Toshio Suzuki and Ghibli Exhibition: Feel The Powerful Magic of Words by Tiffany:

Toshio Suzuki and Ghibli Exhibition: Feel The Powerful Magic of Words
Any talk about Studio Ghibli will bring to mind the legendary Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata, but perhaps some fans may be less familiar with Toshio Suzuki. As the producer and former president, Suzuki is as integral to the studio’s success as Miyazaki and Takahata. Thanks to the dynamic trio of Miyazaki, Suzuki, and Takahata, Ghibli films are critically acclaimed, well-loved hits all over the world.
toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim
If you’re a Ghibli aficionado and/or you want to know more about Suzuki, you’re in luck! April 20, 2019 marked the launch of a Suzuki-centric exhibition, simply called Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli. Held at the newly opened Edo Culture Complex (EDOCCO) center on the grounds of Kanda Myojin, one of Tokyo’s most famous shrines, the exhibition runs from April 20 (Saturday) to May 12 (Sunday), 2019.

What to expect at the Toshio Suzuki and Ghibli Exhibition

toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim
In addition to being a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Suzuki is also a talented calligrapher, so the exhibition features some of his writings. Suzuki is a believer in the power of words, and indeed, as you walk through the venue, you too will feel the magic of words.
toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim
You’ll see Suzuki’s inspirations–old-school, Showa-era (1926-1989) manga and films–and learn more about the trajectory of his career. While explanations are only in Japanese, and there are sadly no multilingual audio guides as of this writing, there’s more than enough for you to see and enjoy even if you can’t understand Japanese. If you’ve ever wondered what anime magazines from the ’70s looked like, or what a handwritten thesis looks like& well, you’ll wonder no more once you check out this exhibition.
Suzuki’s love for the written word didn’t just stop at calligraphy; his way with words also helped him brilliantly craft the copy for Ghibli films’ promotional materials. Did you know that the taglines for many Ghibli films have the word “live” (ikiro in Japanese) or some variation of it? Thanks to this exhibition, now you know! Be sure to have a look at Suzuki’s documents, notes, sketches, handwritten versions of Ghibli films’ taglines, and more.
Yubaba | Photo by Tiffany Lim
And now for the fun part. Time to have your fortune told. Take your pick from the imposing Yubaba or her twin sister Zeniba, who’s just as imposing. Yubaba’s got luck-related fortunes up her sleeve (er, mouth), while Zeniba has love-related ones. Unfortunately, you can’t line up for both.
toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionZeniba | Photo by Tiffany Lim
Reach into either sister’s mouth, pull out a number, and head to the nearby drawers. Find your number, and take a fortune. Don’t worry; this one’s got English translations. Heed Yubaba’s reminder to take good care of your new “name” (i.e. fortune), and off you go.
toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim
Finally, at the end of the exhibition, you’ll find merchandise, in case you want to take home the magic with you. Not only event-exclusive items, but also some popular items from the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, are in store.
toshio suzuki and ghibli exhibitionPhoto by Tiffany Lim
Downstairs, you’ll also find the shrine selling limited-edition Ghibli-themed omamori (charms) and _ema _(prayer tablets). While ema are typically used to write prayers or wishes, and then left on shrine grounds, you can take these tablets home.

Tips

  • Especially if you’re visiting on a weekend or holiday, be prepared to wait in line just to get into the gallery. While not tiny, it’s not huge enough to accommodate too many people, either.
  • Save time by buying tickers from Loppi, Lawson’s ticketing service (link in Japanese only).
  • If you don’t want to spend too much time in line waiting for your fortune, the line for Zeniba’s love fortunes is shorter.
  • Are you a merch hound? If so, check out not only the shop at the end of the exhibition, but also the first floor of EDOCCO and the shrine’s stand for lucky items. Each area has its own merch related to the exhibition.
    Can’t make it to the exhibition? Check out the permanent Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

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