My latest art acquisitions: a Hokusai and a Cel-ga
On Friday I acquired two very different works of Japanese fine art.
One was a very rare and wonderful find: an original Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), whose “Great Wave off Kanagawa” is one of the best-known works of Japanese art, titled “Wavy shadow of Mount Fuji” from the “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, Vol. 2” Series, created in 1835. The “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji” series was featured by the British Museum in 2001 and is part of the MET Museum collection in New York.
Hokusai has always been one of my favorite artist in the world, and it makes me very happy to have this piece join my collection.
The other one was a sketch and a Cel-ga #B-29 (painting on celluloid sheet used for hand-made animation) of Lukio, one of the main characters of “Kimba the White Lion” (or “Jungle Emperor”), a Japanese shōnen manga series created by Osamu Tezuka which was serialized in the Manga Shōnen magazine from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime based on the manga was created by Mushi Production and was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1965 to 1967. It was the first color animated television series created in Japan, produced by Tezuka Productions. The theatrical version of “Jungle Emperor”, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, was released in Japan on July 31, 1966.
The reason why this is a very special piece for me is because I had used the case of “Jungle Emperor” in my Intellectual Property classes for years, as a very clear-cut example of plagiarism: Disney plagiarized it when they released “Lion King” (1994). To add insult to offense, they not only deny it, but also threatened to litigate to have “Jungle Emperor” forbidden from US distribution. So now I have this Cel-ga as a reminder of the value of originality and creativity, a homage to what’s genuine and true.