The spirit of manga and animation passed down from “Choju-jinbutsu-giga”

Kenji Ueno, President of Bunsei University of Art
Tetsuya Chiba, Professor of Bunsei University of Art
Seiichi Tanaka., Professor of Bunsei University of Art

鳥獣戯画から受け継ぐ日本のマンガ・アニメの真髄“Choju-jinbutsu-giga” picture scroll, a National Treasure is regarded as “the origin of manga”.
A lot of tricks attracting people is used in this picture scroll.

The reason why it is called “the origin of manga” is not only its unique drawing style with anthropomorphic animals but also its technique used in the modern manga and animation.

鳥獣戯画から受け継ぐ日本のマンガ・アニメの真髄“It was originally just a sketch and the artist had no intention to show other people. Therefore, the artist drew freely and emotionally the picture. It is really free, witty and appealing to modern people” said Kenji Ueno, President of Bunsei University of Art and a leading expert of “Choju-jinbutsu-giga” study.

This cartoon tradition was passed down for generations and influences on the works of manga artists like Tetsuya Chiba. Also, it gives inspirations to Japanese figurines and Cosplay culture.


The Bunsei University of Art established “Manga Major” inviting Tetsuya Chiba for professor in 2005 and “Bunsei MANGA Innovation Institution” led by Chiba 2 years ago for the coming digital manga and animation age.
“Manga format has been changed to be read with smartphones and tablets. The use of advanced technology may help creating a new world in the future. In such an age, we want to embrace the witty and straight sense of humor which manga has” said Ueno.

Today manga can present its new style using light, sound, voice and motion thanks to digital technology and people can endlessly create something new with imagination.

“I can see great potential. People can read manga comics anytime with their smartphone and tablet.
As a creator, I feel jealous of those who want to become manga artists for new tools to add sounds and to move characters in important scenes.
Considering how to create humanly characters is very important since digitally created characters often look cold. We want to study any possibilities” said Chiba seeing the future of manga and animation as the chief of “Bunsei MANGA Innovation Institution”.

鳥獣戯画から受け継ぐ日本のマンガ・アニメの真髄Professor Seiichi Tanaka. who is the vice-chief of the Institution and develops manga contents with AR, VR and AI, thinks that even digital technologies may create “Heart” through characters.

“People may think that digital technologies are for convenience. But digital technologies combining manga characters may present a warm sense of humanity which Professor Chiba mentioned. I believe manga will bring great power to creating heart using technology.”


Kenji Ueno
President of Bunsei University of Art. Graduated from the Department of History, Faculty of Letters at the University of Tokyo. Member of Tochigi Prefecture Person of Cultural Merit Selection Committee, Member of Document Evaluation Committee of Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tochigi Prefectural Museum and Utsunomiya Museum of Art. Executive Board Member of Tochigi Mirai-tsukuri Foundation and Utsunomiya Art and Culture Foundation. Vice Chairman of Tochigi Prefecture Cultural Association. He wrote “Choju-giga (Japanese picture scroll collection 6/ Chuokoron)”, “Mystery of Choju-giga (Takarajima)” and others.


Tetsuya Chiba
Born in 1939 in Tokyo. Started his manga artist professional career in 1956. His works are “Ashita no Joe”, “Shidenkai no Taka” and “Ore wa Teppei” etc. President of the Japan Cartoonists Association. Appointed to Professor of Manga Major of Bunsei University of Art in 2005.


Seiichi Tanaka.
Born in 1957. Professor of Manga Major of Bunsei University of Art. His works are “16 Feet no Manatsu”, “Victory Run”, “Gokyu Shojo” and “Kenyutachi no Senjo” etc. Today he continues his creative activities as a media artist on the theme, fusion of digital technology and nature.