A kamishibai performer

My mother's sleepy hometown was only about an hour away by train from the bustling Tokyo suburb where we lived when I was young,but a world away in many ways.在离我祖父母家步行的地方没有超市,当地的肉店也没有卖牛肉,因为那里的人只吃猪肉和鸡肉,除非是为了特殊的场合。The huge bath tub was made of rough cast iron - it was filled with water and heated from below with a wood fire,and to get in it one had to stop on the wooden lid and slowly sink it down,to avoid burning ones feet.(Until I was about 10 I was too small to sink that lid alone,and could only take a bath with an adult.) The local farmers came around regularly to sell whatever they had harvested that day.

While the house had a television - like many other people,我祖父买它是为了观看1964年东京奥运会,它被定位在后屋在一楼,它由三个房间组成,被幕布隔开,打开后形成一个大房间。The"后屋was my grandfather's domain though,白天看电视毫无疑问,尽可能在家里。所以我和我的表兄弟姐妹不得不找别的娱乐。We ran rampant around the neighborhood;played with the dog,an ever-patient Akita;或者在田野里捉昆虫。每当大人给我们零用钱,我们要去看神仙白人。

Kamishibaiwhich means"纸剧院,is a form of entertainment with roots that are more than a thousand years old.There has always been a tradition of storytelling with pictures in Japan;in The Tale of Genji,11世纪初出版,there are depictions of court ladies entertaining each other by telling stories while showing emaki,有画的卷轴。在江户时代(1603-1868)a kind of puppet theater with drawn backgrounds and paper figures stuck onto sticks emerged,这就是所谓的镰石白,19世纪90年代,我们今天所知道的神风岛的类型——一系列彩色的图片放在一个盒子里,盒子前面有一个开口,当讲故事的人讲述故事时,这些图片被洗牌了——诞生了。

In the 1920-30s kamishibai was a hugely popular form of entertainment for children in urban Japan,在街角由擅长戏剧故事的男人表演。Many of these kamishibai men were former movie theater narrators who had lost their jobs due to the advent of the talkies.A kamishibai business was cheap to get started in;到那时,大量制作的故事集已经准备就绪,你只需要一些故事集,the"“舞台”盒子,也许还有自行车或手推车。

A kamishibai man never charged his young audience admission - he made his money by selling dagashi,甜食或可口的零食小而便宜,足以让孩子用他们的零用钱买。如果你买不起大伽希,神风教的人就会把你赶走,although the more resourceful kids tried to sneak a peek by hanging from nearby trees and so on.

虽然用图片讲故事听起来像是孩子们将时间传递给现代情感的一种美妙方式,some adults considered kamishibai to have a bad influence.There was some concern about the cheap dagashi which ruined kids' appetites,但更令人担忧的是故事的内容,其中包括惊心动魄的冒险故事,主角是像金蝙蝠这样的超级英雄,gruesome tales of ghosts and monsters,and other fare that entrance kids everywhere.Decades later those kids would grow up to tut-tut about the bad influence of manga,TV and anime for their children...and those children in turn fret about the bad influence of video games and the internet.

As the 1930s progressed and the military-led government took over,kamishibai was used as propaganda tools,“educate"children to become good,听话的日本公民,愿意为皇帝献出生命。Many of the purely fun stories were banned or fell into obscurity.但是随着战争的继续,sugar and other supplies became too scarce to make dagashi,在许多城市,经营镰石白本身变得过于危险。

After the war,镰石白的人气在复仇中反弹。Children in devastated urban areas were starved for both entertainment and a taste of sugar.我已故的父亲,他出生于1936年,和他的班级一起被疏散了,separated from the rest of his family,to the countryside during the last couple of years,where he had been hungry all the time.当他回到东京的家里时,情况并没有好转多少。他陪着母亲(因为他是最年长的)走了几个小时到农村去买蔬菜或向农民讨要蔬菜。他过去常和其他孩子在美国的地理信息系统里闲逛,希望一块口香糖或一块巧克力能被扔到一边。And if by chance he had a coin or two,enough to buy even the cheapest snack sold by the kamishibai man he would run there.He barely remembered the stories decades later,但他仍然记得那些小吃的味道。

Kamishibai was so popular amongst kids that the occupying Allied Forces (GHQ) focused on it too.They kept an eye on the stories and clamped down on those that they deemed too nationalistic or otherwise unacceptable to them.They also had plans to publish stories that spread their views of the world,although it doesn't seem that that was ever widely executed before their attention was shifted to the Korean peninsula.

Kamishibai continued to be a popular form of entertainment for children for the next decade and a half.我的母亲,他出生于1941年,与我父亲不同,对爆炸和饥饿没有记忆,仍然回忆起当镰石白最终到达他们沉睡的小镇时的兴奋。The stories were by then free of government intrusion and were probably as exciting and dramatic as any current day anime is.And of course there were those forbidden fruit,达加西。My mother's favorite was something she still buys for the sake of nostalgia sometimes - two round wafers with a glop of mizuame,a sticky,土豆淀粉制成的糖浆糖,在中间。米苏梅是令人窒息的甜蜜,and the wafers stick to the roof of your mouth in a most satisfying way.

While televisions were introduced in Japan in 1953,most households couldn't afford one so kamishibai continued to be popular.But the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were a turning point,with many households getting their first set to be able to watch it.(Incidentally,电视被称为electric kamishibai"in a derogatory way by some commentators in the '60s,他们认为这对孩子们同样有害。)神风教派的男人们一直活到了20世纪70年代,但他们的观众却在稳步减少;电视不仅破坏了他们,but this was also the the Golden Age of manga.By the 1980s,kamishibai men had disappeared from the streets of Tokyo and the rest of Japan.

Nowadays,神风岛的两个部分——图片展示本身和大观寺在那里出售——分开生存。The kamishibai form of storytelling with pictures is used as an educational tool in schools and libraries,还有许多兴趣小组致力于保护艺术形式。达加西店which became a fixture in urban areas in the 1950s,themselves largely disappeared during the '80s-'90s,but have made a small comeback;dagashi can be even be bought online these days.

It is still possible to spot a kamishibai man now and then,但他们的观众更可能是游客而不是孩子。几十年来,我自己都没有亲眼见过一个神风鸟。但我偶尔会拿起一块大灰石,which still only costs 30 to 40 yen or so each,或者像小孩子用零用钱买得起的一样多。我想它的味道不太好,but the memories make it so much sweeter.

Postscript: This originally appeared on a site called Cultures and Cuisines with the title"差点忘了:日本神风白人“.不幸的是,这个网站本身似乎已经停业了——至少它已经不在了,而且他们的Facebook页面自2016年以来一直没有更新。我把这篇文章放在这里,因为我认为它值得保留。The photo is fromWikimedia Commons.And yes,我知道阿伦·塞伊的书——这就是《文化与烹饪》杂志的编辑最初想要这篇文章的原因。^_^.

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