There are many famous cartoonists born in Kochi, such as Yanase Takashi, the creator of Anpanman. In this article, we are going to introduce a Kochi cartoonist who has great influence on the history of Japanese manga, “Ryuichi Yokoyama”.
Ryuichi Yokoyama was born in Kochi city in 1909. In addition to “Fuku-chan”, a manga series which was popular over both pre-war and post-war, Ryuichi Yokoyama also created a large numbers of work including picture books, oil paintings, ink wash paintings, animation and etc. Ryuichi Yokoyama was very adventurous and liked to mingle with people from all walks of life. He passed away at the age of 92 in 2001, becoming the first cartoonist to be recognized as great contributor to Japanese culture.
When it comes to Ryuichi Yokoyama, we cannot but bring up his most famous work, “Fuku-Chan”. “Fuku-Chan” at first debut as a supporting character in “Edokko-chan”, a manga series published on Tokyo Asahi newspaper. Fuku-Chan was well-loved for his cuteness and bright personality, after August he then graduated from the supporting role and became a protagonist, presenting in various events. Finally in 1956, a series of foursquare manga depicting Fuku-chan’s daily life was published on “Daily News”. The series lasted 15 years, with 5534 installments in total. Many fans and readers was upset when the series ended. “Fuku-chan” was a manga series growing up with everyone. “Fuku-chan” could be seen as a starting point of the worldwide spread of Japanese’s manga culture.
Yokoyama Manga Museum introduces Ryuichi Yokoyam’s life-time works and offers more than 13000 manga books for people to read.
The colorful decoration and Fuku-chan’s statue instantly draw visitors’ attentions.
People are welcomed by Fuku-chan’s statue at the front door. Fuku-chan talks when people shakes his hand.
Following up is a large wooden installment art. If looking it from the front, “漫” the character meaning manga is in view. If looking it from the side, it becomes “画” the character meaning painting.
There is a spacious reading room on the third floor, housing more than 13000 manga books. Everyone can enjoy free access to the room.
The latest manga books can also be found here.
There is memorial stamp on the ticket counter.
Regular tickets for permanent exhibition is ￥410. People with My Bus 1-day ticket or Ryoma Passport can buy entrance ticket with ￥320. Permanent exhibitions are on 3rd and 4th floor. If you wish to see special exhibition on 5th floor, please buy tickets at the counter.
Foursquare manga is printed on permanent exhibition tickets.
There is an oil painting, named “Hello”, drawn by Ryuichi Yokoyam on the 3rd floor. There are videos and wall panels introducing cartoonists born in Kochi. Please note that no photography is allowed in the areas requiring ticket admission.
On the 4th floor, there are timeline of Ryuichi Yokoyam’s life, artwork introductions and displays of some works made at his early age.
Apart from the animation theater, photography is allowed in the rest of the 4th floor. Please note that flashlight is not allowed.
Following up is the most fun part of the museum, Fuku-chan’s Hall.
There are many introductions of Fuku-chan manga series, and other interactive displays.
Visitors can have fun and take pictures in Fuku-chan’s hall.
There are also introductions of Fuku-chan’s friends.
The image above shows Japanese traditional sequence manga images. Story is unfolded by rolling the handle.
There will be surprise if the puzzle is completed within 3 minutes.
Fuku-chan’s graffiti is on the floor.
Animation is played on a traditional TV.
If look into the pipe, you will see Fuku-chan manga.
There is an animation theater at the very end of Fuku-chan’s hall. Animation is played on an hourly basis.
Theater information is as the image shown above. Don’t miss the fun watching animation here.
There are other introductions of Ryuichi Yokoyama on the 4th floor.
The museum reproduces Ryuichi Yokoyama’s working studio.
Because Ryuichi Yokoyama was a big fan of railways, railway models are also displayed in the museum. These trains can actually run around the tracks.
The image above shows the reproduction of the family bar in Ryuichi Yokoyama’s house.
The most interesting part is that a door is built at the entrance, making it more like a real bar. Unfortunately, people cannot walk through the door.
There is a large artwork, “Fish Tower” displaying at the staircase. “Fish Tower” is 9 meters in height, towering through 3rd floor and 9th floor. There are about 300 fishes on the artwork. “Fish Tower” moves every hour.
5th floor is for special exhibition. Atsumi Tanezaki’s artworks were exhibited on the day we went. There were many digital lights and shadows inside the venue.
Additionally, there were an artwork made from Ino-cho Paper and digital lights. This particular artwork changed along with the digital lights and shadows. Even though the fascination of this artwork cannot be captured by electronic devices, people can still keep this wonderful experience in their memories.
Digital projection art projected 4 seasons.
There were also digital lights projected on the floor.
With the large collection of manga books, fun displays and special exhibition, a short visit to Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum turned out to be a long one. Even though we went on a Saturday, the highly expected weekend crowd didn’t show up. We enjoyed quality time exploring the artworks by Ryuichi Yokoyama and his life story. We do not only recommend Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum to manga lovers but also any tourists and children.
【Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum】
Address：Kochi City Culture Plaza, 2-1 Kutanda Kochi City (Entrance is on the 3rd floor.)
Access: Take Tosa Dentetsu Line and get off at station Harimayabashi. The museum is 5 minutes away from the station.
Closed: Monday(open on national holidays) 28th Dec.~4th Jan.