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Temporary Exhibitions
  • TOMM the 10th Exhibition: The Private Exhibition of Tezuka Osamu: The World of Colors

  • Tezuka Osamu created more than 500 titles during his lifetime, and the number of manuscripts amounted to approximately 150,000. Currently, most of these works are published in book form, enabling us to know the stories of Tezuka Manga. Of course, the 150,000 sheets of manuscripts represent the total published in monthly, weekly, and other magazines in serial form over a long period of time.

    In reality, there was a slight difference in the style of publication between Tezuka Manga serialized in magazines and those published in book form. When Tezuka Manga were serialized, the first page of each installment was always accompanied by a frontispiece. Such frontispieces were omitted, however, when Tezuka Manga were published in book form because the continuity of story was emphasized. If we missed the opportunity of reading Tezuka Manga when published in serial form, we missed the frontispieces as well.Many of the frontispieces represent the view of the world forming the background for a serialized work, and in that sense, unlike paintings artists complete using their imaginative power, the character of pictures drawn in the frontispiece is determined by the content of the serialized work it precedes. Worded differently, it is the frontispiece that reflects the content of the serialized work. For this reason, frontispieces often achieve a high level of perfection.

    This exhibition focuses on these frontispieces. Tezuka Osamu's frontispieces amount to some 8,000, a figure obtained by multiplying the 500 titles by the number of installments published. In order to view all of them, a huge exhibition space is required. In addition, Tezuka Osamu drew pictures for many Manga categories, ranging from children's Manga to those for adults and picture books. Therefore, if these frontispieces were simply exhibited in chronological order, pictures drawn for various categories would be mixed up, which would be confusing to the viewer.

    Therefore, from among the frontispieces that achieved a high level of perfection, the organizers of this exhibition carefully selected the ones that were colored when published in serial form and which decorated the front page of the work. Having been visited by a total of one million people, the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum presents the Private Exhibition of Tezuka Osamu: "The World of Colors" as the commemorative tenth in a series of exhibitions it has organized. The organizers hope that many of the visitors will appreciate not only the aspect of Tezuka Osamu as a story Manga writer but also his talent as an artist.




    Category 1: Adventures and romance: To the sea, sky, and earth

    Tezuka Osamu made his debut as a professional cartoonist with "The New Treasure Island."

    Many of Tezuka Osamu's cartoons took their themes from adventures and romance as exemplified by his early "Akahon" (red book) works, including "Metropolis," "The New World" and "The Lost World." Although unfortunately the only colored "Akahon" cartoon on display at this exhibition is "The Golden Bat," other serialized cartoons based on these themes include "Jungle emperor Leo," "Astro Boy," "Captain Ken," and "The Three-eyed One," and their central characters play a major role in a wide variety of settings, such as the sea, sky (universe), and earth.


    Category 1 represents the world of characters that advocate lofty ideals and explore the unknown world.


    Major works on display include "Astro Boy," "Jungle Emperor Leo," "Dororo," "Zero Man," "The Wonder Three," "Captain Ken" and "The Three-eyed One".


    The world of colors in "The Adventures and Romance," introduced in this category, shows the true value of the enormous number of frontispieces and other colorful pictures Tezuka Osamu produced during his lifetime. Blue is used to symbolize the story of story Manga, green represents a love for human beings and nature, and red provokes the imagination of the reader. Tezuka Osamu employed adventurous use of color within as the restraints of printed matter. In the current of the times, he perfected his own world as a pioneer by skillfully incorporating cinematographic, theatrical, and pictorial methods into his works. And his strong colors have fascinated boys and girls for more than 40 years, conveying a message of hopes and dreams to his readers.




    Category 2: Castles, angels, flowers, and dreams and girls

    Tezuka Osamu established a style of story Manga in the world of girls' Manga as well.

