THE STORY SO FAR …
After four intensive days of manga workshops, ideas generation and culture exchanges, not to mention fun and friendship, our international guests bid a fond farewell to the captivating town of Takamori to spend the day soaking in the sites of Kumamoto City!
The final day of the Kumamoto International Manga Camp 2019 starts with warm welcome from manga royalty! The enigmatic Monkey D Luffy from the acclaimed manga series “One Piece” strikes an imposing pose much to the delight of our guests. Created by Oda Eiichiro sensei, a Kumamoto native, the bendy pirate has almost eclipsed the mighty Kumamon for the city’s mascot top spot!
Following the devastating earthquake of 2016, Oda sensei donated ¥800 million ($7.1 million) in the name of Luffy to help in the reconstruction of prefecture, making the pirate a hero on AND off the page! (source: japantimes.co.jp)
The bronze Luffy statue can be found in front of the Kumamato Prefectural Government building.
Next up is a botanical bonanza, with a gentle stay in the exquisite Suizenji Park. Created in 1632 by Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi of Kumamoto as a statement of his family’s majesty, the finely sculpted landscape is a typical example of Japanese gardening at its best.
Following the serene oasis of the park, it’s time for lunch! With a delicious array of Japanese delicacies awaiting our group, we proceed to discuss the fun of the Camp and prepare for a visit to the imposing behemoth that is Kumamoto Castle! For more info this UNESCO heritage site, check out LAST YEAR’S REPORT.
This year’s Camp happened to coincide with the 24th World Women’s Handball Championship, an event the city honored with a magnificent Kumamon straw statue. French MasterClass alumni Nicolas David couldn’t help but pose with everyone’s favorite bear sporting the colors of the Japanese team!
Now it’s down to business with a visit to the Kumamoto COAMIX Inc., manga LAB! Located in the heart of the city, the manga LAB serves as an editorial outpost for the region’s professional manga artists.
As reported in the Kumamoto Manga Festival instalment, the manga LAB was established to save artists the trouble of traveling to Tokyo to have their work assessed. With resources ranging from text books to the latest hardware and software, the LAB is a pioneering effort to spread the joy of manga making to Kyushu.
With a huge screen linking directly to the Tokyo COAMIX Inc. office, the Tokyo based editors can conduct editorial meetings without the time and expense of travel. We are proud to be breaking technological boundaries in our mission to usher in entertaining manga!
After a fascinating introduction to the work of the LAB by Mocchi, it’s time for our final group photo. And of course, your intrepid reporter just HAS to sit near to the mighty Kenshiro…!
With the manga LAB tour over with, we can officially mark the end of the Kumamoto International Manga Camp 2019. We hope you enjoyed reading about the fun our manga making guests had, from serious study to fun-filled escapades, the KIMC has something for everyone!
If you’re still wondering how to join future manga Camps, then follow these three east steps:
1) JOIN the Audition
2) WIN a high award
3) ENTER the MasterClass!
Simple, isn’t it?
We hope to meet YOU very soon! Until then, keep reading our articles and be inspired to make manga!
As a parting gift, drink in this magnificence view of Mount Fuji, taken from our flight back to Tokyo! 🗻