killed me. It’s unsweetened donut batter, extruded to look like French fries and then deep fried. And served with ketchup. Also, surprisingly pretty good! B- for flavour, A for texture.
Anyway, check out the full gallery below, and thanks for reading!
- Chris

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One of my regrets last time I went to Japan was missing out on the Osamu Tezuka installation at Kyoto Station. Despite the fact there was advertising for it everywhere, including those super-keen Astro Boy and Kimba The White Lion statues/pointers, I couldn’t find it when I was there. This time though, I actually asked someone at the tourism office, and they told me exactly where it is. And so I went there, and took awesome pictures for all of you…!

So Kyoto Station in and of itself is a marvel. It’s a beautiful, high-tech reimagining of a temple-style building with a curved roof and open sides to let air flow through, but all done up in glass and steel. If you get a chance to visit, I do recommend it.

The exterior of Kyoto Station features all kinds of great signage that tells you about events going on there, and especially about the Tezuka installation. Here you can see the various signage, all pointing viewers in the right direction. Long-time readers will remember that I did not ACTUALLY see the little arrows on all of these signs, pointing me in the direction of the space, because I’m a dork. I seriously just thought it was a stylized design element… Ah well. Found it this time!


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The Kyoto Station / Tezuka installation was, I believe, completed for an anniversary of Tezuka/Atom, and to commemorate the reopening of the station. It’s also located on the other side of the Kyoto Hotel Granvia, on the outside of the station, which explains why maybe I had a bit of trouble finding it last time. Here we see the entryway sign… which is also promoting a live stage-show of Beauty and the Beast, also happening in the same general area. Needless to say I didn’t stop in.

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The main entrance is nice, with lenticular animations of Astro Boy (Atom!), Kimba, Black Jack, and another character I don’t know the name of. I still really love the little “fins” on the first ‘o’ in KYOTO, in the shape of Astro Boy’s hair. That’s just genius. Actually, since I’m a big fan of Big pictures on the blog, here’s a close-up of then Astro Boy lenticular. Unfortunately you won’t quite get exactly the same effect.

DSCF7692

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I think the thing that most impresses me about this whole thing is that with something like Disney, or Marvel, or DC, or whomever, it’s very much ABOUT THE CHARACTER. The creator (except maybe Walt Disney, and that’s a whole other kettle of fish) is pushed far to the background. This installation is “Tezuka World”, and Tezuka the creator is at the forefront of the work. I think that’s pretty incredible, and something for all of us in the comics industry to aspire to.

So the installation is, honestly, mostly a gift-shop and retail oriented, with a few cool additions.

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More pics and info under the cut! Click:

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There are quite a few statues of Tezuka’s characters scattered about, fun to photograph or take a picture with. As you can see, the film adaptation of Tezuka’s nutso graphic novel MW (translated into a lovely English edition by Vertical) is opening this weekend in Japan, and this isn’t the first installation I’ve seen dedicated to the film. Unfortunately to put up the big cardboard standee, they had to cover a kick-ass mural of all of Tezuka’s characters.

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There’s also a theatre set up, showing two different Tezuka cartoons exclusive to this installation! The one I saw was from the most recent Astro Boy series a few years back, and it was very kiddy. I mean, it was alright, but let’s just say it was pretty easy to follow despite the fact that the characters never stopped talking—in Japanese.  I’ll be honest though, sitting, in the middle of the day, in a theatre, alone, watching children’s cartoons? I had serious doubts about the direction that my life had taken. I decided to rationalize the whole thing away as “free air conditioning” with it being 90 degrees and humid outside. But.

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If you buy a ticket to the theatre (only 200 yen! What a steal!) you get access to this cute little reading area, set up by the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Shown is one copy of every single manga that Tezuka produced in his lifetime. That’s a lot of work there…

DSCF7722

Honestly, none of this was a patch on the totally kick-ass Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka, outside of Osaka. I still consider that the high-point of my last trip to Japan. But considering it’s only about 40 minutes from Kyoto station (and free if you have a JR pass…!) why not do both? :)

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Here’s a little bit more on the MW movie from the display, including a close-up of some hi-res reproductions of original pages from MW.

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Those are illustrations, output onto canvas and framed, featuring Tezuka’s most popular series. Not quite the same thing as seeing original art, but it’s still quite nice. It’s also a reminder how little colour-art we see from Japanese mangaka in general. I think the prevailing opinion is that the colour work is either outdated, or simply inappropriate for the North American market. I get that, particularly when you look at the difference in sell-through between Vertical’s relatively successful Tezuka releases with cutting-edge book design, and Viz and Dark Horse’s more traditional releases, featuring colour painted covers. Seeing original Tezuka colour work up close, you can tell there’s a ton of craft there, but it might just be the wrong “style”. I’ll talk about this more later maybe? Anyway, what you’re really here for is PICTURES OF CHARACTER GOODS! HERE WE GO:

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That’s right! ASTRO BOY BLUEPRINTS! Translucent and printed on Vellum! Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

So after taking this photo, just knowing these things were out there… waiting to be purchased… it haunted me. HAUNTED ME. So I went back and bought a set of Astro Boy blueprints. Actually, I bought like 6 or 7 sets, and we’re going to be selling them at The Beguiling eventually. But for now, I’ve taken a few close-up photos of them for you. Enjoy!

