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A massive Art Book: Over 100 pages depicting in detail the world of Katana of Gion, bringing together all its characters and places.
Welcome to a mysterious Geisha Universe and to the Saionji Family’s world.
“This Story centers around Saionji Akirako, a 15 year-old girl who has just been titled samurai, head of her family and ruler of the 17th century Gion, Kyoto’s most famous Geisha District.
The Saionji Family has an unusual Story: The women are heirs and victims of a curse, decreed by the first Shogun. The latter, to reward the bravery of his friend Saionji in combat, had allowed his daughter to become heir to the title and a samurai, but the first Saionji heiresses forged a katana, as a gift to the shogun’s wife, who then killed herself with it. Thus, the shogun took revenge by casting a curse on this katana: The heirs who receive it would become insane and die in agony.
Akirako is the current heir and she has a forbidden love affair with Chinatsu, a geisha that abandoned her position to live with her in Gion. Akirako will soon receive the cursed katana and will live her terrible fate.
How will she bear this curse? Surrounded by her friends?
About the Author: Cécile Khalifa
Cécile Khalifa is French doctor in medieval history, passionate by the Ancient Story of Japan. Her motivation is to improve the image of the Geisha, by debunking the clichés that plague those true artists. The Katana of Gion manga is available online since 2010, thanks to a meeting between the author and the Indonesian designer, Bob-Raigen. The story, including three volumes and a sketchbook, has been developed since 2008.
Cécile has been travelling to numerous conventions to spread the word about her project, such as: Japan Expo (2011, 2012 & 2016), Thursday of Nîme (August 2011), Mangazur (April 2016), Polymanga (March 2016),
Quai des Bulles (October 2015) and Lill’Otaku (October 2016). In July 2016 the Project was featured in the Magazine “Art of Japan” in the Article “Photoshop Advanced Series” and includes an interview with Cécile.
Eimi Hu is a dominican-american visual artist. She meets Cécile in 2012 on the Deviantart online platform and they have worked together on several occasions since then. An Altos de Chavón School of Design graduate (Fine Arts/Illustration), she has shown her work in several spaces and institutions in her home country, such as La Alpargatería, Casa Quien, Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM), and is currently part of Quisqueya Henríquez’s “Unidad Útil” Project in the XXVI Concurso Eduardo León Jimenes, Centro León. Her work references pop and mass culture, mythology and fairy/folk tales, and has been greatly influenced by japanese wood prints (ukiyo-e), anime, video games and the internet. She currently lives and works in the Dominican Republic.
Ivanna Candelier is an independent graphic designer and illustrator. She has consolidated her work with more than 4 years’ experience developing and working with different brands. Great approach to detail, typography and personality define her work. Her studies include: Advertising Communication (UNIBE), Online Communication Strategy (IED Madrid), Portfolio Illustration (School Of Visual Arts, NY).
In the creator’s own words: This massive Art Book will detail the world of Katana of Gion, bringing together all the characters and places that compose it. Through it you will get to know every street of Gion (Kyoto), all the stories and characters I have created: each heiress from the Saionji Family, and every individual generation of geisha. All of which have their own histories, friends, lovers and enemies. This even includes mythical characters like the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Blind Empress Koken, from the VIIth Century.
Aside from including information of the Katana of Gion universe, we strive to capture the essence of the life of a Geisha including its sensuality and its haunting heartbreaking beauty through over 100 illustrations contained in this beautifully designed Art Book.
Cécile has started a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $15,783 the fund raised will be used to pay the artist & designer that will illustrate and design the book as well as the production and shipping of all the rewards for the Kickstarter campaign.
Postcard Set (4 designs postcards ea.) Artists: Kme, Fée Absinthe, Narilys, Utena-Sama.
Katana of Gion Hair Ornament
If the project is funded successfully, books will start shipping later in October 2017.
The team welcomes your messages of support and encouragement, please do leave a message or comment alongside any pledge.
For more information, please visit Katana of Gion’s Kickstarter page: