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Part 1 The Beginning of Children's Literature

1. Picture Books and Picture Magazines

In the period between the late 1860s and the1890s (the early and middle part of the Meiji era), woodblock-printed books of children’s stories called akahon (reddish cover book) and chirimenbon (“crepe-paper book”, text written in English) were published. In the first decade of the 20th century, picture magazines of a more artistic and educational nature ― such as Otogi etoki kodomo [Picture fairy tales for children] (launched in 1904; founded in Osaka) and Yonen gaho [Young children’s pictorial] (1906), the latter by the publishing house Hakubunkan ― came into being. The series Nihon’ichi no ebanashi [Japan’s best illustrated children's stories], published from 1911 through 1915 in a total of 35 titles, consisted of small-size books in high-quality designs ― they were attempts to create a new kind of picture book.

The illustrations found in works of children’s literature during the Meiji era were done mostly by Nihonga painters who carried on the traditions of Japanese-style water color painting. In the subsequent Taisho era, artists who had mastered painting in the Western-style began actively creating works for Akai tori [Red bird] and other magazines for children. In 1922, Kodomo no kuni [Children’s land] was launched by Tokyosha, with Koko Wada as chief editor and Kiichi Okamoto as illustration editor. Many talented artists worked for the magazine, including Shotaro Honda, Takeo Takei, Yoshio Shimizu, Shigeru Hatsuyama, and Shiro Kawakami. With the content covering various genres including as dowa (children's stories), doyo (children's songs), musical scores, and even choreography for dances, Kodomo no kuni played a central role in the culture of children in Japan before and during the war.

Complementing the highly artistic style of Kodomo no kuni works for children, there were other noteworthy illustrated magazines such as Kodomo no tomo [Children’s companion] (founded in 1914), featuring a stronger educational character, and Kinda bukku [Kinderbook] (founded in 1927), which was a liberally illustrated science magazine.

In 1936, the major publisher Kodansha began publication of its Kodansha no ehon [Kodansha’s picture books]. This series, which continued until 1940, not only included many stories glorifying the war but also provided children with a rich variety of tales printed in striking colors. The series was promoted as picture books designed to “improve children’s minds.”

2. Children’s Magazines and Fairy Tales

Japan’s first children’s magazine was Shonen’en [Child garden], launched in 1888. In its founding statement, chief editor Teizaburo Yamagata stated, “We place great hopes in today’s boys and girls, middle and elementary school students.” Well-known writers of the day including Ogai Mori, Shoyo Tsubouchi, Rohan Koda, and Naobumi Ochiai, wrote for “Tan’en [Garden of storytelling]” which is its column on reading.

Shonen’en was followed by the inauguration of such children’s magazines as Shokokumin [Young nationals], Shonen sekai [Children’s world], Nihon shonen [Japanese boys], and Yonen no tomo [Young children’s companion]. With Sazanami Iwaya as chief editor, Shonen sekai won great popularity for the fairy tales carried in every issue and it became one of the leading children’s magazines of the Meiji era.

Sazanami’s story of the filial dog, Koganemaru [A dog named Koganemaru] (1891), mentioned in the preface, has long been considered the earliest original work of Japanese children’s literature, but some critics have doubted whether Sazanami could be considered a truly “modern” writer of children’s literature. The story is basically a tale of revenge based on the traditional principle that good is rewarded and evil is punished. It was criticized from the outset, too, for its use of bungotai (the classical literary style of writing), instead of genbun itchi (the new literary language then in the process of emerging through the combination of colloquial speech and written language). Some assert that Japan’s modern children’s literature in fact started with Akai fune [Red boat] (1910), Mimei Ogawa’s first collection of fairy tales.

The world of Sazanami Iwaya’s literature was in the tradition of the setsuwa (legends of old), while Mimei’s world was that of the märchen or fairy tale told in poetic and figurative language. The children’s literature of the Meiji era revolving around Sazanami was referred to using the term otogibanashi(fairy tales); in the Taisho era, children’s literature came to center on dowa written for the “pure and innocent” child.

