KYOTO — It has been months since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s public support rating stood above the 50 percent line and his rapid slide is now the stuff of cartoons.
A cartoon exhibition titled “Koizumi For Me” at Kyoto Seika University showcases 18 works by lecturers in the college’s “manga” cartoon school, all of them lampooning the prime minister’s recent political downturn.
The university opened the cartoon gallery earlier this month to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the manga course’s establishment as an academic discipline, and the prime minister was picked as the first exhibition target.
One cartoon depicts Koizumi confronted with a heap of tangled knitting wool after he has apparently unraveled too much.
“This work symbolizes the present state of structural reforms that Koizumi has long proclaimed to advance,” said Ken Omae, an assistant professor at the school and the organizer of the exhibition.
“I think now he has proposed too many things and they have been mixed up.”
Another shows Koizumi trying to woo “support” in front of a cash dispenser, to no avail.
Omae said it is relatively easy to draw cartoons of Koizumi, whose hairstyle provoked his “lion” sobriquet.
“But he could have a much more distinct character,” Omae said.
“Cartoons are humorous drawings, but they also carry criticism. Although a cartoon is a kind of primitive way to express one’s opinion, it could present a picture closer to the truth than a photograph by omitting or exaggerating various elements.”
Omae said the works in the exhibition could have been even more extreme.
The gallery is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. through June 1. It is located on the third floor of the Jizaikan building on the campus in Sakyo Ward.
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