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Japan’s Animation Industry Failing to Cultivate Next Generation of Talent

With blockbusters like Shinkai Makoto’s Kimi no na wa (Your Name) making waves around the world, the Japanese animation industry would appear to be bursting with vitality. Yet behind the scenes at the nation’s animation production houses, the working conditions are little short of wretched, and the long-term future of made-in-Japan anime is anything but assured.
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Open-Air Art Draws Visitors to Disaster-Hit Ishinomaki (Japan in Photos)

A towering white deer sculpture on display at the Reborn-Art Festival in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. The festival began on July 22 and will continue until September 10. Artworks can be seen in the city center and around the Oshika Peninsula. There will also be concerts, including an event from July 28 until 30 featuring the group Mr. Children and other performers at Kawasaki, also in Miyagi…
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Nishioka Fumio: An Armorer Bringing National Treasures Back to Life

Traditional Japanese armor combines a diverse set of different crafts and skills, including lacquer, leather, and textile work. Professional armor restorer Nishioka Fumio is one of the few people in Japan with all these skills at his command. We spoke to him about his work restoring some of the masterpieces of Japanese armor to their former glory.
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Museum of the Fallen Art Students: A Tribute to Dreams Cut Short

The student mobilization of 1943 sent thousands of young men off to die in the war effort, including many aspiring painters. In 1997, a Tokyo entrepreneur built a museum to preserve and display the works of those fallen art students. We traveled to Ueda in Nagano Prefecture to visit the Mugonkan on the eve of its twentieth anniversary and talk to 75-year-old founder and director Kuboshima Seiichirō.
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Digitally Mastered: The Ceramic Artwork of Masuda Toshiya

Taking inspiration from the digital world, artist Masuda Toshiya seemingly plucks his pieces from the screen of a sandbox videogame. While his pixelated creations are a departure from standard ceramic art, with his clay he imbues what would normally be flat, artificial images with a palpable sense of warmth.
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A Treasure Trove of Early Japanese Animation

A new website from the National Film Center at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, allows viewers around the world to see early animated films from Japan. Read on for a guide to some of the highlights.
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Munakata Shikō’s Work Replaced with Photocopy, Seen Stolen (News)

Yokohama, April 17 (Jiji Press)—The Kanagawa prefectural government said Monday a woodblock print made by the woodblock printmaker Munakata Shikō (1903–75) has been missing for three years since the real work of the noted artist was found to have been replaced with a photocopy. The print may have been stolen, the prefectural government said, adding that it is consulting with police. Accordin…
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Three Utamaro Paintings Reunite in US Art Gallery (News)

Washington, April 7 (Jiji Press)—The Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington will start an exhibition on Saturday reuniting a set of three works by Japanese ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) for the first time in nearly 140 years. The three Utamaro works stand together for the first time in nearly 140 years at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian. The exhib…
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Tanaka Mizuki: The Young Woman Keeping the Tradition of Bathhouse Paintings Alive

Many traditional neighborhood bathhouses are decorated with huge murals, often featuring Mount Fuji. Today, this tradition is kept alive by just three specialized artists. We spend the day with one of them, a young painter looking to carry the form into the future.
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Araki Nobuyoshi: An Artistic Rebel, UnbowedIizawa Kōtarō

Araki Nobuyoshi began his career as a rebel and is now one of the world’s reigning masters of photography. A critic and close friend of the artist looks back over Araki’s prolific and sometimes tempestuous life.
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