Press Tour (No.085)


Foreign Correspondents' Press Tour in Kansai

Organized by The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion

Cooperated by Kyoto City 

September 19 (Fri.)-20(Sat.), 2014




"Culture of KYOTO on the International Stage" 

 Manga-Anime and Machiya



■ Manga (comics) and Anime (animation)


- "Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2014”, the largest trade fair for Manga and Anime in Western Japan.

- Briefing on the efforts to create a new industry collaborated with Manga-Anime by Kyoto city govt. officer

- Combination with traditional craftworks "Kyo-Kurozome (black dyeing)" and "Kyoto ware/ Kiyomizu ware


■ Machiya (traditional merchant's house)

- Kyoto city is recruiting an entrepreneur, who will utilize a traditional building in Gion-shinbashi to become a bridge between Kyoto and the world!







This tour covers two of cultural topics of Kyoto; "Manga-Anime" and "Machiya". Manga is one element of "Cool Japan". It has gained popularity overseas, as well as Japan. Now "Manga" is a universal word. Kyoto Seika University is the first university in Japan with a "Manga Department", which established the "Kyoto International Manga Museum" in collaboration with Kyoto city as the base for Manga culture. "Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair", the largest comprehensive trade fair for Manga and Anime in Western Japan, has been held annually since 2012. They have attracted a considerable amount of attention so that Kyoto is now a trendsetter of Manga-Anime culture, and allowed expanding content markets in Kyoto.


The press tour covers efforts to create a new industry collaborated with Manga-Anime, and its progress. It is also scheduled to cover new attempts to produce goods of "Kyo-Kurozome" and "Kyoto Ware/ Kiyomizuyaki Ware" with Manga-Anime. On the second day of the tour, the tour visits "Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2014" held on September 20 and 21, and "Kyoto International Manga Museum".



The tour also covers unique efforts of Kyoto city to utilize Machiya. The city has engaged in the project for leasing a 120 year old Machiya in Gion-Shinbashi(The city is recruiting an entrepreneur.)







*For the details, please refer to the following "Highlights of this Tour"

*Illustration: Tomoe-chan, Official character of Kyoto Int’l Manga Anime Fair

*Photo: Townscape of Gion Shinbashi  



Tour Date Sep 19(Fri) - Sep 20(Sat),2014
Qualification Bearer of Press Registration Card issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tour Fee Please refer to the attached application form
Organized by

The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion

Osaka Nakanoshima Building 7F, 2-2-2 Nakanoshima Kitaku, Osaka City 

Cooperated by Kyoto City
Capacity 12 reporters (1 reporter from each company, 2 for a TV company - 2 TV companies max for this tour)
Closing date/time for Application Aug 13(Wed),2014 04:00 PM
Please note and understand the following points before your application and participation.

■The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion, in cooperation with Kyoto City, organizes this press tour with a goal of disseminating information from Kyoto/Kansai, directly to the world through the participants' articles based on press activities during the tour. We ask each participant for his/her understanding and cooperation.

■Applications will be accepted on this page by the time of the above-mentioned deadline, but please note that if the number of applicants has reached the prescribed number before your application, your name will be put on a waiting list for cancellation.

■The Foundation may set an upper limit on the number of participants from each country/region and may decide participants in view of their past records based on the press tours if the reporters joined in the past, when it receives oversubscribed applications.

■The Foundation shall bear no responsibility whatsoever for any accidents or inconveniences that may arise during a press tour. The itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

The Highlights of the Tour


=== Manga・Anime ===


■Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2014 (KYOMAF)



The largest trade fair for Manga and Anime in Western Japan has been held annually since 2012. Kyoto city, the organizer of the fair, aims to create and revitalize content markets in Kansai district, as the market has been centered in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, and to provide business opportunities for enterprises in Kansai to collaborate with Manga-Anime enterprises (located mainly in Tokyo) which own copyrights to characters of Manga-Anime. The city also aims to provide a place for young Manga creators in Kansai to gain experience as well as to attract both domestic and international tourists to Kyoto through Manga and Anime. The fair includes exhibitions, business meetings, and stage events at the Kyoto International Exhibition Hall (Miyakomesse), and other relevant events at the Kyoto International Manga Museum and in sites around Heian Shrine.


