Defying Tradition

Geri Coady is a designer and illustrator (and, lucky for me, my wife) sharing her lifelong passion for Japanese culture, language, and travel. Today, her first exhibition opens in Tokyo.

Geri's been making work in response to her love of Japan for some time. She writes about her experiences and sells her beautiful products online and at events, while also becoming an increasingly proficient Japanese speaker. For me, Geri's work stands apart due to her breadth of interest. Where many obsess only over the most modern aspects of Japanese culture (manga, anime, kawaii and so on), Geri goes deeper, drawing from a broader knowledge of tradition, history, and language.

Defying Tradition: Japanese women who changed the world is an ambitious project requiring many months of research and planning. Geri has concluded the core work during a residency at Almost Perfect, a 100-year-old rice shop lovingly converted into a retreat space and gallery. The portraits have been carefully riso-printed in Tokyo, with stamped and numbered prints available to buy at the gallery, and online from October.

Defying Tradition:
Japanese women who changed the world

This series of illustrations profiles thirty of the most influential and inspirational Japanese women in both modern and ancient times. From Murasaki Shikibu, the world’s first novelist, and Komako Kimura, a prominent early 1900s suffragist, to pop culture star Naomi Watanabe, who is rapidly changing the perception of body image in Japan and beyond—these women are highlighted and celebrated for the ways they have shaped and will continue to shape their country.

25–30 September, 1–7pm
Almost Perfect
2-3-2 Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0056
Reception with Q&A: 28 September, 6–9pm
Facebook event

To browse Geri's products and read her blog, visit Geri Draws Japan or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.