Blog post

Japanese artist creates original military artwork inspired by Europeana

Finding artistic inspiration in cultural heritage

Aleksandra Strzelichowska (opens in new window) (Europeana Foundation)

We love to hear about how you use Europeana. What inspires you. How the treasures you find motivate you.


Today, we hear from Kumiko Sakaki, a Japanese illustrator from Tokyo, who creates original artworks for books and magazines, using items she finds on Europeana Collections. “I’ve found inspiration in Europeana many times,” says Kumiko. “I love images and objects from the past, and I always think about history when I travel. I gather information from exploring old books and photographs, and from my European friends. But I create original artwork, so I don’t just imitate. Often, Europeana has provided inspiration - when I was researching historical uniforms, for instance, I couldn’t find out everything I wanted to know from reading books alone.”

Kumiko has two distinctive painting styles - one she thinks of as cute, warm and dreamy, and the other more nostalgic yet realistic too. It is this second style that comes through in her artworks drawing on military imagery and artefacts found on Europeana Collections. Take a look at Kumiko’s work and the items that influenced her and let us know how Europeana inspires you!


Left: Artilleristen-Liebe!, Universität Osnabrück, CC-BY-NC-SA

Right: Lieutnant Alfred by Kumiko Sakaki


Left: On a slope of Gisnitz, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, public domain

Right: Oberjäger Ignaz and Hauptmann Aigner by Kumiko Sakaki Kumiko3

Left: Cavalry saber, contribution by Arthur Schuchlenz, CC-BY-SA

Right: Hauptmann Florian by Kumiko Sakaki

To see more artworks by Kumiko, visit her website.