The tour will visit on the first day of the fair to cover the opening ceremony. Display booths will be set up where new products and goods are promoted and sold by various enterprises such as publishers and Anime companies, and hands-on booths where visitors can enjoy the charms of traditional industry in Kyoto through Manga and Anime.


Please note that it is difficult to tour in a group, as the venue is expected to be crowded. After advance briefing on must-see places, participants will cover the venue individually. Thank you for your understanding.

[Illustration: the official character of KYOMAF, Tomoe-Chan]



■Examples of combination in Kyoto's traditional craftworks and Manga-Anime



Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair (KYOMAF) provides opportunities of business matching with Manga-Anime enterprises and enterprises in Kyoto. The goods are specially developed in collaboration with Manga-Anime and Kyoto traditional crafts, which is one of the highlights of the fair.


There is no doubt that Kyoto has cultivated Japanese traditional culture and industry since long ago. It is true that some of these products are very famous, but products in small scale industry relatively do not stand out. By developing new products combined with local industry and new culture such as Manga-Anime, Kyoto city creates business opportunities for the local industry with a long history. The city also aims to provide opportunities for young people and foreign people, who are not familiar with Japanese traditional culture and industry, to discover the charms and value of Kyoto.


It is difficult to use desired characters of Manga-Anime for products, because there are many rules for commercializing character goods. Therefore, Kyoto city has supported enterprises in Kyoto and enterprises with copyrights to Manga-Anime characters, which facilitates planning, contraction, advertising, and selling products. The tour introduces Kyo-Kurozome and Kiyomizu Ware that will be exhibited for the first time this year.

[Photo: KYOMAF of the past year]




[Kyo-Kurozome (black dyeing), Banba Senkogyo Co., Ltd.]



There is a saying, "Color of a crow with wet feathers", meaning "shiny black". Kyo-Kurozome, black dyeing in Kyoto, has pursued the color for long time. It is famous for Kuro-Montsuki (black kimono decorated with one's family crest) and Kuro-Tomesode (black formal kimono), started in Shijo-Nishinotoin (Kyoto city) in the Edo period (1603-1867). The tour visits Banba Senkogyo Co., Ltd., a dye studio set up 144 years ago.


Ms. Maki Banba (49), the fifth family head succeeded to the name, “Hiiragiya Shinshichi”, in 2006, applies her experience as a textile designer to Kyo-kurozome, and disseminates information relevant to the charms of black dyeing. While cherishing tradition, she re-dyes clothes into black, develops unique goods. Black goods with "Hana-Komon”, literally meaning “individual flower symbol”, instead of conventional family crest, is one example. There are 366 Hana-Komon patterns for birthday symbols, which express flowers of each season. The goods in collaboration with Manga-Anime sold at KYOMAF are another example.


The tour will visit the studio to meet Ms. Banba who is attracting a lot of media attention as "a young woman artist preserving the history and tradition of Kyoto black dyeing". Participants will make black dyeing goods with their own Hana-Komon, too.



[Kyoto Ware/ Kiyomizu Ware]



Kyoto Ware/ Kiyomizu Ware is one of traditional pottery of Kyoto. "Kyoto Ware/ Kiyomizu Ware" is its official name, and designated as traditional craft by the government of Japan. Tea utensils and tea bowls were first manufactured in Kyoto in the late 16th century. During the course of its long history, the skills of Kyoto Ware/ Kiyomizu Ware have spawned a number of masterpieces. The techniques and designs had a great impact on other potteries.


Over the years, Kyoto Ware has decreased its production due to cheaper mass-produced pottery, lifestyle changes, and lack of successors. Under such circumstances, the Kiyomizuyaki Cooperative Association attempts to create products collaborated with Manga-Anime to appreciate the charm and skill of the pottery. The pottery with characters will be sold at KYOMAF this year, and they hope young people and foreign tourists come to like their products.


The tour visits a pottery studio, and will interview a leading member of the Kiyomizuyaki Cooperative Association about their attempt and prospect.







