(Version française ici!!)
Here is the last part of my amazing travel to Japan. It took me a while to write this one, as this is also about the end of this trip and I get sad thinking about it!! But here it is:
After my short time in Kyoto, I was back to Tokyo, for one last run before my departure!
On my way back to the hotel, I stopped at this amazing exhibition of Full Metal Alchemist original art! I couldn’t take any picture from what is inside, but it was filled with original illustrations and manga pages. It was so great to see up so close the work of another of my heroes, Arakawa Hiromu-sensei.
Anecdote: in the last room I stayed in Tokyo, I found this box:
Fire escape in a box… Curious. So I opened it and found this:
That, somehow, made me very nervous…
Next day!!! I was heading once more at Tsukuba University and met with Yoshihara-sensei and Yamamoto-sensei. That was filled with activities! These were opened to the public and all themed around manga. First, Yamamoto-sensei gave a workshop on comic creation and story structure.
Then in the afternoon, she and I gave a talk show together about “Speechless comics”. She is the author of many books, and Ribbon Around a Bomb is a graphic novel she made without a single written word.
Given my Japanese skills, I was in need of support, as I cannot hold a “smart” conversation in this language yet. I teamed up with Aki-san and Mimmy-san who provided translation for me. They were amazing!
I had the pleasure to meet with a very talented and seasoned artist of the Shojo manga, legend Sanazaki Harumo-sensei. She has been making comics for almost 40 years and has over a hundred books published. I was so impressed, and honored to have a chat with this lady. What an inspiration. There was so many things I wanted to ask, I wished we had more time. She drew a portrait of me! It is now framed and hanged it in my atelier. ^.^
Then later at night, we had a nice party at Ibaraki Creator’s house. I met with so many interesting artists. We ate mackerels over the grill. TASTY!! It also seems I am very unskilled at grating the daikon….
Look at all those tasty fishes!!!!!
Thanks to Sanpo-san who organised all this! (and cooked, again!)
Yuki was also at the party! I was so glad I could see her before I leave. And here I am with my two bionic interpreters, Aki-san and Mimmy-san:
After this splendid day, it was already the time for me to depart from Tokyo and left for home. My heart was big, and I already miss all the friends I made there. I spent one last night at my friend Tomoko’s house. The next day we visited and shrine and I made a wish. I let you guess what my wish was.
Thank you so much everyone who helped me, supported me and cheered for me when I was wandering through Japan! It was such a meaningful experience and I cannot show enough my gratitude. Big big special thanks to Yuki Kuyama who was the mastermind behind most of the events I had the chance to participate. She was amazing and turn my travel into something much bigger than I ever wished for. Thank you to everyone at Tsukuba University, I am so glad we shared these moments and I wish we can share much more in the future. I am waiting for you in Montreal!! Thank you Bruno for your far away cheers and support. Your ideas made a difference. I hope we will have the chance to meet in the future.
And grateful thanks to CALQ and LOJIQ for their financial support.