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Events - 02.20.2019

Explore the Roots of MANGA! Action in Print: Visual Narrative in Edo-Period Popular Literature

Visual Narrative in Edo-Period Popular Literature



7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



In this lavishly illustrated talk Dr. Ellis TINIOS will introduce illustrated popular fiction produced for a mass audience in Japan in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—a varied body of printed material worthy of wider appreciation. The techniques employed by ukiyo-e artists to construct compelling visual narratives will be explored through a close reading of a volume from a serial novel illustrated by Utagawa Kuniyoshi. The speaker will also consider the motives of those who have tried so hard—and so unsuccessful—to find direct Japanese precedents for contemporary MANGA in Edo-period illustrated fiction and medieval handscrolls.

Participants are welcome to visit the complimentary ‘This is MANGA – the Art of NAOKI URASAWA’ exhibition displayed at the JAPAN HOUSE Gallery on Level 2.


Registration has closed.

Lecturer Profile

Dr Ellis Tinios is Honorary Lecturer in History at the University of Leeds, faculty member of the Rare Book School, University of Virginia, and Visiting Researcher at the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University. His primary research interest is the illustrated book in early modern Japan. His work encompasses bibliography, book design, the mechanics and economics of book production, and the marketing, advertising, sale, consumption and afterlives of books.

Recent publications include: Understanding Japanese Illustrated Books: a short introduction to their history, bibliography and format, co-authored with Suzuki Jun (Brill, 2013); Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e in Edo, 1700-1900 (British Museum Press, 2010, reprinted with revisions, 2014); and ‘Japanese Illustrated Erotic Books in the Context of Commercial Publishing, 1660-1868’ in Japan Review: Journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (No 26 (2013) Special Issue: Shunga).

Event Organizers: Co-organized by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and The Yanai Initiative at UCLA with cooperation from JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.

Image Credit: Chūshin teifu: I-ro-ha bunko (Faithful retainers & chaste women: a basic library). Author: Ryūentei Tanehisa; illustrator Utagawa Kunoiyoshi. Edo (Tokyo), 1860. Ebi collection. Image courtesy of the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

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