    Girls' Manga prior to Tezuka Osamu had developed under the influence of the Art Deco movement in art and architecture. As decorative paintings, with some text attached, were the mainstream of girls' Manga, Tezuka Osamu introduced the traditional style of decorative painting into Manga and painted many frontispieces using Art Deco techniques. Many of these frontispieces took their design motifs from castles, angels, flowers, and other objects.


    Major works on display include "Princess Knight," "The Rainbow Fortress," "Angel's Hill" and "Unico."


    The world of colors in Tezuka Osamu's girls' Manga is a complete world supported by the traditional stylized beauty of stage art that has been taken over by ballet, revues, and other art forms. Colors arranged in the pictures play their respective roles within their standardized forms and explain a given situation, light and shadow, and mental pictures more eloquently than words and motifs. In addition, by using eye-catching compositions and colors, Tezuka Osamu was able to precisely express varying viewpoints that the traditional stage art techniques had difficulties with, as well as a clearer sense of depth, the three dimensions, and even the passage of time. Tezuka Osamu drew Girls' Manga to pay homage to the Takarazuka revues that he loved during his childhood, inviting viewers to a fictitious world of dreams in a more attractive and beautiful manner.




    Category 3: Love, hatred, transmigration and rebirth, and the mystery of life

    An important theme for Tezuka Osamu's story Manga is "life." This covers not only human beings but also all other creatures that live in the whole of the universe. Tezuka Osamu sometimes gave a warning to human beings when they took an arrogant attitude toward other living creatures, or illustrated impermanence by depicting a large universe in the life of a dayfly. Because "life" was an important theme to Tezuka Osamu, the number of his works written based in it is large, and these feature a wide variety of heroes. These heroes consider the issue of existence through their love and hatred and pursue the centuries-old philosophical question of where human beings came from and where they are going. Probably because of this, many of the colored pictures in this category are characterized by a sense of solidity and bold composition.


    Major works on display include "Black Jack," "The Phoenix," "Buddha" and "The Song for Apollo."


    Everybody has unforgettable scenes vividly imprinted upon their minds. Such scenes may be a sunset seen in childhood or a scene from a painting or movie, and they always remain in the viewer's mind in impressive colors. As time passes, such colors change into stronger, symbolic ones in one's unconscious, and are stored as independent images, perhaps quite different from what was actually experienced. In the world of colors for his theme "life," Tezuka Osamu viewed them as symbols of human life and feelings. And colors and bold compositions that are carefully designed to highlight certain colors combine to vividly impress the scenes in the minds of viewers. There may be readers who, through their own impressions of frontispieces, remember the entire works-actually drawn in black and white-as colored ones.




    Category 4: Harmony, rhythm, accord, and fairy tales

    In addition to his activities as a cartoonist and animated cartoon writer, Tezuka Osamu accomplished a number of other jobs. He was a writer as well as a producer for expositions, a mascot character designer, and a picture book author as well. Tezuka Osamu believed that if he accurately represented children's dreams with beautiful colors and rhythmical expressions, he would be able to invite children into the world of fairy tales and also give them unforced education and add charm and pleasure to their lives. Therefore, in Category 4, visitors will see the process in which a combination of a colored picture and refined text gives rise to rhythm and harmony.


    Major works on display include "Beeko-chan," "Rabi-chan" and "The Adventure of Kurochoro."


    There is a world of colors that is slightly different in style from pictures filled with tension, which Tezuka Osamu completed in the world of "Adventures and Romance." Among the works in which he continued to attempt various pictorial experiments, fairy tales and fables introduced in this category in particular offer a special opportunity for visitors to get a glimpse of his personality. Abundant lyricism runs through the colors and compositions of pictures written as fairy tales, as well as their stories. His satirical illustrations were written from a viewpoint critical of society, and his insight into human beings was expressed in colors that penetrated into their minds. These works indicate that rather than being just a cartoonist, he was an artist who expressed himself from a universal standpoint and posed questions through the means of pictures.