Manga Works Drawn by Niigata Manga Artists Have Started at Niigata Airport

With the theme of “The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island” which has a rare number and unusual diversity in the world and “Niigata’s Sake Breweries” produced by the rich rice-producing region

OK! We will back you up! - The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island (Graphic: Business Wire)

NIIGATA, Japan--()--The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan is holding a new initiative called the “Japanese cultural media arts dissemination initiative in airports and other institutions” for inbound tourists.

Overview of Exhibition at Niigata Airport

Date & Time:

Opens on Saturday, December 14, the first year of Reiwa (2019)


1F International Arrivals Lobby and International Arrivals Concourse, Niigata Airport, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture


This is an exhibition of manga works by artist OGAWA Etsushi and young manga artists from the Niigata Manga Business Association (also called “GATAMAN”) on the themes of “The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island” and “Niigata’s Sake Breweries”

Official website:

At Niigata Airport, the agency is exhibiting manga works on the theme of “The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island” in the 1F International Arrivals Lobby and manga works on the theme of “Niigata’s Sake Breweries” throughout the International Arrivals Concourse from Saturday, December 14, the first year of Reiwa (2019).

Sado Island is home to a total of 409 cultural properties designated by the country, prefecture, city, or nationally registered, making the island practically a cultural property itself. Its traditional entertainment was developed diversely while deeply rooted in the community, making it uniquely widespread and historically significant. You can also see valuable information about the history and performing arts of Sado at the Sado Museum. Niigata Prefecture, meanwhile, has the most sake breweries in Japan due to its abundance in rice, resulting in many breweries being designated as registered tangible cultural properties (buildings). There are many sake breweries where you can see how sake is brewed, for example, Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery in Niigata city which also supports inbound tourists. Along with prefecture’s traditional sake brewing culture, these properties are part of Niigata’s proud heritage.

This exhibition uses manga, an important cultural resource of modern Niigata, as a bridge to the imagination to dynamically convey to visitors arriving at Niigata Airport the aggressive expressionism and deep spirituality indigenous to Sado Island’s traditional entertainment, and welcome them to Niigata City, a city of breweries where ancient sake brewing lives on. Niigata is one of the most famous prefectures in Japan where many manga artists come from and has extensive manga related facilities such as The Niigata City Manga House and Niigata Manga Animation Museum.

We expect the familiarity, expressiveness, and accessibility inherent to manga to be even more powerful in this international context. Manga’s unique storytelling methods such as speech balloons, the impact of the background lines, and the facial expressions of the characters will convey the sounds, smells, and even humidity of places these visitors have never been, in a language common to all. We aimed to create an exhibition that piques intellectual and cultural curiosity by using the playful expressiveness of manga to display the traditional entertainment and sake culture that grew up in tandem with people’s lifestyles over many, many years.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs is hosting the “Japan Media Arts Distributed Museum” that will be deployed in 10 Japanese airports sequentially as part of a new project called the “Japanese cultural media arts dissemination initiative in airports and other institutions.”

The artists and creators featured in this exhibition capture the cultural resources borne out of various local cultures through fresh perspectives in places like airports, which serve as gateways to these regions. By showcasing the works of media arts, we invite visitors to explore the true spirit of these cultures throughout their travels.

Niigata Airport Exhibition Summary

Theme: The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island
Title: OK! We will back you up!

Despite the unique and diverse roots of Sado Island’s traditional entertainment, it has been a rarity not widely known because of the physical condition of Sado being an island, as well as the fact that they could only be observed during limited times. Hoping to create the opportunity to share this precious cultural resource with the many tourists to Japan, we asked manga artist OGAWA Etsushi, who is very popular throughout Asia, to portray a scene where his characters from “Cooking Master Boy” are attracted and backed up “on-deko”, or Japanese drumming to ward off evils.
Location: 1F International Arrivals Lobby

Theme: Niigata’s Sake Breweries
Title-1: Difficult to Drink Up! Too Many Breweries
Title-2: Impressed! Traditional Manufacturing

As the prefecture with the most breweries, Niigata has produced numerous sake brands. Using manga, we have illustrated the opportunity to know Japan’s traditional sake brewing culture through brewery tours. These works convey the spirit of inquiry and love toward making things, particularly the food and drink that is people’s daily nourishment, a theme also found in OGAWA Etsushi’s popular series “Cooking Master Boy”.
Location: International Arrivals Concourse

