Hiroaki Samura/Kaoru Mori exhibit

Yesterday was the final day of “Der Tilgung”, a collab exhibit of mangaka Hiroaki Samura and doll artist Kaoru Mori. This was their second collab exhibit since 『蹂躙史エピトマイザ』―ある幻想の娼館― (An Epitomize of the History of Violation – an imaginary brothel), also held at Vanilla Gallery in Ginza.

The setting for the works is a former monarchy which has been overthrown by a revolution. The two princesses are captured and imprisoned, while others are tortured and put to death.

There were about 10 pencil drawings and rough sketches displayed. Samura-sensei’s first drawing was a rough sketch of the flags of the monarchy and the new country. The words “typical communist style” were written beside the new flag. Unlike the drawings for the Epitomize exhibit, violence is not inflicted on the princesses themselves. The drawing do portray violence occurring in the background and right outside the drawings.

Kaoru Mori’s dolls all looked very frail and full of sorrow. One of the dolls had a tattoo-like painting drawn by Samura-sensei on its back. Antique-style furniture was placed in the gallery, and some of the dolls were displayed on them. There was a sofa with a chain and shackle placed on it, and a doll was displayed on a chair with another chain and shackle next to it. There was even a mock wood stove with the old country flag (burnt around the edges) and the new country flag hanging from the ceiling.

An exhibit booklet will be published at a later date. I’m very much looking forward to it, as it will include a new story by Samura-sensei.

Kore Yamazaki Autograph Session

Yesterday I went to Junkudo Ikebukuro for Kore Yamazaki-sensei’s autograph session. The autograph session was held to celebrate the publication of “Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus Bride) 2″, which currently runs in Comic Garden magazine.

We were able to make character requests, so I asked for a kawaii version of the magus Elias:

 Kore Yamazaki Autograph Session

I bought my “to read” copy at Animate. The omake there was a two-sided postcard:

 Kore Yamazaki Autograph Session

 Kore Yamazaki Autograph Session

And a lovely set of paper coasters:

 Kore Yamazaki Autograph Session

Black Butler Anime Exhibit

Yesterday I went to Animate Ikebukuro for the “Black Butler Book of Circus -Garden of Recollection-” exhibit.

Viewers climb the stairs from the 8th floor to reach the exhibit floor. Ciel and Sebastian greet you midway:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

And on to the entrance:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

The exhibit staff were all dressed in black suits and wearing masquerade masks.

The exhibit floor was partitioned into a number of spaces, and cameras were permitted inside. The circus tent area looked like this:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

With the members’ props and costumes on display as well:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

Various shots from the anime and drawings created for anime magazines were on display as well.

Ciel and Joker’s circus costumes were on display in the Kelvin residence area:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

And you could even lie down on the altar of sacrifice for a photo shoot:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

I was given a card on entry for the “character personality test”. I scanned my card to record my answers each time a question was asked. I handed my card to the staff after I left the exhibit, and was given a character card based on my answers. So among the five candidates (Ciel, Sebastian, Joker, Dagger, Suit), I was most like:

 Black Butler Anime Exhibit

The card says I tend to forget myself when I see felines (^^;;;)

The exhibit ends Thursday, and will move on to Osaka next month.

Ama-no-iwato Shrine

I once visited Ama-no-iwato Shrine in Miyazaki prefecture on my way to Kurokawa Onsen. The shrine consists of two separate shrines. Ama-no-iwato itself is enshrined in the West Shrine, and Amaterasu, the sun kami is enshrined in the East Shrine. The Iwato river separates the two shrines.

I visited the West Shrine. I went to the shrine office and asked to be shown to Ama-no-iwato, as it is hidden behind the hall of worship. A Shinto priest let us in after purifying us first. We were asked not to photograph the iwato, as it is sacred territory. The iwato has collapsed now, but what looked like its remains were visible.

There’s a large cavern with a shrine inside a short walk from the Ama-no-iwato. The riverbed there is the Ama-no-yasu-gawara. All the kami gathered here to discuss how to get Amaterasu out of Ama-no-iwato so light returns to the world.

 Ama no iwato Shrine

Over the years, visiting pilgrims have piled stones on the way to the cavern.

 Ama no iwato Shrine

There’re numerous spots related to Japanese myths in Takachiho. Manai Falls in Takachiho Gorge is one of them:

 Ama no iwato Shrine

According to myths, a kami brought some water from the skies when he descended to the human world as there was no water where he descended. Ame-no-manai is known as the place where spring water then gushed out, flowing to Manai Falls.

Here’re photos of the gorge itself:

 Ama no iwato Shrine

 Ama no iwato Shrine