Two representative issues of the first Western-style cartoon magazine in Japan.more...
‘Japan Punch was a cartoon magazine published by Charles Wirgman in Yokohama, from 1862 to 1887. Patterned after the French Le Charivari and its British derivative Punch, it was one of the first monthly serials published in Japan in the European mode, closely related to the European tradition of newspapers and political cartoons, and thus representing an important predecessor to Japan's own cartoons and modern newspaper industry.
The publication consisted chiefly of political cartoons referencing in-jokes pertaining to the foreign settlements in Yokohama, as well as parody, satire, and criticism of Japanese politics. Policies of extraterritoriality within the foreign settlements protected the paper from any possible reprisal by the Japanese authorities, thus granting Wirgman and his colleagues free reign in their critiques of, and jokes at the expense of, those authorities’ (The Samurai Archives online).
Wirgman introduced Western printing techniques in the form of lithography, though in a distinctive style sometime echoing Japanese woodblock printing and he used soft Japanese paper and traditional stitching. The magazine began abortively in 1862 and then successively from August 1865 to March 1887. Issues were usually of 12 leaves, though one of ours has 13..see full details