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Henniker: Japanese History in Manga

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Volume I, by HIYAO MIYAZAKIThis week, the sixth graders at Henniker Community School (Henniker, NH) began their study of Japanese history and culture with an introduction to reading manga. 

We started out by looking at:

Students practiced reading, and also taking visual notes (intentional doodles) of what they found in the manga we read. 

A Japanese woodblock print of Russian vice-admiral Makarov's final moments (1904)
We also looked at several historical Meiji era woodblock prints from the MIT “Visualizing Cultures” collection, such as:

Students looked for elements of propaganda, nationalism, and Westernization, as well as for precursors of the manga styles and techniques we’d observed in Nausicaa.  We also started a timeline of Japanese history that sets the stage for the emergence of manga following World War II.

Art by Shelby Hamel


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