Illustration and blade that inspired it to be shown together at Tokyo museum.
Tokyo’s Roppongi is best known for its high concentration of bars and night clubs, but there’s also some high-minded culture to be found in the neighborhood. On the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills entertainment complex is the Mori Art Museum, which is currently holding The Universe and Art, an exhibition of artistic visions of the cosmos both historical and contemporary.
One of the most impressive items on display is a 68.6-centimeter (27-inch) katana, crafted in 1898 by master swordsmith Kunimine Okayoshi. Adding to its striking beauty is the fact that it was forged with iron deposits taken from a meteorite, similar to the blade previously exhibited at the Tokyo Skytree.
▼ Kunimine Okayoshi’s Meteorite Sword
A compelling mix of historical and fantastical elements, the sword has sparked the imaginations of many who’ve gazed upon it, including celebrated artist Yoshitaka Amano. While Amano’s big break came when he was chosen as the character designer for 1970s anime TV series Gatchaman, he’s best known now for his frequent artistic contributions to the Final Fantasy video game series (plus an awesome placemat at the Square Enix Cafe).
Now, Amano has joined Japan’s burgeoning anthropomorphized sword art movement with an exquisitely detailed illustration reimagining Okayoshi’s Meteorite Sword as a handsome young man, who’s also holding the weapon that served as his inspiration.
Amano’s latest creation will be added to the collected works on display at The Universe and Art on November 23. The exhibition is scheduled to run until January 9, giving visitors a chance to see the actual Meteorite Sword and its anthropomorphized versions in the same venue, and also to marvel at the artistic skill of a man whose muses include both century-old katana and David Bowie.
The Universe and Art / 宇宙と芸術展
Venue: Mori Art Museum / 森美術館
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku Roppongi 6-10-1, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53rd floor
東京都港区六本木６丁目１０−１ 六本木ヒルズ森タワー 53F
Open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays)
Admission 1,600 yen (US$15.50) (adults), 1,100 yen (university/high school students), 600 yen (children 4 and up)
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