Chihayahuru (ちはやふる) and Karuta Card Games

Selected covers of Chihayafuru(ちはやふる)v.1-31

Selected covers of Chihayafuru(ちはやふる)v.1-31

Chihayahuru (ちはやふる) is a manga series illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu (末次由紀). Because it features a girl who plays Karuta, the series Chihayahuru can play an important role in introducing Karuta to people beyond Japan.

Karuta (かるた or カルタ), a traditional card game in Japan, has been played since the Genroku period (1688-1704). There are a several types of Karuta – Iroha Karuta, Uta Karuta, and Kyodo Karuta, to name a few. Each type of Karuta is based on a different theme. For example, Iroha Karuta is based on proverbs, and each card starts with a different Hiragana character. Since Iroha Karuta were created before the standard order of Hiragana was changed after WWII, these cards follow the pre-war order of hiragana. Karuta games are usually played for fun, but they are also used pedagogically to teach children Japanese letters.

Karuta is a simple and fun game and it is a good opportunity to learn about Japanese culture. For information on how to play Karuta, wikihow.com offers detailed English instructions.

To learn more about Karuta, check out the following Japanese language books in OSUL:

  • Iwanami Iroha Karuta Jiten  (岩波いろはカルタ辞典) by Tokita Masamizu (2004 Iwanami Shoten)- a dictionary of Iroha Karuta. It explains the metaphor of the poems and include sample images of the Karuta cards.
  • Edo no Yūgi (江戸の遊戯) by Namiki Seishi (2007 Seigensha) – introduces kaiawase(貝合わせ) and sugoroku (すごろく). Kaiawase was very similar to Karuta except instead of playing cards, Kaiawase used elaborately painted sea shells. Sugoroku is a game similar to “chutes and ladders” and was first played during the Edo period. The book also  explains the difference among various kinds of Karuta.

 

 

 

Posted in News |

Recently Acquired Karuta Sets at Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

OSUL recently acquired two sets of Karuta cards: Nonkidane Iroha Kokkei Karuta (ノンキダネイロハ滑稽カルタ) and Kyoka Karuta (狂歌かるた). These sets, along with many other rare manga items can be accessed by the public at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Contact them to schedule your visit to the reading room today: cartoons@osu.edu

First introduced by Portuguese traders to Japan in the 16th century, Karuta are a form of Japanese playing cards and are still popular today.

Photo of Kyoka Karuta (狂歌かるた)

Photo of the Kyoka Karuta (狂歌かるた)

The first set, Kyoka Karuta or Mad Poem card game, is a form of Uta Karuta, known for using Hyakunin isshu (百人一首), a collection of traditional waka (和歌) poems composed by one hundred different poets. Published in 1890, the Kyoka Karuta set originally had 200 cards in total. Our set, which is missing two cards, has a total of 198 cards: 100 poems cards and 98 miniature color-mounted comic woodblock prints cards. The poems appear in an older, pre- standardized form of Japanese writing. Since some of the characters have changed and are pronounced differently today, the poems may be a challenge for the uninitiated. The cards present a unique opportunity to learn about this precious form of Japanese poetry.

To learn more about Karuta and hyakunin isshu:

Photo of Nonkidane Karuta

Photo of the Nonkidane Iroha Kokkei Karuta (ノンキダネイロハ滑稽カルタ)

The second set of cards, Nonkidane Iroha Kokkei Karuta, was created before WWII and based on a character from Nonki na Tōsan (ノンキナトウサン), a popular four-panel or yonkoma (4コマ漫画) comic, by artist Yutaka Asō (麻生豊). First published in 1922, the series Nonki na Tōsan (Lazy Daddy) appeared in the Yūkan Houchi newspaper (夕刊報知新聞) and inspired movie productions by the same name in 1925 and 1946. The drawings of this Karuta set are humorous in nature, so players can enjoy them even if they do not know Japanese.

Other works from Yutaka Asō at OSUL include:

  • Seishun Jidai (青春時代) by Yutaka Asō  (1935 Tōkyō : Atoriesha, Shōwa 10)
  • Yome o sagashi ni (嫁を探しに) by Yutaka Asō (1929 Tōkyō : Gendai Yūmoa Zenshū Kankōkai, Shōwa 4)
  • Jinsei benkyō (人生勉強) by Yutaka Asō  (19–?)

For research on Nonki na Tōsan (Lazy Daddy), refer to:

NOTE: See the “Chihayahuru (ちはやふる) and Karuta Card Games” post for more information on Karuta.

Posted in News |

Current Display in the Thompson Library – “Pokémon Universe – The Many Worlds of Japanese ‘Pocket Monsters’ in Global Pop Culture”

Pokémon Universe Display Case

Pokémon Go AR photo courtesy of Aaron Olivera

A top media sensation during Summer 2016 has been the game Pokémon Go, a new app developed by Niantic Labs for personal handheld devices. The game allows players to merge the real world with the virtual world of Pokémon (short for “pocket monsters”) in an augmented reality (AR) on device screens. While the obsession with Pokémon Go is recent, the game’s imaginary Pokémon have been roaming the world for over two decades. Released in 1996, the game’s best known character, Pikachu, is now recognized as an iconic symbol of Japan’s global “soft power.” Featuring select materials from the Libraries’ collections, the “Pokémon Universe” display highlights the history and globalization of the popular Pokémon franchise, and explores the many worlds that Pokémon has inhabited since its inception in the mid-1990s.

Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , |

Interview with Maureen Donovan – Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Blog

Maureen & Astro Boy at Maureen's Office

Maureen & Astro Boy (at Maureen’s Office in 2010)

Today is Professor Maureen Donovan’s last day at the Ohio State University Libraries. Caitlin McGurk from OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum chatted with Maureen on her career and how the manga collection came to be in OSUL. The interview is posted on the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum blog.

