Wednesday, 13 November 2013


I failed to write for three day. It may be because I'm not very excited about William Blake right now. Its probably the way this book deals with him. I'll get out a new one with more picture analysis tomorrow.

In the mean time, I'll make some notes on Kibyoshi.

  • Japan has a rich history of printed illustration. Emaki scrolls started being produced as early as the 11th century.
  • Kusazoshi were written for young children probably necessitated by their illiteracy. As time passed the demographic extended to adults and the term kibyoshi is used for these publications.
  • "There are linguistic markers of this difference, too, which would have been clear to readers at the time, even if they are not readily apparent to non-Japanese speakers at present. These markers include gendered pronouns, verbal endings, honorific language, even the nuances and play of calligraphy." (Kern. 2007. p8)
  • Kibyoshi used a visual devices much like contemporary comic book speech bubbles for the purpose of depicting dreams and thoughts. Sometimes scenes from these thoughts were drawn inside the bubble:
  • Kibyoshi have scene-to-scene transitions as oppose to moment-to-moment. While the comic was inspired by fast pace transition of cinema, kibyoshi was inspired by woodblock prints of kabuki theatre.
  • "...many kibyoshi scenes resemble woodblock prints depicting climactic moments from kabuki plays. During such moments, actors would freeze their positions for several seconds in a kind of heightened dramatic pose (known in Japanese as mie) that might easily be described as a kind of visual sound bite." (Kern. 2007. p19)
  • "The Japanese culture belongs to what American anthropologist Edward Hall calls ‘‘the high context culture,’’ in which people prefer to use more implicit, unclear, and ambiguous messages whose meanings are found in the context, rather than explicit, clear, and straightforward messages... In contrast, the United States, according to Hall, belongs to ‘‘the low context culture,’’ in which messages themselves are important and everything must be spelled out." (Ito. 2005 p457)
  • Japanese is better expressed within the context of facial expression and body language so images are very valuable to story telling. (I wonder if the same can be said for people with learning difficulties in English, I always feel I better understand a conversation when I'm looking at the person, might be a good argument for hybrid novels for people with dyslexia rather than audio.)
  • In modern manga, katakana sfx are integrated into the image. (Helped by the black and white flat picture plane in manga.)
Brief interlude. This whole text integration stuff reminds me of Zachary Braun's comic, Nature of Natures Art. I suppose when William Blake and Kibyoshi authors intergrated the text into the images to make the whole page flat. I guess, in a way, Braun makes the text 3D to match the images, at least in some cases. An obscure Webcomic probably isn't relevent, but it came to me so I'm writing it down. 

  • Calligraphy of onomatopoeia in Japanese comics help convey the feelings of the characters and build up atmosphere and dynamics.
  • Akahon(Red Book): an Illustrated originating from the Genroku period (1688– 1704). Contents included fairytales for children.
  • Kurohon(Black Book):
  • Aohon(Blue Book):

Inouye, C 1991, 'Water Imagery in the Work of Izumi Kyōka', Monumenta Nipponica, 46, 1, pp. 43-68, MLA International Bibliography, EBSCOhost, viewed 13 November 2013.

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