Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure

Welcome back from the holidays!  The new year at the British Museum is underway, and this morning started with the first staff breakfast of 2012.

Curators Tim Clark, Head of Japanese Collections, and Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, Project Curator of Japanese Decorative Arts, discussed the development of Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure from conception to finished work.

Professor Munakata poses in front of the British Museum © Hoshino Yukinobu, Hokkaido Shimbun

Professor Munakata is a character created by renowned manga artist Hoshino Yukinobu.  Manga is a Japanese comic book art form which in recent years has become very popular internationally.

The artist Hoshino Yukinobu was invited to the British Museum in 2009 to take part in a small Room 3 exhibition of his original drawings.  His experiences in the Museum, the people he met and the objects he saw inspired

him to create a manga series in which one of his most popular characters, Professor Munakata, visits the British Museum.

The series of ten episodes was published in the fortnightly magazine, Big Comic. And they have now been translated and published in English by the British Museum Press.

The current exhibition at the Museum shows some of Hoshino Yukinobu’s original drawings next to the printed version in the original Japanese magazine, as well as the English version published by the Museum.

The story begins when Professor Munakata Tadakusa, a famous Japanese professor of folklore, travels to the UK to give a lecture – although what he really wants is to visit Stonehenge.  While his hosts are making arrangements for a trip to Stonehenge, the stones are stolen, secretly taken away in the middle of the night.  And Professor Munakata investigates…

Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure by Hoshino Yukinobu

And if you’d like to find out the rest of Professor Munakata’s adventure, you’ll have to read the book!

The book is available to purchase from the British Museum shop online (which does ship abroad too).

Shezza Edris