We deeply appreciate Maureen’s many contributions and wish her all the best for her retirement!

Posted in News |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: くらもちふさこ KURAMOCHI Fusako

For me, an interesting thing about the current exhibit World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28 – July 5) is that I have discovered manga to add to the collection!  

Kuramochi Fusako is a prolific cartoonist, but we only had her masterpiece, Tennen Kokekkō, in the library.  Now I am ordering more of her work. Her style continues to change and evolve, so it may be important to collect many of her manga. The latest one is Hana ni somu, still on order.

Kuramochi frequently contributed to Shūkan Māgaretto = Margaret
週刊マーガレット
. Although this is a very famous manga magazine, so far we only have 3 issues in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum collection. Hopefully our holdings will continue to grow!

Posted in Shojo |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: 萩尾望都 HAGIO Moto

( Aisuru Anata Koisuru Watashi: Hagio Moto taidanshu 2000 nendai hen. (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2014) 愛するあなた 恋するわたし 萩尾望都 対談集

 

Hagio Moto is one of the most intriguing mangaka, so many of her works are included in the Ohio State University Libraries collections.  I wrote a brief post about her a while ago: Hagio Moto — Iguana Girl Turns Manga Legend.  Since then more of her work has been translated into English, including Heart of Thomas.

Recently an interesting series of conversations with her about her career and that of other mangaka has been coming out — Hagio Moto taidanshū  萩尾望都対談集 ( Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2012- ):

Manga no anata SF no watashi  マンガのあなた・SFのわたし (1970-nendai hen)

Kotoba no Anata Manga no Watashi コトバのあなたマンガのわたし(1980-nendai hen)

Monogataru Anata Egaku Watashi 物語るあなた 絵描くわたし (1990-nendai hen)

Aisuru Anata Koisuru Watashi 愛するあなた 恋するわたし(2000-nendai hen)

Note: This is one of a series of posts related to the exhibit: World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28 – July 5).

 

Posted in Shojo |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: 美內すずえ MIUCHI Suzue

Although Miuchi Suzue published other works, such as Amaterasu, she is best known for Garasu no Kamen (Glass Mask), a gripping story of Kitajima Maya’s struggles as she achieves success in the theatrical world, told through 49 volumes published since 1976.

It has been the basis for TV dramas and anime productions.

Her publisher, Hakusensha, now offers open access to the first volume online, convinced that readers will be so captivated by the story that they will want to purchase the rest of the volumes!

Note: This is one of a series of posts related to the exhibit: World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28 – July 5).

Posted in News, Shojo |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: 里中満智子 SATONAKA Machiko

Satonaka, Machiko. Tenjo no Niji. Volume 23 (Kodansha, 2015).

Satonaka, Machiko. Tenjō no Niji. Volume 23 (Kōdansha, 2015).

What an amazing coincidence!  The final volume (v. 23) of Satonaka Machiko’s manga, Tenjō no Niji (Celestial Rainbows) which began publication over thirty years ago (in 1983) was published on March 13, 2015 — just a couple of weeks prior to the opening of this spring’s World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28, 2015 – July 5, 2015) exhibit!  As with many of Satonaka’s manga, this is a work of historical fiction. An empress from Japan’s ancient history is depicted as facing challenges in her various roles as wife, mother, and ultimately female ruler. The library’s copy will be arriving before long by sea mail.

OSU Libraries has several other works by Satonaka Machiko, including Ariesu no Otometachi アリエスの乙女たち (Ladies of Aries) and Ashita Kagayaku あした輝く(Tomorrow it Shines).

 

Posted in Shojo |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: 水野英子 MIZUNO Hideko

Tokiwa-so Apartment

Model of the Tokiwa-so Apartment where Tezuka Osamu, Mizuno Hideko and other mangaka lived in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward

This is the fourth in a series of posts related to the upcoming exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum:  World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28, 2015 – July 5, 2015). A small rotating exhibit on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library highlights cartoonists who will be included in the exhibit!

Mizuno Hideko was the only female mangaka to live at Tokiwa-so Apartment, a kind of atelier where several famous cartoonists lived during 1952 ~ 1980.  They collected their memories and cartoons about life there for a book, Tokiwasō seishun monogatari, of which the Billy Ireland Library & Museum holds three editions. The building no longer exists, but a model of it has been set up (see picture) as part of the Tokiwa-so Street Project aimed at regional revitalization and urban development utilizing the manga culture in Toshima Ward of Tokyo.  For people visiting the site there is now a “Tokiwa-so Oyasumidokoro” where works by the cartoonists are available to browse and various events are held.

Ohio State University Libraries holds several works by Mizuko Hideko, but her most famous titles, such as Fire! ファイヤー!(first shojo manga with a male protagonist (rock star)– published 1969-1971), are still on our desiderata list!

 

Posted in News, Shojo |

Focus on Shōjo Manga: 松本あきら零士 MATSUMOTO Akira Leiji (Reiji)

Matsumoto Reiji. Kurea no mizuumi (1968)

 

This is the third in a series of posts related to the upcoming exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum:  World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires (March 28, 2015 – July 5, 2015). A small rotating exhibit on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library highlights cartoonists who will be included in the exhibit!

Matsumoto Leiji (Reiji) is most famous for his science fiction or “space opera” manga and anime, such as Space Battleship Yamato (Uchū senkan Yamato 宇宙戦艦ヤマト) and Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道999 Ginga tetsudō 999), but he started his career producing shōjo manga.  Furthermore, he is married to another shōjo manga cartoonist, Maki Miyako, who is also featured in the exhibit. Continue reading

Posted in Shojo |