Chihiro Iwasaki, The Little Girl Lighting a Match, from The Little Match Girl, 1964 (Kaisei-sha)

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<1st Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

My Andersen” by Chihiro and International Picture Book Illustrators

Chihiro Iwasaki, The Little Girl Lighting a Match, from The Little Match Girl, 1964 (Kaisei-sha) Hans Christian Andersen, known as the father of the creative fairy tale, deftly weaved the dreams and truths of the world into beautiful children’s stories. His tales have been read and loved by readers of all ages the world over and provided inspiration for countless artists, including Chihiro, who earned acclaim as one of Japan’s foremost illustrators of Andersen’s stories. In this exhibition we will present around 90 pieces of Chihiro’s work along with illustrations by other artists from around the world.

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Ib Spang Olsen, from The Fairy Tales of Andersen, 1992 (Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers)© Ib Spang Olsen by Medialynx Japan

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<1st Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Ib Spang Olsen: The Soul of Denmark

Ib Spang Olsen, from The Fairy Tales of Andersen, 1992 (Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers) © Ib Spang Olsen by Medialynx Japan Ib Spang Olsen was a Danish illustrator and was recognized with the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration. In this exhibition we will show around 150 original pieces that were featured in a retrospective exhibit of Olsen’s work held last year in Copenhagen, including original artwork from such picture books as The Boy in the Moon and The Fairy Tales of Andersen, as well as posters and animated works.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with a Hat, 1970

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<2nd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Welcome to the Inside of a Chihiro Illustration! A Chihiro Exhibition by Isao Takahata

Film director and screenwriter Isao Takahata, well versed in art and literature spanning all ages and cultures, has been active at the forefront of animation creation. He described Chihiro as “a rare artist who captures the dignity of children” and acknowledged deriving creative inspiration from her work. Through Takahata’s keen eye for beauty, this exhibition will allow guests to rediscover the appeal of Chihiro’s artwork, providing a means of experiencing the world of Chihiro’s illustrations in an all-new light.

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Takeshi Motai, from The Picture Book of Dreams, 1948

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<2nd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

Takeshi Motai the Dream Traveler, by Yoshitomo Nara

“Residing in day-to-day life, Takeshi Motai’s aesthetic sense is paradoxically sublime. His artwork makes no distinctions between East and West; it is pure spirit.” So says Yoshitomo Nara, the artist behind this exhibition. We hope that you will enjoy viewing the works that transcended time and touched Nara’s heart, including The Debris of Paris, Motai’s sketchbook from his journeys in Paris, and his illustrated tale The Picture Book of Dreams.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with a Yellow Umbrella, 1969

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<3rd Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The Poetry of Chihiro: Pictures Like Poems

Chihiro, who said she liked fairy tales that were “short, beautiful, and called to mind a range of images, like poetry does,” carved out her own unique method of picture book expression through a series of picture books that were called “feeling picture books,” such as Kotori no Kuruhi (The Pretty Bird). Starting from a young age, she liked Manyoshu (the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry) and the poems of Kenji Miyazawa and, through this exhibition, we will explore the sensibilities behind the overflowing poetic charm that infuses Chihiro’s illustrations.

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Yosuke Inoue, from Densha ehon (Billiken-shokai) 2000

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Yosuke Inoue’s Oddball, Delightful, Suspicious and Agreeable Picture Books

Yosuke Inoue was active across a variety of artistic genres, including picture books, cartoons and illustrations. In this exhibition we will feature a range of his artwork, including tableaux and cartoons, with a focus on the picture book creation process. On display will be selections from Inoue’s first picture book, Odango pan, along with the beloved Kuma no ko Ūfu and illustrations from original picture books he produced starting in the 1970s. We hope that you will enjoy the unique world of Inoue’s art, which fuses nonsense and humor with his unnerving depictive style.

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Chihiro Iwasaki, Girl with Rose-ornamented Hat, 1971

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<4th Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The History of Chihiro

As an artist Chihiro never tired of creating illustrations of children throughout her career. The Chihiro Art Museum, acting in accordance with her strong wish for “peace and happiness for all the children of the world,” has carried out research from a range of perspectives, focusing on such aspects as the characteristics of Chihiro’s distinctive illustration style and her way of life. In this exhibition, which includes the latest research findings, we aim to shed new light on Chihiro Iwasaki’s life and career.

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Kiichi Okamoto, Sanrinsha (The tricycle), 1926

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<4th Exhibition in Commemoration of the Museum's 40th Anniversary>

The 100-Year History of Japanese Picture Books

In the 1910s, several Japanese magazines for children, such as as Kodomo no Tomo (The Children’s Companion) and Akai Tori (Red Bird), were launched one after the other. Against the backdrop of the prosperity that arrived to Japan after World War I, a period known as the Taisho Democracy, highly artistic illustrated magazines and picture books emerged from the movement at the time promoting fairy tales, nursery songs and pictures for children. Following World War II, picture books enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the contributions of Chihiro Iwasaki and other unique artists. In this exhibition we will follow the progression of the uniquely rich expressiveness of Japanese picture books over the past 100 years.

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