3. The Era of the “Oral,” Farewell to the “Oral”

The preface of Sazanami’s Koganemaru states that the author has deliberately avoided the new genbun itchi style of writing, adopting instead quite an old style of language, sprinkled with rhythmic 5-7 syllabic writing in the hope of making the book easier to read. The editors assert that this approach, despite its anachronistic style of writing, makes the book more accessible when read aloud. In other words, Koganemaru was written in classical language to facilitate its reading aloud.

The Japanese children’s literature that began with Koganemaru was tied in with reading aloud. That era of “oral” continued until around 1960, when contemporary children’s literature was established. The new literature, which was written for silent, individual reading, parted company with the era of reading aloud to children.

Satoru Sato’s Dare mo shiranai chiisana kuni [The tiny country that nobody knows] and other works of the new literature for children raised the age of the main body of readers from preschool children to children in their early teens. Such works were no longer intended for reading aloud to children. They were written in much more detailed language that children could read silently to themselves. Children’s literature now dealt with a wider variety of themes, in texts of much greater depth. From the latter half of the 1970s onward, even topics previously considered taboo in children’s literature ― sex, death, the collapse of the family, and so forth ― were taken up as issues bearing on the essential nature of humanity.

Let’s take a look at the history of Japanese children’s literature from Koganemaru [A dog named Koganemaru] to the end of the 20th century.

Thumbnail of Akahon, Hanasakajijii  [Reddish cover book, The old man who made the dead trees blossom]

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1-1Akahon, Hanasakajijii [Reddish cover book, The old man who made the dead trees blossom]
Illustrated by Eikyu Takeuchi
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 1)
Call No. KC511-20(First ed. 特60-492)
Reprint of the first edition published in 1880 by Kosuke Miyata. This is a multi-color woodblock printed mamehon (mini book).

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1-2Momotarô, ou, le Premier-né de la Pêche
Rendu en français par J. Dautremer
Kobunsha 1886
(Contes du vieux Japon ; no. 1)
Call No. C-31
This hiragami-bon, which is a book printed on smooth Japanese paper with a Japanese-style binding, features a French version of Momotaro [Peach boy].
Dautremer, the translator, had worked in Japan as a translation officer at the French consulate.

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1-3Momotaró
Translated by Gonzalo J. de la Espada
T. Hasegawa 1914
(Cuentos del Japón viejo; no. 1)
Call No. KH22-A77
This chirimen-bon, which is a book printed on crepe-paper with a Japanese-style binding, features multi-color woodblock prints and a Spanish version of Momotaro [Peach boy].

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1-4Momotaro
pa svenska af Konni Zilliacus
T.Hasegawa's Tryckeri [18--]
(Japanesiska sagor)
Call No. Y18-B527
This chirimen-bon, which is a book printed on crepe-paper with a Japanese-style binding, features multi-color woodblock prints and Swedish version of Momotaro [Peach boy].

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1-5Momotaro, oder, der Pfirschling
ubers. von K. Florenz
T. Hasegawa 1931
(Japanische Märchen)
Call No. Da-111
This chirimen-bon, which is a book printed on crepe-paper with a Japanese-style binding, features multi-color woodblock prints and German version of Momotaro [Peach boy].

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1-6Shonen'en [Child's garden]
Shonen'en[1888]-1895
Call No. Z32-B233
A pioneering children's magazine in the Meiji era featuring articles, stories, and contributions from readers that were popular with children aged twelve to eighteen years. Shown here is vol. 2, no.13.

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1-7Shokokumin fukkokuban [Reprint of Young nationals]
Fuji-shuppan 1998-1999
Call No. Z32-B417
A general interest magazine published monthly from 1889 to 1895. Shown here is no. 8, featuring Kendo Sugoroku (A dice game created by Kendo Ishii).

