Descending from wherever unkillable highschool girls, reanimated zombie fish monsters, and human-shaped-holes materialize, horror manga god Junji Ito will be putting on an exhibition of his art in Ginza. Junji’s art exhibit’s title is ‘Ike Sekai’, roughly translating to ‘A Different World’. The exhibition also coincides with the release of his first major illustration book of the same name, Junji Ito Artworks: Ike Sekai. It’ll be held in the Span Art Gallery in Ginza, and Ito himself will be holding an autograph session at the exhibition April 6, 2019.
There’s no doubting the popularity of Junji Ito recently. He’s always been great, and well respected, but he’s gone from beloved cult favorite to one of the biggest names in anime and manga. If you’re in the United States, you can walk into any Hot Topic and buy a number of actually quite well-designed shirts and hoodies featuring Junji Ito’s art. I don’t know how you get much bigger than that.
While Junji Ito’s works have been available internationally for almost 20 years, his current popularity really started to ramp up about ten years ago. With the advent of image-based social media like Instagram, Tumblr, and even Twitter, Ito’s beautiful, mesmerizing, and horrifying art exploded. Heavy on the inks, a high technical ability, and having the writing skills to not just be an illustrator but a great manga creator, Junji Ito became a staple in the subculture. There are other horror greats reading of course, like Kazuo Umezu who Ito takes direct influence from, and his contemporary Usumaru Furuya an underrated gem. But none of reached Ito’s level of acclaim.
If you’re unfamiliar, we recommend thumbing through a copy of Uzumaki or one of his recent short story collections ASAP. If you are but still need more Ito, buy the new art book! And if that’s not enough? Fly to Japan, head to Ginza, and check out his gallery exhibition. Set to open March 23, those interested in checking out further information can head over to his official website.