Manga Artist: OGAWA Etsushi
OGAWA made his debut with “KING OF TOWER” in Magazine Fresh (1995), a special issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine. His most famous works include the “Cooking Master Boy” series and “Angel’s Frypan”, which won the children’s category award at the 31st Kodansha Manga Awards in 2007. His current series is “True Cooking Master Boy KIWAMI” on Weekly Shonen Magazine’s app “MagaPoke”. Born in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, his grandfather was TSUBAKI Etsushi, a Western-style artist from Tochio and former Taiheiyo Art Association chairman. The TV animation “True Cooking Master Boy” is streaming every Friday at 2:45 p.m. EDT on “Crunchyroll”!

Comments: Combining the characters from my series “Cooking Master Boy”, which is set in China, with the culture of Niigata, my birthplace, I drew these from a place of wanting travelers from overseas to encounter and to feel Niigata culture. In the painting of Sado’s on-deko festival, I drew Mao and Shirou being invited to participate with the dancing demons and reverberating drums. In the two brewery tour paintings, I tried to depict Master Luo and Lei En (a drink-loving character) leading Mao and the others on a tour while being drawn into the world of Japanese sake.

Theme: The Traditional Entertainment of Sado Island
SADO” Island Showcases Japan’s Traditional Arts

We have turned dynamic illustrations of three dances: “Kojishimai” the folk culture designated by Sado City, “on-deko” the deity mask dance, and “Sado okesa” folk song and dance performance, into animated digital footage. With curation help from Niigata City, we approached the Niigata Manga Business Association (also called “GATAMAN”). GATAMAN’s young manga artists added original touches and colors to bring Sado’s traditional entertainment to life.
Location: 1F International Arrivals Lobby

Manga Artist: Misato
Born in Niigata Prefecture. Current series are “Sado Island Tokidoki Radio Girl” (Manga Cross, Akita Publishing) and “Hoshi no Koguma” (Princess, Akita Publishing).

Comments: To express the dynamic movement and lightness of the on-deko in just a few paintings, I rotated them. With hair flying and shoulder straps (tasuki) flipped over, the movement becomes increasingly like the on-deko. I paid particular attention to the beauty of the hands holding the sticks. The on-deko is a wild yet delicate and beautiful dance, and this is the charm I tried to convey in my drawings.

The first place winner of the Koma Manga category at the 18th Niigata Manga Competition and recipient of the Maya Mineo Excellence Award, among others. Mainly involved in illustration and manga production for association and corporate projects. Shares illustrations of animals and Japanese military leaders on Twitter (@sirokuronecoco).

Comments: I am so happy to have come into contact with Sado’s wonderful culture through my work, and I would love to see the real thing on Sado Island someday.

I depicted the rough waves of the Japan Sea while imagining the kojishimai dancers’ bodies like a wave pattern on an ukiyoe woodblock print.

Born in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture. An illustrator, creator, miko (assistant shrine priestess), and vice chair of the Niigata Manga Business Association. Very experienced in manga production for government and corporate PR materials.

Comments: The dancing figures in the Sado okesa swirl and circle with a beauty similar to the waves of the Japan Sea. Rather than trying to be too original, I wanted to convey traditional virtue by using a kimono wave pattern. In the facial expressions, I tried to portray the uniquely alluring atmosphere of faces mostly hidden by the conical hats but peeking out every so often.

Creative Producer: FUJIHANE (FujiwaraHaneda GK)
This art project management duo is the two women who launched Warehouse TERRADA’s art business. Offering art production direction, planning, artist/artwork selection, and consulting to mainly corporate clients, their major projects include Warehouse TERRADA’s art business, Spiral/Wacoal Art Center (Tokyo Art Flow 00, Shu Shu Shu Show, Spiral Art Lounge, etc.), RIMOWA JAPAN’s Ginza flagship store art event, the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Art Summit office, P.O. Real Estate (POLA)’s art studio planning, the Haneda Tenkubashi Area Waterfront Events Committee (a project to bring people to Ota Ward’s waterfront), an Oketa Collection exhibition, and producing an art museum with WOW Inc.

