Hidekichi Matsumoto, the author of the manga ‘Inu to Neko Domo’ Homecoming Exhibition in Okayama

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Matsumoto, a female manga artist, is known for her popular manga “Every day is fun when you have both a dog and a cat”, which has become a hit on Twitter, and has sold over 1 million copies (7 volumes in total), and became a TV anime.

Hidekichi’s first solo exhibition is held at the Kibi Kawakami Fureai Manga Museum in Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture. In fact, for Mr Matsumoto, who is from Okayama, it will be a homecoming exhibition. She said, “I like Okayama because there are many friendly people, and the air and food are delicious. Matsumoto spent her childhood in Okayama until she moved to Tokyo to attend university. After graduating from university, she did not work as a professional manga artist’s assistant but worked part-time at a cosmetics sales company and taught herself how to draw manga.

In 2008, she said, “It happened!” Debuted with “Reichu Sensei”. She won the 35th Kodansha Manga Award for the same work in the children’s category. Since 2017, she has posted on Twitter an essay manga, “Dog and Cat…” based on her daily life with her beloved dog and cat, and it became a big hit. In 2018, it was published as a book by Kodansha, and in 2020, it became a TV animation. She is currently serializing “Ikimonogatari” in the magazine “Evening” (published by the same company).

Regarding the popularity of “Dogs and Cats…”, she thinks, “I think readers could sympathize with my desire to let other people know that I love pets.” Although, he said that the work was first published on the internet instead of in a magazine, “I’m just telling you what I like through my favourite manga, so I don’t care where I publish it. Comments (on the internet) and letters are just as nice. This is because I sometimes draw while imagining the reader.”

In this exhibition, in addition to about 50 original drawings and newly drawn illustrations from his debut to the present, sketches and stories (storyboards) will also be displayed. It is also interesting that Mr Matsumoto’s handwritten notes on the original painting include his feelings at the time.

The corner where Mr Matsumoto himself answers the questions that the museum solicited in advance is also a highlight. Hiromi Watanabe, the museum director, said, “Of course, he has a beautiful sense of gag, but at the root, I feel a deep affection for living things, including humans. He draws while facing society and the times.

I know what you’ve been up to,” he praises. Matsumoto said, “I think the charm of manga is that you can feel the things the author likes and the world they enjoy through the pictures and words. I would be happy if the people who see the exhibition realize what they like.” speaking until December 19th. Closed on Fridays. General 500 yen and others. For inquiries, please get in touch with the museum (0866-48-3664). [Rie Imahigashi] Hidekichi Matsumoto Questions and Answers Why did you announce that you are from Okayama Prefecture for the first time?

Until now, I hadn’t been asked about my hometown, but I didn’t intend to keep it a secret. He was born in Tokyo and grew up in Okayama from the age of 3 or 4 until he moved to Tokyo to attend university. My parent’s house is still in Okayama, and I love Okayama and my parent’s home, so I often go back and forth. That’s why I think it’s safe to say I’m from Okayama. It’s not inconvenient because of the internet, the land and people are excellent, and the air is delicious. I like the food because it’s cheap and delicious.
Please tell us about the process of becoming a professional manga artist.

I was a child who liked to draw animals and cartoons. I was in charge of creatures for six years in elementary school, and when I was in elementary and junior high school, I submitted a few comics a year to a magazine and got selected. After graduating from university, I didn’t get a job but worked part-time in cosmetics sales. How was your downtime?

I was drawing manga on my own without a professional assistant, so there were some difficulties, but I didn’t have the ambition to become a manga artist in the first place, and I just loved drawing manga. , continued undeterred. I once thought about taking an interview to become a bus guide. The editor in charge (currently) told me to stop doing that (laughs). Since your debut work, you continued with school stories, but why did you switch to animal stories?

I didn’t have any experience as a company employee, but I had some experience as a student, so when I debuted, I was drawing school stuff. So did. My school days are gradually fading, and reality is disappearing, so I may not draw in the future. I’ve always loved animals, and it feels like the animals I’m curious about in books and news come from over there (laughs), so I collect and draw them. “Ikimonogatari” is serialized twice a month, so I’m in a state where I have a stock of material. When and how do you work?

I do it in the daytime. I can’t handle the amount, but I can’t write if I stop my hand, so I’m always moving my hand. How do you relax, and what are your hobbies?

Reading comics with animals. I also like outer space. Manga is addicted to essay comics like “Mr Tsuzui” and “My cat is doing something strange again.” Do you have a favourite encyclopedia or material you refer to when drawing animals?

When I was 22 years old, I came across Tadaaki Imaizumi’s “World Rare Animal Encyclopedia, ” which has been my favourite ever since. I highly recommend it to everyone! –What animal are you interested in now?

Echidna, kiwi and ostrich. I am interested in animals from Tasmania and South America and would like to meet them in real life if the opportunity arises. How did you feel when you posted on Twitter, “Every day is fun when you have both a dog and a cat”?

It was strange. I don’t know the exact reason, but I think the reader’s sympathy was because I wanted others to know that I love my pet. Is the feeling of posting manga on Twitter different from paper media?

Since I am just telling what I like through my favourite comics, I am not particular about the location of the presentation. I am equally happy to receive comments and letters from readers who sympathize with me. Sometimes I draw while imagining the person who will read it. What do you think your future work will be like?

I’m not good at feature films, so I think I’ll continue to write short films in the future. Please comment on this “homecoming/first solo exhibition”.

I’m sorry that you had a solo exhibition, even though only a few works were presented. I’m grateful. I think that people are attracted to manga because they can understand the world that the author likes and enjoys from the pictures and words. I hope that people who see this exhibition can rediscover what they want.

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