‘Kyoto Inspiration’ is a comprehensively-planned program combining informative morning lectures and illuminating afternoon field trips to provide cultural insights into traditional and contemporary Kyoto media and arts

This is an opportunity to listen to inside stories, and peek behind the scenes into the fascinating world of this ancient city’s creative genius.

Applications for Kyoto Inspiration 2019 will open March 1, 2019.
Download flyer here

2019 Lectures

Be inspired by experts on widely diverse but interconnected aspects of essential Kyoto culture!

  • Seeing Kyoto Photographic impressions

    John Einarsen (author/imagist)

  • Three Gates into the Realm of Manga Fandom, creation & research

    Sookyung Yoo (manga researcher)

  • Contemporary Manga's Origins in Classic Ukiyo-eThe 19th century woodblock print boom

    Peter Ujlaki (print expert)

  • Kyoto & the Visual ArtsSliding screens; moving museum

    Catherine Ludvik (cultural historian)

  • Crafts as a Mirror of Japanese CultureEssence of Japan

    Sachiko Matsuyama (craft producer)

  • The Spread of Japanese FashionOrigins & Influence

    Mitsuhiro Kokita (fashion designer, teacher)

  • Why Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri is So CoolSustainability and Community

    Catherine Pawasarat (Gion researcher)

  • What is the Golden Rule in Anime Design?

    Hiroko Kazui (Animator,Director)

  • Zen Buddhism, EQ and Mindfulness

    Rev. Taka Kawakami (Zen priest)

  • Kyoto VR – Conserving a Priceless LegacyA transformative model

    Atticus Sims (CEO entrepreneur)

  • Manga in TranslationShojo manga & the philosophy of translation

    Rachel Matt Thorn (researcher, translator)

  • Why Japanese Animation?From Nepal to Tokyo

    Rajeev Karki (animation producer)

  • Independent Game Development in KyotoFrom Nintendo to Vitei

    Peter Traylor (game designer/artist)

  • The Business of Japanese Popular CultureInside Japan’s Pop industry

    Tim Craig (culture & business expert)

  • What’s Cool about Cool JapanInside/outside views

    Benjamin Boas (writer, researcher)

Off-Campus Lectures/Workshops/Field Trips:

Participants will also have the opportunity to experience Gion Matsuri (Kyoto’s biggest festival)

Please scroll down

2019 Schedule

Download the Program schedule (62KB)

Kyoto Seika University

A game-changing Japanese learning community, KSU creatively melds old and new, striving to achieve brilliant innovation in established arts and design, and in popular contemporary media including manga, animation, fashion and game design.

KSU was founded as an idealistic alternative and wholistic educational institution in the radical late 1960s, and has maintained its revolutionary stance by offering fully-accredited Art, Design and Humanities programs on a liberal arts base.

KSU has the distinction of being the first university in Japan to teach Manga as a major, from 1973, and opened the nation’s first Faculty of Manga in 2006 (teaching Cartoon, Comic Art, Manga Production and Animation), at the same time as its Faculty of Design (teaching Graphic Design, Product Communication Design, Illustration, Digital Creation, and Architecture).

Graduate programs in Manga were introduced in 2010, and a doctoral program in Manga in 2012. Gag Manga and Character Design courses were opened in 2013, together with a new Faculty of Popular Culture, teaching Fashion and Music courses.

Kyoto Seika’s current President is Takemiya Keiko, a highly-respected pioneer manga artist.

Kyoto Seika University

Kyoto International Manga Museum

This massive project proves KSU’s commitment to the popularization and advancement of manga as a major present-day ‘Cool Japan’ media phenomenon, and its investigation through serious academic research.

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is a unique joint venture (Public-Private Partnership) between Kyoto City and Kyoto Seika University. The city provided the buildings and grounds of the former Tatsuike Elementary School (1869-1995), in a prime central downtown location, at Karasuma Oike, and Seika transformed the site into an active research center, library and exhibition space, creating a highly popular public “cultural tourism” attraction.
Since opening in November 2006, the Manga Museum has hosted well over 2 million visitors, international and local, young and old.

Its 200-meter-long “Wall of Manga” holds over 50,000 volumes of up-to-date manga, and the basement archives hold over 250,000 more, all in the process of being fully digitized for future study. Big exhibitions are held featuring Japanese manga, and many overseas genres including bande dessinee (Franco-Belgian comics), manhua (Chinese comics from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) and manhwa (Korean comics), and permanent displays provide valuable insights into the manga industry in Japan. Kamishibai (traditional storytelling is also featured. Needless to say, the museum also has an excellent gift shop.

Some lectures in the program will be held at the museum, and participants will receive a free day pass to explore it at their own pace.

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Reading List

Not ‘required’ reading, but just a small selection of books that may be useful additions to online resources, if you want to explore further in advance…

Kyoto : A Cultural History John Dougill

A Geek in Japan Hector Garcia

Kansai Cool : A Journey into the Cultural Heartland of Japan Chrystal Whelan

Japanese Design : Art, Aesthetics & Culture Patricia J. Graham

One Thousand Years of Manga Brigitte Koyama-Richard

In Praise of Shadows Junichiro Tanizaki

Just Enough : Lessons in Living Green From Traditional Japan Azby Brown

Japanese Culture Paul Varley

Lonely Planet Kyoto (Travel Guide)