Thumbnail of Shonen bungaku. daiippen, Koganemaru [Children's literature. vol.1, A dog named Koganemaru]

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1-8Shonen bungaku. daiippen, Koganemaru
[Children's literature. vol.1, A dog named Koganemaru]

Written by Sazanami Iwaya
Hakubunkan 1891
Call No. 特47-601
Koganemaru (A dog named Koganemaru) is considered to be the first modern book for children in Japan. It is the first volume of Hakubunkan's Shonen bungaku [Children's literature] series. 巌谷漣 is a homophonic variation of the author’s real name, 巌 谷小波 (Iwaya Sazanami).

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1-9Onimomotaro [Ogre peach boy]
Written by Koyo Ozaki/Compiled by Shintaro Oohashi
Hakubunkan 1891
(Yonen bungaku; daiichigo [Young children’s literature; no.1] )
Call No. Y8-N05-H1117
A sequel to the Japanese folk tale Momotaro [Peach boy]. This was the first volume of Yonen bungaku [Young children’s literature] series, which is the sister publication of Hakubunkan's Shonen bungaku [Children's literature] series.

Thumbnail of Nihon mukashibanashi. daiippen, Momotaro [Japanese folktales. vol.1, Peach boy]

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1-10Nihon mukashibanashi, daiippen, Momotaro [Japanese folktales, vol.1, Peach boy]
Retold by Sazanami Iwaya/Written by Nishimaru Azumaya
Hakubunkan 1896
Call No. 特47-673
This is the first volume of Hakubunkan's Nihon mukashibanashi [Japanese folktales] series, the first edition of which was published in 1894. Shown here is the sixth edition. 漣山人 (Sazanami Sanjin) is a pseudonym of 巌谷小波 (Iwaya Sazanami).

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1-11Shonen sekai [Children's world]
Hakubunkan 1895-1933
Call No. Z32-B239
This children's magazine was launched as a semi-monthly and later changed to a monthly in 1900. Sazanami Iwaya was the chief editor until July 1917. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 1.

Thumbnail of Kaitei gunkan: Kaito boken kitan [A submarine battleship: A mysterious tale of island adventures]

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1-12Kaitei gunkan: Kaito boken kitan [A submarine battleship: A mysterious tale of island adventures]
Written by Shunro Oshikawa
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1971
(Nihon jido bungakukan: Meicho fukkoku [Japanese children's literature: Reprint of masterpieces] 4)
Call No. KH6-23
A reprint of the first edition published by Bunbudo in November 1900. This book was extremely popular with young people after the Sino-Japanese War.

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1-13Yonen gaho [Young children’s pictorial]
Hakubunkan [1906]-
Call No. Z32-B291
A monthly illustrated magazine for young children, featuring fairy tales, doyo (children's songs), and educational stories. Sazanami Iwaya was the chief editor. Shown here is vol. 3, no. 14.

【Column】The Work of Sazanami Iwaya

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1-14Nihon shonen [Japanese boys]
Edited by Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha [1906]-[1938]
Call No. Z32-B246
This magazine targeted boys attending elementary or junior high school as well as those who worked, and became one of the top magazines for boys during the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa eras. Shown here is vol. 8, no.7.

Thumbnail of Otogi gacho ukare kokyu [Fairytale picture book, the joyful fiddle]

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1-15Otogi gacho ukare kokyu [Fairytale picture book, the joyful fiddle]
Written by Sazanami Iwaya/Illustrated by Sakae Okano
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu, [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 3)
Call No. KC511-20
Based on Norwegian folk tale “Little Frick and the violin.” Reprint of the first edition published by Hakubunkan in 1908.

Thumbnail of Nihon’ichi no ebanashi, Urashima [Japan's best illustrated children's stories, Urashima]

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1-16Nihon’ichi no ebanashi [Japan's best illustrated children's stories]
Written by Sazanami Iwaya/Illustrated by Hisui Sugiura, Sakae Okano, and Shokichi Kobayashi
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu, [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 4)
Call No. KC511-20(First ed. 特64-813)
Reprint of the first edition of the thirty-five volume set published by Nakanishiya Shoten in 1911-1915. Illustrated by one of Japan’s leaders in western-style drawing at the time.

