From Anime Center to Manga Museum

This year, new facilities for promoting the anime and manga culture will open in Japan. Actually, one just opened recently: Tokyo Anime Center opened last month in Akihabara (see the Mainichi Daily News article). Meanwhile, the city of Kyoto is planning to build an International Manga Museum later this year (here’s an official announcement by the mayor of Kyoto, in Japanese).

[Tokyo Anime Center. photo from Akihabara ichihokoushano kiroku. some other photos in this ITMedia article]

Having heard about these new facilities, I got curious about existing anime & manga facilities in Japan. Here are what I found so far: Manga museum (Masuda-cho, Akita), Shotaro Ishinomori memorial museum (Tome, Miyagi), Gundam Museum in Bandai Museum (Matsudo, Chiba), Suginami Animation Museum (Tokyo), Ghibli Museum, Mitaka (Tokyo), Akatsuka Kaikan (Ome, Tokyo), Kyoto Osamu Tezuka World (Kyoto), Modern manga museum (Osaka), Osamu Tezuka memorial museum (Takaraduka, Hyogo), Yumiko Igarashi Museum (Kurashiki, Okayama), Shigeru Mizuki memorial museum (Sakaiminato, Tottori), Yokoyama memorial manga museum (Kochi), Anpanman museum (Kahokucho, Kochi).

Many small museums distributed all over the country. One of the roles of Tokyo Anime Cener seems to be a kind of an information center or an entry point for one’s exploration of the world of Japanimation. Okay, start from there, and let’s say the next stop is the manga museum in Kyoto. That may be a better travel plan than going from Kyoto to Tokyo since this manga museum in Kyoto is conceptualized as a general research facility of anime and manga culture and will possibly be a place for varieties of activities including research, education, business incubation, lifelong learning, library and museum. Oh, by the way, this travel tip will keep being useless until the museum is actually built.