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JANM exhibit

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Postby Steve Hubbell » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:14 +0000

More pictures from the JANM Facebook photo album....

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Another pic of interns at work on Year of the Rabbit


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Lynn supervised as Clement hangs up artwork


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Our Museum Store is getting ready for Usagi Yojimbo fans (old & new!) too!


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Getting ready for the Labbit Custom Show too (opening next Thursday!)
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Postby coolray85 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 13:16 +0000

h my god!!!they have wakizashi and katana!?!?!?!....I am very excited about that, the paint job is not 100 per cent, but that's not too big an issue(if it IS usagi related anyway...)...
how do they paint usagi and the tokage on the wall?my first guess was that they're using an overhead projector since they are working very accurate!!.....I wish EVERYONE attending an awesome time!!!
abayo
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Postby coolray85 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 13:18 +0000

oh, are they following first lines on the walls maybe?
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Postby Stan Sakai » Fri Jul 08, 2011 14:38 +0000

coolray85 wrote:h my god!!!they have wakizashi and katana!?!?!?!


I think those wakizashi in the museum gift shop are really umbrellas.
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Postby Colin Solan » Fri Jul 08, 2011 17:54 +0000

Umbrellas shaped like katana?? WANT!!
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:45 +0000

More pictures from the JANM Facebook photo album


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Putting up vinyl text panels


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Teamwork!


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Lynn working with intense concentration


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Stan Sakai is here tonight for the Upper Level Members Reception for the opening of Year of the Rabbit


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JANM Volunteer Mary Karasawa gets her picture taken with the special Usagi cut-out


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Opening Reception is about to start!
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:55 +0000

And some pictures from the reception.....


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Akemi Kikumura Yano opens the program


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Chris Komai


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Maria Kwong shares Stan Sakai's background & how the show came to be


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Legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragones is talking glowingly about Stan Sakai.


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Stan & Sharon Sakai at the opening reception for Year of the Rabbit


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Stan Sakai w/Sergio Aragones
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:05 +0000

And even more great pictures from the JANM photo album......


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Stan quickly drew Usagi before an appreciative audience


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Sergio Aragones haves fun with the Usagi cut-out.


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Gwen shows off her treat from Stan!


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That's a lot of Usagi!


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New Usagi Yojimbo t-shirt at the Museum Store!


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Special Usagi Yojimbo hachimaki!

(they saved the best for last!) :D
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:14 +0000

Here are also some more Youtube videos from JANM

Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo: title wall time lapse

The interns at JANM make quick work of painting a giant Usagi on the main title wall. Short and sweet!


Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo: Gallery Preperations

Final preparations for the opening this Saturday!


Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo - PSA

Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
July 9 through October 30, 2011

A retrospective exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum celebrating the award-winning work of Stan Sakai—original drawings and paintings, a new video about Sakai from our award-winning Watase Media Arts Center, a special Usagi Yojimbo photo opportunity, and other fun activities designed by the artist.
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Postby runnah4life808 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:17 +0000

that t-shirt is sweet!
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:23 +0000

The Carrot and the Sword

JANM Exhibit Looks at a Samurai Rabbit
by Richard Guzmán
Published: Friday, July 8, 2011 4:32 PM PDT
LA Downtown News


DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - When it comes to comic book heroes, familiar characters like Batman, Spider-Man and Superman pop to mind.

That’s all well and good, but in Little Tokyo for the next three months, they’ll be a far second to a sword-wielding bunny known for slaying enemies in feudal Japan.

The exhibit Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo opened July 9. It runs through Oct. 30.

“He’s right up there with all of the better-known characters, and the storylines are original and keep you interested,” said 18-year-old Luis Villanueva, a South American tourist who on a recent trip to Little Tokyo was elated to find out that he would get to learn more about Yojimbo.

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The show will include original artwork featuring the comic book character created 27 years ago by Sakai. Images of the sword-wielding rabbit, in full 17th century samurai get-up, with his ears tied up to resemble a top-knot and a confident and intimidating stare, will adorn the exhibit.

The show will also include Yojimbo drawn by other artists, including the legendary Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, as well as a documentary that follows Sakai at Comic-Con, the annual comic book/fantasy convention in San Diego. Also included in the exhibit will be toys, clothing and a life-size cutout of the rabbit. Additionally, every Yojimbo comic book ever published, which includes 25 volumes of work, will be on display.

During a recent call from his Pasadena home, Sakai said he was pleased with how the show has been put together.

“They’ll see a lot of original artwork ranging from preparatory sketches to finished paintings,” Sakai said.

