Last Friday I was invited by Emily Yoshimoto, and Ryan Holmberg, to attend the opening & talk event for the Baron Yoshimoto retrospective exhibition at the Yayoi Museum (map below) - this museum is dedicated to Manga & Gekiga and it's close to Ueno in Tokyo. I'd met Emily Yoshimoto (Baron's Daughter) previously when I tagged along with Ryan Holmberg and Emily to the Keirin (Cycle) racing track in Tachikawa early in 2018 when he was doing some fieldwork for the Retrofit Baron translation (The Troublemakers).
I'd first come across Baron Yoshimoto's work when I went to a show of his that was in Shibuya a couple of years back. He did that show with Katsuya Terada and it was large panel work that they were doing, kind of 'batttling' each other with each panel. It was a lot of fun then and has led them to do further shows together. This retrospective shows some of Baron's larger panel (later period) work on the walls of the 2nd floor as well as (earlier) manga works in the cabinet. On the 1st floor you'll find Baron's early works from the 1950s sweeping round anti-clockwise as his career progressed and fame followed. It's a wonderfully put together show that shows really well how Baron's career developed and how his early artistic experiences helped to feed into his success later on. He's a bit of a living legend in my eyes and has some killer dance moves that would easily put me to shame (check out the 2nd floor for evidence of this point).
I have included below a link to Ryan Holmberg's show instagram post and the original text. I am in agreement with Ryan, this show is awesome, Emily's done a fantastic job curating it. If you are in Tokyo between now and 31st March this show is not to be missed!!!
âRyan Holmberg - As expected, the Baron Yoshimoto retrospective at the Yayoi Museum in Tokyo is awesome. Pretty much every show this museum does is. But this one felt personal, since I have been working closely with the artist for the past two years. It was great to see the original pages of "Eriko's Happiness" (1971), which served as the cover and lead story of The Troublemakers. Baron's drawing and design sense is superb across the board. It's hard to believe that he's used a brush almost exclusively since the late 60s. For me as a researcher, among the most enticing finds were unpublished samurai and ninja illustrations and kashihon-style manga pages from before his debut. I would love to do a translation of Baron's Gambling series (1969-71), so my eye made a beeline for the original artwork and the folders of photos he used for research and source material. While putting together The Troublemakers, I pestered Emily (his daughter and agent) for a period photograph of her father, which she couldn't findâbut there were quite a few from the 60s and 70s on display . . . next time! The second floor of the museum mainly featured Baron's (very weird) paintings, which he has been making since the mid 80s. On the wall next to the bathroom was a video projection of Baron doing his famous octopus dance. At the opening, Baron has gotten so used to making up stories about who I am while out drinking that he introduced me to editors as Ryan Goblin (probably a portmanteau of Holmberg and my Ginza alter-ego Gosling, Ã la Goblerg). That's cool. He caught himself and laughed, and it's better than Hamburger, which I've gotten in Japan more than once. Nice to see The Troublemakers @retrofitcomics next to the new painting catalogue from @pie_international in the museum's gift shop. It has an English translation (heavily corrected by me) and foreign distribution, so fully recommended to Baron fans of all tongues. If you visit the show, treat yourself to Baron-themed cappuccino at the cafÃ© next door. #baronyoshimoto #ããã³åå #yayoimuseum #å¼¥çç¾è¡é¤¨