orthent (orthent) wrote in little_details,
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orthent
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War Comics in 1905?

Would "war comics" of a sort have been available in Japan as early as 1905? Apparently, Tokyo Puck began publication in that year, and there was also some interest in American comic strips for children, but it doesn't seem that manga existed, per se, until perhaps the 30s or 40s. What I'm wondering about is whether cheap paper-bound illustrated chapbooks, made for children, would have been available? I have seen scans of an illustrated story of the naval battle of Tsushima, but that was from 1934.

The scenario I've been considering is in the aftermath of the battle (i.e., sometime between late May and September 1905) where a fourteen-year-old girl buys a manga-like illustrated storybook depicting the Japanese naval victory for her five-year-old brother (when he makes puppy-eyes over it). And if it helps at all in determining the likelihood of this scenario, they live on the outskirts of Tokyo, and she supports them by working in a factory that makes naval uniforms. (The children are Asato Tsuzuki and his sister Ruka.)

I've checked the Wikipedia pages relating to the history of manga, and Googled "Manga--history" and "Manga--Russo-Japanese war," but haven't had much success. What I have seen suggests that this isn't terribly likely, but the scenario appealed to me so much that I didn't want to discard it out of hand based on my (admittedly scanty) reasearch, unless someone told me bluntly "nope, not possible."
Tags: japan: history, ~comics
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