Jul 4, 2019
The well known Japanese animation legend Takahata Isao (勲 畑 勲, born in Ujiyamada, Mie Prefecture) was a director and producer of many famous anime series and films. His works Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Anne of Green Gables and Grave of the Fireflies are especially popular around the world. Takahata Isao was also a co-founder of the animation studio, Studio Ghibli, where he worked on many projects like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
Takahata died at the age of 82 on April 5, 2018 in Tokyo (lung cancer).
In Takahata's honor, an exhibition about his life and works can be viewed from July 2 until October 6, 2019 at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo -- Takahata Isao – A Legend In Japanese Animation Exhibition
The exhibition starts with a walk through a little bamboo forest, where you can listen to the music of the movie, "The Tale Princess Kaguya", which was also the final movie as a director for Takahata.
The next two rooms will bring you to the life story of Takahata and a huge timeline of his works, but also about other famous anime and events during the same time. Takahata also talks in some videos about his passion for animated films and how he got interested in animation.
After that you can explore many smaller rooms featuring his old and new works. The rooms show the developing of animated expressions in many scripts and scenes. Starting with his very old works from the 60s, “Ken, the wild boy” and “Little Norse Prince Valiant” to the newer works of “Adventure of Panda and friends”, Heidi, Girl of the Alps” and “Anne of Green Gables”. Every anime gets its own small area where you can see scripts, small movies and also the original places of the landscapes.
In particular the anime, Heidi, girl of the Alps gets its own very huge area where you can also find a miniature version of the Alpine town and house in which Heidi lives.
The last part of the Takahata Isao exhibition is about his time working at Studio Ghibli. You will get an insight into the works of “Grave of the Fireflies”, “Only Yesterday”, “Pom Poko”, “My Neighbors the Yamadas” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”.
One of most impressive parts of the exhibition for me was a huge wall picture of the Grave of the Fireflies, where many small fireflies were lit up. Even though the anime itself is very sad, this picture looked amazing beautiful.
At the end of the exhibition is a small store, where you can get different kinds of goods from most of the anime featured in the A Legend In Japanese Animation Exhibition. Most of the products are limited to the exhibition so cannot be bought anywhere else.
Close to the entrance/exit of the exhibition you can take a look into Heidi's alpine hut. The hut is in its original size and beautifully decorated in detail. You can also meet Heidi's lazy dog there.
The whole of the Takahata Isao exhibition is in Japanese and English (some parts also have Chinese/Korean), which is really great for foreign visitors. It is also possible to get an audio guide for 550 yen.
Takahata Isao – A Legend In Japanese Animation Exhibition is absolutely recommended for fans of Takahata Isao and his works. Since the exhibition space is very large, you should plan 1-2 hours for a visit.
Entrance fee: Adult = 1,500 yen, Students = 1,100 yen, Children = 600 yen
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (closed on Mondays, July 16, August 13, September 17, September 24)
Access: 3 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Tozai Line Takebashi Station Exit 1b
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo, but my true love belongs to the countryside of Japan (especially Chiba and Hokkaido). I love traveling in Japan and explore hidden areas.
I want to help people with my articles to get in touch with the Japanese culture and all the beautiful places you can explore.
Besides traveling around, I love trains, handcraft and my little rabbits.