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1-17Yonen no tomo [Young children's companion]
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha [190-]-[19--]
Call No. Z32-B272
A monthly illustrated magazine for kindergarten and elementary school students. It was used as extracurricular reading material in elementary schools after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Shown here is vol. 3, no. 10.

Thumbnail of Akai fune: Otogihanashishu [Red boat: A collection of fairy tales]

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1-18Akai fune: Otogihanashishu [Red boat: A collection of fairy tales]
Written by Mimei Ogawa/Illustrated by Yohei Watanabe
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1971
(Nihon jido bungakukan: Meicho fukkoku [Japanese children's literature: Reprint of masterpieces] 5)
Call No. KH6-23(First ed. 特13-710)
This first anthology of fairytales written by Mimei Ogawa was of great impact in the history of Japanese children's literature. This is a reprint of the first edition originally published by Kyobundo in 1910.

Thumbnail of Ooishi Kuranosuke azumakudari: Bushido seika [Kuranosuke Ooishi’s journey to the east: Essence of the samurai spirit]

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1-19Ooishi Kuranosuke azumakudari: Bushido seika [Kuranosuke Ooishi’s journey to the east: Essence of the samurai spirit]
Written by Sanjin Sekka
Tachikawa Bunmeido 1912
(Tatsukawa bunko: dainijurokuhen [Tatsukawa library: vol. 26])
Call No. 特266-460
This is vol. 26 of the two-hundred-volume Tatsukawa bunko [Tatsukawa library] series, which is one of the most famous Taisho era popular fiction series. A pocket-sized story book.

Thumbnail of Boken shosetsu hinaso to kaizoku [Adventure novel: Young priest and pirate]

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1-20Boken shosetsu hinaso to kaizoku [Adventure novel: Young priest and pirate]
Written by Hosui Arimoto
Nihon shonen [Japanese boys] vol. 5, no. 6
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha 1910
Call No. Z32-B246
Hosui Arimoto, who became known as a leading writer of poems for children, wrote not just poems for Nihon shonen [Japanese boys] but also children's stories and adventure stories. In 1912, he became the magazine’s chief editor.

Thumbnail of Kodomo no tomo[Children's companion]

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1-21Kodomo no tomo [Children's companion]
Fujin-no-Tomo-Sha [1914]-1943
Call No. Z32-B156
A monthly illustrated magazine featuring content intended to provide children with food for thought about their daily life. Yumeji Takehisa was the chief illustrator. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 6.

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1-22Hosui shishu [Collected verses by Hosui]
Written by Hosui Arimoto
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha 1914
Call No. 特110-52
An anthology of poetry by one of Japan’s leading writers of poems for children, Hosui Arimoto. This collection was quite popular with young children.

Thumbnail of Yatsu no yoru[Eight nights]

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1-23Yatsu no yoru [Eight nights]
Written by Akiko Yosano
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1974
(Nihon jido bungakukan: Meicho fukkoku, dainishu [Japanese children's library: Reprint of masterpieces, vol.2] 8)
Call No. KH6-23(First ed. 340-21-(4))
A reprint of vol. 4 from the Aishi [Books for beloved children] series, originally published by Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha in 1914. This novella depicts the adventures of a young girl over the course of eight nights.

Thumbnail of Shojo no tomo[Girls’ companion]

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1-24Shojo no tomo [Girls’ companion]
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha [1908]-[1955]
Call No. Z32-412
This magazine was the sister publication of Nihon shonen [Japanese boys] and was quite popular with girls aged 10 or older. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 5.

Thumbnail of Ryoyu [Good friends]

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1-25Ryoyu [Good friends]
Kodomo-Sha [1916]-
Call No. Z32-B259
As a magazine for elementary school students, dedicated to the literary principle of doshin (the pure heart of children) approach that emerged during the Taisho Democracy. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 12.

