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mokumoku makes
picture books and art.

  • mokumoku studio moved!!
    Our studio is now located in Nishi-ogikubo! We are hoping to create the true mokumoku studio in this town where people who cherish art and culture live so we can be who we really are.  We want to make this place for many stories to be heard, expressed and created. Hopefully, we can have an open studio type of event soon. Drop by anytime!! Seriously anytime!! Tomoko from mokumoku studio
  • Echoing
    If you keep bluffing all the time, sometimes the empty words become reality. Speaking of bluffs, the most famous man known for in the US failed to make it real.  In the spring last year, I made a manga about a wealthy man. The setting of his character is impractical and his words are full of contradictions.  There are so many aspects in one thing. But if a ray of light keeps shedding on only one aspect, it will burn just like concentrating the sun’s energy with a magnifying glass. But it makes you feel better saying the same things […]
  • Happy New Year!!
    2020 was a year of changes for us mokumoku studio. We launched mokumoku studio back in April this year. Having been impacted by the pandemic, it was difficult to go out to do PR activities. We were almost forced to show artwork on social media but it brought us some mysterious yet wonderful connection with people, which helped us to be more confident with our work. There were chances to realize how strangely unpredictable a life is and also made us even more appreciate the relationships we have. A lot of us were pressured to reconsider the path […]
  • mokumoku’s new move!!
    We are launching an apparel brand with our German friends. The prototype of T-shirts and shopping bags made with organic cotton is now being produced. The concept is to be sustainable and personal, which has been a central theme of mokumoku studio.  Our friends started Sneakers-Unplugged which is a retail store of vegan and eco-friendly sneakers made with sustainable production methods. We are collaborating with them to roll this out with the basic motto of “designed in Japan & produced in Germany”.  Some prototypes displayed in a pop-up store of Sneaker-Unplugged as a trial.  Tomoko from mokumoku studio
  • I’ve been commissioned to make a storyboard
    I’ve been commissioned to make a storyboard which will be used in a presentation for a national level event.  I’m so thankful that Mr. O found me and my talent also Mr. A introduced me to the person who is organizing the event.  When I saw some collections of storyboards made by Studio Ghibli I felt that the staged expressions of time and space activate the special imagination that I don’t usually use.  chikara
  • mokumoku studio is mentioned in Ryan Holmberg’s book!!
    mokumoku studio went to TACO ché at Nakano Broadway to get Ryan Holmberg’s THE TRANSLATOR WITHOUT TALENT!! As I wrote about Ryan before in this blog, he is a manga historian and translator. He found us through Instagram when we were posting #concoro, the daily corona manga and we even featured him as a leading character in case #20 of concoro.  His book has recently been published which is called “THE TRANSLATOR WITHOUT TALENT”. This book is the compilation of his research findings on alternative manga and gekiga artists like Yoshiharu Tsuge and also the background stories of […]
  • Painting on the walls
    The other day, mokumoku studio was commissioned to paint on the walls of an IT company’s office in Tokyo.  The request was to make a sumi-ink type of painting with some illustrated images of things the company is developing.  We are of course used to painting on paper and even ipad but didn’t have many chances to paint on the walls. When you think of sumi-ink painting, you often see the smudge effects and the blurring touch with lots of water used but it is difficult to reproduce that on slippery walls…. so we used sponges and brushes […]
  • Edo, Tokyo and Chicago
    About a month ago, a beautiful chain reaction happened to us.  We loved it so much and are still very excited about it.  I wrote about our visit to the exhibition “Ukiyo-e 2020” in this blog but the story continued after that and concluded for now upon us receiving a package from our beloved friends in the US.  The package contained risograph prints Andy made; Chikara’s and my painting Andy risograph-printed and his own risograph prints. Risograph is a brand of digital duplicators which is a cross of screen printing and photocopying.  Chikara and I spent 3 month […]
  • The UKIYO-E 2020
    mokumoku studio visited Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum a few days ago. The exhibition we went for is titled “The UKIYO-E 2020”, which is Japanese famous woodblock print.  https://www.tobikan.jp/exhibition/2020_ukiyoe.html Oh my I was so tired after appreciating more than 450 pieces, which was much more than our expectation. But it was very exciting from the beginning to the end because those masters’ visual sense of use of colors and lines are so sophisticated and ahead of its time even now.  There is a certain fixed style though that most of the paintings seem to follow in terms of how […]
  • Night after night
    Chikara has been preparing for the new project. As trying various styles and materials, he turned a corner of our living room/mokumoku studio into a painting studio. Recently, Chikara works on digital art more often but it’s nice to play with paints and canvases sometimes. I love making physical painting a lot more than digital. I love how the distance between me and a painting gets closer and closer by every brush stroke. Very excited to see how this project goes!! Tomoko
  • Yesterday not so far away
    I’ve organized an art event at a place very close to the hypocenter of the a-bombing in Hiroshima. Although it was early in the morning of a weekday, 600 memorial paper fans we’d prepared to give out to the participants were gone. A lot of people showed up really.  It is hard to picture a place with 600 people gathering around. How about 200,000 fatalities from the atomic bombing. How is it different from 600 people. How about 50 millions who died due to the war. Nobody can imagine, probably.  And, even more unimaginable if one of them […]
  • mokumoku studio’s manga was introduced in the historical media in the US!!
    mokumoku studio is mentioned in Ryan Holmberg’s essay “More Corona Cartoons, Japan” at The Comics Journal!  We met Ryan on Instagram when we were daily posting the corona manga series #concoro. He is a manga and art historian and a translator. He kindly shared his story for us to make one episode in concoro. He has been researching comics influenced by the coronavirus outbreak and mentioned about mokumoku’s work in his essay which is now online at The Comics Journal.  We got connected to Ryan last April, when things were more uncertain than now and a lot of […]