Manga

...bibliographic notes about manga...

A Russo-Japanese War Sugoroku (双六) board by Otake Kokkan (尾竹国観)

We recently acquired a rare war-time manga game board or sugoroku (すごろく / 双六) print designed by Otake Kokkan (尾竹国観, 1880-1945).  Published in 1905, the theme of this print, war, was often featured in playful games to foster children’s national pride.  This historical piece offers a valuable window on to the way Japanese children were encouraged to celebrate their nation’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05).

新案征露戦局雙六. 絵師: 尾竹国観 (Otake Kokkan). 54.5×78cm. 明治37年.

The artist Kokkan was the youngest of the so-called Otake brothers who came from Niigata prefecture.  The two elder siblings, Otake Etsudô (尾竹越堂, 1868-1931)  and Otake Chikuha (尾竹竹坡, 1878-1936), were also artists known for their Nihonga and kuchi-e designs.

During his career, Kokkan studied Yamato-e, literally meaning “Japanese paintings,” which  featured Japanese subject matter including courtly and military scenes, historical events, and battles.  Among Kokkan’s designs were thus war scenes like the ones featured in this print.

For further reading on sugoroku, check out the following resources at OSU Libraries:

Chikamatsu, Hanji. Iga-goe Dōchū Sugoroku. Hadesugata Onna Maiginu. Katakiuchi Tsuzure No Nishiki. Sanjūsangendō Munagi No Yurai. Kokaji. Tōkyō: Kokuritsu Gekijō Jigyōbu, 1977.

Chikamatsu, Kasaku, Ganjirō Nakamura, Tōjūrō Sakata, Nizaemon Kataoka, and Hanji Chikamatsu. Iga-goe Dōchū Sugoroku. Tokyo: Shōchiku Kabushiki Kaisha, 2007.

Namiki, Seishi. Edo No Yūgi: Kaiawase, Karuta, Sugoroku. Kyōto: Seigensha, 2007.

Yamamoto, Masakatsu. Sugoroku Asobi. Tōkyō: Unsōdō, 1988.

For further studies on Otake Kokkan, please, see:

Otake, Kokkan. Kamogawa No Yūsuzumi , 1900.

Higuchi, Ranrin, and Odake, Kokkan. Tsuyoi Nippon.  Tōkyō : Kōdōkan, Meiji 39 [1906].

Nakamura, Kōya, Tomoto Kobori, Chikuha Otake, and Kokkan Otake. Jinjō Shōgaku Kokushi Ezu: Jinjō 6-Gakunenyō. Tōkyō: Gakushūsha, 1939.

Uehara, Konen, Chikuha Otake, and Kokkan Otake. Meiji Shoki No Hagaki Saizu Mokuhanga. Tokyo: Tsutaya Jūzaburō, 1895.

New in the Collection: Rare Taishō-Period Life Insurance Pamphlet by Okamoto Ippei

By Justine Kang (kang.231@osu.edu)

Recently, the Japanese Studies section at OSU Libraries acquired an advertisement manga illustrated by the early manga artist Okamoto Ippei (岡本 一平, 1886-1948), one of the most influential writers and illustrators of the Taisho era (1912-1926).  Okamoto combined cartoon books and comic strips and produced cartoons and serial comics in prominent newspapers including the Asahi Shinbun (朝日新聞).

Entitled On Brightening the Home! (Katei wo akarumi he, or 家庭を明るみへ!), the new acquisition is unusual as a pre-war advertisement for life insurance that featured colorful comics.  Okamoto was commissioned to develop a manga story as the central focal point of this pamphlet advertising the products of the Nisshin Life Insurance Company (Nisshin Seimei, or 日淸生命保險株式會社).

With no date on the document itself, there is no evidence as to when the advertisement was published.  However, we can find some clues about it through the well-known Nisshin Life Insurance Building, featured on the back of the pamphlet.  Constructed in 1932, this building was located in Chiyoda ward, near the Imperial Palace, in central Tokyo. Because the company was eventually absorbed by the Nomura Life Insurance Company in 1941 (and the building was later known as the Marunouchi Nomura Building), we know that the booklet must have been made in the 1930s.

During the tumultuous Taishō and early Show (1926-1989) eras, many Japanese people must have felt a need for life and health insurances.  Above are some pictures from the pages of the pamphlet with illustrations by Okamoto Ippei.  In the bottom right corner is an image of the iconic Nisshin Seimei building, featured on the last page of the pamphlet.