Thumbnail of Shojo gaho [Girls' illustrated magazine]

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1-26Shojo gaho [Girls' illustrated magazine]
Shinsensha (until 1920, no. 6: Tokyo-Sha) [1912]-[1942]
Call No. Z32-551
This monthly girl's magazine was launched as the sister publication of the magazine Fujin gaho [Women’s illustrated]. Publication ended in March 1942 when it merged with Shojo no tomo [Girl's companion]. Shown here is vol. 5, no. 7.

Thumbnail of Otogi zoshi, dobutsu no maki [Fairy tales, volume of animals]

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1-27-1Otogi zoshi, dobutsu no maki [Fairy tales, volume of animals]
Written by Sazanami Iwaya/Illustrated by Yumeji Takehisa
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 8)
Call No. KC511-20
A reprint of the first edition originally published by Otogi kenkyukai (Fairytale study group) in 1918. Illustrated by Yumeji Takehisa with modern-style drawings.

1-27-2Otogi zoshi, ponchi no maki [Fairy tales, volume of caricature]
Written by Sazanami Iwaya/Illustrated by Ryushi Kawabata
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 8)
Call No. KC511-20
A reprint of the first edition originally published by Otogi kenkyukai (Fairytale study group) in 1918. It is illustrated with Punch-style cartoons, which were popular from the mid- to late-19th century.

【Column】Magazines and Novels for Girls

Thumbnail of Hana monogatari[Tales of flowers] 1

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1-28Hana monogatari [Tales of flowers] 1
Written by Nobuko Yoshiya
Rakuyodo 1920
Call No. 児乙部20-Y-2
This anthology comprises twenty short stories, each with the name of a flower for a title. In all, a total of fifty-two stories were serialized in Shojo gaho [Girl’s illustrated] starting in July 1916.

Thumbnail of Kodomo no kuni[Children's land]

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1-29Kodomo no kuni [Children's land]
Tokyo-Sha [1922]-[1944]
Call No. Z32-B158
A monthly illustrated magazine for young children and elementary school students. It was a leader for artistic illustrations prior to World War II. Shown here is vol. 3, no. 1.

Thumbnail of Kodomo Asahi[Children's Asahi]

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1-30Kodomo Asahi [Children's Asahi]
Asahi Shimbun Company 1923-[1942]
Call No. Z32-B163
This monthly illustrated magazine came into being due to the popularity of the children's section in the Shukan Asahi [Weekly Asahi] magazine. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 1.

Thumbnail of Dontaku ehon[Holiday picture book] 1-3

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1-31Dontaku ehon [Holiday picture book] 1-3
Edited by Yumeji Takehisa
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing [1985]
(Shohanbon fukkoku, Takehisa Yumeji zenshu [Reprint of the first edition, Yumeji Takehisa’s complete works])
Call No. Y17-N09-J16~J18
This is a picture book, with oblong binding and illustrated with machine-printed woodcuts, was quite rare in its time. Volumes 1 and 2 were published by Kaneko Shoten in 1923 and vol. 3 is a reprint of the first edition originally published by Bunkyoin in 1924. Shown here is vol. 1.

【Column】Yumeji Takehisa and Illustration for Children

Thumbnail of Shochan no boken[Adventures of Sho-chan] 5-6

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1-32Shochan no boken [Adventures of Sho-chan] 5-6
Written by Shosei Oda/Illustrated by Tofujin
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 12)
Call No. KC511-20
Volumes 5 and 6 of a seven-volume set. These large, full-color picture books were popular with children. This is a reprint of the books originally published by Asahi Shimbun Company in 1925. Shown here is vol. 5. The title was Otogi Sho-chan no boken [Adventures of Sho-chan] when it was first published.

Thumbnail of Kinda bukku[Kinderbook]

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1-33Kinda bukku [Kinderbook]
Edited by Nihon Gangu Kenkyu Kai
Froebel-Kan (vol. 14, no. 9-12 is published by Nihon Hoiku Kan) [1927]-1942
Call No. Z32-B155
This magazine was edited from a scientific and educational perspective, in accordance with stipulations on observation during childcare specified in the Kindergarten Ordinance. The magazine was marketed directly to kindergartens when it was first launched. Shown here is vol. 3, no. 10.

