An opening ceremony for the exhibition focusing on the century-old history of Taiwan's rental bookstores and manga was held at the Kitakyushu Manga Museum in Japan on Nov. 26. Those present at the ceremony included Deputy Culture Minister Lee Ching-hwi (李靜慧), Director of NMTH Chang Lung-chih (張隆志), Director Alice Wang Shu-fang (王淑芳) of the Taiwan Cultural Center in Tokyo, Director Chen Ming-jun (陳銘俊) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Osaka, Kitakyushu Deputy Mayor Nishida Yukio (西田幸生), Kitakyushu Manga Museum Director Tokihiko Tanaka (田中時彦), and other distinguished guests.
In her speech, Deputy Culture Minister Lee stated that Japanese comic books are an integral part of Taiwanese people's childhood, and for Taiwanese readers and comic artists, it is a part of their life memories. She pointed out that this is the first time the Ministry of Culture organized a Taiwanese comic exhibition at Japan's manga museum, and it is also the first time that the Ministry selects two comic artists to partake in the residency program in Japan. This holds great significance in the history of Taiwanese comics and marks an important milestone in the history of comic exchanges between the two countries.
Since 2019, the Taiwan Cultural Center has discussed with the Kitakyushu City Government a possible collaboration on the residency program; and this year, Taiwanese comic artists, Yuzu and Peter Mann, were selected to take part in the residency program in Kitakyushu City. Last November, the Taiwan Cultural Center invited the National Museum of Taiwan History and the Kitakyushu Manga Museum to co-organize this special exhibition, in conjunction with the residency program. After more than a year of preparation, the exhibition on the history of Taiwanese manga culture officially kicked off and will run through Jan. 22, 2023.