To learn more about Okamoto Ippei and discover some of his original work, please check out these OSU Library resources:

Okamoto, Ippei. Ippei Manga. Tōkyō: Monkkōsha, 1924.

Okamoto, Ippei. Ippei Manga Kōza. Tōkyō: Sōshisha, 1981.

Okamoto, Ippei, and Yukio Sugiura. Ippei Zenshū. Tōkyō: Ōzorasha, 1990.

Okamoto, Ippei, and Isao Shimizu. Okamoto Ippei Manga Manbunshū. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, 1995.

Okamoto, Ippei, Kanoko Okamoto, and Tarō Okamoto. Okamoto Ippei Ten: Botsugo 50-Nen : Gendai Manga No Paio’nia. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha Bunka Kikakukyoku, 1997.

Okamoto, Ippei. Tesei No Ningen. Tōkyō: Gendai Yūmoa Zenshū Kankōkai, 1928.

Shimizu, Isao, and Kōichi Yumoto. Manga to Shōsetsu No Hazama De: Gendai Manga No Chichi Okamoto Ippei. Tōkyō: Bungei Shunjū, 1994.

For even more resources on these and related topics on the world wide web, please check out the following:

Honjo, Eijiro. “The Development of the Study of the Economic History of Japan Subsequent to the Meiji Restoration.” The Kyoto University economic review 16.1 (1941): 18-31.

McCarthy, Helen. 2010. “The Attraction of Ippei Okamoto.”

ja.wikipedia.org. “丸ノ内野村ビルディング” (Marunouchi Nomura Building).

Measuring our Vast Manga Collection

Ohio State University Libraries’ manga collection continues to grow each year.  Currently we have over 20,000 volumes, and we boast the largest collection of manga in the world outside of Japan. We have subscriptions to current popular manga serials and academic manga journals (which are not included in our counts below), and we also continue to collect rare and historical manga.

Records for these works are all available in the Ohio State University Libraries catalog. A browsable search is currently available by searching on keyword=manga and location =Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, for example, or keyword=manga and location =Thompson.  Each year, we conduct an analysis on the number of volumes in our collections.  The latest results are as follow:

2018 – 23,033

2017 – 22,811

2016 – 22,449

2015 – 22,304

2014 – 19,843

2012 -17,938

2011 – 17,399

2010 – 16,265

2009 – 15,462

2008 – 13,021

Note: Before 2012, the manga collection was held almost exclusively in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Since then, we have offered increased access to our more current manga by moving publications after 1989 into general circulation available through Thompson Library, the Fine Arts Library, and the OSU Library Depository.

OSU Library’s formidable Japanese Studies Librarian, Maureen Donovan (now retired), started collecting Japanese manga in the mid-80s, but we don’t have figures until 1999.  For data that dates even further back into the past, please see Maureen’s blog  from 2012.

Japanese-English bilingual guide to BICLM (Part 3 of 3) : Museum Gallery ビリー・アイルランド漫画図書館日英 バイリンガル ガイド(3)

This blog is the third in a 3-part series outlining a bilingual guide in English and Japanese to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM). To read this blog from the beginning, please click here. The purpose of this guide is to serve as an introduction and resource for Japanese-speaking visitors and researchers from all parts of the world.

While the first part of this blog dealt with the front atrium and the reading room, and the second part discussed the work space, archives, and holdings, this part of the blog will describe the museum portion of BICLM. The museum is where BICLM is able to share materials specially curated for general public viewing.

 

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Japanese-English Bilingual guide to BICLM (Part 2 of 3): Office and Archives ビリー・アイルランド漫画図書館日英 バイリンガル ガイド(2)

In the previous blog, we introduced the entrance atrium and reading room of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM). This blog is a continuation of that piece and covers the work space and archives, which are usually not open to the public and require a reservation or guided tour to access. It will also talk about some of the special materials held in the archives, as well as the precautions that are taken to preserve and maintain them.

To request a tour, please contact cartoons@osu.edu.

The BICLM Main Office

Cartoon Library Office

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Our new Japanese-English bilingual guide to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (Part 1 of 3) ビリー・アイルランド漫画図書館日英 バイリンガル ガイド(1)

One of the many exciting projects that we have underway is the development of an English and Japanese bilingual guide to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library (BICLM).  Our goal with this guide is to improve access for Japanese visitors to BICLM’s special collections, including its world-class manga collection. We’re also excited to share an informal version of our guide here, in this blog, so Japanese visitors can learn about Billy Ireland, without even flying to Columbus!