So now I hope you can see why I had to buy it. This is the whole thing. We can see it’s a 1:2 scale blueprint for ATOM, and that he’s 1.35 metres tall, and the side panels show the usage of his powers taken from comic book panels. As I mentioned this is two layers on velum, with the top being his exterior casing and the bottom being his guts. More closeups!

And here’s a view with the guts-layer on top and the casing level underneath. Soooo cool.

Oh, and clockwise from top left, we’ve got: GOD OF COMICS, the first English language biography of Tezuka (haven’t read it yet); a Japanese-language exhibition book I picked up that detailed the first exhibit I saw in the Tezuka museum in 2007, which is just dozens of photographed reproductions of original Tezuka pages, warts-and-all; Ode To Kirihito, Tezuka’s mature manga pub’d by Vertical Inc.; a Japanese-language newstand manga anthology that’s just reprints of Tezuka stories (Seriously, 3 bucks, 400 pages, different chapters of Tezuka stuff, bought off a newstand I believe.)

(You can click most of these for larger versions.)

The blueprints measure about 2 feet by 3 feet or so. I’ll post at the blog when they become available for sale.

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Astro Boy / GeGeGe no Kitaro Crossover!
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This Pluto and Atom statue set was only 200 bucks! And in the upper-left corner you can see the price-tag for the complete mini-reprinting of Tezuka’s entire library (seriously, every book is there and it comes with a magnifying class). It’s only $750 or so. I would, quite sincerely, like to buy this some day.

Puzzle!

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this in my Japan posts, but usually when you’re doing business with shopkeepers, you don’t actually hand money over for your purchases. That would involve touching and germs and general squeamishness. Instead you put your money on a little tray, and then the shopkeep takes the tray and takes your money off of it, and puts your change in the tray and then puts the tray back down in front of you. I know, I know, but it actually works surprisingly well, and hey, no germs! Here we see examples of 4 different Astro Boy change trays. I… I bought one. I have yet to start using it at work. :)

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Before I go, I wanted to share this. Mos Burger, one of Japan’s greatest hamburger chains (seriously awesome stuff) and Mister Donut have teamed up to create MODSDO, which is utterly insane and wonderful. Above, clockwise from top, is the MOSDO ‘burger’, the MOSDO “potedo” (do is for donuts), a mango pudding, and a mix donut for people that don’t like to choose.

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The two burgers featured mini-donuts sliced in half, a sort of choclate crackle “burger” patty, and then either raspberry sauce (instead of ketchup) and raspberry mousse (instead of mayo) or green tea flavoured… something. It was surprisingly delicious, and honestly not that sweet.

DSCF7730

Maybe I just like puns too much, but the “potado” killed me. It’s unsweetened donut batter, extruded to look like French fries and then deep fried. And served with ketchup. Also, surprisingly pretty good! B- for flavour, A for texture.

We have been eating so much great, tasty, and weird stuff on this trip.  But this was… pretty special. :-D

So as we were leaving the train station the second time, we spotted this. I just wanted to take a few minutes to balance out the tide of Japanese schoolgirl/sailor suit outfits that permeate the internet with this, pictures of actual Japanese sailors congregating in the station. They were cute and fit and dressed like sailors.

They even ride the elevator together, lovely. :)

Alright, updated blog is updated! Thanks for reading, or reading again!

- Chris


25 Comments on “Japan 2009: Tezuka World Installation, Kyoto JR Station – UPDATED”

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  1. James Moar says:

    I got a better choice of film at Tezuka World, I think. The one I saw was a version of Phoenix: Robe of Feathers, which used Gao from Karma in place of the original main character, plus a guest appearance by Pinoko as a creepy spirit (good casting, that).

    Here’s a photo of the mural that got covered:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/31535211@N02/2982742000/in/set-72157608456196622/

  2. zach worton says:

    holy shizzle!! an MW movie?!

  3. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » Anime Expo opens, CPM says goodbye says:

    [...] Butcher posts some more photos from Japan, including the Tezuka World installation at Kyoto [...]

  4. super rats says:

    I know this is all about the Tezuka goodies, but mmm donuts. It’s stuff like the MOSDO that puts a smile on my face. It’s not utilitarian, just fun, which at least here in the US during this recession is something in short supply. Makes me want to go there just to see little things like that.

  5. Evan Dorkin says:

    So jealous…

  6. Bitter Matt says:

    That’s pretty cool. So, do you have like a swag budget for this trip? Based on the last trip there’s an endless array of cool STUFF to take home.

