The Last Exhibition of Yoshikazu Ebisu, Presented by Takashi Nemoto
GALLERY HOURS | Wed.–Sat. 11:00–13:00, 14:00–19:00
CLOSED | Sun–Tue., National Holidays
*Depending on COVID-19, the exhibition period and the content may be changed.
Born on October 21, 1947. A manga artist. After graduating from Nagasaki Commercial High School, he worked at a billboard store, dust paper exchange service, and Duskin products delivery shop. Yoshikazu made his debut at the age of 26 through the publication of "Pachinko" in the monthly magazine "Manga Garo." Performing as an actor and Japanese media personality, he announced in July 2020 that he has been diagnosed with dementia.
While to the general public, Yoshikazu Ebisu is known first and foremost as a funny character who appeared in TV shows, for me personally, he has always been a senior “Garo” (magazine) artist and distinguished creator of avantgarde manga and illustrations.
At a TV-related event n 2014, Ebisu was diagnosed with early-stage dementia. Come to think of it, he had become quite forgetful at the time, and his drawings were getting kind of strange. Compared to his former “casual” art, lines that he drew would unfold in a rather uncontrolled manner. Ebisu began to sneer at his own illustrations, referring to them as “pictures that an elementary school kid would draw.”
However, Teruhiko Yumura (aka Terry Johnson), whom both Ebisu and myself look up to as our master, positively evaluated that “his drawings may look like those of an elementary school boy, but they are absolutely the work of a grown-up artist.”
Six year later in 2020, as you may know, Ebisu publicly announced that he was diagnosed with a combination of Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. His remark at the time, “Please continue to laugh at my demented stuff,” was totally serious, and in my view, it was rather to be understood as him declaring that he was going to continue to work as hard as he used to.
Reality was somewhat different though, as public figures obviously get less and less assignments once they have come out with an illness such as dementia, and also Ebisu’s drawing/writing work for manga was rapidly approaching zero.
There are numerous people who agree that Yoshikazu Ebisu is one artist who shouldn’t just fade into oblivion, but who deserves to be honored as a creator whose work started – and ended -- with drawings, which eventually led to the planning of this exhibition.
Fast-forward about one year.
While preparations were underway, Ebisu began to make new drawings in the spring of 2023. However, with the upcoming show on his mind, but his dementia progressing, he now compares his art to “that of an infant” rather than to “that of an elementary school boy.” But Teruhiko Yumura continues to rate his work as “something that may look like an infant’s drawings, but that couldn’t be made by anyone else.” In concrete terms, he exclaims that, “While they may look like those of a child, these are drawings that only someone like Yoshikazu Ebisu, a 75-year-old man suffering from dementia, would be able to make.”
Each of his works essentially contains elements that remind us of the “fleetingness of being alive,” and it is certainly not only us organizers, who are filled with a sense of happiness when looking at them.
– Takashi Nemoto (Self-proclaimed avant-garde manga artist)
Born on October 21, 1947. A manga artist. After graduating from Nagasaki Commercial High School, he worked at a billboard store, dust paper exchange service, and Duskin products delivery shop. Yoshikazu made his debut at the age of 26 through the title of "Pachinko" in the monthly magazine "Manga Garo." Performing as an actor and Japanese media personality, he announced in July 2020 that he has been diagnosed with dementia.
June 28, 1958
Born in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and raised in Meguro-ku, Tokyo.
a Self-proclaimed avant-garde manga artist.
Nemoto has been obsessed with reading a periodical manga magazine Garo since a high school student. He realized that he became more interested in participating in the magazine than drawing manga, and he made his debut in Garo (1981) and began his life as a manga artist.
In the 1990s, Nemoto shifted his focus to writing and illustration rather than cartooning. He also produced events （脱特殊歌謡祭） and video works (Samukunaikai).
As a member of the 「幻の名盤解放同盟」 with Manabu Ayusa and Hideo Funabashi, he has produced CDs of hidden Japanese pop, Korean rock, and Pon-chak disco. He currently teaches 「特殊漫画前衛の道」 at an art school.