■Kyoto International Manga Museum



The Kyoto International Manga Museum was established by Kyoto Seika University in collaboration with Kyoto city in November of 2006 with the aims of fostering Manga-Anime, a new culture that Japan boasts to the world and passing the culture down the generations. It holds more than 300,000 items including precious historical materials, modern popular works, and the works from around the world. The "Wall of Manga" stores about 50,000 copies of Manga available for visitors to read freely and spans 200 meters throughout the building (Photo). Visitors can read those comics on the lawn outside. The building on the site of the former Tatsuike Primary School has been designated as a national cultural asset in July, 2008.


The tour covers the museum specialized in Manga, the comprehensive cultural facility that serves as a museum, library, and research institute of Manga.






=== “Machiya”  ===


■Efforts to preserve and utilize Kyo-Machiya



Kyo-Machiya, which has ingenuity to enjoy the seasons, is a basic architectural style of Kyoto. Machiya is a place where people have comfortably lived, worked, learned, and relaxed. It is still utilized for houses and work places as a symbol of the history and culture in Kyoto.


Machiya, however, has many problems related to aging, preventing disaster, changing lifestyle, remaining empty, and being demolished. There are about 48,000 Machiya in Kyoto city as of 2009 but about 10% of them is vacant. It is concerned that the traditional scenery of Kyoto would be lost in near future. The City Planning Bureau of Kyoto city leads to make efforts on preservation and renovation of Machiya and on handing down and increasing the value of Machiya.


After briefed about situations and tasks of Machiya, the tour will cover one of the examples of utilizing traditional Machiya in Gion-Shinbashi.

[Photo: upper, Nishijin town; lower, Gion-Shinbashi town]





■An entrepreneur, who will utilize a traditional building in Gion-shinbashi and become a bridge between Kyoto and the world, has been wanted!



Gion has flourished as a shrine town of Yasaka shrine for long time, "Gion-Shinbashi" is one of the more famous spots in Kyoto, where Chaya-style Machiya stand in rows and Geisha and Maiko walk down. The area is designated as "Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings" by the government of Japan.


Kyoto city is recruiting an entrepreneur who will utilize a 120-year-old Machiya (Upper Photo) in Gion-Shinbashi. The Machiya is an elegant two-story wooden house along Shira-Kawa canal. Especially in spring the sight of cherry trees in full bloom arranged along the canal is breathtaking. The Machiya had been used for a Japanese restaurant where Geisha and Maiko were regularly visited. But the Machiya was donated to Kyoto city by the wishes of the late mistress of the restaurant. The city has decided to lease the building to a private business operator with the aim of adding new attraction to the region.


Applicants should be business operators with corporate status, and be required to disseminate the culture of Kyoto to the world, preserving the old rows of houses and its elegance. The period of lease is 10 years in principle. The minimum rent is not less than 504,000 yen per month. The city pays necessary expenses including repairs for earthquake-proofing. The city will accept proposals up to the end of September of this year, and choose a business operator at the experts meeting in October. The city plans for the new business to open within the next fiscal year. The city accepts proposals from abroad, too.

Officers of the City Planning Bureau will guide you to the Machiya.

[Lower Photo: a view of Shira-Kawa canal from a bridge of the property]




Sep 19(Fri)


Start of the tour at Kyoto Station

[Press Activity 1] Briefing on themes of this tour @Miyakomesse
・Introduction on Kyoto city and Manga Anime culture, related industrial promotion efforts, highlights of Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair "KYOMAF"
・Efforts to preserve and utilize traditional "machiya" houses


[Press Activity 2] "Machiya" preservation/utilization efforts (on site)

[Press Activity 3-4] Combination in Kyoto's traditional craftworks and Manga-Anime
(1) Banba-senkogyo Co., Ltd. (Traditional Black Dyeing) 
(2) Kyoto Ware/Kiyomizuyaki Pottery

Overnight stay in Kyoto City


Sep 20(Sat)


*This tour uses public transportation such as city subway for Day 2.

Meet in hotel lobby

[Press Activity 5] Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair “KYOMAF”(on site)

Lunch at "Sanmi-koan", a 100 year old "machiya" restaurant designated as a building preserves historical scenic beauty

[Press Activity 6] Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair Related Event (on site)

[Press Activity 7] Kyoto International Manga Museum

End of Tour at Kyoto Station