Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater by Eric P. Nash
This is a stunning book on a subject matter that’s fascinating. In Japan, in both rural and urban areas, a storyteller would travel with a kit that was a miniature stage and within this stage was a series of illustrations telling the visual side of the story. Most were adventure tales that were geared to boys and girls, and the big payoff for the storyteller is that he would sell candy after his reading/performance. What we have here in this remarkable book are the illustrations that go with the stories – and they are both beautiful and somewhat disturbing. Especially the works that focused on World War 2 era propaganda. Amazing Japanese pop culture history laid out in a beautiful design.