京都市下京区のお宅にて戦時期の紙芝居を買い取らせていただきました。

1930年頃、飴などを売ることで商売する街頭紙芝居が始まり、「黄金バット」や「少年タイガー」などの娯楽作品の人気とともに全国に広がっていきました。
1938年に日本教育紙芝居協会が設立されると、積極的に国策紙芝居が印刷紙芝居として出版され戦意高揚の役割を果たすことになります。

終戦までに日本教育紙芝居教会からはおよそ全体の7割を超える300種ほどの紙芝居が印刷出版されましたが、「必勝の誓」と題されたこの紙芝居もそんな紙芝居のひとつです。

印刷納本の日付を見てみると1941年12月28日となっています。つまり真珠湾攻撃からわずか20日後であり、アジア太平洋戦争突入後では最初期の紙芝居といえるでしょう。

画劇絵師は小谷野半二。1907年に東京都下谷区で生まれ、太平洋美術学校(現太平洋美術会)洋画科卒業後は紙芝居の画劇絵師として仕事に携わります。

絵師として数多くの作品を残し、『パンドラの箱』(文部大臣賞受賞)、『池にうかんだびわ』(第1回五山賞受賞)、『ほしのおひめさま』(2度目の文部大臣賞受賞)などの代表作があります。

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We visited a house in Shimo-gyo district of Kyoto city to purchase Kamishibai.

Kamishibai (紙芝居), literally “paper drama”, is a form of storytelling that originated in Japanese Buddhist temples in the 12th century.

Kamishibai endured as a storytelling method for centuries, but is perhaps best known for its revival in the 1920s through the 1950s. The gaito kamishibaiya, or kamishibai storyteller, rode from village to village on a bicycle equipped with a small stage. On arrival, the storyteller used two wooden clappers, called hyoshigi, to announce his arrival. Children who bought candy from the storyteller got the best seats in front of the stage. Once an audience assembled, the storyteller told several stories using a set of illustrated boards, inserted into the stage and withdrawn one by one as the story was told.

During the period around 1938^1944, the Imperial government used Kamishibai as a propaganda for the war.

This piece, titled as “Vow of Victory”(必勝の誓), is one of those made as propaganda. It was printed on 28th December of 1941, just 20 days after the Pearl Harbor, which makes this piece one of the earliest work published after Japan started the Pacific War.

The artist who draw the pictures is Hanji Kotaya (小谷野半二). Born in 1907, Hanji started his career as Kamishibai picture artist after graduating from art school.

He continued working after the war, producing masterpieces such as “Pandora’s box”, “Biwa floating on tha lake”, and “Princess on the star”, each of which winning prestigious award in Japan.