    How can you possibly stay within budget? :)

  7. DKK says:

    So jealous.

  8. Anime Expo opens, CPM says goodbye | Anime Blog Online says:

    [...] Butcher posts some more photos from Japan, including the Tezuka World installation at Kyoto [...]

  9. James says:

    It makes sense that something like the Atom x Kitaro thing would happen though based on Shigeru Mizuki’s advanced age and his renown as an expert on yokai and the occult throughout Japan. Kitaro’s status is up there, the occult flipside to techy Atom

    I do kinda wish that there were English language editions of Wonder 3 with color pictures of Pukko playing guitar on their covers.

  10. shaun smith says:

    Those extruded French fries look to be churros, which are basically the Spanish answer to the donut.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churro

    Fascinating stuff here, Chris. I’m going to link you from OBTO.

  11. mike says:

    I was fortunate to visit this exhibition in the Edo Tokyo museum and it was great. But that MW movie looks terrible. It proves how they can make awful adaptations of great works of great artists in every country.

  12. Halliday says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Knight

    I believe that character is Prince/Princess Sapphire, the gender-bending female knight of Tezuka’s first shoujo title,PRINCESS KNIGHT, about a Princess that is brought up as a boy in order to inherit her throne. There was a wicked cross-over episode of ASTROBOY in the ’80′s that had Astro and Black Jack travel back in time with another Tezuka character I can’t remember to save Princess Sapphire from dying of a rare poison. It was pretty bomb.

  13. Glob! » SURFGLOB SAFARI says:

    [...] sobre Osamu Tezuka y sus personajes. Chris Butcher de Comics212 estuvo allí haciendo tropocientas fotos –como la de aquí debajo– que te  harán [...]

  14. Yuki says:

    Tokyo Station has small shop for Atom & Kitaro until 8/26/09, and I was looking for a bigger store wheres in Japan. Well, Kyoto!!!! Too late!! Today is my last day in Japan, and I am leaving from Narita!!!!

  15. russell.k says:

    thanks tonnes for the info, i went to see it today and spent nearly 25,000 yen in there!!!!!!!!!!!!
    really looking pumped to go and see the museum in a few days

    thanks again

  16. Summer Holyday in Japan 2009 – Day 2 – Kyoto | TheTechMatterAnswer says:

    [...] The JR station in Kyoto is a very futuristic structure that remember us another aspect of Japan: a place where the historycal traditions and the technology are fused together. The station is filled of shopping mall and, for more or less two hours we made some shopping in here. [...]

  17. Kyoto – Tezuka Osamu World « THE L-BLOG says:

    [...] Comment! A good friend of mine, AT aka Guu is a huge fan of Tezuka Osamu’s work that includes AstroBoy!  She just told me about Tezuka Osamu World at Kyoto Station.  I learned more about it at Helen McCarthy’s blog.  She has written a detailed description and she has also referred to yet another fantastic report (complete with photographs) written by Christopher Butcher. [...]

  18. Tezuka World @ Kyoto JR Station – Post Moved at Comics212 says:

    [...] Hey there! The post is now at this location: http://comics212.net/2009/12/21/japan-2009-tezuka-world-installation-kyoto-jr-station/. [...]

  19. Bitter Matt says:

    “…usually when you’re doing business with shopkeepers, you don’t actually hand money over for your purchases.”

    Huh. Well, that’s something to remember if I ever make it to Japan. Cheers.

  20. Brandon Graham says:

    This stuff is exciting to see.
    That those Astro boy blueprinte even exist
    improves my life.–so cool.

  21. LillianDP says:

    The other funny thing about Kyoto station is that because of the multiple levels and various outdoor patios and walkways, it appears to be a favored make-out spot for the local teen population. I was taking a stroll around there one evening and I kept interrupting some serious hanky-panky.

  22. Japan 2009: Tezuka World Installation, Kyoto JR Station – UPDATED … « Kyoto Bookmarker says:

    [...] Japan 2009: Tezuka World Installation, Kyoto JR Station – UPDATED … One of my regrets last time I went to Japan was missing out on the Osamu Tezuka installation at Kyoto Station. Despite the fact there was advertising for it everywhere, including those super-keen Astro Boy and Kimba The White Lion … more .. [...]

  23. Porta Mall, Ky?to, Japan. « A Troo with a View says:

    [...] How to get there: Use the East exit at Ky?to JR station. You will find structures similar to metro station entrances, with stairs and escalators heading down. Near one entrance is a plastic statue of Kimba the White Lion installed to advertise Tezuka World. [...]

  24. michelle says:

    Do you know where you can buy the astroboy blue prints online?

  25. Felneymike says:

    I watched the MW movie on a plane in September 2009. Had no idea it was adapted from a comic (and a comic by Tezuka no less!) just thought it was a generic thriller. As such a thing it was pretty good. Plus it gave me a preview of city scenes in the country I was flying to XD.

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