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News - 01.09.2019

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Presents North America Debut of "This is MANGA - The Art of NAOKI URASAWA" Exhibition Opening January 23

LOS ANGELES – JAN. 7, 2019 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to showcase “This is MANGA – The Art of NAOKI URASAWA,” a complimentary exhibit by internationally acclaimed Japanese manga artist, Naoki Urasawa, from January 23 to March 28. The retrospective exhibition will introduce more than 400 original drawings and storyboards, selected stories from seven of his major works, and deliver four consecutive YAWARA! stories every other week replicating the weekly serial style of many Japanese comic anthologies. Selling over 127 million copies in Japan alone, Urasawa’s dynamic storytelling captivates a global audience as his works are published in more than 20 countries. The award-winning artist continues to garner international popularity through various collaborations including his recent work with MUJIRUSHI (The Sign of Dreams, with the cooperation of Fujio Productions) at the Louvre Museum.

Since his professional debut in 1983, Urasawa has continually pushed the limits of the manga medium, engaging readers with innovative compositional techniques and versatile drawing prowess, as he creates works that are both introspective and philosophical. One of the core qualities of Urasawa’s work is the skill with which he weaves social context and detailed cultural settings into his narratives. Many of his stories connect personal dramas to a specific moment in human history, and illustrate how overarching social and historical forces influence the actions of his characters. His stories touch upon the hopes, dreams, and underlying fears of humanity.

The exhibition introduces manga, a Japanese comic style --which is a fusion of story and artwork, evolving from picture book styles developed in the late 19th century --directly through Urasawa’s manga including his original hand-drawn storyboards from inception through development. The selected stories from seven of his major works highlight the breadth of the artist’s narrative styles, including: YAWARA!, MONSTER, 20th Century Boys, PLUTO (story by Osamu Tezuka, co-authored by Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions), BILLY BAT (story co-creator: Takashi Nagasaki), MASTER KEATON ReMASTER (story by Takashi Nagasaki), and MUJIRUSHI (The Sign of Dreams, with the cooperation of Fujio Productions). A special reading area stocked with full, published English translations turns the exhibition visit into a Japanese cultural experience.

Related Programs with Naoki Urasawa

Naoki Urasawa Book Signing
Date:    January 23
Time:    6:00PM – 7:00PM
Venue:  JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2
Fee:      Book purchase at the JAPAN HOUSE “monozukuri shop”
             More info about Naoki Urasawa Book Signing

Drawing My World: An Interview with Naoki Urasawa
Date:    January 23
Time:    7:15PM– 8:45PM
Venue:  JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
Fee:      Complimentary
             More info about Interview with Naoki Urasawa

Related Programs

JAPAN HOUSE will offer interactive drawing workshops complementing the North American debut of the “This is MANGA – The Art of NAOKI URASAWA” exhibition with Los Angeles-based animator and illustrator, MinoMiyabi, for all ages. Information to be released soon on

  • Character Drawing for Kids! (February 2, March 2)
  • Elements of Character Designs for Manga & Comics (February 2, March 2)
  • Compositions & Panel Layouts: “Koma-Wari” for Manga & Comics (February 9)
  • “Chara-Cature!” Your Caricature as a Manga Character (February 9)

“This is MANGA – the Art of NAOKI URASAWA” is presented and organized by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and The Yomiuri Shimbun; sponsored by Shimizu Octo; made possible in cooperation with N WOOD STUDIO, SHOGAKUKAN, KODANSHA, POMATO PRO., Yamato Global Logistics Japan, ANA, Bay Bridge Studio, AGASUS and VIZ Media; special assistance provided by Takashi Nagasaki, Kazuya Kudo, Hokusei Katsushika, Tezuka Productions Co. and Fujio Productions; art direction by Kaitaro Kiuchi (POMATO PRO.); curatorial support provided by Stéphane Beaujean (Art Director of the Angoulême International Comics Festival)


JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs, London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, conceived by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles occupies two floors at Hollywood & Highland. The 2nd floor features a gallery space and the 5th floor hosts a Japanese restaurant, relaxing library, and event venue, along with spectacular views of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends the physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.

Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

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