Harvard to Release Book on Manga

The Harvard University Asia Center has announced the publication of a new book: Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyoshi of Edo Japan by Adam L. Kern.

Based on extensive research using primary sources in their original editions, "Manga from the Floating World" is the first full-length study in English of the kibyoshi, a vastly popular genre of humorous pictorial fiction for adults. Copiously illustrated with over 200 figures (including many rare prints from Japanese archival collections), this book also presents three complete annotated translations by major author-artist Santo Kyoden (1761-1816) that closely reproduce the experience of reading the original works. By addressing the kibyoshi's history, readership, narrative conventions, sophisticated visual-verbal play, and relationship to the modern Japanese comicbook, Kern offers a sustained close reading of the vibrant popular imagination of late eighteenth-century Japan.

Adam L. Kern is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at Harvard University.

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