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Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theatre

by Eric Peter Nash, Frederik L. Schodt

Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theatre Synopsis

Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater is the first book of its kind to examine the origin of the modern manga phenomenon. Kamishibai (paper theatre) is a fascinating and nearly vanished Japanese art form that paved the way for modern-day comic books and is central to the phenomenon of manga. During the height of kamishibai in the 1930s, the gaito kamishibaya (street-corner storyteller) acted as an entertainer and reporter, gathering residents of local towns for the much-anticipated picture show - which was economically backed by selling candy, roasted chestnuts, and sweet potatoes to the children. Typically the storyteller would travel to several villages during the day and set up his butai, (a miniature wooden proscenium), through which the illustrated boards were shown. The stories that were depicted ranged from action-packed westerns, period pieces, traditional folk tales, and melodramas, to nightly news reporting on World War II. More than just illustrated pictures, a good storyteller would act out the parts of each character with different voices and facial expressions. As television was introduced to Japan, the art of kamishibai died out; its influence, however, can still be seen in modern pop culture - from videogames to manga comics. Author Eric P. Nash conducted years of extensive research, and was granted unprecedented access to little-known archives of kamishibai in Tokyo. With rare images and expert writing, this book will easily become an essential guide to the origins of manga and its history.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780810953031
Publication date: 21st August 2009
Author: Eric Peter Nash, Frederik L. Schodt
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. an imprint of Abrams
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 303 pages
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About Eric Peter Nash, Frederik L. Schodt

Eric P. Nash has been a researcher and writer for The New York Times since 1986. He is the author of several books about architecture and design, including Manhattan Skyscrapers, and The Destruction of Penn Station.

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