Eshi-100 Exhibition

If you're a manga and anime fan visiting Japan during its Golden Week holiday, which is exceptionally long this year due to Emperor's abdication, you'll definitely want to visit the annual Eshi-100 Exhibition in Akihabara.

Eshi 絵師 is a term which simultaneously denotes the Ukiyoe painters (浮世絵師 ukiyoeshi) of the Edo Period (1603-1868) and today, manga and anime illustrators or artists who create works in a similar style.

This year's theme: 時代 jidai

The exhibition, sponsored by Sankei Shimbun, has had different themes in its nine years of existence. In recognition of the end of the Heisei Era and the beginning of the Reiwa Era, the timing of which coincides with the exhibition this year, the theme for the 9th iteration of Eshi-100 is 時代 jidai, which alternately means "era," "period," "age," or "the times."

"We use the word jidai to mark off a specific period within the course of time. Within history, it refers to governments and societies. Within culture, it refers to the age or living environments of individual human beings. Society and people continually change with the times. In 2019, we will witness the end of the Heisei Era and welcome a new one. Through these works on the theme of jidai we hope you'll have a chance to encounter various scenes and human activities, to reexamine the past and contemplate the future.

Theme statement, Eshi-100 website

According to the press release, through the 100 works on display at the exhibition this year, "you will be able to enjoy works expressing the theme of jidai as seen through the eyes of the illustrators, including works expressing the present times through such things as virtual reality(...)"

For example, you'll see cura's V旅行 (V ryokō, "V Travel"), portraying a virtual trip to London:

Illustration by © cura / Exhibition sponsored by © Sankei Shimbun / Source: © PR Times, Inc.


You'll need to wait until the exhibition opens to see most of the other 100 works, but you can already get a preview at the exhibition website's gallery page here and check the complete list of participating illustrators here.

Autograph signing

Every day of the exhibition, between 2 to 5 illustrators will make themselves available to sign a maximum of 50 autographs. If you'd like an autograph, you'll be able to enter a lottery to be one of the lucky 50 if you buy an exhibition catalog between 10 am and 11:30 am at the goods corner. Not all illustrators whose works will be exhibited will participate, so be sure to check the list and schedule here.

Goods Shop

There will also be a wide selection of goods available for purchase, beginning with the exhibition catalog (and previous two years' catalogs), tapestries in several sizes, decorative fans, screens, decorated boxes, posters of various sizes, plastic folders, smartphone accessories, mouse pads, keychains, clocks, pen cases, printed tote bags, straps, and more. You will also be able to purchase reproductions of works on exhibit. (These are printed on demand and shipped within Japan, so you may need to use a forwarding service to have it sent abroad). Although the page is unfortunately lacking images, all the details are listed here (in Japanese).

Collaborations with Akihabara businesses

Finally, Eshi-100 is collaborating with Akihabara bookstores, anime goods shops, doujin shops and bars to offer discounts and gifts to customers who show their ticket stub from the exhibition. More information on participating businesses is available (in Japanese) here.

Exhibition Details

  • Name (JP): 絵師100人展
  • Name (EN): Eshi-100 - Exhibition of 100 Leading Anime and Manga Illustrators
  • Dates: From April 27th to May 6th
  • Times: 10 am to 8 pm (last entry 7:30 pm)
  • Location (JP): アキバ・スクエア(東京都千代田区外神田4-14-1 秋葉原UDX2F)
  • Location (EN): Akiba Square (Akihabara UDX 2F, 4-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyko)
  • Admission: 1,000 JPY if you're at least high school age, free if you're younger.
  • Official Website: 絵師100人展
  • Sponsored by Sankei Shimbun

By - Ben K.