Murcielago Giveaway

Young Gangan magazine held a twitter campaign to celebrate the reprints of Murcielago, and I was one of the lucky winners. The prize was a big cardboard sign (about 60cm wide) created to advertise the series at bookstores. Yoshimura-sensei has autographed the front:

 Murcielago Giveaway

And drawn Kuroko and SD Hinako on the back:

 Murcielago Giveaway

Kyoto Gardens

I love visiting Japanese gardens when I travel. This time I first went to Shinsen-en, which is right by Nijo Castle. Emperor Kanmu had this garden created in 794, the year the capital was re-located to Kyoto.

The garden was named Shinsen-en (“kami”-“spring”-“garden”) because water keeps gushing out from the spring. There’s a restaurant by the lake, and you can eat in the dragon boat as well:

 Kyoto Gardens

There was a beautiful Japanese rock garden at Komyouin temple, a subtemple of Tofukuji:

 Kyoto Gardens

Tofukuji itself has an abbot’s hall with gardens on all four sides. The east garden has stone pillars placed in the form of the Big Dipper:

 Kyoto Gardens

The north garden is a combination of moss and checkered azaleas:

 Kyoto Gardens

And more checkered azaleas on the north:

 Kyoto Gardens

Kyoto Autumn Foliage

Our main destination was Tofukuji temple, one of the many famous (and crowded!) temples where you can see autumn leaves. The best viewing spot here is a bridge over a river gorge:

 Kyoto Autumn Foliage

Most of the autumn foliage is located near the river. We were only able to go around the middle of the temple grounds (as it is so huge), but we did manage to see trees after trees in various shades of red, orange and yellow:

 Kyoto Autumn Foliage

 Kyoto Autumn Foliage

 Kyoto Autumn Foliage

 Kyoto Autumn Foliage

Kyoto Photos

Last week I went to Kyoto to see the autumn foliage at a number of temples. There were crowds of tourists everywhere, but the autumn leaves were beautiful.

We went to Kinkakuji temple the first day. The afternoon sun made the temple gold reflect beautifully on the garden lake:

 Kyoto Photos

Here’s a shot from the back of the lake:

 Kyoto Photos

And scarlet-tinged leaves on the way out of the garden:

 Kyoto Photos

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