The Art & Natural History Museum of SADO

Sado with an old history. Rocks and fossils that show the origin of Sado. And the flora and fauna and marine life engulfed in the great ocean and rich nature. Archaeological sites leading from the Jomon period to ancient times. Furthermore, in the history of Sado, many nobles and cultural people have been nurtured and raised their own culture. The development of the gold and silver mine became one of the sources of Japan's finances. This is a general museum that collects and displays materials such as Sado's precious nature, climate, archeology, history, art, and entertainment. In addition, in the exhibition space there are materials of Japanese painting master Bakusen Tsuchida, a rock garden that gathers rocks of Sado such as red cobblestone and the former Asashima family house which is an old private house with a thatched roof.

Name: The Art & Natural History Museum of SADO
Address: 2041 Yahata, Sado City, Niigata, Japan 952-1311
Tel: +81-25-952-2447

Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery

Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery, founded 1767. Located within walking distance from Niigata Station, this brewery is located in the Nuttari Kamosu area where fermented food manufacturers such as sake, miso, natto, and soy sauce have gathered from long time ago. The brewery has tours every day and conveys the world of sake brewing, a Japanese tradition. Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery sought the original form of sake, sake made from rice. Since 2006 Imayo Tsukasa's sake has been produced entirely in pure rice without any addition of alcohol. It uses the famous water “Suganadake Spring water” as a raw material, and brews fresh liquor that enhances the cuisine. It revived Japan's very precious Kioke jikomi (preparation using a wooden bucket) sake for the first time in about 60 years in 2010. You can actually see three Kiokes (wooden bucket) in all.

Name: Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery
Address: 1-1 Kagamigaoka Chuo-ku, Niigata City, Japan 950-0074
Tel: +81-25-245-0325

Tour Information

Brewery Tour:


Days of Operation:

Every Day (Except 12/31-1/3)

Tour Length:

About 30 minutes




1-7 people, not required. 8-40 people, please make a reservation in advance.

English tour:

Available from 2:00 pm every weekday (1-7 people, reservation not required).


English, Chinese and Korean leaflets are available.

The Niigata City Manga House

This is a facility that recreates the world of gag manga artists related to Niigata and you can experience manga production. There are introductions of masterpieces by AKATSUKA Fujio, MAYA Mineo, NIIZAWA Motoe and ENDO Koichi. There are corners where you can shoot in the same pose as the character and a life-size figure of the character, so you can touch the charm of the work. In addition, a manga lecture “Manga First Step” is held every day as a place for production experience. You can read manga anytime in “Manga Room”.

Name: The Niigata City Manga House
Address: GEO Furumachi-dori 6 Bldg Floors 1 & 2, 6-971-7 Furumachi-dori, Chuo-ku, Niigata City, Japan 951-8063
Tel: +81-25-201-8923

Niigata Manga Animation Museum

This is the information dissemination base for “Niigata, the city of manga and anime”, which has produced many popular manga artists and anime creators. Here we introduce the profile of Niigata-related manga artist / animation creator, the masterpiece, and the flow until the creation of manga / anime. This is a museum with a lot of charm of manga and anime in where you can play with popular characters corner, experience voice actors corner and a mini theater. Various special exhibitions are held throughout the year.

Name: Niigata Manga Animation Museum
Address: Billboard Place 2 , Floor 1, 2-5-7 Bandai City, Yachiyo, Chuo-ku, Niigata City, Japan 950-0909
Tel: +81-25-240-4311

Overview of Exhibition at Niigata Airport (Details)

Date & Time:

Opens on Saturday, December 14, the first year of Reiwa (2019)


*Viewing time corresponds to Niigata Airport facility operation times.


1F International Arrivals Lobby, International Arrivals Concourse

*The works displayed within the International Arrivals Concourse are available for viewing only for passengers arriving on international flights.


OGAWA Etsushi, Misato, necoco, NANAO Saori

Creative producer:

FUJIHANE (FujiwaraHaneda GK)


Niigata Airport Building Corporation, Niigata Prefecture, Niigata Prefectural Tourism Association, Niigata City, Sado City, Sado Cultural Foundation, Sado Knowledge Center, Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.


Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan

“Japanese cultural media arts dissemination initiative in airports and other institutions in the first year of Reiwa”



Yukinori Aoki
Japan Media Arts Distributed Museum Office PR Team


Yukinori Aoki
Japan Media Arts Distributed Museum Office PR Team