Thumbnail of Kodomo ehon bunko, Issunboshi [Children's picture book library, Little one inch]

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1-34Kodomo ehon bunko, Issunboshi [Children's picture book library, Little one inch]
Written and illustrated by Shigeru Hatsuyama
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 11)
Call No. KC511-20
This is a reprint of book originally published by Seibundo in 1928. Kodomo ehon bunko [Children's picture book library] features drawings done by the leading doga (illustration for children) illustrators at that time.

1-35Miebo no hiyokko: Supein no ohanashi [Medio pollito/Half-chicken]
Written by Atsuo Ooki/Illustrated by Kyoji Yoshimi
Saibunkaku 1931
(Ebanashi sekai yonen sosho [The world children's picture story books] 3)
Call No. 児乙部31-O-5
Ebanashi sekai yonen sosho [The world children's picture story books] is an outstanding series of picture books of fables, written in simple sentences with matching illustrations.

Thumbnail of Ebanashi sekai yonen sosho, Neko no shippo [Series of the world’s picture story books for young children, Tale of a cat's tail]

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1-36Ebanashi sekai yonen sosho, Neko no shippo [Series of the world’s picture story books for young children, Tale of a cat's tail]
Written by Atsuo Ooki/Illustrated by Tomoyoshi Murayama
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 16)
Call No. KC511-20
This is a reprint of a book originally published by Saibunkaku in 1932. The author later changed the kanji for his name from 惇夫 (Atsuo) to 篤夫. This story is the only one in the series in which the author changed the story line from that of the original Portuguese.

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1-37Nogi taisho [General Nogi]
Illustrated by Kikuzo Ito/Written by Nobumasa Ikeda
Dai-Nihon Yubenkai Kodansha 1936
(Kodansha no ehon [Kodansha's picture books] 1)
Call No. Y3-N03-H138
Kodansha no ehon [Kodansha's picture books] commissioned work from famous illustrators and published luxurious books using rich colors, as they shifted from a journalistic to a photojournalistic magazine.

【Column】The Beginnings of Manga

Thumbnail of Taberu Tonchan[Ton-chan is eating]

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1-38Taberu Tonchan [Ton-chan is eating]
Written and illustrated by Shigeru Hatsuyama
Kinran-Sha 1937
Call No. Y17-N01-889
The illustrations express both the fanciful vernacular of the poetic prose and the happy plot development. The author mingles the playfulness in his illustrations and an ironic point of view in this picture story.

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1-39Kodomo no hikari [Children's light]
Kodomo Kenkyusha (from vol. 5, no. 7: Teikoku Kyoikukai Shuppanbu) [1937]-[1944]
Call No. Z32-B166
A monthly picture book for preschoolers. It was first launched by Kodomo kenkyu sha, but when that company failed, it was taken over by a different publisher, where Jun’ichi Yoda became the editor in chief and began to market it directly to kindergartens. The magazine’s title changed to Nihon no kodomo [Japanese children], after being merged with other magazines under a government policy intended to reorganize the publishing industry. Shown here is vol. 1, no. 3.

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1-40Hibari wa sora ni [A lark in the sky]
Written by Issui Yoshida/Illustrated by Shigeru Hatsuyama
Teikoku Kyoikukai Shuppanbu 1941
(Shinnihon yonen bunko [The new Japanese young children's library])
Call No. Y8-N03-H693
Shinnihon yonen bunko [The new Japanese children's library] is a picture book series planned by Jun’ichi Yoda and others during the war. The magazine purported to be a guide of daily life while valuing children’s interests.

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1-41Kawa no ie no tomodachi [A friend living near the river]
Written by Kenjiro Tsukahara/Illustrated by Sho Nakao
Chuoh publishing 1944
(Shokokumin ebunko [Young nationals' picture book library])
Call No. Y8-N04-H316
Shokokumin ebunko [Young nationals' picture book library] is a picture book series for young children. Planned and edited by Seika Tatsumi, it was intended to be a dignified publication that would not be regarded as a toy.

