The MAK exhibition Nippon Chinbotsu. Japan Sinks. A Manga is dedicated to the visual aesthetics and graphic-art quality of manga, which have risen into a mass phenomenon of contemporary
culture far beyond the isles of Japan. Rather than being descriptive, the expressive visual medium Manga mingles fiction and
Ishiki took the inspiration for his manga series from the best-selling novel Nippon Chinbotsu, first published in 1973, by science fiction writer Sakyou Komatsu (19312011).
Beginning with the predicted doom of Japan, which, according to one scientist, is about to be entirely destroyed within a
little less than one year by earthquakes, Ishikis manga interweaves several narrative strands, of which the two most
important address the questions of ifand howthe Japanese population can be evacuated and eventually rescued, as
well as of how the threatening uncontrollable destruction of a high-technology nation might be averted.
The MAK exhibition focuses on the graphic-art qualities of Nippon Chinbotsu. The genesis of this manga is traced through original drawings, from the first sketches of ideas to the different stages
of the fine drawings and to the printed books. Animated films make it possible to look over Ishikis shoulder
and to witness the meticulousness and patience with which he developed his manga. Selected blown-up graphic-art prints bring
out the filmic element of the originally much smaller comic strips.
Tokohiko Ishikis manga drawing is characterized by his free and dynamic pencil work. Ishiki first made a name for himself
as a sports manga artist. His breakthrough was a series named Derby Jockey (19992004), which made him a successful manga artist known well beyond the borders of Japan. Nippon Chinbotsu was published as weekly comic-strip sequels in a total of 15 volumes from 2006 to 2009.
Curator Johannes Wieninger, Curator, MAK Asia Collection