When we launched this bilingual project, we began by sending a small group of staff and student workers from East Asian Studies at Thompson Library to Billy Ireland to learn about the library and museum first hand.  At the time, we visited with Professor Caitlin McGurk, one of BICLM’s main curators (and one of Alive newspaper’s people to watch!), who gave us a personal tour of the BICLM atrium, offices, vault, library, and museum gallery.  As she showed us around, we asked questions and took pictures and notes so that we could later translate the contents of her tour from English to Japanese.

Atrium Showcase: Easel and Drawing of Cartoon Artist Billy Ireland

Following the tour, we drafted this blog, which, like our bilingual guide, is divided into three sections: the first part introduces what is readily accessible to the general public, specifically the entrance atrium and the BICLM reading room. The second part focuses on the behind-the-scenes work space and vault, or archives. These spaces are only accessible to staff or visitors who have scheduled a special guided tour. Finally, the third part describes the BICLM museum gallery, which showcases permanent and rotating exhibits from the Billy Ireland special collections. Like the entrance atrium and reading room, the museum is open to the general public and can be visited during regular hours of operation. For those visitors who would like to visit these spaces in person, directions, hours, and other details are available on the BICLM website.

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New in the Collection: Georges Ferdinand Bigot and Keikan no tabō (警官のたぼう)

We are proud to announce the recent acquisition of Keikan no tabō (警官のたぼう), now available at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum!

The book, Keikan no Tabō, also known by its French title La journée d’un policeman à Tokio : album humouristique, is a collection of comedic comics that follows the everyday lives of Japanese policemen during the Meiji period (1868-1912).  Penned by Georges Ferdinand Bigot,  the comics are written in French and touch on a number of issues of the time, often highlighting Japan’s process of modernization and Westernization. The work provides a window into Japan’s period of rapid change from bakufu rule, characterized by an isolated feudalistic society, to the start of the modern society we see today.

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New Manga Donation from Nova Southeastern University

East Asian Studies (EAS) at the Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL) is pleased to announce that we have received a donation of more than 60 manga titles from Nova Southeastern University!

Included in the donation are many classic and influential series from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s. Famous manga artists such as Akira Toriyama, Masakazu Katsura, CLAMP, and Tsukasa Hōjō are just a few of the names that can be found in the collection. The manga donation includes both shōjo manga (少女漫画; translation: girls’ comics) and shōnen manga (少年漫画; translation: boys’ comics) and covers a wide variety of genres.

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Fujihiko Hosono’s ‘Heroes Come Back’ and 3.11 Manga, Part 2.

This is the second of two blog posts on Fujihiko Hosono and his book Heroes Come Back (2013). The first post provides background information on Hosono and how this interview came to take place. To read Part 1, please click here.

Top: OSUL staff and student workers during interview
Bottom Left: Hosono during interview
Bottom Right: Cover of “Heroes Come Back”

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Early in the morning on October 6, Japanese Studies staff and student workers [Ann Marie Davis, Amy Hwang (not pictured), Yasuhiro Aihara, Ryo Kudo, and Chihiro Hosoi] conducted a rare Skype interview with the renowned manga artist Fujihiko Hosono in Tokyo.  Dr. Daisuke Sato of Tohoku University, who helped organize the interview, also participated from his office in Sendai City.  The group decided to focus their discussion on the ideas and inspiration that led Hosono to create Heroes Come Back.  What follows is a summary of the interview, which was conducted originally in Japanese:

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Fujihiko Hosono’s “Heroes Come Back” and 3.11 Manga, Part 1

Left: Panel from “Heroes Come Back” Top Right: Professor Sato signing “Heroes Come Back” Bottom Right: Professor Sato’s signature

Last semester, Japanese Studies at OSU Libraries had a unique opportunity to speak with a leading cartoon artist from Japan, Fujihiko Hosono (細野不二彦). A major figure in Japan’s comic book industry for over 30 years, Hosono made his debut in 1979 with the science fiction series for young adults called Crusher Joe (クラッシャージョウ). Later he published a number of other series including Gallery Fake (ギャラリーフェイク).

Among Hosono’s most recent contributions was a compilation called Heroes Come Back (3.11を忘れないために ヒーローズ・カムバック, 3.11 o Wasurenai Tame ni Hiiroozu Kamubakku), a book of manga that features a special edition of Gallery Fake as well as the works of other well-known artists including Masami Yuki, Sensha Yoshida, and Rumiko Takahashi.
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