Events / Events Outside Tokyo


'Gaspard et Lisa' celebrate 10 years of success in Japan

by Mark Jarnes

Since the March 11 quake, children — and their parents — in the Kanto region have had little to smile about. This exhibition in Yokohama might help remedy that.

The “Misadventures of Gaspard & Lisa,” a series of picture books about two rabbity doglike creatures, began in France in 1999. In 2001, its creators, Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, brought the series to Japan, where it has since become hugely popular. The series is now published worldwide in about 15 different languages.

The Sogo Museum of Art in Yokohama is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first Japanese publication of Gaspard & Lisa with 160 original illustrations, sketches and studies for the “lift-the-flap” books of the series. But the two unusual creatures are not the only ones in the spotlight. Images of Penelope, the lovable blue koala bear of another popular Gutman and Hallensleben series will also be on display.

Children (of all ages) will be able join in a workshop to create their own personal versions of the cuddly Penelope in the form of sticky decals. The finished pieces are heated on a hot-plate by exhibition staff, and are then ready to adorn fridges and other glossy surfaces.

Fans of the two picture-book series will also be able to take home limited-edition Gaspard & Lisa and Penelope goods, including a mug and jigsaw puzzle incorporating all of the characters.

“Gaspard et Lisa & Penelope: Celebrating 10 years of ‘Gaspard et Lisa’ in Japan” runs till May 8 at the Sogo Museum of Art in Yokohama. Entry is free for pre-school children, ¥300 for junior high school elementary students, ¥700 for university / high school students and ¥1,000 for adults. For more information, visit