History of cartoon illustrated books between the 17th and the 19th century
A lot of illustrated book were published in Japan since mid-term of Edo
period (1603-1867）when the long peace continued.
Such illustrated books were called "Kusazoshi", and had changed as
●Red-book "aka-hon" ： for children
●Black and Blue-book "Kuro-hon" , "Ao-hon" ：story of the kabuki etc.
(Kabuki is the traditional Japanese drama performed by male actors.)
The theme of this book was a fashion and an event, and overflowed in
the joke and the popular word.
This book was popular in an absurd content.
In it, there was a technique of "Word Balloon" connected
with a modern cartoon.
Katsushika Hokusai, known as one of the great masters of Japanese
pictorial art (ukiyo-e), produced illustrations for these books in his
"Kibyo-shi" would be serious in about ten years because of the control
of the shogunate, and finally became only the lesson and the morality
stories (ex. revenge tragedy).
●Character-oriented book "Goukan" , "Yomi-hon"
A lot of sentences are needed to read a complex story. In a word ,
jokes and styles disappeared, and it became a novel.
The content of the book became romantic novel, and a lot of
Then, let's introduce Katsushika Hokusai's cut-in illustration. An
easy story is as follows.
Ohana and Ihei are
lovers. Ohana is trafficked , and becomes the mistress of Ito. Ihei
gives up Ohana, and marries ugly Osawa. Ihei and Ohana meet
miraculously, and love revives. Ito starts making two
When Ihei does mimicry that has a mania for gambling, Osawa
Ohana and Ihei marry happily. And then,the ghost of
Osawa that became a snake attacks them.
1 The revengeful ghost of Osawa is surprised at the gun that Ihei shot.
2 ghost of Osawa, Ihei and Ohana：Ohana doesn't see the ghost.
3 ...deep-seated grudge of Osawa：Villagers are in fear.