Suginami Animation Museum

Excellent spot to learn about Japanese animation...for FREE!

This past week I visited the Suginami Animation Museum, located in Kamiogi, Suginami-ku near Nishiogikubo station. It was a wonderful 3 floored museum that all ages can go and enjoy.

The museum often features an exhibition of different artists works periodically. I attended this time to check out the Satoshi Kon exhibit, the artist famous for producing animated works like Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and more. Satoshi Kon passed away about 5 years ago, but many of his amazing works still shine.

When you walk in and take the elevator to the 3rd floor, the entry level is a general floor introducing you to the history of animation. I'll get to more of this floor in a bit. The upper two floors were for showcasing the current special exhibit. The second floor had a gallery of Satoshi Kon's art works from early as his days as an art student to the works he made his debut with. The second floor also features a Anime theater where they show different animated movies and TV shows. There I was able to watch the first episode of the series Paranoia Agent.

The third floor also had a gallery, this area featured Satoshi's Kon more famous works from the aforementioned movies and TV shows. There was also a workshop space, a room probably used for different activities which was being used to show a documentary interview of Satoshi Kon.

Come try out the different Animation activities!

While the current exhibit takes most of the spotlight, the first floor of the animation museum was very interesting as well. As with most museum exhibits photography of Satoshi's Kon works were not allowed, but the first floor for general animation history was.

The first thing to catch your eye when entering is probably the mural cylinder in the center with many signatures and illustrations by famous artists. The second thing is the giant timeline wall showing the history of Japanese anime.

As you go further into the first floor, there were three machines showing very old animation techiniques such as a phenakistoscope, a zoetrope, and a praxinoscope.
What are those strange words I just used? Better go to the museum to find out!

There was also a very interesting booth- the anime afureko booth. "Afureko" is short for "After-recording." When anime is created, they make the animation first and then dub the voices over the animation. In this booth they let YOU voice Tetsuwan Atom or Astro boy in a short clip from that series. The script of course is all in Japanese, but you can experience how afureko works in real-time.

The first floor also provides a digital workshop, where you can try out drawing anime yourself on tracing light boards or even coloring anime cells on the computer.

If you're not much of a creative type, the second floor features an anime library where you can read books or watch DVD's about anime and animation. I sure know I want to go back and spend some time in that library!

The Suginami Animation Museum is a goldmine of interesting information for all kinds of people but especially for anime enthusiasts like me. If you are in the area this is definitely an amazing place to visit, not to mention that it's free admission again.

Official Home Page of Suginami Animation Museum:

Location: 3-9-25 Kamiogi Suginami-ku Tokyo, Suginami Kaikan 3F
Open 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays and Holidays.

Thanks for reading!
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by Alex Kobayashi /Subtokyo

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