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  • Japanese: 鳥羽絵 (Toba-e)

Toba-e were a particular style of cartoon or caricature of the Edo period, most often seen in bound, published books called Toba-e-hon. Simplistic and cartoonish in style, and somewhat resembling stick figures, the images were called Toba-e after the Heian period figure Toba Sôjô, who is alleged to have possibly painted the famous Chôjû-giga ("Frolicking Animals") scrolls which these Toba-e were also said to resemble.

In the mid-19th century, up until the 1920s, the term Toba-e came to refer to cartoons or caricatures more broadly. This development was encouraged by the publication by George Bigot, beginning in 1884, of a journal entitled Tobaye: Journal satirique.


  • Jacqueline Berndt, “Manga and ‘Manga’: Contemporary Japanese Comics and their Dis/similarities with Hokusai Manga,” in Manggha, Krakow: Japanese Art and Technology Center (2008).