"Katana" (a.k.a. Japanese sword), a cold steel blade born through tremendous efforts forged under red hot flames & sweat of skilled sword-smiths. Said to be the epitome of Japanese art, the katana's frame glimmers under the pale moon and shines like a beauty like no other.
You may be wondering where did all the amazing Japanese sword artworks made by so many manga artists on Trophee come from. Well you are in luck today and we have news for you!
The origins of these amazing Japanese sword artworks. "2D vs Katana" is a seasonal touring exhibition initially held at the Hayashibara Museum of Art, Bizen Osafune Sword Museum, and Setouchi Municipal Museum of Art in the Okayama Prefecture. The exhibition showcased the combined efforts of both the physical and the imaginary, where both the sword-smith and manga artists team up to forge physical Japanese swords and create illustrations of these swords.
More than 12 Japanese graphic designers and Master Sword Smith gathered at the 2D vs Katana exhibition. One of the biggest names involved is Kazuo Koike. His cartoons Lone Wolf and Cub, which was illustrated by his partner illustrator, Goseki Kojima, were one of the first Japanese cartoons to gain international support. "Goseki-Samurai" of the Lone Wolf and Cub was once auctioned at Trophee.
That means an actual sword exists for every illustration you see in the exhibition or the "2D vs Katana" collection on Trophee. Though they are not for sale, you can visit the exhibition to appreciate the beauty of the physical blade.
We have 16 different NFTs from the exhibition for you to collect on Trophee.
The most commonly seen and yet the most challenging piece that is often used in the posters of all the exhibitions. Instead of going with practical designs used by actual weapons, the sword-smith decided to create something a bit more ambitious. A bouquet of flowers growing out of that sword’s hilt, and in order to stay faithful to the source material, the sword-smith incorporated it into the piece, as shown in this snapshot from early in the production process.
Likewise, losing the ludicrously long hand guard was not an option.
It’s hard to notice in the original illustration, but the sword is actually constructed of two blades, one nestled inside the other, with two prongs at the tip. Like the flowers and hand guard, this is the sort of flourish that’s not an issue at all when working with a pen and paper, but can be pretty problematic when the tools of your trade are hammers and steel. So how does the final result look?
Pretty awesome actually!
Drawn by the monster illustrator Yuji Kaida who is also known as Gozilla's original illustrator. This is a masterful piece that is entirely game like and also the centrepiece of the exhibitions. Despite the name of the event, the work is not necessarily entirely derived from traditional Japanese sword designs. For example, the devil's sword, the product of the imagination of veteran science fiction and creature artist Yuji Kaida, is like being at home in the hands of a knight like a samurai.
Based off the novel "Tsurugi no Yume" and done in collaboration with renowned sword-smith Sadanobu Tsukiyama, the pieces by Yoh Fujishiro shine outstandingly within the exhibitions.
"The process was an enjoyable one", said Yoh Fujishiro.
Commonly seen in advertising material for the exhibitions are both "Hinoiro: Forging the blade of friendship" and "Hinoiro: Wielding the blade with determination". These works by Naoto Satta have been garnering the attention of many through the exhibitions' publicity material and yet remain as impressive pieces etched into the memories of many whom have been to the exhibition halls.
Seen up close, the blade forged by national treasure "Kuki Masamune". It's a sight to behold!
"2D vs Katana" is an astounding exhibition and collection full of surprises. Other pieces in the collection include:
As Trophee progresses, there will be more interesting NFTs coming your way; so stay tuned for other exciting collections in the near future.
What the world needs now is connection. Linking Artists (Mangaka) and Art Lovers (fans) through NFTs.