A request to our visitors, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 

A request to our visitors, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Those who have cold symptoms such as coughs and who are not feeling well, please do not visit the museum.

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OPEN
A request to our visitors, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 

A request to our visitors, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Those who have cold symptoms such as coughs and who are not feeling well, please do not visit the museum.

Click here for details

Gathering, sorting, and using Manga culture

Collection

コレクション

Gathering, sorting, and using Manga culture

Collection

コレクション
The Kyoto International Manga Museum stores and manages a collection of valuable manga materials held by the Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center, including Edo giga caricatures, manga magazines, and original replicas known as Genga’(Dash).
In this page, we introduce a range of Edo giga, Meiji-period magazines, and Genga’(Dash).

Edo giga

There are approximately 250 caricature books and woodblock prints from the Edo period held in the museum's collection. Recently, art exhibitions and special-feature magazine editions of ukiyoe prints from the Edo period have been gaining popularity. However, few attempts have been made from the perspective of manga to reinterpret these Edo giga (humorous pictures from Edoperiod). By uncovering the origins and continuity of current manga culture from these unique works, we believe we can provide a new perspective, not only for manga research, but also for art history.
Notably, the majority of the Edo giga and satirical manga magazines from the Meiji and Taisho periods which are held by the museum are from the collection of the late Shimizu Isao, a renowned manga history researcher.

Examples

Tobae books

In the middle of the Edo period, Tobae books gained popularity for their familiar designs, were printed in large quantities, and were well received by the general public.
In this museum we regard manga as a form of mass media enjoyed by many people, and as such, Tobae books may be one of the foundations for manga. They are the oldest materials held by the museum.

「文凰簏画」
「鳥羽絵欠とめ」

Bunpo soga
Kawamura Bunpo, 1800 (Kansei 12)

Tobae akubitome
Takehara Shunchosai, 1720 (Kyoho 5)

「文凰簏画」

Bunpo soga
Kawamura Bunpo, 1800 (Kansei 12)

「鳥羽絵欠とめ」

Tobae akubitome
Takehara Shunchosai, 1720 (Kyoho 5)

Edo giga with distinctive expressions

Expressive conventions familiar to modern manga are scattered throughout Edo giga, including "speech balloons" used to express thoughts and speech, and "panels" used to indicate story development through a series of pictures. These materials provide interesting clues for exploring the origins of manga expression.
Of course, expressions such as speech balloons and panels are not unique to Japan. They are found in ancient cartoons around the world. It is important to view these collectively in order to conceive a diverse view of manga history.

「浮世ハ夢だ夢だ」
「諸職吾沢銭」

Ukiyo ha yumeda yumeda (Fleeting life is a dream, a dream)
Artist unknown, circa 1865-68 (Keio period)

Shoshoku gotakusen (Money-making Prophecies for Various Occupations)
Artist Unknown, 1855 (Ansei 2)

「浮世ハ夢だ夢だ」

Ukiyo ha yumeda yumeda (Fleeting life is a dream, a dream)
Artist unknown, circa 1865-68 (Keio period)

「諸職吾沢銭」

Shoshoku gotakusen (Money-making Prophecies for Various Occupations)
Artist Unknown, 1855 (Ansei 2)

「狐にばかされる」
「道化武者づくし」

Kitsune ni baka sareru (To be deceived by a fox)
Utagawa Yoshitora, 1857 (Ansei 4)

Doke musha zukushi (A complement of amusing warriors)
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1858 (Ansei 5)

「狐にばかされる」

Kitsune ni baka sareru (To be deceived by a fox)
Utagawa Yoshitora, 1857 (Ansei 4)

「道化武者づくし」

Doke musha zukushi (A complement of amusing warriors)
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1858 (Ansei 5)

Edo giga as caricatures

The museum holds a large collection of Edo shogunate caricatures which were popular from around the Tenpo period (1830-1844). Caricatures are pictures that use humor to indirectly criticize shortcomings by making observations on politics, society, and even human beings themselves.
In an era in which the shogunate's unreasonable suppression of ukiyoe (pictures of the floating world) and yakushae (actor prints) became even stricter, satirical ukiyoe which slipped through the cracks of the ban were a hit among the masses and became an opportunity to develop various methods of expression.
This simultaneously led to improvements in the literacy of common people who read the satire. The popularity of caricatures was an essential element for subsequent developments in manga culture.

