Heading to Tokyo

Daisuke Kusakari, the curator of the Snoopy Museum in Tokyo, has sent me photos to whet my appetite for our mission there to present our comic strips and archives from the Charles M Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. I think readers will enjoy seeing these advance photos also.  Two of our Museum staff members are there now unpacking and cataloging each item before it can go on display.

I have gathered all my Peanuts wardrobe, filling a suitcase, and ‎am ready to go. I will be sending follow up messages to this blog.

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Snoopy signs are everywhere in Roppongi station, where our museum is located.

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This billboard in a nearby train station is advertising Cafe Blanket, the restaurant inside Snoopy Museum Tokyo.

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Visitors are greeted by Snoopy statues outside the Museum.

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This is taken some days ago, after we put up the lighted sign. So beautiful at night, too.

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Someone is watching me. I thought I was alone getting my things settled in my seat on the plane. I’ll be curious to know if this Little Green Monster appears again at the Museum.

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The entry wall – where people can get their tickets and leave their bags – IS a comic strip!

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When I arrived at Snoopy Museum ‎Tuesday afternoon straight from the flight, things were still being installed and unpacked.

I knew that Yoshi Otani had been asked to design a wall similar to the tile wall that he designed for our museum, and that it would be constructed of paper strips ‎.

It looks wonderful – the same iconic Peanuts figure from a distance, but filled with wonderful complexity as one gets closer.

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You can see how up close and from the side, the forward and back effect ‎presents a magical look at the comic strips.

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Natasha Cochran, the Schulz Museum’s traveling exhibitions manager, installs Peanuts-themed banners.

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Benjamin Peery, our Registrar, is working on condition reports for items shipped from the Schulz Museum.

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Believe it or not, these Snoopy heads are made from chrysanthemums!!

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The floral gift came from Yuko Yamaguchi, a principal designer of the Hello Kitty designs‎ at Sanrio, one of Peanuts longtime licensees in Japan. Miss Yamaguchi was very happy to have visited the Museum and Creative Associates staff last year, because, as she told us then, she is a huge Peanuts fan. I don’t know who created this beautiful arrangement, but it is brilliant!

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Paige Braddock of Creative Associates testing the Snoopy hugging wall on our first visit (before everything was finished).

 Later on, during the special opening evening I showed some visitors how the wall was meant to be hugged. They loved it.
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Margot Cunningham from the American Embassy proposed a toast to the opening of the Museum, which Yoshi Otani responded to while standing in front of the Mural wall he created. This is the ‎main entrance room to the gallery and the other walls show a life photo history of Sparky, screens with scenes from the Schulz Museum Santa Rosa, and a large screen with the video we show in Sparky’s studio. It is a wonderful introduction to Sparky’s work and the Museum. The translator during the Museum opening was Miss Yokota.
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I had the great pleasure of meeting Shuntaro Tanikawa, right, the Poet Laureate of Japan who was chosen to translate Peanuts when it was first in the newspapers in Japan. Sparky was very proud that an honored artist of Japan would be chosen to translate his work. Tanikawa visited Sparky‎ at his studio in the 1980s and, although I didn’t meet him then, I had the pleasure of hearing Sparky talk about their meeting a number of times.

A conversation between Tanikawa-san and me will appear in the catalog for the next exhibition in October.

On the left is Akio Matsunaga, a good friend and a ‎former director of United Media in Japan, which was responsible for all licensing in Japan. He translated for us during the interview.

I’ll share more later!

 

–Jean Schulz