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The Library of Congress Declares “Anime for All” With a New Exhibit Timed for Otakon

A display of Japanese woodblock prints and medieval picture scrolls, a family-friendly cosplay workshop and a free talk with famed Japanese writer and director Kihara Hirokatsu will highlight the Library of Congress’ series of events being presented in conjunction with Otakon, Washington, D.C.’s annual convention celebrating Asian pop culture (anime, manga, music, movies, video games, etc.) and its fandom.

Anime for All,” a celebration of east-Asian culture, mythology, pop culture and inspiration will be held Wednesday, Aug. 8 through Friday, Aug. 10 in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. The series of events will showcase Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern day forms of art and will seek to illuminate how Japan’s ancient history has played a significant role in pop-culture and how it continues to inspire creativity in the arts.

Events are free and open to the public. Tickets are available for some of the “Anime for All” activities, but are not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed.

Fans of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture have much to explore in the Library’s collections. The Prints and Photographs division contains over 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo Period through the 21st Century. The Asian Division’s collection is the largest repository of Japanese language materials outside of Japan, totaling 1.2 million monograph volumes with a rare book collection exceeding 5,900 items, dating as far back as the 8th century. The Serials and Government Publications division houses over 140,000 comic books, including treasures such as the rare early English-language editions of “Astro Boy,” “Macross,” and “Ultraman.”

The series will conclude on Saturday, Aug. 11 with a panel discussion featuring Library of Congress experts on various ways Otakon audiences can connect with the Library of Congress and its resources. The speakers will share some of the east-Asian treasures that are available on-site and online at the Library and how they can engage with these materials. The U.S. Copyright Office will provide information on how to create works inspired by our collection items without infringement and methods to protect intellectual property. An Otakon 2018 ticket is required for attendance.

The programming includes:

Wednesday, Aug. 8
11 a.m., Great Hall, first floor

Pop Up Performance
Visitors are invited to stop in the Library’s Great Hall for a performance from Japanese musical talents, The Washington Toho Koto Society. Tickets are available, but are not required. Visit this event ticketing site for more information. 

 

Thursday, Aug. 9
10 a.m. — 3:30 p.m., Whittall Pavilion, ground floor
“Anime for All” Display
This display will trace the history of Japanese graphic arts and storytelling into the modern day. Visitors will see examples of medieval picture scrolls, depicting legends of heroic monks and tales of anthropomorphic animals, that experts consider to be among the earliest examples of manga in history. Also on display are illustrations of yokai, supernatural monsters from Japanese folklore that inspire modern day creatures in manga and anime, and the woodcut figure of Hangaku Gozen, a historical woman warrior in full armor on a rearing horse. Fans of mecha will encounter the first English translations of “Robotech,” and enjoy the manga adaptation of Ghibli Studios’ “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.” Visitors can also explore how graphically represented stories evolved from religious origins into popular tales of samurai heroism and, ultimately, the modern day renditions enjoyed around the globe. No tickets required.

 

11 a.m. — 4 p.m., Young Readers Center, ground floor
Cosplay Workshop
Cosplayers will demonstrate how they develop characters. Families are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

 

11:30 a.m. — noon, Young Readers Center, ground floor
Cosplay Demonstration
Library of Congress Young Readers Center staff and cosplayers will give a demonstration on how to create a manga drawing. Families are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.
NOTE: Participants must comply with Cosplay & Costume Weapons Guidelines, below.

 

1 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor
Film Screening
“The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” a film by Isao Takahata. This film is rated PG. 

 

5 p.m. — 6 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor
Kihara Hirokatsu, LIVE
Studio Ghibli writer, producer and director Kihara Hirokatsu will discuss his experience in Japanese anime production and the inspirations for his latest projects. Hirokatsu will give the talk in Japanese with an English interpreter. Free and open to the public. Tickets are available, but are not required. Visit this event ticketing site for more information. 

At sundown, north lawn of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building

Film Screening
“Superman” (1978) (2017 National Film Registry)
Presented part of the Library’s “LOC Summer Movies on the Lawn” series. Attendees are encouraged to dress in Superman cosplay. Tickets are available, but are not required. Visit this event ticketing site for more information. 

NOTE: Participants must comply with Cosplay & Costume Weapons Guidelines, below.

 

Friday, Aug. 10         

10:30 a.m. — 11:15 a.m., Young Readers Center, ground floor 

Japanese Story Time
The Young Readers Center hosts story time for babies and toddlers about Japanese culture, featuring Japanese stories, music, and art. All children and teens under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Space is limited and is available at first come, first served basis.

 

Saturday, Aug. 11 

2 p.m., Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Library of Congress at Otakon *

Join Library of Congress staff members for a panel discussion about the east-Asian collections held at the Library. Panelists will share highlights of the collections, provide insights on the how you can access the collection items and share how attendees can protect their intellectual property.
* Otakon 2018 ticket required for attendance. For more information on Otakon, visit the site.

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Cosplay and Costume Weapons Guidelines

The following guidelines of the U.S. Capitol Police will apply:

 

  • Weapons and replicas of weapons are generally prohibited on Capitol Grounds.  Participants should not attempt to enter any building on Capitol Grounds other than the specific event locations while in possession of a fake or “Costume Weapon.”
  • Costume Weapons will be inspected by the U.S. Capitol Police prior to entry into any of the event locations.
  • For operational and security reasons, guests may not enter any of the event locations or pass through screening while wearing masks or with their faces covered in any way that would obscure identification.
  • Wearing masks on Capitol Grounds is permitted at the discretion of the United States Capitol Police. If directed, participants must immediately remove costume masks.