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1-42Shinnihon yonen bunko, Pukuma ukuma [New Japan young children's library, Pooh bear and Ooh bear]
Written by Yoshimi Sato/Illustrated by Kazu Wakita
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
(Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 20)
Call No. KC511-20
This is a reprint of a book originally published by Teikoku kyouiku kai in 1942. It is a picture book depicting the nature of children that can still be appreciated today.

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1-43Shokokumin ebunko, Nippon no ama [Young nationals' picture book library, Japanese woman diver]
Written by Takeji Hiratsuka/Illustrated by Ryu Osanai
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1978
Fukkoku ehon ebanashishu [Reprinted collection of picture story books] 22)
Call No. KC511-20
This is a reprint of a book originally published by Chuoh shuppan kyokai in 1947. It depicts familiarity with the ocean and lives of woman divers, with the intention of making children aware of Japan's position as a seafaring nation.

ColumnThe Work of Sazanami IwayaBack

Sazanami Iwaya(1870–1933) started out as novelist affiliated with Ken’yusha, a literary group that included Koyo Ozaki and other writers. His masterpiece novel Imosegai [Young lovers] and most of his other novels depict the puppy love between boys and girls in a colloquial style.

With the publication of Koganemaru, Sazanami became one of the top children’s literature authors of the Meiji era (1868-1912). He also served as the chief editor of Hakubunkan’s Shonen sekai [Children’s world] magazine.

Sazanami’s literary style was well suited to reading aloud and with the publication of Koganemaru, he also became the pioneer of koen dowa (voiced literature). Koen dowa was handed down to Takehiko Kurushima, Sueo Abe and others and developed uniquely.

ColumnMagazines and Novels for GirlsBack

From the beginning of the 20th century (the late 30’s to the early 40’s in the Meiji era), a number of magazines that included the word shojo (girl) were published such as Shojokai [Girls’ circle], Shojo sekai [Girls’ world] and Shojo no tomo [Girls’ companion]. It is considered that when the Girls’ High School Order was issued in 1899 (Meiji 32), women’s education grew, which created a new body of readership for girls’ magazines.

Shojo novels for the girl readers, which featured girls as the main character, appeared in the girl magazines. Authors such as Nobuko Yoshiya penned these novels, while illustrators such as Jun’ichi Nakahara provided artwork.

ColumnYumeji Takehisa and Illustration for ChildrenBack

Yumeji Takehisa (1883–1934), a well-known artist for his bijinga (pictures of beautiful women), illustrated children’s publications with his rustic and nostalgic style works. He illustrated Sazanami Iwaya’s Otogi zoshi [Fairy tales]’s volume of the animal and published his own original Dontaku ehon [Holiday picture book]. He also authored doyo (children’s songs) and dowa (children’s stories).

Yumeji started as an koma-e (illustration panels in newspapers and magazines) illustrator. Around this time, another koma-e illustrator by the name of Yohei Watanabe (1889–1912) did the artwork for Mimei Ogawa’s first collection of dowa, Akai fune [Red boat]. These two men are considered to be among the pioneers of illustrators who drew doga (illustration for children) in Japan.

ColumnThe Beginnings of MangaBack

Shochan no boken [Adventures of Sho-chan] was a collaboration between Shosei Oda and Tofujin (the pen name of Katsuichi Kabashima, who would grow famous as the illustrator for Shonen kurabu [Boys’ club]). This work was serialized in the Asahi grafu [Asahi graph] magazine, the Asahi Shimbun [Asahi newspaper] Tokyo and Osaka editions, and later published as a standalone series of books. The illustrations were done in a panel layout, with speech bubbles into which character dialogue was placed and explanations outside the panels. This form is considered to be the origin of manga (comics) read by children.

With manga series such as Suiho Tagawa’s Norakuro [The stray black dog] in Shonen kurabu and Keizo Shimada’s Boken Dankichi [Dankichi, an adventurous boy], manga began to spread and take root among children.