Yojimbo’s stories have been published in about a dozen languages. Chris Komai, a JANM spokesman, noted that there is a deep audience to tap into for the show.

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“He’s developed a real loyal following and it’s one of the most popular comic book characters of all time,” said Komai. “It’s based on real Japanese history, so it has a strong storyline, and since it’s been translated into several languages, he’s really popular all over the world.”

Ronin Rabbit

Sakai, 58, was born in Japan and raised in Hawaii. When he created Yojimbo in 1984, he originally envisioned a human based upon historical Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. But after drawing some rabbit ears on the samurai’s head, Sakai went in a different direction.

Yojimbo is a ronin, a samurai rabbit who wanders a feudal Japan populated by anthropomorphic animals. He often lends his services as a bodyguard in stories that are rich with historical details of life in Japan and usually follow a connecting theme of honor and revenge.

“These are the kinds of stories I would like to read myself,” Sakai said. “Plus he’s a funny animal, he’s a rabbit. It has more universal appeal as opposed to having a strictly Japanese character.”

Sakai grew up between two cultures. He was influenced by American comic books, but he also had a love of Japanese samurai films and the history of his birth land.

He studied fine arts at the University of Hawaii and attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He began his career lettering comic books. His credits include writing and illustrating a story for the annual Halloween episode of “The Simpsons.”

Although many people are unfamiliar with Sakai, the JANM show is not his first museum exhibit. His work has been featured at the Japan Tower in Belgium, the Society of Illustrators in New York, the Museum of Cartoon Art in San Francisco and the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

Sakai’s creation has outdone some of his better-known counterparts. Empire Magazine, a monthly British publication that focuses on movie news, reviews and previews, recently named him one of the 50 greatest comic book characters of all time. Yojimbo came in at number 31, beating out characters that have even been the stars of their own Hollywood films such as Daredevil and Green Lantern.

“The noble leporine’s longevity can be put down to an intriguing mix of historical and cinematic influence, cute fluffy bunniness and an ability to slice and dice with stunning efficiency,” the magazine wrote of Yojimbo.

While it would seem like the exhibit would work well as a tail for Anime Expo, the Downtown convention that closed July 4, that’s not the case. Sakai said Yojimbo is not as popular in Japan or with the anime crowd as he is in other parts of the world.

“There has never been any American or Western comic book that has ever made any type of significant dent in the Japanese market,” he noted.

He said it could come down to differences in storytelling style, since anime storylines are slower paced and American comics are more rushed.

Regardless, Sakai enjoys the freedom of creating a character that he can pretty much take in any direction.

“I have done love stories, I have done mysteries. Most of them are just plain adventures and many say something about Japanese culture, like one story I did which was just a tea ceremony from beginning to end and it’s one of my favorites,” he said.

One of his favorite elements of the JANM exhibit, Sakai said, is Yojimbo drawn by other artists, especially the Stan Lee version.

“He’s drawn as Spider-Man, so that’s a pretty rare piece,” he said.

So far though, there are no plans for Yojimbo to make it to the big screen like Spider-Man and other comic book counterparts. For now he’s a samurai, albeit one that is patient and cute as a bunny.

Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo runs through Oct. 30 at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St., (213) 625-0414 or janm.org.
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:31 +0000

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Usagi Yojimbo t-shirt - $18.00

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Usagi Yojimbo hachimaki - $9.95

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wakizashi Folding umbrella - $25.00
(Katana umbrella - $30.00 -in store purchase only)

The Japanese American National Museum gift store will ship throughout the US and also internationally.

These items should be added to the museum store's on-line catalog in approximately a week, buy can be ordered sooner through their toll-free phone order service during store hours.


Store Order Line
888-769-5559
(Tuesday - Sunday, 11 AM - 5 PM, PST)
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Postby coolray85 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:33 +0000

thanks for all the posts, guys!this way all of us who cannot be there in person can share the experience in mind.
arigato!
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Postby Todd Shogun » Sat Jul 09, 2011 17:59 +0000

Just got back from attending the exhibit. It was very well done and the activities for the kids were well-suited and very fun. I can't believe how concise it was....all the way down to the original Usagi head designs from 1980...it is all there!

I took a video of the exhibit and the activities and will compile and upload soon for those who could not make it.

Photos I took are here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 9a8b3de3b3
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Order your UYD Albedo NR 2 T-Shirt today! Only $12!

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Postby Maka » Sat Jul 09, 2011 19:14 +0000

I can't wait to see this. Looks great and a new shirt! Thanks for all the pictures. Peace, maka
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