Japanese manga artist crowdfunds digital exhibition overseas


This is part of our Crowdfunding in Japan series (RSS). Services like KickStarter have become a global phenomenon with the power to let creative individuals take their ideas to new heights. It’s happening here in Japan too, most notably on Campfire, the country’s answer to Kickstarter.


Yuta Kayashima has been working as an illustrator while trying to realize his dream of becoming a manga artist. Ever since he was a student, he has been experimenting with the blending of manga and digital technology. His works Manga 2.0 (made with Adobe Flash) and Hack to the Brain were honored by the judicial committee for the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs. He has also distributed a special vertically written comic called Saiyu Shojo (A Young Girl’s Westward Trip) on the booklog site Puboo, a service where anyone can make and sell ebooks.

From January through March 2013, Mr. Kayashima will participate in a modern art exhibition in Mexico featuring a Ukiyo-e theme. This Ukiyoe x Digital Comic project is a effort that combines traditional Japanese drawings and the latest media technology. He is planning to make an interactive comic, which will allow the audience to perform operations on the exhibit using a mouse, and the scene will be displayed using a projector. The exhibit is described as follows:

Three beautiful sisters from the Ukiyo-e world travel through a time warp to the modern era. To their misfortune, in the present-day world their looks are no longer considered to be quite so attractive, but that does not curb their desire to be considered beautiful. They discover that many modern day anime characters are considered beautiful. As such, the jealous three sisters search for modern beauty, stealing various parts from other characters and competing against each other to enhance their own images.

It sounds like a pretty fascinating story, and if Kayashima’s past work is any indication (see video below), the exhibit should be equally impressive. For all our Mexican readers (we know there’s at least a few of you), do check out the exhibition if you get a chance.

The project recently appeared as a crowdfunding project on Campfire, and happily it turned out to be a success story, as the target of ¥250,000 (over $2,700) was successfully reached on Nov 3, 2012.