「源頼光公館土蜘作妖怪図」

Minamoto no Yorimitsu ko tsuchigumo yokai o nasu zu (Earth spider conjures demons at the mansion of Lord Minamoto Yorimitsu)
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1843 (Tenpo 14)

Caricature of the Tenpo reforms
Tokugawa Ieyoshi leans on a high pillow, while a giant spider imitating his retainer Torii Yozo, puts a robe over him. The man below sitting with a raised knee is Mizuno Tadakuni, a ringleader of the reform, and the various monsters and ghosts in the background symbolize laws of prohibition and thrift.

「青物魚軍勢大合戦之図」

Aomono sakana gunzei okassen no zu (The great battle of the vegetables and the fish)
Utagara Hirokake, 1859 (Ansei 6)

Against the backdrop of the cholera epidemic of 1858 (Ansei 5), a battle takes place between seafood which are susceptible to cholera contamination and fruit and vegetables which are hardy to it. This depiction is an allegory for the real-world internal struggle between the Hitotsubashi and Nanki factions of the shogunate. The commanding mikan (mandarin) of the fruit and vegetable army on the right represents Tokugawa Iemochi, the 14th shogun of Japan, while the commanding octopus of the seafood army on the left represents Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

Meiji-period manga magazines

The museum collection includes woodblock caricatures not only from the Edo period, but also from the Meiji period. However, with the development of new printing technology in the Meiji period, newspapers and magazines also emerged as a media of mass entertainment and information gathering. In line with this trend, the museum collection from subsequent eras mainly consists of magazines.
A prominent example was The Japan Punch, which was launched in 1862 (Bunkyu 2) by Charles Wirgman, after he immigrated to Yokohama, imitating the satirical magazine Punch in his homeland of England. Inspired by his work, Kanagaki Robun and Kawanabe Kyosai launched Eshinbun Nipponchi in 1874 (Meiji 7). Nomura Fumio launched the weekly current affairs satirical magazine Marumaru Chinbun in 1877 (Meiji 10), and in 1887 (Meiji 20) French painter Georges Bigot launched the caricature magazine TÔBAÉ aimed at the French expatriate community. Both are important materials for looking back on the history of Japanese manga magazines.

『THE JAPAN PUNCH』
『絵新聞日本地』

THE JAPAN PUNCH
1883 (Meiji 16) Issue no. 5
Cover: Charles Wirgman

Eshinbun Nipponchi (Illustrated Japan news)
First issue, 1874 (Meiji 7)
Cover: Kawanabe Kyosai

『THE JAPAN PUNCH』

THE JAPAN PUNCH
1883 (Meiji 16) Issue no. 5
Cover: Charles Wirgman

『絵新聞日本地』

Eshinbun Nipponchi (Illustrated Japan news)
First issue, 1874 (Meiji 7)
Cover: Kawanabe Kyosai

『團團珍聞』
『TÔBAÉ』

Marumaru Chinbun
First issue, 1877 (Meiji 10), Marumaru-sha
Cover: Honda Kinkichiro

TÔBAÉ
Issue 10, 1887 (Meiji 20)
Cover: Georges Bigot

『團團珍聞』

Marumaru Chinbun
First issue, 1877 (Meiji 10), Marumaru-sha
Cover: Honda Kinkichiro

『TÔBAÉ』

TÔBAÉ
Issue 10, 1887 (Meiji 20)
Cover: Georges Bigot

Genga’(Dash)

Original manga artwork is also an important material when talking about the history of manga. In recent years, events that exhibit original manga artwork have increased in numerous locations. Although it brings great intrinsic pleasure, original manga is actually extremely prone to fading and requires delicate treatment. The Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center is undertaking production of Genga’(Dash), replicas which faithfully reproduce original manga artwork in order to balance preservation and public accessibility to the artwork.
The project is led by Takemiya Keiko, a manga artist and former professor at Kyoto Seika University. This project, which started in 2001, has 27 participating manga artists as of 2021, and approximately 850 works have been replicated as Genga’(Dash) and stored in the museum's collection. They are used widely in exhibitions and for other project. in response to numerous requests from within Japan and overseas.

