Original drawings by Shigeru Komatsuzaki, the illustrator who created Tamiya’s box art, are on art exhibition display

Special Exhibition
Sci-fi / Adventure / Retrofuturism x Remake – The World of Katsuichi Kabashima and Shigeru Komatsuzaki –

Purpose of the event
A special exhibition reconstructed from the special exhibition “SF / Adventure / Retrofuturism-Our Dreams and Longing-“, which was canceled in March 2nd year of Reiwa due to the prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus infection will be held now. In this special exhibition, Katsuichi Kabashima, an illustrator who was active mainly in the magazine “Shonen Club” and was called “God of Pen Painting”. Shigeru Komatsuzaki aspired to be an illustrator, admiring the beautiful illustrations drawn by Kabashima, and later became a illustrator of science fiction (SF). Focusing on these two illustrators, we will introduce the culture of boys during and after the war and their transitions through their painting work.

Topic Exhibition Box art
The presence of Shigeru Komatsuzaki is indispensable as a spark for the plastic model boom that occurred in the early 1955’s.
Shunsaku Tamiya of Tamiya Model (currently Tamiya Co., Ltd.) writes a long letter to Komatsuzaki, relying on the reader column of “Ships of the World”, and asks him to produce box art. His first work was the wooden model “Aircraft Carrier Taiho” in 1961, followed by the famous “German Medium Tank Panther” as a box art of a plastic model. By adopting Komatsuzaki, which was popular with children, and by inspiring the imagination and purchasing motivation when assembling, many hit products were born from the Tamiya model.

Tamiya model “Aircraft carrier Taiho” original picture (wooden ship model small million series) Picture: Shigeru  Komatsuzaki Komatsuzaki’s first drawing of Tamiya model ship box art. Wooden models are called solid models and were the mainstream of models until the spread of plastic models. Taiho was Japan’s first heavily armored aircraft carrier completed in March 1945, but only three months after her completion, she sank in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. 1961 Tamiya Kura Co. , Ltd.

Topic Exhibition Kodansha “Complete Work of Boys and Girls World Science Adventures
In the 30’s of the Showa era, when the mainstay of boys’ magazines changed from picture stories to manga, Shigeru Komatsuzaki began to work on many cover paintings and frontispieces for science fiction, which he is good at. One of the masterpieces is Kodansha’s “Complete Works of Boys and Girls World Science Adventures”. Komatsuzaki was in charge of the cover and frontispieces for 34 volumes, except for one of the 35 volumes, and many children were fascinated by the beautiful works. This complete collection was popular with children as a science fiction book that can be read in school libraries.

Source and more information in Japanese language: Showa-Kan National Showa Memorial Museum