Kamishibai — the precursor to manga and anime?
Learn about Japanese traditional storytelling
When I first came to Japan, I noticed students using story boards frequently at school. They drew pictures on cardboard with crayon or marker, to assist in skits, plays and telling Japanese folktales. Story boards were especially helpful in English classes because the illustrations helped the audience understand the less-than-perfect translations from Japanese to English. Furthermore, the students could write their translations on the back of each board and narrate rather than memorizing it in English first.
Little did I know that what these students were doing was performing an updated version of a traditional Japanese storytelling format called kamishibai, believed to be the precursor to Japan’s manga and anime.
Find out where Japan’s first superheroes came from and which manga and anime started with from this original, unassuming art form called kamishibai.
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