List of artists in the collection (in no particular order, honorifics omitted)

Shojo manga

Matsumoto Katsuji

Fujii Chiaki

Ueda Toshiko

Watanabe Masako

Imamura Yoko

Takahashi Macoto

Tomoe Satoo

Mizuno Hideko

Chiba Tetsuya

Maki Miyako

Hanamura Eiko

Asuna Hiroshi

Kitajima Yoko

Uehara Kimiko

Takemiya Keiko

Sato Shio

Kai Yukiko

Hatsu Akiko

Tadatsu Yoko

Asuka Sachiko

Nishitani Yoshiko

Ohya Chiky

Sasaya Nanaeko

Higashiura Mitsuo

Seinen manga

Hirata Hiroshi

Nagayasu Takumi

Murakami Motoka

Shojo manga

Matsumoto Katsuji

Fujii Chiaki

Ueda Toshiko

Watanabe Masako

Imamura Yoko

Takahashi Macoto

Tomoe Satoo

Mizuno Hideko

Chiba Tetsuya

Maki Miyako

Hanamura Eiko

Asuna Hiroshi

Kitajima Yoko

Uehara Kimiko

Takemiya Keiko

Sato Shio

Kai Yukiko

Hatsu Akiko

Tadatsu Yoko

Asuka Sachiko

Nishitani Yoshiko

Ohya Chiky

Sasaya Nanaeko

Higashiura Mitsuo

Seinen manga

Hirata Hiroshi

Nagayasu Takumi

Murakami Motoka

Example works

「くるくるクルミちゃん」

Kurukuru Kurumi-chan Matsumoto Katsuji
© Matsumoto Katsuji

「聖ロザリンド」

Seinto Rosarindo (Saint Rosalind) Watanabe Masako
© Watanabe Masako

「霧のなかの少女」

Kiri no naka no shojo Hanamura Eiko
© Hanamura Eiko

「地球へ・・・」

Terra e… (Toward the Terra) Takemiya Keiko
© Takemiya Keiko

「炎のロマンス」

Hono no romansu (Flaring Love) Uehara Kimiko
© Uehara Kimiko

「フイチンさん」

Fuichin-san (Ms. Fuichin) Ueda Toshiko
© Ueda Toshiko

「世界の花嫁さん/イギリス」

Sekai no hanayome-san / Igirisu (Brides of the world: England) Takahashi Macoto
© Takahashi Macoto

See the Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center page for more details.

Public access to the collection

In addition to the materials introduced here, we also have a collection of items related to subculture dating from the 1960s, including mini-comics collected by well-known manga critic and editor Murakami Tomohiko.
Furthermore, we have also collected and preserved every issue of weekly shonen (boys) magazines launched in the post-war period including Weekly Shonen Sunday, Weekly Shonen Magazine, and Weekly Shonen Jump, as well as shojo (girls) magazines such as Weekly Margaret and Monthly Shojo Comic. The museum also holds rental manga, internationally published manga books, research books analyzing manga, and newspaper and magazine clippings of articles about manga, all available in our database.
Although it is not well known, most of the manga materials available in our database can be read in the Research Reading Room of the museum (18 years old and over, registration required). This room is used by many people writing research papers, or to nostalgically revisit the manga magazines they once read.

マンガミュージアムの収蔵庫
研究閲覧室

Manga Museum Archive

Research Reference Room

マンガミュージアムの収蔵庫

Manga Museum Archive

研究閲覧室

Research Reference Room