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Kamishibai -- Japanese Paper Theater. Picture - - 1941. 
, 1941. 1941. NA. Very Good. Scarce intact Japanese kamisibai paper theater stage, glass screen and complete set of 14 pictorial cards. Kamishibai frame was illustrated by Koide Shin'ichi. The text and illustrations of the Ikkyu-san story by Kiyohar Takashi. Kamishibai, or Japanese paper theater, was a phenomenon of the first half of the 20th century, until the lure of television killed it off. The Kamishibai performers -- mostly men -- were itinerate street storytellers who eked out a living by selling candy to their audience members. Daily they would travel from place to place via bicycle, with their stage and stock of sweets in tow, and they would clap two wooden sticks to announce their presence and draw children to them. As they narrated their story, they would slip one card after another into the grooves on the stage to illustrate the action. The typical Kamishibai story had a strong moralistic message. During the Second World War, not surprisingly, the stories took on more patriotic themes. The performer would conclude a day with a cliffhanger, and so the listeners would have to return the following day to hear what happened. While Kamishibai is a thing of the past, its influence is evident in the work of many manga artists. The central character of the three stories contained in the cards on offer here, Ikkyu-Sojun, is a Buddhist priest of Daitoku-ji Temple, a figure well-known to Japanese audiences of the time as a clever, crafty problem solver. Paper theater has suffered minor insect damage, with occasional marks. Top card is creased. Scattered foxing and soiling of cards besides.
[Bookseller: White Fox Rare Books and Antiques ]
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