Sunday, February 6, 2011

The world according to Kiyoshi

Sorry, but there's nothing in particular I feel like highlighting for the Aug., '70 issue.

Instead, I'd like to talk about Yuu Takita a little more. One of the things that I really respect about his Terajima stories is how he tries so hard to capture the feel of the time period his manga is set in. Kiyoshi, the boy protagonist of the series, seems to be immersed in the era, with various cultural elements showing up continuously that should really appeal to the amateur manga historian.

Kiyoshi's mother has just come from the public baths. She is carrying her bath bucket, towel and soap. Then it starts to rain and she broods over how she's just thrown her money away on a bath, now that she's getting soaked all over again.

Kiyoshi's books mostly consist of manga, including a rental book copy of Norakuro.

At the kabuki theater.

Wood-covered sewage ditches along side the streets.

A genmai pan (rice bread) seller.

Playing cards. The idea here is to make your opponent's card flip over when you throw your card down.


Picking destinations to run to as part of a chase game.

An odango (pounded rice balls with flavored sauces on top) salesman.

Horse droppings.

Around 1931, a patent was issued for a reflective-style projector, called the REFCY. Unlike regular film projectors, the REFCY used a paper roll. Light from a bulb bounced off the paper and was then focused through a lens onto the projector screen. These were very popular projectors in Japan for a long time, and we have one such pictured here. The film being shown is a very famous samurai drama.

The word "chindon-ya" literally translates to "tweet + bang + shop". A chindon-ya was a person paid to play music on the streets to call attention to some product or store that hired them. At a minimum, you need a drummer and a flute player. Chindon-ya are still used occasionally in Tokyo to advertise pachinko parlors.

School punishment. Kiyoshi and his classmate got into a tussle while practicing kanji drawing in class.

An old-style kitchen. The problem is that the cat may occasionally use the rice cooker as a litter box...

Playing with tops. Battle tops are still popular in anime on TV in Japan. The two ways to fight it out in the past were in seeing whose top could knock the other out of the ring, or which would spin the longest.


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